Jasmine Jones is ready to start her college experience. With her best friend at her side, she’s ready to leave her past behind and start anew, even if it means being away from her mother, brother, and new boyfriend, Nate. But college doesn’t turn out the way her high school best friend wants it to, and Jasmine soon finds herself without a roommate. Thankfully she’s met two new and wonderful friends to help her through. But secrets are revealed and Jasmine finds herself pregnant and helping her friends—old and new alike—in ways she never dreamed possible.
Though it started out a tad slow, Destined to Fail picked up and when it did, I understood the pacing at the beginning. A story with that much heartbreak throughout would have been hell to read even with a happy ending. All the characters are believable and likeable, even surly Abby, Jasmine’s friend from high school. The delicate situations these girls recount and face were brilliantly handled, the attitudes and conversations perfect for college-age teenagers.
At first I was a little doubtful of the pain and abuse these girls suffered. But now I feel I had something of a charmed life, and this is what others around me experienced when they were growing up. This book just goes to show that it’s impossible to know what demons others have faced even when you’re in relationships that seem close. I can only say that most of us wish we could help our friends and others, that we could make a difference in a life, the way Jasmine does.
Destined to Fail is a heartwarming book of second chances, friendships, and the power of one person to right wrongs and change their world.
And GUESS WHAT? I talked Samantha into answering a bunch of my nosiest questions about her book, her publishing experience, and her writing life.
When did you decide to take the self-pub plunge?
When I first started writing Destined three years ago, I really wasn’t thinking about self-publishing. I was thinking about writing a fab book, getting a fab agent, and then a fab publisher. By the time I finished writing and editing and all that jazz, self-publishing was huge. My blog, ChickLitPlus.com, was growing bigger and bigger, and I realized that I already had a large following. The more I thought about self-publishing and the benefits, I realized it was the right path for me. I still made myself query a whopping three agents, but my heart just wasn’t in the traditional path.
Is your book available in print as well as in e-formats?
It is! You can buy the print copy on Amazon, or through me directly! I’ll even sign it :)
Cool! mine’s on the way ;). So how did you find the printer?
I printed my hard copies through the company CreateSpace. I found it pretty simple, the formatting wasn’t too bad and the step-by-step process was easy to follow!
And now for the dreaded edits…who did your edits and how many reads did you have before you said, “it’s time.”?
Ah, the edits. This was hard, because I also work as a freelance editor. I quickly realized that me editing my own work was not going to happen. I knew my words inside and out, and I knew what I wanted to write. So sometimes my eyes would just pass over missing words or misspelled words. My first editor made a lot of changes to my story, and I’m grateful for them all. In the first book, Jasmine and Nate break up right away, Jasmine never gets pregnant, and Abby basically disappears after the third chapter. I’m grateful for the advice and I think the story is even better! I then had a girlfriend of mine do the final proofreading.
I read and re-read and had my editor and proofreader work a lot on the story before I decided I couldn’t keep making these tiny tweaks. I also think because this was my first book, I was more hesitant to finally pull the trigger.
It is hard to edit your own work. Now, tell us about your book.
Jasmine Jones is ready to begin her new life as a college student, and is ecstatic to have best friend Abby by her side. But weeks into their new college life, Abby drops the bomb- she is pregnant, and dropping out of college. Jasmine can’t handle the fact that Abby is wasting her opportunity to get an education, and going back to her cheating, abusive boyfriend. She struggles to move on from her friendship with Abby, and befriends two new girls at college- Kiley and Cari. Everything seems back on track for Jasmine- great new friendships and roommates, a strong relationship with boyfriend Nate, and excelling at her college courses. But Jasmine’s newfound happiness is shattered when her pregnancy test comes out positive. Does she have to drop out of college now and become a young mother? Will Nate stay with her? How can she afford a child? Jasmine’s life has been filled with obstacles and challenges along the way- from a missing father, sexual and physical abuse, and addictions that tore her family apart. With this latest setback, Jasmine fears her life will always be a struggle. Destined to Fail is one woman’s story about overcoming adversity in life, about taking the negatives and finding a positive, and about never giving up hope.
And now for the most dreaded question of all—are you going to try your hand at self-publishing again?
I most definitely will! My second novel will be out in April/May of this year. I think I might try the query process again, but I am ready to self-publish! I’ve had a fantastic experience.
All that said, what do you do for fun?
I work a lot of jobs, including a full time job at a hospital, then run ChickLitPlus, CLP Blog Tours, offer freelance editing services, and have to find time to write and market myself – but I think all of that is fun! I’m so lucky I love what I do. Other than that, I love to dance and work out – especially yoga or kickboxing. And I love sports- Go Pack Go!
Hey now, I live in the land of Cowboys and Chiefs! :) What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
You have to keep writing. I would give myself three to four weeks off at a time when I was writing Destined because I couldn’t figure out a certain story line or I was tired or I claimed I didn’t have enough time. I have myself on a much better schedule the second time around. I only let myself have four consecutive days of writing off at a time, and I usually write around 2,000 words a day. It’s much quicker this way!
Thanks for stopping by Samantha! Okay, raders, be sure to leave a comment here or at www,amiesreviews.wordpress.com/ in order to be entered n a drawing for an ecopy if this book (and others from this month). Lots of <3–Amie