interview · writer's chat

WRITERS CHAT! An interview with Katerina King

HELLO FRIENDS! Today I’m pleased to share an interview with Katerina King, current trilogy writer of witches!

Read below to hear more about her writing journey and where Katerina hopes to take her writing career!

katerina author photo

What is the first thing you remember writing?

I love characters, I love getting to know, developing them, treating them as if they are real people. For some readers, they keep reading depending on the plot or pacing or if the grammar is good or not. But for me as long as the characters were life like and I can relate or connect with them I can keep reading the book and that’s what I hope to convey in my works.

What is your favorite thing to write about?

Witches! Which I guess isn’t shocking considering my entire series and the next eight books after it all have to do with them. Its been an obsession since I was young.

Tell me one of your writing goals.

Finish book two of my trilogy by February of 2020.

Have any particular writers inspired you?

Rick Riordan, which if you don’t know who that is, he is the author of the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books.

Tell us about a favorite character you’ve created.

My favorite character that has walked into my headspace is Elijah Hutton and he is the best friend of my main character Scarlette Petrova. He is my favorite because there is such a complex nature to him, he grew up in an overly religious family that he thought was really tight but when he came out of the closet at seventeen he quickly learned that blood wasn’t always as thick as water.

Do you have any writing advice to share with us?

Just keep writing and don’t give up!

What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read… geez. A Twisted Fate by K. A Grayson

Katerina King is a fiction author who spends most of her time in the world of witches. Her debut novel, Malediction, is the first installment of the Ritual of the Court trilogy, which also has a multitude of planned spin-off novels and has just been published via Amazon. The easiest way to connect with her is through her Twitter @_KingKaterina.

THANK YOU so much for joining us, Katerina! I’m excited to check out that trilogy.

WRITER’S CHAT is a weekly feature where writers from all stages of their journey come to speak to us about their craft, spreading positivity, advice, and amazing book recommendations. Join us every Saturday!

 

 

interview · writer's chat

WRITERS CHAT! An interview with Lynn Jung

HELLO FRIENDS! Today I’m pleased to share an interview with Lynn Jung–dino-enthusiast and creator of wonderful worlds.

Read below to hear more about her writing journey and what it takes to make yourself improve as a writer!

 

 

1. What is the first thing you remember writing?
I was a hardcore dinosaur kid growing up. Every other weekend, I would pester my parents to take me to the Museum of Natural History so I could gawk at the fossil displays. So in elemental school, I wrote a nine page short story about two kids time traveling to the Cretaceous Period and befriending some Triceratops, running from T-rex, all that jazz. Once I was done, I had my artist friend illustrate it, bound it up with ribbon and glue, and passed it around to the class to read and review. The boy I liked gave me an 8.5/10. It crushed me.
2. What is your favorite thing to write about?
Demons & child-eating monsters. Just kidding. (Maybe.) I enjoy writing complex, troubled heroes and crafting strange worlds and creatures. My true bread and butter, however, is anything that bends or mixes genres—horror fantasy is a current favorite!
3. Tell me one of your writing goals.
I’d love to see a television adaptation for one of my books someday. (Netflix, call me. Please.)
4. Have any particular writers inspired you?
Yes, many! Elizabeth Acevedo, Nnedi Okorafor, Neil Gaiman, Laini Taylor, Linda Sue Park, and Emily X.R. Pan, to name a few. All voicey, unique, and highly recommended.
5. Tell us about a favorite character you’ve created.
My favorite character tends to rotate depending on what project is occupying my attention, but I do have a strong bias toward the Big Bad of my longest-running project. He’s a bougie demon monarch with a bad attitude and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. He raises voice-mimicking crows to work as his spies and wears a lot of black, of course. And he’s pretty. Need I say more?
6. Do you have any writing advice to share with us?
Study story craft. Many aspects of writing are intuitive, but I find this is not one of them. Lots of otherwise excellent writers fall short because they don’t quite have the skills and knowledge required to lay out a solid, coherent story. So, pinpoint your weaknesses and study up! Reading books on craft and watching the film analysis side of Youtube has helped me level up as a writer in so many ways.
7. What’s the last book you read?
As I mentioned before, I’ve been digging into a lot of books on craft lately, and I’m almost finished with K.M Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs. It’s an excellent breakdown of why strong character arcs are so important and how to effectively weave them into your story’s conflict and theme.
In terms of fiction, I recently finished Rebecca Roanhorse’s Storm of Locusts, the sequel to her excellent Trail of Lightning. Roanhorse’s Sixth World series has both incredible worldbuilding and a scrappy cast of characters you can’t help but root for. (I’m in love with both Maggie AND Kai, and I’m not ashamed.) If “an indigenous Mad Max” sounds like something you’d enjoy, I highly recommend checking the series out!

