Posted tagged ‘Makayla Yokley’


March 25, 2013

Molly interview graphic copy

At the KWA Scene Conference, I had the pleasure of sitting at the table with Molly Wierman, whose story “A Mother’s Love” placed first in the youth division: fiction of KWA’s 2012 writing contest. Since Bonnie had not been able to attend, I quickly engaged Makayla Yokley as interviewer. However, there was too much background noise, so I transcribed the interview. Keep reading to learn more about Molly Wierman, a talented young writer.

Molly Wierman reads from “A Mother’s Love”

Molly Wierman Interview with Makayla Yokley

Makayla: Molly, you’re a senior at Kapaun. How is that going?

Molly: It’s been great. I’ve had the most incredible year with writing and outside writing.

Makayla: Tell us about your contest entry, “A Mother’s Love.” What place did it get and what was it about?

Molly: I received first place in youth division: fiction. At the time I was writing it, there were a lot of teenage suicides. There were a couple where it wasn’t really people I knew, but it was people I knew who knew them. I thought, “How did the suicide impact the people around them? How did their friends react? How did their mothers feel?” I wondered if people would think, “Oh, you’re such a bad mother.” It was an interesting concept.

Makayla: Yes, you do always see just their (the suicide’s) perspective. You don’t see the family members or the ripple effect. You said something earlier about Transcendentalist fiction. What is that?

Molly: Well, normally, when you think of Transcendentalists, you think of somebody like Thoreau, Emerson, and extreme Romanticism, but I would say Transcendentalist fiction is looking at a person, body and soul, and I like to work with the soul aspect and base everything from that. It’s similar to what I’ve heard described as Catholic fiction, taking the spiritual idea of the world into my writing.

Makayla: So that’s how it plays into the Catholic aspect?

Molly: Yes.

Makayla: You also said something about T.S. Eliot.

Molly: Yes. My English teacher had us do a little bit on T.S. Eliot my junior and senior years, and I was reading his writing and thinking that I almost write the same way. I use symbolism and things like that, but it’s also the whole idea of the spiritual world and bringing in the Anglo-Catholic themes, and that’s how I write, too.

Makayla: That’s a cool way to learn—from other writers—and to see what it is that informs how you work with something similar in your writing. It’s been nice talking to you.

Molly: It’s been nice talking to you.

Makayla: And congratulations on winning first place.


Now that you have some background, check out the excerpts from “A Mother’s Love.” To read the complete story and the stories of other winners in KWA’s 2012 writing contest,  download the anthology.

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.


July 30, 2012

What do you write? Whether the question comes from the person next to you in the grocery line or from an agent or editor at a conference, a brief description of your book that grabs attention may result in a sale or a contract.

Having made several pitches at recent conferences, H.B. Berlow, president of the Kansas Writers Association, shared his experience and knowledge of standard and high concept pitches at KWA’s July 21st meeting. After a brief presentation of the elements of pitching to agents and editors, he threw out a spur-of-the-moment challenge for members to pitch their book in one minute. Authors had ten minutes to prepare their pitch. They then allowed Keyhole Conversations to video their efforts.

Our hats are off to those seven authors who were put on the spot and brave enough to respond to the challenge.

This video is the first in a new three-part series on pitches that were filmed at the KWA meeting. Our first two authors are Makayla Yokley (writer of  steam punk novels) and April Pameticky (writer of young adult fantasy).

About Makayla Yokley

Makayla Yokley is a sophomore at Butler County Community College. She recently published The Ruby Curse, her first  steam punk novel. Visit her website here

About April Pameticky

April Pameticky received her MFA from WSU in 2006 and became swirled up in the Wichita vortex.  The birth of her daughter has given her new eyes, and her day-gig as a middle school teacher keeps her fresh and grounded.  While she enjoys writing for her middle school audience, her first love is poetry.  Her work can be seen in Mikrokosmos, Naked City, Chiron Review, and Poetry4theMasses.  Her first chapbook collection, Sandriver and Other Places I’ve Been, is currently under consideration at Finishing Line Press. She is also working on a YA paranormal suspense novella, Whirling Waters.  Read more and see samples of her work.


A standard pitch includes the book’s title and genre, a hook (point that grabs the audience), a cliff hanger, and an indication of where the book fits with others that have been published. All of this must be presented in one minute or less. Listen for these points as you watch the video.

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Trivia: Take a spirited journey and learn about Pemmican.

Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.


March 22, 2012

Makayla Yokley is a budding young author writing steampunk.  Her novel, The Ruby Curse, is scheduled for e-book publication later this year.  Listen as  she reads her favorite scene from The Ruby Curse.


Heroes come in all shapes and sizes… though they’re not usually escaped convicts like seventeen-year-old Violet Seymour, who has a criminal record so thick you could use it as a doorstop.

Since Violet is the only person to ever escape the highest maximum security prison in the steam-and-clockwork powered nation of Arcova, everyone and their mother wants Violet’s head on a plate.

But Violet isn’t the only one with problems. Mages are disappearing left and right—over a dozen in a short amount of time. There are whispers that it’s got something to do with the disappearance of the Ruby Scourge, an artifact from the ancient world. It’s time for Violet to step up and be the hero her ancient bloodline has destined her to be, but she’s more than a teensy bit skeptical about a new career as a hero!

Her primary concern is looking out for number one, and she only embraces this whole “hero” thing when she can get something out of it. But what can she possibly get out of the adventure she’s forced to go on in The Ruby Curse?


Makayla Yokley is a sophomore at Butler County Community College, studying for her Associates in Arts degree. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, baking, and on occasion, needlepoint. One of her favorite books is Bag of Bones by Stephen King, and she states, “I’ve read Memories of a Geisha more times than I can remember.”

Makayla recently finished her first steampunk novel, The Ruby Curse, and it is currently in the process of publication. Look for it in the following months on and

Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.