In this photo I'm 18 years old. I'm wearing the dress I wore to my high school graduation, a black skin-tight dress that is backless. Beneath it I have a black teddy, the first lingerie I ever received from a female friend who I think wanted to be more. I'd just had this sophisticated concave bob haircut and dyed it blonde. I was working at Bobby McGees, a nightclub, as a bus-girl during the night, wildly flirting with boys, boys, and more boys. One memorable night I found a $50 note on the floor that had fallen out of someone's pocket and secretly claimed it as my tip for the night. This is was my third job and I was soon going to get sick of hospitality jobs and make a big change to administration. I don't remember if I quit the job or just quietly quit and stopped going back when it wasn't so much fun cleaning up after drunk people. This photo was taken by my best friend Veronica before we went out to our regular nightclub Retro in the inner city. We loved hip hop and that was our place for nearly a year. I used to wear high heels and be in agonising pain by the end of the night with my feet and a hip injury from falling off a house as a kid. I remember the nights in the back of the taxi, tired and replete, my hair smelling like an ashtray as those were the days of inside smoking, happy from dancing all night. There were some memorable adventures, the time a guy picked me up and tried to carry me out, that could have been a dangerous moment if it wasn't for my bestie stepping in. I used to tell that story with a smile, being all coquettish that I was that small and could be easily carried out, and look back now with slight horror. I still have the same bestie, 30+ years now, have learnt to wear flat shoes and suffer no pain, and am done with dying my hair. #throwbackthursday #funtimes #memories #throwback #memories
Jesse’s Triumph tropes
All purchase links and first chapter: amrapajalic.com/jesses-triumph.html
Jesse's Triumph, the third book in my young adult Sassy Saints Series will be out on Thursday, so here's a post about the inspiration behind it. My mother was a bipolar sufferer and through my adolescence I undertook carers responsibilities for her, and this is something that I explore through Jesse's story.
So excited to have created my first ebook box set with the first three novels of the Sassy Saints Series and two bonus stories. It will be available on all retailers from the 1st December for $9.99 and out now on my shop for a special price of $8.00. This feels like such a milestone and has opened up so many possibilities for future box sets.
Alma’s Loyalty is the second in the Sassy Saints Series for fans of fake friendships, secret boyfriends, long-lost relatives, and fierce and funny girls.
I was in my room completing my homework when my mother called me. I bookmarked my Maths textbook and walked down the hallway, hearing a conversation in progress. We had visitors, a regular event in our household.
I entered the living room and saw my parents on the couch, with a trio I’d never seen before.
‘This is my daughter Alma.’ Mum made the introductions in Bosnian. ‘This is Arnesa and her husband Nermin, and Arnesa’s mother Enisa.’
‘Bože sačuvaj,’ Arnesa said, which meant God Forbid, her mouth formed an O in surprise as she scrutinised my face. ‘She looks exactly like Sabiha.’
‘Who is Sabiha?’ Mum asked.
‘Esad’s other daughter,’ Arnesa said. ‘We saw Bahra a month ago in Melbourne.’
Sabiha’s Dilemma is the first in the YA Sassy Saints Series for fans of fake friendships, love triangles, loners and outcasts who are searching for belonging, and fierce and funny girls.
When I stepped out of my bedroom ready to leave, Mum gasped. ‘You can’t go like that!’ And pushed me back into the bedroom. We were going to a zabava, the Bosnian name for a party. Zabava’s were organised twice a year, once as a community meet and greet, the second to celebrate Ramadan, the Muslim religious month of fasting. This would be my first attendance.
‘Why not?’ I demanded, my hands on my hips as I twirled. I wore a little black dress Mum bought for my fifteenth birthday. I’d grown in the year since and the dress moulded to my body. I wore the dress a few months before, when we attended a work barbecue for Dave, Mum’s ex-boyfriend. Mum complimented me then.
‘It’s not suitable.’ Mum rifled through my wardrobe.
Even though both my parents are from Bosnia, I didn’t have anything to do with the community. When I was six-years-old Mum moved us to the inner-city. Now that I was sixteen we were back where we’d started—in St Albans.
Previously published as The Good Daughter by Text Publishing, it won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Civic Choice Award. It was also a finalist in the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature Best Writing Award and was shortlisted in the 2007 Victorian Premier’s Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript by an Emerging Writer.
Ebook now available for free on all platforms and from my shop. #sabihasdilemma is out now in #ebook #paperback #hardcover #dyslexic font #largeprint #audiobooks
Hey book lovers! Get ready for an exhilarating literary adventure! Celebrating the launch of the third book in the Sassy Saints Series, award-winning young adult author Amra Pajalic is hosting an incredible competition, and YOU have the chance to win big!
