Saturday, February 12, 2022

Kelly Yang Keynote

Kelly Yang is the best selling author of the FRONT DESK series, and young adult novels PARACHUTES and PRIVATE LABEL. Watch for her upcoming middle grade, NEW FROM HERE, which will be out March 1, 2022. 

 Kelly Yang Virtual Book Launch & Talk - L.A. Parachutes: 9780062941084: Yang, Kelly: BooksNew from Here | Book by Kelly Yang | Official Publisher Page | Simon &  Schuster

During the pandemic, Kelly was living in Hong Kong with her husband and kids. She found herself flying back to America with her three kids, while her husband had to remain in Hong Kong for work. She found herself facing life as a single parent during a pandemic, so she had to reinvent the way she wrote. She had to write in her laundry room and  in her car, hiding from her kids. She had to write in all sorts of chaotic situations. 

And so Kelly shared some tips on writing through distractions:

  • Set a small goal.
  • Focus on the things you can control.
  • Do not edit as your go. Just write.
  • Use the Notes app on your phone to jot down ideas, lines, etc. 
  • Plan, plan, plan. 
  • Fight for your time to write. 

Kelly also spoke about how to make a great middle grade protagonist:  

Kelly thinks a lot about creating a great protagonist for middle grade. For her, a great middle grade protagonist is someone you can relate to, someone you can follow who isn't annoying, someone who is admirable but isn't perfect. 

As writers we should all ask the question: Why does this character get to be the main character? 

And a great character takes action, and a great character grows. 

And to leave you with a wonderful note that Kelly shared: "We have the power to connect strangers, simply through the words on the page." 

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