Back to School

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I love the newness of this time of year. Maybe it’s because it’s almost my birthday, marking the beginning of another year of life. Or maybe it’s because, all throughout childhood, this is always the time I’d be getting ready to start a new year of school. Whatever it is, the end of summer and early fall—this in between time—have always brimmed with possibility.

This is usually when my writing is most productive. Last year around this time, I wrote a 60K-word novel in two weeks. This year, I’ll be doing something a bit different.

I’m going back to school.

Throughout the past six years, I’ve learned a lot about publishing. I’ve released 11 novels (plus some now out of print short stories and novellas). I’m damn proud of all I’ve accomplished—especially recently making the bestseller list in three Amazon categories—and I’m looking forward to a lifelong career.

I’ve also long felt like I’ve been missing some valuable piece, though.

Whether I’ve been with a publisher or independent, I’ve been responsible for the majority of my marketing. While I can do things like write a marketing plan and create an email sequence, there’s a lot more I need to learn.

So I’ve decided to go back to school.

Right now.

I thought about it all summer, and then two weeks ago I applied to a program before I could change my mind. I start my B.S. in marketing on Monday.

I’m hoping that it won’t affect my production schedule too much, but since it’s an accelerated program, I know I’m going to have to make some sacrifices. I can’t do it all.

  • For the next eight weeks, I won’t be blogging much.
  • Aside from scheduled Facebook posts, I likely won’t be on social media often, either. I’ll do my best to reply to comments, but please know that studying will have taken over my life.
  • I will continue monthly email newsletters. You can expect them on Friday, September 8th and Friday, October 6th. (If you’re not already on my email list, sign up here.)
  • I’ve started working on a new novel. It’s a standalone second chance romance. I don’t have a release date for it yet, and likely won’t for a while. I do hope to continue publishing regularly, though.

What can I say? I like living on the edge.

20-Something Questions: Chasing Love or Climbing Ladders

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

Welcome to the third installment of 20-Something Questions, a weekly feature where NA authors writing all genres answer one real-life New Adult question.

This week was kind of a bust, unfortunately. I think I forgot to send out the email, and with the holiday weekend I was away from my office and totally missed the deadline myself. C’est la vie, right? It feels kind of awkward to answer all by my lonesome, but I love this feature and don’t want to lose momentum.

What was your real life New Adult love life like? Did you chase The One or were you laser focused on a career or hobby?

Elizabeth BaroneI was single for the first time in years when I graduated high school. I’d just walked away from two back-to-back toxic relationships, and was so not interested in dating. My plan was to enjoy the summer and get ready for college. Then this sexy, tall man with the most intense blue eyes I’d even seen walked into my life. I tried to resist him but he drove me crazy in the best possible way. For months, my best friend was on the edge of her seat, not knowing whether we would end up together. It was straight out of a NA romance novel.

Meanwhile, I was determined to build my career as a web designer. Balancing work, school, clients, and romance was not easy, but seven years later, I walked down the aisle and straight into his arms. My career plans changed abruptly when we were still dating, but through it all he’s always cheered me on and understood that my work is my passion. Who knew I could have the best of both worlds?

Elizabeth Barone

Are you a New Adult author? Join the 20-Something Questions email list and our cross-promo group on Facebook!

Next Week’s Question

Deadline: Sunday, June 5th at 9pm EST

What was the first thing to make you officially feel like an adult?

Submit your:

  • 1-3 paragraph answer
  • author name
  • website
  • Facebook URL
  • Twitter @
  • head shot


Unfortunately I can’t add responses received after the deadline, but feel free to comment on posts if you miss a week. I do these weekly so there’s always next time.

20-Something Questions: After High School

Welcome to the second installment of 20-Something Questions, a new feature here on The Crazy Chronicles where I ask New Adult authors questions about their adventures in their twenties! If you have a suggestion for a future topic, leave a comment and let me know. If you’re a New Adult author writing in any genre and would like to participate in a future installment, click here to join us.

This week’s topic:

After High School

Did you go away to college after high school? What did you major in? If you chose a different path, what did you do?

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

Elizabeth BaroneDuring my senior year, I was in a bit of a panic because I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. I’d gone to a technical high school and, after four years in culinary, I learned that I love cooking but don’t like the industry much. I did, however, really like making websites. All throughout high school, I spent my free time writing stories and building websites for them. So I enrolled in a community college in my city and got my A.S. in Digital Arts: Multimedia/Web Authoring.

I worked my way through college by starting my own web design business, EKB Designs, and building websites for various small business and non-profits in my city. It was fun and I made decent money, but it was also exhausting. At one point I had three part-time jobs and my freelance work, all on top of my full-time courses. I often worked sixteen-hour days and longed for time to write stories instead of code.

Still, it was a lot of fun. For my final project during my last semester of college, I built a website for my pen pal support group, Letters of Love. By that time, I’d mastered HTML and CSS, and was teaching myself PHP. Oddly enough, I don’t remember much of it anymore!

Elizabeth Barone

Going away to university was my first time living away from home and it was a great decision. I’m one of the few people in the world who didn’t mind high school (elementary school, now that was a horrorshow), mainly because I had a small group of friends who were the proud weirdos of our school. Still I was in a small town and it felt very confining. Going away was very much about discovering a new world, one where people were passionate about movies, books and music—and willing to stand up for their opinions and debate them passionately for hours in the hallways of the residence. In high school it had almost been a competition to see who could care the least, because that was cooler. The new friendships I made away at school were intense, exciting, and overwhelming. If I could go back and take a different path, it wouldn’t be very different, but I would advise younger me to not get so caught up in the drama of all these new relationships, and pay a bit more attention to school. Though I am still friends with many of the people I met in my first year, and I don’t think I’ve used Intro to Astronomy very much in my life since.

Hanna Dare

Raquel LyonAs I’m English, I’ll presume that by “college” you mean university. I didn’t go there—never had any inclination to—much to my mother’s disappointment. The thought of moving to a new place where I didn’t know anyone freaked me out.

After leaving high school at sixteen, I did go to a British college where I studied hairdressing and beauty. I knew after the first year that it wasn’t for me. I hated the shallow bitchiness of the industry, and was the worst person ever at making small talk with the clients, but I stuck it out and qualified. At eighteen, I went to work in a small bookshop—a really quiet one. I spent most of my days reading, choosing who I spent my time with without them talking back. It was heaven. I’ve moved on to a bigger, busier bookshop now, but yeah, books were, are, and probably always will be, my life. Boring, huh?

Raquel Lyon

Join us next Monday for a brand new installment of 20-Something Questions!

Want to share your college experience? Leave a comment below!