Get to know some of our amazing authors.
Author of Allure, Conjure and the upcoming Illusion!
YA Fest: Favorite YA authors?
Lea Nolan: There are so many authors I admire it’s hard to chose just a few, but I’ll give it a shot. I am in absolute awe of Maggie Steifvater’s amazing prose. It takes me forever to read her work because I find myself lingering over her sentences, savoring her descriptions and how she’s turned a phrase. I love Katie McGarry’s books for their gritty realism, emotional depth, and humor. Another favorite of mine is Tera Lynn Childs who writes some great fantasy featuring butt-kicking girls.
YA Fest: Favorite YA books from the past year (2014/2015)?
Lea: Jennifer L. Armentrout’s DON’T LOOK BACK had me at the edge of my seat and Patty Blount’s SOME BOYS rocked my world with it’s power and intensity.
YA Fest: How/why did you start writing?
Lea: In a word: TWILIGHT. Yup, I’m one of the many women who was inspired to write after reading that book. I was in a job that was important, but no longer inspiring. Reading that novel, and the rest of the series, rekindled my love for reading fiction, and introduced me to the young adult genre. When I was a teen there really wasn’t such a thing as “YA”. Back then, when we outgrew middle grade books, and read the few that were targeted to teenagers, we moved on to writers like Stephen King and Anne Rice. When I understood how big and important the YA genre had become, and how essential teen-geared fiction could be for kids, I wanted to be a part of it.
YA Fest: One piece of advice for young writers?
Lea: Read, read, read. There’s no better way to learn to write than to read well-crafted books written by great writers and shaped by talented editors. Pay attention to how the book unfolds: how the characters evolve, how chapters begin and end, how the plot twists and turns to keep your attention. These are all things you’ll want to incorporate into your own writing.
YA Fest: What are you currently working on? (Give us your elevator pitch!)
Lea: It a gritty, upper YA story involving a girl with a troubled home life who’s so desperate to belong she makes some bad choices, and is then forced to confront them. I absolutely love this story and can’t wait for others to read it!
YA Fest: Are your characters/stories inspired by real people/events?
Lea: I don’t intentionally base my characters on real people, but sometimes elements of those I know do pop up. Sometimes I recognize them right away, other times I’m blind to it until my husband or someone else close to me points it out. Often my stories are inspired by a germ of something I’ve read in the news or learned somewhere along the way. That tiny germ takes holds in my brain and grows into something entirely of its own. For example, although the books in my Hoodoo Apprentice series take place in the present, the ancient curses that threaten Emma Guthrie and her friends were inspired by events that occurred in the south during the colonial period.