YALL Fest Author Interview: C.J. Lyons

Well hello there!

As you may know by now, I’m participating in a little blog hop to promote the awesome YALL Fest book festival in Charleston on November 9. This will be my first year attending YALL Fest, as I just moved to South Carolina this past July, and I just cannot wait.

Because I’m so excited I agreed to host some author interviews. Today’s interview is from C.J. Lyons, author of the YA thriller Broken. I haven’t read this one yet, but it really does sound interesting…AND apparently C.J. Lyons went to Medical School at the University of Florida where I went for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. CJ LyonsGo Gators!

Describe your book in 5 words:

CJ: Girl dying of broken heart (literally)

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

CJ: The first. I’ll often return to it over and over again until I’ve sliced and diced and fine-honed it to that perfect combination of intrigue, visceral reaction, and emotional connection with the reader.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

CJ: “Code Name Verity” because it is so emotionally honest and inspiring, empowering, not to mention gut-wrenching. Really brings the era to life as well as the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.Broken by CJ Lyons

CJ: When I was a kid I worked summer stock theatre and was actually a theatre major undergrad before switching to pre-med. I’ve had two hard landings in helicopters while working as a flight doc. I survived rampaging Cape Horn Buffalo and a pack of wild baboons, not to mention a leopard (he’s already eaten) while hiking in Hells Gate Park in Kenya. I’m a Capricorn. I diagnosed my niece with the heart condition that’s at the center of my YA thriller, BROKEN.

What are you working on now?

CJ: DAMAGED, my next YA thriller, due out in 2014. It deals with the really tough topic of abuse and coercion and is the most difficult book I’ve ever tackled—there have been times while writing when I was literally in tears as I typed.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

CJ: I created my own genre of Thrillers with Heart—I love writing fast paced stories with raising stakes but centered on the emotional heart of an evolving relationship. As for reading, I read almost every genre but especially love YA, magical realism, and thrillers. As long as a story grabs me by the throat and won’t let me go because I’m too worried about what the characters are going through, I’ll read it and love it.

Okay, when other authors recommend a certain book it makes me feel like I should read it too…so maybe I’ll pick up Code Name Verity soon too! :)

Remember you’ll be able to see C.J. Lyons at this year’s YALL Fest in November! Maybe I can get her to do a Gator Chomp photo with me! :)

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