The North Texas Teen Book Festival: 2017

endless signIf you ever doubt that today’s youth are into reading, all you need to do to is attend a book festival like this last weekend, where over ten thousand teens from all over Texas came to hear their favorite authors, ask them questions ranging from what inspires them to how they come up with their complex plots; sign hundreds of books, get the latest on booktubing from the pros, win prizes, buy swag, and of course, hear the answer to that age-old question: Can I be a writer, too?

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Author Interview: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Pen Friends ~ We are overjoyed to have YA Authors Lorie Langdon and Carey Corp with us today to talk about their co-written series DOON and their journey to becoming an author. 

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SP: Hi Carey and Lorie! Thanks for being with us. Can you start out by telling us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?

Lorie: Hi everyone! Thanks for having us on the blog! By way of brief introduction, I’m a wife, mom, Christ-follower, author, and Wonder Woman Wannabe. I’ve wanted to be an author since I read my first Judy Blume novel, but when I entered college that didn’t seem like a practical career choice, so I chose another path. It took many years of working in the business world for me to go back to my true calling.

Carey: Hey there! *waves* I’m Carey, mom, full time corporate marketer, pet lover, Believer, and Hamilton enthusiast (uh, that’s the PC way of saying obsessed, right?). I always wanted to be a writer, I just didn’t know it. When I was 7, I wrote a captivating retelling of Star Wars, see it here Lucas—shmookas! I wrote Star Wars. I spent the summer after 6th grade writing a hundred pages of soap opera that was a Santa Barbara knockoff. Then I forgot about writing until several lifetimes later when I had a crazy dream after watching the PJ Hogan live action version of Peter Pan. The next morning I wrote what would before the first chapter in my novel Shades of Neverland. From that day on, I was hooked (oh ya, pun intended). But it would still be another lifetime before getting published. Continue reading

Editor Talk with BLINK YA’s Jillian Manning

Pen Friends ~ We are elated to have Blink YA Book’s Editor Jillian Manning with us today. Hope you enjoy her insights, tips, and recommendations!

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SP: Welcome Jillian! Let’s start personal ~Who are you and how long have you worked as an editor? Which books made you fall in love with the publishing industry?

I’m Jillian Manning, one of the editors at Blink YA Books. I’m a Michigan girl, cat lover, list maker, and avid YA reader. (Grown-up books? Yikes.) I’ve worked in publishing since my early college days, and have been an editor here at Blink for over two years. According to my mother, I started reading when I was two years old (though that may be a parental exaggeration), and I haven’t stopped since. I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, J.K. Rowling, and Caroline B. Cooney, and I decided I either wanted to be them or work with people like them. When I found out being an editor meant you could read for a living…well, I was hooked. Continue reading

Author Interview: S.D. Grimm

Pen Friends, we are so excited to introduce you to debut YA author, S.D. Grimm! She’s someone you should definitely get to know (and her novel launches next week)! Plus, there’s a GIVEAWAY — check it out below.

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SP: Welcome, S.D.! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I write young adult sci-fi and fantasy because I love it. I started writing when I was in elementary school–second grade. It was a story about a lost sock. Only my lost sock was a living being who had been separated from his mother and siblings. Seven years ago I started writing with the hope of being published. And that book? Scarlet Moon.

SP: I know you were a Pitch Wars mentee (like our own Nova McBee is this year). What was the contest experience like? Would you recommend it for up and coming writers?

Pitch Wars was an awesome experience. I highly recommend it. Not only did I have a fabulous mentor, who taught me a lot, but I got my novel ready for pitching, and the edits my mentor suggested led to a polished novel that eventually helped me land my amazing agent. In addition to that, I have a community of friends who went through the same process, and they are so amazing. I would say that community of writers alone is invaluable.  Continue reading

Author Interview: Rebecca Sky

Pen Friends ~ Come meet author and wattpad sensation Rebecca Sky as she shares about her writing and some of her own life stories, (which are just as gripping as her fiction!)

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SP: Welcome Rebecca! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I’m the oldest of 5 kids, a wifey to a hot Canadian rock star, dog lover (I know writers are supposed to like cats, *whispers* cats scare me), I’m a red head (sadly this does define me), and I live on an island just off the coast of Seattle, Washington—because of this I tell people I’m a Pacific Islander.

My journey to writing is a long one, so I’ll give you the quickest version I can. When I was little I was fascinated with stories, my family was poor and we didn’t have TV or money to buy books so I’d hunt around the neighborhood and in parks and collect pop and beer cans to return to the grocery store for the $0.05 reward. I used that treasure at garage sales, buying every book I could find. My collection varied from manuals, to historical recounts of China, to Nancy Drew mysteries. When I wasn’t flipping through their pages, I was adorned in wild costumes and acting out scenes from plays I’d make up for my siblings. It was all a very “Little Women” lifestyle.

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Author Interview: Pintip Dunn

Pen Friends ~ We are so pleased to introduce you to NYT bestselling Young Adult Author, Pintip Dunn! This lady is unstoppable. Read below and find out why…and don’t forget the giveaway! Details below interview.

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SP: Welcome Pintip!

Thank you for having me! I’m so thrilled to be here!

SP: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

Sure! I’m a lawyer-turned-mother-turned-writer. I graduated from Harvard, with an A.B. in English, and then received my J.D. from Yale Law School. I have three kids and live in Maryland right outside of D.C.

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Author Interview: Brenda Drake

Pen Friends, we are very excited to introduce Young Adult Author and Writing-Contest Guru, Brenda Drake! If you don’t know her yet, quick, get reading below!! 

*PS: There’s a giveaway. Check below for details.

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SP: Welcome Brenda!

Thank you for having me!

SP: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I grew up the youngest of three children and an Air Force brat, so I was always the new kid at school until my dad retired in Albuquerque when I was in middle school. I host contests such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on my blog, and hold Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. Unfortunately, I’m addicted to coffee and Goldfish crackers, but not together. Well, unless I’m eating the graham cracker or s’more’s ones. Continue reading

Author Interview: Karen McManus

 

Pen Friends, please welcome Karen McManus, a very anticipated YA debut and Author of One of Us is Lying. 

SP: Hi Karen! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I was one of those kids who started writing early. I was in second grade when I wrote my first book, and I wrote dozens more throughout elementary school. But when I reached high school and tried to write longer, more complicated books, I faltered. I was convinced I didn’t have what it took to finish a novel, so I started the college-career-family trajectory and let my interest in writing slide.

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Author Interview: Christina June

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Pen Friends ~ Welcome Debut YA author, Christina June as she talks about her forthcoming book,  It Started With Goodbye (See below for bio and summary!) SP: Welcome Christina! Can you tell us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?

Sure! I’m a mom, a high school counselor, a wife, a daughter. And a writer! I’ve always been a writer, more when I was younger, but I began writing novels with the goal of publication about four years ago.

 

SP: So, the book. It’s a spin off of Cinderella. Can you share how the idea took shape from there? 

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Author Interview: Mary Weber

Pen Friends: Welcome Mary Weber, author of the wildly popular Storm Siren Trilogy, as she shares her writing journey with us. Talk about encouraging, charming, and instructive!

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SP: Can you tell us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?

Hi! Yes, let’s see…I was born and raised in California by parents who’ve been pastoring the same church for 40+ years (and are legitimately the coolest people I know). My husband and I have been married for 18 of those years and have three kids (ages 16, 14, & 10). I write books (obviously). I like homemade honey lattes, Sherlock, The Last Airbender, laughter, rain, and sushi, and I work part time as a youth pastor. Annnnd now I feel like I just filled out a dating profile. Nice. 😉 Continue reading