Friday, August 17, 2018

Weekly Author Fridays featuring Cheyanne Young - Author Interview + GIVEAWAY

Today, not only do I have an Author Interview featuring Cheyanne Young but I am also excited to share with you guys a GIVEAWAY so be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for more info on how to enter!

About Cheyanne
Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults.

What made you start writing? 
I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this… but the first time I officially started writing was after reading a piece of bad Harry Potter fanfiction. I was about 19 years old. I immediately knew I wanted to write something better, so I did. I only shared it with my very small group of HP fanatics on a small, obscure message board I was a member of. It was awful, but my friends loved it and encouraged me to write more. Before long, I was daydreaming about writing my own original story, and shortly after, I did.

How long have you been writing? 
13 years! Holy crap! That’s a long time.

Can you tell us a little about your book? 
The Last Wish of Sasha Cade is about a girl whose best friend has just died of cancer. Shortly after, she starts getting letters from her dead best friend Sasha, asking her to carry out a special mission with a very cute guy who happens to look a lot like the Sasha. There is kissing. And crying. And a magical fairy adventure in a hotel.

How did you get the idea for writing The Last Wish of Sasha Cade? Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 
I remember how I got the idea for this book very clearly… and it’s not really that amazing but here it is: I was pacing back and forth in my living room trying to come up with a plot for my book idea of writing about two best friends. I said I wanted to write about friends who would never hurt each other because they were loyal and very close. My daughter, who inherited my sarcasm, said, “Knowing you, Mom, you’ll just kill one of them.” And I said, “That’s not a bad idea.” So Sasha had to die. And the rest of the plot came together pretty quickly after that.

As far as real life inspirations go, I based a lot of Raquel and Sasha’s friendship on my own friendship with my BFF of 24 years. Many of the inside jokes, memories, and special moments are inspired from our own adventures. (love you, Felicia!)

Who is your favorite character in the book and why? Or, which character was the most fun to write and why?
Hands down. She is my favorite and she was the most fun to write, which is ironic because she is dead before the book even starts. Yet, even my agent and editor agreed that she feels like the heart and soul of the book, even though we’re only seeing her through letters and memories. Sasha is the kind of person I aspire to be.

If you could meet any characters in your book, who would it be and why? 
Can I say Elijah just because he’s so swoony? 

How long did it take for you to finish writing the book? 
I wrote the draft in 27 days. I edited it in 3 days. I queried it the next day and got 3 offers of representation within a week. That is the story of how 11 years of writing and rejection finally led to something happening quickly. 

What was the hardest part of writing? 
Self doubt. For me, it’s so easy to sit on my bike desk and blast out 5000 words at a time. But when the initial writing is done, I’m stuck comparing it to every other amazing book I’ve ever read and feeling like I don’t measure up. And it’s stupid to think that, and I fully believe that you shouldn’t compare your first drafts with another author’s final manuscript but… it happens anyway. The kind of crippling self doubt that happens after writing makes it very hard to edit and to have any kind of faith in yourself. This is why I recommend having several great critique partners and writer friends who know what it’s like and who will pull you out of the dark places and bring you back to the light. 

Why did you choose to write YA novels? 
I was a teen mom. I grew up very quickly because of it, and now that I’m in my thirties, I still feel like I never quite got out of being a teenager in my own mind. It’s like my whole life paused when I became a mom, and I write YA books as a way to go back to that place in time that I had to leave behind too quickly. I don’t think I’ll ever write anything else. YA is the best! 

What’s the next step in your writing career? 
Honestly, I’m winging it. I’ve got a great agent and a huge desire to succeed as an author, so I’m going to keep writing and keep working and hope for that next book deal because writing is the kind of all consuming passion that never leaves you.

Now, onto the GIVEAWAY!  I am pleased to announce that this GIVEAWAY is open INTERNATIONALLY and there will be 5 winners!  Just click on the image to enter the giveaway, or alternatively, click on the link below the image!



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