2022 Teen Writers' Rally

Interview with Chawna Schroeder // Teen Writers’ Rally Day Three

Heya, TWNers! If you’re visiting for the first time or a returning reader, on behalf of TWN, I want to say welcome and thank you for joining us for day three of TWN’s FIRST-EVER Teen Writers’ Rally. We’re kicking-off National Novel Writing Month with back-to-back posts featuring amazing authors, bloggers, and more! Tune in every day until November 5th for new posts full of writing tips, advice, and encouragement. Posts are live at 6:00 EST, and if you’re not already, subscribe to Teen Writers’ Nook via email to receive a notification when the next post for the rally is up. (Form can be found to the right if on a computer or at the bottom of the page if on a mobile device.) And as always stay until the end of the post for information about the giveaway running through the entire event!

I am super stoked to be sharing our next author interview with the one and only Chawna Schroeder!!! Chawna is the author of the YA Christian fantasy titles Beast and The Vault Between Spaces (published by Enclave Escape)! She has SO many great advice and encouragement that I can’t wait to share with you today. So I’m gonna stop talking and let her take the the spotlight. *virtual round of applause*

Thank you SO much for joining us at Teen Writers’ Nook today, Chawna! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your books, and where we can find/follow you online?

I’m a bibliophile who loves chai tea, museums, and Disney’s original animated version of Beauty and the Beast. As you probably can guess, my imaginary friends and the imaginary friends of my fellow writers absorb vast amount of my time. When I do take a break from them, I enjoy studying the Bible in its original languages, playing piano, or working on one of my handwork projects.

I have two fantasy novels currently published. Beast is a coming-of-age fairytale about a feral girl raised among dogs and who become prey in a royal hunting tournament. The Vault Between Spaces is set in a world with a WWII/Cold War vibe and follows a girl who intentionally gets herself arrested in order to escape from a prison camp reputed as inescapable. I also have a few non-fiction resources, including a curriculum that teaches the basics of discernment.

As for where you can find me, I have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ChawnaSchroederAuthor/) and a website (www.chawnaschroeder.com), where you can sign up for my newsletter (https://www.chawnaschroeder.com/contact.html)

Disney’s original animated version of Beauty and the Beast IS the best! I like grew up on that movie. XD (Plus, readers, y’all probably aren’t surprised to hear my history nerd side is kicking in when I learned that The Vault Between Spaces‘s setting has a WWII/Cold War vibe. That just makes it EVEN cooler!)

#2. When did you first discover your love for writing and what inspired you to pursue it seriously?

I don’t necessarily remember discovering a love for writing, though my love for books and story are part of my earliest memories. But my kindergarten teacher had us write and illustrate several “books” throughout that year, so I suspect that is when I developed a love for writing itself, at least in part. (And yes, I still have those “books.”) What I do know is that, by the time I turned six, I had a goal to someday write down the stories my dad invented for bedtime, and by fifth grade I wanted to be a historical novelist.

But I didn’t start pursuing writing seriously until the middle of high school. I was looking at college options and felt frustrated with deciding where to go, what to pursue. My parents finally sat me down, and asked that, if education or money were no object, what did I want to do? My answer: I want to write. And I’ve spent over the last 20 years doing exactly that.

That’s awesome! I love how God was working everything out, even if you didn’t realize, and brought you to the writing career. (I mean, my bookshelves are also very happy. XD)

Yes, I had to add a Beauty and the Beast GIF. I mean, since we were already talking about it. XD

#3. What’s the first thing you do when you get a story idea before you begin writing it?

Since I’m often working on other projects that cannot be immediately be set aside, my first step is to log the idea when I get it into an idea notebook. That way I won’t forget about it.

Then when I select idea to pursue it further, the first step can vary depending on the idea and how well developed it is. For example, my current project, since it is based on a mash-up of two favorite stories, required me to do a comparison list of characters and events to see where I could weld the two stories together. But most often I will draft a few pages—what I call a “false start.” This gives me a chance to see if I like the story and the characters before returning to do more in-depth brainstorming about the story.

Those are great ideas for the first-step! Also, readers, I am going to second that the “false start” really does do wonders. There’s nothing wrong with deciding you don’t quite love this story idea like you thought you would, but it’s much better to see that before you invest a lot of time into it. 

#4. I love the Biblical truth you include in your books. Did you always intend to write Christian fantasy? If so, what encouraged you to stick with it? If not, what changed your mind?

Yes, I think I always wanted to write Christian fiction. I grew up reading Christian fiction with series like the Trailblazers by Dave and Neta Jackson and Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard, and I quickly jumped to the adult work of Janette Oak and Michael Phillips. I was especially inspired by Phillips and loved how he would have full spiritual discussions in the middle of his books. So to me, fiction was the perfect place to explore and wrestle with spiritual things. Moreover, my faith is so central to who I am, it finds its way onto the page, whether I’m thinking about it or not.

