Shyla Crossfell (well, the author behind that pen name) was born in 1989 and was writing books as soon as she was able to hold a pen. While Shyla’s first “book” projects were made of staple-bound index cards, written in ballpoint, and published only as one-off creations at her grandmother’s house, they did mark the presence of authorly aspiration at an early age.

A voracious reader from the get-go, Shyla spent her school years reading and writing as much as she could.

Her first attempt at a novel was a children’s book, totaling about 11,000 words, at age 11. It was intended as a chapter book for school-age readers, which, to Shyla, was the sensible thing to write: she was in the fifth grade, so a novel for fourth- or fifth-graders seemed to make the most sense.

Over her adolescent years, Shyla continued writing more and longer novels, and despite a struggle with chronic illness (now in remission), by age 21 she was the author of ten books and approaching a quarter of a million words to her name. None of these, she insists, will ever see the light of day, but they paved the way for her later published work.

Shyla describes herself as “multipassionate” in her art – meaning that she does not focus on only one art form in her career – and she spent most of her 20’s in the pursuit of graphic art and illustration rather than novels. However, in late 2019, while working at a challenging office job and wondering how to stay sane in the face of unprecedented stress, Shyla wondered if she “still had it in her to write novels.”

Evidently, that was all the invitation Shyla’s muse needed, and within minutes she was scribbling down ideas for The Best Of Us, which would be the first novel she wrote in her 30’s.

Today, Shyla is working on The Best Of Us and hopes to publish it in late 2020 or early 2021. She also blogs here on shylacrossfell.com and posts about writing and organization on her Instagram and YouTube.