Series: Powered #1
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Maci Might's sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the day she's awarded Hero status. But thanks to a tiny anger problem and a questionable family tree, King City's elders think it's best if she doesn't join the Hero ranks. Determined to change their minds, Maci will break whatever rule it takes to prove she's Hero material. As her hair darkens and her anger grows, everyone turns against her except Evan; a childhood friend turned scientist who may be able to unlock the secrets hidden in her DNA.
When a villain attacks King City and her dad is held prisoner, Maci discovers a truth she refuses to believe. She may not be a Hero after all—but this time the Heroes of King City need her more than she needs them. And she won't let them down.
Interview with Author Cheyanne Young
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Powered is about a teenage Super who spent her whole life training to become a Hero. That doesn’t exactly go as planned, but she still gets to defeat some villains in the process.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
It was a few years ago, and I was home sick and watching a Spiderman marathon on TV. You know, the movies with Toby Maguire? I’m sitting there watching the movies and I think, “I could totally write a better superhero story than this.” So I did.
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
That female main characters can hold their own and not need some crazy love-struck boy to save them from everything. Also, that you are who you want to be… not who you’re told you are.
How long did it take to write the book?
About 6 months, but I started over twice, trashing about 20k words in the process. It was worth it.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
Maci is my favorite character and she’s the one who makes me laugh the most. She’s always trying to take the story in different directions and throwing a fit when I don’t listen. The villain (I won’t say his/her name so as not to spoil it) was really fun to write. I enjoy writing evil characters.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
The first 20k was a pantsed mess with no direction or voice. After a beta reader told me it was horrible, I agreed and started again from scratch. Maci actually didn’t have any powers in the first draft. Lame!! But yeah, for the real draft, it was heavily outlined and when I decided it should be a trilogy, I outlined the entire story arc so as to include everything I needed in the first book.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
This is a tough question. I edited the thing so many times I feel like the story is exactly the way I want it to be.
How did you come up with the cover?
The cover was a big huge nightmare. I hired a well-known cover artist who ended up taking my money and bailing on me and I had to push back the release date of the book by 6 months while I figured something out. Then my friends and I scoured the web for good stock images that would portray the feel of the story, but nothing.. I mean NOTHING felt like Powered to me. Then I decided on a simple cover, and when I found the flaming letters I knew I had exactly what I needed. Some people complain that the cover is too simple, but if they’re judging a book by the cover then they have issues I don’t care to worry about. 😉
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Probably in 4th grade when we had to write a folktale and mine was nine pages long, compared to every other students’ one page.
What are your favorite books and authors?
I love Sarah Dessen, JK Rowling, Holly Black, Lisa McMann, Jeaniene Frost. Pretty much all YA books and a small bit of adult books.
What are you working on next?
I’ll be finishing the next two Powered books. I’m also working on a YA fantasy and a New Adult novel. I’m pretty much in the middle of four manuscripts right now. Maybe one day I’ll figure out in what order they’ll get published.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Yes- DO NOT compare yourself to other authors! Your writing journey is your own. Only care about that.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
I write during my lunch breaks at work, early on weekend mornings when the kiddo and the man is asleep, and just about any other time I can find when my presence won’t be missed. I have a pretty awesome family though, and they don’t mind entertaining themselves while I huddle over my laptop in the corner of the room for hours on end.