Interview with Kayla Olson (Author of The Sandcastle Empire)

Hello everyone! I’m so thrilled to have a wonderful guest on my blog today. Kayla Olson, author of The Sandcastle Empire, has agreed to do an interview and I’m SO excited about it. I won’t say anything else because I just want to get straight to the interview. Let’s get started!

1. Hey, Kayla! Before we begin the interview, can you briefly introduce yourself and The Sandcastle Empire?

Hi, Liv, and thanks so much for having me! The Sandcastle Empire is a near-future sci-fi thriller/survival story about four girls who set off for an island in hopes of finding freedom there—only to find it more dangerous than the war-torn world they’ve left behind. As for me, I love coffee and chocolate and the beach…but would not want to be stranded on one! (That said, if I ever were stranded on one, coffee and chocolate would help considerably with the whole survival aspect.)

2. When you were young, did you want to grow up to be an author? 

I’ve always been an avid reader, but when I was young, I never quite knew how to approach being an author as a viable career. I was more of a journaler back then—but I did get into that because I dreamed of having my words written in a real, actual, book with a bound spine and a hard cover! It wasn’t until after college that I started writing fiction. Fortunately, by then, the internet was full of amazing resources on how to pursue the path to publication.

3. What is your writing process like? Do you have any specific things you need to do before you can begin writing?

Ooh, great question—I always love talking about process, and hearing how other people work, too. For me, whenever I get an idea, I always open a brand new Scrivener file and do my best to get the first page written. I’m a big believer in finishing what you’re working on (and these days, I have contracts and deadlines, so I can’t really switch projects based on feeling alone), so it helps to get the first line and the voice down for any shiny new ideas that hit me while I’m knee deep in drafting/revising something else! Having the first line and the voice ready to go helps immensely when it comes time to focus on the shiny new idea—it makes it much easier for me to slip into the project, even months or years after that initial spark.

4. (Cliche Question) How did you come up with the idea behind The Sandcastle Empire? 

I was having a particularly strong longing for a beach vacation, which coincided with some particularly strong nostalgia for the TV show Lost—the island setting came first, but quickly morphed from ohhh, I wish I was at the beach to I *must* write this story about this mysterious beach/island I never, ever want to visit!

5. What about Young Adult made you decide to write for teens?

Being a teen is such a huge time for developing relationships, empathy, and worldview—I remember that time of my life so clearly, and naturally gravitated toward writing about those years when I decided to focus on writing books instead of music. I also simply loved reading YA, so it made sense to write in the category I knew and loved so much!

6. Do you have any other passions besides writing and books? Do your interests influence your writing in any way?

Music was my first passion, and in fact, I think everyone—family and friends alike—expected me to go that route. I’ve always been a big fan of lyrics (think Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Sandra McCracken) and wrote a good handful of my own songs back in college. My background of writing/loving poetry and lyrics definitely influenced the way I approach words on the page!

7. Do you have any projects you are currently working on (if you are allowed to talk about it)?

I do! As you suspected, though, I’m not able to share specifics quite yet—I will say that it’s another YA sci-fi/survival story, with another tight-knit cast, and a good bit of mystery/intrigue there, too. It’s very different from The Sandcastle Empire, but still very me. I can’t wait to share more details about it—it’s planned for Fall 2018, again with HarperTeen, so watch my Instagram (@authorkaylaolson) or Twitter (@olsonkayla) feeds for more!

Thanks again, Kayla, for allowing me to interview you. It was a pleasure!

Check Out The Sandcastle Empire



Barnes & Noble:



Book Depository:

Are you excited to read The Sandcastle Empire? Is it on your TBR or have you already pre-ordered it?


Blog Tour: Interview with Victoria Scott (Author of Violet Grenade)

Hello everyone! Today, I am very excited to have one of my favorite authors on my blog! I’ve been a fan of hers for over a year now, and I’m on her street team (#VMafia). I knew I just had to jump at the chance to host her on her Violet Grenade blog tour run through Chapter By Chapter. Without anymore delay, I’d like to welcome Victoria Scott!

1. Hi Victoria! Before we start, can you tell us a bit about Violet Grenade?

Hi! Violet Grenade is a young adult psychological suspense about a teen runaway with a second personality. It touches on bullying, revenge, manipulation, and love.

