Today I am joined by author Kaitlyn King, who has penned multiple devotionals and Christian fantasy books.
What is your go-to space for writing?
It depends what phase of writing I’m in. I hand write my first drafts and have started using my writing desk with a candle and mood music to keep me in the writing head space for that. When it’s time to put in on the computer, I sit at my work desk. If I’m just brainstorming then anywhere is fair game: my chair, my bed, my car…
What is your favorite genre to read?
Fantasy, especially Fairytale Retellings right now. I love seeing the different unique spins on the familiar tales.
Words of wisdom for those who are just starting out on the writing path?
Keep going! The fact of the matter is, you’re not going to have all the answers when you start out; and no matter how many supporters you have, the voices of the naysayers will play on a loop in your head. Despite all of that, if you keep going, it will all be worth it in the end.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
Editinggggggggg! Ugh! I’m one of those “measure twice cut once” sort of people. I want it to be done correctly the first time. It hurts my heart to see those red lines all over my manuscript.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Brainstorming. I love when I have a new idea and I can’t help telling everyone I see about it, and figuring out the details of my new world, and characters, and adventure! I’ll have notes everywhere for a while, then when I’m ready to get serious about it, I’ll start compiling them all in one place.
Do you focus on one project at a time or do you have multiple projects going simultaneously?
My mother teases that I write like I read. By that she means, I work on several books at one time. I used to have books I’d be reading at school and different ones at home. Right now, I have 2 fictional series in progress, a stand alone, and a devotional series. And sometimes other ideas creep in so I have to take a break to write them down somewhere, or they won’t shut-up when I’m trying to work on other things.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on the second and third books of my YA Christian Fantasy Series: More than Conquerors, a stand alone YA Christian Fiction book about Angels, a Christmas YA Christian fantasy trilogy, and a devotional series based on a year-long devotion guide I released last year. I know, I know, I sound crazy! Just imagine how many projects I’m not telling you about!
How do you select the names of your characters?
I like my character names to hint at what they are hiding or what they will learn on their journey. I don’t always use this method, but I try to most of the time.
Has there been one particular person who has been a major source of influence for one of your characters?
I often use people in my life as inspiration for my characters. My uncle was a major influence in how I designed the mentor character in my More than Conquerors series since I have memories of him teaching me to sword fight when I was younger. Don’t worry, the swords were fake.
How do you get inspiration to write?
My ideas usually come from a “What if” question. What if there was a kingdom that only valued being a conqueror? Or what if my childhood nutcracker collection could inspire a story? It’s hard for me to figure out another way to explain, but basically, I’m inspired by the things around me, pictures, posters, toys, etc. and a “what if” question appears in my head.
What inspired this series and the characters?
More than Conquerors came from the theme my parents’ church chose one year. I walked in and there was banner hanging with the words written across a shield. That what if question popped in my head and by the end of the announcements I had the four main characters mapped out scribbled all over my bulletin.
On average, how long does it take you to write the first draft of a book?
I’m still new to the process. My first book took a year to write the first draft, the second one took closer to six months. I believe I will get faster as I go.
How do you incorporate your faith into your writing?
I believe that whatever is in your heart will come out naturally in your writing. I try to show a believable relationship with God. I hope that through my writing I’m inviting others to grow closer to God,
What first inspired or gave you the “spark” to write? What books and/or authors have influenced your writing?
The first time I wrote a story, I was in junior high. There was a certain class that I really hated (it was an elective so not one of my core classes) and so I would sneak a book in and read it instead of listening to the teacher. (Yes, bad, bad, bad, and now we’re over it.) One day I didn’t have a book, so I tried to write my own. My mother was very impressed with it, (Of course I didn’t mention the ignoring the teacher part) and insisted I show it to my grandmother (an English teacher.) She promptly used her red pen to edit it. My paper was practically bleeding. I thought that meant that I wasn’t a good writer so I didn’t try again for many years. I went to a camp and met an author who wanted to write books for Christian teens. I was inspired to do the same. I ignored that inner critic and got started.
Every writer has a message they want to impart to their readers. What is yours?
That’s a loaded question! I guess I want my readers to know they’re not alone. When I became a teenager, I realized I didn’t relate to the teens written about in books. Most were not written from a Christian perspective. I don’t want other Christian teens to feel that way.
What is your favorite, underappreciated novel/series?
I always recommend these two series: The Ranger’s Apprentice series and The Four Kingdoms series. Both deserve all the love in the world.
What book of the Bible is your favorite? What makes this particular book your favorite?
Esther, it’s reminds me of a fairytale.
Who is your favorite Biblical character?
I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I relate most to Martha. Like her I have a tendency to put working above all else, and need to be reminded to choose the better part.
If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be?
Needing correction does not mean you are wrong. I wish I had kept writing back when I was thirteen. I believed that since I was bad at it that that meant I could never be good at it and was wrong for trying. The more you try, the better you will be at it.
How did you come to be a writer? Was this something that you always knew you were destined to be or did you arrive at this point via another path?
I was sixteen when I felt God call me to be a writer, that doesn’t mean that it’s been an easy path. I’m still working to fulfill that destiny.
To learn more about Kaitlyn, check out these links:
Facebook: Author Kaitlyn King
Thank you, Kaitlyn, for such a marvelous interview! I know I am definitely a lot like Martha, and I too love fairy tale retellings (and am writing two right now). What about you, dear reader? Which book of the Bible is your favorite? Have you read any of Kaitlyn’s books? If so, which ones?