What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?: Writing has always been a part of me. I have little construction paper books that I made before I could even read or write. I would scribble long lines and ask my mom to tell me if I had made any letters. I continued to make short books, and wrote my first novel-length fiction at age 12. I’ve been writing ever since.

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

S.E. Hinton’s books, especially The Outsiders
Jay Bennet’s books
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenburg
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Short author bio: P.D. Workman writes riveting young adult/suspense fiction about mental illness, addiction, and abuse.

For as long as P.D. Workman can remember, the blank page has held an incredible allure. After a number of false starts, she finally wrote her first complete novel at the age of twelve. It was full of fantastic ideas. It was the spring board for many stories over the next few years.  Then, forty-some novels later, P.D. Workman finally decided to start publishing. Lots more are on the way!

P.D. Workman is a devout wife and a mother of one, born and raised in Alberta, Canada. She is a homeschooler and an Executive Assistant. She has a passion for art and nature, creative cooking for special diets, and running. She loves to read, to listen to audio books, and to share books out loud with her family. She is a technology geek with a love for all kinds of gadgets and tools to make her writing and work easier and more fun. In person, she is far less well-spoken than on the written page and tends to be shy and reserved with all but those closest to her.
Twitter: @pdworkmanauthor

Website: http://pdworkman.com

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

The two books I have out at present (The Seelie Princess and Rise of the Dragons) are for older children rather than for young adults/teenagers but I know that a lot of teens have actually read and enjoyed them.

I’m writing a book at present that is for young adults/teenagers and it’s about a 14 year old girl whose life changes when her Nan joins social media and makes a post that instantly goes viral. It’s funny but actually covers a couple of serious points about growing up and things that can affect teenagers.

Writing for YA can be tricky because the words teenagers use change on an almost daily basis! I live in Essex, UK and, if any of you have ever seen TOWIE, you will know that some of the language that has been used on there sometimes bears no resemblance to English as most people know it! (I love watching TOWIE, but no, I don’t write using any TOWIE language!)

I’m lucky in that I work with young adult students so I get to hear about the things that interest them on a daily basis. I’ve noticed, over the years, that some teenagers keep things hidden deep inside them (and worry inwardly, react by pushing others away from them, or they try and cover it up by dressing differently and giving off an air of indifference), or they simply can’t hide what they are feeling and flare-up on what seems to be a daily (if not hourly!) basis. This age, for boys as well as girls, is hormone hell! They have all these emotions running rampant throughout their bodies and don’t yet know how to deal with them. My job as an author (as well as in life) is to try to help them understand that they all pretty much feel the same way, no matter how they interpret things or let them out, and also that it is good to be able to ask for help when it is needed.

Personally, I think adults expect far too much from younger people. Just because they are fully grown size-wise doesn’t mean that emotionally they are in the same place as an older person, and older people have a duty of care to at least try to understand this. When news broadcasts highlight all the bad things youngsters do and ignore the good, (and there are a LOT of good things that youngsters do, unseen, unheard and uncommented upon,) the rest of the population grows to expect younger people to behave badly – without remembering what they were like at the same age – a mass of contradictory emotions and no real idea of how to handle them.

Some teenagers/young adults have to go through things that no older person would wish upon their worst enemy; so as I am writing this particular book I am trying to be very aware of this and to deal with the matter as carefully as possible.

I think it is vitally important that any youngster knows that it is okay to laugh during rough times, sometimes at the same time as they want to cry, and that it is not wrong to feel like this – it’s completely and utterly healthy and normal. Teenagers feel incredible guilt and carry a whole lot of weight on their shoulders that they shouldn’t have to. If this particular book can encourage even one young adult to ask for help, or if any older person reading it realises that they know someone who is at risk and it encourages them to reach out to that young person, I will be extremely happy. I hope and pray that I am covering it in a way that young adults can relate to.

Oh, and it’s titled: Jade Greene – Nan’s Gone Viral – I’ll let you know via Facebook and Twitter when it will be released. (See link below.)

