The YA genre is timeless and loved by many, no matter their age group. It has become a force of its own, creating new young bookworms everyday, capturing them with magical, even fantastical worlds and young voices telling their stories.
The books I read as a young adult are among the ones I love the most, filling me with sweet nostalgia whenever I stumble upon them. Reading as a child and in your teens is so important.
C. G. Drews, author of “A Thousand Perfect Notes,” thinks so too. In fact, she can’t stop reading. According to her stunning bookish blog Paper Fury, she reads around 200 books a year! I reached out to Drew to ask her about her life as a blogger, YA author and how she balances writing and reading on a daily basis.
What drew you to write YA novels? Why do you think the genre has such a special fan base that surpasses the age group it is geared towards?
I started writing as a teen myself so I was naturally drawn to writing Young Adult. Plus I love the agelessness of YA in that it can appeal to so many bookworms. It's a category that really champions a relatable voice, looks at the world from diverse perspectives, and tells magical and captivating stories.
What is your writing routine like for both your novels and your blog, Paper Fury? Do you have any special rituals or specific process?
For my blog, I'm pretty relaxed. I like to write 3 posts a week (usually on the weekend and Mondays and Tuesdays) and I'll write up book reviews and discussion posts and spend way too long taking pretty bookish photos. Haha!
For my books, I have a pretty intense routine which involves writing a very long outline (often up to 20,000 words in itself) and then setting aside a week to just write intensely and do little else. Once I get into the writing zone, I like to stay there!
Can you talk a little about how you got into blogging? What do you love most about it? What are some challenges that come with this type of content creation?
I always blame my oldest sister for getting me into blogging...she knew I loved writing and books and said, "Oh you should start a blog" (even though I had zero idea what that was) and, well, you know older sisters. You just do what you're told. ;) It took me a little while to get the hang of it and discover the bookish community but then WOW I loved that! Discussing books and making friends and expanding your perspective?! It's invaluable. And I'd say my chief challenges are coming up with fresh content and also finding time to fit everything in. (Can artists get a few more hours per day, please?!)
Can you share some of your favourite writing advice you have received from other writers? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I love the writing advice of "let yourself make mistakes and write badly". I am a perfectionist and it was slowly killing my creativity that I couldn't "get it right" the first time. But manuscripts are allowed to be messy and confused when you start. Allowing myself to write badly = then rewrite, honestly was the best thing. Also I love the saying "write the book you want to read" and I always focus on that.
I do recall writing (plagiarising?!) fairy tales when I was a little kid -- I'd do the illustrations and sign my name on the front while I told everyone I'd "invented them". Ha! So my writing origins definitely started young. (I promise I have better morals now.)
On your blog, it says you read 200+ books a year. That is amazing. How do you find the time to do that? Do you have a strategic way of choosing your next book?
Choosing my next reads is the bane of my life! I want to read everything, but all at once?! I also view reading as part of my job, so I make time for it.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan was was amazing and also threw me off a cliff with that ending. And after this I hope to start Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco.
Are you working on a new project? Is fiction your favorite genre to write? If so, why?
Since it's NaNoWriMo, I hope to start a new (secret!) manuscript soon and I'm very excited about this. I definitely only want to write fiction for sure. I prefer crafting made-up worlds.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Blog in a way that makes you happy! Don't feel pressured to do what everyone else is, or worry that you have to spend lots of money, or write posts that stress you out. Blog for you first. And be friendly! Reach out! Bloggers make great friends and finding your tribe makes everything 1000 x more fun.
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