Playlist for TWO KINDS OF US
I always love making playlists for my books! It’s such a fun way to celebrate and incorporate my love for mysic. Do you recognize any of these songs? Because these totally fit TWO KINDS OF US!
- “Daphne Blue” by The Band CAMINO
- “Robbers” by The 1975
- “Who’s That Boy” by Demi Lovato
- “As I am” by Justin Bieber
- “Beautiful People” by Ed Sheeran
- “POV” by Ariana Grande
- “Into You” by Ariana Grande
- “Domino” by Jessie J
- “Time of Our Life” by Big Time Rush
- “The Way I Am” by Charlie Puth
I just want to say thank you for having me to discuss my new release Dandelion Dreams.
My new release is all about Maddie. Madelyn Presley Jones is a typical city girl but she does have a past with the country. When Maddie receives a call, it changes the course of her life. Maddie has to decide whether her future is in the city or taking care of Kyle, her aunt’s adopted son with special needs. It’s the most important decision she will ever make and Lincoln Davies, Kyle’s social worker, sets out to help.
Tell Us Something Interesting About You
This is always a fun question. My partner, Dan, and I are raising three grandchildren. We have two girls, ages 11 and 6, and a boy age 9. Let’s just say that it makes life interesting for us! This past year brought a lot of stress (remote learning was definitely not fun), but we have gotten through it and I am so motivated to write more books.
How Do You Find The Time To Write?
For over three years, I did stop writing. It was hard with so many demands from children. However, this year, they have been going to school four days a week with one for remote learning. I have found that writing sprints of even just 10 minutes a day add up. I try to get as much done while they are in school, but I am not a morning person. The best time creatively for me is late afternoon when they are home, so the short sprints are best for me.
What Did You Enjoy Most About Writing This Book?
I loved writing this book for many reasons. I started it four years ago and, while the words may have stopped, the research did not. In the book, Maddie makes her aunt’s dandelion jelly. I actually made it myself. I went out and picked all the dandelions right from my lawn, cleaned them, let them soak, and learned the canning process. It was so much fun and I can tell you that dandelion jelly is really good!
Star football player Jace Rovers has a secret. And not just any secret—a shocking secret… He writes romance. The kind with swords. And dresses. And kissing.
Nobody knows. Not the other kids at Twin River High. Not his overbearing parents. And certainly not the millions of fans who’ve read his book on the writing platform Scribbles. And that’s the way he plans to keep it.
Except suddenly one of the other football players grabs his notebook in jest and starts reading a kissing scene out loud…and Jace knows he’s busted.
But then McKenna Storm, resident goth girl who avoids the spotlight like a virus, snatches up the notebook and tells everyone she’s the author. And lucky for Jace, she later agrees to continue the ruse…for a price.
Heck, he’d give her anything not to reveal his secret. But when they start to fall for each other, he knows he’ll have to keep the biggest secret of all—his darkest character is based on her…
Gutter Girl by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount
Publication Date: May 10, 2021
Publisher: Entangled Teen
If I Knew Then What I Know Now About Writing
From Kelly: If I knew then what I know now about writing… What a great topic to cover! Okay, so there are a ton of things that I’d tell past Kelly (LOL!), but the following are some of the most important that come to mind: 1) Read as many books as possible! Reading helps expand your vocabulary, mind, and just about everything else you need in order to be a successful storyteller!2) Learn as much as you can about your craft! Read books on writing, go to workshops, watch YouTube videos created by successful authors. There is a lot you can do that won’t cost you a dime! Also, check out blogs by agents, editors, and other people in the industry!3) Find a critique partner or group that can help you elevate your writing. 4) Learn how to process and handle rejection. The writing world is full of it and if you need to be ready for it. But also, just know that rejection, even though it is incredibly personal, is something we can learn from and move on from! A ton of authors don’t “make it big” with their first novel. 5) Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Prepare for the long run and don’t give up!
