Pen friends, if you’ve spent much time around here, you know how much we love the writing community! One of our favorite ways of learning and growing within that community is by participating in contests and mentoring opportunities, and today we are thrilled to chat with one of the founders of Author Mentor Match, the lovely YA author Alexa Donne!
*The current round of submissions for AMM is open now through October 24th, so if you’ve been looking for a mentor, now is the perfect chance to apply!
SP: Welcome, Alexa! We’re so excited to have you join us. Can you please tell us a little about who you are and what you write?
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I am Alexa Donne, a YA science fiction & fantasy writer whose debut novel, BRIGHTLY BURNING, will be coming out from HMH Teen on May 1, 2018. It’s a retelling of Jane Eyre, set in space. Continue reading
Pen Friends ~ We are delighted to have Tracey Neithercott, debut author of Gray Wolf Island and an Author Mentor Match mentor, here with us today!
SP: Hi Tracey! Thanks for joining us. First, will you please tell us a bit of who are you and how long have you have been writing?
Hi! Thank you so much for having me.
I’m a magazine journalist and the author of the YA novel Gray Wolf Island. I’ve always written in some way or another: There was my sixth grade The Princess and the Mean Genie, which really made me aware of my inability to draw but had me feeling pretty proud of my talent for coloring within the lines.
In high school, I started (but never finished) a bunch of books in the voice of whatever I’d last read. I somehow ended up sounding like both Pip from Great Expectations and Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. This was not a good thing.
As I began thinking about college, I shifted my focus. It’s weird looking back at how my brain worked back then, but I was convinced authors were these super-special people who were, I don’t know, given their super-special talents from the heavens or something. I figured journalism was a more realistic career. And in a way, I was right: I did become a journalist.
Only after I began reading YA writer blogs—watching them go from unagented writers to agented writers to published authors—did I start to believe writing a novel was something I could actually do. And in 2010, I finished a novel for the first time. Continue reading
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!
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
If 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?
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.
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
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.
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
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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