Giveaways Inspirations and Influences YA Appreciation Month

Supernatural Summer: Aprilynne Pike on Inspirations & Influences (and a Giveaway)

Aprilynne Pike is a fresh new author, and her debut novel Wings has enchanted young and adult readers alike (just read my review). With Wings debuting on the New York Times Bestseller list then taking the #1 spot for Children’s Chapter Books during its second week on sale, and with rights sold to Disney for a movie adaptation (with tween juggernaut Miley Cyrus named as a casting choice), it’s been a pretty good year for Ms. Pike.

Today, this talented new author joins us to talk about her inspirations and influences, why she started writing Young Adult lit, and who some of her favorite YA authors are.

Ladies and gents, we give you Aprilynne Pike!

This guest post from Aprilynne Pike is the third author spotlight in our SUPERNATURAL SUMMER book feature from Harper Teen. This week we will bring you five different books by five different authors, including interviews, articles and giveaways.


Thanks so much for having me here on The Book Smugglers!

Writing Wings was quite a journey for me. I knew I wanted to be an author back in college when I switched my major from Human Biology to Creative Writing. (Yes, I’ll wait while you laugh.) But actually discovering my niche took a lot longer. Years longer. One night—about two years after I graduated college—I was reading a really bad romance novel. I kept expecting it to get better and it just got worse! So I skimmed the end and threw the book across the room and told my husband, “I can do better than that!” So I started.

And about 100 pages in I discovered that writing was hard and took work. So I did what any sane person would do. I quit.

A couple years later, the writing itch returned and I started writing again. A high fantasy this time. I did manage to finish that one. Powered through it, actually. And that book was my first sojourn into publishing. I wracked up a lot of rejections, but while I was querying, I decided I liked writing books. So I finished the sequel to the fantasy, and even went back and completed that first romance. After a lot of edits and cutting about a million words (it felt like a million at the time!) I got an agent! Whoo-hoo!!

Except that my book didn’t sell.

But while my book was not selling, I woke up one morning with a perfectly formed first chapter in my head and a boy’s voice in my ear.

A high school boy.

So I started writing a YA. I didn’t have a plot to go with my voice and first chapter, but hey! It was fun!

When it became obvious that my first book wasn’t going to sell, I sat down and decided that I needed a new book. A better book. But I didn’t know what to write! I had an adult-level high fantasy, a Romance, a dead-ended YA, and an agent who repped almost everything. I could go anywhere! So I was trolling agent sites one day and found a blog that mentioned, almost in passing, that faeries were expected to be a new trend in YA.

I felt like I had been hit by lightning!

I have always loved faeries. For as long as I can remember. And I had been enjoying my no-plot YA so much! I don’t know why I had to get whacked over the head with the idea of putting those two together before I got it. All I know, is I sat looking at that computer screen thinking, “A YA faerie novel? I want to write a YA faerie novel!” And my next thought was, “And I have to do it right now!”

And I did. I wrote furiously for six hours a day while my husband watched the kids, and then I stole every spare moment I could to work on Wings. It had become my all-encompassing passion and I finished it in six weeks . . . I paid for it when edits came around, but I did finish the initial draft quickly.

Everything just clicked when I decided to write YA. My agent loved the idea, my husband thought it was perfect, and I was just so excited to do it. I’m not sure why it took me three books to try it, but I love it and have no intention of leaving the genre any time soon. And when I started writing YA, I started reading more YA too. And what a world I have discovered! I always loved books like The Giver by Lois Lowry and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, but these days there is so much depth in the YA genre! I have gotten to be all fan-girly over staples like Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling, and small but amazing authors like Saundra Mitchell (Shadowed Summer) and Christine Fletcher (Ten Cents a Dance). I’ve been the last to discover old favorites like Scott Westerfield (The Uglies Trilogy, Peeps, Midnighters) and Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries, The Mediator, Allie Finkle), and the first to unearth some amazing newcomers such as Megan Frazer (Secrets of Truth and Beauty) and Sarah Cross (Dull Boy). And don’t even get me started on the upcoming releases I am excited about! James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire) and… I could go on for pages!

