The Swoonworthy Debut

I learned a new word recently. Swoonworthy: Eliciting tingly delight that may lead to light-headedness.

(As in, “Wow, the final cover of BLAZE is totally swoonworthy!” Did we mention BLAZE by Laurie Boyle Crompton is now officially out in the world? And that you can purchase a copy at a fine retailer near you? MOLLY FRENZEL, you won a copy of this swoonworthy book! Please email, and she’ll hook you up.)

Unlike Blaze’s fiery hair, my manuscript was lacking swoonworthiness. Easy to fix. An arresting gaze here, an electric touch there, and Swoon Ahoy!

OK, the fact that my brain thinks things like “Swoon Ahoy!” should have been my first indication that this was going to be harder than I thought. Maybe I didn’t have a good grasp on “swoonworthy” after all.



Part of the problem was that my teen years were spent with pretty un-swoonworthy books. Good books, but lacking in unattainable crushes, make-out sessions, and hot guys.

They Carried a Lot of Stuff

SPOILER ALERT: They did not carry Binaca or Axe Body Spray.

In fact, in reviewing my personal literary crushes, I wasn’t sure I was even qualified to read swoonworthy YA, never mind create it.


So dreamy.

But maybe there’s more to swoonworthiness than that. With my editor’s help, I eventually got it right. I hope. And I’m learning to appreciate all the swoonworthy parts of the debut process — a request for a full manuscript, a phone call, a contract, ARCs! (I don’t have ARCs yet, but I got to smell a friend’s this month. They smell like YAY.) Despite all the new challenges, worries, and fears, this is an amazing time.

What are your favorite swoonworthy moments, literary or otherwise?


Filed under Anxiety, Editing and Revising, Happiness, Helpful or Otherwise, Research, Writing, Writing and Life

7 responses to “The Swoonworthy Debut

  1. Carol Brendler

    Literary crushes: The first one I can think of is Sport from Harriet the Spy.


  2. That photo medley is just too awesome. 🙂

    As for swoonworthy literary moments, I have to go with some classics: Jane and Rochester’s lightening-storm engagement, and Darcy’s first, shocking (if poorly executed) proposal to Elizabeth…


  3. Cynthia Levinson

    I’ve gotta change what I write about. No one would accuse me of writing swoonworthy stuff, and I’m jealous!


  4. Tara, come on. Don’t tell me you’re going to leave out “Brose” from PRACTICALLY SEVENTEEN.


  5. My favorite swoonworthy moment of the debut process (besides “the call”) was seeing the cover art of my book for the first time.


  6. Pingback: EMU’s Best Under-the-Radar Kids’ Books of 2012! | EMU's Debuts

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