My Answers for the “I Write MG/YA” blog tag

Hi there, my name is Allison Rose.  It has been six months since I drank coffee.  Oh wait, wrong post for that.  At the age of ten, I decided I wanted to be a writer.  At this point in my life, I’m writing fiction as a hobby (and presumably factual information because my grades depend on it); I’ve churned out a nice handful of shorts and fanfictions, and I’m in the process of writing a new novel for young readers.

Who are your favorite authors, and do they influence your writing?

I have too many favorites to count, but off the top of my head, I want to give a shoutout to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Maryrose Wood, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Bronte sisters, Christopher Paolini, and Louisa May Alcott.  Just reading their books has influenced me as a writer in more ways than I can count.  For the most part, though, I just read their books in utter admiration and hope I’ll one day be as good.

Here are some awesome authors who have positively influenced my writerly self in ways I can concisely identify:

My good writing friends Michael Gunter, Claire Banschbach, and Rachael Ritchey have shown me that it’s possible to tell fantastic and relevant stories without selling out.

Michael Crichton inspires me to make sure I know what I’m writing about before I write it, and to not be afraid to use your life experiences to enhance a story.  Conversely, Edgar Rice Burroughs has reminded me that it’s also okay to make up stuff sometimes.  Like, if putting a lion in the jungle will make your story more interesting, even though everybody knows lions don’t live there, go on ahead!

Mildred W. Benson (the first Carolyn Keene ghostwriter, and author of her own independent series about a cool teenage detective, Penny Parker) inspires me to write what makes me happy, even if it’s not what’s “in” right now.

The writings of Christopher Paolini prove to me that young people can and should write books … and at all costs, turn down Hollywood if they’re interested in turning your book into a movie.  That never ends well. 😛

Why do you write?

I write in part to entertain myself.  Growing up, I was a picky eater who thought she could live on macaroni ‘n’ cheese alone, and scandalized many a hobbit with my distaste for mushrooms.  I’ve gotten over that (mushrooms are actually quite delicious), but I’m still just as picky when it comes to the books I read.  The older I get, the more stuff I find in books that makes me blush, so I like to write the stuff I wish I was reading.

Is writing something you (would) do for a living, or is it just a hobby?

I’ve actually been working part-time as a content writer for a few months, but it’s not something I would do for my day job.  I think writing for a job would take the fun out of it for me.  Besides, I have terrible bouts of writers’ block – no boss would want to put up with that!

Do you enjoy reading the same genres that you enjoy writing? Why or why not?

When it comes to reading, I love a good mystery, thriller, or adventure novel.  There’s always a mystery element in my stories, but otherwise, I would say my writing leans more towards comedy or contemporary fiction.  I don’t particularly enjoy reading those genres.

If you could use one GIF to describe your writerly self, what would it be?


How do you deal with writers’ block?

I let it run its course (the longest course has been two years), and live to tell about it afterwards.  The trick is not forcing oneself to write when their heart or mind isn’t in it.  That just makes the recovery period harder, I’ve found.

How do you feel about writing explicit content (e.g. “curse words” or suggestive content) in books for young people? Why?

I’ve read books for children where the authors seemed to be throwing in some pretty sick stuff just for shock value.  Undeniably, the world has a cruel, ugly side to it, but I don’t think that it’s my duty or responsibility as an author of children’s books to be showing that part of it to my readers, who may not yet know about it.  I’ll leave that to their parents or guardians.  For me, reading often provides an escape from the pressures and pains of reality; so why would I want to subject anyone else to more of that in a book?

Have you written books for adults before/after writing for young readers? What’s the transition between genres like?

Tbh, I can’t really answer this question because I’ve only written for kids, and for the most part, the only grownups who read what I write are my relatives … when I guilt them into it. 😛

What do you think of self-publishing versus traditional publishing? If you’ve only published traditionally, would you ever self-publish? And if you’re a self-published author, would you ever go the traditional route?

I think that self-publishing provides opportunities for authors who, for whatever reason, wouldn’t thrive in the traditional publishing system.  For example, that could be because their work is too deviant from societal norms … or because societal norms have become too deviant for their liking.

In my limited experiences submitting my writings, mostly to lit mags, they either ignore you completely, or insist you make all sorts of arbitrary changes before they’ll even consider printing it at all.  Also, I like being in full control of my work.  When you submit your writing to other entities, like magazines or journals, they often require you to sign over the rights should they ever print it.  And you aren’t allowed to post that piece anywhere else.  There are good reasons for all those restrictions, for sure, but it makes me uncomfortable.  My writing is mine, my own, my preciousssssssss….

One of these days, I think I’ll get brave and look into publishing traditionally. At this point in my life, though, I’m quite content self-publishing my stories, typos and all. 🙂

What’s one question you’ve been dying to ask other MG/YA writers?

All of the above! 😀 If you’re a writer of middle-grade or young-adult fiction, consider yourself tagged.  For more information, see last week’s post introducing the tag.

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