Interview with April Lynn Newell

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I love to read, hike and spend time with my friends and family. I also enjoy binge watching TV shows!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I find new ebooks through word of mouth and Goodreads. I like to check out the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I also check out the websites for my favorite publishers!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't exactly remember the first story I ever wrote but I'm pretty sure my mom still has it! I was about 5 years old! It definitely needed work!
What is your writing process?
My writing process starts with brainstorming which may or may not include some mapping on paper. Yes that's right, pencil and paper folks! From there I answer a series of questions about each character (even minor ones, though they may have fewer details) so I can get to know them really well. Then I draw (pencil and paper AGAIN) out my plot diagram so I can map out my plans for flow and climaxes. Lastly, before writing I summarize each spot of my plot diagram and sometimes can begin fleshing out chapters, so I end up with chapter summaries. Then I write! I fill in all the details and go over and over and over my draft until it is all fleshed out and detailed to my content before sending to beta-readers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't recall the very first story I ever read. I remember several books that were read to me, and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein was one that impacted me greatly. It was the first book to really move me, make me feel emotion and really connect with the character.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh man, five favorite books, here it goes:
1) Bible - It has to be number 1 because no other book can teach, mold and change me like the Word of God.
2) This Lullaby (by Sarah Dessen) - My dad and I share a song, "Lullaby" by Billy Joel, and this book connected so much with that song and my relationship with my dad. I've read it so many times the binding is breaking.
3) Lies Women Believe (by Nancy Leigh DeMoss) - Every woman needs to read this book. It was so powerful and wonderfully, frightfully convicting. There is also a teen version I am currently reading.
4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (by J.K. Rowling) - I've read the whole series but this was by far my favorite. The movie was a horrible representation, don't go based off of it. I loved the action involved in the TriWizard Tournament (namely the maze!) and the growth we experience with the characters at that age. Beautifully done Rowling.
5) Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte) - I LOVE the Bronte sisters! I like most of what I've read by them but Wuthering Heights take the cake. I had the privilege of reading it TWICE in high school (I changed schools after my sophomore year) and absolutely enjoyed the mystery, suspense and unconventional (or was it actually pretty normal?) love portrayed.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love fantasy and young adult novels but I also like to grow spiritually and read a non-fiction book from time to time.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Barnes and Noble NOOK all the way! I am loyal! I still have a 1st generation Nook that was bought for me within the first few months of Nook's arrival. I love it!
Describe your desk
Desk? What's a desk? Just kidding. My desk might be the kitchen table or the folding table we sometimes keep up in our guest room to act as a desk. When I'm working or in the middle of a project (like a book or a magazine issue) it is an absolute mess. I work best that way. My husband LOVES it.
When did you first start writing?
I have to say I first started writing in the 4th grade. My teacher at the time was so encouraging. She loved my writing and really inspired confidence. Which is good because I've always loved writing! Since then I've always written stories or had a story going on in my head. I also became interested in journalism and ended up getting my degree in journalism.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest, and debut, novel The Reconciling follows a few teens on their quest for different things. I think we are all on a quest for purpose overall and sometimes get caught in the weeds of acceptance, status or self indulgence. Chrissi, the main character, is plagued with a curse that causes living things to die at the touch of her hand. Obviously she is seeking healing but also answers. Her best friend Phil knows everything, or so he thinks. I think his search stems from the one thing he doesn't know, why he isn't happy though he has the picture-perfect family and really life. Lesia is Phil and Chrissi's least favorite person. They've pretty much grown up together but she tries to make their lives miserable. I think her searching is similar to Phil's. Last, we have Kesil. He is mysterious because, frankly, he doesn't know who he is, therein lies his own search. I hope readers can identify with one or all of these wonderful teens because they deal with very real struggles just like us--even though we are not quick admit it all the time. The Lesia, Kesil, Phil or Chrissi in your life is also struggling. That's important to remember.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is to share a story, to share a character's struggles and the way they overcome them and the reader that can identify and grow from it!
What are you working on next?
I'm working on part 2 of The Overcome Trilogy!
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors range from Sarah Dessen to C.S. Lewis, from the Bronte sisters to the Apostle Paul, J.K. Rowling and Beverly Lewis!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Purpose. My purpose in life, living intentionally, inspires me to get out of bed each day.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The freedom in publishing and control, as well as ease of access is what motivated me to become an indie author. It was not a light chose but it is an exciting one! I am proud to be an independent author and join the wonderful indie author community.
How do you approach cover design?
Of course I want my cover to grab the reader, pull them in, and be an accurate portrayal of the story. But I also want it to stand out. Today, most young adult fiction covers are dark. Go to any bookstore, stand at the end of the YA aisle and note how much black you see. I want to stand out. I want to be light in this darkening genre and the first place I can do that is my cover.
Published 2015-10-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Remnant: The Overcome Trilogy Part II
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,430. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Everything is at stake and nothing is coming easily. Chrissi is tormented by visions sent to distract her. Lesia doubts her ability to lead. Phil worries his intelligence may not be sufficient for the task. The friends begin to question whether they can defeat Tok as he infiltrates their world. For they are but a remnant of an army, what could they possibly do to save mankind?
The Reconciling: The Overcome Trilogy Part I
Series: The Overcome Trilogy. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 59,280. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.00 from 1 review)
Chrissi's touch brings death and she will do anything to be healed--even travel to another plane with three uncanny peers to find a long-lost, powerful king. Phil the intelligent one. Lesia the self-centered one. Kesil the rebel. Do they have what it takes to find the ancient king and make it back home safely?