But what you might notice from the book list above is that all those Christian books were historical fiction, and my intention early on was to become a historical novelist. I enjoyed fantasy as kid, being a fan of Dr. Suess, Tomie dePaola, and all things Disney, but I hadn’t considered meshing that with my Christian faith. It wasn’t until Arena by Karen Hancock was first published that I even because aware of the concept of Christian fantasy (at least, beyond Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings). Then when I discovered Firebird by Kathy Tyers, something clicked in my brain. These were the type of stories I wanted to write, full of far-reaching imagination and deep spiritual threads.

Because Christian fantasy can be a hard genre to get publish—especially when I started pursuing professional writing over twenty years ago—I did dabble with other genres. But I always ended up returning to Christian fantasy and science fiction, because that’s simply how my imagination is wired, and truthfully, what I believe God wanted me to write.  

That is awesome!

#5. What is the most difficult part of the writing process and how do you overcome the challenge?

Every part of writing has been difficult for me at some point. But over the years I’ve come to appreciate the magic of each stage: the wonder of playing with possibilities and what if (brainstorming); the joy of exploration, getting to know characters and watch plots unfold (first draft); the surge of confidence as all the pieces lock into place into a fully coherent story that others can enjoy (editing); the satisfaction of getting the words to say exactly what I want them to say (polishing). If I can focus on the joy of the stage I’m in, rather than being impatient to reach (or feeling pushed to reach) the next stage, then I generally find contentment in doing my work, even the difficult parts.

When I do have a day when writing is being difficult, no matter the stage, my strategy is twofold. First, I tell myself that all I have to do is show up. I have to sit down, open my story, pull out my pen, or whatever is needed for that stage of writing and simply be there for fifteen or thirty minutes. I don’t have write anything. I just have to be available and willing to write, and if nothing happens within that set period, I can go do something else.

Second, I simply pray, often in written form. I just tell God about my frustration or why I don’t want to write or what I would like to do, but can’t for some reason. Then I usually conclude with some form of acknowledgement that I can’t do this on my own, and I need His help. If He gives me words, wonderful! If not, that’s okay too. It’s His choice. Interestingly, words almost always follow.

First, I don’t think I have ever heard someone describe the entire writing process so beautifully! I love the way you described it! And this is such great advice to just show up and to pray!

#6. What is one thing you wished you had known when you first start writing?

Remember to keep play with your writing.

The more you learn about writing and the world of publishing, it’s easy to be caught up into all the do’s and do-not’s of writing. To let the rules dictate. To worry whether I’m doing something “right.” To feel like if something is not publishable, it’s not worth writing.

Yet that sense of play and experimenting, of adventure and trying new things, even knowing many of them will fail—this is what keeps writing fresh and fun for the writer. And when it is fresh and fun for the writer, that will bleed through the words to the reader, who is more likely to enjoy reading.

YES JUST YES!!! Readers, I cannot stress how important this is! I have been there, with getting all caught up in rules and publishing trends. But your writing is an art, and like Chawna said, remember to keep playing with it! 

#7. Can you describe a typical writing session for you? Are there things you do that help you write faster or better (i.e. listening to instrumental music, writing at night/in the mornings, etc.)?

If there’s something that would help me write faster, I haven’t found it yet! I’m a very slow writer and frequently get frustrated with my turtle pace.

That said, the two things that help me are routine and a lack of distractions. (I’m very easily distract—oh look, there’s a squirrel!)

As a result, a typical writing session for me is pretty basic. I prefer mornings to write, as that is when my brain is most alert—and I’m least likely to be distracted by something else. My mornings are intentionally structured in a set routine so it creates a pattern in my brain that A follows B and B follows C. This allows my mind to automatically shift gears into writing mode when I reach that part of my day.

Also, I intentionally set aside a large, single block of time—usually about two hours. Some writers can write in short bursts, but my mind can actually take several minutes to transition from reality to story world and from story world back to reality. So I work best in large blocks.

When I start my actual writing time, I try to take a few minutes to write out a simple prayer—anything from one line to a couple of paragraphs—simply acknowledging my need for God’s help in the work ahead. Then I enter “do not disturb” mode: I ignore phone calls and texts, I work in silence, and I general don’t engage with anything or anyone except the story I’m working on. That’s it. Nothing complicated or magical, but it works for me.  

#8. What do you want your readers to take away from your books?

With every story I write, there’s a core theme or thought that I hope will connect with readers, and that changes from book to book. But lately I’ve come to realize that more than some lesson or theme, what I want most is for the books bring the reader to a place of worship. A place where they gain a greater understanding of who God is in a way that inspires awe and the humble acknowledgement that He is indeed God and worthy of all that position entails.

