Skip to main content

Author Interview: Laura Creedle

When did you decide you wanted, or could be, an author? Was YA always the genre you wrote?
I always wrote.  When I was a kid I kept a journal as a way to deal with some pretty terrible school experiences.  I didn’t always plan to be a YA writer though.  When I started writing about my experiences with ADHD, I quickly realized this was a YA story.  


Your book deals with two characters with learning difference which is awesome and something we don’t see enough of in YA. What led you to write this book about a girl with ADHD and a boy with Autism?
I’m ADHD and dyslexic, and I really wanted to write a novel about my experiences. The romance came later, but I was intrigued by the idea of taking two Neuro-divergent characters who are completely different, and yet understand each other.


What was the writing process like for you from taking this from an idea to print?
Like, a million drafts.  I queried with an earlier version, sent out fulls and partials, and realized from the rejections that I’d written half of a good novel.  I spent almost two years writing the other half.


What was your favorite scene to write?
Hmmmmm… how to say this without spoilers.  My favorite was the scene where she texts Abelard while she’s waiting in Dr. Brainguy’s office. I cried while writing that scene.  I still cry when I reread it. The idea that Lily does something impulsive and destructive in the interest of trying to do the right thing, is something, as an ADHD person, I struggle with.


I’m currently in my final round of editing on my novel before I intend to query. What advice do you have for authors who are about to dip their toes into publishing?
Be prepared for the fact that this probably isn’t your final draft.  I had over forty beta readers, a Pitchwars mentor, a revision for my agent, and my editor still had extensive notes.  If you believe in a project, you should commit  to revising as many times as is necessary.  


I love Lily’s voice. She draws the reader in and makes them understand she’s far from careless even if it may appear that way sometimes. From my own experience having been diagnosed with dyslexia since the third grade and a terrible speller, getting labeled thoughtless or careless is a common reality for kids with learning differences. Do you have any ideas about how educators and others can better understand how hard students with learning differences are trying?
I could write an entire book on this subject alone!  When I was writing The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily, I realized that teachers and librarians would be reading this book too.  Teachers have the most complex and difficult job in the world, and they have to do it while being vilified by certain segments of our government, who believe that teaching is a low skill, entry level job.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In the novel, Lily’s 504 accommodations get lost in the system (this happened to my daughter!).  Still, there are teachers in her school who have the skill and education to understand who Lily is as a learner, even without special instructions.  We need to foster this kind of approach, and work to change the minds of the teacher who toss around abusive words like “thoughtless” or “careless”.   

I noticed you have a new project coming up. What is this new book about?
I’m writing a book about a girl named Clementine.  Her mother goes to a conference and leaves Clementine to care from her baby brother, Buddy.  When the mother doesn’t return Clementine has to confront not only the daily struggles of taking care of a baby, but  also her family history, her mother’s mental illness, and the potential loss of her historic house. 


I loved getting to hear about Creedle's process with her book as well as her thoughts on learning difference. I wanted to take a moment to spotlight what she suggested we could do going forward to help promote literacy with dyslexics as Americans, government officials, and teachers. I found her words to be inspiring dead on.

"We could screen every child who comes into the school system, and place the 7 to 11 percent of dyslexic student in an intensive remediation when it matters— before students fall behind, and become discouraged.  We could significantly change the educational outcomes for ten percent of all students. This is huge!
Only we don’t.  Why?  Because it’s expensive.  State legislatures don’t want to pay for it.  
To my mind, this is educational mal-practice.  If a doctor knew how to save a patient’s life, but did nothing because the patient was under-insured, they would have their license to practice medicine revoked.  
To give you a sense of the scale of this crisis:  ten percent of students are dyslexic or in some other way reading impaired.  Over half the longterm inmates in prison have difficulty reading, or are functionally illiterate.
We incarcerate more people than any nation on earth.  Imagine we funneled off part of our prison budget and directed it towards reading intervention."



Links of Interest:
Things I'm Seeing Without You: Review Here
Love Letters of Abelard and Lily: Review Here
Celebrities We Need: Article Here
No, I'm Not Okay: Story Here


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi: YA Book Review

  Yolk  by Mary H.K. Choi Overview: Jayne is in fashion school in NYC. Well, she's enrolled. It's debatable how often she actually attends. June has a fancy job in finance, or that's what everyone thinks. But when June gets cancer, the estranged sisters are pulled together because June needs Jayne's identity to get treatment. By pretending to be her sister to get the life-saving procedure, June is forced to come clean and pull Jayne back into her orbit. Though their relationship stays rocky, they're suddenly glued together, forced to admit that their respective glamorous lives are actually filled with roaches and trauma and missteps. Overall: 5+++ This book made me happy cry (that's never happened while reading) and sad cry. Characters: 5 The book is told from Jayne's perspective in an extremely close first person. This book has plot. Things happen in the way that life happens, but it's mostly just characters getting split open and probed for all their w

