Sunday, January 20, 2013

Make It Happen Tour: Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Author
Kylee Shields

“My name is Kylee and I am passionate about life. I am the oldest of 8 children and have the most amazing parents ever. I have one adorable niece and one adorable & squishy nephew. I grew up in Oregon, moved my senior year of high school to Utah, then moved to San Diego, Boston, and currently live in Arizona.

I went to BYU and got my BA in English (creative writing/Editing) and a minor in Linguistics. I love words and writing! There is something very powerful in putting words together and expressing human emotions. I love poetry, reading great novels, blogging, etc. I have an old typewriter I adore and like to type out letters now and again and seal them with wax. I am an author and avid reader. I love learning new words and can trace that back to my mom who has the most amazing vocabulary.

I also attended ASU and got my Masters in Social Work (emphasis in child & family therapy). I have always been drawn to the "punk kids" and absolutely love my job. I work as a Shadow (family therapist) at The Anasazi Foundation. I get to do therapy with amazing adolescents out in the deserts of Arizona. My office is on the trail and I get to throw rocks, hear hearts, and get to know some incredible kids from all over. Not bad for a day job!

When I am not with my family, hanging out with my friends, or working I absolutely love to travel. I have been to Egypt, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and almost all 50 of the states. I love music--singing, writing songs, playing the piano, and listening to other musicians. I co founded a Musical Fireside group that is in the process of becoming a non-profit. I have loved watching INSPIRE: music. service.hope grow and touch the hearts of those who hear us sing.

I am a huge Avengers fan (Captain America), I like straws, bridges, swinging on swings, and trains.

I love God and try to recognize His presence in my life. For Him I am indebted for my many blessings and tender mercies. All that I have and am is because of Him.”

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Book Bug: Welcome to The Book Bug, Kylee! So glad to have you here today!

When and why did you begin writing?

Kylee: I started to write when I got my first journal at the age of 9 and I never stopped. I started blogging when I moved to Boston and joined AmeriCorps in 2006. Conversations and blogs were the fodder for my book. Writing is a way for me to get out my thoughts and passions. I have a real need to express myself through the written word.

Book Bug: What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Kylee: These are some of my favorite books and their authors. I also love reading the classics such as Poe, Dickens, Thorough, Emerson, and the powerhouse writers like J.K. Rawlings & J.R.R. Tolkien. "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom, "Making Loss Matter" by Rabbi David Wolpe,"Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Marie Rilke, "To Draw Closer to God" by Henry B. Eyring, " A Grief Observed" by C. S. Lewis, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok, "Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury, “On Writing” by Stephen King.

Book Bug: What is your favorite genre to read/write?

Kylee: I love to read YA fiction, historical fiction, and dystopian. I prefer to write fiction over non-fiction and that is the irony of my non-fiction book being published first.

Book Bug: Those are my favorites too!

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

Kylee: I have a very eclectic writing process. The following 3 pictures share a little bit about my writing story. (first picture) I sort of storyboarded my chapters on my wall for about a year. I moved them around and folded up the corners when that chapter was complete. This really motivated me. (second picture) I have many wicked awesome single friends that I sent many of my chapters to and asked for them to edit and give suggestions. That was very helpful. I did a bunch of focus groups at LDS singles FHE’s and activities. (third picture) I bound my manuscript and that made it easier to read and them I chose which chapters to delete completely when I needed to cut 12,000 words. No regular routine for me.

Book Bug: Wow that is quite the process!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Kylee: All the time-haha. I tend to write when it strikes my fancy. I take lots of breaks, listen to great music, and always play my piano for inspiration.

Book Bug: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Kylee: The hardest part was deciding what to include and what to cut. When I sent it to my publishers I had already cut many chapters. I had to cut 12,000 more words and I chose to cut 5 more chapters. So, then I took the best of those chapters and put then in my existing chapters. All that cutting, switching, deciding took a long time and a lot of work.

Book Bug: What do you think are the most important elements of good writing?

Kylee: Stephen King, in his book, “On Writing” talks about the idea of “writing off the page.” I think great writers like Rawlings & Tolkien write off the page brilliantly. To create entire lives for your characters, entire worlds, languages, and at the same time write accessibly to a broad audience. He also shares that the best writers will write what they know. I really took that to hear for my non fiction book.

Book Bug: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Kylee: I co-founded a non-profit singing/service group called INSPIRE:music.service.hope. I am the music director of the group and I LOVE it! I work as a adolescent therapist in a wilderness therapy program called ANASAZI and I am so grateful to have a job I love! I also love doing things with my roommates, reading, traveling, and spending time with my family.

Book Bug: You sound like quite a busy woman!

What book are you reading now?

Kylee: I am currently reading 2 books. I am reading a draft of my friend Ashley’s manuscript and I’m reading C. Michelle Jefferies book, “Emergence.”

Book Bug: Emergence is on my TBR list too.

What are your current/future projects?

Kylee: I am working on a few YA fiction projects

Book Bug: Ooo, sounds exciting! Can't wait to read them.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Kylee: Keep writing and seeking your dream. There is so much to do and be a part of in the writing world. It used to be a writer’s dream to be published by some big name company but now there are so many options. You can self publish, be a blogger, write for a magazine, online books, poetry and so much more. MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Book Bug: Clever! :)

Thanks for the awesome interview and good luck with your book!

As part of the tour, Kylee is offering 4 amazing giveaways!! These include a $25 gift card to Amazon, a $25 gift card to Target, and a hard copy and ebook copy of the book.

To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided. (Each tour stop will have the same Rafflecopter form).
  • Open from January 8 to January 31.
  • Must be 13+ years of age to enter

Earn entries by doing any/all of the following:

About the Book

Title: Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles
Author: Kylee Shields
Release Date: October 2012
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press (Facebook | Twitter)
Genre: LDS Self-Help
Do you know what it means to be a kigatsuku person? Are you currently in a “hurricane” relationship or a “bridge” relationship? Do you know what it takes to be “righteous in the dark”? Have you struggled to find your place in the world as an LDS single? Do you feel like a misfit or a menace—like a circle trying to fit into a square?

If so, you’re not alone. It used to be an anomaly to be twenty-one and single in the LDS culture, but now there are entire stakes filled with single adults. In this book, author Kylee Shields explains how you can make the most of your single life, even if your current situation isn’t what you expected.

Make It Happen is a collection of principles, blog entries, stories, and conversations had on couches, floors, kitchen tables, and at many single-adult gatherings. It is filled with practical ways to make changes in your life, find hope, increase faith, strengthen relationships, and build the kingdom.
Purchase the Book


  1. Thanks SOOOO much Lexie for letting me be a guest on your blog and for helping me with my book blog tour! You are the best!

  2. Great interview, thank you.