Monday, September 16, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: CJ Lyons

Today's YALLFest Author interview is with CJ Lyons.

The intro in case you missed it:
YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!
I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 
Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!

Don't forget for more YALLFest info you can head to their Facebook or website. You can also get updates with their twitter @Yallfest

CJ Lyons is a New York Times best selling author. She is a former doctor and now she writes medical thriller novels! I think that's pretty cool. You know you're getting realistic details when the author used to be a doctor herself!

What's more exciting is that November 5th she is debuting her first YA novel! It's called Broken, and is now available for preorder. Since it will be her first YA novel, she's attending YALLFest this year where you can see her and meet her for yourself!

Without further ado, here's the interview you've been waiting for!

author CJ Lyons

Describe your book in 5 words:
Girl dying of broken heart (literally)

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I’ll often return to it over and over again until I’ve sliced and diced and fine-honed it to that perfect combination of intrigue, visceral reaction, and emotional connection with the reader.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
Code Name Verity because it is so emotionally honest and inspiring, empowering, not to mention gut-wrenching. Really brings the era to life as well as the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
When I was a kid I worked summer stock theatre and was actually a theatre major undergrad before switching to pre-med. I’ve had two hard landings in helicopters while working as a flight doc. I survived rampaging Cape Horn Buffalo and a pack of wild baboons, not to mention a leopard (he’s already eaten) while hiking in Hells Gate Park in Kenya. I’m a Capricorn. I diagnosed my niece with the heart condition that’s at the center of my YA thriller, BROKEN.

What are you working on now?
DAMAGED, my next YA thriller, due out in 2014. It deals with the really tough topic of abuse and coercion and is the most difficult book I’ve ever tackled—there have been times while writing when I was literally in tears as I typed.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
 I created my own genre of Thrillers with Heart—I love writing fast paced stories with raising stakes but centered on the emotional heart of an evolving relationship. As for reading, I read almost every genre but especially love YA, magical realism, and thrillers. As long as a story grabs me by the throat and won’t let me go because I’m too worried about what the characters are going through, I’ll read it and love it.

In case you missed the first parts to this series you can find them below! 
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here

Check back on Friday for another great interview with a YALLFest author! 

Are you enjoying these interviews? Have you ever read anything by CJ Lyons? Will you be making it out to YALLFest this year? Sound off in the comments below!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

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