I don’t know if my current books do that, but that is something I’m working to be more intentional about now.

Okay, I love that! I think it’s such an amazing and beautiful goal!

#9. Do you have any advice, encouragement, or words of wisdom for teen writers who want to take their writing seriously?

Don’t get impatient, don’t rush the process. As writers, we often think both our persons and our stories are ready for publication long before they are. I know I did. Sometimes still do. And with the availability of self-publishing these days, skipping ahead to publication is a strong temptation.

Don’t give into it. Take the time to learn the craft thoroughly. Read books and magazines on writing. Attend classes, workshops, and conferences. Get professional feedback. Find a group of critique partners, including other writers who are also pursuing writing as a profession. Write, rewrite, and rewrite some more. Expect this process to take years, not months.

For you need this time before publication to grow, not only as a writer, but also as a person and a Christian. The writing business is difficult and can take a strong toll on you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The time spent writing in the shadows, without a contract and without a published book, is an important, if not essential, preparation for what will come afterward.

Yes! Chawna is just so full of wisdom and amazing advice, y’all! I 100% second her about not rushing the process. I know the temptation is so hard. I have been there, as a young author just starting out and getting frustrated when I realized just how long the road to publication takes. But as someone, just like you, who is still taking that journey, I’m learning to enjoy the ride. Because when you take the pressure off yourself to be published in a certain amount of time or years, you can begin to enjoy every part of the process. That first draft you feel like you’ll never finish? That’s the only time you’ll be able to write that first draft and discover that story for the first time. The editing the endures forever? That’s a time of growing in your craft and making your story stronger, and just like a plant needs time to grow, so does your book, so don’t grow weary! You are doing amazing and keep pressing forward! 

Wow, readers, wasn’t Chawna’s answers just PURE AWESOMENESS????!!! She has so much golden wisdom right here, and TWN is SO grateful to have been able to interview her for this rally! I hoped you enjoyed reading Chawna’s answers as much as I did! If you did, show your gratitude to Chawna Schroeder by getting a copy of one of her books or if you’ve already read them, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or recommend it to a friend! Not only is writing books hard, but trying to get your name out into a very competitive mark is just as difficult. So every bit of support means so much to these authors!

Now it’s GIVEAWAY TIME! During the rally (October 24th-November 5th) Teen Writers’ Nook is running a giveaway. Three winners will be chosen and the winners will win their choice of one of the books pictured below. (Imagine anthology is also included, though not pictured.) This giveaway is open to both U.S. and international entries!

Every post you comment on during the rally earns you an extra entry into the giveaway! To enter with this post comment below and tell me: What genre do you write and is it the same one you’ve always written in?

Remember to tune in tomorrow for my interview with Hannah Currie, Christian romance novelist of Heart of a Royal and Bring Her Home.

Do you love the original version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? What’s your favorite Christian fantasy novel? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

Keep on being awesome and never stop writing!

~Issabelle Perry

Issabelle Perry is a proud Jesus follower, an extroverted writer of historical fiction, and a homeschool graduate. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, jamming to Skillet, bullet journaling, hunting for Narnia in wardrobes, or envisioning herself wielding a magnificent sword (but due to her clumsiness, let’s hope that never happens). This self-proclaimed exclamation mark enthusiast can be found hanging out at Teen Writers’ Nook, a community of teen authors Issabelle co-founded in 2020. Her short story “Fairly Impish” was featured in Owl Hollow Press’s Change the World anthology, and Issabelle is the co-editor for Teen Writers’ Nook’s Imagine anthology and Grace A. Johnson's upcoming Christian romance anthology. What she’s probably doing right now is fangirling about her favorite books to random people or scanning the pantries for chocolate.

55 Comments

  • Rylie

    No rushing! ok got it!! Idk if I have a problem with rushing… I think personally I feel as if I’m never going to finish a story so I try to finish as quickly as possible… Guess I haven’t found a story I LOVE and want to come back to again. *shrugs*

    I write in fantasy. I’ve always written in some form of fantasy just because I don’t really wanna research a ton for a historical novel. loll I Love beauty and the beast!! The fact that Belle loves reading! loll No I love that story!

    • Issabelle Perry

      Woohoo! It’s not something that everyone struggles with. 🙂 Ah, yeah, that makes sense! It sounds like you like to write fast first drafts. I do that ALL the time in my books. I prefer to write a fast first draft that is messy and has a lot of gaps that need to be filled, so I can focus more time on editing it! Aww, I’m sorry. I know you’ll find that story eventually. It took me like five years before I found mine, but it’s out there. I know it! <3333

      Fantasy is a great genre! Hahahahaha, aahh I feel you. XD When I dabbled in fantasy, that was one of the biggest reasons, but I've come to really love research. Even more than the writing process! YESSSS!!!!!! BELLE LOVING READING IS THE BEST PART OF THAT MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for reading!

