Brandi Sumey is a Pennsylvania-based author of YA contemporary novels. She is a junior in college at a university in Southwestern PA, where she studies elementary education. She hopes to educate others in the art of writing and inspire the younger generation to love and appreciate the craft. To learn more, check out the FAQ page on Brandi’s website.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When not writing, I enjoy reading YA fiction, kayaking, and binge-watching Jane the Virgin or The Office.
What are your goals as a writer?
As a writer, I’m not necessarily focused on writing something that will fit the market. I want my novels to touch on contemporary issues that young adults (or humans in general) experience and may benefit from seeing reflected in literature. I want to reach those that may need to read the words that I’ve written.
What’s your typical writing process?
In terms of a writing routine, it’s very flexible. I’m a college student, so my schedule doesn’t always align with when I prefer to write. I prefer to write in the morning and in my local coffee shop, but it doesn’t always happen. Simply put, I write when I can. In terms of a timeline for writing novels, I typically draft my novels within one month. From there, I take as long as I need to work on the novel and shape it into the best it can be.
Tell us about your current WIP!
Ah, I’m so glad you asked! My debut novel, Because of India, is a YA contemporary novel that follows the narrative of Edalene Brooks and her life with her best friend, India Holland. The novel explores themes of friendship, loss, grief, love, bravery, and independence. As someone who has experienced the grief that accompanies losing a best friend, my hope is to shed light on something that I could never find in the books I read. The novel will be released on May 1, 2020.
My other current WIP is another YA contemporary that I can’t say too much about just yet! In brief, it will follow two main characters: one in search of Planet X and the other in search of a family 🙂
What do you find hardest about being a writer?
Something that I’ve been struggling with lately is letting go of Because of India. I have tons of new ideas but it’s been difficult to move on from a story I’ve been so attached to for over a year. I feel that, as writers, we tend to become so familiar with our stories that it can be difficult to write new characters/plotlines at first and not have other stories bleed into them.
What’s something you’ve learned during the writing/editing process?
Have someone else read your work! I wrote two whole drafts of Because of India before I realized what it needed, with the help of my wonderful beta readers. The same applies to editors. They’re able to see flaws and make corrections that you may have missed. So, especially if your goal is to be published, have at least one other person read and review your work.
If you could only eat one breakfast food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Crepes, for sure. As long as they’re topped with fruit or chocolate.