Author Spotlight: Kalyn Josephson
Oct. 14, 2022
We are excited to feature author Kalyn Josephson and her middle grade novel, RAVENFALL (Delacorte Press) out now. Enter to win a copy!
|cover art by Ramona Kaulitzki/ design by Suzanne Lee|
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
Hi all! My name is Kalyn Josephson, and I write young adult and middle-grade fantasy. While I didn’t initially set out to write a middle grade book, I realized upon looking back at an old manuscript that that was exactly what I’d done. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the unique combination of humor and heart often found in middle grade books, as well as the deep exploration of emotion and personal journey in YA.
Congrats on your debut middle grade novel, Ravenfall! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.
Thank you! Oddly enough, my journey with Ravenfall began with the Addams Family movie. I loved their odd, quirky family, and the creepy and magical undercurrent of the world. It led me to write a story about a big, sprawling family, where the line between dark and funny blended. A lot of my stories at the time were steeped in Irish mythology, so that became the other main angle of the book.
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?
Ravenfall’s road to publication was at once very long and incredibly quick. I first began writing the book back in 2015, at the end of my senior year of college. I queried it, but never landed an agent with it (I’d go on to write 2 more books before securing an agent). After publishing The Crow Rider, my YA sequel, and going out on submission with a new YA book, I came back to Ravenfall and realized I had not a YA, but a middle grade on my hands. After revising it and sending it to my agent, it sold on submission almost overnight. So in a way, it was a 6 year journey, and in others, only a few months.
What projects are next for you?
I have a YA fantasy releasing Winter 2023 called This Dark Descent, which is like Peaky Blinders meets The Scorpio Races. The sequel to Ravenfall also releases Fall 2023, and both heavily feature Jewish mythology.
What are some of your favorite classic middle grade books? New ones?
One hundred percent Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne-Jones. The whimsy at the core of that book never fails to make me smile. More recently, I’ve loved The Prince of Nowhere by Rochelle Hassan, Freddie vs. The Family Curse by Tracy Badua, Unseen Magic by Emily Lloyd-Jones, and The Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Find other writers to surround yourself with. People near or at the same stage in the journey who you can learn from and grow with. Not only are they indispensable as critique partners, but as sounding boards and a community to help you through this often arduous process.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I love a good practical joke, which is probably where most of Max’s (the cat) antics come from in Ravenfall.
Where can people find you online?
Kalyn Josephson is a fantasy author living in the California Bay Area. She loves books, cats, books with cats, and making up other worlds to live in for a while.