Happy February, YAOTLers! A fresh new year is upon us, so no coincidence our theme this month is getting a fresh start. A good theme for me, since I took a little vacation from the blog but now I’m back and…starting fresh.

After the year we’ve just had, seems like a fresh start is in order for us all. Here’s to the new jobs, the moves to a new place far away or just across the hall, the new projects, and the myriad other fresh journeys and adventures you’ll all be taking.

For me, 2021 offers a bright new chance to not only drop pearls of wisdom here on the blog. It gives me an opportunity to embrace a fresh start in my writing too.

First, I’ve got a fresh new manuscript. I’ve been having a ton of fun with this 1976-set coming of age story called My Bicentennial, featuring a plethora of mood rings, pet rocks, tall ships, girls with Dorothy Hamill haircuts, guys in powder blue polyester leisure suits, and 8-track tapes playing a totally 70s soundtrack.

That's my dad on the left;
he never needed to buy a belt in the 70s

Next, I’ve created a fresh new heroine. Deidre Daly, the 17-year-old heroine of My Bicentennial is fresh. I mean fresh, fresh. She just can’t keep the snark in check, but I can’t blame her for dropping the one-liners. Broke, bullied, and obese, she uses humor as both a weapon and a shield.

Deidre *totally* swooned over the Bay City Rollers!

I’ve also taken the first steps on a fresh new journey, not to the 1970s this time, but to 1943 – I’m publishing my WWII-set time travel, Beryl Blue, Time Cop in October. Every step along the way offers fresh challenges, like selecting a cover design that will be fresh enough to catch a reader’s eye, but familiar enough they’ll know in an instant what the book is about.

Yes, people once paid cash money for a rock.
The 70s were weird.

I think that’s enough to keep me busy for a while, but not too busy to wish you all a bright, shiny new year and boatloads of success in whatever fresh endeavors you undertake.

-When she's not donning her 70s disco duds and listening to her 8-track tapes, Janet Raye Stevens writes short stories and novel-length mysteries, romance, and YA.


  1. Your dad was a JCPenney's catalog model? Or were you being metaphorical?

    1. Haha, just kidding! My dad was no model and his shopping tastes ran to the local rummage sales. JC Penney was too fancy for him!

  2. Can't wait to read your 70's YA - it's *ahem* my coming of age decade. ;-) Fun post!


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