“Some times should never be forgotten—at least, that’s what they tell me.” And thus begins Kristen Young’s award-winning novel, Apprentice. Kristen is a Scottish-born Australian author who has worked in children’s and youth ministry for decades. She writes fiction and non-fiction for teens, and always has a notebook on hand to capture stray story ideas. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her family, watching movies with subtitles, and enjoying a little too much chocolate. I know you are going to adore getting to know more about Kristen!
And make sure you stick around to the end to see how you can enter to win a copy of Apprentice and the sequel Elite!
Writer’s Desk with Kristen Young
Q&A with Kristen Young
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
Life, family, and ministry responsibilities all compete for my time and tend to push creativity out. So I have learned how to write “around the edges”. When I’m writing a draft, I’ll get up a couple of hours before the rest of the family and use the silence to pray, read my Bible, and then write. I’ve also developed a habit of “priming the pump” the night before. If I think through the story during the evening, I find my brain wakes up ready to go the next day!
I have a desk and office at home, but I will change spots during the day to a sunroom or outdoor table if the weather is nice.
When are you most productive?
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
I need a cup of coffee to get started, and unfortunately, I’ll devour whatever is in the cupboard. So I try to reduce the number of snacks available. But I am a sucker for chocolate.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
A couple of things help. If I hit a roadblock in the plot, I’ll walk around the house, thinking through the plot dilemma while I move. I might need to rewind the plot back so that the action can move in a slightly different direction. If it’s still not happening, I’ll put the writing aside and move to some admin or other social media tasks. If it’s really not moving, I’ll go for a walk or do some exercise.
What is your outlining process? Are you a pantser/plotter or something in between?
I recently called myself a ‘plot renovator’. I like to set out a plot at the beginning, but as I write and my characters become more fully fleshed out, they start to do things I hadn’t anticipated. So I then renovate the plot. I’ll always try and wrestle it back to the ending I was aiming for at the beginning. We might have to take a few detours, but we get there in the end!
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
Don’t send your first draft to publishers.
What is your favorite thing to binge-watch: K-Drama. Happy endings and cheesy humour.
What are you currently reading: Secrets in the Mist by Morgan Busse
What is your favorite specialty coffee/tea drink: Aussies don’t have many Starbucks, so I usually have a long black coffee (hot) or a mocha frappe (cold).
Enter to win copies of both Apprentice and Elite.*
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More about the Collective Underground:
The Love Collective is everywhere.
It sees everything.
Be not afraid.
Apprentice Flick remembers everything, except the first five years of her life. And for as long as she can remember, Flick has wanted to enter the Elite Academy—home to the best, brightest, and most loyal members of the Love Collective government.
Flick’s uncanny memory might get her there, too … even if it is the very thing that marks her as a freak. But frightening hallucinations start intruding into her days and threaten to bring down all she has worked so hard to accomplish. Why is she being hijacked by a stranger’s nightmare over and over again?
Moving to the Elite Academy could give Flick the future she’s always wanted. But her search for truth may lead to a danger she cannot escape.
Where do you find safety when your world is falling apart?
Apprentice Flick thought the Elite Academy was the answer to all her problems. But the revelation of her past turned everything upside down. Now, she is caught between two worlds set on a collision course.
Will she embrace the chaotic memories that flood her every waking moment? Or will she run to the security of her Elite training?
Discovering her parents’ identities takes her to a secret underground bunker where she finds new friends, opportunities, and maybe even love. But Flick must decide where her allegiances lie soon, or the Triumph of Love festival might bring about her demise.
Connect with Kristen Young
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