Author Spotlight: BB Russell

Dec. 2, 2021

We are excited to feature author BB Russell and her debut young adult book KINDREDS(Green Writers Press, June 2021out now! 

Be sure to enter to win a copy below!

Cover design by the uber talented: Mars Lauderbaugh 

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for teens.

I’m a dog mama, social worker, wife, mom to three great kids, and live in upstate New York. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and when the story of Kindreds came to me, it was obvious that it was meant to be a YA book. And thus began my love of writing YA books.


Congrats on your debut YA novel, Kindreds! Please tell us about the story and what inspired you.

Thank you!  In this story, we follow sixteen-year-old and newly orphaned Lilah who has just moved into foster care. Lilah’s one saving grace is Joey, her deceased brother’s best friend who, as luck has it, lives next door to her new foster family. The problem is, Joey harbors a secret, one Lilah must find out. When she does, she must decide, will she follow her heart and new found love, Joey, into Nolianna, a secret, mysterious carnival world run only by foster children that is recruiting new members? Or will she listen to her head and follow the clues that Nolianna may not be what it seems.


Was your initial road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?

It has been a long and winding road for sure, about 10 years in the making! I started writing Kindreds in 2012. In 2019, I finally decided I needed to do something with it or just put it away. I entered a writing contest with Green Writers Press and won a publication contract. It was truly a dream come true. 


When you were writing the story, did you have a playlist or aesthetic? If so, can you share?

I had different inspirations for different characters. Music can evoke all kinds of emotion and I would often rely on whatever I was listening to help me get in the spirit of my characters.

Here are a few that were on my playlist. 

Lilah: 32 flavors (Ani Difranco); The Power of Two (Indigo Girls)

Joey: anything from The Jonas Brothers

Sebastian: Wait for It (Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr.), Sign of the Times (Harry Styles), Circus (Brittany Spears)

Ginger: Get this Party Started (Pink), Who Knew (Pink), Count on Me (Bruno Mars)

Carnival Nolianna: Applause (Lady Gaga), The Greatest Show (The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman), Children of the Revolution (Moulin Rouge)


What projects are you working on now?

I’m finishing up the second book in the Nolianna series. Kindreds was the first of that series. I also have a YA contemporary book that is also in the works about a girl’s recovery from depression.


What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same advice you'd give to aspiring authors?

Write. Revise. Write.  Don’t listen to everyone else. Be who you are and don’t be afraid to show it. Ask for help, and ask for what you want.  KEEP GOING! 

I would give this advice to aspiring authors, my children, myself, and anyone out there trying to find where they belong in the world.


What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I love to eat Nilla wafers straight from the box while I write. 


Where can people find you online?

On Instagram: @bbrussellauthor

On Facebook: @bbrussellauthor

On TikTok: bbrussellauthor

On my website:


Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in western New York, B.B. Russell has always loved to read, write, and use her imagination. Having a keen interest in human development, she attended several colleges and eventually obtained her PhD in Education. A college professor and therapist, B.B. loves talking to and learning about others. When she’s not writing, teaching, or doing therapy, she can be found spending time with her loving husband, three children, her Bernese Mountain Dog, Doolin, and golden retriever, Paisley. Kindreds is her first young adult novel. 

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