Teen Author Boot Camp 2014: Interview with Tyler Jolley


(Tyler Jolley is a combination you’ve never heard of before; a dentist and a writer. He runs the site Jolley Smiles about dental health. On the writing side, his book that he co-wrote with Sherry Ficklin The Lost Imperials just released this past November to great reviews.)

Why did you get into writing?

The ladies . . . well actually one lady, my wife. I had all these crazy stories in my mind while I was in dental school. Maybe the stressed caused it. There’s just something about teeth and a good idea for a story. I was telling my wife about all my fun story ideas and she encouraged me to write them down. I realized that as I wrote my stress would go away. So I just kept writing. Then my “short stories” turned into longer stories, then into full length novels.

Why did you choose YA your genre?

I suffer from what’s called Peter Pan syndrome. I’m a big kid at heart and don’t want to grow up. Naturally, stories for the YA and Middle Grade genre flow into my mind daily. Also I love the pureness of a YA story. These stories, I feel, are the most imaginative and free. Don’t get me wrong a novel by Dan Brown or Tom Clancy full of researched events is pretty epic but so are stories written in the YA genre.

 What is your day to day writing process look like?

Tighten braces, run back to my office write, tighten braces . . . then repeat. I try to write late at night also when my four kids are in bed. As of right now in my life I try to write wherever or whenever I find time. Days off give me a good glimpse of what it would be like to write all day every day.

How does your participation in Teen Author Boot Camp demonstrate your passion for teen readers and writers?

Whoa that’s a deep one. I guess because of being an Orthodontist I feel like I have a real connection with teens. I feel like I understand them in a way that I can hang with them on their level. In addition, I feel like if I can carry them away to another time, place, or planet I’ve done my job and this brings me joy. Creating a healthy habit of reading at an early age is a positive thing in a person’s life. Participating in TABC helps harbor that desire to pick up a good book and read.

 For someone who hasn’t read Extracted, give us a snapshot of the series.

Extracted is a Steampunk, time travel adventure of awesomeness. It’s about the lost brother and sister of the Romanov clan, Lex and Ember. The two groups of kids compete over the time stream and all of its secrets. After Lex’s girlfriend dies on a very special mission he runs into his sister Ember when he tries to steal a special piece of tech from her head quarters, run by Tesla. When the two groups start working together more is revealed from their past.

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