What has drawn you to writing for the YA market?
First of all, I love to read YA! Then, I began to run out of books I felt 'safe' reading. I'm a sensitive soul. Even though I love to read, images in books will stay with me for months or even years after I put the book down. I wanted to write something I felt safe reading, and enjoyed reading, so I write for the YA market. I love how there is a huge suspension of disbelief in this genre. I love to immerse myself into worlds far different from my own little sphere of reality.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I'm the queen of quirky. Or at least the princess. I took my daughter to a book signing and ended up reading Frog and Toad to her instead of engaging any potential readers. Fun, but quirky. And not recommended!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was six, I wrote my first story, “Timmy the Flying Turtle.” I had so much joy writing it, I knew this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love the classics. LOVE THEM!!! Every time I go to a used book store, I try to find a copy of a classic I don't have yet. Russian novels are my favorite, as well as French novels. My favorites of the classics are The Brothers Karamazov, The Count of Monte Cristo, or Les Miserables. Then again, I never laughed so hard reading a book as I did reading Don Quixote.
When it comes to YA, I love G.P. Taylor's books, from Shadowmancer to Mariah Mundy. Eoin Coffer's series about Artemis Fowl is absolutely brilliant! I like most of the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. The Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter are just plain fun.
I've read almost everything C.S. Lewis wrote. Some of his books I've read so many times I can quote them from memory. My very favorite novel ever is one of his: Till We Have Faces.
All the rest of the books I read are for scholarly research—history, physics, biblical commentary, etc.
And then, of course, there's Frog and Toad!
What other books have you written?
Well, that's top secret! ;)
Okay, I'll let you know, but don't tell anyone else. Got it? ;)
After “Timmy the Flying Turtle,” I wrote about sixteen half-novels. When I was 15, I discovered plays. I wrote a five act play, as well as numerous shorter plays.
Since I returned to novels at the age of 22, I've written seven books, including a fantasy trilogy and a coming of age Contemporary Fiction. The first two books of the fantasy trilogy will be available this summer.
Once I finished writing my first novel, finishing became so exciting it spurred me to finish more. If you haven't finished writing a novel yet, I challenge you to do finish—it feel so good!
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My five year old daughter is run, run, run, but in all the best ways. If I make sure to stop running for me and play tag with her, my sanity returns quickly.
Since I'm a night owl, I settle into bed reading the word of God. His word, when I pray it back to Him, always turns me back peace and sanity. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Is. 26:3)
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
Finishing and self-publishing several novels.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I have a personal fondness for dolphins and orcas. I mean—to have sharks fear you! Also, I’d be able to swim, dive, eat tuna all day and have “play” as one of my main activities. Wait, I’m a mom, so I get to do that anyway J!
What is your favorite food?
Either pasta with garlic bread, or sushi. But since I can't eat too much wheat, sushi takes preeminence.
Is it hard to break into the YA market?
To break into any market takes both hard work and favor. I don't have that favor yet, but I'm working hard. Like with any market, it takes getting the book into the right hands, and if that person loves it, well, then you’re set.
What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
My advice? Write the very best you can, and then GIVE to others. Give to other writers. Give to readers who can't afford the book. Give to authors who write in the same genre. You will reap what you sow!
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
One of the reasons I wrote this book is to challenge myself to think about others even in the midst of difficulties.
Also, the issue of human trafficking is an awful plight in our day and age. I knew nothing about it for so long, but when I heard about it I needed to do something. I've given myself to two things: 1. write, 2. Pray—and pray fervently that the Lord would bring justice.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." ~Bishop Desmond Tutu~
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @precariousyatesPinterest: Precarious Yates
Thank you, Precarious, for spending this time with us.
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