Monday, September 16, 2013

YALLFest Interview with CJ Lyons

Today I am excited to share an interview with New York Times bestselling author and former pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons.   Her latest book, Broken, comes out November 5th. Along with many other Young Adult authors, CJ is attending the YALLFest, or the Charleston Young Adult Book Festival, in Charleston, NC this November.  Can I tell you how jealous I am of everyone planning to attend? It sounds like a great time!  Now onto the interview:

CJ Lyons
Describe your book in 5 words:
Girl dying of broken heart (literally)

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I’ll often return to it over and over again until I’ve sliced and diced and fine-honed it to that perfect combination of intrigue, visceral reaction, and emotional connection with the reader.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
Code Name Verity because it is so emotionally honest and inspiring, empowering, not to mention gut-wrenching. Really brings the era to life as well as the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
When I was a kid I worked summer stock theatre and was actually a theatre major undergrad before switching to pre-med. I’ve had two hard landings in helicopters while working as a flight doc. I survived rampaging Cape Horn Buffalo and a pack of wild baboons, not to mention a leopard (he’s already eaten) while hiking in Hells Gate Park in Kenya. I’m a Capricorn. I diagnosed my niece with the heart condition that’s at the center of my YA thriller, BROKEN.

What are you working on now?
DAMAGED, my next YA thriller, due out in 2014. It deals with the really tough topic of abuse and coercion and is the most difficult book I’ve ever tackled—there have been times while writing when I was literally in tears as I typed.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
I created my own genre of Thrillers with Heart—I love writing fast paced stories with raising stakes but centered on the emotional heart of an evolving relationship. As for reading, I read almost every genre but especially love YA, magical realism, and thrillers. As long as a story grabs me by the throat and won’t let me go because I’m too worried about what the characters are going through, I’ll read it and love it.

I can't wait to read Broken. Thanks for visiting, CJ! To learn more about CJ Lyons, visit her website and follow her on Twitter.  Also, to learn more about YALLFest, check out their website and Twitter

I'll be posting another YALLFest interview on Friday, so check back then! 


  1. Whoa. I love your 5 random facts. You sound like a very cool and well rounded person.

    1. Doesn't she? I love helicopter landing and hiking in Kenya is pretty impressive, not to mention being a former ER doctor! Thanks for visiting, Juju!

  2. Both Broken and Damaged sound like intense reads. I will have to check out Broken when it is published.

    1. Definitely sound intense....I want to check out Broken as well. Thanks for visiting, Christina!


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