  • Ellie

    Wow, this was a really cool interview! And Beast and The Vault Between Spaces both sound really cool! I also love the idea of a false start, since it’s probably what I need to do. I’ve done something similar with two stories- one with my first ever finished novella, which started as a writing prompt for school, and one with a story I’ve still yet to write, where I just threw the main characters into a room together to see what happened.(It was amazing.)

    I write middle grade Christian fantasy, and it’s what my first novella was, almost two years ago. I wrote a few stories when I was younger(five or six years ago) that were bizarre detective stories about me and my friends, but aside from that, I’ve always written fantasy. I really need to re-watch the original Beauty and the Beast! The one time I started it recently, I got interrupted by something. Maybe I’ll make my family watch it for movie night at some point…. My favorite Christian fantasy novel is either the Wingfeather Saga or the Tethered world!

    Oops, this was a really long comment!! I loved this interview! It was so fun to read!!!

    • Issabelle Perry

      Yaaaaay I am SO happy you think so, Ellie! Thank you!!! THEY ARE REALLY COOL!!!!!!!!! Plus, don’t you just ADORE the covers. *all the heart eyes* Yes! False starts are something I wished I had learned about when I first started writing because it is an great idea! You get to try out the style and type of the book before committing to it! Oooo that’s super cool! Hahaha, that sounds AMAZING!!!! I bet that was a ton of fun to write! I need to do a story like that sometime, just for the fun of it!

      Ooooo *high fives* That is an AWESOME genre choice! You don’t find too many Christian fantasy books published for middle-grade readers, and that is SO sad. I think that’s AWESOME that you write in that genre! Hahahaha, it seems like every writer at some point in her life has written a detective story. It IS a really great genre! HONESTLY SISTER I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! I need to re-watch it! I don’t even remember the last time I saw it. Hahahaha, you totally should. XD It’s a great family movie pick! AAAAH!!! I have GOT to read the Wingfeather Saga one of these days! I hear SO many great things about it, and it’s been recommended to me hundreds of times! Now I only need to get my hands on a copy…

      Noooo I LOVED reading your comment! It wasn’t long at all!!! YAAAY!!!!! I am SO glad you enjoyed it! Chawna’s answers were AmAzInG! Thank you for reading!

  • Lillianna Joy

    Agh wow – wonderful wonderful wisdom here!! I love it!!! Especially loved what she said about the “false start” such a cool idea to make sure you actually enjoy the story and it’ll work!!! I also love that Chawna prays before each writing session – and even writes it down! Such a good reminder that God is in control of every word we write – and we’re doing this all for HIS glory!!!

    As for genre – I write contemporary dystopian (a mix of both or either or XD) with a dash of fairytale retellings thrown in there haha Did I just make up my own genre? Yes, yes I did XD

    Fun fact tho – I’m actually in the middle of outlining a Beauty and the Beast retelling where Belle is an assassin and the beast may or may not be the good guy XD so yeah, super fun!!

    I ADORE the Disney Beauty and the Beast – and also love the Emma Watson one too because it’s just… really well done XD

    And my favorite Christian fantasy would have to be… anything by Keith A Robinson. He is a fantastic writer and it’s like reading a theology book almost… but in the COOLEST way possible XD I would definitely recommend his stuff!!

    • Issabelle Perry

      YES!!! I know right! Chawna just NAILED it with this interview! Yaay! I am SO glad! Thank you, Lillianna! YES!!! It IS a cool idea! You should try it out sometime! Yes, ikr! I love that, too! I love praying before I start writing as well. It’s such a great time to clear my thoughts and refocus my attention on the One who I am writing this story for. Plus, chatting with Jesus is just awesome. 🙂 YES!!! It was SUCH a great reminder! Amen, sister!

      OOOOOOOO! Okay I have like NEVER heard of contemporary dystopian (dystopian romance and dystopian suspense I have heard of, but not contemporary dystopian) before, but, girl, do I love it! That sounds like SUCH a fun and unique genre to write in! I bet you have a great time with it! AAAAH FAIRYTALE RETELLINGS ARE SO MUCH FUN! I love reading them, and I actually wrote one at one time. Years ago. Hahaha, girl, I LOVE THAT. Made-up genres are the best! *high fives*

      *gaspeth* GIRL THAT IS AMAZING!!!!!! AAAAAAH!!!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS STORY IDEA! It is definitely one I would read! I hope outlining goes fantastically for you! You’ve got this, sister!

      *fangirl squeals* I know right! Beauty and the Beast holds such a dear place in my little fangirl heart. XD I’m really just impressed how Emma Watson managed to look so young for that movie. XD

      OOoooo I have never heard of this author before! *googles him* He looks like an AMAZING author! Aaaaaah, that DOES sound awesome!!!! I will definitely look into his books! Thank you for the rec and for reading today’s post!

