Bookitcon Guest Post: Julie Eshbaugh on Writing in Second Person

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on July 22, 2016 | 2 Comments

Bookitcon: Chapter Two is a charity book event. There are currently 28 incredible authors in the lineup. The book event will include meet-n-greets with the authors, along with two panels and the opportunity to get all of your books signed by all of the authors!

Bookitcon takes place Sunday, August 7th at the Moorestown Community House in New Jersey. 

If you purchase the VIP ticket, you will also be invited to a VIP dinner/after party with the authors, along with getting an extra hour to get your books signed!

Bookitcon Info

I decided to start UBUbiz because I wanted a way to combine my passions for reading, business, and charity/community service. After wracking my brain for months, the idea of Bookitcon suddenly appeared! This is my second year hosting Bookitcon, and I can’t wait.

Bookitcon: Chapter Two isn’t just your ordinary book event. I’m working with the nonprofit Grace in the Mud and two K-8 schools in Camden, NJ to help them grow their outdated libraries. The proceeds from this event will be benefiting them.

You can find more information on Grace in the Mud by going to their website, facebook, or gofundme.

-Nori, @readwritelove28


2:30- 3:30pm VIP signing! (open to VIP ticket holders only)
3:30- 6:00pm Regular signing! (open to all attendees)
3:30- 4:15pm Panel A- Surprises in Publishing!
4:30- 5:45pm Panel B- Facts + Fiction!
6:00- 8:00pm VIP Afterparty! (open to VIP ticket holders only)


Surprises in Publishing
Moderator: S Usher Evans
Panelists: Anna Breslaw, Kathryn Holmes, Lee Kelly, Jodi Meadows, Julie Eshbaugh

Facts vs Fiction
Moderator: Claire Legrand
Panelists: Beth Fantaskey, Sandy Hall, Kendall Kulper, Mia Siegert, Eric Smith

Interested in attending? Great! You can buy a ticket through the website or just click HERE!

Are you dying of jealousy because you’d love to be able to attend and get books signed by the attending authors? Don’t fear, because virtual signings are here! You can purchase books by any of the attending authors and get it shipped to your house, easy peasy! 

Are you currently unsure but want to stay up to date with all of the latest news? Make sure to subscribe to the UBUbiz newsletter! 

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Guest post by Julie Eshbaugh (Ivory & Bone)

Jessi: I’m sure second person a tough perspective. How does it differ from writing in first or third and what difficulties did you across while writing it?

One of the best compliments I’ve received on my debut, IVORY AND BONE, is that it’s different from everything else in the YA market. ( called it “Hands down the most unique debut YA novel of the year.”) If you’re unfamiliar with the book, some of the things that make it unique are the prehistoric setting and the fact that the main character is male. One additional thing that sets the book apart is the fact that it’s told (partially) in second person point of view. For more than half the book, the main character, Kol, is telling a story to another character, Mya, a girl with whom he has a complex relationship. Since the story he is telling is largely the story of their relationship, he refers to her as “you” whenever she shows up in the story.

As an example, here’s the opening lines of the book:

The darkness in this cave is so complete, I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.
“I think your wound has opened up again.”
“No, it’s fine.” Your words echo against the close walls. Even so, your voice sounds small. “I ran my fingers over it. It’s dry.”

When I write, I try to choose a point of view based on what would serve the book the best. In writing IVORY AND BONE, I wanted to convey the prehistoric world the characters inhabit with as much authenticity as possible. One of the aspects of that world is the fact that they have no written language, so storytelling is a huge part of their culture. By designing the book is such a way that it contains a story-within-a-story, I was able to put the reader in the world with Kol and Mya. By using the second person, I hoped to increase the intimacy of the book, and pull the reader into a world that’s so different from the one we live in today.

The story-within-a-story nature of IVORY AND BONE changed the narrative because it became much more personal to the character of Kol. Because he is talking to Mya, his feelings for her are present on every page. Many readers have told me that this made the story not only more personal, but also more romantic. We not only get to see what happened through Kol’s eyes, we also get to see how he wants to share it with Mya.

I was surprised by some of the ways the story changed because it was told in second person. One thing that surprised me was the way Kol became more reflective. It’s like he experiences all the events of the story twice—once when it happens and again when he tells Mya about it. This leads Kol to notice his feelings more, especially the feelings he has for Mya. I hadn’t predicted that beforehand, but I think it added an extra layer of intimacy to their relationship.

If this point of view created any extra challenge, it would have to be that it forced me to go very deep into Kol’s head and heart. People talk about a “close first person,” and I think that was the outcome here. I not only had to see things as Kol saw them, I had to feel things as Kol felt them. When people say Kol came to life for them, I often think it’s at least in part due to the second person point of view.

As a writer, my first obligation is to the story. Once I knew that second person point of view served the story of IVORY AND BONE best, it was an easy decision to make.

Thanks so much for being here today, Julie!


Jessi (Geo)

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