Lynn Jung writes offbeat speculative fiction. She likes characters you’d want to be friends with and monsters you wouldn’t want to find under your bed. Currently, she is a veterinary assistant and bio major based in California. She spends her spare time volunteering at her local wildlife rehab center, where she wrangles cormorants and gets pounced on by baby crows. She is represented by Kerstin Wolf at D4EO Literary Agency.
Twitter: @sweater_giraffe
Instagram: @lynndjung

THANK YOU so much for joining us, Lynn! I can’t wait until we all get to read your work–I want to love/hate that demon monarch!

WRITER’S CHAT is a weekly feature where writers from all stages of their journey come to speak to us about their craft, spreading positivity, advice, and amazing book recommendations. Join us every Saturday!

 

interview · writer's chat

WRITERS CHAT!An interview with Kay Adams

HELLO FRIENDS! I have a special interview to share with you today. Kay is an aspiring writer, a self-identified space fairy, and Nancy Drew’s biggest fan..

Read below to hear more about her writing inspiration and why dystopian might just be the thing to write about today.

kay

1. What is the first thing you remember writing?

I was obsessed with Nancy Drew books when I was younger (those books inspired me to write), so most of my early works were amateur detective stories that never really had plot. When I got into roleplaying (via the Neopets forums; we were the Original “Be Your Character” players), my friend Josh (@creativelycliche) & I had a years-long sci-fi roleplay that inspired me to delve into the sci-fi genre, but I’ve planted my feet firmly in fantasy now.

2. What is your favorite thing to write about?

Anything with magic. My default genre of choice is Young Adult Fantasy, & I love writing about magic & other worlds & fairies, usually with a dash of religious angst, family drama, & queer characters. Bonus points if stars are involved in any way.

3. Tell me one of your writing goals.

Publish! My dream is to be traditionally published with either my current WIP or The Fallen Star, but I know I have a long way to go to get there. Lots of revising, reworking, rewriting, I’ve been in a writing drought for a few months (due to work & moving & unpacking & life in general), so it’s still a long road ahead.

4. Have any particular writers inspired you?

The foundation for my current writing is a solid mix of V.E. Schwab, Sarah J. Maas, & Leigh Bardugo. Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series started my love of Celtic mythology, & I’ll always be grateful to the Nancy Drew books for starting my love of writing.

5. Tell us about a favorite character you’ve created.

The MC of The Fallen Star will always hold a special place in my heart, since hers was the first novel I have ever finished. Nova is the (bi & black) magic-less heir to the Throne of Stars, the crown princess of the celestial fairies who rule all of Faery. Her mother, Queen Maeve, abandoned Nova in the mortal realm when she died, leaving Nova without magic & without family. When the monster who killed her mother returns to steal Nova’s throne, Nova is thrown back into a wild world of magic & fairies & traitors & allies, but through it all she tries to remain kind & hopeful. She isn’t going down without a fight, even when tragedy strikes again & it seems more people are fighting against her than with her. I love her & her story & I can’t wait to share it with the world one day.

6. Do you have any writing advice to share with us?

Read, read, read. Read widely, read diversely. Read in your genre, read outside your genre. Read books on the craft. See what your intended audience is saying about current books aimed at them. Don’t ignore sensitivity readers. Read as much as you can, & you’ll always be developing your skill.

7. What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read was Shadow Frost by Coco Ma, though I’m in the midst of reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House as of writing this.

