I'm chuffed to be a part of this blog tour. Allyson is a smashing author and a lovely person who's been a great encouragement to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend to any readers looking for a cute high school romance with a light splattering of faith.
Does the quality of a yearbook picture have the power to predict how a school year will turn out? Riley Houston seems to think so, as her photos from middle school depicted the life of a loner, the school’s residential ugly duckling. After summer vacation is spent rebuilding her self-confidence, Riley finds herself on the radar of her long-time crush, Brett Harvey. For the first time, Riley believes she’s on the verge of a breakthrough… that is, until she has to recite an original poem in class.
Will she enter high school as a swan, or will the newfound attention make Riley question everything she’s ever wanted? Is seeking to be known worth straying away from who God made her to be?
Allyson was kind enough to answer a few questions. Hope you enjoy the interview and do look out for her upcoming release.
1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
With marketing efforts taking up a large portion of my free time, I often find myself opting to write and schedule blog posts instead of working on my WIPs. There are times when I have to force myself to go back to my roots and write for the joy of it so I can make progress on those WIPs.
2. What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
Usually if I come across an author who writes a book I dislike, I don’t read anything else by them. The only exception I can think of is Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy. When I first read Divergent, I didn’t get the hype of the series at all. The first book was boring to me, and it took a while for me to get through it. My boyfriend ended up giving me the sequel, Insurgent, as a Christmas or birthday present, so I ended up reading it and liking it a lot more! I’m still looking forward to reading the conclusion, Allegiant, sometime.
3. How do you select the names of your characters?
Oh, I love this question! I’m a name fanatic, so I often visit baby name websites or Yahoo Answers threads looking for name suggestions. Actually, a Facebook friend recently shared a picture of a baby name book with 100,000 names, and I was tempted to hop on Amazon and buy it solely for naming characters. XD Name inspiration comes from a wide variety of places, and I end up selecting them for different reasons. Carter from Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl was named for a country music duo, The Carter Twins. Victoria from my next release, Speak Your Mind, got her name from a list of names my momma had picked out for me before I was born that she ended up not using. Linwood Whaley High School from all of my WIPs was named after my grandpa’s first name and my grandma’s maiden name. So basically, inspiration comes from everywhere and if the name seems to fit the character’s personality, it’s a win-win!
4. What was your hardest scene to write?
I don’t think there’s been a specific hardest scene to write, but those middle scenes where details need to be filled in or where the story needs to show that time has passed cause me to get writer’s block 95% of the time. This is often where I lose momentum in writing and have to really push myself to get through.
5. Do you Google yourself?
I’ll admit, I have Googled myself before. Right now, a politician with the same name ranks before me in the results (though her Alyson is spelled differently), but I’m still (barely) on the first results page! I try not to do this often, though. Working in IT, I’ve always been wary of sharing information online, so seeing myself in the search results makes me a tad paranoid! XD
6. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Writing good descriptions, especially of characters’ appearances, has been my ultimate writing weakness. I’m making efforts to improve by practicing writing paragraphs describing main characters from my WIPs, and looking up articles that teach writers how to enhance their descriptive writing.
Thanks so much Allyson. Looking forward to reading Speak Your Mind.
All about Allyson:
A native of eastern North Carolina, Allyson Kennedy fell in love with writing at age seven while filling the pages of her Mary-Kate and Ashley notebook. Dozens of notebooks later, Allyson has penned short stories, poems, song lyrics, and two novels. After the second of her three writing contest wins at the University of Mount Olive, God planted a seed in her heart to pursue self-publishing her debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl. When she’s not writing, Allyson enjoys reading, blogging on her website, Authoring Arrowheads, reviewing books and movies for Indie Christian authors and filmmakers, and following God’s plans for her life. Her next release, Speak Your Mind, is set to be published in November 2018.