November 16, 2020

Why Write a Novella? / Liftoff by Tyrean Martinson / Guest Post

Please help me welcome Tyrean Martinson to Write with Fey! She's telling us all about her new release Liftoff, a fun story that you'll be able to sink into and enjoy from beginning to end. Plus, you'll be excited (and anxious) to read what'll happen to next.

Why Write a Novella?

by Tyrean Martinson

Liftoff is a novella for teen/YA readers who love adventure, science fiction, and sweet romance. It's meant to be a popcorn movie style book, a fast read for readers who don't love reading thick tomes. As an English Language Arts teacher and tutor for home-school and public-school teens, I have met many reluctant readers who prefer short, action-packed reads.

But is that why I wrote my novella?


Let’s take a trip back to 2014. I was misdiagnosed for an illness. I had abdominal and pelvic pain. At a friend’s urging in 2017, I went to new doctors and found that I had polyps in my gall-bladder, and orange-sized fibroids, cysts, and Endometriosis in my uterus. I was also diagnosed with Gerd, Reflux, and Meniere’s Disease and the doctors discovered I was on the wrong dose of thyroid medication. Surgeries, procedures, and tests took a toll on me physically.

So, what does physical illness have to do with writing a novella?

From 2016 to early 2020, I struggled to finish anything. I kept starting and stopping. My lengthier projects were full of holes. My work life became part-time and sporadic.

I felt like a failure. My thought-life became increasingly negative, and I had to finally admit I was depressed. With the help of my pastor and his wife, I found a counselor, and I started healing.

I still wanted to write books. (Big, epic, meaningful tomes.)

But did I?

Why did I want to write? What did I really want to write?

I went into some soul searching because my faith matters to me and I love God. I yearned to write the kind of stories that spoke to me as a kid and as a teen – stories of fantasy, science fiction, and wonder, stories about heroes and heroines who face impossible odds. I thought about why those stories spoke to me, and I decided God gave me a passion for those kind of stories.

So, I had my genre back, but could I write?

I faced a pattern of exhaustion and doubt that fell on me somewhere between 18,000 and 30,000 words into any project. I decided to give myself grace, and to lean into my zone of strength. I created a plan to write 26 chapters of 1,000 words or less for the April A to Z Challenge. I liked it so much I decided to revise it for publication.

Writing Liftoff was about creating an achievable goal. I wrote it for fun. I wrote it to break the funk that had a hold on me. I wrote it to celebrate the trope-filled, action-packed wonder-based stories I have always loved.

In the revision process, I discovered the story was more complex than I intended. I started to doubt my novella form, and then I remembered recommending novellas to reluctant teen readers.

So, did I start this novella for reluctant teen readers who might like action-packed science fiction with some sweet romance? No, but in the revision process, remembering those teen readers helped me finish.

Plus, I found cheerleaders, and I hired an encouraging editor. Chrys sent me a playlist one day when she knew I was struggling. I am thankful for the time and care she has given my novella and me.

If you are a writer struggling with health issues or depression, there are resources. Chrys wrote one. If you need help, take a small courageous step and admit it to yourself. Then, make a one step action plan: find help or encouragement. It may take days to put it into action, but you can.

My mantra: one step at a time, just one, and press into hope.


Title: Liftoff

Subtitle: The Rayatana Series, Book 1

LINKS: Kindle / Barnes and Noble / Kobo Smashwords / Goodreads 


A spaceship in disguise,

An Earth girl searching for a sense of home,

And a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,

All collide on a summer afternoon.

An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles.

Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies.

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war?

Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai.


Release Date: November 10, 2020

Paperback ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-9889933-8-9

Ebook ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-9889933-9-6

Copyright Tyrean Martinson November 2020

Publisher: Wings of Light Publishing, Gig Harbor, WA, USA

Professionally Edited by Chrys Fey

Cover Art and Interior Design by Carrie Butler


About the Author: Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, novellas, and adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance.

Author Links: Blog / Newsletter Instagram Twitter Facebook 

Please leave a comment for Tyrean. Thank you!


  1. That was a lot of physical crap to go through. Glad you found you could write stories again. We really need a master list of books created during the A to Z Challenge.

  2. Congratulations, Tyrean. Glad you were able to find those who could who could help you through all this. You story sounds very creative.

  3. Excellent post! Love the mantra.
    When dementia slammed into our family, I even struggled to read and really struggled to write. Writing about the impact of dementia in short snippets helped me cope. I love the idea of short and action packed novels for reluctant readers (it works!!!) and this is a great one!

  4. I like novellas because I like to finish stories at one sitting, and I can usually do that with novellas. (Late at night, and "one sitting" can turn into several hours.)

  5. Alex - yes, we definitely need that kind of list. :)

    Patricia- agreed! Thanks for stopping by!

    Jeff- Thank you!

    Jemi - Health stuff is tough. Thanks for your encouragement!

  6. Any challenges can make it harder to write and accomplish our other goals. Glad you found a way to write and publish again.

  7. Liz a - That's one reason I like novellas, too. :)

  8. Natalie - True. Thanks for stopping by, Natalie!

  9. Well done Tyrean. I can see having a writing process has really worked for you, outlining and tying up loose ends to join the dots for one final exciting read. Novellas are great openers, the time machine being one of my favourites.

  10. How awesome that you had Chrys! I bought Lift Off, now I need to finish the book I'm on and read yours!

  11. This is very inspiring. I can relate to your story on many levels. I too have recently embraced shorter fiction, but hadn't considered a novella. I'm glad you found the support you needed to get through a tough time and glad you were able to release this wonderful story.