ABOUT KAY:

I went to the University of Toronto to study Irish mythology for the sole purpose of incorporating it into my writing. (Should I have gone for something practical, like law or math? No, this was more fun.) Most of my writing so far has involved fairies, so I must have done the right thing. I’m still working on my first series (series title: Throne of Stars) about celestial fairies, religious angst, & dysfunctional families. A couple months ago, I commissioned artist Johannus Steger (@jm_steger) to create a cover for the series’ first novel, The Fallen Star, & now I’m sharing it with you, here, for the first time ever! Look at my star child!

kay book cover

What I’m Currently Working On: I like to pitch my current WIP as WICKED SAINTS meets RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. It’s about 17-year old Kenna, disabled & widowed after the tragic death of her fiance, who is enlisted by the Archivists to protect the world’s most deadliest object – a book cursed by the gods to kill anyone who comes into contact with it. The problem is: Kenna doesn’t believe in the gods. Or the book’s power. Or herself. Things go terribly awry when the book falls into the wrong hands, & Kenna must decide whose life is worth more – hers, or everyone else she has come to care for? It’s about finding a place to belong, something to believe in, something to love again.
Where You Can Find Me: Also this is my face, & you can find me @kaywritesya on Twitter & Instagram or kaxzbrekker on Tumblr, email me at kaywritesya@gmail.com, or browse through my novel aesthetics on my website throneofstars.wordpress.com.

THANK YOU so much for joining us, Kay! I can’t wait to check out those aesthetics!

WRITER’S CHAT is a weekly feature where writers from all stages of their journey come to speak to us about their craft, spreading positivity, advice, and amazing book recommendations. Join us every Saturday!

interview · writer's chat

WRITERS CHAT! An interview with Allie Macedo

HELLO FRIENDS! Today I’m pleased to share an interview with Allie–aspiring writer, fellow pantser, a romantic I hope won’t toy with my heart when we eventually get to see her writing!

Read below to hear more about where her writing journey began and how Jane Austen played a role in it.

Allie | Headshots

1. What is the first thing you remember writing?

When I was ten, I discovered my love for procedural television shows. As an outlet for my feelings and wanting to explore the characters that I became close to, I begun writing fanfiction and interacted with storylines through role playing blogs. Those platforms allowed me to build and listen to characters, learn how stories worked, and how to find my voice.

2. What is your favorite thing to write about?

My favorite thing to write is always the romance. I’m such a softy at heart. Give me breathless moments. Give me things that make your heart jump with anticipation and butterflies in your stomach. I love all things love.

3. Tell me one of your writing goals.

I think with all writers who pour their hearts into their craft, the goal of becoming published and having our books on readers’ shelves is always an outstanding goal. A closer achieving goal for me, as a writer, is to honor my characters and the story they are telling me to write.

4. Have any particular writers inspired you?

As a child, Jane Austen’s romances really inspired me. P&P was really the first lengthy chapter book I ever read, and I remember being very young and thinking that if I ever wrote a love story, I would want it to be timeless and classic.

Emily Dickinson inspired me to write without fear, to speak and live on the edge and to display the contents of my heart.

Most recently, Hafsah Faizal, author of We Hunt The Flame. She inspires me to be authentic to myself, show up fully, and write about what is in my heart, not what I think others want to read. She has taught me that the true measure of any story is about heart. That as a writer, you should always strive to create captivating characters who truly care for one another. It can be tough, but being resilient and sticking to how you tell your story will really allow it to shine through.

5. Tell us about a favorite character you’ve created.

Oh-what a tough question!
I’ll have to go with my character from last years’ NaNoWriMo project: As Above, So Below. She is not my MC, but I do love her dearly. Her name is Giala and she ended up becoming a badass who was willing to go through all the terrible things I threw her way and came out on the other side with grace and resilience.

6. Do you have any writing advice to share with us?

Always “do it afraid.” Do things with your writing that you never thought you would. Stretch your limits. Never feel like you’re reaching the end. Your words are powerful. They contain a magic that only you can conjure. So, keep writing, keep going, even when you’re ready to stop.

7. What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read was “The Beautiful” by Renee Aideh. I’ve always loved her writing and found it was the perfect book for Halloween! Vampires, New Orleans, and a secret society? All the things I love. I gave it 5 big stars!