      • Lillianna Joy

        Haha yes, chatting with Jesus IS awesome!!!

        Yeah XDXD probably never heard of it because maybe it’s not a thing…? LOL But you know, whatever XD

        Awww oh my word thank you – that is so encouraging!!

        Ok um YES – she did so good XD

        Yes you should TOTALLY read his stuff – his Tartatrus Chronicles is a bit… adult-y, if you know what I mean, but the other ones are like totally ok, they just deal with a lot of really deep issues! But yes, you should really check his stuff out!!

        • Issabelle Perry

          YES IT IS!!! *high fives*

          LOL. Yeah, that might be the reason. XDD When you put it like that. XDD

          You’re SO welcome!!! <333333333

          Yes, she did!

          Yes, they sound really AMAZING!!!! Hahaha, yeah, I get what you mean. XD I love books that deal with deep issues! I will have to look into it and see if I can find the books at my library or can request them. 🙂

    • Chawna

      If you like Beauty and the Beast and are writing a contemporary dystopian mixed with fairy tale, you must check out S.D. Grimm’s “A Dragon By Any Other Name”–it’ll be right up your alley, and you’ll probably get some great ideas for your own writing.

    • Issabelle Perry

      Sci-fi is a FANTASTIC genre! I always wished I could write sci-fi, but I do not have the brain capacity you need to create that stuff. XD Oooo I LOVE realistic fiction!!! I’ve dabbled in the genre a few times, but I read it all the time! That’s a good genre pick! *high fives* Aw, you’re very welcome! Thank YOU for reading, Mary!

  • Gemma

    Love the post! Thanks for the advice!
    I’ve stuck pretty close to fantasy most of the time but I do like writing historical fiction, sci fi, and dystopian stories.
    I like any and every fairy tale I can get my hands on.

    • Issabelle Perry

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, GEMMA!!!!!!! You’re welcome! Chawna had SO much awesome wisdom to share today!
      Those are all FANTASTIC genres! Fantasy definitely seems to be the popular genre! Historical fiction is one of my absolute favorite genres to write and read!
      I second that, sister! *high fives* Thank you for reading!

  • Joy C. Woodbury

    I LOVED The Vault Between Spaces! It’s one of my favorite books.
    To answer the question, I write Christian historical fiction and biblical fiction, neither of which I’ve always written in. 🙂

    • Issabelle Perry

      ME TOO, JOY!!!!!! The Vault Between Spaces is hands-down one of my favorite books ever!!!! *high fives* Isn’t Chawna just a literary genius? Like her vivid and gorgeous writing prose and descriptions… her unique and intriguing characters… her worldbuilding and ideas… Oriel! *contented sigh* Ah, I love it.
      Those are two of my favorite genres ever!!! *high fives* I am so impressed with people who can write Biblical fiction. Y’all rock!
      Thank you so much for reading!

  • Corrie.S.P

    LOTR is a Christian Fantasy?
    Wow! Those books seen really, really awesome!!! Beast looks really interesting! And I have not read many books featuring WW II, The vault between spaces has such a neat concept!!!
    My genre that I write is mostly fantasy-fiction, but I have started adventure writing a little bit. I mostly write non-fiction for school and such though. That is my biggest type of writing.
    Do you love the original version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? I do! I want that library so darn bad!!! I saw it and was like “I need Papa(my dad) to be kidnapped so I can have those books!”
    What’s your favorite Christian fantasy novel? OF the ones I have come across it is probably still The Chronicles of Narnia. Darn those movies… Anyone else with me?

    • Issabelle Perry

      Well, we could debate this honestly. Tolkien was a Christian author and people claim there are a lot of Christian-inspired elements in there, but outside of themes, I can’t really see it. But I also might be missing something. 🙂
      EEEEK I KNOW RIGHT! THEY DO!!!!! Yessss, it does!!!! YES I LOVE THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE VAULT BETWEEN SPACES! What a neat idea!
      Yes, fantasy is a good genre pick! It seems to be one of the most popular genres out there, so you never have to worry about not having the readers! OOOOOO that is awesome! It’s great to try out new things! Ah, I feel you. It seems all I write these days is college homework. *sighs*
      YES! I KNOW RIGHT. I NEED THAT LIBRARY. *sobs* LOL. XD Well, I don’t know how well your dad would enjoy being kidnap, but that library IS awesome. Hopefully, there’s another way to get it without the kidnapping. Or having to fall in love. XDD
      I LOVE THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA!!! That is a FANTASTIC choice! I actually need to re-watch the movies.😂

