Cheyanne’s young adult book was one of those unputdownable submissions that I knew I just had to represent when I first read it last summer. So it was no surprise when Kate Egan, Editorial Director of KCP Loft, told me that she too read the book in one sitting and was eager to publish this book. I’m so excited for The Last Wish of Sasha Cade to go out into the world next year!
In celebration of her book deal, I’ve asked Cheyanne to introduce herself on the BookEnds blog today and tell us a little about her writing experiences.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I spend a week or two plotting out a new novel idea and brainstorming it constantly. When I’m driving, when I’m cooking, when I’m doing anything—I’m daydreaming about this new book idea nonstop. That way by the time I start writing it, it’s almost as if I’m just transcribing something that’s already happened through hours of daydreaming on my part.
It only takes me about 30 days to draft a novel, and I do it while pedaling on a stationary bike desk. It may sound weird, but nothing helps me focus more than being stuck on a bike! I write one to two chapters a day and then spend a few hours editing over each chapter before moving onto the next one. It’s a process, but it means less revisions after the book is written.
What do you love about writing Young Adult?
Absolutely everything. I’m in my thirties now, but it often feels like I’ve never matured past high school age. I don’t think I could write a book about adults if I wanted to (which I don’t) because adults are boring. Teens have their whole life ahead of them and they haven’t yet become jaded over paying bills, going to work every day, cleaning up the house, etc. They’re motivated and think with their heart. Teens see the world differently than adults do. They get to experience first love, first heartbreak, and growing into the person they’re going to be. All of these things make me love the young adult genre, and there’s no other genre I’d rather read or write.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
My website is www.CheyanneYoung.com where I occasionally blog about books and writing. You can also find me active on Twitter @NormalChey and on Instagram at NormalChey. Beware: I post lots of photos of my dog.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
It’s simple, but it’s the best: Read widely. Read in every genre. Read books you think you’ll love and books you think you won’t. Reading makes you a better writer because you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ll subconsciously pick up on ways to make your own writing better. Other than having a decent grasp on grammar, reading is your best friend.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
I don’t usually listen to music while writing (or I’ll just start singing and dancing and not get any work done) but I do have an inspiration board for The Last Wish of Sasha Cade. You can find it here: https://www.pinterest.com/cheyyoung/sasha-inspiration-board/
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
I queried seven books before I queried the one that would get me an agent. It took nine years of writing, reading, researching, and stubborn will. My biggest advice is to keep writing and learn to shrug off rejections. Read, write, research. Study the query writing process until you know how to craft the perfect one. If one book fails, work on another one!
If I’d told myself nine years ago that it would take this long, I might have quit. But I didn’t know, so I kept pursuing my dreams, and now I’m here, with an amazing agent and a book deal! Persistence pays off.
I’m thrilled for you Cheyanne, and so honored to have you on my team! — Kim