Publisher picks alumna’s young adult novel for first production
Soon, Sandy Hall will be a published writer, but as an undergraduate student at Rutgers, she failed Expository Writing.
Hall, a Rutgers alumna with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a master’s in library and information science, wrote a novel picked up by Swoon Reads, a young adult romance publisher, as its first production.
As a teen librarian in Morristown, N.J., Hall always loved reading but did not always want to be a writer.
As she grew older and began to realize that writing is not always pass or fail, she discovered how to use creative writing as an outlet for expression.
“A Little Something Different,” scheduled for publication in August, is a love story about two college students. She said the book takes a unique approach with constructing the viewpoint of its characters.
“Instead of being told from their perspective, it’s told from the perspective of everyone around them,” she said. “So their creative writing professor, friends, a barista, their bus driver — just a whole bunch of different people share an angle.”
Hall took that approach mostly because she had never read anything like it before and thought it would be interesting to try.
“A lot of writing advice is to stay out of your character’s head, so clearly this is an effective way of staying out of their head,” she said.
Hall wrote the book after she saw a competition for publication on Swoon Reads’ website. She read an article about their organization and decided to give it a try by writing her draft for the competition.
The novel took about a month to write. Hall said she enjoyed the process and getting involved with the story.
“It feels like a big responsibility to be their first publication,” she said. “I want to represent them really well and have something awesome to produce for them.”
Hall plans to appear at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans and Book Expo America in New York. She also plans to go on a book tour when the novel is published.
Hall keeps a Google document where she keeps scattered writing topics for future use. She has written two other novels and constantly adds to her list of ideas, but nothing is currently in the works.
Despite her breakthrough, Hall thinks writing is hard and different for everybody, but tells aspiring writers not to give up.
“It’s important to have an innate talent, but it’s also more crucial to just practice,” she said. “Anybody can put something out there today, especially with things like self-publishing — it’s an ever-changing market.”
According to a story from NPR, Swoon Reads plans to publish 100,000 copies of the book.
Sarah Colantonio, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, wrote a story about Hall because her work was an object of interest.
At the time Colantonio wrote the story, her novel had not yet formally come to fruition.