2. You’ve mentioned that you usually get your book ideas with a BANG: how did you get your idea for Violet Grenade?

It came as a vision, actually. I kept imagining this small girl getting targeted by an assailant, and then being surprised when she turns out to be incredibly violent. I love the concept of not knowing who you’re messing with.

3. Was writing Violet Grenade different than writing your other books?

Yes, it was. This was my first psychological book, and definitely the darkest. It’s much, much darker than my previous books, and it was liberating to be given licence to push the envelope.

4. What character is your favorite to write about? Why?

The personality in Domino’s head, Wilson, is my favourite, though it was difficult to balance him. I wanted him to be funny, but dangerous, and that was tough to nail down.

5. What is your writing process like?

I’m a very fluid writer. I don’t jump around, and I follow a general outline. I try to write 1,000 – 2,000 words a day, five days a week.

6. How long does it usually take for you to finish a first draft?

Depends when my deadline is. Ha! I’d love to have a full year to write a first draft, but it usually ends up being where I have three months to write the entire thing. That’s the situation I’m in now drafting my next story.

7. What made you decide to write your books for young adults?

I think I sort of fell into it. I was in my twenties when I first started writing books, so I read a lot of upper YA. Now that I’m 100% adult, I sometimes tinker with adult books, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully make that leap. We’ll see.

8. Finally, can you talk about your next upcoming project?

I can’t tell you too much, yet. I’m writing the first draft of a new young adult book now, and I’m hoping to be able to announce something very soon. I’ll give you one hint: Nirvana.

Thanks again to Victoria for the interview! It was wonderful to have you on my blog!

Check Out Violet Grenade!

DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.Violet Grenade

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM|Chapters | Indies | Amazon| B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks


Win a signed paperback of The Collector, a signed paperback of Titans, and a signed galley of Hear The Wolves!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author

VictoriaScott_Author Photo.jpg

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at

Website| Twitter | Facebook | InstagramGoodreads



Find the rest of the tour schedule here!

Did you enjoy the interview? Have you added Violet Grenade to your TBR yet?



SST: Interview with Laura Silverman (Author of Girl Out of Water)

Hello everyone! As a part of the Sunday Street Team, I’m one of the stops for a blog tour featuring Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman. I am BEYOND excited about this. Without too much delay, let’s get to the interview with Laura!

1) Hi Laura! Before we begin, can you talk about Girl Out of Water and what it is about?

Hi Liv! It’s about a California surfer girl who has to spend the entire summer in landlocked Nebraska. There’s family, romance, summer vibes, and probably way too many descriptions of food

2) Talk about your writing life: have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have! I’ve been writing stories since I could write, and I took creative writing courses in high school and college. I thought it was something I would work at for a long time and maybe one day in the far-off future I’d get published, but I decided to go to graduate school for creative writing, fully dedicated myself to the work, and before I knew it I was signing with an agent for my first novel!

3) What is your writing process like? Do you outline before or just dive into the story?

I definitely tend towards diving. I outline a little bit, especially as I get into later drafts and the structure becomes more important, but I let my characters drive the car pretty often

4) You’re very open with your chronic illness on social media: how do you think your chronic pain has influenced your writing life?

It limits it – I used to be able to write seven to eight hours a day, and that just isn’t possible right now. But I’m very grateful I have a passion and a job with flexible hours, so it’s challenging, but I’m making it work!

5) Have you always enjoyed books?

Yes, yes, yes! I’ve genre-hopped back and forth a bit over the years, but I’ve always loved reading and can’t see that ever changing

6) What was your favorite book as a child?

As a kid I loved Harry Potter, Matilda, Coraline, Anne Frank’s Diary, etc. The list of course goes on and on!

7) What are some of your other favorite Young Adult books (besides your own)?

I can never pick favorite books overall but some recent favorite reads are THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, THE HATE U GIVE, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, and UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES.

8) Would you like to talk about any upcoming projects you have? How are they similar (or different) to Girl Out of Water?

I recently sold my second book – it’s also a YA contemporary, but it’s pretty different. My main character, Ariel, deals with academic pressure and examining his Jewish identity. Though – both books do have swoony romances


Thanks again, Laura, for your wonderful responses. It was such a pleasure being able to interview you on my blog!