But I won’t, don’t worry.

But that does make me look to the future of YA and the role I hope to play in it. I am currently working on the third of four books in my Wings series. And remember that no-plot first chapter? It grew a plot and is now a standalone paranormal with a rather bratty ghost. And just being shelved between Tamora Pierce (Alanna, Beka Cooper) and Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix) for many years to come is enough motivation to write the best I can, for as long as I can.

It’s been a pleasure!


Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne recently returned to Arizona with her husband and three kids in Utah; she is enjoying the sunshine.

You can read more about Aprilynne on her website HERE, and follow her blog HERE.

Giveaway Details:

We are giving away a copy of Wings to one lucky reader! The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada, and will run until Sunday July 26 at midnight (PST). To enter, simply leave a comment here. Good luck!

You Might Also Like

  • Sarah
    July 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Ohh, am I the first to comment?

    This book looks really interesting – the perfect anti-dote to the Twilight series!

  • Courtney
    July 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    This book sounds super cool … can’t wait to read it!!

  • Elyane
    July 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Wow! First novel and already sold the movie rights. Congrats!

  • Lusty Reader
    July 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    oh lala, optioned for a movie with Miley?! Hello success! I love getting to know authors, so this was a great post and I can’t wait to read Wings, hopefully after winning it 😉

    OH and I get tingly when I think of Tamora Pierce’s Alanna, my love for those books is in my bloodstream.

  • Beth
    July 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    This looks fun! Please enter me!

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  • Tynga
    July 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Please sign me in I heard so many good things about the book =)

  • Sara M
    July 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    This book sounds amazing! Count me in!

  • danielle
    July 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    ooh, sign me up!

  • Estella
    July 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Sounds good! Please count me in.

  • Donna S
    July 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Great post. I would love the chance to read Wings. I have heard so many great things about it.

  • Tiah
    July 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    This was a great post and I love that picture. Now I’m off to plot against Miley being in this movie. 😈

  • Tiah
    July 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    This is way off topic, but Thea (my fellow apocalypse lover friend) did you hear about the new show on Discovery called The Colony? Its a reality show about LA being destroyed and they following the survivors. They give them materials and shelter and they have to survive for 10 weeks. I’m in love.

  • Wendy
    July 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Hi, Aprilynne!

    Ever since I first saw Wings’ cover, I’ve wanted to read the book. It’s so lovely!

  • Celia
    July 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I read a library copy of Wings and would love to win my own! Please enter me!


  • Ginny
    July 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    My sister sent me over to enter for this book. I’d love to have a copy for my classroom!


  • Sylvie L
    July 22, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    First, I just want to say that the cover is absolutely exquisite. I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but I’m just saying… lol.

    Also, it sounds fascinating and has been added to my “to read” pile. It’s on the verge of becoming a mountain, so many books look interesting!

  • elaing8
    July 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I really want to read this book.I’ve seen nothing but great reviews for it.
    thanks for the opportunity to win it 😀

  • Samantha
    July 22, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you for the contest!

    I admire Ms. Pike’s determination! 😀

  • Kuri
    July 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Looking forward to reading this!

  • Heloise
    July 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Great story (about writing it), and would love to read the book. Thanks smugglers and Ms. Pike.

  • dancechica
    July 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I have heard so many good things about this book. I love faerie stories, and this looks awesome.

  • Jamie
    July 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Sounds like a great book and my TBR pile is getting shorter by the day… :mrgreen:

  • Kimberly B.
    July 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    This book sounds terrific—I’m a big fan of both faerie and YA fantasy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • RachaelfromNJ
    July 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    This book sounds SOOOOOOOOOOO good!!! I’d love to win it. 😛

  • Stacies
    July 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Please count me in.

  • Margay
    July 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    This is on my wish list!

