Next up in our read local series – YA author CB Lyall! Learn more about her journey to publishing her Virus of Beauty fantasy series.
1.) When did you begin writing YA?
CB Lyall: About five years ago I started with the idea of a wizard who rejects magic, a gift store and Hong
Kong. (I was living in Hong Kong at the time.) I was also contemplating the idea of reverse beauty. Witches being idealized for their ugliness, and this being an outward representation of their power and status in society. We live in a world obsessed with our appearance. I wanted to challenge this viewpoint within an action based, magical series. That is how I ended up writing The Virus of Beauty Series.
2.) Tell us about your journey to publishing the first book in your series.
CB: It’s the usual tale of rejection and hope. I had numerous requests for the full manuscript, but no firm commitment. Being new to this industry when I received a contract from a hybrid publisher, I was excited and signed. After a year we parted, and I was advised by a number of successful authors to self-published through Amazon’s KDP. I couldn’t be happier. Reaching readers through publicity and advertising takes up more time than I realized, but the rewards make it worthwhile.
3.) How have you been reaching readers during the pandemic?
I was due to read at the Rye Reading Room’s “Write & Bite” on March 12 th 2020. Luckily after the event was postponed it was decided to hold it over Zoom. My books have been on a number of Blog Tours during this time – in fact “The Virus of Beauty” is on a Virtual Book Tour starting March 23 rd through Goddess Fish Promotions. I’ve also been the featured author on a number of websites including: AllAuthor; Awesome Book Promotions; YA Bound Book Tour; Breaking the Glass Slipper; Loyal Lyre; White Dove Books; BookTrib and The Rivertown Enterprise.
4.) How have you managed to write and stay creative during quarantine?
CB: I’ve virtually attended workshops throughout the pandemic. Also, I’m part of a group with some
amazing writer friends. We try to meet at least once a week, to check in on each other, write and offer support.
5.) Who are some writers in the YA book world that you admire?
CB: These are a few of the amazing YA fantasy writers I follow and admire:
Sarah J Maas – A Court of Thorns & Roses; Sabaa Tahir – An Ember in Ashes; Tomi Adeyemi – Children of Blood & Bone; Cassandra Clare – Shadowhunters; Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson – Wheel of Time.
More about CB:
Carolyn Lyall (C.B. Lyall) lives with her husband in Westchester county, New York. She has three adult sons and one grandson. The first two books in her YA fantasy series – The Virus of Beauty and The Veil of Corruption reached the top ten in the YA Fantasy Charts on Amazon. She is currently working on the last book in the series. Carolyn attended workshops at The Writing
Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and Westport Writers Workshop. She has also had short stories published in print. The Virus of Beauty can be found on SCBWI Book Stop. To find out more visit cblyall.com.