Hope this helps some aspiring authors! If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out online! I’m @KellyAnneBlount on IG, TikTok, FB, Twitter, Wattpad, etc.
Kelly Anne xoxo
From Lynn: I definitely learned about the writing world on the fly. I’ll never forget some of the first feedback I got from a critique partner: “Do you know what POV (point of view) is?” And I was like, “Huh?” So something I’d tell past Lynn is: learn the craft more before you send your manuscript out to agents and editors!
Along that same line, I wish I would have gotten a mentor right away. You know, to walk this journey with me, sharing his/her experience with me. It would have helped me avoid some not so great decisions I’d made during this journey.
About the author
1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?
I adjust my goals based on what project I’m working on. For a first draft, I might set a word count or a certain number of pages a day or a week. If I’m writing an article or essay, I think in terms of drafts: Finish the draft, edit the draft, etc. If I’m editing a novel, I just try to work on it consistently every day. I find that it’s hard to predict novel editing, which can be excruciatingly slow, so I try to concentrate on focused blocks of time.
As for my schedule: Since I’m a full-time writer, I keep long hours. Before Covid, I had a satisfying writing routine where I got up early, wrote, sent my son to school, and spent the rest of the day working. Now I try to write during my son’s Zoom classes and when my husband is watching him. Right now as I type this, my son is lying on my arm. I didn’t know how good I had it, pre-Covid.
2. What gave you the inspiration for your book? (Is it part of a series?)
It comes from family myths I heard growing up, stories about our family that may or may not have happened. Things like the relatives owning a silver mine or my grandfather turning down an opportunity to draw Mickey Mouse for Disney or my aunt who was the belle of three counties. My grandfather was a storyteller and it’s unclear which stories are true. We don’t even know if he was German or Austrian because he said he was both. It got me thinking about how family identity feeds into personal identity, and how that in turn shapes our worldviews. My main character Sandra believes it’s her job to return her family name to greatness. Like many Americans, she believes she’s special, but the actual basis for this belief is very much in question.
3. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?
I guess I’m a pantser. I crank out first drafts on instinct, writing into images or scene ideas. Then I spend forever editing to figure out what I’m really trying to say.
4. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?
Definitely prefer music, unless I’m in the final stages of the process, when I need to listen to the rhythm of the language. Writing music is different from music I would label as my favorite musicians I would see in concert. It can’t be something that I’ll get caught up in or I’ll end up listening to music instead of writing. I love John Coltrane’s Giant Steps because its fizzy overflowing genius is infectious.
5. What book(s) are you reading now?
As I write this, I’m reading Kazuo Isiguro’s new book, Klara and the Sun, which is lovely. I’m also reading a book about Mary Astor’s scandalous purple diaries. I talk about books on my radio show/podcast What’s the Story? where I recommend a book every week.
6. Anything else you’d like us to know about this book or any others (past or future)?
Well, I finished the novel in 2012. When I originally sent it out for publication, Sandra was named Sandi. In the middle of submission, Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting happened, which seemed to sour editors on my book. Then my agent quit the industry and left the book stranded in email boxes all around New York. So I gave up on it completely, but then six years later, my current agent contacted me and asked if Right Back Where We Started From was available. It turned out she remembered my book from the first time I sent it out, and was able to sell it to Blackstone. You can never predict what’s going to happen in publishing.
7. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
So many shows disappoint me. They start out great but can’t keep it up. Or they turn into little morality plays to teach us lessons, which is dull and didactic and makes me feel like storytelling is regressing. So in this great golden age of TV, I find myself watching it less and less.
That said, right now I really like The Great Pottery Throw Down, a British competition about making pottery. The people are so talented and the judge cries tears of joy when they do well. I also like What We Do In The Shadows, Succession, and Better Call Saul.
Right Back Where We Started From
Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Family Saga
Available from Blackstone Publishing on 4th May 2021.
See the book trailer on Youtube.