Parajunkee’s View is proud to welcome Marni Bates to the blog…we asked her about her writing and this is what she had to say:

I wrote my first book under duress. 

Marni Bates

Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration–my mom didn’t threaten me exactly. She just gave me the stink-eye, pointed at the old laptop she was loaning me, and insisted I get cracking on my novel. And then she informed me that as extra incentive (to make sure I wouldn’t stop half-way through) I would be submitting it as my high school senior project.

I turned this into my screensaver.  

My mom can be pretty darn sneaky…but she always uses her powers for good.

So I went for it.

A few weeks after my high school graduation, I used my babysitting money to attend the Willamette Writer’s Conference. That’s where I got my first taste of rejection.

Let me rephrase: That’s where I got my first taste of professional rejection.

sparklesWhich hurts every bit as much as you might think it does.

I also stuck out like a sore thumb. Me and my age-misleading dimple made me look all of thirteen years old in a conference full of people at least a decade older than me.

“Helloooo fellow writers!”

Okay, so I didn’t wear my sparkly pink prom dress. Still, I was really intimidated.

Now a number of conference people told me that my age gave me an advantage with all the agents. And…maybe it did. Maybe some of them expected my voice to have a certain freshness to it, which could then be further cultivated. But the age issue was definitely a double-edged sword. I felt like I was constantly battling the assumption that because I was young my writing wasn’t top-notch.

And, okay, that book wasn’t ready to be published. It was my first attempt! Most first attempts should never see the light of day.

But all of those rejections didn’t stop me wanting to make writing my career. So when I heard that HCI (the company best known for the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) was looking for teenage girls to write about their lives, I applied for it. I signed up to share all my darkest, most embarrassing secrets with the world.

It was an intense experience for me.

marI think that writing my autobiography will always remain the single most terrifying thing I have ever done. I remember reading book reviews of Marni and feeling exposed and vulnerable.

But then something remarkable began to happen: I started getting messages from other girls who pull out their hair. And they said that my story helped make them feel less alone.

I can’t express how much hearing that meant to me.

Those messages gave me the courage to write Awkward, to return to the Willamette Writers’ Conference, and to face another heart-breaking batch of rejections.

Except that year…I met Laurie McLean. She sat down with me after my pitch and said, “I like you, Marni. I really hope you can write, because if you can’t there is nothing I can do for you. So I really hope you can write.”

Laurie never saw me as a cute teenager who could be molded into a client. She read the first four chapters of Awkward and offered me representation on the spot. And my dimple had nothing to do with it.

Fast forward a few years and I have a four book deal with KTeen. My debut novel is being optioned by Disney as a made-for-TV movie and is being translated into Portuguese, Hungarian, and Spanish.

The dream came true for me.

Maybe that’s why I am such a big believer in happy endings…even for a girl who has to pretend to be in a relationship with a rockstar!


 Happy reading, everyone!



[frame align=”left”]Decked with Holly Cover[/frame]Publisher: K-Teen (Kensington)
Release date: September 25, 2012
Pages: 272


Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone…

Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn’t Holly’s idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite—she’s greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet—one of the hottest bands in America.

Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly’s face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But the band can’t risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend—just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be fauxmantically involved with one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly’s about to find out…

About Marni Bates

[frame align=”right”]Marni Bates photo[/frame]Marni Bates began her writing career at the age of 19 with her autobiography, Marni, for HCI’s Louder Than Words series. Her debut novel, Awkward, has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian and has been optioned by Disney Channel as a made for TV movie. She has three other novels with KTeen; Decked with Holly, Invisible, and Notable, as well as a short story in Ambush Books’ Magical Mayhem Anthology.

In her free time she can be found reading romance novels, rollerblading, singing really loudly (and off-key) in public and . . . watching copious amounts of television. You can visit her at, check out her author page on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @MarniBates, or do all of the above! Really. It would make her day.

Author Links

Marni’s Facebook Marni’s Twitter Marni’s Web Marni’s Goodreads

Books Links

Goodreasds Amazon B&N Book DepK-Teen

 Now for the Giveaway

U.S. Copy of a finished paperback copy of the book Decked with Holly. Use the Rafflecopter Widget for Entries.

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