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

Top Reads of 2018

This year's best of 2018 list has tons of new categories to fit all of the amazing books I read this year. I've had the chance to read so many advanced books and recent releases, so most of what I read were books that came out in 2018. I mostly choose contemporary, so I've started with my favorite debut as well as the best books in other genres I've ventured into. After that, I have smaller categories in the contemporary genre. I hope you find new books to love and give to your friends and family for the holidays. If you're interested in learning more about the books on the list, click their titles to go to my reviews. Let me know if these are some of your favorites in the comments, and tell me your favorite books!
Best In Genre Top Debut
Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell Nothing Left To Burn gave me the craziest book hangover. I was so immersed in the story, and I couldn't stop reading to do anything that I actually needed to be doing. There is a toxic relat…

Queen of Geek Review

Queen of Geek by Jen Wilde
Overview: Charlie is a famous You Tuber whose indie film has exploded in popularity. It's landed her at SupaCon in San Diego with two of her best friends. While there, Taylor and Jamie try to find a way for Taylor to meet her favorite author, and Charlie has to do tons of press with her exboyfriend. Luckily, though, the magic of the con brings them all some good luck and memorable moments. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Charlie is so much fun. She's confident, has pink hair, and is full of life. She has some interesting commentary on being famous and also on how fandom works when people ship actors together in real life.
Taylor has anxiety and is on the autism spectrum. She's the biggest fan of the Firestone series, but winning the contests to meet the author requires her to step way outside of her comfort zone. With Jamie by her side, she reclaims a lot of confidence and makes the con her own.

Plot: 4 If you love books about celebrity and cons, you'…

Top 10 of 2019: All the YA Love

We're winding down 2019, so it's time to get reflective on the past year. It feels like multiple lifetimes have happened in this single year. It was one of the best years for the blog that I've ever had. Even though I might have read less this year, I expanded my interviews and guests posts, got to work closely with some wonderful writers, and fell further in love with the YA community. A huge thank you to everyone in the Novel19s for working with me, being so kind, and putting out some of the best books I've ever read. In the next few weeks, I'll be posting more about the future I see for the blog going into 2020 and it's third year, but, for now, let's celebrate all the amazing stories 2020 has brought to us! I did my Reading, Writing, and Me book awards recently which honored over 20 books in tons of different categories so if you need last minute holiday shopping inspiration, check out this list and the earlier one!

1. Permanent Record
I have not stoppe…

Reflecting on 2019 and the Decade

"It was the end of a decade, but the start of an age"- "Long Live"

I can't believe it's finally here. We're all getting ready to step into 2020 tomorrow. It always seemed so far away. We've all been talking about it so long that it's managed to creep up on me. I guess we're all getting a little extra sentimental because we're ending a decade (in terms of the popular view of decades). We're moving into the 20s. Seeing everyone's decade later comparisons has been weird because the 2010s were the first full decade I've ever lived. I started the decade as a six year old in first grade, so, even though I feel like I've accomplished far less than some people on Twitter, I have, in fact, managed to graduate elementary, middle, and high school and get into college in the last 10 years. I've also become a person.
Most of what's shaped me has happened in the last ten years. I've learned an incredible amount about mysel…

More Than Maybe Review

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn (May 2020)
Overview: Vada works at a dive bar, scraping together money for college and learning about running from a show her soon to be step-dad to get closer to her future dreams. She also runs the Loud Lizard's successful music blog Behind the Music. Vada is about to head off to LA and start working towards her music journalism dreams, but she has to make it through senior year first. Luke Greenly is the son of famous British punk rocker, Charlie Greenly. The whole family has set down roots in Michigan where his mom works at the university, but remnants of his dad's past life still follow them. Luke loves writing songs but hates performing, and, because of his dad, he's been thrust into the spotlight more than he'd like. For now, he'd rather stick to making successful podcast The Grass Is Greenly with his twin brother, Cullen, and hopelessly pining after Vada through stalking Behind the Music. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 Vada is a charact…

