Tiny Talk Tuesday With . . . Lynne Kelly

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I’ve had the honor to sit beside Lynne during our monthly meetings with SCBWI Houston group. She’s a sweetheart and an outstanding writer. Lynne says she usually works on only one project at a time, and when she gets a new idea she writes it down for later. One day, during a walk on the beach, a character sort of “showed up” and she heard her voice so well, she had to set aside what she’d been working on so she could write down her story. She’s having fun writing about her new a character that’s been incorporated in a middle-grade mystery with lost pirate treasure and hurricanes.Chained cover hi-res

Her first novel, CHAINED, published in 2012 has been a sensation. The story is about a boy and an elephant who have a friendship stronger than any lock, shackle, or chain. It won the Crystal Kite Award and South Asia Book Award Honor. It’s also on several state book award lists. It’s now available in Indian, French and Japanese.

I can’t wait to see what Lynne has coming out next. And now for our “tiny” talk interview.

ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve . . .

LYNNE: Playing with my dog,​hanging out with my daughter, ​reading a good book, and writing a good book.

ME: If you took your street name and the name of your first pet (or visa versa), what would your nickname be?

​LYNNE: Spike Gosling, which sounds like a bad boy older brother of Ryan.

ME: A good character for a novel.

ME: Tell us in five words that describes you as a writer. 

​LYNNE: Scattered, still learning and growing.

ME: At least now I’m not the only one, lol.

ME: Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?

​LYNNE: A pantser who’s found I need to have somewhat of a plot worked out so I don’t get lost.​

ME: If you could sit and have a drink/coffee with a famous author who would it be and why?

LYNNE: JK Rowling, in hopes that I could absorb some of her genius.​

Thanks, Lynne, so much for participating. I can’t wait to see this middle grade novel! I’m just guessing, but maybe another Crystal Kite winner coming soon?

Tiny Talk Thursday with . . .(wait for it). . .Jay Asher!

My apologies to all for not getting Tuesdays post in. I was celebrating my big 5-0. I’m starting the New Year off with a bang with Jay Asher. I’m a lucky girl. The person to hook me on Jay was my teenage daughter. She feel in love with his book Thirteen Reasons Why and said, “Mom, you got to read this one.” Now I’m hooked. I met Jay at the LA SCBWI conference last August. His presentation was amazing.

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Jay Asher,  has published two books to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, where Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of seven audio tapes mailed to a classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. This novel was a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel.

He has written several picture books and middle school humor novels. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. jay book

So today I share my “tiny” interview with one of my favorite authors.


 ME: tell us something that has been in the vault. Something hardly anyone knows about you.

 JAY: I’m shy and very much an introvert. I speak a lot as an author, and I do enjoy myself once I begin speaking, so people assume I’m very outgoing and an extrovert. That’s me acting as a professional author. Whenever my friends see me speak, they know that’s not the real me up there and are shocked. What people don’t see are the thoughts in my head leading up to a speaking engagement, looking for anything to stop it from happening. “A flat tire! They couldn’t blame me if I got a flat tire!”

Me: Boy, I would’ve never pegged you as an introvert.

ME: How do you want to be remembered?

JAY: If my son, who turns four in December, remembers me as a great father, I’ll feel like my life has been very successful.

ME: I love that.

ME:  If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?

JAY: It would be this boy from a middle-grade book I wrote but never sold (but one day, maybe…). His name is Adam Kinski and he’s in fourth grade. After school, he has to put on a cow costume and pass out candy to people walking by a candy shop in the mall. He and I share a lot of the same insecurities, so it’d be like hanging out with my younger self, which could be interesting. As far as published books, I think Tyson from THE FUTURE OF US would be hilarious to hang out with.

 ME: What genre have you not written in, but would love to try?

 JAY: I have an idea for a scary YA novel that I eventually want to tackle, and I will. I’m just waiting on a twist that’ll make it even scarier.

ME: I’d buy it. I love horror/suspense.

ME: Who influenced your writing career/passion?

JAY: Any of the authors who wrote the books I loved in elementary school were the people who lit my reading passion: Betty Miles, Patrick Skene Katling, Katherine Paterson, Bertrand R. Brinley. My parents let me drag them to the library to fill up on books, and then let me sit for hours reading in the living room without interruption. My school librarian at Highland Oaks Elementary, I considered her a friend. I still remember standing beside her desk talking about books during lunch.

ME: Sound like fond memories. It definitely paid off.

Thanks so much, Jay for letting me do my tiny interview with you. It was an honor. My teenage daughter thinks I’m cool now to have connections with her favorite author. I wish you many more successes that are sure to come. Now get on that scary story. I want to read it!