Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

Interview with Luella Treto

Once upon a time, there were two authors. One was named Annabelle, and the other was named Luella.

Annabelle ran a blog where she interviewed other writers, so she decided she should interview Luella. By Annabelle’s request, the two authors met with each other in the magical land of Zoom. Annabelle asked a few questions, and Luella answered.

Then, when the interview was over and the recording of the Zoom call was downloading… Annabelle became absent-minded and closed her computer.

And the recording never finished downloading.

Yes, readers, this is a true story. 😂 I interviewed Luella, and it ended up being a waste in the end because I accidentally closed my laptop while the Zoom recording was downloading.

“Then how do you even have a post to share with us?” you’re probably thinking.

That’s because Luella (who is amazing, by the way) consented to do the interview a second time, allowing me to have a second chance at recording (and NOT closing my laptop afterward).

Thank you, Luella! 🥰

So now, I have an interview to share with you all! Luella has some amazing and fun tips to share about being a writer, as well as some cool facts to share about herself. If you want to learn all these tips, read on!

NOTE: My questions are in bold format, and Luella’s answers are in normal text. I also added a few emojis to imitate our facial expressions. 😉

Alright. Tell us about yourself… and what first inspired you to become a writer?

Okay! Hey, everyone! My name is Luella Treto, and I live in Worley, Idaho. I am a fourteen-year-old dreamy Christian writer with a DEEP love for God and fantasy. 

I was just always into fantasy. Since our world didn’t have fantasy, I thought it was always “boring,” so I was entertained by my love for fantasy. I got really into Harry Potter, The Wingfeather Saga, and The Green Ember when I was younger, and I really enjoyed them because I just loved the names and all the characters–their personalities–I could picture them so well!

How many of you have dreams? Throughout my life, God has shown me some incredible things in my sleep. It was as though He was helping me with writing, because I’d get stuck… a lot. The main story that I am working on, Castallin Chronicles, actually came from a dream. I saw so many amazing things that I could write about; I never want to forget about that night. It was really interesting. Ever since that night, I’d focus on God’s word and dig into a deeper relationship with Him. I’d study the birds on the power line, or how the clouds would float across the sky, and study nature in every little thing. Soon, I got really interested in science–mostly biology. I am very grateful to notice all these miscellaneous details through life.

I think that’s how I was inspired. And here I am now, just inspired by anything, really. Life is so fascinating!

That’s awesome. What genres do you write in?

I usually write fantasy. I like anything that’s… “unreal.” Since the world we live in is so “real,” could I create another world so “real” in my head? Other times, I like to write entertaining books for younger children. I hope that someday I will be able to make so many of these easy-read chapter books for children. I like to write short, fictional novels for my siblings…. They really enjoy humorous entertainment. 

Yeah. Alright, what do you enjoy most about writing?

I think making up the characters, forming the world, and just creating awesome storylines. It’s fun, because you’re letting loose all your imagination! There’s this system that I call “bonding with your world” in writing. This–I think–is probably one of the most important things to create a good story. Get to know your world. Know your characters. Yeah, you make them up, know what they look like, but create a chart and pictures for each of them to understand them better. Treat them like brothers and sisters. You won’t believe how real they’ll feel after a few days of focusing on your world and praying to God for guidance!

Yeah, that’s cool. For you, what is the hardest part of writing a story?

I’d say the editing. You don’t notice the mistakes you make in your writing, and then someone comes around and they’re like, “you did that wrong!” 

Sometimes, you know a word, and then you can’t… say it. It’s there, but it’s not coming to you. It’s on the tip of your tongue, and you lose it, and so then you just gotta write something else until a miracle happens. So yeah, I think that’s the hardest part: building the structure of your story. 

It feels so successful to finish the rough draft of your story, but soon you need to hire your editor to edit it for you (your mom will be waiting to judge you 😂).  

Yeah, I agree with you. 😉 What is the easiest part for you?

The easiest? I’d just say probably just writing about what you like. Just making up things and writing the rough draft of your story. Just that part–the creativity. 

When I write, I think of my main character staring over my shoulder, whispering, “Can I really trust you on this ‘I promise that I won’t make you die’ thing?” Other times, he might be like, “I KNEW IT!” or “YESSSSS!” 

