Author Archives: kyraleighw

Writing Tips

Is everyone writing their little fingers off? Keep up the good work! Soon you’ll have a shiny new manuscript that will become a shiny new book! Check out my writing tips below to keep up the momentum.

1. Make yourself a solid playlist.
I know that a lot of writers need complete silence when they write, but I am not one of those writers. I need some background noise, and it can’t be TV, or children screaming, either. Before drafting a novel, I like to create a playlist on my spotify that I can turn on whenever I sit down to write.

2. Snack out.
Having snacks handy when you’re doing a writing marathon is a MUST. It’s also nice to reward yourself with a sweet treat.

3. Shut off the distractions.
Turn the WIFI off your laptop and set airplane mode on your cell phone. By doing that it will actually help get your brain prepare for distraction-free writing

4. Set a timer.
Ann Dee mentioned this in an earlier post. Someone gave me an hour glass last year for Christmas, and it’s been a godsend. Mine doesn’t do a full hour, but it’s still great to have.

5. Just do it. 
Writing can be difficult, but if you tell yourself that you can do it, that this is your passion, it makes it a lot easier.

If you have any writing tips, please share!


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Author Interview: Tiffany Pitcock

Tiffany Pitcock is a young writer from Benton, Ar. She studied English at Henderson State University, but has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Besides reading, she is a fan of cats, staying indoors, and TV dramas.

You just had an awesome book come out called JUST FRIENDS. Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? 
Just Friends is about two teens – quiet, introverted Jenny (who learned everything from TV and movies) and charismatic but troubled Chance (who learned what NOT to do by watching his parents). They pretend to be friends to get through a school project, and everyone ends up believing it, so they decide to keep the charade going despite growing feelings for one another.

I came up with the idea after losing my first boyfriend/best friend in high school. I hid away in teen movies and started to wonder what it was about friends to lovers that people liked and the potential dangers of that kind of relationship. You can lose the friendship, but what if the friendship was fake to begin with? Just Friends grew from there.

What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?
I’ve been writing since I can remember. At least since third grade (I even promised my then best friend that I’d dedicate my first book to her, which I did!). The first book series that made me fall in love with reading was The Mediator by Meg Cabot in fifth grade, and ever since then I’ve wanted to write for teens too. YA books helped me all through adolescence, and I wanted to try to do my part to help others too.

Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?
My journey into publishing was a lot different than others, I think. I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was eight. I finished my first manuscript when I was fourteen (it sucked) and wrote another one when I was sixteen (It really sucked!) and in my childhood naivety I tried (and failed) to acquire an agent with it. I didn’t write another thing until I was nineteen when I finished the first draft of Just Friends for a creative writing course. Swoon Reads – Macmillan’s crowd sourcing imprint – launched soon after and I submitted it on a whim and promptly forgot about it. A year later, they reached out to me, and the rest is history. So, in a way, it took my entire lifetime, but I also realize how lucky I am to have had such a stress-free time with it.

What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?
Write. Just write. It’ll be hard, and some days you’ll feel like lighting your manuscript on fire, but you have to keep going. Writers write, end of story.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Eating. And painting, and binging tv, and going on walks.

What are you working on now?
A few things, mostly half started WiPs. Every time I start getting serious about something, a new idea shows up.

Where can we find out more about you and your upcoming book?
You can find out more about Just Friends on the Swoon Reads website here:
Or on Goodreads here:












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Writers Block?

I’m in the middle of drafting a novel, and I think I may have caught the writers block bug. The only real cure for me is reading (and writing). But the last few days that hasn’t seemed to help.

I know that my mom doesn’t believe in writers block, and mostly I think it’s a self inflicted illness anyway. But for those who DO experience it, what do you do? How do you cope/cure?
Does having a writers group help? Does reading help? Does lying in bed and watching 4 episodes of Master Chef in a row help?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

In the meantime, I am going to join Ann Dee with the august writing challenge. Believe it or not, I already have the hourglass timer! (I would highly suggest you invest in one. They are awesome)
One hour a day keeps the writers block away…right?

To prepare myself, I am going to make a rule where I can’t socialize on the media and I’m not allowed to watch  my stories (master chef) until after my 1 hour of writing.

Ready to get cured!

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Checking up…

As some of you may know, Carol went to the hospital last week.  She’s been pretty sick, which is why she hasn’t posted on the blog the last few days.

Just letting everyone know she’s doing much better now and should be up and running within the next few days.

If you have any writing prompts, advice, book recommendations, or anything else you may want to add, go ahead and leave a comment.



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Author Interview: McCall Hoyle


McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

You have an awesome new book coming out this year called The Thing With Feathers Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? When is it released?
The Thing with Feathers is the story of sixteen-year-old Emilie Day, an epileptic teen leaving her safe, homeschooled life for high school on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For the first time, Emilie must navigate classes, cliques, and crushes, all the while keeping her epilepsy a secret.

The idea for this book really started with the coolest dog in the universe—a golden retriever named Chip. He was bred to be an assistant dog and spent the first weeks of his life being conditioned along with dogs that would grow up to be assistants. In a weird twist of fate, he ended up with my family. I became fascinated by these beautiful, kind-hearted, devoted, dogs that would literally risk their lives for their humans’. I wanted to explore this bond between handler and dog, and Emilie and Hitch were born followed by a swoon-worthy love interest and a swoon-worthy setting.
The Thing with Feathers releases September 5, 2017 from Blink/HarperCollins.

