Featured Interview With Author Brieanna Wilkoff
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Hello! I'm a believer in kindness, an '80s rock lover, and a musical theatre nerd. I've always lived in Ohio; I was born in Dayton and currently live in Westerville with my husband, daughter, and dog, a cockapoo named Cap (aka Captain Cuddles, aka Captain Muddypaws, etc). Words are my passion—reading, writing, editing. (Oxford comma all the way!) Becoming a published author was a dream of mine since childhood, so I am beyond grateful.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I've always loved reading, and I wrote my first story around the age of eight. I got more and more serious about it throughout high school, majored in English with a concentration in creative writing in college, and wrote on and off in early adulthood. After my daughter was born, it was more off than on, but I made a New Year's resolution in 2019 to write more, and I've been much more consistent since.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Since I write YA, that's definitely the genre I enjoy reading the most, although I read a decent amount of nonfiction as well, and occasionally throw in romance or other genres. Favorite authors is tough, but John Green and Becky Albertalli are at the top of the list. Becky in particular does such a great job with voice, so she inspires me in that regard.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
I'll Be There for You is a contemporary YA novel and combines my loves of '80s rock, theatre, and kindness. The seed for the idea was to write a story about the healing power of kindness, and I started working on it during the time I waited while my daughter was in a theatre class. Every chapter is titled with the title of an '80s rock song, so that was fun. Originally, I wrote it as women's fiction with the mom as the main character, but ended up starting over and making it YA. From the idea to publication took about 5 years, but there was a lot of stopping and starting in between. It was a good call switching to YA—the main character, Rae, and the boy she meets who convinces her to audition for the school play, Mac, have a lot of witty banter that was a blast to write. And he's the person she needs to meet in order to move on after the death of her father.
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