Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Chat With YA Authors Amy Kathleen Ryan and Laura Resau

Post by Kerrie

Last night at the Northern Colorado Writers studio, YA authors Amy Kathleen Ryan and Laura Resau were hear talking about their books and their writing journeys. Amy is the author of four books, with her latest book Glow creating quite a buzz. Laura has seven books under her writer's belt and has made a positive impact in the school and library markets.

I have known both of these wonderful authors for a few years and I was surprised to learn that they both went to college to study anthropology. After receiving her Bachelors in this field, Amy wanted a change (plus she realized the jobs in this field required lots of camping time and a shortage showers) plus, she always wanted to be writer. She went on to get her masters in literature and eventually a MFA.

Red Glass by Laura Resau
Laura continued down the anthropology road (because she liked the idea of camping and not having to shower frequently :-)  ) and graduated with a Masters Degree. She traveled the world and taught ESL before settling down to have a family and begin her writing career. For her, writing is way she makes sense of her world. All of her books on based on places she has lived or visited.

They both talked about their writing routines and the trance-like state they have to get in to write. Amy said before kids, she would write for about five hours a day. Now she writes at least five pages a day.  The hardest part of writing for her is going from reality to the fiction world she has created. It takes her anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to get in that head space and it is during these times when doubt and the urge to quit are strongest. She has to push through this in order to get in the writing zone where the rest of the world disappears.
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

For Laura, her best writing time is in the morning and she tries to get in several hours each day. She is very protective of this time and works hard to honor it. Like Amy, Laura's most challenging time is when she first sits down to write. She struggles for about 10 minutes before her stream of consciousness writing kicks in and she gets in her writing trance.

Laura shared about a tool she uses to help stay focused called Freedom. This program restricts your access to the Internet for an amount of time that you decide. Once that time is up, you can then access the Internet. For Laura, this gets rid of the temptation to check email during writing time (especially during that time before she gets in her writing zone).

One way Amy keeps her document organized in Microsoft Word is by using the Document Map feature. This allows her to create different header that enable her to navigate her document more easily.

In the end, even with the challenges of writing and the ups and downs of the publishing world, both women love what they do and are extremely grateful to be making their livings as professional authors.

Have you read any or Amy's or Laura's books?

Past Posts about Amy and Laura:

Glow--A Must Read For YA Fans

Guest Blogger: Laura Resau



Dean K Miller said...

I'm a few chapters into "Glow". Not a typical read choice for me, but I am enjoying it.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I love that moment when the rest of the world disappears and I enter the zone. It takes only a few seconds if I'm alone...longer if hubby is in the house. :)

As a big fan of Amy and Laura's books (since I read everything before I pass books along to my grandniece and grandnephews), I highly recommend their work.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I haven't read their work, but thank you for the introduction!

Racquel Henry said...

I'm with Laura! My best writing time is in the morning! :)

Laura Resau said...

Thanks for sharing, Kerrie! I had a great time with you all that night... I really enjoyed the questions, comments, and learning more about Amy and her process.

Patricia-- thanks so much for your kind words!


John Paul McKinney said...

Kerrie, Thanks for posting this. I've already started to use some of the ideas. Now I want to read Glow. JP

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