Mikki Daughtry: Dreams Are Worth Fighting For - Writer's Digest

Mikki Daughtry: Dreams Are Worth Fighting For

Bestselling novelist Mikki Daughtry shares why dreams (whether related to writing or love) are worth fighting for, what the writing process for Five Feet Apart was like, how that differed from her latest novel All This Time, and more!
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Mikki Daughtry graduated from Brenau University, where she studied Theatre Arts. She is a screenwriter and novelist currently living in Los Angeles and is one of the authors of the New York Times #1 bestseller Five Feet Apart. Her next book, All This Time, was released on September, 29, 2020. 

Mikki Daughtry

Mikki Daughtry

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Her existing films include Five Feet Apart for CBS Films, and The Curse Of La Llorona for New Line, which she wrote with her screenwriting partner Tobias Iaconis. Their next project, Nightbooks, is currently in production for Netflix, and the pair has recently been tapped to write a new Dirty Dancing film for Lionsgate, starring Jennifer Grey, who will also executive produce. When Mikki’s not writing, she is watching old black and white movies, listening to 1940s era music, or reading ancient Greek plays.

In this post, Daughtry shares why dreams (whether related to writing or love) are worth fighting for, what the writing process for Five Feet Apart was like, how that differed from her latest novel All This Time, and more!


Fearless Writing William Kenower

If you love to write and have a story you want to tell, the only thing that can stand between you and the success you’re seeking isn’t craft, or a good agent, or enough Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough, or fear the market is too crowded, or fear no one wants to hear from you. Fortunately, you can’t write while being in the flow and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly!

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Name: Mikki Daughtry
Literary agent: Liz Parker
Title: All This Time
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Teen
Release date: September 29, 2020
Genre: Young Adult/Romance
Previous titles: Five Feet Apart

Elevator pitch for the book: After Kyle's girlfriend is killed in a tragic accident, he learns to heal and finds love again—the kind of love he never imagined—with a new girl, Marley. But when a sudden twist of fate tears them apart, Kyle must fight for the girl of his dreams...or lose her forever.


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What prompted you to write this book?

The story of Kyle and Marley has been with me for years and years, so when I was rooting around my collection of tales for a good follow-up to Five Feet Apart, this one immediately jumped out at me. I think it’s the perfect companion piece. A story of impossible love, with impossible odds. Those are my favorite kind!

How long did it take to go from idea to publication?

Since the story has been with me for so long, the plot, the characters, their arcs, and most of the actions were already formed. There were a few changes made, such as putting Kyle and Marley in their teens, and focusing on the beginning of their adult lives and their dreams of the future, to better suit a YA audience.

Were there any surprises in the publishing process for this title?

There are always learning curves to be had and adjustments to be made, aren’t there? With the last book, Five Feet Apart, I wrote the screenplay that Rachael Lippincott then adapted into novel form. Most books come before their movie counterparts, but this was a rare occasion when it was the other way around. 

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While Rachael was adapting my screenplay into a novel, I was on the movie set as Five Feet Apart was being filmed. So, when on-set changes were made to dialogue and/or scenes, I was able to adjust the screenplay in real time and immediately send those pages to Rachael, so she could make the changes in the novel almost as it was happening. Everything was moving very quickly, which made it exciting, but I wasn’t really able to appreciate the publishing process because I was primarily stuck in screenwriting mode, telling the story in that format. 


Because this worked so well for Five Feet Apart, Rachael and I used a similar process for All This Time. But this time, I was able to be much more hands-on as the creator of Kyle’s and Marley’s world. It was a joy, really, to finally get to see so much of the publishing process up close.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

I hope readers will close this book believing that love is worth fighting for. Never give up on true love. Never.

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

I would say the same thing I say about true love: Never give up. Dreams are worth fighting for. It’s something I know from experience.


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