Allie Macedo (Lanning) is an aspiring author from the great state of Iowa. To the outside world, she is a Customer Service Representative who also volunteers her time as Communications Director for her local LGBTQ+ Pride Organization.

Writing, reading, and talking about her obsessions has been a major role in her life from the very beginning. She has a passion for creating and meeting others through the things she loves. This has allowed her to experience much more of the world than she can being stuck in the fields of Iowa.

She’s currently working on her NaNoWriMo project that she planned at the last moment. Because she’s also a pantser, and once you meet her, you’ll get it.

THANK YOU so much for joining us, Allie! I can’t wait to see where your writing journey takes you.

WRITER’S CHAT is a weekly feature where writers from all stages of their journey come to speak to us about their craft, spreading positivity, advice, and amazing book recommendations. Join us every Saturday!

 

 

interview · writer's corner

WRITERS CHAT! An interview with Katarina Betterton

HELLO FRIENDS! I have a special interview to share with you today. Katti is an aspiring writer, a wonderful friend, and was a mouse, once upon a time.

Read below to hear more about her writing inspiration and why dystopian might just be the thing to write about today.

KATTI PIC

1. What is the first thing you remember writing?

I started a ton of short stories in elementary and middle school, but the first novel I remember writing was a fantasy-inspired MG novel reminiscent of THE CLIQUE series where a group of rich friends gets whisked away into a magical world during the biggest birthday party of the year.
2. What is your favorite thing to write about?
I love writing dystopian fiction. I think it’s so interesting  create worlds that are an exaggerated version of our own, based on how the world is making decisions right now. The human psyche is also so fascinating to me. There are so many parts of the human experience that you can delve into in a book and play with, especially writing first person.
3. Tell one of your writing goals.
I think my biggest (and most cliche) goal right now is getting published. I’m about to query my first novel and hope I can share my world and characters with more than just my very kind critique partners and very patient family members.
I have a few crazy goals that I’ll share, too. One is to get unsolicited fan art from a reader, and another is for someone to get a significant number from my book tattooed on themselves (I’ll also be getting it tattooed on myself some time soon).
4. Have any particular writers inspired you?
Jay Kristoff is my biggest inspiration. His novel LIFEL1K3 got me back into reading and motivates me to write intricate plots and relationships. The way he describes his worlds, creates characters, and structures the story to surprise you beyond anything you could guess at the very end is the goal to which I will always aspire. I AM OBSESSED JUST A TAD BUT I’M FINE. IT’S FINE.
5. Tell us your favorite character you’ve created.
As much as I love my current WIP’s leading lady (that I will unashamedly admit I’ve based a bit on myself), I love one of the antagonists I’ve written named Cyln (pronounced “Kill-n”). He’s someone you love to hate; you feel bad for him sometimes, but you also root for him to die. He’s been a great vehicle for me to show the dichotomy of good and evil, and how all of us have a choice between right and wrong, but circumstances sometimes force our hands to make decisions we don’t like.
6. Do you have any writing advice to give us?
I have two! One has been said by probably every writer ever, but I love to say it nonetheless. Write. Just write. Keep writing. Even if you’re not working on the same story every day; even if it’s just journaling or a stream of consciousness – keep writing. The world needs your words. My biggest regret in life is giving up on writing for five, nearly six years.
My second piece of advice is to make writing friends. Even if you read your work 100 times over, other eyes will catch mistakes yours don’t. The beauty of books is that everyone experiences a story differently when they read. Every writing friend I’ve made has not only helped me become a better writer, but made my story richer, fuller, and more diverse.
7. What’s the last book you read?
The last book I completed was ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I’m currently reading GEMINA, AURORA RISING, and CARAVAL. I love them all so much that I can’t decide on which one to focus on, which is probably why I’m only 20 pages into each. Don’t tell my TBR that I’m reading three at a time, or they’ll all want a turn.

 

THANK YOU so much for joining us, Katti! Everyone wish her well with her writing journey. We’re here to cheer her on!

WRITER’S CHAT is a weekly feature where writers from all stages of their journey come to speak to us about their craft, spreading positivity, advice, and amazing book recommendations. Join us every Saturday!

interview · promotion · young adult

Interview with Liz Kerin, author of THE PHANTOM FOREST

Hi friends!

