Danielle: Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Lynn and Kelly Anne! Can you tell us about how you two started writing together?
Lynn & Kelly Anne: It almost resembles a prom-posal. We met on our Seymour Agency loop when Kelly joined the agency. After becoming critique partners one day Kelly said something to the effects of, “Hey, we should write a book together.” And heck yeah, I said yes!
We talked over iMessage and on the phone, going over potential ideas until we settled on a sports romance, IN THE PENALTY BOX, which released in January 2021. Once we started writing IN THE PENALTY BOX, it led to the sequel, CROSSING THE LINE. It didn’t stop there, though, either. The 12-book concept of Twin River High a.k.a. Sweet Valley High meets Gossip Girl was born.
In 2020, we wrote six books together through Google Docs, countless hours on the phone, and lots of texting. It’s been awesome! We are a great team and love creating new series, storylines, and characters for you to fall in love with!
I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but how do you decide who writes what? Do you have any tips for people interested in writing with a partner?
Lynn and I agreed before we started writing our first book together, IN THE PENALTY BOX, that she would take the male’s POV and I would take the female’s POV. So, in GUTTER GIRL, I wrote all of McKenna’s chapters and Lynn wrote all of Jace’s chapters. Of course, McKenna and Jace talk to each other throughout the book, so if I’m writing one of McKenna’s chapters and Jace says something, Lynn can go through and tweak anything that isn’t quite right. The same goes for Jace’s chapters and McKenna’s dialogue. This method helps keep our character’s different voice authentic.
Let’s talk about your new series, Twin River High, and the first book, GUTTER GIRL. Where did the idea start for this series?
We were approached about writing a potential series by our publisher in 2020. After a massive brainstorm, we came up with 30+ plots for YA romance novels that were reminiscent of the Sweet Valley High books, but with a bit more of an edge, like the television show, Gossip Girl. With the help of our agent, editors, and publisher, we narrowed the list down to three and began writing. A year later, we have the first three books in the Twin River High series releasing!
GUTTER GIRL tells the story of Jace and McKenna. What are some of your favorite things about these two characters?
Jace and McKenna have such a fun, yet intense story. We love how blunt McKenna can be and that she has no problem calling anyone out, on anything. We are huge fans of Jace’s relationship with his sweet little sister, Lilly. We also love how these two characters are able to open up to each other. They are both facing very different problems but confiding in each other helps make life more manageable.
You also write YA hockey romance—IN THE PENALTY BOX came out earlier this year and CROSSING THE LINE will come out soon. What do you love about writing sports novels?
We. Love. Sports. Ha ha! Seriously, Lynn and I have played just about every sport out there. We were both athletic from a young age and played sports in elementary school through college. Lynn is a freaking ultrarunner! LOL! She can run like 50 miles in one go! Kelly has been dealing with an Achilles tendon injury for quite some time, but she loves taking long walks with her husband, their daughter, and sweet pup. We channeled our love of sports and our background as athletes into both, IN THE PENALTY BOX and CROSSING THE LINE. Of course, there’s an awesome dose of romance and laughter in the series as well. Writing sports novels brings on a nostalgia that’s hard to beat! We love it and hope you feel like you're in the stands at a championship game right along with the characters!
You both have written in other genres/subgenres. Do you have a favorite genre to write in? And is there a genre or type of book you want to write that you haven’t yet?
Lynn: I love paranormal romance. That’s at the root of my writing career. Vampires, angels, demons...I’m all about those. :) I’ve written immortals, vampires, demons, genetically modified humans… I think a fun one would be zombies. I haven’t written a book about zombies yet. :)
Kelly Anne: It’s true, I’ve written in almost every genre out there! LOL! My favorite genres to write are YA romance and YA psychological thrillers. It’s balancing the light with the heavy that helps me as I craft new plots and characters. I also love writing a good paranormal romance and urban fantasy! See, LOL! There I go again! Wanting to write all of the books! P.S. I like dystopian novels too and I have one that I’ve been wanting to write FOREVER!
Self-care is so important, now more than ever! What do you do to be kind to yourself?
Kelly Anne: Ooh! I am all about the self-care! For me, I wait until my little one goes to bed at night, then I wash my face and use moisturizers, serums, or I put on a mask. The process is so relaxing and it leaves my skin feeling amazing as well as my inner-self.
Lynn: I have morning devotions, daily. I rarely EVER skip them. They get me centered and focused. Second, I run. I hit the trails hard sometimes and other times, just go out for a stroll. It’s time to myself, time to think and pray and time to plot things out. It really helps my creativity. :) Physical, mental and spiritual health are vital to staying balanced. Otherwise, when life hits us hard, which it will for everyone, we can handle it.