      • Corrie.S.P

        I guess it’s just a debatable thing😁 I don’t see it either but there might be aspects.
        I hope that she escapes.🤣
        Haha, most of my writing does involve school. But that gives me practice at least!
        True, plus my dad does not seem like the kidnappable type.
        I have read all 7 of those books a buncha times! The movies are not my favorite, especially since they made Lucy’s hair BROWN!!! BROWN!!!! That is a crime punishable by death!!! My 8yr old self was deeply offended.😂

        • Issabelle Perry

          Yeah, I guess so. Yeah, I’m the same way!
          Hahaha, escaping would be preferable, but no spoilers. 🤐
          Yep, that’s SO right!!! Good idea to look at it on the positive side. 😉
          LOL. XD *laughs*
          I need to finish the series!!! I’ve only read a couple of the books in the series sadly. Hahaha, I am deeply sorry that your 8yr old self was so deeply offended. But I remember when I was younger noting the difference and wondering why they had to change the hair color. *shrugs*

          • Corrie.S.P

            I was so mad! It’s funny now thinking about it. It is just a hair change, and the little girl was pretty darn adorable in the movie. It’s the picture in my mind not matching up though.
            Girl!!!! You have gotta finish the series!! Pleeeease tell me you read The Horse and His Boy!! It’s my favorite! And it is basically a stand alone, you don’t have to read the other books to understand anything much. It does mention the 4 kids though.

            • Issabelle Perry

              Hahaha, no, I totally understand that. Especially if it’s a book you just love, you can’t help but be a little picky when you get a film adaptation. Though, yes, Movie Lucy is super adorable!
              YES I DO!!!!! I started it when I was like eight, but I don’t think I ever made it to the end. I was a bit of a reluctant reader at the time so it was hard for me to stick with books, but I must go back and try to finish it one day!!!!! Oooo that’s pretty cool!!

  • Lorelei Angelino

    The old Beauty and the Beast always give me nostalgia, especially that openingggggg. <3 AND OH MY WORD I WANT THAT LIBRARY SOOOOOO BAAAAAADDDDD. <33333 *heart eyes*

    You know, I haven't thought about that until now, but my genre has changed! I started writing Christian fiction/Christian historical fiction, but now I'm leaning more towards Christian fantasy (medieval and science fantasy), romance, and some historical and contemporary now and then.

    • Issabelle Perry

      I KNOW RIGHT. I AM THE EXACT SAME WAY. Sometimes I’ll just randomly sing the opening song or the “Be Our Guest” one just for old time’s sake. XD I WANT THAT LIBRARY SOOOOOOOOOOOOO BADLY TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *makes grabby hands*

      Ooo nice! Hahaha it seems like everyone is changing to fantasy. 😂 I feel like all the other witers in other genres are outnumbered. XD BUT I will say that medieval fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read. There’s something about it that ALWAYS interests me! Ooo I can see why romance would be a genre you’d write. You’re very good at it!!! All of those genres are AWESOME picks, girl! Thank you for reading!

  • Liz

    The thing about playing with your writing!! *squeals with joy* YES!!
    Lovely interview!!

    I write fantasy, but as a kid I would write contemporary/action sort of stories. I do want to branch out into some dystopian stuff!!

    • Issabelle Perry

      EEEEEEEEEKKK WASN’T THAT SUCH A GOOD PIECE OF ADVICE???!!!!!! Yaaay! I am SO glad you enjoyed it, Liz! Thank you so much!

      Fantasy is SUCH a great genre pick! I love that genre! Ooooo those sound like fun genres to write in, too! AAAAHH THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA!!!!!! I’ve been really wanting to read more dystopian lately! I love the idea of that genre but I haven’t found an awesome book in it yet, so I am CERTAIN that yours will be amazing!
      Thank you for reading!

  • Chawna

    Thanks for doing this, Issabelle! Your questions were great fun to answer, and I hope your readers find my answers helpful. As for my favorite fantasy novel…does science fantasy count? I love Kathy Tyer’s Firebird. If true fantasy, I’d probably have to say anything by Sharon Hinck (Sword of Lyric, Dancing Realms, or Dream of Kings).

    • Issabelle Perry

      Aw, you’re SO welcome, Chawna! Thank YOU for doing the interview and being a part of the rally! We LOVED having you at Teen Writers’ Nook! Aw, I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you!!! Yes! I’d say from the response of comments so far, my readers have loved your answers and found so much great advice from them! Yes, science fantasy definitely counts! Oooo all of these books sound AMAZING!!! I will definitely be adding them to my to-be-read list! THANK YOU for the recommendations!
      Thank you again, Chawna!

  • Lillian Keith

    Lol, I’ve done a few ‘false starts’ with some writing projects, but never intentionally. That sounds like a good technique to try for the future, though.