Today I’m so excited to host Liz Kerin, debut author of The Phantom Forest (coming out July 16!). Look below for an interview with her–about writing, reading, and more!

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1. What did you find most difficult about writing your debut novel?
I worked on this book for 7 years, and every time I thought I was finished with it, I proved myself wrong! I was constantly adding to the mythology and trying to find new ways enrich the plot/connect the characters. Then, once I was satisfied with it and my editor got his hands on the MS, the 2nd most difficult thing was revising these crazy worldbuilding constructs I’d spent years developing. I was really afraid of pulling one thread and having it all unspool into spaghetti! But thankfully, every time I pulled a thread, I found a way to weave things back together. The edits on this book also took a lot longer than I thought they would. I challenged myself every step of the way and even though there was a lot of uphill marching and self-doubt, I know I emerged a much stronger writer and I now have the tools I need to write my 2nd book a lot faster!
2. Have you always been interested in writing YA?
I absolutely love writing YA, although I do also write for adults! I’m a screenwriter and a playwright as well, and my work in those mediums skews more adult. When it comes to YA, I enjoy darker themes and flawed characters. I like fresh new mythologies that represent bigger philosophical questions. When I was a teen reader, this was the stuff that interested me the most, so I often think about what I would have wanted to read when I was 14 or 15! I’m less interested in contemporaries, and in fantasy I don’t really vibe with fairy-tale retellings, princesses, or high-court medieval drama. If I was going to write a YA fantasy, I knew I’d want to write something a little weirder and off the beaten path.
3. Are there any writers who have influenced and inspired your writing?
Growing up, my two favorite books were The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time. I read them cover to cover dozens of times and own several editions of each! I even tried to write a musical based on The Giver when I was 12 (spoiler alert: it tanked). The world building Lois Lowry and Madeleine L’Engle were capable of just blew my mind. I feel like The Phantom Forest is a beautiful homage to both of my favorite books as a child: there’s a strange dystopia that poses big philosophical questions, and a darkly whimsical fantasy world where the impossible becomes possible. As an adult, I became an enormous Margaret Atwood fan. I started with The Handmaids Tale in college and voraciously read the rest of her works throughout my 20s. I love speculative fiction so much and I hope to explore that sub-genre in my own work over the coming years!
4. What is one recommendation you’d give to aspiring writers?
Don’t be afraid of change. Find a good critique partner and let them drag you across the coals early on. Remember that people aren’t giving you notes for their health (and if they are, that’s a little weird!). They genuinely want to help you make your story better. Even if it’s stressful, take a deep breath, hear them out, and consider every suggestion. On the flip side, you also don’t have to take every single note you’re ever given! Use the ones that suit your vision. Remember that when you try to write for everyone, you risk connecting with no one.
5. How would you describe the main character, Seycia, in three words?
Fierce, faithful, and flourishing.
6. If you could meet any fictional character, who would you pick and why?
I want to go to a fancy wine bar with Buffy Summers and complain about the burden of destiny and boys (both living and dead). And then when the fancy wine bar inevitably gets overrun by vampires, she’ll protect me (and I’ll totally help slay if she’ll let me).

7. What is the last book you read?
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Thank you so much for joining us on the blog, Liz!
MORE ABOUT THE PHANTOM FOREST:
Every tree in the sacred Forest of Laida houses a soul. Though each of those souls will return to the mortal world for many future lives, not all of them deserve to.

Seycia’s father told her this story as a child — a story of the most holy place in the Underworld, The Forest of Laida, where all souls go to rest before embarking on a new life. But Seycia’s father is dead now, and his killer has put a target on her back.

After being chosen for her village’s human sacrifice ritual, Seycia is transported to the Underworld and must join forces with Haben, the demon to whom she was sacrificed, to protect the family she left behind from beyond the grave. In this story of love, survival, and what it means to be human, Seycia and Haben discover that the Underworld is riddled with secrets that can only be unlocked through complete trust and devotion, not only to their mission, but also to one another.

Links to preorder: Amazon ; Barnes and Noble