Monday, 9 July 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - K.A. POE



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I prefer to be known as K.A. by my readers. I was born in Tucson, Arizona, then my family moved to Oregon and Washington, and now here I am about twelve years later once more residing in Arizona!

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have wanted to be a writer since as far as I can remember. I had three careers that interested me as a child - actress, artist or author. Eventually down the line I realized my drawing might be nice, but it wasn't GREAT. I love to act, but it isn't something I could foresee myself doing all the time. I always got praise for my writing, whether it was a short story in school, or poetry that I used to post online - and I found that I enjoyed writing the most. It is my escape from reality, outside of reading.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I have considered myself a writer for practically my whole life. I fell in love with words and reading in elementary school, and then learned to write my own stories and poetry and haven't quit since.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Not at all - but I self-published it through Kindle Direct Publishing. There is no telling how long it may have taken to get it published had I tried contacting actual publishers.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I am a stay-at-home mother.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I am a self-publisher.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
My first complete book [which is in the editing process right now and will hopefully be published in a couple of months] took me FIVE YEARS to complete. It's set in a fantasy world, made up entirely from my own imagination - which is so much harder to write than one set in the real world. I have come up with every little detail, and during the time I was writing I was also in school, and raising a baby. However, Twin Souls took me less than three months to write, edit and publish. I am in the process of writing a sequel to both [the fantasy world one is on hiatus while I strictly dedicate my writing time to the Nevermore series], and am halfway done with both of them already.


Which of your books were easier / harder to write than the others?
Although it is unpublished presently, as I mentioned before, my completely made up fantasy novel has been harder to write than Twin Souls.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
You can expect at least two more books in the Nevermore series, and then I have two books of another series that might develop into more - they are both completely different genres and scenarios. Where Twin Souls is related to the paranormal, my other series is more related to the sort of fantasy you see in things such as The Lord of the Rings.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have plans for my aforementioned fantasy books, the first of which should be out within a few months if I have the time to edit it and get it out on Kindle!

What genre would you place your books into?
Nevermore falls under the young adult, urban fantasy, paranormal romance genre.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Ever since my grandparents took me to see a play of Dracula back when I was eleven, I have been obsessed with vampires. I tried to write other vampire-related novels prior to Twin Souls, but I never got around to finishing them - then one day, I was talking to my husband about how I was stuck on my fantasy novel and felt my inspiration had left me and I had grown tired of writing my fantasy novels for the time being. He told me to just open a new document and write whatever came to mind. So, I did just that. It helped that the night prior I had a dream that made up the first chapter of the novel, and as I kept writing I would have further dreams involving my characters that helped provide ideas for the story!
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I adore my fantasy book and its characters, but I have to say that there is something I really love about my Nevermore books. I can't say very much without ruining the story, but it has some surprising aspects that even surprised me as I wrote it because I hadn't initially intended for it to turn out that way.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Salem. Read the book[s] and you will understand what is so grand about him!

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book / books which would you be?  and why?
I think I would have to choose Alexis, as she gets to live out a life that I truly would love to experience. While it would initially be somewhat terrifying, in the end it would definitely be worthwhile and exciting :)

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I have been writing real books [not poetry, and not short little stories] since roughly 2005. The inspiration for my fantasy novel was on behalf of my husband, who I based the main character on initially. That has somewhat changed as I continued writing, however. As for Twin Souls, that was solely inspired by dreams that I had and spontaneous ideas that came as I was writing.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What / Who is your inspiration?
I used to tell people that I don't get inspiration from anyone or anything - that I sit at my computer with a document open and I just suddenly start writing, as if I am suddenly possessed by the ghost of a writer. Essentially, that is what happens [excluding the ghost part, of course], I rarely have an idea - I just sit there and write until something develops.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I listen to [now, don't laugh, it is actually quite enjoyable!] lullaby versions of rock songs [called Rockabye Baby], that way there aren't any words to distract me - just pleasant music.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have my husband read my books, search for any mistakes I may have missed, and he will often share his opinion on whether he thinks something should be changed or not - so in a sense, he is kind of my editor. I also send out the first three chapters to a select few friends to get their opinion and to find out if they think it draws them in and keeps them wanting more.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I have gifted a few books to some of my close friends and relatives, but not with reviews in mind.

