Voices of YA Tag

I was tagged a week or so ago for this venture by Claerie Kavanaugh, a writer friend I met through Kim Chance and her #Chance2Connect chats. So thank you for the tag and an opportunity for some more content, Claerie!

I should also note, as per THA RULES, that this tag was assembled by Caitlin Lambert.


Thank the person who tagged you
Link to the original creator
Answer the ten questions
Tag at LEAST two other YA writers/bloggers
And now, onto the tag!


What draws you to YA?

I think coming of age stories are very universal. You can reach a lot of readers, either younger readers who are going through these changes in their lives or older readers who already experienced them and can relate.

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

I prefer minimal outlining. I need to know what a scene looks like when I sit down to write, but generally I don’t want to overly plot out what happens or else I lose interest in the story because I feel like I already wrote it.

That being said, I’m planning to try and outline more heavily in the future as a way to up my productivity. We’ll see how it goes…

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?

I’ve been writing for…a long time. I guess a couple of decades at this point. I had an interest in writing as early as middle school and continued to pursue it, to some degree or other, through high school and college and up to now.

I just self-published my first work

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

Coffee or some other drink, like tea or soda, is a must. Outside of that, I don’t think I need anything. I occasionally write or edit to music, but usually I find it distracting.

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?

I think writers need to think more about what their stories are really saying in terms of cultural values and pay attention to the tropes and myths that they regurgitate. I know that can be difficult (I would say I’m far from perfect in terms of handling this), but the point of fiction is to pass on our societal values, and I think a lot of times authors will do this without thinking about it because they either never question our dominant cultural narratives or think that their stories are too frivolous for this consideration to matter.

I would argue it does matter. Even a Michael Bay film is passing on important messages about our values and influencing viewers as to what they are. Be conscientious of that.


What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)

I don’t know if reeling is exactly the right word, but a YA novel that I thought had a very solid twist was the space opera Entangled, by Amy Rose Capetta (which I wrote a review of back in the day…). I thought the story did a good job of inverting some popular YA tropes in certain ways, and that leads to a nice twist towards the end.

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. I’m mostly catching up on books I already own, so I’m not sure how many new things I will pick up this year, but I will definitely be getting that one.

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?

There are a couple of answers here, but I think I’m gonna go with Leviathan. There don’t seem to be a ton of WWI stories, and to go straight to weird alternate reality diesel-punk WWI was pretty awesome and rather unique.

On a side note, if anyone answers The Hunger Games for this question, you’re wrong =P

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I’m cruel)?

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?”

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaption?

I’ll go with the Leviathan series again. I think there are some great candidates in this field, but I think Leviathan would make for a really fun and spirited adventure film and give directors the opportunity to put together some amazing visuals.


Section four of THA RULES indicates that I must tag other YA others, something I will comply with via social media. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed perusing my responses. And if you’re interested in reading some YA, please check out my fantasy series Nine Tails, a coming of age story inspired by Korean myths and folk tales.

Thanks for reading! See you next week.


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