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Tayla Jean Grossberg on The Table Read

Written by Tayla Jean Grossberg

As I child I thought one day I would tame dragons, ride unicorns, swim with mermaids and dance on rainbows. Unfortunately, I had to grow up and realized that those things are not possible. Fortunately, I can write about them. So, instead of being a dragon rider, I became a writer. And that is why I have written this article.

Inspired By My Grandmother

I Don't Belong Here by Tayla Jean Grossberg, A Paranormal YA Novel For Halloween, on The Table Read
I Don’t Belong Here by Tayla Jean Grossberg

I have written a young adult paranormal novel, titled: I DON’T BELONG HERE, which is the perfect, spooky read for Halloween. I was inspired to write this novel by the ghost stories that my grandmother, Edith May Grossberg, used to tell me when I was little. I grew up loving her tales so much, that I got inspiration from her for one of the main characters in the book: Grandma May.

The fun times with my grandmother do not begin and end with ghost stories – oh no! – we also have a tea reading session once a week, during which she reads my tea leaves and tells me what will happen in my life. I’ve used these fun times and personal experiences and turned them into a work of fiction.

Inspired By My Sister

Another person who greatly inspired me, to write the main character, was my sister, Shani Charlotte Grossberg. The protagonist in my book, Charlotte, looks like my sister – with her long blond hair, blue eyes and petite figure. But there is a catch: she can see ghosts! I used my imagination to create her love interest, Dimitri. I thought to myself: what is Shani’s taste in men? And then I created a tall, mysterious boy with sharp cheekbones and mop-like hair. And, I certainly can’t leave out, my sister’s dog, Litsie Amore, who inspired Amore in my novel.

Although Amore doesn’t play a major role, she is always there to keep my main character company, like Litsie is there for Shani. Charlotte is lonely and lives in Columbus, where I lived for a year, and struggles to figure out what to do with her life.

Themes In I Don’t Belong Here

In this book I covered a wide range of topics including; loneliness, depression, anxiety and secrets. It might sound rough, but I’ve written it in such a way that readers of all ages can enjoy it. I wanted young adults to really connect with Charlotte and root for her throughout the book, especially as things get worse and worse for her.

I Don't Belong Here by Tayla Jean Grossberg, A Paranormal YA Novel For Halloween, on The Table Read
Tayla Jean Grossberg

I wanted to write a ghost story, which wouldn’t simply just scare people, but awaken emotions deep within their hearts. Did I succeed? You’ll have to read the book and let me know!

The #1 Writing Tool

My Writing Process

My writing process is a simple one: I get up before the sun, make myself a cup of coffee and open a blank page in Microsoft Word. And then I begin. I never plan ahead very far and let the words, the story, flow naturally. The further I write, the more I think of the ending. I think about my story before I go sleep at night, and wake up with many great ideas. I certainly lack patience and try to put all of it on paper as soon as possible.

Once I am done with my first draft, I let it sit for a few weeks and try not to think about it. And when I finally do read it again, I give the skeleton of a manuscript a body. I fill in details, improve descriptions and try to bring the characters to life. Ok, now I’ve got a book, but the journey is far from over!

The next step is to hire an editor and a cover designer and try to be as patient as possible as they do their work. Of course, once they are done I needed a proof reader, and who was better to ask than Grandma Edith? The last step of publishing was the easiest – it took me five minutes to upload everything onto amazon KDP.

More From Tayla Jean Grossberg:

I DON’T BELONG HERE is my first self-published novel, and one of my greatest achievements so far. But it’s not my only published novel…

The Silver Kingdom Trilogy:

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