Interview: Kate Avelynn

She Reads New Adult welcomes Kate Avelynn, author of Flawed!

SRNA: Thank you Kate for taking the time to answer a few questions!

KA: Thank you for having me!

SRNA: Flawed deals with a pretty difficult subject matter. How were you able to put yourself in the right frame of mind to tell Sarah's story?

KA: My background is in creative non-fiction, which is basically taking real-life events and channeling them into stories that read like fiction. I loved being able to draw readers into worlds and situations they didn't know existed, and probably would've happily stuck with that genre had it not been for an impulsive decision to join RWA a few years ago. I’ll be honest—I was a little freaked out at first. I didn't even write romance, and here were all these authors talking about fully-formed characters that lived in their heads and talked to them on a regular basis. I was already neck-deep in my psychology degree by that point, so fictional people living in an author’s head sounded…suspicious.

And then James popped into my head one day in class, full of himself and clearly hiding something beneath the bravado, just like he is in the book. He’s the one that started talking, and along with what he said came really vivid pictures of what his life looked like. I was in a screenwriting class at the time so I wrote it all out and thought, whoa—this boy is seriously broken! I knew I couldn't tell his story from his POV since it’d be too disturbing, so the most natural choice was to tell it from Sarah’s. From there, all I did was draw on my creative non-fiction skills and the abnormal psych stuff I’d studied and let myself just…be.

For what it’s worth, I now have a t-shirt featuring the E.L. Doctorow quote, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia,” because it’s totally true.

SRNA: Is Flawed your first book?

KA: I’d written three books and two screenplays before I wrote FLAWED. I’ll probably publish two of those first three books eventually. They’re all new adult since that’s my first love, so I’m pretty excited about the possibility of them finding an audience with readers who love contemporary new adult romance.

SRNA: Are you working on anything new at the moment that you'd like to tell us about?

KA: The next book I need to write is the follow-up to FLAWED, which is about what happens to Alex…after. He’s trying to pick up the pieces and has fallen into a pretty self-destructive lifestyle when he runs into Ashley Granger, Leslie’s little sister, who has been yanked out of the prestigious performing arts school she attended before the events at the end of FLAWED. It’s pretty epic and I love what I've written so far, but the day job is seriously hampering my writing time. I hope to finish the book by the end of summer.

SRNA: Are you a panster or a plotter?

KA: Plotter all the way. I start with a beat sheet, then write out every scene on a note card and pin it on my huge writing board. When it’s finally time to write the book, I grab a card, write that scene, then move onto the next one. It’s super methodical, but it works for me. The two times I tried pantsing were epic disasters (see earlier answer re: previous books I’ve written) and both books will need heavy editing to bring them into line. No way will I do that to myself again!

SRNA: How long did it take you to write Flawed?

KA: 3 weeks. I’d written the screenplay a couple years prior to the book, so I used that as the basic outline, fleshed out the book, and did up my note cards from there. At the time, I was writing with a fantastic group of ladies, and we all finished our books within the month-long boot camp we were participating in. Sharing “The End” with them was a blast!

SRNA: What message would you like people to take from Flawed?

KA: I didn't really write the book with a message in mind, but I suppose in hindsight, I hope readers will pay more attention to the people around them. People who need help rarely ask for it, so if they do, take them seriously. More often, though, victims of abuse just become really good at hiding what they’re going through, but there’s usually something that doesn’t add up. So much of what happened to Sarah and James and Sam could’ve been avoided if people would've opened their eyes, or listened the few times they reached out for help.

SRNA: Do you have a special writing ritual? Or superstitions?

KA: I never read while I write. Ever. It totally knocks me out of the world I have to keep myself in to finish the book.

SRNA: Last but not least, and just for fun... What's your sign? :)

KA: I’m a Libra. Basically, I hate it when people get mad at me, and also regularly insert myself into other peoples’ problems to mediate because I can’t handle knowing someone else is hurting, either. Which probably makes no sense seeing as how I wrote FLAWED, but I suppose astrology’s not an exact science.

You can read my review of Flawed here: Just Bookin' Around

Sarah O'Brien is only alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago--James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she's watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she'll give it freely.

Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.

Sam Donavon has been James's best friend--and the boy Sarah's had a crush on--for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she's in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he's going to save her. Neither of them realize James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he's not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact...

Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark


  1. I've been wanting to read this book. But then the release date was delayed.

  2. I read an ecopy some time ago and really enjoyed it. It wasn't for the absolute must have a HEA ending type readers. :) Hope you're able to read it soon.