    I loved how inspirational this interview was, guys! I especially enjoyed the part about overcoming the difficult parts of writing (I hit those a lot lol.) Thanks so much for the encouragement.

    As for the genre I write, I’m currently doing realistic MG stories. I originally thought I’d be doing MG fantasy, but realistic has been a lot of fun.

    • Issabelle Perry

      Hahahaha, I have definitely been there before. We’re just gonna pretend like we’re super smart and that we intentionally did the “false start”. XDDD *evil laugh* They shall never know! XD IT IS!!! You should give it a try (intentionally) sometime!

      Awwww, I am SO thrilled to hear it was inspiring to you!!! That was exactly what I was hoping these posts would do for y’all! So THANK YOU!!!! YES! I LOVED Chawna’s answer to that question, too!!! (I feel you sister. I’m the same way. *hugs and offers encouraging chocolate*) Aw, you’re SO welcome! Thank YOU for reading!!!

      OOOOOO realistic MG is SUCH a great genre!!! I read books in those genres ALL the time when I was younger!!! Hahaha, honestly between you and me, it’s super neat to see another person who did fantasy and switched to something else. Everyone else I hear goes the other way around. XD Fantasy is definitely a big thing in the book world!!!

      • Lillian Keith

        *dons glasses to look smart and laughs with you* I definitely will try it (intentionally, of course XD)

        I know, right?! I come across a lot of people who love writing fantasy. I think it’ll remain one of the most popular genres to write (I mean, who doesn’t love the adventure and high stakes and what-not?!)

        • Issabelle Perry

          LOL. Good idea of including the glasses. *dons my own pair of glasses* *looks at us and nods* Yes, we look very smart now. XD Hahaha, yaaaay!!!

          Hahaha, so there’s no hope for us authors of non-fantasy genres? We’ll always be the little people in the book world. XDDD Well, at least there’s less competition!! (Also less readers, but let’s ignore that. XDD) (I know right!!! It’s a DEFINITE draw!!! Plus it gives a good escape from reality!)

  • Faith Quelle

    AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH this was so GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDD and THANK YOU, CHAWNA, for that incredible bit of wisdom! My dream and goal is to be published by Enclave, so it was SO AMAZING hearing from someone who has done it!

    I write in fantasy, and I pretty much always have. I used to dabble in a lot of different things, but while I’ll still write historical and contemporary from time to time, I tend to stay in the speculative realm 😉

    • Issabelle Perry

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH FAITH I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THRILLED THAT YOU LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! Chawna’s answers were absoltuely gold!!! I loved reading them so much and sharing them with y’all!!!! And that’s an epic dream, Faith! I hope you make it one day! I am cheering you on!!

      Fantasy is an fantastic genre choice!!!! *high fives* I think it’s awesome that you’ve tried out many genres and found the one you love!!! You go, sister!!!! Speculative books are so much fun to read, and I can totally see why you’d stay in that genre!!!

  • Mary

    Wow, Chawna definitely does have golden wisdom!!
    I love the idea of false starts…and oh my goodness, the idea of just SHOWING UP and maybe not even doing anything…I really like that. I seriously am going to do that now.
    The genre I’ve always written in is fantasy. I do have inklings of a mostly contemporary + fantasy novel that I want to write one day, but I feel like I probably won’t ever really leave the fantasy realm 😂

    • Issabelle Perry

      YES! SHE DOES!!!! I loved all her answers to the interview!
      Ikr! SO DO I!!!! You can’t always know if this story idea is going to be one you love or not, so I love the idea of just trying it out without being committed to it yet. That way, I don’t feel guilty if I want to move on. XD I KNOW!!! ME TOO!!! I LOVED THAT SO MUCH!!!! Yesss!!! I am definitely going to do it, too!!! Chawna is just a genius!!!!
      Hahaha fantasy IS an awesome genre!! I love reading it, and I’m always SO impressed at all of y’all who are able to write it. Everytime I tried to dabble in the genre, the ideas and plots just aren’t as creative as what y’all fantasy novelists can come up with!!! Which is AWESOME, and I will forevermore be jealous. XD Ooooo a contemporary + fantasy novel is SUCH a great idea!!! Haha, well, when you have that genre you just love, you can’t leave it no matter what! And I think that’s super awesome!!! Thank you for reading!

  • Sarah Twilight

    Oh my gosh I loooovvvvveeee the cover art! They are so well done!
    Also, as someone is also easily distrac—a mongoose!–it takes me a minute to actually get into my story.
    Great interview!
    Keep writing!!

