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The beautiful and charming Megan LaCroix tagged me today in a challenge called #VoicesofYA created by writer Caitlin Lambert. I'm supposed to answer ten questions focused on writers, writing, and YA literature.

Don't laugh too hard. ;-) But feel free to let me know what you think.


What draws you to YA?

Oh my gosh - where to start! Well, there's a level of levity and freedom in YA that offers a nostalgic escape. It throws me back to the Christopher Pike's, RL Stine's, fantasies, horrors, mysteries, and the cheesy, sappy teen romances I can't remember any of the titles for. I might not be able to recreate any of them - not that I'm aiming to do that anyway - but it was a time when so much seemed possible and probable. Before responsibilities set in. Ah, the good ol' days.

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

I'm a converted pantser, but I'm not a 100% plotter either. I ran across Larry Brooks' Story Structure series a long time ago, and it remains my favorite method for outlining. But-

BUT! I can't write a single plot point until I have at least one scene down on paper. Until there is black and white on the page, my ideas tend to swirl around and jumble together into this mess of ALL THE IDEAS. It's bad guys. Like, trunk novel bad if I actually tried to finish those pieces.Once I have the initial opening image or feeling down then I know which idea I want to focus the piece on - and there's always an element of fantasy.

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?

I've been writing for about nine years; since my baby girl was just a tadpole in my belly. While she grew inside me the urge to write began, and I've been doing ever since. At first, it was a solitary journey, where I'd silently stalk blogs and RWA sites. I hadn't gotten up the courage to attend any local writer meetups. Share my words with actual people? Heck no! In 2014 I found Twitter - and PitchWars! In all this time I've completed three novellas and two novels - one which was in both PitchMadness and PitchWars last year. That one is out in the world. I'm now working on a YA Contemporary Fantasy.

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

Yes and Yes.

Tee hee.

More specifically - the right music will help me create the words per scene. Halsey and Phantogram for angst; Melanie Martinez for fun; DubStep for everything else. :)

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?

Write what you're passionate about. It's something Lisa Schunemann and I have been telling each other for the last couple of months. We were constantly trying to talk ourselves out of writing our messages based on the feedback of a similar story or some situation in the world or an "overdone" trope. In the end we told each other: "Just write the damn thing!" And I think we're happier for it.


What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)

Veronica Roth's Red Queen. That is all ;-)

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

I will leave these pretties here

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?

I still love love love the Caster Chronicles series. The first movie didn't do it justice and I wish that it could have lived longer. Oh well, in my head it will go on.

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit?

"Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself."

—Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle In Time

This speaks to me because it's essentially my MO for writing: give me the idea of a structure to build on and I'll write my book in and around it.

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaption?

You've heard about the 4 Game of Thrones spinoffs from HBO? Well, can I have a GoT, Red Queen mashup please? Pretty please?

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