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

I’ve always known it. I have told stories all my life, first by reading to my younger sister when we were growing up, then making up my own stories for my own children. Writing them down has been an extension of this and it’s taken me far too long to have the courage to do it.
Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?: I wish I had! I’m still comparatively new to publishing so am following the usual routes – Amazon, Createspace, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads. It’s a costly business and I am learning all the time. If I come across anything that works well I’ll let you know! (And if anyone else has any tips, they will be gratefully received!)

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

I read a lot of YA books – I have a 14 year old daughter who is an avid reader and I tend to read a lot that she brings home from the library. John Green is a favourite of hers at the moment(and I very much admire the issues he tackles and the manner in which he does it), and I also admire the way that Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games which exploded onto the scene. CS Lewis, Rick Riordan, Roald Dahl and Cassandra Clare are all authors I have read and enjoyed, and they have all probably had some influence over my own writing in various ways.

Short author bio: I live in Essex, UK with my youngest daughter (who is my inspiration and who regularly tells me to keep writing as she wants to read what happens to my characters – thank you sweetheart!) a loopy cat and an ancient, arthritic hamster that only has one eye and is now almost five years old. He sits on my hand happily to be fed and tries to escape on a nightly basis! I do the same through my writing!

Website: https://authorjmturner.wordpress.com/http://jillturner.net/

Twitter: @JillMTurner

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

I guess the hardest part of writing YA lit is not actually writing YA lit.

That is, I’ve never consciously sat down and tried to write for that market. My Touchstone series began as an idea for a cool teenage time travel drama series for TV, but the concept was so expensive (“A different historical period every week? Really?) that I decided to pursue it as a series of novels.

I’ve always kept it reasonably ‘clean’, so that it’s suitable for a YA audience, but I get a lot of older fans of the series who love the historical detail.

To me, it was always just about being true to my heroine, Rachel, and her story. And now that I’m writing spin offs, it’s about being true to all the other characters. And to the history they explore.

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

Always. I was the kid at school who always won the short story prize and one teacher told my mother, when I was eight, that I was destined to be a writer.

I dedicated the Touchstone Season One Box Set to him. Mr O’Reilly. I’ve never forgotten that moment. Not just because he made a child see that it was something to be, but because he also admitted it was what he’d always wanted to be but hadn’t.

Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?:

At the moment I’m talking to a History teacher at a local school. He’s interested in the fact that I’ve written eight books about our city’s history and that it’s an exciting way to get young kids to start exploring their local history and seeing that historical research can be cool.

It’s also pretty useful that I’m now going beyond our city’s history and beginning to explore the history of the wider world, the Touchstone story I’m writing now being an epic saga about the life of the Lakota Indians leading to the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

None. For me it’s all about time travel and it’s the classic time travel tales that have always influenced me. And those are from screenwriters as well as fiction authors.

If you don’t mind me linking to a page on my site, about 8 years ago I wrote about my favourite time travel books and films – http://andyconway.net/articles/timetravel.html – and I’ve recently decided to start adding to this, because I’m still seeing new ones that excite me all the time.
Short author bio: Andy Conway is a prolific novelist, screenwriter and indie-publisher who secretly time travels to mine story ideas for his Touchstone series.
Twitter: @itsandyconway

Website: http://andyconway.net/

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

You probably don’t want a short answer here, but honestly the hardest part about writing YA is deciding which of my YAs I want to write in currently.

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

I have been writing even longer than I have been reading, and I learned how to read pretty early. I’ve been telling stories ever since I was three. I wrote my first “novel” when I was nine. I wrote my first ready-to-be-published YA novel when I was eighteen. And I just haven’t been able to stop since then.

Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?:

I actually have three separate blogs geared toward writing. My Tumblog is the one I use to draw people in to find my writing it. I use it to reblog the things I love so that people who also love them my love my writing as well. My other two are writing blogs on Blogspot: One for my novel writing, the other for stories about my life.