What’s a recent read you loved that you highly recommend?
Kelly Anne: I highly recommend the middle grade fantasy novel, THE DRAGON WARRIOR by Katie Zhao and the young adult thriller, LITTLE MONSTERS by Kara Thomas.
Lynn: I really like the Crave Series by Tracy Wolf. That’s awesome. I’m currently reading EMBER OF NIGHT by Molly E. Lee, and I’m really loving that, too!
What’s a typical writing day for you?
Kelly Anne: My typical writing day varies. I have a two-year-old, so it really depends on her schedule. For the most part, I write during her nap time and after she goes to bed. I’m definitely a night owl, so waking up early and getting work done isn’t my favorite thing to do, but occasionally I’ll get up early, drink a lot of coffee, and begin writing.
Lynn: I wake up at the crack of dawn and do my morning devotions, then I hop out on the Arizona trails for a few hours, running up mountains and hopping over rattlesnakes. Then, I spend my day writing, editing or doing something writing related. I’m very blessed to be able to write full time like this. When I’m not running or writing, I’m hanging with my sweet hubby of nearly 25 years, watching movies or cooking fun dinners. Mostly he does the cooking because I’m domestically challenged, but I’m his sous-chef for the most part.
What can readers expect from you next?
GUTTER GIRL releases May 10th, PROJECT PERSONALITY on May 17th, and then CHAOS THEORY on May 24th. It’s been an absolutely wild ride releasing books back-to-back-to-back like that. We’re pretty sure the next release will be the follow up to IN THE PENALTY BOX. It’s called CROSSING THE LINE, so stay tuned to our social media accounts to find out when that’s releasing next. You can find us everywhere @KellyAnneBlount and @LynnRushWrites!
Twin River High #1
Star football player Jace Rovers has a secret. And not just any secret—a shocking secret… He writes romance. The kind with swords. And dresses. And kissing.
Nobody knows. Not the other kids at Twin River High. Not his overbearing parents. And certainly not the millions of fans who’ve read his book on the writing platform Scribbles. And that’s the way he plans to keep it.
Except suddenly one of the other football players grabs his notebook in jest and starts reading a kissing scene out loud…and Jace knows he’s busted.
But then McKenna Storm, resident goth girl who avoids the spotlight like a virus, snatches up the notebook and tells everyone she's the author. And lucky for Jace, she later agrees to continue the ruse...for a price.
Heck, he'd give her anything not to reveal his secret. But when they start to fall for each other, he knows he'll have to keep the biggest secret of all—his darkest character is based on her…
Young Adult Romance [Entangled Teen, On Sale: May 10, 2021, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781649371720 / eISBN: 9781649371720]
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Lynn Rush, is a full-time writer, wife, and trail runner, living in the Sonoran Desert, despite her fear of rattle snakes. Known as #TheRunningWriter, she can’t resist posting epic sunrise pictures while running in the desert with her trail sisters, even if she has to occasionally hop over a scorpion. When she’s not running, writing, or reading, she and her Ironman husband are watching movies that fuel her undying love of superheroes, vampires, and all things Supernatural.
KELLY ANNE BLOUNT is a USA Today bestselling author of young adult novels. She loves to alternate writing sweet romances, gritty thrillers, and fantasy books. She’s a firm believer in balancing light with dark.
When she’s not writing, she’s probably lost in a book, watching Twilight, or having an adventure with her sweet family, which includes her handsome husband, their darling daughter, and their five furry loving rescues.
After living in a palace in Scotland, across from the Caribbean Sea, and in the snowy land of Wisconsin, Kelly and her family reside in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. She draws inspiration from the places she’s lived while world-building in her books.
Danielle Jackson Dresser is a contemporary romance author (her debut novel with Berkley will be out in 2022!), avid reader, lackluster-yet-mighty crafter, and accomplished TV binge-watcher.
Once upon a time, she was a publisher publicist and continues to cultivate her love of books and reading by chatting with the best authors in the business as the Editorial Manager of Fresh Fiction and co-host of the Fresh Fiction podcast. Danielle is one of the Boozy Book Broads, a monthly author chat show streamed live on YouTube. She also moderates panels, interviews authors, and hosts a book club at Love's Sweet Arrow, the romance-focused independent bookstore.
Danielle lives in Chicagoland with her very own romance hero husband, darling daughter, and two tempestuous cats. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @dj_dresser.
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