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Guest Blogger - Lillian McKinnon

Today, I have something a little different on my blog. I’d like you to meet Lillian, a young author, not quite a teenager yet, bringing with her a free serial read dedicated to her uncle. Her bio reminds me of me at that age but I doubt I would have been as brave as she is, sharing a story online. She is not just sharing with us her story but her concern for others which I’ll let her tell you about in her own words. So please stop by and leave a message for Lillian and a support a young author. Thanks!

Lillian McKinnon is a young adult writing young adult fiction. In addition to her ongoing fantasy serial, Kismet, she has also recently completed herfirst full length novel and is in the midst of writing another. She took the time to stop by and answer a few questions.

1.Okay, so, young adult writing young adult. Exactly how old are you?

I'll be 13 in August.

2.What made you decide to write?

I'm home educated, or what in the US is called home schooling. This year Creative Writing was part of English Composition, and I thought, forget writing aload of short stories, I'll write a book and be done with it. It was much more appealing, especially as I got free reign to write whatever I wanted to. Then, as I writing that book, I discovered Cody Kennedy's serial Fairy on his blog. He inspired me to try my hand at that too, and so Kismet was born.


3.Why the LGBT genre?

Why not? When I first decided to write my novel, I got a lot of advice from professional authors we know, who all said to me, “Write what you know personally, what you don't know research, research research, and just let the characters tellyou their story.” So I did. Let me tell you, once you think of a story theme, the characters come knocking on the door to your brain, and they don't shut up until you've written it all down. My characters happen to be gay with straight friends. I am kind of sad people think that matters.

4.What are some of your favorite books?

I really enjoyed reading The His Dark Materials trilogy, Harry Potter, The Time Quartet, the Little House on the Prairie books, Geoff Laughton's By the Creek, Omorphi by Cody kennedy, Jamie Mayfield's books Waiting for Forever, all of
Mia Kerick's young adult stuff, man, it's too hard to pick out just a couple of favourites. I either really like a book or hate it. I also read a lot of manga. I'm a huge manga fan and collect Vampire Knight, Sailor Moon, Sailor V, Itazura na Kiss, Saturn Apartments, Twin Spica, Bleach, Yotsuba&!, Fruits Basket, Moon and Blood, Wedding
Peach, and Chi's Sweet Home.
*NOTE from Jana* - Lillian, if you haven't try out Fullmetal Alchemist. You might like it.

5.When not writing, what are some of your hobbies?

I love to draw and if I come across a pencil and any sort of paper, I start sketching. I also draw on my Macbook using the trackpad and mouse. I'm into photography too, and love playing on Photoshop with the pictures I take. I also like going for long bike rides, hiking, swimming, kayaking, karate, and abseiling though I learned the hard way to NOT look down. I plan on doing the Duke of Ed and plan on adding surfing and scuba diving to that list as part of completing the requirements for the award.

And Lillian also answered some of your questions as well.

Interview questions
1 - "Why this story idea?"
My Uncle Cody is writing a serial about fairies which I’ve been following (can
read here), my brother and I were reading the greek myths to tie in with the Percy
Jackson books and films as part of our education, and I’m a fan of Japanese
folklore and manga. One day I suddenly thought, what if all the old stories were true and fairies, goblins, nine tailed foxes, and dryads and stuff were all
somehow connected? What would happen if they lived in the real world? And then the characters started telling me their story.

2- "Is there a story you've been wanting to write for awhile, but haven't started it yet? What is it?"

There *might* be one featuring a dragon...

3- "Who is your favorite author/why?"
That’s a hard question. I love so many authors in so many genres. I have “go to”
authors that when they release a book, I have to have it, but I might not feel like reading it right away. I pick up a particular book in a particular genre because right that moment, I want to read THAT one, and in THAT moment, I hope to fall in love with the author and that book completely and utterly.

4- What do you do when you hit a writer's block?
I put on some music and taken out my sketch pad and draw. If I’m too restless to
do that, I might do a karate work out or go for a long bike ride using a nearby
park’s bike trail.

5- Do you have a particular routine when writing?
I fill my travel mug with my coffee choice of the day, grab some snacks and a
napkin, choose my playlist, put on my headphones, and let
the characters just go.

6- Who is the favorite character you’ve ever created?
Cody. I really like him because he cares about his family and friends and is willing to do whatever he can for those he cares about.

7. What else would you like us to know about you?
I want to know why Fox cancelled Firefly. We got Amazon Prime and I discovered it on there, and there is only one season. That BITES! WHY, FOX, WHY?!



Kismet is a free read, so rather than have the usual buy links up, below you'll find two fund raiser links. One is for a homeless youth charity called Lost-N-Found Youth. Not every kid is lucky enough to have the support of a loving family, and LGBT youth are much more likely to face abuse and being kicked out on the streets. Lost-N- Found not only help youth out by providing shelter for as many as they can, but help youth get back into education and into society as contributing members. They also provide legal assistance where necessary, food, clothes, and so much more.

The other link is for a couple who are writers in the LGBT romance genre. Following emergency brain surgery, TJ and Eric have been traveling a long, hard and expensive road. Things are beginning to look up, with Eric soon to come home to TJ and their new home. They could still use the help and continued support of caring people though. I ask that those of you following the blog tour please consider contributing an amount to at least one of these causes, no matter how small or insignificant you feel that donation would be. Pennies all add up into dollars, after all.
Thank you,
Lillian McKinnon

Lost-n-found youth

TJ & Eric fundraiser here

Find Kismet here

Bio - Lillian McKinnon is the pen name for a rather sassy not quite 13 year old home educated girl who lives and plays in the Northwest region of England. She doesn't like being told she can't do things because she's a kid, and woe betide you if it's because she's a girl. She's active in Scouts and is avid about karate. She also enjoys long bike rides, photography, kayaking, abseiling, canoeing, swimming, and is somewhat of an artist. She probably reads far too much, with bookcases full of novels and manga, a Kindle with an ever growing library, and online serials she avidly follows. She also has a fondness for vintage American sitcoms and modern sci fi and fantasy TV shows. When not reading, doing her educational assignments, writing, or indulging in her other hobbies, she spend time gaming with her younger brother, as long as he's not annoyed her too much that day. Skill she would most like to learn next: surfing.

Other Stops for the Tour Bus

Comments

I am kind of sad people think that matters.

I think that's pretty sad, too, but I also think things are a little better than when I was your age, and I hope they'll keep getting better, with help from people like you.

I also think it's really cool that you're putting your stories down and out into the world. Thanks for sharing with us!

I second Jana's suggestion that Fullmetal Alchemist might be a good read for you; "cares about his family and friends and is willing to do whatever he can for those he cares about" is a description that could fit lots of the characters in that series.
Thanks for stopping by.

It's definitely better now than when I was young

and that's an excellent observation about Fullmetal Alchemist