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

The BIGGEST influence on my writing was actually a cartoon show of the early 2000’s. Xiaolin Showdown. I started writing fanfics on it when I was twelve, and ended up writing twenty-three in the course of three years. My first novel was inspired by one of the fanfics. Other than that, I would have to say, The Fault in Our Stars.
Short author bio: I am a twenty-three-year-old YA author, and I go by the name of aimeeann. I write because I can’t do anything else. I was diagnosed with Hyper-Mobility Syndrome when I was fourteen, and most days, it is what keeps me in bed. I can’t hold a job or continue an education. So I write about the things you’ve been through.

Website: http://arghharealgirlsworld.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/faithliesinme

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

Not too much!  I seem to have a perpetual teen voice and enjoy writing in first person.  I think my largest issue as an author is better development of my characters.

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

I’ve been writing since…forever.  I think when I made the jump from fanfiction to original fiction, I thought ‘where could I go with this?’ One series and multiple other books complete, I have no plans of stopping.  (And yes, I still write fanfiction from time to time).

Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?:

My Tumblr blog, Marching Arts Photography, has been growing since I started it in 2011.  I’ve found it’s been an inspirational, supportive and fun place to interact with all levels of the marching arts.

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

I’ve always loved Tamora Pierce and Maud Hart Lovelace.  I think their collective works have influenced me in different ways.  As I’ve recently started a YA steampunk trilogy, I’ve been heavily influence by the creative works of Gail Carriger.
Short author bio: Courtney Brandt is proud to present The Line, and the additional novels in the complete series, A Fine Line, Keeping in Line, and The Line Up (available individually, or as a complete Anthology). Each of the lighthearted novels was created for high school students and alumni in marching band. As a former drumline member, Courtney enjoys bringing a fictional voice to band geeks all over the world and is patiently waiting for Hollywood to wake up and realize her books would make great (and financially successful) films or television series!

Courtney is also proud to announce the release of two stand alone marching novels, Confessions of A Teenage Band Geek and Major Pain. She is the sole manager of the successful Tumblr ‘marchingartsphotography’ account.
Twitter: @ABenjaminAuthor

Website: http://marchingartsphotos.tumblr.com/

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

Once I have the characters in mind, the dialogue just seems to show up for the age group. Sometimes it feels like I’m overhearing their conversations. The setting is actually more difficult to control, making sure it suits YA interests, so I’m not just putting the characters down in a place that has no value for them, or that requires them to respond the way adults would.

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

That’s easy. I was five and wanted to change a story I was being told. Once I learned how to read for myself, I’d make little books, sometimes with cutouts, and add captions.

Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?:

Not yet. That is what led me to find your website, so that I can explore ways to get the stories in front of the audience I want to entertain.

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, A Wrinkle in Time, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Sword in the Stone, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Nancy Drew
Short author bio: My stories have appeared in Thrice Fiction, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Subtle Fiction, Mad Scientist Journal, Over My Dead Body!, and NewMyths.com, among others. In the spring of 2012 I was a finalist in the Hollywood SCRIPTOID Screenwriter’s Feature Challenge for my script about a mother seeking the disabled child she had abandoned, in “Second Chances.” I have also written and published a number of books on Amazon. My wish is to bring to others a good read, a respite from the frenetic pace we sometimes live, and most of all, a way to enter into another way of seeing.

When not writing, I read mysteries, watch film noir and science fiction B-grade movies (not averse to 1950s C-grade), practice metaphysics, study psychic and shamanistic experiences, watch favorite television shows, and listen to Mozart and Willie Nelson, among others. I love wildlife, especially birds and wolves.

Life includes a brilliant, talkative, and very green eclectus parrot named Harry, and amazing friends, and I live in the gorgeous Hudson River Valley of upstate New York.
Twitter: ReginaClarke1

Website: http://www.regina-clarke.com

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

The same thing that’s the hardest part about all writing: writing it! I don’t see YA as substantively different from other kinds of fiction. It demands the same great pacing, great characterization, great plot twists . . . all that stuff that’s just frankly hard to pull off. But makes the whole writing journey worth it.

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

I wrote as a little kid all the time, and I think I daydreamed about doing it professionally. Then as a young teen I wrote a couple of books and definitely dreamed of “being a writer.” But that went by the wayside for most of my teen years while I focused on humanitarian and spiritual work. I took writing up seriously again in my early twenties and have made a habit of it ever since.

Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?:

Yeah, getting my younger siblings (I have eleven) to recommend them to all their friends. j/k

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

They didn’t call it YA back in the day, but George MacDonald, Madeleine L’Engle, Susan Cooper, Robin McKinley, Lloyd Alexander . . . these really classic fantasy writers who wrote for kids and teens both, but their stuff was adult on many levels.

Short author bio: Rachel Starr Thomson is a writer, editor, indie publisher, serial entrepreneur, and traveling spoken-word artist and speaker with 1:11 Ministries. She loves to write, tell stories, and find new ways to see the world. And also take walks and drink more coffee than is good for her.

Website: http://www.rachelstarrthomson.com
Twitter: @writerstarr

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

I think the hardest part is coming up with something original, or a fresh take on something that’s been done before.

When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?:

I was eight. I wrote a poem for my mother. It was awful, horrible, and the sort of thing only a mother could love. After that, I wrote letters upon letters upon letters. For a summer reading program, I wrote an essay and won $50. I think that cemented it. During my teens,

I wrote a few MG novels that were also awful. More letters in my twenties, and here I am in my thirties, in the general window where more writers start their career.
Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?: No, nothing clever, but all the normal ways – adding one reader at a time and advertisements. I’m a bit addicted to Twitter.

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

The YA adaption of “At the Back of the North Wind,” “The Hunger Games,” and a few other YA titles from author Erin Hayes. The other influences have been adult novels.
Short author bio: Bokerah Brumley is an award-winning freelance writer. In her spare time, Bokerah enjoys climbing trees, photographing peacocks, and writing flash fiction. She lives with her husband, five kids, and three dogs in West Texas where she serves as the blue-haired publicity officer for the Cisco Writers Club.

Website: www.superbokerah.com
Twitter: @msbbrumley

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

The hardest part about writing YA lit is keeping the reader engaged. Of course, that applies to writing for anyone, regardless of your target audience, but I think that young adults have so many other interests and things that bide for their attention that you’ve got to keep them hooked.

Another thing that’s hard is subject content. A lot of YA can read just about anything. But should they? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. So I strive–and sometimes it’s difficult–to keep the subjects light and fun. My books are action and adventure. There’s perils and traps and bad guys but you’ve got to know who you’re writing to so that you don’t go too far. With adults it’s easy to cross the line and be okay, but not with kids.
When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?: I knew I wanted to be a writer when I graduated college at age 21. It wasn’t until then that I really enjoyed reading. And I had read a couple horrible books and couldn’t understand how they got published. I also read some amazing books and thought that I could contribute in some way. That I could write something like that.

Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?:

I think the cover, if you are writing to YA readers needs to grab them. My YA book is a science fiction, action book so I wanted the cover to grab them and make them think, that is so cool, I wonder what that book is about. You’ve got to have a great cover. And then most teens are on social media. You’ve got to be able to connect with them on their platforms. You’ve got to be cool!

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

The YA books that made me want to be a positive influence in writing for kids is Harry Potter. Those books made millions of people stop what they were doing and read. That is very cool and I want to do that too with my stories. There are other authors that have influenced my writing: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Sandford.
Short author bio: I write for YA and for adults. I have books for both and I live in the desert southwest with my wife and children.

Website: http://www.chadswayden.com
Twitter: @chadswayden

Website: https://bronwenskye.wordpress.com/

What’s the hardest part about writing YA lit?:

Finding the time, but when you do it’s so rewarding!
When exactly did you know you wanted to be a writer?: I have been writing since my teens.  First I started with poetry, and then I graduated to a novel in my early twenties.
Have you found any clever ways to market your books to YA readers?: Giveaways!

What YA books have had the biggest influence on your writing?:

Harry Potter and The Vampire Diaries
Short author bio: When she’s not traveling around the country, Bronwen spends her time reading and writing fantasy horror young adult fiction, and practicing circus style acrobatics. A fanatic for all things Disney, she now lives in the Sunshine State with her 4 rescued felines and 1 rescued husband.
Twitter: bkrepublic

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