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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Finding the Right Words: An Interview with YA Author Kayla Tirrell

What made you decide to write your first YA novel? Was there any particular author you read that made you think, I could write like that?
Honestly, it was one big leap of faith. I had a story I wanted to tell and just did it. There wasn't a particular author I thought I could write like, but I will say I admire others authors so much more now that I have published. I especially love Kasie West and Katie McGarry.
How long did it take you to write your book? How many rewrites did you do on it? 
Oh, this one is tough! My story started out in high school with one POV. It just wasn't working. Julian (the love interest) was so one dimensional and I hated it. 
I set the story down for about 6 months before picking it back up. I made the characters older, switched to a dual POV and ran with it. From that point, it was a matter of months.

Who helped you with the editing?
I had a couple friends beta read it and another friend edit it for me.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Creating a scene? Dialog? Tension, etc?
The ending! I love delving into the story. I struggle with knowing when to be done.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
My books are YA, but I was unsure if teens would relate to them. I was so encouraged when I started getting positive feedback from actual young adults! I've also had great responses from older readers. It's amazing!

We have all experienced rejection. Give me an example of how you learned to write past it.
I've had some negative reviews on Goodreads. It's part of the author gig, I suppose. I've worked very hard with book two to improve my craft. Also, I have learned to accept the fact I can't please everyone. 

What made you choose the indie route for publishing? What was the most challenging part about putting together the book?
I like the freedom I'm allowed by taking that route. I am releasing three books this year, which means less waiting time for readers. As a reader, I think that's huge! Also, I have mild language but clean romance. I think that can be a tough sell for publishers because it doesn't fit into a clear category.

I've also learned there's SO much involved behind the scenes. Writing is the easy part! Ha! 

What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner?
That I can do it. I was so afraid to try because I didn't go to school for writing. 

What is some of the best writing advice that you’ve received or could give?
This is along the same lines as my previous response, but don't let fear hold you back! 

What is the next book that will be coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
All The Things We Found is the second book in my series. In the first book, we follow Katie and Julian as they work through some difficult struggles. It's intense.

In the background of their story, we see a sweet relationship building between Gwen and Mitch. This is their story. They've been friends for years. Mitch wants more, while Gwen is really afraid to open up. It's been so fun to write! I've really fallen in love with them.

That’s it for today’s interview. If you want to learn more about Kayla’s writing, here are a few links to get you started.

All The Things We Lost on Amazon:  

All The Things We Found: Just Released!


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