Get to know more of the wonderful authors that are going to be signing at YA Fest in October 2015.

Alison Ashley Formento

Author of Twigs.


YA Fest: Favorite YA authors? Illustrators you admire?
Alison Ashley Formento: My list could fill a page, but I’ll edit to name only a few of my current fav YA authors: Nova Ren Suma, Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, Jesse Andrews.
YA Fest: Favorite YA books from the past year (2014/2015)?
Alison: This varies from month to month, but a YA book that sticks with me for its powerful story is All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry and, though it’s a bit older, than 2014, I truly loved the voice, humor, and story of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
YA Fest: How/why did you start writing?
Alison: The diary keeping began with a diary with a lock and key when I was still in elementary school, but it was a my high school debate and drama teacher who encouraged writing in all forms. We had to keep character journals if we were in a play and that is a great way to develop voice and learn the inner life of the person you are portraying. It’s equally important to bringing that character to life in a novel.
YA Fest: One piece of advice for young writers?
Alison: I lead a lot of writing workshops for students and educators and a popular question is “How do I finish a book?” Most authors I know never feel completely finished with a project even when it’s in book form. Admire J.K. Rowling (we all do), but don’t jump in with a plan to write a seven book series. Sit down and write your words, whether it’s a one page story or a ten page paper for class. Commit to your voice and your writing style. If you’re inspired with an idea and writing from your heart, the words will flow.
YA Fest: What are you currently working on?  (Give us your elevator pitch!)
Alison: What if your name really isn’t yours? High school life turns roller coaster wild when Dani discovers her mom is in witness protection and her name is fake—their whole lives are a lie. A tyrant killer is on the move and the FBI says ‘run!’ But what if Dani decides to stay put and fight?
YA Fest: Are your characters/stories inspired by real people/events?
Alison: I’m often intrigued by real life news. Recently there was a story on 60 Minutes about a Russian spy in America who kept the secret from his American wife and kids for nearly twenty years. The news interview was from the spy’s perspective, but I needed to know how the kids reacted when they found out he’d been lying to them for their whole lives.

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