Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FEATURED AUTHOR: Precarious Yates

Precarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their mastiff. When she's not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

You can learn more about Ms. Yates and about the issues discussed in this novel by visiting

Book 2 of Revelation Special Ops, Pharmacia: Those Magic Arts, is due out in 2012.

Thank you so much for interviewing me and learning all about The Elite of the Weak, a YA book about responding to human trafficking.

How did you start out your writing career?

I actually started my writing career in Ireland while working as a nurse, waitress, and missionary/church-planter. I lived there 4 years and published a fantasy novel (The Heart of the Caveat Whale) while there. Once a week I held writers' workshops for adults and taught creative writing to teens. When I moved back to America, I discovered that I had to relearn the writing industry. It had changed dramatically between 2005 and 2009. In November 2010 I sat down with the goal to write 50,000 words of my new novel, The Elite of the Weak, in a month. In the end I wrote 62,000 before December 1, 2010.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Oh, boy. Where do I begin? I learned so much on so many levels. First, I had to research about human trafficking. I knew quite a bit about the basic stats, etc, but I didn't know how widespread the issue was. I have yet to read about a country that truly has no slaves. All over the globe, human beings are exploiting one another. I also learned how some cultures contribute more to the problem than others.

I also learned how to balance family and writing. This was more delicate than I anticipated.

The third thing I learned was how widely accepted indie books are now as compared to 2005.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

When I was twenty-two and first learning about human trafficking, I was appalled not only by what I learned, but also by what I believed. Beforehand, I thought 1. slavery was eliminated across the globe; 2. most prostitutes chose their lifestyle.

I was wrong on both accounts. I was dead wrong.

When I sat down to write The Elite of the Weak, I geared it toward Young Adult. I wanted teens to not only be aware of the situation, but to know there are solutions to the problems. Organizations such as IJM (, Exodus Cry ( and Love146 ( actively work toward rescue, restoration and prevention.

I witnessed some horrible things as a teen and believed I was powerless to do anything. The day I learned that I could stand up and say something was wrong, and have people take me seriously, was a great day. Teens have a powerful voice when they work for righteousness and sometimes they need to hear this truth.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

I had a great time writing about Eva, the main character's mom. Both Hadassah and her mom, Eva, are strong women who don't let circumstances make all the decisions. Eva, who was a spy with the Mossad, inspired me even as I wrote.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

I didn't expect to have so many people I didn't know show interest in my work as quickly as they did. This was a very pleasant surprise, especially since I'm an indie author and do most of my own marketing.

What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

This is easy! I love writing action scenes. LOVE IT! I'm not a fan of writing romantic scenes. There are a few here, and these went through heavy edits!

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

I wish I had known that having a book out there is like having an infant! I hardly sleep, but I couldn't be happier.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do have lots of different people read your work and comment on it before showing it to the world. Don't take every bit of advice that comes your way, but rather trust that the story you need to write should be written.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It's a labor of love. Really. Truly. And we writers love to hear feedback from readers!

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

Probably Psyche, a character from my very favorite novel of all time, Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. She wasn't afraid to love.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I write more. Just kidding. I love to cook, to get my hands in the dirt, to play on jungle gyms with my daughter, to pray, to paint, to read and to spend time with my husband.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I blog a lot (, but my favorite way to interact is through letters, e-mail, and Facebook.

Our theme for this month is CHILDREN BOOKS. What inspired you to make children’s literature the focus of your career?

Most of the books for teens right now are paranormal romance. My goodness, there needs to be an alternative! Also, I love to read this genre. When I pick up a fiction book, it's almost always YA. I love the possibilities in this genre.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I can come boldly to the throne of Grace! I know that throughout my day, whether it's been a good day or a terrible day, I can pour my heart out to my Abba Father.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Ooh. Maybe. I think I can give you clearance, just this once. There's a sneak peek of book 2 at the end of book 1, but I'll tell you that about 1/3 of book 2, Pharmacia: Those Magic Arts, will be in a guy's perspective. His name is Matthew and he ends up in places no one else wants to be. Hadassah gets to visit a Russian palace and may even go on a shopping spree in St. Petersburg. Also, there is a whole section about Hollywood and I tackle some of the many issues of human trafficking there.

How can readers get in contact with you?

I love to hear from readers! My e-mail is
My website is:
On Facebook, I'm at
Also, @precariousyates on Twitter.

I'll have a snail-mail address soon. Be a part of the handwritten letter revolution!

The Elite of the Weak

Weak because their hearts are broken for the oppressed. Elite because they keep the code. Hadassah isn’t like the rest of her friends in high school. Neither is she like the kids in her church’s youth group. At least not when she’s in the African jungle trying to rescue an abducted child, or when she’s crawling through an air duct on a surveillance mission in Queens. She was born for such a time as this. She also wasn’t cut out to do this work alone. Book 1 of the Revelation Special Ops series.

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