What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Kiley MacLeod and I was born in Houston, Texas. I like to say that I'm a 'Citizen of the World' at the moment - currently exploring new places and meeting new people.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Oh, I definitely always wanted to be a writer. In fact, I was seven when I wrote my first story and haven't stopped since.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
It's entitled, "No Shade For Travellers," and to summarise I'd say it's about a tenacious young woman who is recruited from prison to save the universe.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Well, "No Shade For Travellers" took three years. My next book,"Searching For Zeus" has taken two years. I average between 2 - 4 years per novel, although I always wished I could be a Piers Anthony and just bang out an awesome book every few months - sigh, but it is not to be, haha.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have three more books coming out in the next two years and I'm very excited about them. One is a YA novel about a young girl's search for the father that abandoned her as a toddler, the next is a literary
fiction about forgiveness and retribution and the last is an historical fiction novel about one of the greatest (and tragic) PR stunts ever pulled off.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
Well, my books tend to be very character driven and full of emotional turmoil. So, pretty much every time I experience an overly emotional moment in life, I simply memorize it and lock it away in my mental file to pull up and use later.
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?
I never begin a story if I don't know how it ends. In fact, I usually start with an ending and work backwards, haha!
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes, in fact most of my characters are an amalgamation of people I know - or people I wish to experience life through.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?(Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
There are always, always, ALWAYS, hidden messages/morals in my stories - some overt, some not so much, but I always slip stuff in.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Absolutely! Douglas Adams and Joan D. Vinge I would say are my biggest influences.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
It's hard to pick just one but I do usually have a small set of books
that I re-read over and over. I would say that out of that set
"Catspaw," by Joan D. Vinge, is the one I re-read the most.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
Heh, I read so much at school I actually got in trouble - on more than one occasion! Luckily, my teachers seemed more amused than put out. In fact, in tenth grade I had my copy of 'Les Miserable' confiscated by my geography teacher, Mr. Ritchey, because I was reading it in class instead of taking notes. He assigned me After School Detention but wrote a really lovely note about how much he admired my literary choices and that he had never been so proud to assign detention in his life. He was a great teacher! I also had several of my stories confiscated as well - though they were usually returned with smiley faces and words of encouragement scrawled on them. Well, that and warnings not to write in class anymore, especially when I should've been paying attention, hahaha!
Did you have a favourite author as a child?
As a very young child it was Frances Hodgson Burnett and Madeline L'Engle. Then, one day, when I was about 12 years old, I was wandering through the school library, looking for something new to read. I saw a book with a green smiley face on the cover, pulled it from the shelf and read the small excerpt that was on the first page. I fell into aloud fit of giggles, causing the librarian to shush me harshly - and that's when my affair with all things Douglas Adams began.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
You hear it all the time but it's the truth: write. A lot. I also advise taking a writer's workshop course at a nearby college or university. They are invaluable and I have got some of my very best feedback during them.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Warren Ellis, Douglas Adams and Chaucer. That would be the rudest, crudest and most fun dinner ever!
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