Name: A.C.E. Bauer
Debut Group: Class of 2k7
Debut novel: NO CASTLES HERE
PJH: Okay, so it’s been 5 years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
ACE: After NO CASTLES HERE (which became an audiobook and came out in paperback), I’ve continued to write in the magical realism genre. COME FALL, for middle grade readers, was published in 2010. It’s the story of three friends in middle school whose lives are disrupted when one of them, without his knowledge, becomes a pawn in a fight between the king and queen of Faerie. My first YA novel, GIL MARSH, was published this February 28th. It’s a story inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh: a boy becomes close friends with a stranger who dies. Inconsolable, he flees to Quebec to seek an immortal man and perhaps find the secret to immortality.
(PJH: Yay for a story inspired by Gilgamesh!)
GIL MARSH (Random House, February 28, 2012)
PJH: Besides marketing the novels, I have been revising a new novel for my agent, and working on still another that is in that horrible middle stage when I’m convinced there’s no way I’m going to be able to finish it.
ACE: I missed having a group of authors like the Class of 2k7 to bounce ideas off and work with on promotion, so several local authors and I decided to create Write Up Our Alley in 2008. Besides our website (http://writeupouralley.com/) and promotional materials, we’ve been meeting regularly as a sort of career critique group. It’s been wonderful!
NO CASTLES HERE (Random House, October 2007)
PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?
ACE: The best part of being in a group like Class of 2k7 is that it gave me a group of people who could help me figure out how to be a published author. It’s more than just publicity and promotion: being a professional writer is a career, and it’s great to have other people starting off with you that you can bounce ideas off.
PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?
ACE: Once the class disbands, find other authors who are also published to work with. I don’t mean a critique group, although that can be useful. I mean other folks who have to deal with professional writing issues who you can talk to on a regular basis and who you can share experiences with. Published authors have different career problems than those who are still looking for their first contract—problems that are equally frustrating and sometimes quite demoralizing. Having a group like WUOA if only to talk shop (although we do more than that) has helped me in my professional life. Besides, each accomplishment is a little sweeter when people who understand exactly what you are doing celebrate it with you.
PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.
ACE: How about the Newbery? Nope? Well, I’d like to publish at least two more books, and with luck, three. I’m not the fastest writer on the planet, so that seems like a manageable goal. As a lifelong comics fan, I would love if one of them at least was a graphic novel. I’ve never been able to write for NaNoWriMo (mostly because of other writing commitments), so I’d like to try that once.
COME FALL (Random House, July 27, 2010)
PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!
ACE: It’s funny. The actual signing of my contracts have always been the most anticlimactic moments of the publishing process. It’s getting that “Yes, we would like your book,” months (or years) before the contract is written is what puts me on Cloud Nine. And every rejected manuscript (yes, that happens, even after you’ve been published) still hurts. What keeps me going, though, more than anything else, is enjoying the writing itself. There is no better day in the world for me than a day when I’ve written productively.
PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!
Bio: A.C.E. Bauer is the author of three novels for young readers. Her most recent book, Gil Marsh, is her first for young adults. She has also published two middle grade novels, No Castles Here (ALA Rainbow List; starred review by Kirkus Reviews) and Come Fall (CCBC Choices book; starred review by Publishers Weekly). Born and raised in Montreal, she spends most of the year in New England, and much of the summer on a lake in Quebec. You can read more about her and her work at acebauer.com.
Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!