YA You Need To Read: April 2021

It's already April! School has been super super hectic, and I'm starting my old job as a bookseller again, so I haven't had much time for reading lately (ironic, I know), but I did want to talk about some books coming out in April that I can't wait to read (one day) that might inspire you to pick them up. I particularly can't wait for My Epic Spring Break Up! It's been on my list for a while now (I mean, look at that cover), but I also found some new books that hadn't been on my radar while browsing around the internet that I wanted to bring to your attention.  Let me know in the comments what April books you can't wait for!  Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Kahn  April 6th Zara has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. She's always dealt with the Islamophobia that's rampant in her high school, but when the star football player gets suspended, Zara becomes the target of a racist attack by the rest of the team that puts her and her family'

Once Upon a Quinceañera

Once Upon a Quinceañera   by Monica Gomez-Hera Overview: Carmen hasn't graduated high school, even though it's the summer after senior year. When her senior project fell through, Carmen has to scramble to complete the project over the summer. That means no college (not that she applied) and no future plans beyond becoming a Dream (floating around in a Belle costume at children's parties) with her best friend Waverley. So maybe it's not the summer Carmen wanted, but it's fine. At least until her ex-boyfriend who ruined everything, Mauro, also shows up on the team and then they get assigned to work her nemesis and younger cousin's quinceañera, which becomes the big event of the summer. Nothing ever quite goes to plan for Carmen, does it? Overall: 4 Characters: 4 I enjoyed hanging out with Carmen for a while. She's super witty and cynical in a way that I appreciate. I also loved reading about a character who's just out of high school and doesn't have a

Olivia Rodrigo'a SOUR As YA Books: Track By Track

This list turned out to be much harder to make than I anticipated when I came up with the idea last week. I set out to match songs to SOUR because what goes better with an album written by a 17/18 year old than YA books, but it turns out that YA books are just too hopeful for this album. Unlike many of these songs, I couldn't find books where the characters ended the book totally despondent and broken up. It took a bit of brainstorming, but I think I found a book to match the essence of each SOUR track. Le me know in the comments which songs on SOUR are your favorite. Mine are "brutal", "favorite crime", "deja vu", and "jealousy, jealousy".  1. "brutal" : War and Speech   by Don Zolidis War and Speech just radiates the same badass, discontented with teenage life energy as "brutal". This was the first book that popped into my mind when I thought about making this post. Just look at the cover. Sydney's life has been fa

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston: NA Book Review

  One Last Stop  by Casey McQuiston Get Your Copy! Overview: August moved to New York for yet another fresh start and hopefully to finish out college (finally). In her attempt to find a place, she stumbles into an apartment full of interesting people who will quickly become her best friends. They fold her seamlessly into their lives. And then, on the subway, August meets a girl who will change her life forever. As time goes on, August finds out that Subway Girl, or Jane, is stuck on the Q metro line by some kind of energetic force. With the Q shutting down for maintenance by the end of the summer, August and her friends have to band together to get Jane unstuck, even if that means bouncing her back to 1977 where she came from and never seeing her again. Overall: 4 Characters: 5 I genuinely loved everyone in this book, and they gave me such warm, fuzzy, and hopeful feelings. The book would be New Adult if that was a category that publishing actually used (please can we make this more of

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

End of Summer YA to Preorder: August TBR

I know I always start these posts by panicking about how it's somehow already *insert whatever month here* because I'm always genuinely surprised when a new month rolls around and I realize it's already time to make a TBR post. But this month it's extra scary because I'm going to start this month at home like normal and end the month in a a brand new city, on my own, and starting in college in person for the first time. I have a road trip and a million boxes and probably a few tears in my future. (More on that later because I think I'm going to actually write a wrap up for this month sometime this week since there are about to be a ton of big changes!)  Anyway, here are the books I'm most excited for during the month of August. This list is a bit shorter than usual, but it has a bit of everything I love: a college YA/NA, a pop star story, and a book from an author I've enjoyed before.  If you're excited about any of these books, make sure you get you

Is YA For Me?

I've seen a lot of different conversations taking place on Twitter that all come back to a central theme. The YA space is controlled by adults. For the most part, they are the ones with the purchasing power, they have jobs in the industry, they are in a better position to amplify their voices about how they feel about different books and the category as a whole. I've been thinking about these conversations as a whole, and it really does come back to the intended audience not owning the space and what that means for the category and the conversations around it. As a teen who's heavily involved in the YA community, I sometimes feel awkward reading all the different, slightly varied takes from adults. Some make blanket statements for themselves and some work with teens and try to be a conduit to add them to the conversation. Very rarely do I come across a real teen who gets an amplified voice in the conversation (definitely go check out Vicky Who Reads on Twitter because,

Writing Morally Gray Characters: A Guest Post by Laurie Devore, Author of A Better Bad Idea

Laurie Devore is stopping by the blog today to talk about her new book from Imprint, A Better Bad Idea , which is out now! This mystery/thriller/romance fusion is Laurie's third book, and it's a new twist on her usual contemporary YA stories. For this guest post, Laurie talks about crafting morally gray characters that your readers will still feel attached to and cheer on. Here's her best writing tips:  I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of what people will do when they’re pushed to their brink. While my new novel, A BETTER BAD IDEA, may seem like a departure in some ways from my previous novels, I actually think their DNA is quite similar. The stakes are higher, but as ever, this book is about girls making unimaginable choices because of their circumstances, whether self-inflicted or not.   I’m constantly thinking about what it means to write morally gray characters, and I think the main takeaway from me is that I’m just much more interested in what people do and w