Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having a fantastic Sunday, today we have a special guest, Author, Kayla Ann!
Before we start the interview, here is a short bio of Kayla Ann for those who don’t know much about her:
Kayla Ann is an English teacher, avid reader, and rising author who just recently released her first non-fiction book with McFarland Publishing House (2020). Agency in the Hunger Games: Desire, Intent, and Action in the Novels takes a scholarly look at why readers love Suzanne Collins’ famous series The Hunger Games. At its heart, her book comes to the conclusion that readers, like Collins’ characters, are looking for agency, for the ability to control their desires and actions regardless of internal and external influences. She is currently working on her first contemporary fantasy fiction piece. She also writes short stories, poetry, and writing tips, published on her blog https://kaylaannauthor.wordpress.com/, in the hopes of encouraging other authors to continue on creating wondrous worlds of their own.
And now the interview:
Hi Kayla, welcome to Penable!
Thank you for inviting me to take part in this interview!
1. What have been the highs and lows of writing your books?
The absolute highs of my books have included finishing a rough draft, starting again from scratch, and creating a better draft. The highs come from having a manuscript accepted by a publishing house and seeing my name in print and thinking, “Man, I really did it!” The high is seeing a friend, or family member, or stranger read my book. The high comes from hitting my word count, even if I have to delete large sections of it the next day. The lows come primarily from self-doubt and insecurity. What if I don’t hit my word count today? What if I never get published? What if no one likes it? All I can say is, I try not to focus on my “what ifs.” I accept constructive criticism and ignore the rest because ultimately, I can enjoy my writing so much more when I’m not focused on outside validation.
2. What advice would you give to any aspiring author?
Where do I start? There is so much advice out there and a lot of it is good; some of it is trash. I have “Writing Tips” that I post regularly on my blog that I hope at least help with the technical side of writing. For the aspiring author, let me give you this one piece of advice: Have patience. This is so key (I’ll probably need to write a blog post on it soon). Have patience with your story and your characters. You cannot rush your writing because you are so eager to publish that you regret not allowing your writing to mature and improve. Have patience with yourself. You’re not going to hit your word count every day. Have patience waiting to hear back from publishers (mostly because we don’t have a choice on that one).
3. What motivates you?
In life or in my writing? My life is motivated solely by God. Consequently, that motivates my writing as well. I believe that my talents are a gift from God and so that in all of my writing and success, I should honor Him. If you’re asking, what motivates me to get up and write in the morning? Two things mainly: I’m excited to see where my story will go next and a strong cup of black tea with honey.
4. What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy the surprise that I get from my own writing. Whether it was my non-fiction analysis of The Hunger Games series or my current contemporary fiction fantasy piece, I am surprised by the end result almost every time. When I write, I focus heavily on revision (not simply editing, but true revision). During the revision process, I lose work, but gain so much more. Part of what is gained is the surprising end result. Neither of my books ended where I thought they would, but they are much better endings that I originally planned.
5. When did you realise that you wanted to become an author?
I began writing stories the moment I understood the alphabet. Now, these weren’t very good stories and the grammar/spelling was atrocious, but they were my stories nonetheless. The first true story I wrote that actually had a plot was “Kate the Pirate” which I wrote in my younger elementary years. I could not wait to show it off to my family. Unlike some, I am blessed with an incredibly supportive family; we believe in chasing our dreams. They read this story (which was understandably lacking) and told me flat-out, “You are going to be a published author one day.” That was the moment that sealed my decision to become an author. As I aged and matured, I realized just how complex the world of writing truly is, but I also fell more in love with it every day since then.
Thank you so much for doing this interview Kayla, and thank you for reading!
Don’t forget to check out Kayla’s awesome blog and give her a follow!
Make sure you like, share and leave a comment below!