A blog about writing and self publishing

KWL – 197 – An #OwnVoices YA Debut with Nora Shalaway Carpenter

#197 – An #OwnVoices YA Debut with Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Author Nora Shalaway Carpenter is on the podcast this week to discuss her debut YA novel, The Edge of Anything, and how her own experience with mental health shaped the story she wanted to tell.

Author Nora Shalaway Carpenter is on the podcast this week to discuss her debut YA novel, The Edge of Anything, and how her own experience with mental health shaped the story she wanted to tell. Nora tells us about her writing journey, from childhood dreamer to published author, why she likes writing Young Adult Fiction, and the conversations she hopes her novel will spark.

  • Nora tells us how her dream of becoming a writer persisted throughout her life, and how meeting members of the writing community inspired her to pursue her MFA in creative writing
  • She explains the benefits of her MFA program, from honing her craft to the community she was able to build, and she explains why having a community of fellow writers you trust is so important
  • Nora tells us her mental health story, and how her OCD diagnosis and subsequent treatment inspired her debut novel, and allowed her to infuse the story with authenticity
  • She expresses the hopes she has for the novel, in that it will inspire conversations about mental health, encourage those who are experiencing mental illness to ask for help, and create empathetic and supportive friendships and networks
  • Nora tells us why she decided to make The Edge of Anything a YA novel, why she loves writing for the YA audience, and why she has so much hope for the future generations
  • Nora shares some advice for those experiencing high anxiety, especially during these difficult times, as well as some resources for those who may need them or want to learn more about OCD and mental health

Useful Links
Nora’s Website
The Edge of Anything
Rural Voices
Nora’s Mental Health Resources 
Jenn’s Website and Articles
International OCD Foundation
Lily Bailey
Alison Dotson
Fletcher Wortmann
Teen Librarian Toolbox
The Starless Sea
Arc of a Scythe


A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Art’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program, Nora Shalaway Carpenter is the author of the forthcoming YA contemporary novel, THE EDGE OF ANYTHING (Running Press, March 24, 2020), contributing editor of the forthcoming YA anthology RURAL VOICES: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America (Candlewick, October 13, 2020), and author of the picture book YOGA FROG (Running Press, out now). Before she wrote books, Nora worked as associate editor of Wonderful West Virginia magazine and has been a Certified Yoga Teacher since 2012. Originally from rural West Virginia, she currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, three young children, and the world’s most patient dog and cat.

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