Author Interview: Carrie Anne Noble

Pen Friends ~ Today we have awesome YA Author, Carrie Anne Noble, to chat about the writing life and her newly-released novel, The Gold-Son!

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SP: Welcome Carrie Anne! Can you start out by telling us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?

C: Hi! I’m a stay-at-home mom/writer who lives in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania with my family and assorted pets (currently two cats, a dog, a lizard, a foster hedgehog, and some chickens). I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but I really got hooked on it when I was about eleven years old.

SP: Essential info next: Tea or Coffee? And one fact about yourself that we wouldn’t know by looking at you?  Continue reading

Author Interview: Caroline George

Pen Friends ~ We are pleased to welcome Young Adult author, Caroline George to talk about her upcoming book, her writing journey, and her writing advice with SP readers and writers!

C-c3x8aUwAAp7SZSP: Welcome Caroline! Can you start out by telling us a bit of who you are and when you started writing?

Overview: I’m the author of “The Prime Way Trilogy” and “The Vestige.” I write for “Pursue Magazine,” lead startup company Local Publishing and work as a part-time publicist for recording artist Autrey. When I’m not attached to my laptop, I’m attending college classes at Belmont University, meeting with friends at Nashville coffeehouses or serving with ministry My Local. All that said, I’m a productivity junkie who believes in making the most of time and living life to the fullest.

Stories have been my passion since I was a toddler. Before I could hold a pencil, I told my mom stories, she’d write them down and let me illustrate the pages. In middle school, I started writing with fervor and made it a goal to be published by my sixteenth birthday. 

Writing began as a therapeutic escape from my preteen troubles but morphed into a vision fueled by calling, determination and stubbornness.  

SP: Essential info next. Tea or Coffee? And one fact about yourself that we wouldn’t know by looking at you?

Coffee. Always. I’m convinced it’s a food group. Whenever I go out to eat, I usually end up at a coffeehouse.

Fun Fact: Unlike most authors, I’m a total extrovert. I love public speaking, meeting new people and stepping out of my comfort zone.

 SP: So, let’s talk about your new book, THE VESTIGE. How did this idea come about? unnamed.jpg

I was sitting in Starbucks when I realized my life was pretty. The people around me sipping their lattes were pretty. The shopping mall across the highway was filled with pretty things. But when I checked my news feed and saw disturbing headlines, I concluded that my life is nothing more than an illusion: The world isn’t a pretty place, yet it is unbelievably easy for people to go throughout their day without noticing the dirt.

“The Vestige” was born from the questions: What if the end of the world has already occurred? What if our final demise happened slowly, secretly . . . and we’ve been oblivious to it all?

If we live in a pretty bubble of shopping malls and Starbucks, could we miss the truth because we’re too comfortable to see it?

“The Vestige” is a book close to my heart. It began as a mashup of several story ideas but transformed into a call to action, a call to awareness.

 SP: Evernight Teen Publishing – How has your experience been with them?

The Evernight Teen staff have been professional, fast and kind. They’ve supported my over-the-top marketing plan and worked to provide the materials needed for a successful release. 

SP: Awesome to hear. We are very impressed that you started writing and publishing at such a young age! Can you share your secrets on writing habits, editing and publishing with our teen and adults writers?  

Successful writing, in my opinion, is the product of a tenacious attitude and purpose-driven mindset. Habits can help provide the atmosphere needed to write, but they can’t keep someone writing.

My advice:

1.    Write with purpose. If you don’t believe in your work’s message, you won’t be an effective writer and will most likely give up when the process gets tough. However, if you’re certain your words will make a difference, you’ll write with urgency and will remain steadfast in the trials.

2.    Write with an audience in mind. Answer the questions: Why am I writing? For who am I writing? What do I want readers to gain from my work? 

3.    Write to write, not to publish. If your main goal is to get your words on paper, you’ll be satisfied whether or not your work is published.

My habits include a certain layout—coffee mug on the right-hand side of my computer, notebook on the left-hand side, mood-setting music and public environment. I do my best work in coffeehouses or at my dining room table.

Author Isaac Marion said it best: “No, writers don’t write in coffee shops so people will see us writing. What kind of loser would do that? It’s because we’re incredibly lonely.”

Editing and publishing tips:

1.    Know the publishing industry. Do your research. 

2.    Hire an editor or recruit someone with knowledge of current market trends to review your work. Don’t exclusively rely on friends and family to edit your writing.

3.    Make sure everything you publish is high quality.

4.    Treat your writing as a business.

5.    Look for innovative ways to market yourself.

6.    Get on social media and build your platform! 

SP: Great advice. So, how was your road to finding an agent? Any advice on querying?

There are many ways to find and land an agent. I first went to New York City and pitched to agents at a writing conference. I queried hundreds of literary agencies but ended up signing with the agent of an author friend. She recommended my work to him, he read my proposal and signed me a few days later.

My advice: Do research, write a professional query and send it to agents who represent your genre. But also make connections. Relationships with professionals in the publishing industry will help you more than career opportunities. If you value people and their time, they will value you and your work.

 SP: Ok, you are into surfing. Give us the story. How did you learn and what is your favorite surfing story?Surfing.jpeg

A few years ago, my friend invited me to Florida to celebrate her birthday. Surfing was on her bucket list. We went to Daytona Beach as a hurricane swirled in the Atlantic, rented pink soft-tops and surf shirts, and followed our teenage instructor to the beach.

Waves pelted the shore in roaring surges. They towered over my head and smacked me down the moment I stepped foot in the water.

“This seems like a bad idea,” I said as the surfing instructor led my friend and me into the foamy deathtrap. 

What most people would consider a dumb decision ended up being one of my favorite memories. I learned to surf before the storm hit. I wiped out, bruised myself on the ocean floor and got slapped several times by my own board. It hurt, but I loved every moment of it.

Surfing is an experience that can’t be effectively described. I often tell people when I first stand on the beach and gaze out at the sea, I’m foreign—I don’t belong in the water. However, when a wave catches me, I melt into it, become a part of the ocean’s heartbeat. It accepts me.

Granted, I’m not the best surfer. I do it whenever I have the chance. Two months ago, I surfed in California for the first time and discovered how much I appreciate wetsuits. 

I can’t wait to get out on the waves when I go to Australia in a few weeks.

SP: Ooh, enjoy Oz! And, Vestige is not the only book you have written. Where can we learn more about you and your books? 

“The Prime Way Trilogy” is available to purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

If you’d like to learn more about my work, visit my website authorcarolinegeorge.com. I’m also active on all social media platforms.

Twitter: @CarolineGeorge_

Instagram: @authorcarolinegeorge

SnapChat: @authorcarolineg

Facebook/AuthorCarolineGeorge

SP: Thanks Caroline!

author-nova-mcbee

 

Nova, Signing off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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: 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