Welcome to ARCBookblog Kay, it’s so nice to have you here, joining me for an interview, first of all, before we get to the questions, why don’t you tell me and my readers a little about yourself.
Kay – Confession time, I’m a fantasy addict! For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the concept of magical worlds. I was the kid with dragons doodled around the edge of her school work, the one with her head constantly buried in a book. As a teen, I shunned partying to play Magic the Gathering and DM Dungeons and Dragons games.
Through the years, I’ve always made up stories and took characters on amazing adventures, in the privacy of my own mind. Now I want to share them with other people.
I live with my husband and cat in Nottinghamshire in England. When I’m not writing (or planning something I’m writing) I’m usually working, reading, playing bass for my church’s worship team, playing computer games (World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, Pokemon, Minecraft) or drinking tea.
Okay, now that we know you’re an Englander, just like me, let’s get to some questions.
Me – Is writing a full-time occupation, or do you have a job that keeps you from it?
Kay – I wish! I would absolutely love to be able to spend all day writing, and that is my ultimate goal. I’ve only released one book so far, and I know it will take time to get to the point where I can support myself with my writing. I can’t wait until I’m one of those irritating people that gets to do a job they enjoy.
Me – What aspect of publishing do you find the easiest?
Kay – Coming up with ideas. My mind is constantly churning with new characters, plot twists, worlds and settings. I’m on the second book of my first series, which I think will be four books long, and I already have plans for a prequel, about eight short stories, a different series of six books, a spin off from that series with the main character’s cousin and rough ideas for another four or five things I want to work on…
I even have big ideas for events or promotions (check out the Indie Advent Calendar I ran over Christmas http://kaymacleodbooks.com/indie-advent-calendar/) I just love creating things, it’s only a problem because I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want to.
Me – What do you find the most difficult?
Kay – I think a lot of authors find promotion hard, I’m no exception, we tend to be introverts so talking about myself is always a challenge. I’ve found that I don’t mind discussing my characters or story though, it makes my day when someone talks to me about what they’ve read and start telling me their theories of what will happen later in the series. Then I find not giving away spoilers with my expressions really difficult!
Me – What is your perfect writing environment.
Kay – There has to be a cup of tea. Though that’s true for most things I do… I generally write from my office when I’m on my own, I prefer quiet and a good chunk of time so I can get into a flow. I especially like taking a week off work so I can just attach myself to the keyboard and let myself run away into the story, even with a full day to write I can sometimes still be there at 1am if I’m really feeling it.
Me – Do you have a process you follow when writing a book?
Kay – I plan well, and I really enjoy it. I use Evernote for keeping everything on track (including my life) I have character bios, maps, timelines, outlines and random ideas I may use at some point. I write out everything I want to happen during the whole book, shift it around if I need to, then bullet point each individual plot point. I like to leave my chapters with a hook into the next one so I decide where each chapter will end and have a loose idea of what will happen in it- even if it’s just a sentence or two.
I also have a list of things I want to develop in each character and ideas for dialogue or points that don’t need to happen at specific times so that I can fit them in wherever they feel right as I write. I never cling too tightly to anything I’ve plotted though, I end up revising my chapter placements a lot as I get into the story and have even changed huge chunks of original material when I’ve found something that will work better.
Me – Would you rather be critically successful or financially successful?
Kay – Financial success would be wasted on me, I’d still mooch around in a hoodie and jeans, still hate wearing jewellery and I wouldn’t be able to tell you the difference between an expensive car or a rubbish one! If I had enough to live comfortably on and spoil my husband now and again it would be enough for me. I remember a while ago before I was anywhere close to finishing Heirs of Power I heard something being described as ‘critically acclaimed’ and thinking, ‘one day my work’s going to be critically acclaimed.’
Me – If you could pick 1 celebrity to read your book and give an opinion on it, who would it be?
Kay – I don’t really…celebrity. I’m terrible at knowing who people are or what they are famous for. There are a few bands and actors I like but I’ve never been into celebrity culture. I think I’d have to say Peter Jackson then, if he likes it he can promise me that he won’t let the film adaptation be disappointing!
Me – Do you find it easy to avoid being distracted when you sit down to write?
Kay – I have good days and bad days. There have been days that I started in the morning, forgot to eat lunch and realised I’m supposed to be going out that evening and have an hour to get ready. Then there are the times when I just wonder what my word count is and then what that makes my average chapter length, or what my sales look like today, or I get side-tracked into researching new ways to say things or describe a colour.
The main thing that never fails to take my attention is my cat, he’s too adorable to ignore and he usually ends up laid across my left arm or shoulder while I work. It slows down my typing but I always feel better with him helping out.
Me – If you have published already, what has been the most successful technique/site/opportunity for you in terms of getting either exposure or sales?
Kay – Goodreads, for sure. It has such a wealth of opportunities and information for writers of all kinds. I’ve made some great friends on there, gotten reviews, done giveaways, promoted my events, even gotten interviews 😉
The groups on the site have been so helpful to me, there are some really amazing people on there, with much more knowledge and experience than me. Even a lot of the things I’ve done outside of Goodreads is because I learnt how to do them on there. I highly recommend it, for readers and bloggers too, come and say hi to me when you get on!
Me – Last but not least, and something a little fun, what is your favourite animal, and why?
Kay – I adore most animals, so I’m going to cheat and say my favourite domesticated animal is my tuxedo cat, Kai. He’s the cutest little thing ever, he’s four but I think he’ll be like a kitten forever, he’s so small with huge eyes and a bigger personality.
My favourite wild animal is a cheetah. They are perfection. Such beautiful and immaculately designed creatures, I love their sleek look, their incredible sprint and their fluffy babies.
If you’d like to know more about Kay, just follow the links below.
Heirs of Power
After stumbling upon an otherworldly ritual, Kitty Fairlow discovers that her own incredible hunting skills are not merely due to a lifetime of training. She has been gifted powers from an ancient spirit, passed down by her father. She is a Constellation.
And she’s not the only one.
A new generation of heroes have each inherited unique abilities in order to prevent the corruption of their world by the Tenebri, a race that thrives on life energy. Kitty, along with a high-born dancer and a snarky juggler, must find their allies before the Tenebri army picks them off.
With the powerful enemy emerging, can the Constellations gather in time to put an end to the threat for good, or will their foe succeed and wreak the same destruction they have unleashed on their own world?
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