WHAT'S UP FOR GRABS?
One fortunate winner will receive the FIRST THREE books in the Sassy Saints Series, accompanied by TWO BONUS STORIES, all nestled in a customised box. But wait, there's more! This extraordinary prize also features exclusive COLLECTOR CARDS and BOOKMARKS adorned with stunning series artwork. Plus, postage is included for Aussie readers, while international bibliophiles can rejoice—this literary treasure can be shipped ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!
ABOUT THE SASSY SAINTS SERIES
Amra Pajalic's Sassy Saints Series is a touching exploration of self-discovery, friendship, and the magic of found family. This own voices series, a must-read for fans of Melina Marchetta and John Green, beautifully captures the essence of coming of age and the transformative power of diverse voices coming together.
HOW TO ENTER?
Click the Kingsumo link bio to enter the giveaway.
Follow @AmraPajalicAuthor on Facebook, Instagram, or subscribe to her YouTube channel.
Join Amra's mailing list for an extra chance to win this fantastic prize!
Hurry, bibliophiles! Time is ticking, and there's only ONE exquisite Sassy Saints Series box available worldwide. Don't miss your opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of emotions, laughter, and unforgettable characters. Best of luck!
The first review of Jesse's Triumph, the third book in my Sassy Saints Series. The firsts are always the sweetest.
📚🌟 Looking for Advance Review Readers 🌟📚
Jesse's Triumph-From award-winning young adult author Amra Pajalic comes a best friends love triangle, zero to hero makeover, found family, coming of age YA novel for fans of Melina Marchetta and John Green. 📖💫
We all know about the power of social media and I've certainly experienced it with scoring gigs and networking. In the past year I've dedicated myself to developing my social media following and posting every day. At first I painstinkingly copied posts onto each platform, then got some great advice to get scheduling software. So I started using Postly to manage and schedule my posts. I posted on every single social media platform. I kid you not: YouTube, TikTok, my blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. I spent a few hours a week creating promo images and hooks, developing my style an figuring out how to market my books.
At first it felt like torture, as if I was walking around naked. Why does anyone care? my inner monologue tormented me. But I persisted. I started a monthly newsletter and every single month for the past year I have sent a newsletter out to my subscribers. I learnt to develop systems to post about my books with preprepared posts and hashtags, and folders to collect newsletter content throughout the month. As I continued this process it got easier, more natural.
I found I love creating graphics and reels and sharing them. I learnt to think about marketing as sharing my joy and my news, rather than trying to sell books and it's made it a pleasure. While social media followings do not necessarily correlate to book sales, I can definitely say that I have achieved sales from my efforts.
Over time I have narrowed my focus and I mostly post on Facebook and Instagram and focus on my newsletter by participating in promos and swaps via Bookfunnel, as well as organic signs ups through my books. So tonight I'm celebrating some milestones that I'm so proud of: 2000 Facebook followers on my author page, 1005 Instagram followers, and 1175 newsletter followers.
While these numbers might be measly to some, and great to others, I'm just happy that I've kept my promise to myself and that I am getting traction. There is always more to do, but sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the moment.
PS The image below is created using Canva AI and there is a certain irony that Twitter or X is featured considering I've stepped away from the platform as it's become so spammy
The first book I ever wrote was a romance novel based on a dream I had where my husband looked the same, but I knew he was a different man. When I woke up I couldn’t get the dream out of my head and so my novel Return to Me was born about widowed Lana who dies and is transported to a parallel universe to be reunited with her husband, only to find him a different man.
I spent three years working on this novel. After numerous drafts based on critiques from my writing group, I realised I was finished.
The next step was to submit it, however I was suffering a crisis of faith. I wasn’t sure whether my book was any good. I decided that this was my practice book, the one that allowed me to learn the craft of writing.
I re-read it after 10 years and I finally decided to bite the bullet and submit Return to Me. All the years that I had spent on it had devoid me of any objectivity about its merit.
I sent my manuscript to my agent who submitted it to publishers and soon two offers followed. When the rights reverted back to me I re-released this book as an indie author.
It seems miraculous that I had established a career as a romance author. I think about the 11 years that my manuscript languished in my metaphorical bottom drawer until I finally decided to give it a shot. While I think waiting so long was the right thing for me, I also learnt the most important lesson of all: ‘to submit and get rejected is better than not to have submitted at all.'
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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