Voices of YA Tag!

First of all, it’s great to be back! My elbow is healing nicely. I’m out of the sling. Still a touch of pain but I can type a little at a time. I was tagged a few weeks back in a Voices of YA blog and that seems like the perfect way to ease back in! Let’s do this!
Thank you, Vanessa Scott for tagging me! And big thanks to Caitlin Lambert for creating the Voices of YA tag!!

Here are the rules!

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Link to the original creator
  • Answer the ten questions
  • Tag at LEAST TWO other YA writers/bloggers


What Draws You To YA?

I love the whole idea of the teen years. It’s a time for figuring out who you are and asking yourself big questions. Of course, we continue to do this throughout our lives but each time we have more experience to lean on when we look for our answers. Teens don’t have that advantage and I believe that is why everything seems so life and death for them. Will this be the only chance I have at love? Will this test ruin my chances at a future? Will people every accept me for who I am? Who the heck am I?!

As a storyteller, this just makes the stakes in a story so much higher! And that is exciting for me.

Describe Your Writing Structure. Do You Like Outlines and Structure or Just Seeing Where the Story Takes You?

I’m really big on outlines! I love the book SAVE THE CAT. Blake Snyder (RIP) had a lot to say about structure and how it can guide your story. Particularly how it can save you from being stuck at the end of act 2! I love researching and I really get into the back story. I think the more you know about your characters, even if certain details never make it into the story, the more alive and whole your characters are.

That said, I do sometimes just feel an idea and start writing. That can be some of my deeper work because I just let it flow from my heart. But it eventually finds its way into an outline.

How Long Have You Been Writing? Where Are You In Your Journey?

I’ve been writing off and on for about a decade. I tend to get into a great rhythm and then suffer a physical setback (like my recent broken elbow), or a mental one in relation to my severe PTSD.

I have taken a lot of classes. I’m a huge believer in seminars, online classes, networking, and anything else that promises to make me better.  I’ve taken classes from numerous people. I’m going to France next April for the Rocaberti Writer’s Retreat, where I will be mentored by an Oscar-winning writer! Needless to say, I don’t want to let her down, or my mentor! It is my hope to have my current novel THE ANOMALOUS ADVENTURES OF JAMES AND MAX as ready as my knowledge will allow for France. The hope, of course, is that then I will be able to get the book (a four part series) published in the next year.

What Do You Need To Write? Coffee? Music?

I used to be addicted to Diet Coke and couldn’t write without a vat of it at my fingertips. I’m trying to live healthier so I’m constantly pushing water while I write. I do love the La Croix flavored waters as well. Music can sometimes inspire me and other times it’s a total distraction. Normally, I just want silence and the house to myself!

If You Could Offer Advice To Another Writer (Other Than Don’t Give Up!) What Would It Be?

I would say to take classes on writing, on pitching. Especially on pitching. There is nothing worse than when someone asks me about my story and I take far more time than they want for me to explain what it’s about. I really recommend working with Kathie Fong Yoneda, author of THE SCRIPT SELLING GAME. She works with writers from all walks of life and really teaches you how to come out of your writer shell!


What Book Still Has You Reeling From Its Plot Twist (No Spoilers Please)?

Definitely ENDER’S GAME. I did not see the end coming the first time around!

What Books Are You Most Anticipating This Year?

The number one book I was looking forward to this year would have to be ALICE: THE WANDERLAND CHRONICLES by J.M. Sullivan.  It’s a take on the old Alice but with zombies! I’m not usually a zombie fan but I just started reading her book and can’t put it down. It’s a lot of fun!

In Your Opinion, Which YA Book/Series Has The Most Unique Premise?

I have to say THE HUNGER GAMES. I know a lot of people wrote off parts of it because they saw it as just another “love triangle” book for teens. But that isn’t how I saw the situation at all. In fact, it comes back to my first answer about what I love about YA. Here is a girl dealing with her first kiss, but not somewhere private, on national television and with her life and his depending on how realistic the kiss is!

She is not only faced with the ravages and horrors of war but has to go through all these moments that should be personal and introspective with the world watching and knowing that her choices will not just touch her and the person she interacts with, but the entire world. How is that for a unique premise?

What Is Your Favorite Quote From YA Lit (I know, I’m cruel)?

Easily the quote the has struck me the most is

Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” from Harry Potter.

Just because someone has different politics, religion, lifestyle, etc. from me, doesn’t make them inherently evil. There are many shades of gray that separate everyone. And I think this quote sums that idea up beautifully.

What Book Do You Most Hope Will Have A Movie Adaptation?

Hmm, that’s tricky, because I think all books should have movie adaptations! Some people just won’t read the books and some people will always be disappointed with the movies, but the more platforms we use to tell stories to the world the more we will change the conversation and change the world itself!

This conculdes my first interview with myself! Ha! I hope it was interesting for you! Thoughts on what I talked about? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

As for tagging two YA Bloggers/Authors, I would have to go with Dianna L. Gunn and J.M. Sullivan!


  1. […] couple weeks ago the lovely Amy Laurel tagged me for the #VoicesofYA prompt, a way for YA writers to share a little bit of ourselves […]

    June 26, 2017
  2. Dianna Gunn said:

    What a great tag! I also think people don’t give The Hunger Games nearly as much credit as it deserves, though I’m hesitant to say it’s the MOST unique YA premise… Will have to think about this before I answer mine!

    June 12, 2017
    • Amy Laurel said:

      It’s a hard question, right?! Thanks for your comments! I’m looking forward to your post!

      June 12, 2017
  3. Thank you for participating, Amy! The plot twist in Ender’s Game was incredible… I didn’t even think of that one! 🙂 That is so exciting that you are going to France! And you are spot on about pitches which run over. I am working on making my verbal one less rambling 😀

    June 12, 2017
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Thanks for tagging me Caitlin! This was really a lot of fun!

      June 12, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *