Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{#NPEBlogTour} #NotPrettyEnough by Jaimie Admans


The Book

Not Pretty Enough
by Jaimie Admans

Published: August 1st 2013
Genre: contemporary YA comedy


Book Description

“New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs.
2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”

Those are the words that begin her mission.
Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence.
Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it.
As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?

-- -- -- -- --
Not Pretty Enough is a contemporary young adult comedy suitable for ages thirteen and over.

Book two in the series will be released early 2014.

Excerpt

I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on Lloyd Layton. It was during a school assembly in June last year. He was sitting in the main hall, a row in front of me as we all sat in lines, gathered for a mind-numbingly boring lecture from the principal.

I noticed Lloyd because he was talking to Ewan. Ewan and I have been friends forever. I’ve known him, literally, since nursery school. Our mums are really good friends. My dad died when I was seven and Ewan’s mum came to stay with us for a few days to help my mum get over the shock.

Here in Wales, at Bach Afon Comprehensive School at least, each form is made up of a few kids from each primary school in the area, and known by the year and an alphabet letter. We’re in 9B. Lloyd is in 9C.
Debs, Ewan and I are the ones from our primary school in our form. We’ve all known each other for years, and so we’re good friends and usually stick together unless Ewan decides to be all macho at lunchtime and hang around with a gang of boys instead. His own friends from primary school are in different forms so he only sees them in the yard or if they’re in the same set for lessons. We’re divided into sets depending on our exam results from the previous year. Set One are pupils who got over sixty percent, Set Two are those who got thirty to sixty percent, and Set Three are the ones who got under thirty percent.

Anyway, this huge tall guy was talking to Ewan a row in front of me. He had to be new because I’d never seen him before, and at that size, he wasn’t exactly someone you could miss. At first glance I thought he was a year eleven, but there was no way any year eleven would let themselves be seen dead talking to a year eight, so he had to have been thirteen like the rest of us.

“Who was that?” I hissed at Ewan when he crawled back into our line.

“Lloyd Layton. He just joined 8C. He’s friends with Darren.”

Darren was Ewan’s best friend from primary school, the one who wasn’t in our form.

“He’s huge,” Debs said on the other side of me.

We didn’t see how tall he actually was until we all stood up to leave. Holy cow. I’d always thought I was quite tall. At five foot five, my growth spurt had come when I was much too young for it, and I was now one of the tallest girls in our class, and taller than most of the boys. But this new boy, Lloyd, was much taller than me, and by the looks of it, taller than most of the teachers too. He was at least six foot something. Our maths teacher is six foot three, and Lloyd looked at least that size, if not more. At thirteen, in amongst a lot of five foot nothing teenagers, you couldn’t help but notice him. He stuck out like a sore thumb.
That was six months ago. Since then we’d all moved on to year nine, up to fourteen-years-old, and I’d spent the best part of a year salivating over that tall guy.

Lloyd ended up in my set for most classes. This is fortunate or unfortunate for me, depending on how many times I embarrass myself in class. I never plucked up the courage to speak to him, but he must’ve been super intelligent. He never seemed to struggle with the work like I did. I had managed to get myself put in Set One for most classes but I didn’t belong there. People like Ewan belonged there, people who had aced all their exams with a ninety-eight percent score. Not people like me who had scraped sixty or sixty-one percent and got put into Set One because technically it was over sixty percent. Set One was for clever people. Not people who wanted to spend all their time daydreaming and chatting to Debs when the teacher wasn’t looking.

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Guest Post
Naming Characters

Naming characters is one of the hardest parts of the writing process for me. A name has to ‘feel’ right, and it has to fit the character. If it doesn’t then the whole thing stops working for me. On one hand, if a character name comes naturally then that’s great, the problem only starts if you discover you can’t use that name for one reason or another. (Maybe you know someone by that name, or you’ve used it in a previous book so can’t use it again.) Once a character has been named since day one, I find it very, very hard to change. That character is known as that name and ingrained my mind as that name forever. Where do you begin with changing the names of characters you’ve been writing for so long they are almost like old friends? This happens to me quite often, and I always go with gut instinct. I read through baby-name books and look at baby-naming websites, I stare at lists of names for hours and eventually I’ll find one that feels right. The test, for me, is if I can change the name in the book and easily and naturally think of the character as that name instead of the previous one. If the change works and instantly gels, if after one read-through I don’t accidentally call the character by their old name, that’s it. Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board.

Funnily enough, when it comes to minor characters, I’m the opposite. Maybe new insertions or ones that haven’t been planned out thoroughly enough, when I’m in the middle of writing a first draft then I don’t want the distraction of having to name characters. For minor ones, in the first draft they are usually known as Character1, BastardA, Friend4, or Aunt2. I have even had a few InsertNameHere’s!

In Not Pretty Enough, Chessie was originally called Charlie. It wasn’t long before I published that I realised I had used the name Charlie in Afterlife Academy so didn’t want to use it again. Cue panic. She had to have a name that started with C and was short for a longer name. I went madly through my baby-naming books and online sites. What on earth was I going to call her? Maybe I should keep it as Charlie and hope no one noticed? No, I couldn’t, I remembered a discussion with a friend on Twitter about reusing character names and it was not a good thing. But this character was Charlie and had always been Charlie to me, I’d never be able to think of her as something else. The name Chessie came from such an unlikely source. When I write a book, I keep a physical document file of all my notes, ideas, research, etc. It’s usually full of stuff I’ve printed out and scrawled writing on Post-It notes and index cards, along with chapter outlines that I write by hand and whatever other bits of book-related things that I stuff in there. I wasn’t even thinking of Charlie’s new name when I looked in there, it’s all part of the editing process to go back to the file I used when I was writing the book and see if there was anything in it that I had overlooked or forgotten about. Across the top of one of my chapter outlines was the name Chessie. I don’t remember ever writing it and have no idea where it came from or why I had scrawled it across a chapter outline, but a lightbulb went ping in my head. That was it. Chessie was the name I’d been looking for and I’d found it when I wasn’t looking, even better, I’d found it years before when I wrote the book and then forgotten about it.

About the Author
Jaimie Admans


Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!

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