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, has taken me 15 months, and I'm still polishing it. 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 what 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 am only a high school graduate. 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.
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.
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? A: This: 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.