Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and reading her own author bio. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat that is plotting to take over the world, one scratched up welcome mat at a time.
A recent day-job quitter, Cheyanne can be found furiously typing on her computer, probably complaining on Twitter about how she should be writing. When she’s not honing her procrastination skills, she’s writing books for teenagers. She is the author of several books for teens and recently turned her love of superheroes and writing for teens into books about teenage superheroes. POWERED is her first superhero book but it won’t be her last. Because POWERED is a trilogy. Duh.
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1) Your books span genres, how do you handle writing different genres? – It’s a tricky situation because most professional authors/publishers will tell you to stick with one genre and I just can’t seem to do that. Luckily, most of my books are YA, with a couple in the NA genre, and they all have elements of romance in them so I hope that those features will keep readers checking out each book I write. As for switching from contemporary romance to superheroes, I usually spend all of my time immersed in the genre I’m currently writing, staying out of others until I’ve finished. That way I keep the right genre on the brain and don’t turn my superhero story into a YA paranormal. 😉
2) Looks like you quit your day job! Congrats, how challenging was the decision to become a full-time writer? – Let me tell you the truth here – It wasn’t challenging AT ALL! Ha! Unfortunately, I’d spent the last 10 years working in a job field I didn’t like (engineering) and about 8 months before I officially quit, I transferred to a job that turned out to literally be hell on earth. The decision was easy. I’d either die of stress from the worst job on the planet, or I’d quit and make a go of it as a writer.
3) Being an independent author is not an easy route. What made you choose to self-published? It’s a funny story…when Amazon publishing became popular at the start of 2012, I didn’t know anything about self-publishing and out of boredom I made up a fake name and published some old books I had written. With zero promotion, they started selling pretty well. Suddenly, I was hooked. I didn’t even bother querying for agents anymore and started independently publishing myself from then on. It’s been a fun ride but it’s also hard. Starting early next year I’ll be a hybrid author since I recently got my first trad deal so that’s SUPER exciting!
4) I recently read your novel, Motocross Me. I noticed you changed the covers. Why did you make that choice? Was it hard? – I had known from the start that I wasn’t 100% happy with the first cover. It had no mention of motocross on it and trust me, you can’t find a stock image of a girl next to a dirt bike and a super hot teenage guy… so I had to work with what I could find. One day, I found the current cover image, which had a blank white paper in the girl’s hands, and I knew I could turn it into a checkerboard and therefore give it more of a motocross feel. It was kind of random, running into that stock image, but I’m very pleased with the new cover.
5) The question that was on my mine—do you have personal experience in motocross? If not, what kind of research did you do for the book? – Yep I do! I spent my childhood/teenage years on a dirt bike and it was the best time of my life. Then sadly, one day you’re an adult with bills and a kid and suddenly you can’t spend every waking moment at the track. *sigh* I still love motocross but don’t get to ride very often. Motocross Me was my first novel and I was following the advice “Write what you know” and motocross is something I know better than anything. [Symbol]
6) I see a few of your books are audio books narrated by different people. How did you choose your narrator? And why did you choose different ones for each novel? I use the ACX website to produce my audio books and they let you post the book up for auditions. The first audition I got for Motocross Me was one I really liked, and I’ve worked with Stacey on two other books as well. With my other narrators, I chose them from auditions when Stacey was too booked to get the other books recorded. Audio books are so much fun and it’s really exciting when you find that perfect voice for your character. I encourage every indie author to try it out!
7) What would you classify the ‘heat’ level of your novels and your writing? – Pretty mild for my YA, and slightly steamer for my NA, however my NA is still considered “clean” in comparison to other books in the genre. I’m not a big fan of erotic scenes and prefer to focus mainly on the characters and their journey through love.
8) I know you write under a pen name too, can you tell us a bit about that? – As I mentioned earlier, the pen name (Amy Sparling) started out as a fun experiment that I didn’t plan to continue. However… suddenly Amy had emails from fans asking for more books, which I happily wrote for them. Then, 3 years later, Amy is still here, with a new book coming out in October. Somehow I manage both names, keeping Amy alive because her fans love her…it’s kind of weird. I often feel like I have two personalities. But I love it because my pen name’s fans are often more excited than my regular name’s fans.
9) You have a good amount of books out, which one is your favorite and why? – Somewhere Only We Know is my favorite emotionally, for reasons you can find here: http://cheyanneyoung.weebly.com/the-story-behind-somewhere-only-we-know.html and POWERED is my favorite in a fun way. I never expected to write superheroes until a superhero story came to me and begged to be written. It was an unexpected love, but I’m very proud of this book. And PS – super big things are happening with it soon!
10) What book would you suggest to readers looking to get to know you and your writing? That’s a hard one… they’re all kind of different. I want to say Motocross Me or POWERED. Or you know… all of them. 😉
Coffee or Tea? COFFEEEEE
Candles or Fragrance Plug-Ins? I like those wax melter plug in things. I think they’re called Scentsys? I have multiple ones all over my house.
Dogs or Cats? Ummmm. *Has a cat and dog staring at her right now* I technically have to say both but I’m going to say dogs when my cat isn’t looking.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Both…
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner? Dinner! I have coffee for breakfast, often forget lunch, and dinner I get to spend with my family so I like it the best.
Sweet or Salty? Salty… or cheesy. Can cheesy be an option?
Motocross Me by Cheyanne Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Overall 3.5 star
-Book Description: 3
-Cover: 3 (original cover is a 4)
-Simile Use: 4.5 (minimal usage)
-Show Not Tell: 4
Motocross me is a young adult romance that features a motocross track– what could be more cool? If she rode motocross! Nope, our main character doesn’t so much as touch a dirt bike, but in my head, at some point after the novel ends she does because she realizes how awesome it is! Aside from the fact this novel is about a sport I loved and even attempted to do as a teenager, the cover of the novel grabbed me–but not the one that’s on it now–the other one. I much prefer that one, graphically it’s more balanced. I find the new cover to be too saturated at the bottom, and the title doesn’t stand out as much.
As for the plot of the novel, it was good, but I really had to keep reminding me this was a sixteen year old to keep myself from getting extremely irritated with the main character. She seems rather immature for someone who is planning to head off to college, but she does seem to grow throughout the book. I appreciated the way the author incorporated motocross and the “motocross family” as well. The novel was a romance with a love triangle, which at times I just chocked up to the immaturity of the character. I just didn’t find Ryan likable at all, in any way, and saw right through him– I was hoping she would too. Eventually she did, but not until she made a series of really stupid mistakes. I did find myself skimming towards the end of the book because it became description heavy, but I was very happy with the way the novel ended.
Overall, this is a fresh summer read about a topic not a lot of romance books, or fictional books in general, really talk about. The main character had it right when she figured out motocross riders are hot. We need a few more of these, and a few less boys in bands, if I do say so myself.
Signed YA Genre Paperback of Your Choice from Cheyanne! (USA Only)