YA Author Interview Questionnaire
Hi and welcome !
o Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a young adult author with two published books, and a ton of partials waiting to be finished. I’m also a wife and mother (of both human and cat children). When I’m not writing, I love to read, especially romances. I’ve been known to read some mysteries too though. And I love to watch Tim Burton movies.
o When did you start writing and were you always interested in being a published author?
I tried writing my first book in high school, even though I never finished it. It wasn’t until I finished my first novel, which happened to be an adult novel, that a friend encouraged me to submit my book to a publisher. I’d never even thought being a published author was in the realm of possibility for me.
o What do you think is or has been the hardest part of getting published?
Waiting. I’m very impatient and waiting has to be the hardest part for me. First, you wait to find out if your book is accepted. Then you wait for edits and cover art. Then you wait for your release date.
o What inspires you to write?
I get ideas from something as simple as a trip to the grocery store, or maybe I’ll see a movie and maybe the backstory on one of the characters will give me an idea.
o Do you plot out your stories or just wing it?
I just wing it. When I first start a book, I seldom know more than my characters’ names and the first sentence.
o What drew you to writing YA ? Would you or have you tried any different genre?
I like writing YA because it’s a challenge for me. I’ve written over 70 adult novels/novellas in various romance genres, but writing a sweet romance is
more challenging. My daughter is a teenager and one day she asked why I never wrote anything she could read. So I wrote a YA. She still doesn’t read my books though because she prefers dystopian stories.
o Can you tell us about your current release?
Battered Not Broken is about Wren Michaels. She’s suffered abuse at the hands of her father all her life, and when he throws her out of the house, she realizes it could be a blessing. When she starts over in a new town, she assumes the name of Wendy Somers, in hopes her father won’t find her. There’s one thing she knows she has to do above all else…avoid the law. Except that isn’t so easy when you’re falling head over heels for a man with a badge.
o Do you have a favorite scene in this book? If so, could you share an excerpt with us?
My favorite scene is when Wren (who’s going by Wendy at this point) and Gray meet for the first time.
My break came to an end, and I clocked back in and tied my apron around my waist again. I pulled out my pad and pen as I headed back into my section, pausing momentarily when I saw broad shoulders covered in khaki and knew one of the deputies was in my section. It seemed I was going to be baptized in fire tonight. Plastering a smile on my face, I approached the table. My jaw nearly dropped when I got a good look at the guy. I’d been expecting someone older, but he had to be around my age. As his green gaze clashed with mine, my breath caught in my throat.
His lips tipped up in a smile, and my heart gave a kick. I gave myself a mental slap and reminded myself that I needed to focus on my job and avoid the law, even if they came in tempting packages like this one. I licked my lips and tried to steady my hand as I gripped my pen.
“Are you ready to order?” I asked.
“Sweet tea with the special,” he answered. “I don’t believe we’ve met before. I’m Gray.”
I stared at the hand he held out before finally grasping it. He had a firm shake, and the callused feel of his palm against mine made shivers run down my spine. I had to admit, uniform aside, he was just the kind of guy I would normally go for. If it weren’t the fact that I was fairly certain I was breaking some sort of law, I might have been tempted to flirt a little. But the last thing I needed was a cop getting close to me. Cops asked questions, and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t like my answers.
“Wendy,” I said after realizing I never gave him my name.
“You must be new to the diner,” he said. “I come in here all the time, and I’ve never seen you before.”
“It’s my first day.”
He nodded. “I figured as much. I hope you decide to stick around.”
I opened and shut my mouth a few times. Was he flirting with me? “I, ah…”
Gray winked, and my knees nearly buckled. Hurrying away from his table, I turned in his order, glancing over my shoulder to find him still watching me. Something told me he was going to be trouble, but I wasn’t sure if it was the kind of trouble that would find me arrested or the kind that was going to arrest my heart. Either way, it was better to steer clear of him, if I could.
o Do you have any other stories in the works?
I have about 15 partials right now in various stages of completion. The one I’ve focused on lately is about a rock star, but I have football players, baseball players, the boy next door…lots of stories to choose from. I’m not sure which one will be finished next.
o How does your family feel about your writing?
They’re supportive, but hardly any of them read my books. Two of my aunts and my Nana will read anything I write. Then I have another aunt, a teen daughter, and a husband who will never read what I write, because I don’t write in their preferred genre.
o When you aren’t writing, what do you do for fun?
I do a lot of reading. Sometimes I’ll take a few days off and just read. Well, aside from taking care of my family, but when everyone else is occupied or asleep, I read.
by CHARITY WEST
40K, Evernight Teen Publishing
Who knew falling for a man in Khaki could cause so much trouble?
Battered and bruised, Wren has taken a lot from her father over the years, but when he throws her out of the house, she sees it as a blessing in disguise. She has no job, no home, and never finished high school, but what’s all that compared to a life without abuse? When she starts over in a new town, under a new identity, she makes it her goal to fly under the radar.
New town, new life. Only, there’s a corrupt deputy intent on stealing Deputy Gray Frampton’s family fortune, a slight case of aggravated identity fraud, and a night in the local jail. It’s enough to make any girl’s head spin. Wren Michaels has to find a way not to spend the next three years in jail, warn Gray that Deputy Pritchard is after him, and somehow hold onto the happily-ever-after that is finally within her grasp—assuming Gray wants a felon as his girlfriend. Who knew falling for a man in khaki could cause so much trouble?