You get WAY too into your story. It is really easy for me to come up with things and create plots.

Definitely. 😂 Okay, in what ways have you grown as a writer since you first started writing?

Okay. In what ways have I grown… 😄 When I was younger, I kinda wrote more about animals and stuff, and they would talk, wear clothing, etc. And my chapters would probably be like this long? 🤏 Just a few little sentences. (Although little siblings adore stories) 

I think I’ve started to mature in writing. I’ve been learning new words, and I’m better at my grammar. Throughout the years, I think I’ve kinda gotten older and understood more of the world and the rules, and all that. It’s crazy how God formed us to grow in such ways. I feel much better than my younger self. I finally know things!

Nice. What projects are you currently working on, and what are they about?

I’d say the project I’m currently working on is probably this book series called the Castallin Chronicles, and it contains fantasy, and a lot of adventure. There are secrets and lies around every corner as my characters battle against the enemy–the Poriphannian Order.

It takes place with two main characters in different scenarios: Jessie is a thirteen-year old girl who lives in Chicago. Little does she know that there are other mysteries about her family that have been buried for a long time. Fillace is a fourteen-year-old shapeshifter with many struggles as he works for the Order with his ruthless older sister, Quillace. One day, his problems will be solved.

As these characters work together to bring the enemy down, secrets that have been buried for many years start to rise to the surface. I want this novel to be about everyday life lessons. I have messages about God-related things, and you’ll notice the rhythm in it when you read (whenever, of course, it gets published).

Cool! Alright. Uh, what does your overall writing process look like? 

Um, it… looks… like… a mess. 😅 I’m not very organized, okay? I like to get messy and just stick with it, because I’ll fix it later. 

Other times I’m organized. I’ll have an outline. But then… I will probably lose the outline… and then, I’ll make a new outline! I don’t stick with my first solution. I’m always like, “*gasp*, but what if this has to happen?!” “What if that?!”. 

I’m everywhere. That’s my organization. But through it all, there will be something that I find.

Nice. So you outline before you write, and then you change it?

I do. I will start a story, and then I’ll work on the outline as I’m writing the story. So, it’s everywhere. It’s… messy.

For successful writing or outlining, I ask God for his guiding hand when I flip open my laptop and click on my novel. He is the greatest help a writer could ask for. 

Same here. Yeah. I gotcha. 😂 Um, okay, what does a normal day look like for you, like, as far as writing goes? Do you stick to a routine, do you have a process, or like a certain time you write? 

Um, it really depends. When you’re getting into high school and all that, you gotta do school, and there’s all these activities. We’re busy, like almost every day of the week; we’re always going somewhere because we have things that we do. But whenever I have time, I’ll write; I’ll flip open the laptop and work on my story a little bit. 

I don’t really have a routine, since our plans are going to change just like that, before I even know it. So yeah, I usually probably write like a few days a week. I usually write during Fridays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays… and Sundays, I think. Because those are usually the days that I don’t really have anything going on, but now that I have volleyball on Saturday, it’s all haywire, you know? 

Yep, teenager schedule. 😉😂 Okay, who is your favorite author, and why?

Okay. Um… I’d probably say one of my favorite authors is you! Annabelle! 

I really enjoyed your book; it was really good. I just like you because your book was entertaining and I really understood the messages in it a lot. And the little sea world you have is so fun and creative. 

Thank you!

Yeah! And another author I like is Andrew Peterson. And he’s the author of The Wingfeather Saga. Those of you who don’t know it, you should read it. It’s really good. Same thing, he had the messages, and he had his own world going on and all these funny names. Those were really entertaining.

My last author is probably J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. I love her because she’s also a storyteller. And it’s really fun to see all those characters overcome all their little problems. She really knows where the good versus evil is, and, like almost every time, the villain loses.

I love it when authors make you fiddle with your hair when you read their book because the character might do something stupid. They make you bond with these people, then at night, you just lie awake and think about what they’ll do next. 

Nice. I like all those authors too, including myself. 😆 Um, what can we expect to see from you in the future, like as far as books go? Are you planning on publishing, you know?

I am definitely planning on publishing my current novel. But I struggle with writing some of the characters, because some characters are super tricky to write about; they have all these problems that are going through themselves. So it’s hard to get it down on the paper, describe it, and just move on. It will go on and on about this character. 

