I write young adult books. I've worked for daily newspapers in the U.S. and Canada for more than 15 years and have met both the underbelly of society and inspirational people who have wonderful stories.
Highlights of my career include covering a serial killer, meeting a future U.S. President and digging up financial dirt on school boards.
I read a lot of young adult books with some of my favorites being Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore, Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen, Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and many more. I know I'm forgetting many of the great books I've read.
I cannot write about the fab books without mentioning Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It's a pretty harsh story about a WWII prisoner of war so it's not for everyone. Despite it's depressing subject matter, I thought the story was very uplifting.
I wrote several different books before I started Evolution. I sat down one day and thought, which books do I love to read? Which ones am I waiting for, dying for? It came down to Harry Potter, Mortal Instruments and others like that. So, that's why I decided to tackle writing a paranormal YA book. Write what you love.
Interesting factoid: I pass all book recommendations to my retired 79-year-old father. He loves the Cashore books and recently bought Bitterblue. He reads what I write and is so kind in his comments. I also got him hooked on the George R.R. Martin Fire and Ice series. I don't mention this series as one of my favorites because some of the books are really weak, while a few are super strong. I guess you could say the same for Mortal Instruments. The first three books were excellent, while number four sucked and five was Ok but not as good as the originals.
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