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How to Teach Your Kids to Be Creative Writers

Kelli Warner is the author of the best selling novel, Not With the Band.

Kelli says: I’ve been in love with books ever since I could hold them in my hands. I have a ferocious imagination and writing seems to be the safest place to unleash it. My own foray into writing began early as I created simple short stories and soap opera scenes while my mom watched General Hospital.

Since the soap opera gig never panned out, I spent 20 years as an award-winning and Emmy-nominated TV newscaster and reporter, but quietly continued to pursue my passion for writing young adult and contemporary romance novels in the background. It's the ooey gooey mess that will always be my first true love.

When it finally occurred to me to make a choice between them, the answer was easy. I left my TV News anchor spot and shortly thereafter, published my first novel titled Not with the Band. I love reaching young audiences and hope they learn about how to overcome obstacles and look for the good when life throws unexpected changes at you.

Listen to the Podcast Here:

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Young Adult Novels

Kelli enjoys reading young adult novels.

She says that the characters are young adults but adults enjoy reading YA novels also.

About 70% of all YA novels are read by adults. She thinks its because we like to relive our youth and the emotional stakes are really high.

Books are considered YA generally when the characters are of that 12-18 year old age.

Not With the Band has a music theme and an athletic themes, it’s a dual perspective, and the chapters alternate between two characters whose parents recently married each other.

The young man and young woman are in high school and Kassidy has to start a new life at a new school with a whole new family. Jordan, her stepbrother, is a talented athlete, but he loves music. They bond over their love of music.

The story is about their step-sibling relationship and about how they value family.

The Appeal of YA

We can all remember high school- it’s a time when we’re trying to find ourselves.

We’re still kids, but we are trying to find ourselves as adults. There are so many first experiences and relationships began and end. High school kind of has it all.

Getting Ideas to Write About

Kelli says her ideas come from real life.

Kassidy is a soccer player, for example, and Kelli is a soccer mom.

While at a football game, she wrote scene that took place there.

She gets ideas while driving. She gets ideas in the middle of the night and tries to write them down in the dark to get that idea down.

Inspiration can strike anywhere. Kelli says she has a lot of sheets of paper floating around.

As a writer, Kelli is constantly tuned in to ideas and she makes a point to use those in her stories.

Kelli says a lot of what comes to her is dialogue. She started her second book first, but the characters from Not With the Band kept coming to her, and she realized that this was the story she was supposed to be telling.

The Makings of a Good Book

Kelli says you can tell a book is good when you don’t want it to end.

You also keep thinking about it when it ends.

Books are good when they bring out certain emotions in you. When someone says, just one more chapter, that’s a sign of a good book. We don’t want to put it down!

Becoming a Writer

1. Read.

If you want to write, read. Read for enjoyment and to observe other writers.

Ask yourself why you liked that book. Read it with your author hat on and dissect the scenes you love. That will make you a better writer because you will have bigger goals.

2. Find your people.

Find a writers group that understands what you do. There’s something about being with people who are striving to do what you want to do.

Those connections are important.

3. Don’t get discouraged.

Writing can be isolating. Keep at it. If you love it, do it!

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