What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?
I currently teach high school but taught middle school for many years. I’m inspired daily by the teenage girls who I teach. They’re witty and smart and strong and beautiful but don’t always see themselves that way. I wanted to write a story about a girl who is forced to choose between defining herself on her own terms and defining herself by society’s terms. I hope readers will find themselves rooting for Emilie the way I root for the girls in my life.

What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?
Write. Write. Write. Don’t become obsessed with thinking about writing, reading about writing, and taking classes about writing. All of those things are wonderful, but nothing takes the place of the actual writing and the productive struggling and learning that comes from drafting and revising and drafting and revising.

Then celebrate *every* success—the first time you finish a manuscript, the first time you query an agent, your first rejection. Celebrate everything! All those little “failures” are required stepping stones on the path to success.

Everyone writes about people they know. Who shows up in your books over and over?
Oddly, it’s the animals I’ve known and loved that keep making their way into my work. I’ve already mentioned Chip, the dog of my heart. In the book I’m currently working on, the wild ponies that fascinated me on the Outer Banks of North Carolina have made their way to the page and keep reappearing, and a super, cool, three-and-a-half legged cat named Jim who adopted my family and refused to be un-adopted demands to be included in my current story.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I love running with my teacher friends. It’s more of a really sad, slow jog that we call “slogging”. But hey, we’re on our feet and moving. And we pretty much solve all of the problems of the world while we’re out there. No one really listens to us, but we know we have the answers. 

And of course, I read voraciously—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult, picture books, the American Literature I teach, cereal boxes. You name it. I read it.

Where can we find out more about you and your upcoming book?
Instagram: McCallHoyleBooks
Twitter: @McCallHoyle



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Author Interview: Patricia Bailey


Patricia Bailey grew up in a small town in Oregon. She now lives in a slightly larger town in Oregon with her husband and three cats. She spends her time exploring forgotten places, hiking mountain trails, and scribbling story ideas on sticky notes.

You just had an awesome new book come out this year called THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN.  

Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea?

Thirteen-year-old Kit Donovan is sure she’s to blame when her mother dies of a fever. Guilt-ridden, she’s determined to honor her promises to her mother – namely to be a “proper lady.” Only being a lady in Goldfield, Nevada is tougher than it looks. When Kit convinces Papa to speak out about the dangers in a local gold mine, she learns that sometimes doing the right thing leads to trouble. Now Kit must find a way to expose the misdeeds before it’s too late. Unexpectedly, she finds help from a gruff neighbor, a Shoshone boy, and a newspaperman, and she puts her big mouth and all the life skills she’s learned from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to work. With a man’s hat and a printing press, Kit defies threats of violence and discovers that justice doesn’t always look like she imagined it would. Neither does being a lady.

I came up with the idea after chatting with the owner of a rock/antique shop in Goldfield, Nevada, a small town on US Route 95 between Reno and Las Vegas. He filled me in on the history of the town and the interesting people who had lived there when it was booming. So many things happened there in such a short time, I just couldn’t let the place go. When the character of Kit came to me, I knew I had to make it the setting for her book.

What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?

I always enjoyed writing, and, as a teacher, I wrote with my students all the time. At some point I started submitting my short stories to journals and magazines. Then one November I decided to give Nanowrimo a try and discovered that all the stories that came to me were children’s books – which was lucky since I really enjoy writing from a young person’s point of view.
The voices are always clear and rich; the struggles are real and meaningful; and in the end there is always a glimmer of hope. Plus, there’s usually not much kissing – because I’m really terrible at writing kissing scenes.

Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?

Getting published took my whole life up until now, really – but also just under two years in the case of this book – which is hardly no time at all in the publishing world. I met my agent at a conference in May 2015 and we submitted the novel in September. I signed the contract with Albert Whitman & Company in March 2016, and the book came out in April 2017. Whirlwind, right? Of course that was after years of writing and studying and revising and rewriting – over and over again.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

When I’m not writing I’m usually trying to shoo the cats off my keyboard or off the book I’m reading. On a good day I’m wandering the countryside like some sort of modern-day Charles Dickens dictating ideas into my phone. I also like to hike and take road trips as long as there’s time to stop and check out the sites.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a Middle Grade contemporary novel set in the Pacific Northwest. I’m also researching a historical novel that will take place near the small Oregon town I grew up in.

Where can we find out more about you and your book?

You can find me at:





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I’ve been off the blog for the last few months. I’ve been very busy working on WIFYR, Re-writes, reading, etc.
Now that WIFYR is over I can focus my attention on this wonderful blog again.
I’m going to go back to posting some of those awesome debut author interviews, as well maybe some writing prompts, and a couple book reviews.
For those of you who went to WIFYR this year, I hope you’re all back on the writing train and getting stuff done. I have to say, it was probably the best year yet.
If you attended, please share your memories in the comments below. Or just email me privately.
Big shout out to my amazing motherdear, Carol Lynch Williams. She always puts on a good conference, and she’s very inspiring. I hope one day I can be just like her.
To sign off, here are a list of books I’ve been reading and or read in the last few weeks. I think they are worth a read, or at least a glance. Very good writing and awesome storytelling.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Strunk Jr.
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis




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