Get to know the amazing authors attending our Fest in October!
Author of Thicker than Water; Just Like the Movies; and Taste Test!
YA Fest: Favorite YA authors?
Kelly Fiore: I’m a huge fan of A.S. King, R.A. Nelson, Justine Larbeleister, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Carrie Arcos.
YA Fest: Favorite YA books from the past year (2014/2015)?
Kelly: I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson; EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon; MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera
YA Fest: How/why did you start writing?
Kelly: I’ve been writing fiction for longer than I’ve been doing most things – I wrote my first story in the first grade newsletter (it was called THE PEACH TOOTH.) After receiving my MFA in Poetry, I didn’t think about writing fiction for years – it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to give it a shot. My first attempt wasn’t great, but I found my niche in YA.
YA Fest: One piece of advice for young writers?
Kelly: Read. A lot. Every day. Then consider what it is about those books that you love in terms of their writing. Use the best writers and best books as your master class. (That’s probably more than one piece of advice…) J
YA Fest: What are you currently working on? (Give us your elevator pitch!)
Kelly: HOMEGROWN, which is my second book with Harper Teen. In HOMEGROWN, 17 year-old botany buff Dylan Thomas spends her days being homeschooled in her grandmother’s Grand Rapids mansion and her nights raising plants in her father’s medical marijuana dispensary. After meeting Noah, a teenage epileptic who relies on cannabis to survive, Dylan decides to reach out to other patients as part of a research project. But when the Grand Rapids city council threatens to shut her father’s operation down, Dylan transitions from introverted student to determined activist, compelled to prove the vital need for medical marijuana in the lives of the patients she’s come to know.
YA Fest: Are your characters/stories inspired by real people/events?
Kelly: To an extent. For example, one of my best friends is an epileptic, so I’ve talked to him quite a bit about his experiences when writing a character with epilepsy for HOMEGROWN. I do subscribe to the “write what you know” theory – the more familiar I am with a subject or topic, the better I think my story will be.