I've talked before about my writing journey and how LONG it was and the hundreds of editor and agent rejections I have, but one of the things I take from those experiences is how much I learned from them all. They led me to seek out more critique partners and to study my craft (so important), which lead me to Kelley. She taught me the importance of tightening. If I can say the same thing in four words that I said it eight, I need to do it with four. She taught me to make sure each scene counts. I know it's cool to read a super long book, but each scene needs to have a purpose and move the plot forward and shouldn't just be there to make the book longer. She helped me learn that (not that I'm perfect at it! I'm still a work in progress).
Another thing that I love about working with her, is we write very differently and I think that helps us both. It helps to get the opinion of someone who leans toward reading and writing books that aren't exactly the way you write. It gives you a different view which I personally like to have.
She's a damn good writer. She knows how to craft an amazing story. Years ago she came to me with her idea for HUSHED. Honestly, I wasn't sure in the beginning. I worried the premise was dark for YA and I just didn't think it would be my thing. My words didn't hold her back because she needed to tell that story and I'm so glad she did. The following is to me, the mark of a GREAT writer because York has the power to make me love stories I didn't think I would love. She makes my heart ache and open for characters I never thought I would. She makes me fall in love with them. Before she wrote it, and even in the beginning of the story, I was so unsure about Archer from HUSHED, but she wrote him in a way that sucked me in and made me feel for him. She makes me love characters I never thought I would. That's an amazing talent to have!!!
And then came SUICIDE WATCH and again I was scared...very scared because I'm a wuss and I just don't have the ability to write the intense, darker stories like she does, but again she blew me away. And the ending... GAH, I love the ending of that book.
Later this year MADE OF STARS is releasing from Entangled Publishing. Chance. Oh Chance. I love him. I still think about him and it's probably been almost a year since I read the book.
I will forever owe a lot to Kelley. She's helped me become a stronger writer and she's taught me to step outside my "reading box" to find such an incredible world with characters that will forever be a part of me.
I'm a pretty lucky friend.
Check out Kelley York's site HERE
SUICIDE WATCH here