Monday, August 20, 2012

"Flashback" - Kyla LoPresti

Kyla LoPresti is a 13 year old author who lives in West Haven, Ct with her parents , 8 year old sister Zoey and their dog, Cole.  She is an avid reader who enjoys books by Cassandra Clare and Alyson Noel.  She has just published her first novel titled "Flashback".  She is currently working on the sequel and another series of books.  

Kyla brings her characters to life by showcasing them on her website and having them interact on twitter.  Many ideas in Kyla’s book come from her real life experiences, just embellished a little.  The two best friends in her book are based on her friends in real life.

When Kyla is not reading or writing she loves playing the guitar, swimming and playing volleyball.  She also likes to take the time to help other young authors with their writing.  She is constantly meeting new kids and inspiring them to follow their dreams.  Kyla has a message to readers on the back of her book in hopes she will encourage other kids and young adults to reach their goals. 

 Excerpt from Flashback:

Chapter 34: Rachael’s

I was groggy, but my mind raced with thoughts.  I wondered if Lillian and Chris ever got together.  Maybe I will ask him about her later.  I tried not to think about the fact that it’s my birthday in three days.  I’m scared but yet anxious about who my killer is, and what he’ll do to me.  I didn’t want to get ready for school, but I had to.  I missed too many days already.

I had the worst migraine at school all day.  I honestly don’t even remember half my day.  My head hurt so bad, that I couldn’t even really practice for the play.  Ms. Gale was so nice to me; she let me watch everyone else.  Erik and Chris were both doting on me, and fighting over who should get me a bottle of water.  I am so over them right now.                                
I really didn’t feel like going to Rachael’s to study.  I felt dizzy, like I was going to pass out.  I probably shouldn’t even have been driving.  I drove slowly to Dunkin’ Donuts.  I ordered a couple of coffees and some chocolate chip muffins.  By the time I got there, Evelyn and Rachael were already studying.         
“What took you so long, Iz?  We’re having caffeine withdrawal,” Rachael said when I walked in.  Like Rachael needs any more caffeine, she’s hyper enough. 
Rachael only lives a couple of blocks from me, but she lives right on the beach.  Her house is a grey, oversized Cape Cod.  It has an awesome white deck that comes off the back and you can walk right onto the beach.  Sometimes after a storm the waves are so high; they come right up to the top of the deck.  We usually hang out at her house on our days off.  We rarely go to Evelyn’s because her mom is a neat freak and we can’t make a mess.

“Here’s your mocha coffee with nine sugars and skim milk,” I said rolling my eyes.

“You’re funny, ha, ha,” Rachael said grabbing the coffee cup eagerly.

 “Thanks Isabelle, this will definitely help us get through Charles Dickens,” Evelyn said sighing. 

“I’ve got a bad headache today but I guess I’m ready to study.  So, what have you girls studied so far?”  I asked as I sat down on Rachael’s leopard couch.

The inside of Rachael’s house looked like Lady Gaga’s closet had thrown up all over it.  Every room had a different pattern from zebra to polka dots.  Don’t get me wrong her house is beautiful, there’s just a whole lot going on in one little place.

“I’ve got aspirin in my bag if you want some,” Evelyn said.

“I’m good; I just took one, thanks.”

“We were just talking about the symbolism of the names in the book.  We know that is going to be on the test,” Rachael said.

“Oh, that’s easy, Oliver’s name is Twist because of all the reversals of fortune that he experiences,” I explained.  I continued to talk about the symbolism of Bulls-eye and then I realized they were just staring at me.  I think I went too far.

Rachael looked at me in disbelief. “What the hell are you talking about?” She said.

Evelyn glared at me like she knew something, “Um, I didn’t know you were so into this book, I thought we both agreed that Pretty Little Liars should be the book we read for English Lit.”

“Hey, I thought we said The Lying Game,” Rachael exclaimed.

“Okay, we are getting off the subject,” I said laughing. “We are never gonna get through this, you two. I read a lot online last night that might help us.”

“Okay, we’ll be serious,” Evelyn said.

We spent three hours studying, well, mostly me telling them everything about the book the author, and them taking notes. We better all get As after I endured the boringness of teaching Charles Dickens. (Used With Permission)


I don't usually harp on anyone's age, but you have to admit, you are extremely young for a novelist. With that in mind, when did you first decide "I want to write a book."? 
I actually had a dream about the story I wrote.  I woke up in the middle of the night and starting my thoughts down.  The prologue of my book is pretty much what I wrote down at that point.  The next day in school I wrote the first chapter.  The more I thought about it the more the story developed and I realized it would make a good book.  After I had about 12 chapters my mother found my notebook in my book bag and read it.  She said she really liked it and I should tell my friends about it.  I started to tell them and they wanted to hear more and more.  It was then I realized I really needed to finish it and share it with everyone.

How do other kids react to you being a published author?
So far they seem really happy for me.  Everyone wanted a copy as soon as they came in.  The librarian had my picture up at our Main Library and she said lots of kids from my school saw it and were talking about it.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?
It took about 4 months to write the first draft.  After that it took another 6 to 8 months to edit, change things, format it and create the cover.

Writing can be very autobiographical, even in fiction. How much of you, is in your story? Are there parts of the main character that you identify with? Or are there events in your life that you've drawn on to add to your book? 
Yes! Yes! Yes!  Isabelle, the main character is a lot like me.  She can be very sarcastic like me and self-conscious too.  Isabelle’s two best friends are based off my two best friends, Rachael and Victoria.  Of course they are a little embellished.  I live in Connecticut and Isabelle’s past life takes place in Connecticut.  Her present life takes place in Carlsbad, California which is where I went on vacation and would like to live one day.  The places Isabelle shops and eats at are all places that I like.

What did your parents say when you presented them with the finished manuscript?
 They couldn’t believe it was so long!  They were really proud of me.

And lastly, what would be the biggest bit of advice that you would give to young adults who dream of becoming an author? 
Don’t give up.  Don’t get discouraged.  It takes a long time to write a book.  No one can do it in a day, you have to have a lot of patience and believe in yourself that you will finish it.  Whether it is writing a book or something else, no kid should give up on their dreams.

To learn more about Kyla & her characters please go to:

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