Author Crush Friday: Kelley York and Rowan Altwood
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Kelley York and Rowan Altwood, the amazing duo of the YA contemporary, Other Breakable Things (April 4, 2017; Entangled Teen). Thank you for talking to us today, Kelley and Rowan! We’re honored!
GLITTER: How did you come up with the plot for Other Breakable Things?
Kelley: All of my books start with the characters. In this case, Rowan had the idea for Luc, I came up with Evelyn for him, and the plot came tumbling in after.
GLITTER: Was there one question that sparked the whole plot?
Rowan: What if you were presented the with chance to end things on your own terms?
GLITTER: What is it like writing with a writing partner? Was it harder or easier to have someone to bounce ideas off of?
Kelley: It was a challenge for me to be able to let go of creative freedom, but, I mean, this is my wife, so we work well together and know how to compromise. Basically, Evelyn was “mine,” and her character development was largely left up to my discretion.
Rowan: Working with my wife, I didn’t mind at all. It was harder for me to keep things realistic and try to find balance for a book as opposed to a story for my own pleasure where I don’t need to worry about anything other than writing what I want.
GLITTER: If you could have any of your books turned into a movie, what one book do you hope makes it to the big screen and why?
Kelley: Oh, man. Doesn’t every author think about this? I think Hushed would make a great indie movie. Though I can say without a doubt, Suicide Watch is the story I’m most attached to and would like to see as a film.
Rowan: This is my only book right now, so…
GLITTER: What character do you relate to the most?
Kelley: Evelyn. I grew up very lonely, like she did. I was bullied and picked on relentlessly through most of my school years, so I let some of that seep into her character.
Rowan: Luc, ha. I think we both tend to be a bit smart-mouthed and pessimistic.
GLITTER: How much does your life imitate your art?
Kelley: A little here and there. All my characters have pieces of myself in them, but there’s only been one time I’ve put a direct scene from my life into my books. (Remember the broken jar in Suicide Watch? That happened.)
Rowan: There’s nothing that is directly from my life, but like with Kelley, you can find bits and pieces that creep in.
GLITTER: What has been the hardest character you’ve ever penned?
Rowan: I actually struggled a bit with Luc, trying to balance him with his emotions and barriers so that he didn’t come off as too harsh or unrelatable. It was fun but definitely trying at times.
GLITTER: What one YA novel do you wish you had when you were a teen?
Rowan: That’s a hard one for me because I had Summer Sisters by Judy Blume and that book was my lifeline in a lot of ways, so trying to imagine something that I’d rather have had…
GLITTER: Can both of you tell us one random fact that your fans still might not know about you?
Kelley: I’m going to college to get my degree in Art New Media, and I also design book covers. Is that interesting? Man, I’m boring. I don’t know.
Rowan: I am a fanatic about Tudor history, especially Anne Boleyn. I’ll read or watch anything I can get my hands on.
GLITTER: What are you currently working on?
Kelley: I always have multiple projects going on and I bounce between them as motivation strikes. I have a new adult LGBT contemporary I’m tackling, and I’m excited for it because it’s more in line (in terms of mood, slow-burn storytelling, etc.) as Suicide Watch. I also have a new/young adult fantasy book in the works that I’m hoping will turn into a series.
Rowan: Figuring out why I can’t find any images of dolphins in sweaters on the internet…
Kelley York and Rowan Altwood are a wife and wife writing team living in central California with their daughter, dog, and too many cats. They have a shared love of nature (especially Point Reyes National Seashore), documentaries, and video games. To date, Kelley has seven published books under her belt including Hushed, Made of Stars, and Modern Monsters. Other Breakable Things is Rowan’s debut.