This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on Candice Pedraza Yamnitz!
This sleepy, homeschooling mama balances teaching and parenting during the day, while burning the midnight oil as a writer.
Her debut novel, Unbetrothed, is available on Amazon.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Candice Pedraza Yamnitz is a homeschooling mom, blogger, and teacher. She taught in an elementary dual-language classroom for seven years before having her three spirited children. She mentored teen girls for years and aims to inspire through stories. In 2017, she joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) to improve her craft, and today she is president of the Chicago chapter. Her debut novel, UNBETROTHED, is available now on Amazon.
About Candice's Book
Around Agatha Sea, princesses are poised, magically gifted, and betrothed.
So, when seventeen-year-old Princess Beatriz still fails to secure a betrothal, her parents hold a ball. Forming an alliance could mean the difference between peace and war, but Beatriz doesn't just want any suitor. She's in love with her best friend, Prince Lux. Marrying Prince Lux will always be a silly dream as long as she has no magical gift.
Princess Beatriz will do whatever it takes to obtain a touch of magic, including making a deadly oath to go on a quest to Valle de Los Fantasmas—a valley where no one comes out alive.
If she can manage to succeed, Princess Beatriz could have everything she desires and secure peace for her kingdom. If she fails, she’ll lose not only her greatest dream, but her kingdom, and maybe even her own life.
Unbethrothed, a 2022 new release title, is a young adult fantasy that encourages young women to embrace their self-worth. Exploring themes of redemption, the story takes place in a tropical seaside kingdom complete with a castle, flat-roofed houses and a mountainous jungle land. The authors’ own Latin background gives her young adult novels a Latin twist causing the most avid reader to be surprised.
And now, the interview:
Candice, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
In 2017, I got a ghostwriting gig and fell in love with creative writing.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
I got inspired by a rough season while I was mentoring teen girls. I had this character who struggled with her self-worth but lashed out at other people.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
I love YA fantasy! I love coming of age stories and I love when they have a touch of magic. Maybe, it's that I grew up watching Disney.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
I do not. Does the squirrel who lives in the tree outside my window count? [Yes! Just ask Cinderella and Snow White.]
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I write at night. Sometimes I put mood music. Sometimes I do a free write beforehand. I am protective of my nighttime writing since I'm busy with my children all day.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I love storytelling. I love spilling the stories rolling through my head onto a page. It helps me process the world.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
Don't stop. God will open doors. I was in such a hurry to get published and make things happen. I would have been less discouraged and I also would have slept a lot more.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Keep a schedule. Go on walks. Read a lot. I don't have a lot of free time so when I do have time to myself, I write.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I don't know if I'm intuitive. I'm not much of a planner.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
I'm always on the verge of quitting so I don't know. The problem is that I have about another six stories I need to finish before I give up.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I am most grateful for my mom who reads all my sloppy first drafts. She encourages me, reads with me, and tells me the truth.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I love eating a meal with my family. I might still love dancing if I wasn't so tired all the time.
Which book are you reading right now?
Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
The Delusion [Laura Gallier] has stuck with me the whole year.
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is creating worlds that don’t exist.
Stay connected with Candice! Here’s where you can find her:
I'm taking a short break from blogging to finish an editing project! Stay tuned for my next writer interview, indie author Sherry Shearheart on April 27.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.