    Margay1122 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Virginia Hendricks
    July 22, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Sounds like an awesome book! I’d love to read it!

    macbeaner at gmail dot com

  • Collette
    July 22, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    This books sounds wonderful, please enter me in the contest.

    And Ms. Pike looks more like a YA herself instead of a wife and mother of 3! What a great picture!

  • Hyatt
    July 22, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Really excited about this one. It looks fabulous!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win. 😀

  • Renee
    July 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Please put my name in the hat! 🙂

    Thanks for all the leads on new authors to check out. I LOVE the Scott Westerfeld Uglies series, and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games, and am always interested in new YA authors.

  • Dottie
    July 22, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    This book is on my must be read list for a while now, I do have a great love for the wee folk.

    And optioned for a movie, Congrats!!

    Please count me in!

    Dottie 🙂

  • Teresa W.
    July 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I’d like to be included!

  • Lori T
    July 22, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Aprilynne~

    Wings sounds really great and I have just really heard amazing things about it. Congrats on your success and I am really looking forward to reading this.

  • Jenni C.
    July 23, 2009 at 3:54 am

    I’d love to win a copy of this book! It looks great.

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    July 23, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Please count me in. Would love to read this book.

  • CrystalGB
    July 23, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Wings sounds good. Thank you for the giveaway.

  • Ronda Hinrichsen
    July 23, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I loved reading about Pike’s journey to authorhood. Thanks!

  • C.J.
    July 23, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I can’t say I have ever read a book about faries … but I really want to give this one a try.

  • Roxy
    July 23, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I would love to win a copy. Count me in.

  • Ethansdad
    July 23, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Please enter my name into this contest as well.

  • Emily
    July 23, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of the idea/writing process! Enter me in the contest please!

  • Christine
    July 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Great post, Aprilynne. I always enjoy reading about how authors make their break into the publishing world. 🙂

    I’d love to be entered in the giveaway and give this debut author a try.

  • Elizabeth Franklin
    July 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I am extremely excited at a chance to read this novel. Our book club, or book cult as we call it at work would love the opportunity to pass around this adventure. I am currently reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which The Book Smugglers have highly recommended and I am loving it. I know that Wings will live up to the recommendations.

  • Gwen
    July 23, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Wings sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway and congrats!

  • Jacqueline C.
    July 23, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I’ve heard lots of great things about this one and would love to have it!

  • Veronica Isabella Franco
    July 24, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Geez, I LOVE this site! So many great giveaways; I’m crossing my fingers for some books 😛

  • Biki
    July 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Please count me in; the cover has me so entranced!

  • Elisa
    July 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    What a beautiful cover! Count me in.

  • kelseym
    July 24, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Oooh please enter me 🙂 I seen this advertised at the bookstore, but they were all out. Looks like an awesome book!

  • Rob Charron
    July 25, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Hi 🙂
    Wow. Your review was awesome for Wings and I can’t wait to read it! Thank you for introducing me to a new (for me) writer and her works. Thank you Aprilynne for sharing on this great Blog.
    Love and best wishes from Northern Ontario

  • Brooke Reviews
    July 25, 2009 at 11:57 am

    You’ve had a great line-up all week! 😀

  • Belle
    July 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    What a lovely guest post – I really enjoyed your story of how Wings came to be written!

  • Raelena
    July 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    count me in

  • Mardel S
    July 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I read an excerpt of Wings on the publishers website and thought it was pretty good. I also thinks it’s great that Disney is thinkin of doing the movie. Wonderful.

  • Sharon K
    July 25, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Oh, I just love fairies! I hope I win a copy!
    Sharon K.

  • music_lover3
    July 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I love reading about fairies!! Count me in the contest, thanks!

  • Kokoro
    July 26, 2009 at 4:31 am

    This was a most beautiful story! So looking forward to the next peek into her world and life!

  • Thea
    July 26, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for all the entries folks! The contest is now done, and comments are closed.