People come to writing through many different paths. For Andrea Thome, one of the most challenging times in her life gave rise to her literary career. She says, “Writing is something I’ve always loved to do, but I didn’t feel a sense of urgency about it until my mom died. While she was in Hospice care, she gave me the greatest advice.
For me, there are few feelings more exciting than finding a new book I love at the library—and then discovering that the author has a massive backlist. This happened to me just recently with Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I read my way through every book in the series that the library had, feeling much the way I do when I eat my way to the bottom of a pint of Double Dark Chocolate Talenti gelato (shhhh…don’t tell anyone).
Like many authors, Kelly deVos found her way to writing on the heels of another career—in her case, as a graphic designer. She queried her first novel for several years without finding a home for it, but never gave up on her dream. Kelly says, “I’ve been very fortunate to make a lot of great writer friends who inspired me. It can be a lot easier to keep going when you’re not going it alone.”
Laura Shovan is a poet, a teacher, and a novelist. She says, “I spend about a month ‘in residence’ at each school I visit, doing poetry workshops with an entire grade. It’s the perfect job for me.” I was fascinated to learn about how she intermingles poetry in her book-length works—her first book, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, is a novel in verse, and in her newest one, TAKEDOWN, one of the main characters uses writing poetry to cope with anxiety
Being a person who juggles several lives at once—and often struggles to balance them—I’m always intrigued when I discover someone else who does the same. Samantha Heuwagen is a debut novelist, but she is also a bilingual therapist and an activist. She says, “I’m very, very lucky to be able to mix all that I do together in such a way that is meaningful and creates the change I wish to see in the world.”
Courtney Brandt is a woman of many talents. She writes YA, including the steampunk series THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND; she also writes adult books, under the pseudonym Anne Benjamin; she’s a fanfic author; and she has a popular food blog, A to Za’atar.
Before I had the opportunity to interview K.T. Hanna about her newest book, SOMNIA ONLINE—INITIALIZING, I had no idea that LitRPG existed. So of course, I was excited to have the chance to ask her lots of questions about it … and I’ve learned a ton. Welcome to the blog, K.T. … and congrats on bringing your newest book into the world!
Welcome to the second installment in my bookseller interview series! This time around, I’m chatting with Justin Souther, Senior Buyer and Bookstore Manager in Asheville, NC’s Malaprop’s—one of my favorite literary haunts. The store’s philosophy is perhaps best summed up by Justin himself:
There are so many things I could say about Katie Rose Guest Pryal. Our lives have intersected in interesting and bizarre ways. We went to college together and didn’t know it, took a (traumatic) creative writing seminar together and never met. Somehow, we connected on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere and realized we were a coincidence waiting to happen.
This week’s theme on my blog (accidentally, I swear…not quite sure how it happened!) is YA and adult re-tellings of ROMEO AND JULIET. Last Thursday, I had the honor of interviewing Tiffany Schmidt about her newest YA novel, BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS . . . and today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Sharon Wray about her debut novel, EVERY DEEP DESIRE, the first book in the (definitely adult) DEADLY FORCE series.
Lauren Faulkenberry and Katie Rose Guest Pryal are authors and also the founders of Blue Crow Publishing, LLC, an independent press founded in 2016 with headquarters in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Full disclosure—Katie and I were in the same writing seminar for an entire semester in college, yet somehow didn’t formally meet until many years later, at Wildacres Retreat in the North Carolina mountains.
I’m not calling anybody out here, but there were—ahem!—five years between the publication of my first novel, THE MEMORY THIEF, and my second one, THE DREAM KEEPER’S DAUGHTER. In between, I wrote another book. I loved the storyline and my crazy, flawed characters—but alas, the plot didn’t quite coalesce, and so after over a year of writing and revisions, I had to scrap it and start a new project.
I first discovered NC author Megan Shepherd this past January, as part of a SCWBI Carolinas online workshop series called Polish Your Manuscript in Your PJs.
I never thought I’d love going to summer school, but Kami Kinard and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen have proven me wrong.
In a little over a week, Greenville, South Carolina will host Read Up, a brand-new festival for middle grade and young adult lit aficionados.
In retrospect, I don’t remember how it happened. But a few glorious months ago, I stumbled upon KidLit Drink Night Podcast—and got hooked.
Michelle Leonard chats with us about The Winged Pen, the importance of finding your writing tribe, and the magic of being a good critique partner.
This week on the blog, meet the Authors Out of Carolina—four amazing North Carolina writers who have come together to support each other and bring their new releases into the world.
Back when I was searching for an agent for The Memory Thief, the process seemed daunting beyond belief. My mentor, Caroline Leavitt, told me to query at least 75 agents before I began rending my garments and wringing my hands in despair, and so I did.
This week on the blog, author Leigh Statham chats with us about Wattpad’s amazing community of writers and readers, her role as head gnomie at Quantum Fairy Tales, and the September release of her new steampunk adventure novel, The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl.
My dyslexic superhero starts 6th grade in a few short weeks, and we’re doing everything we can to make his transition as seamless as possible
While I certainly hadn’t expected parenting to be a picnic, I had not anticipated that my child would react as if he were allergic to the world, perpetually affronted by everything it had to offer.
I have a confession to make. For the past six months—other than research for my upcoming novel—I’ve almost exclusively read young adult lit: Tahereh Mafi, Michelle Hodkin, Sally Green, Rick Yancey, Marie Lu, John Green, Cassandra Clare, Jandy Nelson, Julie Kagawa.
I am thrilled beyond words to announce that Ballantine Books will publish my as-yet-untitled second novel in Summer 2017. Right now, the book is in the revision phase with my editor, and we’re going back and forth, tightening it down—for those of you who know me well, it will come as no surprise that I tend to overwrite—and making it as good as it can possibly be.