The Rules of Summer Camp

Excerpt: The Rules of Summer Camp

The Rules of Summer Camp, Sarah ReckThe Rules of Summer Camp

Bethie is a Pax Baxter super-fan. Aaron is Pax’s best friend. When they meet at camp, sparks fly.

Bethie is a Pax Baxter fan. In the last two years, she’s been to 21 concerts in 7 different states, has 435 live songs downloaded onto her iPod, and just earned Gold status on the online PaxBoard.

But, Bethie has a secret—it’s not Pax she wants, it’s his best friend, Aaron Mayze. Aaron is a staple at every Pax event and even has his own dedicated section of the message board. Bethie is head-over-heels for him.

When her mother’s new boyfriend makes life unbearable at home, Bethie decides she needs a change. No Pax Baxter summer tour, no more mooning over Aaron. Time to get her head out of the clouds and back into reality.

She picks the only summer camp she’s ever heard of—on one of Aaron’s t-shirts. The last thing she expects is him to actually be there.
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Sunshine, by Virginia Sanderson / flickr

Taking a chance

When Swoon Reads launched, I was nearly done with The Rules of Summer Camp. I still had revisions and writing group and some re-working to do, but I was almost there. Also, I wanted to submit to agents, as I’d done with previous novels. But I didn’t stop thinking about and considering Swoon Reads. Because I really, really like what they’re doing.

Swoon Reads publishes YA love stories with the help of their reader community. Basically, writers can submit their novels to the site and the community of readers reads the books, comments on them, rates them, and hopefully enjoys them. Then the team there makes publishing decisions based on the novels and the community. I don’t want to call it crowd-sourcing, because it isn’t, but it is definitely a community of readers with one thing in common: love of YA romance.

Swoon Reads is a place for the sort of YA books that I like to read. Fun, contemporary YA romance. It doesn’t have to be heavy or issue-driven. Maybe even something that can be described as “cute.” Something light to take to the beach or on a road trip. Something that a teenage girl (who I imagine being a lot like I was at that age) can escape in to for 250 pages and leave on the other end with a smile on her face and warmth in her heart and a flutter in her stomach.

And the best part is, that’s what The Rules of Summer Camp is to me. I’m glad that Swoon Reads gives this kind of novel a chance.

So I’ve considered for a while whether or not I wanted to submit it.
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