Evernight Teen: http://goo.gl/yeFxAa
14+ due to violence and adult situations
The shadows crept closer as a deep cold settled into my bones. I cowered on the floor of my closet, hidden behind shoes and clothes, as I listened to the slap of flesh against flesh. He’d come home drunk again, even more so than usual, and he’d barely cleared the door before landing the first blow. It was cowardly of me to hide. I should stand up and fight—do something to make him stop. My phone was still clutched in my hand, and my heart pounded in my chest, the thump-thump loud in my ears. I knew I should call 9-1-1 and get help for Mom, but I also knew that even if they arrested him, they’d never keep him. Mom would give the cops some bullshit excuse as to why he was beating her, or say she fell, and then she’d refuse to press charges. If I thought things were bad now, they’d be even worse if he went to jail for the night. We’d lived through that horror once already, and once was more than enough. No one had to tell me my dad was an abusive asshole who thrived on being a bully. I’d experienced it firsthand.
My palms grew slick as I heard my mother’s whimpers and then booted steps coming down the hall. Was I going to be next? The footsteps grew louder, and I heard my bedroom door slam into the wall. I bit my lip to stifle my cry, hoping he wouldn’t find me. He shuffled around my room, his boots clomping and scraping the wood floor as he searched for me. When the closet doors were flung open, I squeezed myself as far into the corner as I could, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
An iron grip closed around my arm, his fingers biting into my skin, as he jerked me out of the closet. I stumbled and fell to my knees at his feet, bracing myself for what would happen next. My head was wrenched back, tears stinging in my eyes as he fisted my hair. There was such hatred in his gaze, such contempt, as if he couldn’t even stand to look at me. I’d always done everything he’d ever asked, and still it wasn’t enough. As far as my dad was concerned, I’d ruined his life, and he was going to make me pay for it until I was able to leave this place behind.
“Thought you could hide from me?” he slurred. “Stupid little bitch.”
The slap across my cheek made tears spill down my face, but I ground my teeth together so I wouldn’t make a sound. When he knew he was causing me pain, he seemed to enjoy it more, and I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. He pulled hard until I was standing upright, my hair still clutched in his fist, and then he punched me in the stomach. I folded at the waist, gasping for breath as stars danced in my vision and bile rose in my throat.
“Worthless. That’s what you are.” He kicked out and knocked me to my knees again. “You should be groveling, thanking me for your life. If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be here, you ungrateful shit.”
Yes, because thanking him for the abuse he heaped on me day after day, thanking him for all the hurtful names I’d been called, thanking him for the days I’d had to skip school because I couldn’t hide the bruises—that was exactly what I wanted to do. One day, he would get what was coming to him. I didn’t know how or who would do it, but I knew someday he’d piss off the wrong person and they’d beat his ass until he cried like a baby. And I hoped like hell I was there to see it. I’d kick back with some popcorn and enjoy the show. I hated him. Hated him.
“You think I don’t see the way you look at me?” he demanded. “Well, I’m tired of it. I’m finished with you. My life was better before your mother got knocked up. Ever since she popped you out, you’ve been nothing but a financial drain. Not anymore. You have five minutes to pack your shit and get the fuck out of my house. And if I ever see you again, I’ll make you wish you were never born.”
Like I didn’t already wish that every day of my life. I should thank him for offering me freedom, even if I had nowhere to go. Anything was better than staying here. Plenty of people lived on the streets, so there wasn’t any reason I couldn’t do it, too. It just meant I’d have to find a way to get my GED sooner rather than later. Dropping out of high school hadn’t been the best decision in the world, but when Dad had broken my arm, Mom had thought it would be better than facing questions we couldn’t answer.
He stomped out of the room, and I heard his bedroom door slam. After grabbing a bag out of my closet, I shoved several outfits, underthings, and socks into it. I snatched my toothbrush and hairbrush out of the bathroom and crammed them in there, too. As an afterthought, I grabbed the travel pouch from under the sink that had shampoo, soap, and a razor tucked inside. I didn’t know where I would go to shower, or where I was going to sleep tonight, but I would figure it out. Maybe Mom would let me come home to bathe while Dad was at work a few times a week. Plus, it would give me a chance to check on her.
I zipped up my bag and then grabbed my backpack and purse off the bed. With my keys clutched tight, I walked out of the only home I’d ever known. Mom didn’t say a word as I passed her, and she didn’t try to stop me. Maybe she figured I was better off living anywhere but at home, and she may have been right.
About the Author:
Charity West is a young adult romance author who has always had her head in the clouds. She had her first crush when she was four, and it lasted for six years. Then she quickly fell head over heels for another boy, until she had to move away and leave him behind. Jumping from one boy to another, she finally found a keeper when she was twenty, and she’s been married to him ever since.
By the time Charity was twelve, she was sneaking her mother’s Harlequin romances and reading them in secret when she was supposed to be asleep. Teased throughout middle school and high school for the bodice ripper covers on the books she openly read in class, she knew that one day she wanted to write her own happily-ever-afters.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Writer_Charity
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CharityWestAuthor
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Charity-West/e/B01BTUV3AA/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
$10 Evernight Teen GC