I don’t want my blog to be all about me, I want to use this space to highlight other authors of YA science fiction and fantasy.
Today, I’d like to introduce author Debra Renée Byrd, who writes young adult and new adult fantasy.
Tell me about yourself. How did you get your start as an author, and what genres do you write?
I spent a few years trying to query agents for my current novel Fractured Princess. Early on, I didn’t realize how unready the book was. When I did realize, I did some major revisions, had a professional full line edit from an author friend, and tried again. I even had a professional help edit my query, but the agents kept saying they couldn’t connect with the voice of the story, so I decided to self-publish it. I mainly write YA/NA fantasy and other speculative fiction.
What inspired you to pick up a pen and write your first story. What was that first story about?
They gave us blank books to write in when I was in the 1st grade. I wrote a fake biography about my older sister. My first real story was a short backstory for one of my characters when I was into trying to write a teenage X-Men-type story. Her family was killed in a feud, and she vowed to avenge their deaths. I wrote that at a local children’s writing conference when I was 8. The teacher read it out loud, so that was probably really awkward.
Who is your favorite character from one of your books, and why?
My favorite character is Cyan from Fractured Princess. He’s this huge, intimidating protector and big brother of my main character Jonnie. I liked showing moments where he’s hulking, strong, and scary but also moments where readers and other characters see he’s shy, anxious, and really affectionate towards the people he cares about.
What types of readers would enjoy your book, and what do you hope readers take away from your work?
I believe teens, young adults, and even some older adults who like a little bit of darkness in their stories will enjoy my writing. I hope readers can take away elements they haven’t seen before and a chance to escape for a few hundred pages.
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