"I write YA because I have to."
She is everyone's favorite cheerleader. Captain of the Varsity Squad at Twitter High, L.K. Gardner-Griffie never passes an opportunity to support her fellow writers. Without fail, she is consistently among the first to crank out her #WW and #FF mentions, and she never excludes a soul. She RT's posts, helps her colleagues, and visits blogs regularly. It's a wonder she has time left to get any writing done.
I discovered L.K. on Twitter earlier this fall through a RT posted by a mutual follower. In her message, L.K. announced she just completed the first draft of yet another MG novel, and for a brief second, I wanted to jump inside my computer screen and joke that nobody likes a bragger. Of course I didn't mean that; it wasn't like that at all. I was just angry at myself for feeling like the only soul on the universe who couldn't crank out a completed first draft of anything. I got over it.
In typical stalker fashion, I clicked on her profile and began investigating the mystery woman sporting the pink hoodie. After learning she is the award winning YA novelist of Misfit McCabe and Nowhere Feels Like Home, a series many of my former seventh graders were familiar with, I decided I was too beneath her to send a message. So instead, I simply returned to stalking.
I checked out her web site, read more about her, and discovered her first novel attempt was completed at age nine. And the more I read, the more I realized L.K. was not one of "those" authors - you know the type. So I figured, what the heck? We have plenty of mutual followers; she must be friendly. I'll send a congratulatory message on the new manuscript.
Twenty seconds later, I had a response. Another second passed and I had a new friend.
Despite having experienced the success many of us dream of, L.K. is a dedicated mentor and friend within the writing community. She is filled with advice, support, and encouragement; she believes in the potential of everyone and is the first to respond to anyone plagued with doubt or seeking motivation. L.K. assures everyone they can (and will) succeed.
My west coast companion and I have shared many conversations since "meeting." Recently, she passed a link to an interview she completed with Blog Talk Radio. The information she shared was beyond helpful. I always enjoy listening to other writers discuss their process; I enjoy it more when I identify similarities between our approaches. It helps me feel on the track.
Much like myself, L.K. acknowledges her characters are in fact real people; she is simply the only person able to speak with them directly. "It's like we share a brain," she explained when questioned about her relationship with Kate, the protagonist in the Misfit McCabe series. And although she commented that might sound weird to some, I knew exactly what she meant.
Throughout the past few months, I have greatly appreciated the support L.K. sends my way. But, more importantly, I appreciate her friendship. As writers, we spend many hours sitting in solitude, removed from socialization, and even fresh air. Knowing good people are out there comforts me during times of loneliness. Whenever I'm irritated, anxious, or flat out disgusted with the writing process, L.K. is always a tweet away.
I encourage my readers to take a moment and tweet something in L.K.'s direction. She's a great contact to have and knows what it's like to wear the shoes of an aspiring writer dreaming for a break. Get to know this amazing person. You will not be sorry.
L.K.'s books are available in both paper and electronic format and can be purchased here. Be sure to check out the trailer for Misfit McCabe below.