YA author, Lynn Langan, joins us this week to chat about her debut, Duke & the Lonely Boy

Author Name: Lynn Langan

Book Title: Duke & the Lonely Boy

Book Genre: YA

Release Date: 8-19-2021

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Lynn! How would you describe Duke & the Lonely Boy?

An effective, often moving tale of teen angst, heartache, betrayal, friendship, and self-discovery. Kirkus Review

What sparked the idea for this book?

I wanted to examine how we judge others based on the very little information we know about them and what, if anything, can we learn and offer to a complete stranger.

How long did it take for you to write it? What was the research like?

I had this idea of floating around my head for two years. I was working on other projects, but Duke and Tommy were on my mind and I finally sat down and wrote. Once I let the words flow, it took me six months to write the first draft and another six months to work the edits.

What drew you to the YA genre?

I love this age because it’s a time of self-discovery and growth. And stories can impact the way we see the world and how we will interact with it, so it’s exciting to write for readers that are facing new situations and feelings.  

What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?

My favorite part about being an author is creating the characters and the situations they find themselves in. I love discovering the wants and needs of the characters and what is holding them back from achieving their goals. To me, it’s the ultimate game of chess. Which is why I find the most challenging part of the manuscript to be the middle. There is a delicate balancing act of marching the characters to the end of the story; taking the time to fully discover what the character needs to learn to change by the end the of the manuscript.

What about the writing/editing/publishing process has been the most surprising to you so far?

It was surprisingly hard to let go of the manuscript for the final time. I wanted to keep editing and polishing because I suddenly realize my work wasn’t going to be in my hands anymore. These characters who have become like family to me had to go out in the big wide world and be seen by other people. I had to let go and trust that I did a good enough job.

Any words of wisdom you give to a new writer?

Keep at it. If it feels uncomfortable and difficult at times- it’s all a part of the process. You will write yourself into a corner and you can write yourself out! You may not sell your first manuscript or your second, but keep pushing because the journey is what makes you a better writer. And find yourself a good support network, whether it be friends, family, or a writing group. The feedback will be immeasurable.

Where can readers find you?

Lynnlangan.com

Thank you, Lynn! Duke & the Lonely Boy is OUT NOW.

“An effective, often moving tale of teen angst, heartache, betrayal, friendship, and self-discovery.” –Kirkus Reviews

Who are you willing to be for the people you love? For Duke and Tommy, the time to find out is now.

Duke seemingly has it all. But his math tutor, Tommy, not so much. When their worlds collide, it forces each one to truly examine their own reality. Duke realizes he’s more like a sheep, who only knows how to follow. As for Tommy, he allows his tortured past to define his future.

Duke must find the courage to really be himself, even if that means losing it all; while Tommy must confront his grief to find the closure he desperately needs. In the unlikely friendship that they form, they each grow on the strengths of the other.

Lynn Langan’s debut novel, Duke & the Lonely Boy is a story about understanding who you really are, unlikely friendships, overcoming tragedy, and finding true closure to heal a broken heart.