Preorder Girl Out of Water 

Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will fall in love this contemporary debut about finding yourself-and finding love-in unexpected places.

Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can’t wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home-it’s her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

Landlocked Nebraska is the last place Anise wants to be. Sure, she loves her family, but it’s hard to put her past behind her when she’s living in the childhood house of the mother who abandoned her. And with every Instagram post, her friends back home feel further away.

Then she meets Lincoln, a charismatic, one-armed skater who challenges her to swap her surfboard for a skateboard. Because sometimes the only way to find your footing is to let go.

Goodreads Link:

Preorder Links:

Amazon- US:

Amazon – UK:

Barnes & Nobles:

Book Depository:

Girl Out of Water Giveaway

A Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author

Laura received her MFA in writing for children from the New School. She loves books and dogs—okay, and quite a few people too. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. You can say hello on Twitter at @LJSilverman1.

Follow Her On Social Media:




Tour Schedule


Interview – Pretty Deadly Blog

Review –  Sarcasm and Lemons

Interview –  Curly Hair Bibliophile

Interview – Hopeful Reads

Mood board & Review – Here’s to Happy Endings

Review –  Book Nerd Addicts


Review – Fafa’s Book Corner

Interview – Books, TV, and More…Oh My!

Aesthetics Post – Roecker Reviews

Review – Next Page Please

Interview – Awkwordly Emma

Review – A Thousand Words A Million Books


Review – Books and Ladders

Graphics Inspired Quotes –  The Cozy Little Book Nook

Interview –  Tattooed Pages  

Review –  Crazy for YA


Are you excited to read Girl Out of Water? Did you enjoy the interview?



Interview with Ruta Sepetys (Author of Salt to the Sea)

I’m beyond excited that I was given the opportunity to interview one of my favorite authors, Ruta Sepetys. I was able to meet her at the North Texas Teen Book Festival, and she’s extremely sweet and an overall lovely person. Without further ado, let’s get to the interview!

2. Hi Ruta! Before we get started, can you talk about the books you’ve written so far? 

I’ve written three historical novels: Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy and Salt to the Sea. They are all published through Philomel which is a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

2. What inspired you to go into writing? Specifically, historical fiction?

I am drawn to hidden history and stories of strength through struggle, so I look for topics that contain those elements. Writing historical fiction is like being a detective. I love discovering secrets and lost heroes.  Sometimes history can be perceived as boring. But through characters and story, historical statistics become human and suddenly we care for people we’ve never met, we can find their country on a map, and then—the history matters. Through historical fiction we can give voice those who will never have a chance to tell their story. That inspires me!

3. Is there a time period in history that you’ve wanted to write about but you haven’t yet?

There are many periods I’d love to write about! I’d love to write a novel set in the ’20’s and a novel set during the Depression.

4. Are there any characters you’ve written about that have been your favorite? 

I absolutely loved writing the character of Josie Moraine in Out of the Easy. The odds are stacked against her, but Josie is a fighter. She decides that she—and she alone—will be the author of her own destiny. She will learn to fly, even though she’s been born with broken wings.

5. In your opinion, what is the best thing about being a writer? 

My favorite part is the research. I love researching hidden history! I also love listening to readers share their interpretation of my books. I think the reader’s interpretation is more important than the author’s explanation. A book is different to every single reader. Each reader may read the same text, but they create characters and setting in their own mind and therefore no two are alike. That’s fascinating to me!

6. Besides writing and history, what are some of your other passions?

Music and family! Prior to becoming a novelist, I spent over twenty years in the music industry. I love the process of songwriting and making music. My family is probably my biggest inspiration. They’ve supported all of my creative endeavors and I adore them!

7. Which part of writing a book is harder: the research or the actual writing process?

That’s a great question. I’m sure it differs for every author, but for me the actual writing process is harder. Research is a fascinating exercise of hunting down clues and gathering information. Writing (crafting plot, managing pacing) is harder for me.

8. What are some of your favorite historical fiction novels (besides your own)?

  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

9. Lastly, what’s the next project that you’re working on (if you are allowed to talk about it)?

Yes, I’m very excited to talk about it! My new book is set in Spain during the 1950’s and reveals unknown history related to the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco.

Thanks again to Ruta for allowing me to interview you; it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks for reading, everyone!