I’m so excited to introduce you to this week’s featured YA author. She started off as a critique partner and turned into a friend. I love her to death and look forward to our weekly writer chats. She’s smart and funny and has a knack for encouragement (and writing too!). I expect to see great things from her (because I’ve read some of her stuff and oh man, is it good). Please welcome featured YA author Neysa Walker!
About Neysa Walker…
I’m a girl with a heart to worship Jesus. He’s done
a few things too much for me not to say that (at least). Three men in my life give the best kisses – two of them are my husband’s mini-men. I’m unashamed to say I’m their personal paparazzi. You will fall in love. I’m an aspiring novelist, poet, and lyricist (Whew! Aren’t I cool!?…Yikes!). I am a cliché coffee guzzler. I love inspiring photography, my analogue planners, green springs, autumns full of sunshine, and reading on my iPhone. I feel like an old and young soul. I think it was my upbringing mixed with daydreaming. I don’t like bullying or cooking, or being bullied into cooking! AND…the last thing you must know, is that I tried really hard to sound cool writing all this!
Why do you write?
What genre do you write in and why?
Right now I am writing YA. I think that I will probably stay there forever (unless I surprise myself) because I connect with the need young adults have to find a friend in a character, rather than those of the living and breathing persuasion. Young folk are so brutal these days. I want young people to be able to connect with my characters. I want them to see the good/bad choices that my characters make and learn from them. Young Adults experience such large life changes. Everything is so dramatic-my-life-is-over-I-hate-you-I-love-you. Its just nuts. If one person chooses good over bad, life over death, because of my cheesy YA story, then all is right.
What are your writing rituals?
If I got to complete ALL of my writing rituals…I would NEVER write. I am a perfectionist. I am OCD to the max. I want all of the laundry done, the dishes done, the house to smell nice, the lighting to be right, and the coffee to be fresh. I even like to be showered with fixed hair (which is nearly impossible as a mother of two littles).
Favorite Book/Author? Why?
Oh gosh. Do I have to answer? I admire so many authors, and so many books have touched my heart, but I think the answer to this question would have to be J.K. Rowling. I was a victim of the strict ye-must-not-read-Harry-Potter camp, but I became a fan nonetheless. I think what I see in these books is not only amazing characters, plot, world building, structure, language, etc., but life lessons. She encouraged young people to be brave. She wanted us to make good choices, even though they might not always be the conventional ones. She showed good people have true flaws. No one is perfect, but we can be good. We can be kind. We can be imaginative, creative, joyful people. People with purpose. The Harry Potter series isn’t just about magic. It is about becoming who you were called – sometimes against your will – to be. I can admire that kind of story-telling.
The best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing about being a writer?
The lack of time.
What tools do you/have you used to study the craft of writing?
Lots of articles. Read. Read. Read. Dissect. I find that when I read something I like, I turn around and search for why I liked it.
Would you rather read a good book or write a good book?
I’d rather write a good one, however I find that reading a good one interferes with the former sometimes.
Favorite literary character of all time and why?
Okay, so this is probably cliche, and a little bit silly to some, but I would say Mary. As in, Mary Mother of Jesus. I know…you’re scoffing because well that wasn’t exactly what the question meant, but I can’t think of any other character that is so incredibly impactful. I remember being a little girl and hearing this story. The story of Jesus, yes, but the story of the mother of Jesus. The woman who had to risk everything for what she believed in. She was beautiful and brave. She was obedient and yet, so head strong (if you really think about it). She was willing to give up everything, even risk being stoned to death, for God. Whoa. Just, whoa! I can’t say that I would have that strength or resolve. Go Mary!
Top three things every writer should have or do, in your opinion?
Get your writing tools, coffee, and then don’t give up.
Best time of day to write and why?
I love to write at night when the kids are asleep. Nighttime is peaceful and inspiring.
Do you write by the seat of your pants, plot first, or a littler of both?
I’d say a little of both. I usually get an idea, and then I have to write something down before I forget. If it forms into something more, then I will sit down and think it out. With my current WIP it is a back and forth process because I am world building.
What keeps you motivated?
I’d have to say embarrassment. I want to avoid that. That is my “scared girl” answer. The other motivators are intrinsic – a part of me.
What is your goal in writing?
To finish. I just want to finish.
Can you share a little bit about your work in progress?
I will share a theme that snuck up on me have way through the project. Forgiveness. That is huge in my story. There is always a cost to forgiveness, and that is our pride. I realized that I was writing about it because I was dealing with it in my own life.
How do you balance your writing life and your life as a mom?
Honestly, I don’t know. I have good days and bad days. Mostly, I just continue to try. There are some days that I don’t get anything done because of tears and dirty diapers, but other days I write for more hours than I thought possible.
Any words of wisdom you would like to share?
Although, I have by no means “arrived,” I would say not giving up would be a huge one. Don’t quit.
A Bible verse that encourages you in your writing?
I can do all things through Christ!
“Find people. People that push you, read with you, laugh with you, troubleshoot with you, help you navigate the writing world, and critique you in love. We need sound-boards and encouragement.”
~ Neysa Walker, young adult fiction author
Connect with Neysa…
On her website:
Thank you, Neysa for sharing your stories and experiences with us. It has been a pleasure to have you on the blog today!
Don’t forget to leave a comment, question, or word of encouragement for Neysa below. Until then, happy reading!
Yours in Messiah Yeshua,