An Interview with YA Christian Fiction Author's Forget Me - Chelsea Vanderbeek -

A few minutes with 
Author Chelsea Vanderbeek

After seventeen-year-old Sabine commits suicide, she roams the Earth in spirit and sees how those she left behind react to her death.

Chelsea Vanderbeek

Genre: YA Christian Fiction

Sabine is a budding poet who was practically born with a pencil in her hand. Though her intelligence and maturity far surpasses that of those around her, she lacks the confidence and social graces to come out of her shell.

She’s been forced on numerous occasions in the past to slip inside the glass double doors of Hilltop Baptist Church. The youth group was her mom’s idea, really. A shot-in-the-dark way for Sabine to try and make some wholesome friends in a wholesome place. Not that it ever worked out—at least she was usually able to make it out with minimal negative attention as her plain-old invisible self.

This time was different. She always hoped it would be different, but not like this. When Sabine decides she’s had enough of this life, she ends it and becomes more visible than she’s ever been before. Is it possible she wasn’t as forgettable as she once thought? The only way to find out is to watch the aftermath unfold, and no matter the outcome, she can’t do a thing about it. No one can…

…or can they?

Chelsea Vanderbeek

Genre: YA Fiction, mainly realistic. But sometimes I like to switch it up.

Tell us a little bit about why you write in your chosen genre, and if you have books in other genres as well

I really don’t like to limit myself to one genre, though YA Fiction is a pretty enjoyable genre for me right now. I have story ideas I have yet to write that are all over the map.

Tell us about your first/most current book

Forget Me was my first book out the door. It’s about a girl who commits suicide but, instead of going to heaven or hell, is stuck to roam the Earth in spirit and see how those she left behind react to her death. It took almost three years to complete from start to finish.

Is it a series? 

At the moment, Forget Me is a standalone book. But I’ve actually had some people ask me about a sequel, so… I don’t know. Not sure how I feel about writing a sequel, but I don’t think I’m done with some of the characters yet. Note that some of my stories exist in the same universe… Keep that to yourself ;) 

Well, of course 

New books are so exciting. Can we expect anything new from you soon? 

If all goes according to plan, I should be releasing my second novel sometime around Spring or Summer of 2018. Not really sure what to call it yet, still working on a title. My MC Emily is a handful. And I’m having trouble describing it in any other way besides she butts heads with every Christian in her life (and y’know, not that she’s hard to get along with). And she never walks *straight* home from school. No literally. Sometimes she likes to stop off and get a cherry Coke.

Do you have stories planned or that you’ve been working on for the future? 

I have several in the works. I’ve been working on this one story since November 2015, and it’s about a girl who tries out for her high school’s football team and can’t seem to get along with a girl who’s already on the team. That one’s currently in the editing phase, but it’s taking a little longer than I’d hoped because I have a lot that I need to change. And I’ve just recently started working on a story about an MC who, well, let’s just say feels more like Alex than Alexandra. As you can see, I write a lot of stories about self-discovery. But yeah. I’m really excited to be working on all of them.

Some stories have strong themes. How important are themes in your writing? Is your theme based on the story, or are your stories birthed from a theme/or themes? 

I think themes are pretty important. That being said, I usually don’t start writing with a theme in mind. It’s honestly whatever the story wants to do. I’m not going to force anything I’m trying to say on my characters (I’ve learned the hard way that it doesn’t work). For me, theme just happens in its own beautiful way.

What other stories have you written? 

I’m pretty new with publishing, so I don’t have much out there. I did have a short story I wrote called Stilettos published on a writing website. I actually first wrote it in a fiction workshop I took in college, and my professor said it was the best thing I wrote all semester. It’s about a woman who’s finally had enough of her domineering boyfriend and the secrets she’s had to keep for him. You can read it here:

I love to bounce around websites because I’ve found I can learn so much about an author there. Do you have a website, or other place where you showcase your work? 

As a matter of fact I do! You can find me at I post about my writer-thoughts, keep my readers in the loop about stuff I’m working on and other fun stuff (including story playlists, which I love putting together). I do hope you stop by and say hello!

So many authors are artists by nature. Do you have any other artwork, or hobbies you do on a consistent basis? 

Funny you should ask. I’ve always felt like I have a million hobbies, and some even translate into my writing. For example, I have a character named Ginger. This crazy, zesty, off-the-wall artist. I love to paint, so when I do I can almost sort of get into her mindset. And having painted myself, when I write about Ginger creating a masterpiece it’s easy to imagine the moment, how it feels to tap and swipe a paintbrush against a smooth white canvas. I also have characters who play piano, violin, and guitar, write fiction/poetry themselves, draw, and so on. Keeping up these hobbies in real life really allows me to describe the moment when I write about them, and tap into the senses which is key.

What were your passions growing up? 

When I look back, all I can ever remember wanting to be when I grew up was a writer. I mean, I loved to cook (and still do). I even, if someday, see myself opening up my own restaurant—just because I’d like to recreate a restaurant from one of my stories in real life. I’ve always been interested in artistic stuff (I started learning piano at a pretty young age, and feel like I did a lot of stuff like drawing and such). But writing was something I always loved, even in school. Language arts was my favorite class, and I always got good grades.

Thank you for joining me today. I’m looking forward to seeing the books you’ll be showcasing in the future. 

Thanks so much for having me!



Amazon page:

About the Author 

Well how-day! My name’s Chelsea, and I’ve been writing fiction and poetry for the past eight years or so. Me? I’m that crazy writer you see scrawling an idea on a napkin while I’m out to dinner with some people—a dirty napkin, if need be. Then again, I’m not that frivolous that I’d forget my notebook at home. But I think you get the point. Desperate times…
I’ve been published before in Warren County Community College’s literary magazine, Ars Poetica, and also on the writer’s website Narrator Neighborhood. I live in New Jersey with my fam, and I also happen to be the founder of a publishing company.

The main genre I like to stay in is YA realistic fiction, but my writing tastes tend to be diverse. That is, I’ll read and write anything I find to be interesting, even if that crosses over into romance/horror/fantasy. I would encourage you to check out my blog at You can get a pretty good idea of my writing voice by looking there. And, y’know, say hello.


Chelsea Vanderbeek has been writing fiction and poetry for over eight years. She has previously been featured in Ars Poetica, the small-press publication of Warren County Community College. She currently lives with her family in New Jersey. She would encourage you to visit her website,, where you can find updates on her upcoming releases.


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