Hi friends, welcome back to another Talk With!!
In case you missed it, “A Talk With” is a brand new feature here on Drizzle & Hurricane Books, where I will invite young adult book authors to chat with me about their upcoming books, share their writing tips and tricks and more!
I’m happy today to welcome another #novel19s author, a lovely writer debuting in the young adult book field this year with… well, a fantastic debut. I got lucky enough to read it and, friends, I absolutely loved it. I’m chatting with the author today about debuting in young adult, her experience writing this gorgeous book and more!
1. The main character of your book, Lennon, suffers from OCD, a mental illness that I haven’t seen mentioned enough in books and especially young adult books. Was it important to you to write about mental health? Why? How did you go on about writing about OCD specifically?
I’m going to preface this answer with this. I know a lot of readers are going to have this question and I’m happy to answer as open and honestly as I can, but please note that I’M NOT AN EXPERT. The answer is based solely and completely on my own experiences, thoughts and opinions as a person.
With that in mind, mental health and encouraging discussion around it is incredibly important. I have an anxiety disorder that I take daily medication and see a therapist regularly to manage. Lennon and I share a lot of similar fears, so writing about OCD (I thought at the time) would allow me to explore that in myself in a relatable way but also ‘remove’ me enough as the creator of Lennon and Kyler’s world.
So I started to research. And research and research, however, the further I dived into this world, the more I spoke to those diagnosed with OCD, the more I read, the more I watched documentaries, I began to question if my mother had it. She passed away 13 years ago, so I can’t confirm but several of the things Lennon does in the book came from routines I was taught as a child—we always thought my mom was overboard on having things obsessively clean and organized with such intense precision, but now that myself and my two of my children all struggle with diagnosed anxiety issues, I suspect there is much more to it than that.
Lennon’s catastrophic way of thinking is at its core, is a reflection of my own anxieties magnified on paper. I can’t relate to her compulsions, but I 100% understand her thoughts. I have always been a ‘worrier’ but after losing my mom, it’s been a struggle that I battle with all the time so I tried to write it from the heart as best I could.
2. All Our Broken Pieces is your first young adult novel: how different was the process of writing this book, compared to your already released adult book, The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher?
The process was so much different. When I wrote THE ENCHANTMENT OF EMMA FLETCHER, I was flying through, live posting it to the platform Wattpad as I went. As I wrote each chapter, I had readers commenting and cheering me on the entire way and I pumped the words out, on time, posted, and that was that. It took about 4 months.
ALL OUR BROKEN PIECES was the strangest, most cathartic experience I’ve had as a writer. My dad (the reason I’m a writer) read the first few chapters and then passed away before I could finish… so there was a lot of emotional upheaval. Weeks would go by and I’d get a few pages at most and then I’d get this urge, lock myself in a room for a weekend and write 10,000 words. Then my mind would be radio silence for another week or so, followed by another productive burst. Took me almost a full year to get the first draft.
3. You’re a big fan of music, from what I’ve gathered… can you share your favorite songs or artists at the moment? Anyone that particularly inspires you to write?
You’ve gathered correctly! I LOVE MUSIC enough to irritate a lot of people around me. Sorry, not sorry. My favorite artist is the group that also inspires me to write more than any other– a Canadian treasure (in my opinion) called Marianas Trench. I love them because their lyrics are so powerful it gives me literal goosebumps. Their albums are all themed (you can look this up) and their sound is so different in the best possible way. I think Josh, who is their singer/guitar player/and yes, producer of their albums (he organizes entire symphonies into pop-punkish music that guts you) is a genius.
I’ve introduced them to SO MANY writers who all love them too, so it can’t be just me. 🙂
I can’t pick a fav of their songs because there are simply too many but they just released a new album called Phantoms at the beginning of March and I knew all the words to this song about four hours later. 🙂
🎶 Listen to The Death of Me, by Marianas Trench.
As for artists in general: Rise Against, The Cab, All Time Low, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red, Artist vs Poet, The Maine, Breaking Benjamin, Starset. I could go on forever and ever.
I cannot however have this interview without sharing what to me, would easily be Kyler and Lennon’s song. I would love to see him sing this to her:
🎶 Listen to Kyler and Lennon’s song, Far From Perfect.
4. From a compelling mystery-contemporary to young adult contemporary story, you’ve been exploring genres a little bit : are you planning to write in different genres someday, (maybe an epic fantasy, a book about mermaids or something 🙂 ), or do you want to?
I LOVE mermaids and I don’t want to say never, but I think that will have to come after I’ve had a bit of time to work on my craft. I recognize that currently my strength lies in building characters and not worlds with magic systems and rules. But as I grow and evolve, I do hope to step out of my comfort zone!
1. If you could have one magical power, what would it be?
Teleportation. I’d wake up to a sunrise somewhere new and be home in time for the coffee to be brewed!
2. What is your favorite book of all times? (this may be a little cruel… so maybe you can mention two or three 🙂 )
ALL TIME? Omg. I guess the logical answer is what book have I read the most times through my life? The answer will surprise you. Teenage me was ABSOLUTELY INFATUATED with Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice. I bet I read that a hundred times.
I also like the book THE SECRET by Rhonda Byrne and have read it many times. 🙂
3. What’s one food item you could always eat, without even being hungry?
Pho. Always pho. Any noodle really but if a million times the bonus points if it’s Pho.
4. Can you share with us one line of All Our Broken Pieces that you’re particularly proud of?
You’re good at the tough questions! One line, hmmmmm just one? A single sentence.
“If pain is transformative, falling in love must a complete metamorphosis.”
Thank you so, SO much for taking the time to chat with me about your upcoming book, Leah! Friends, I hope this made you want to listen to some amazing music and to pick up All Our Broken Pieces as soon as it releases (May 7th!). Keep on reading for more info about the book and author!
📖 More about All Our Broken Pieces
Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new step family will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more and then she can finally go to sleep.
Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.
📖 More about the author, L.D. Crichton
L.D. Crichton is the author of THE ENCHANTMENT OF EMMA FLETCHER, which received a starred review from School Library Journal. She’s a coffee devotee and lip gloss enthusiast whose infatuation with music is truly astonishing. If she’s not reading, writing, or checking her horoscope for signs from the Universe, you can find her by the water in search of mermaids because they’re real. ALL OUR BROKEN PIECES is her first young adult novel. Represented by John Silbersack @ The Bent Agency.
Find L.D. Crichton on:
Do you want to read All Our Broken Pieces? Did you read it already?
What are some of your favorite books with mental health rep? Always looking for more of these, so let me know your thoughts in comments!