Hi! I’m Emma Smith, the author of young adult novel ‘Guided’. I self-published it at nineteen, and I’m so proud of my story and everything it represents.
‘Guided’ is about Macey Collins, a seventeen-year-old girl who is just navigating the world of being a teenager. But when she helps out at a camp one night in charge of five twelve-year-old girls, everything spirals out on control and one ends up dead. Haunted by grief and regret, Macey can’t tell anyone what really happened that night…
My story was inspired by my own times as a teen growing up camping and girl guiding, but also witnessing horrific bullying, peer pressure and judgement. I cover all of these things throughout my book because I think it’s so important to discuss important topics in YA fiction, and to I focus as much as I can on the bullying aspects and what the consequences of bullying can be. It was such an honour to be able to write the story because of that, and share such poignant experiences.
I decided to self-publish simply because I wanted to get my story out there to the world, and I was eager to do everything myself. Marketing, editing, controlling the story and all its elements… I wouldn’t have it any other way, even now. The book is a part of my soul, and I’m eager to help it grow by writing more and more stories which will eventually all link together through side characters like Nima and Darcie.
I do actually have a sequel coming out hopefully next year, called ‘Wasted’. It follows four of the characters – Lucy, Chloe, Orla and Kayleigh – five years later, at a second camp, now that they’re seventeen. If you enjoy ‘Guided’, watch out for that!
Thank you so much Mariella for giving me a space to talk about my book. It’s been great!
Follow Emma on Instagram!