I’d say that I will probably publish the Castallin Chronicles someday. I don’t know when it will happen, but I’m planning on self publishing. I have so many friends supporting me; they’re so intrigued by my ideas, and they love my characters. Most of them struggle to be patient until the book gets published. That will be in a while, but with all their encouraging comments, I’m being successful so far! 

I was reading through your blog, and all your publishing tips were just perfect. I was like, “yeah, good to know!”

Yeah, thanks! Okay, last question. If you could share one piece of advice with another writer, what would you say?

Most authors struggle with criticism and the future editing. As a writer, it’s a lot of pressure to know what the future of their rough draft will be. It may even take years of anticipation as you’re chipping away at your books.

But I have news, friends! Don’t think about it! This is totally YOU writing YOUR story, and there is no critique watching every word you type (besides your observant characters). My piece of information is simple:

Let your imagination loose.

As you’re writing your story, be observant about everything. Watch how the grass sways in the wind or how a flower will bloom. Study the cycle and life and observe things like shrubs, bugs and animals in the forest. This is really good for you, and it’s my favorite part about writing. Study God’s creation. 

Since you might be in the stage where you’re just working on an unfinished story, you don’t have to worry about the editing yet. Free-write as much as you can and explore the magnificent things you can create. Break through the boundaries of your logical thinking. Add wackiness, adventure, and your own ideas. Carry a notebook around with you because you’ll need it. When you’re at the store and an idea pops into your head, yank that notebook out and jot it down. To impress your readers, you need to make your story unique and significant. This will make them lie awake at night and their mind will scream, “what’s gonna happen to Joe?!” 

There is no control over your creative imagination. There’s no one who doesn’t have the ability to form awesome ideas. Everyone has it. Ever wished you had a superpower? You do! It’s your mind! Your mind is so powerful and complex; just the way God designed it. He knit you together in your mother’s womb. Think about it: He carefully tweaked and shaped your system just the way he wanted it. 

Use your imagination and think beyond logical limits. God gave all of us such a powerful gift in creativity! 

Yeah, I totally agree. It’s way more fun to do that than look at the structure and be like, “okay, gotta check this plot point and this plot point… it’s gonna take forever…” 😂🙄

Okay, that’s all. Thank you!

No problem!

Luella Treto Profile Picture
A picture of Luella!

Alright, there you go. Isn’t Luella just amazing?! I don’t know about you all, but imagination is definitely the very best part about writing. All the characters, too!

How about you? What is the easiest part of writing for you? Do your characters feel real? Who’s your favorite author? Let’s start a discussion in the comments below!

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7 responses to “Interview with Luella Treto”

  1. Leah Larkspur Avatar

    This was so beautiful! I’m so glad I found this website. As a young writer myself, (not yet published) I love seeing the endeavors of others like me. Keep up the good work! And I think I’ll have to read your book, Annabelle! *adds yet another book to my Amazon cart*
    For me the easiest part of writing is dialogue. I just love it so so much. (Meant to be repeated) My characters definitely feel real, although my guys do seem a little… feminine. I don’t know who my favorite author is. I don’t read enough books to have that solid, (I’m more of a writer) but a series I enjoy is The Babysitters Club, and also Keeper of the Lost Cities. I’ll be visiting this website a lot in the future! Bye for now!

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Thanks, Leah! Yesss, dialogue is so fun!!! Oooh, I’m reading KotLC right now! I’ve only finished the first book so far… I read it twice in four days. It’s really good so far! I’m going to have to read the rest of the series soon.

  2. Ava Coulter Avatar

    Aw, I love this! Beautiful interview girls! This inspired me so much <3

  3. Saraina Avatar

    Such a fun interview!! I loved that piece of advice Luella gave at the end! <3 Great job, girls!!!

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Thanks, Saraina! I agree, sometimes it’s a good idea to let your imagination run free and bring the fun back into writing.

  4. Miley Simmonds Avatar

    Great post guys.

    I love figuring out my characters and their plots.

    Editing can be terrible XD but some people really like it but it’s not my favorite XD

    Love the post

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      Yeah, same. Editing my own stories isn’t very fun for me, although I really love editing other people’s work for some reason.

      Thanks, Miley!