Do you read all the reviews of your book / books?
I do! It is always helpful to get insight from unbiased readers and to know what was enjoyed, what wasn't, as it helps me know what to exclude or include more of in future novels.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book / books?
Nope. I want their complete, honest input. Being a writer, you have to know that not everyone is going to enjoy your book.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book / books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I came up with the title of the Nevermore series based on something that occurs in the book, and Twin Souls is also derived from an occurrence in the book. I designed the cover! It took me about three different tries to come up with one that I truly liked, and I am glad that I settled on this one - it doesn't give too much away, and it's attractive - I think.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I usually struggle with titles, so I write the book first and then eventually the title comes to me.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
With Twin Souls, it took me a while to decide what I wanted the main character's name to be. Originally, her name was Adrianne - but I decided I wanted her name to be shorter, and have the option of giving her a decent nickname, so I chose another girl's name that I like - Alexis. As for Salem, his name cannot quite be explained without ruining some of the book. I completely made up the town name in the story, as well...so don't go through Colorado trying to find a little town called Willowshire, because it doesn't exist! :)

Are character names and place names decided after their  creation? or do you pick a character / place name and then invent them?
It varies, but usually I pick the names based on the character's personality.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I usually come up with traits as I go along, but some of them are set in stone from the very beginning.

Do you basic plot / plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
The latter, definitely. I rarely ever have a plot set out before I write - I just let the story develop on its own as I write.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Oh yeah. That's part of what took me so long to write my first book, and then I was getting tired with the whole fantasy world concept and needed a break and that's how Twin Souls  was spawned.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I have a few hobbies. I garden a little bit in my front yard, and I spend some time playing computer games.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? The character 'A.N.' [who is briefly mentioned] is based on my friend Amanda Nevills. As for events, I don't believe I have based anything on any of my life.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I absolutely love hardback books, and I always will - but I have completely fallen in love with my Kindle Fire and reading e-books on it.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is my favorite book - it was hard to choose, as I adore the series as a whole. I have read almost the entire series more than one time through. As for why, reading Harry Potter brings you into a wonderful world of magic, fantasy, and it's just so much fun and enjoyable and a good break from reality.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite / worst  book to movie transfer? I think that most books turned into movies wind up failing. There are so many parts that are left out, or parts that are added in that were not in the novels. The first three Harry Potter movies were great, whereas the next few were poor in comparison, until the last two. Then, of course, there are the Twilight movies...which I felt were complete disappointments in comparison to the novels.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books? I doubt they will ever completely replace them, but I do foresee a future where the majority of books will become electronic.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I read and wrote all the time as a kid, and I never stopped. I was obsessed with books, and words. I used to dedicate hours to reading the dictionary to increase my vocabulary! I have always been fascinated with writing, and have written numerous incomplete stories throughout my life.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
As a child, I was in love with the A Wrinkle in Time books by Madeleine L'engle!

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
A Wrinkle in Time.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Fantasy [whether it be wizards and magic or vampires and werewolves] is pretty much the only genre I read. I will occasionally read some thrillers by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, but I am definitely a fantasy lover.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
If you get stuck, do what I did and open up a blank document and just write anything that comes to mind. Read a lot, it helps feed your muse, and never give up!

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
My pen name is K.A. Poe, which are my first and middle initials and my last name.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
JK Rowling, Stephen King and if Madeleine L'engle was still with us, she would be my third choice.

Your web site? http://www.kaylapoe.com, where I share updates on my book as well as random things relating to my every day life - such as my gardening. 



Your Twitter details? kapoeauthor

And any other information you wish to supply?
Thank you for your time and I hope that if you choose to read Twin Souls that you thoroughly enjoy it! 
I definitely will be reading your book and putting the review on my blog too!

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