    • Issabelle Perry

      I KNOWWWWWWWWWW. I LOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEE IT TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *all the heart eyes* Confession: it was actually because of how much I loved the cover for The Vault Between Spaces that caused me to buy it in the first place because I like never read blurbs and only buy books based on the cover. XDD
      Hahahaha, I feel you. XD It’s SO hard to get into the zone of writing and wrap your head around your story. And then once you get out of it, it’s even harder to get back in!!!!
      Thank you!!! I’m happy you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Emma

    This interview was so cool and chock-full of so much wisdom! Love it <33 And I had never heard of "false starts" before but it sounds SO helpful and I'm totally going to try it on my WIP!

    Hmm…I write mostly fantasy but it's not the genre I've always written. XD Oh and the Beauty and the Beast original movie is one of the best Disney Princess movies ever!

    • Issabelle Perry

      THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH EMMA!!!!!!! And I have to agree. Chawna’s answers were AMAZING and had so much great advice and wisdom!!! She is an incredible author!!! YESSS GIRL THEY ARE SO HELPFUL AND YOU SHOULD TOTALLY TRY IT OUT!!!!!!!!!! <333333

      Ah, fantasy does seem to be the majority favorite! Yes, it's fun to change genres around! IT HANDS-DOWN IS ONE OF THE BEST. It's because of the library. I want a library like that. Nuff said. XD Thank you for reading!

  • Katja Labonté

    I love that writing goal… that is beautiful and sooo good. And I love the advice about showing up. It’s kinda what I needed right now lol. And the part about not rushing—okay I know others commented on that but YESSSS! I’m so glad I didn’t rush and I still keep reminding myself not to… it isn’t worth it.

    Also, my favourite Christian fantasy novel is IRON by Madisyn Carlin. I love her Christian fantasies *so* much. DECEIVED was sooo good and I can’t wait for her third book…

    • Issabelle Perry

      I knowwwww. So do I!!! It’s SO beautiful and moving!!!! Yes, that was great advice!!! Aww, well, I’m SO glad you got what you needed. <333 I have to remind myself all the time to just show up. YESSSS!!!!!! That REALLY hit home for me, too!!! I think as writers we get so caught up in publishing and dreaming about future plans that we forget about the here and now, the little moments that are building us as authors! Yes, I totally agree with you!!! It's not worth it!

      AAAAAAAH I AM JUST DYING TO READ THAT NOVEL!!!!!!!!! It's on my TBR and I hope to get to it soon!!! I hear nothing but great things about Madisyn Carlin's books!!!! EEEEEK THAT IS AWESOME!!!!! Deceived is another book I need to get to soon!!! Oh, the pains of readers and their extremely long TBRs. XD

  • Katja Labonté

    Also I forgot to add, I write Christian Contemporary Kingdom Adventure (think Livy Jarmusch’s Tales of Tarsurella). I have written mostly historical in the past, and still dabble in it, but now I’m pretty much focussed on my imaginary country and I write both contemporary tales of it and historical ones. 😀

    • Issabelle Perry

      Oooooo that sounds like SUCH a fun genre!!! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything in that genre, but I must now!!! Oooo that’s super awesome!!! And I bet dabbling in historical has probably helped you a lot in the worldbuilding for your imaginary countries!!! I’m so glad you’ve found the genre that you love to write. =)

  • K.R.Mattson

    I write a lot of different genres, but Christian Fantasy is my favorite. I actually started my writing with a western, then a modern day tale set in Chicago, and finally ended up finding my favorite niche in fantasy.

    My favorite Christian fantasy book is DECIEVED by Madisyn Carlin, and IRON is pretty close to that, and another book of hers that isn’t published yet that I don’t know if I can talk about. REALLY REALLY great books!

    • Issabelle Perry

      YES! Christian fantasy is a GREAT genre pick!!! It’s one of my most-read genres!!! Oooo that’s cool how you’ve jumped around through a couple of different of genres before finding the one you love. (Makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one. XD)
      YESSS!!!!! Both of those books look AWESOME!!!! I am SOOO excited to read Iron. My copy of the book just keeps looking at me like, when are you going to pick me up?! XD OOOO the Secret Book then. XD Girl, now you’re keeping me in suspense. Ah, I guess I will just have to wait until Madisyn releases more information about the book!!!!

  • K. R. Mattson

    No, definitely not the only one. 😂
    😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET! Stop talking and go read it!!! The ending is amazing! And poor Denton is such an amazing guy.

    Yep! Cause my lips are sealed.*zips lips* *mumbles through zipped lips* Be prepared to be heartbroken and happy all at the same time.

    • Issabelle Perry

      Hahaha, yaaaaay!!!!!!
      I know, it’s such a crime my failure to have read it. I AM GOING TO GET TO IT SOON. XD It’s like the next book on my e-book TBR list. (Yes, I have two TBR lists, one for physical copies and one for e-books.) AAAAH I AM SO EXCITED. I think I’m gonna love this Denton character!!!

      Hahaha, I am totally prepared now!!! Thanks. XD

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