Interview with Author Adra Young

My guest today is Adra Young.  Hello, Adra!  Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book? 


My latest book The Misfits, is based upon four good friends coming together due to having a dreadful dilemma in common. They are all being harassed by the same eighth grade student at her crew at school.    
When did it come out? 

It was May of 2013 via e-book version.  

Where can we get it? 

It is currently available on Smashwords, and Kindle.

Is there anything that prompted your latest book ?  Something that inspired you?
What prompted me to write this book was the fact that I am a school teacher and I write on situations that occur with the youth.  My students always inspire me to write.  
So, when did you know you wanted to write?   
I envisioned becoming an author the later part of 2003. Writing was not always a pastime for me. 
Do you have any favorite authors? 
Yes, I do.  One of my favorite authors is the late E. Lynn Harris.  

Do you write in a specific place?  Time of day?
I usually write on the floor.  I rarely write on my office desk.  I do not have a specific time for writing. I just go with the flow when it comes to me.
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers?  
Yes...don't give up.  Keep writing. Don't stop!  
Any advice?
As a independent author, it's important to come up with multiple ways to promote yourself. My suggestion is that independent authors on a daily basis come up with three different strategies to get themselves exposed and put those strategies to work.
Here is the blurb for The Misfits. 

The Misfits...the middle school bullying book of the decade!

Chelsea, your typical everyday student, would love to get the most out of her middle school experience. Unfortunately, Chelsea and her three friends Brandon, Meagan, and Josh all have one major dilemma standing in their way from accomplishing this goal. Linda,a seventh grade student from the previous school year, along with her crew, took it upon themselves to bully, and torment the four of them as sixth graders. Blair, Linda's younger sister of the two,refused to play any role in her sisters cruel tactics. As a result of it all, Blair becomes friends with Chelsea.

The first day of school for Chelsea and her friends as seventh graders approaches soon. All four of these youngsters experience back to school anxiety the night before. Riding the bus together the morning of the first day of school, they encourage and motivate one another to have a great first day. Although Chelsea and her friends have one amazing bond, does this pact have what it takes to have an productive school year as seventh graders at Vernon middle or,will they succumb once again to Linda's cruel and vicious acts of bullying.

Here is the trailer.

Here is an excerpt from The Misfits.







Once again, the first day of school is here. There’s a Christmas song by some old-timer titled, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I’m not sure what his name is, but every year since I’ve entered school, the first day of class has always been just the opposite. I hate it! It seems like the night before the first day of every school year, I can never get any sleep. Just the sound of the big yellow bus pulling up to the corner to pick me up is enough to make me want to vomit. The first day of school always made me nervous, but nothing could compare to the nervousness and jitters I felt in sixth grade entering Vernon Middle School for the first time.

The good news is that I made it through sixth grade despite everything my friends and I endured. Now I’m a seventh grader. The bad news is that I know everyone will have nice clothes. Well, just about everyone: I won’t. I’ll have the same clothes from last year. My mom got laid off from her crummy job about a month ago, and she couldn’t afford new threads. I don’t blame her - it’s not her fault. What’s the big deal about nice clothes anyway? Well, as a seventh-grader at Vernon Middle, I quickly learned that appearance is everything.

The pressure will be on this year. As for Linda and the gang, just like last year, I know they are going to go straight for the juggler when they see me in the morning. I know they will notice something very common about my attire: I wore it last year at least 40 times. Since there are only 186 school days in a year - if you do the math — it means that the entire Vernon student body will remember my shirt and skirt.

As a seventh grader, my only wish is that Linda and her puppets would be a little more supportive and encouraging to the lower classmen like me and the people I hang with. It was obvious that she and her clique had it in for us -- bad. Their mission was always to seek, conquer, and ruin the self-esteem of incoming students who were already timid and weak. Thank goodness she and her friends are moving on to high school next year. Boy, am I happy about that. I have a feeling that things will get worse before they get better this year. I can feel it coming. Even more personal attacks will be made against me due to the one thing that she could not control.

