SALT LAKE CITY, UT September 2, 2013
Several years ago, aspiring writer and high school English teacher Bethany Harar heard Neil Gaiman speak at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. She remembers, “An idea for a novel was lurking in the back of my mind, but I was worried that the concept was overdone. During his speech, Gaiman mentioned that he didn’t mind tackling previously covered subject matter because he hadn’t written his version yet.
“That resonated with me, and gave me the confidence I needed to begin. I went home and wrote my first chapter that very afternoon. When I finished that book, I wrote another, but was still not completely satisfied with the product. Eventually, I wrote a third, and decided it was worthy of publishing. The concept started from a dream I had, where a young woman with dark hair was walking on the beach, singing along with the ocean. From that moment on, I became enthralled with Sirens, and knew I had to write their story.”
Bethany Harar’s concept grew into the book that was recently accepted for publication by WiDo.™ Submissions editor Allie Maldonado has this to say about the book, “It is about young love and belonging and fighting for what you know is right. Bethany is completely right when she says it is how one writes the story that makes it fresh and original. I really enjoyed how she addressed this subject, and I believe that YA readers will too.”
Harar submitted her manuscript to WiDo Publishing for several reasons: “I appreciate that they are willing to work with unagented authors. They based their decision on the quality of my writing, rather than my publishing experience, and gave me a chance as an emerging writer. In addition, they have an excellent reputation. WiDo works with a variety of genres, and I was impressed with their books. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work with them. It is, without a doubt, a dream come true.”
“Making writers’ dreams come true is one of the best parts of my job,” says Maldonado. “Especially a debut author like Bethany who has worked extremely hard to write a book worthy of publication. We love her story and we’re thrilled that she chose WiDo to publish it.”
Bethany Masone Harar ignored her mother’s advice to avoid the field of education and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University and a Masters in Secondary Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has enjoyed teaching high school English ever since. As a teacher, Bethany is able to connect with the very audience for whom she writes, and this connection gives her insight into their interests. As a writer, she wants to make them gasp out loud, sigh with longing, and identify with my characters. Bethany also enjoys posting on her blog and website, is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an avid follower of literary-driven social media. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, two beautiful children, and her miniature poodle, Annie.