Izzy and Tristan Review

Izzy + Tristan by. Shannon Dunlap (324 pages)
Overview: Izzy and Tristan have a love story. When Izzy's family renovates a moves into a new house on a Brooklyn block their lives change. Her twin brother Hull almost immediately gets into a fight, pulling a knife on some neighborhood kids after a gambling chess match goes wrong. Izzy falls for Tristan, the boy who won Hull's match. With Hull away at a rehabilitation center, Izzy and Tristan are free to fall for each other until Marcus decides that he wants to take revenge on Hull by dating his sister. And even when that battle is overcome, police brutality draws a permanent line between the couple. Overall: 2

*Okay, I'm not really sure how to write a spoiler free review of this because the shocker ending is what I take the most issue with. I'll keep it spoiler free in the characters and plot section, but I will talk about the ending in the writing section. I still recommend you read it, even if you plan on reading the boo…

What If It's Us

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (448 pages)
Overview: Ben and Arthur meet at the post office during a flashmob. Well, Arthur followed Ben into the post office because he thought he was and, and, just as they started talking, in true form with Arthur's New York fantasy, a flash mob erupted. When the boys and split up, Arthur loses his chance at connecting with Ben, but when he can't stop thinking about him, he explores ways to reconnect even in a city of a million empty faces like New York. Even if they can find each other, with Arthur going back to Georgia at the end of the summer, will it even be worth it? Overall: 4/5

Characters: 4.5 I'm not sure what to say about the characters. I liked them enough, but I didn't feel any real attachment to any of them. I liked the cast of friends, but they all lacked a certain weight that would give them a stronger sense of reality. My favorite relationship in the book was the friendship between Dylan and Ben.…

New Release: America Panda

America Panda by Gloria Chao (306 pages)
Overview: Mei is starting MIT a year early, skipping senior year, pushed forward by her parents who always demanded she push herself past extremes. They've also dictated that she's at MIT to become a doctor and that she will marry Eugene. Mei doesn't know how to cope with her parents rigid views and traditions that come from their Chinese culture. She doesn't feel like she can belong anywhere due to the conflicting expectations, and she knows she must sort out her feelings if she ever wants to be happy. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I loved Mei. I related to her so much. We both need glasses (and don't wear them often), have a thing with avoiding germs, and are graduating early (something I never thought I'd see in a book). Watching Mei struggle between what she wants to do and what her parents want her to do. It's amazing to see how the college experience and the people around her help her sort out her feelings and carry…

I Got Rid of (Almost) All My Books

On Twitter, everyone loves to joke about their TBR piles that are heading to swallow them whole. We talk about buying way too many books. They're like personality traits for book bloggers and book community members, but we don't really talk about the reality of that. Running the blog for close to three years, it was starting to stare me in the face in the form of heaps and heaps of books. Books everywhere. Shoved onto my tiny bookshelf, stacked on top of it, piled on my nightstand, piled on the floor, and lining my long windowsill. I woke up one morning and decided it felt like the books were slowly creeping in and stealing all the oxygen. So I decided to do something about it. I gathered together all the boxes floating around in the garage from Christmas, threw myself on the floor, and started to make piles of my books.
It was honestly overwhelming to start deciding what I was giving away and what I was keeping. I was both feeling like "EVERYTHING MUST GO" and &quo…

Waiting For Fitz

Waiting For Fitz by Spencer Hyde (March 5) Click to Purchase
Overview: Addie is in the hospital for inpatient OCD treatment. She's not thrilled, particularly because her mom might watch The Great British Bake Off without her, but, overall, she's ready to try whatever it takes to get better. And it turns out that most of the orderlies are nice and her fellow patients are great company, especially Fitz, who's been there for two years battling schizophrenia. Inside, she makes major strides toward recovery, but Fitz comes to her and asks for help breaking out. Against her better judgement, she can't refuse to help him. Overall: 4 

Characters: 5 I enjoyed reading from Addie's prospective. I thought that Hyde did an awesome job portraying OCD and the compulsions and obsessions that come with it. Addie is sarcastic and sensible. She has a wonderful, supportive mom and a team behind her that's determined to help. I love how she is both reasonable, and takes time to quest…