Blair, Linda’s younger sister, entered Vernon as a sixth grader last year. Unlike her mean-spirited sister, Blair seems like the total opposite. These two are like night and day. All Linda seems to care about is mistreating and belittling people. Blair uses her energy for good and is kind to everyone despite her privileged upbringing. In fact, Blair is so down-to-earth, cool-headed, and quiet that students frequently forget who her sister is.

I’ll never forget how Blair and I met. One day after being picked on to the point of tears by Linda and her notorious crew, I ran to the bathroom to pull myself together. Raising my head up from the bathroom sink, I saw Blair handing me several paper towels to dry my eyes. She introduced herself and apologized for her sister’s appalling actions.

We established a friendship tight as a braid. Linda, of course, did not approve. She threatened to end our pact. Often, Blair wanted to tell her parents about Linda’s cruelty - but she never did. It turned out that Linda could persuade her parents to believing anything she said. But Blair got so tired of her sister’s vicious behavior toward me and the rest of my friends that she asked to transfer to another school at the end of the year. I will miss not seeing her face tomorrow. I guess I will try to lie down and get some sleep. The first day of school will be here before I know it.


It’s time to go back to school. It seems like only yesterday I entered sixth grade at Vernon Middle School. Like any other pre-teen, I was nervous and trying to keep a big secret from getting out at the same time. As far back as I could remember, I’d always had difficulty with reading. I tried my best, yet it wasn’t good enough.

Due to these challenges, my mom finally had me evaluated. It turned out I have a learning disability known as dyslexia. At first, I was mad. After all, who wants to be labeled? Last year, I hid the fact that I saw a Resource Special Needs teacher every morning. Since the rest of my classes were in a regular classroom, no one paid much attention.

One morning after my reading class, I realized I had left my pencil case behind. I ran back to the room to get it. As I left the Resource Center, I ended up face-to-face with this girl. Immediately I began to feel dumb and stupid. I guess the expression on my face said it all. To my surprise, she stuck her hand out and said, “Hello! My name is Chelsea. You have nothing to worry about. Your secret is safe with me.” I could not believe her kindness. To top it off, she kept her word. Chelsea never said anything to anyone about me having a class in the Special Needs room. We became great friends. Chelsea even began to tutor me from time to time. Often, we ate lunch together and she eventually introduced me to Blair. I was happy, because now I had two great friends. Everything was going great. That was until I made the biggest mistake of my sixth-grade life.

For the life of me, I could not find my class schedule. I searched everywhere for it. I just did not want it to get in the hands of any other students. I had a reputation to maintain. Tired of being stressed about losing it, I decided to forget about it. I assumed I must have accidentally thrown it away. But I didn’t -- Linda and her unruly crew had discovered it.

I will never forget the day when Linda came up to my locker and said, “Missing something, dumb boy?” Before I could respond, Linda dropped my schedule on the floor and walked away laughing as loud as she possibly could with her brainless goons, Kate and Bill. Since Linda did not like Chelsea and knew I was friends with her as well as Blair, I should’ve known I was next on the list.

On my way back to my locker after lunch, I did not notice who was following me. It was Linda, Bill, and Kate. They called my name out. As I turned around, they began to chant “LD Brandon, your secret’s out!” One of their jock-athlete friends joined in. The only thing I could do was ignore them. I never felt so humiliated in my entire life. I wanted to tell my mom, but I did not want her thinking that I could not handle myself. Going to the principal’s office was out of the question. It was bad enough that people were going to call me “LD Brandon.” I couldn’t take being called LD and a snitch. I chose to deal with it and leave well enough alone. After all, my mom always told me to let the past be the past and move on.

On a positive note, Linda starts eighth grade tomorrow and I am glad that I won’t have to see her irritating face or her brainless friends. My first day as an official seventh grader starts tomorrow and it will be a good day. I just have to think positive. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Author Bio

Adra Young is a native of Gary, Indiana.  Teaching for over seventeen years for the Detroit Public School system, she is the author of three books, blogger, book reviewer, and socialization skills provider for the Detroit Impact Center. Her business, Ardannyl, provides performing arts to youngsters placing a direct emphasis on appropriate socialization skills. The Misfits, her third book is based upon bullying within the middle school setting.  


Other Books:




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