WHERE GOOD QUESTIONS I’VE BEEN ASKED GO…
Q: How old were you when you started writing?
A: I was still in my “single-digit” years when I started writing stories. I was eleven when I ultimately decided I wanted to write novels.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: Answers vary WIDELY with this question — at least for me!
My debut novel THE WITCHES’ SLEEP took me about six months to write, edit, polish, and publish. My second novel, the sequel, WORLD OF THE BEASTS, took me 15 months, and I still wasn’t finished polishing it even then. It was finally published in August 2014.
Every book is different.
Q: What do you like most about writing? And what is the most difficult bit?
A: Writing is such a wonderful escape for me. It’s something I can do to channel away any unhealthy emotion. Writing is considered by many, many people to be the best form of therapy. I couldn’t agree more. Writing keeps me sane.
The most difficult thing about writing would have to be the editing and making sure everything fits together perfectly. A story is a 100,000-piece puzzle. The picture is as beautiful as it can be when all the pieces are there and they’re where they need to be.
Q: Do you always know where the plot is going before you start writing?
A: There are so many, many different ways to write. Some writers like to just dive in headfirst and go with the flow of the story. I don’t like doing that. It stresses me out in the long run, because I hate editing with a passion, and all writing blind does is cause more work. I like to know exactly who my characters are, their goals, and such forth. I like to know from beginning to end all the major plot points and some in-between subplots. Of course, as I write, the overall plot becomes clearer, and I sometimes have to change course. But at least I have something to work off of.
Q: I love to write but am scared to show anyone what I write in case they hate it and put me off. Did you feel like this, and if so, what did you do?
A: Yes, I did! For years! As I said earlier, I started writing novels when I was 11. I didn’t publish my first book until I was 17. In between 11 and 17 I had managed to write 5 novels, the word count on them ranging from 40,000 to 130,000. I had a few friends who loved reading what I wrote. They would ask me to email it to them chapter by chapter, and even help with brainstorming. Those friends always encouraged me that I had good ideas, and that I should consider writing novels as a career choice. I just wasn’t so sure then if I could handle that kind of stress. I just wanted to write books for the rest of my life, but I didn’t care if anyone read them. It made me happy, and it made a few of my close friends happy.
When I wrote THE WITCHES’ SLEEP, my dad told me, “Kaitlyn, we need to get this published. You’re serious about writing. This is what you love to do. Let’s make it the best we can so you can show the world this gift God has given you.”
My dad was that final shove to publishing. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Q: How did you make the decision to self-publish over traditional?
A: This one is hard to explain. But, here I go:
I self-published because I wanted to gain credentials. I have no other writing experience other than my own. When a traditional publisher sees that my work has been praised by Kirkus Reviews (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/…/the-witches-sleep/) and several authors/readers, and that I’ve won a Gold Medal, they tend to pay more attention, listen a little more, and consider me as a client. I want to be picked up by a traditional publisher, but as of this moment, I’m sticking with self-publishing to build a resume.
UPDATE: I have done extensive research on the pros and cons of self-publishing vs. traditional as well as independent publishing, and it is possible that I will simply stick to self-publishing. The reason? No matter who you are published by, you will have to market yourself. Sure, an agent can help out a lot, but ultimately you are left to market yourself. You will not just sit back and write books and have someone else publish and sale them for you. That’s not the way it works.
So, yeah, I’m staying self-published.
Q: Do you want your book to be made into a film and if so who would play the lead characters?
A: Ha, ha! I would just absolutely die of excitement if anyone wanted to make my books into films! As for who would play the lead characters, I honestly don’t know. I’ve had a few ideas, like Shia LaBeouf playing Kindness in His Heart and maybe Emily Browning as Sea-Anna. But even then, I could see Emily as Sunlight Reflecting off the Moon too.
I just don’t know.
Q: After the sequel to this book, what is next?
A: Ah, now that is the question! Let’s just say there will be a great finale for all these lovely characters in the third book of this trilogy, The Warlock’s Awakening (still in progress).
Q: What is the biggest dream for your writing?
A: Everyday I pray that God uses this gift He has given me to make this world a better place – one person at a time. I pray that my books encourage teens, enlighten everyone on issues our world faces, and simply make people smile.
Q: What piece of advice would you give budding writers?
Keep moving forward. Grow in knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is power. Never give up. Don’t let yourself get too prideful about it either. Find a balance. Stay humble. If you fail, keep trying over and over. Success is not given freely. Success is earned. Anything worth doing is going to be difficult, but the blessings in the long run are priceless.
Q: When will The Warlock’s Awakening be available?
A: The Warlock’s Awakening has been a tricky book for me to write, and due to other life circumstances, I have not been able to focus on it like I would like to. I am working on it… slowly. I’m hoping for a late 2018/early 2019 release. But don’t get your hopes up too much, my loves! I can’t promise anything right now. Life has been unpredictable.
WARNING: ALL THE QUESTIONS BELOW MAY AND PROBABLY DO INCLUDE SPOILERS
Q: In World of the Beasts, is Deep Thinker (Sunny’s grandfather) the Man in Black or is it Light? Because I am super confused.
A: It is expressed very clearly in Chapter Forty-One: New Heir that Deep Thinker IS NOT and WAS NEVER the Man in Black. The Man in Black is Light in the Night. Here is the section of the chapter:
Kindness looks at me and then the gun. “Light is the Man in Black. His grandfather is Red Moon, the head senate. If I die, Light gets the title. He’ll be the new heir once Wise’s term is completed.”
Light was the grandson of Red Moon, the head of the senate. (Fun fact: Red Moon also married Kindness and Sunny.) In a case of Wise’s line (Kindness) dying off, the head senate’s blood line would then take the title. Since Kindness didn’t yet have a son or daughter, Light in the Night was the very next heir if Kindness were to die.
Q: Did Wise really kill Sunny’s grandpa [Deep Thinker]?! That upsets me. I really loved him.
A: I left that as a question for reasons. Book Three reasons. Be patient and stick by me. This specific question shall be answered as soon as possible. I promise, dearest reader. Trust me, I love him too. (Notice I didn’t use the past tense of “love” *wink, nudge*).
Q: Will you write a novella or short story in Brock or Abby’s perspective about when they fell in love and had Jedidiah?
Don’t get me wrong, Reader, I love Brock and Abby too, and Jed, but I highly doubt I will ever get around to writing anything about or for them. I know myself too well. It won’t JUST be a novella or short story. It will turn into a companion novel, and I simply don’t have time for that. If I ever am inspired and BURN WITH A DESIRE to write about Brock and Abby’s story, then MAYBE.
Until the burning arrives, no.
Q: In both The Witches’ Sleep and World of the Beasts you mention the air smelling similar to peppermint. What EXACTLY causes the air on Raena to consistently smell like peppermint?
A: Here is a paragraph excerpt from Chapter Two: Taken of World of the Beasts:
In the backyard where we can hear the phone if anyone tries to call, we find a nice shade under one of the many oak trees. I lean into the bark and inhale its sweet scent. The witches say that it smells similar to something the humans have on earth. Peppermint.
Trees. It’s the trees.