Friday, November 15, 2013

What is it Like Being a Teenage Author? {+Giveaways, Holiday Special, & Updates!}

If you haven't noticed, I don't write many personal posts on my blog. The reason is because I try to stay away from coming across as self-absorbed or prideful over the fact that I've been published at an early age. (Although I have created a blog on my website to specifically document my writing journey.)

However, based on my new poll on this blog's sidebar, I've realized that many of you would like to read more posts on my writing journey. And since I'm turning 20 in about two weeks, I thought I would give you a sneak peak into what my life has looked like over the past three years of holding a book contract.

I've been told several times, "Wow! You wrote a book at 16, received a contract at 16, and you write for magazines?! What an accomplishment!" 

I just want to go ahead and say--it's really not as big of a deal as others assume. Sure, I am thrilled to have already achieved my dream! Because, yes, writing a book is definitely hard work. But so is graduating from high school. And so is being involved in sports, dance, drama, etc. There are several other teens who are working hard each day to accomplish a goal in the area that they're passionate about, so why is completing a book at 16-years-old such a big deal?

Just because I got published young does not mean that I'm a prodigy; it simply means that I had a goal, and I worked hard to achieve it. Just like other teens who are working hard to reach a certain score on the SAT or striving to gain a football scholarship. 

With that being said, I don't view myself as more important than other teens. 

Sure, the past few years of my life have been different from others my age. They have consisted of working almost every day: writing a new book, editing my previous one with my editor or agent, writing magazine articles, blog posts, and trying to promote my published book (which is seriously a job within itself). 

There are days when I don't even want to look at another computer screen or touch another book. (Trust me, those days are few.) And since I write from home or a coffee shop, being an author can often become very lonely. 

But to be honest, it's worth it to me. It's worth achieving my dreams rather than settling for job that I don't enjoy and wondering what could've been, or imagining the day when I might finally gain the courage to chase my dreams.

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One of the reasons I chose to publish early was because I didn't want to become one of those people. I didn't want publishing a book to become an unrealistic dream I once had.

However, it does become difficult to juggle all of the responsibilities of being an author: Spending hours in a life other than my own. Discussing new promotional ideas with my publicist. Writing blog posts and magazine articles. Editing my current novel, brainstorming/outlining/writing my next book, or checking the sales/ranking of my published novel on Amazon. And all of this on top of school. Yes, there are times when I want nothing more than to leave my computer and socialize with actual people rather my characters.

But the high points of being an author make it so completely worth it, such as: 

Receiving a package of my books in the mail. 

Holding book signings. 

With the amazing, best-selling, award-winning author, Jim Rubart.
He has been so incredibly supportive of my writing journey since I was 16.

Attending writing conferences. 

Receiving letters from readers telling me how much PURPLE MOON touched them. 

Having a quiet day to myself, drinking coffee, writing, listening to music, and watching autumn leaves fall outside my window. 

Writing in coffee shops.

Discussing promotional details at coffee shops with my cousin and my publicist.

Seeing my books in the bookstore.

Seeing my book at #5 in the YA Christian fiction Kindle category, and #1 in the YA Christian fiction Kindle free category. 

Seeing my face on the front page of my newspaper, and later finding out that the story had been picked up by the Associated Press and published in at least 30 newspapers throughout the country. 

These are the times when I just take a moment to sit back and realize...this is my life. These were the dreams I'd dreamt ever since I was a little girl. Here I am, living in the midst of them. 

And I wouldn't trade it for anything else. 

~ ~ ~

If you're an author, what has your experience been like so far? If you're an aspiring author, what aspect of being an author are you looking forward to the most?

  • I'm planning on recording video blogs (I know, I've been saying that forever). However, I am going to begin filming my first one the beginning of January. So if you have any questions for me that you would like for me to answer in the video, please leave a comment below. Click here subscribe to my channel so you can receive the video as soon as it's posted.
  • My next newsletter will be sent next week! If you are not yet subscribed, simply enter your email on my blog's sidebar under the section titled "Subscribe To My Newsletter".

  • If you take a picture of your copy of PURPLE MOON (print or ebook), send me the picture and I will be happy to post it on my blog's sidebar! Not only that, but everyone who sends me their picture between now and December 15th will be entered into a raffle to receive an autographed copy of PURPLE MOON. (Perfect chance to win a Christmas gift for your friend!) If you do not have a copy, feel free to pick one up on Amazon. =)
  • If you convince your youth group, small group, or book club to read PURPLE MOON, let me know and I will enter your name into a raffle. If you win, you will receive: An autographed copy of my next book + I will name a minor character after you + I will mention you in my next book's acknowledgements. One new winner will be chosen every two months. (The first winner will be chosen January 15th.)
  • If you refer two people to buy my book (meaning they actually bought a copy), I will send you an autographed copy + a PURPLE MOON sleeping mask. (Again, perfect for a holiday gift!)
  • I am happy to announce that I am currently holding a holiday special for PURPLE MOON! For a limited time only, you can order:
    *1 autographed copy for $13.95 (regular price) with free shipping and handling. 
    *2 autographed copies, $10 each, with free shipping handling.
    I will also throw in a PURPLE MOON sleeping mask and bookmark. Let me know if this is something you are interested in by emailing me at tessaehall (at) gmail (dot) com. 


  1. I am an aspiring author, currently working on a historical romance. The thing I am looking forward to most is finishing my rough draft so I can go back through my book and edit, edit ,edit. I already have parts marked for demolition. I can't wait to finish my first draft! Thanks for the post.


    1. I always look forward to the editing process. It's such a great feeling to have the first draft complete, and to go back through the story to improve it & cut chunks.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. This is a great post, Tessa!! Thanks for sharing! "It's worth achieving my dreams rather than settling for job that I don't enjoy and wondering what could've been, or imagining the day when I might finally gain the courage to chase my dreams." I LOVE that so much. I just bought your book and can't wait to read it!

    1. By the way, I just made a pin with the quote that you liked! If you have Pinterest, you can pin the quote at

  3. I love this post! If my writing is published one day, I think I'm most looking forward to hearing from readers and seeing my book in print form :)

    This is definitely a great time of year for giveaways and specials. I might email you about the holiday special. I've been thinking of giving books as Christmas gifts and Purple Moon would be a great book to give to friends!

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  5. I only twelve and I'm working on a novel. I can't say that I am amazing with grammar, but I have a passion and an imagination. I'm currently reading your book- the more I read the more I write. I'm not much of a book worm but I have really enjoyed your book! It's truly amazing! Your book is so good that I read 16 chapters in one day! Thank you for writing an amazing story with an Christian theme, I hope it will bring people to him. Keep on writing, Aili

    P.S. Please write a sequel!


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