Author Interview: CJ Milacci

SP: Hi CJ! So glad to chat with you today! When did you start writing and what are your favorite genres?

CJ: Thank you so much for having me! I started on my writing journey about eight years ago. I wanted a story I could hand to the teen and young adult girls I was talking to, who needed a reprieve from the pain they were facing in their lives, but also a way to learn deeper truths. 

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Author Interview: Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Please join me in welcoming S.F. Rhoads to The Spinning Pen! Sandra was born in Queens and raised in Texas where she earned an MA in her seventeenth-century crush, John Milton. This talented author also has experience in acting, directing, and script writing!

SP: Hi Sandra! How did you start writing YA fiction specifically, and what made you decide to pursue that professionally? (Also, I’m dying to know who your other literary crushes are!)

Sandra: I love talking about story, process, and creativity but what I love most is to encourage others to see their talents/art as valuable and important gifts to the world, so thanks for having me as a guest!

A little about me: I’ve always been a storyteller and writer, although it wasn’t necessarily on paper. Mainly I’d create fantasy worlds in my daydreams while I was on the playground or doing chores.

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Author Interview: JJ Fischer

SP: Hi JJ! Thanks for joining us on the Spinning Pen. Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to hear a bit about you and your writing journey! When did it all start?

JJF: It’s wonderful to be here! Thanks so much for having me.

Oh, where to begin? So, I started writing my first novel at age fourteen. I was on a family holiday touring Australia, in a place called Jurien Bay in Western Australia, when I had a dream of the opening scene of a novel. It contained just about every story cliché you can imagine, and was ditched VERY quickly, but I kept on working on that novel for years…plus, “Jurien” later became the first name of my villain. I’m sneaky like that.

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Indie Spotlight: Alissa Zavalianos

Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author Alissa Zavalianos to talk about her latest novel, ENDLEWOOD, and her writing journey! I’m so excited to have Alissa here with us!  

SP: Hi Alissa! Thanks for joining us! Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey.

My writing journey started in 4th grade, scribbling adventures and drawing maps, taking creative writing courses throughout high school and college (English major with a focus in Creative Writing).

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Author Interview: Caitlin Sangster

SP: Hi Caitlin! Welcome back to the Spinning Pen! Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey! Where did this all start for you? What has your writing journey been like? What other books have you written?

CS: I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, though back then it was more like advanced plagiarism, since I would just rewrite stories I really liked, only badly (Alanna the Lioness, anyone?). I never considered writing stories as a thing I could do in a professional capacity, since it seemed like writing in school was focused on really boring stuff I wasn’t interested in, and all the books I read were so, so perfect, it didn’t seem like actual humans could write them.

But then after I’d already graduated from college, my sister got a book deal and it suddenly clicked in my mind that people write books and that I could potentially be one of those people. I had just read The Hunger Games series and immediately began writing a YA dystopia, which I eventually got agented and sold to Simon and Schuster, which became my first published books, the Last Star Burning series. While I was writing those, I had a secret backburner middle grade project I’d work on between deadlines called A Baker’s Guide to Robber Pie because my first love in books has always been fantasy and I couldn’t not try to write fantasy even if I went dystopia first.

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Author Interview: AJ Skelly

SP: Hi AJ! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Tell us all a little bit about you and your writing journey.

AJ: Hi!  Thank you so much for having me!  I think I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl.  I’ve always dabbled in writing stories, and I tend to be a voracious reader as time allows.  As I got older, I majored in English and became a high school teacher and didn’t have a lot of time or energy to write, but still wrote in my spare time. 

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Author Interview: Tanvi Berwah

SP: Hi Tanvi! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Tell us all a little bit about you and your writing journey.

TB: Hi, thank you for having me! I’m Tanvi Berwah and I write books that will send you into some kind of existential dread at least once. I used to run fansites during the peak Twilight/The Hunger Games fandom time and an alarmingly huge part of my personality comes from being terminally online during those years lol. I have been writing since I was a kid. Many awful and some not-so-awful manuscripts later, I got into Pitch Wars in 2019 and that really got me to where I am now: happily writing books about angry girls and monsters, figuratively and literally.

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Author Interview: Tamara Girardi

SP: Hi Tamara! So glad to have you here on the Spinning Pen! You have an incredibly exciting four book deal with a unique release model. People are saying it’s like Netflix but with books! We’d love to hear more about how this exciting model works!

TG: I love that comparison! And hello to you 🙂 Thanks for having me. I love Wise Wolf Books’ rapid release model! They are releasing all four books in the sports series this year! Release dates are scheduled for early March, June, September, and December. It’s been a flurry getting all of the manuscripts in shape, but I appreciate this model so much as an author and a reader. As an author, I’m connecting with readers frequently with new material. As a reader, waiting is not my strong suit. When I read a good book, I want to binge with the sequel immediately. I love that this model allows readers of the series to do that this year! I’ve also signed with Wise Wolf for a two-book series in 2023, so stay tuned for more on that!

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Celebrate with us! GIVEAWAYS and BIG news!

We have some exciting news! One of our own co-hosts, Candace Kade, just signed her first book deal!!! To celebrate, head over to her website where she’s giving away a TON of autographed books! Also, read to the end of this post to get the deets on ANOTHER giveaway!
 
Here’s Candace to tell us a little bit about her writing journey and how she landed this three-book deal for her sci-fi trilogy.

 
Hey SP friends! First off, it’s been a looooong journey. Don’t be discouraged if you’re on that path now. If you’ve ever doubted yourself, wanted to hit that delete button for your entire manuscript, binge read other people’s books to avoid writing your own, or sign up for martial arts just so you can kick the crap out of something… you have issues. Just kidding! Kicking things is a totally acceptable way to vent anger am I right??
 
In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to be an author since high school. It was then that I promised myself I’d never give up trying to get published. No matter how long it took.

And boy did it take a while! I was trying to do it all—query, submit to competitions like Pitch Wars or Write Mentor, submitting short stories to get my name out there, I even attended my first writing conference. That’s when I struck gold.
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Author Interview: Kristin Dwyer

SP: Hi Kristin! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Tell us all a little bit about you and your writing journey.

KD: Hi I’m Kristin Dwyer! I write kissing books. I love all things romance and big feels. I’m addicted to travel, coffee, compulsively buying books I never read, and I also sometimes enjoy kpop and kdrama, but like… normal, reasonable amounts. I’ve been writing like a job for about ten years, and only in 2020 got an agent and editor. I could wallpaper Buckingham Palace in my unsold manuscripts and rejections. But long after my friends had made their dreams come true, mine finalllllly did. And dear reader, it was worth it.

SP: Ok now for the part we’ve been waiting for…tell us about your first book deal for Some Mistakes Were Made! How did you land this sweet deal and a chance to write a second book too? **FYI to our readers, this book’s steam level is upper young adult and has cursing.**

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