Kay is the author of the fantastic Elements of Kamdaria series, which I personally love. She has very kindly agreed to an author interview. So without farther ado, here we go.
1. You say in your goodreads profile that you believe in happy endings, what is the best happy ending you have read?
I love the ending in Jane Eyre. It’s my favorite book, and a lot of that is because of the happy ending. I love it because things happen a little “conveniently” in order for the happy ending to come. However, those “convenient” things only happen after Jane has continually chosen to do the right thing even when it’s hard. I truly believe life is like that sometimes. When we keep trying to do the right thing, everything will eventually work out.
2. Which of your characters do you think is most like you?
This is an easy question to answer, but unfortunately, I haven’t yet published the book featuring this character. But I will someday! Her name is Rose, and she’s a spy for a rebel group against the government. At her core, she is kind and loving. But she has also been through a lot of difficult experiences that caused her to put up walls. She has a rough exterior that very few people get through. She’s also extremely smart and highly dedicated to her cause. Actually, she’s a lot cooler than me, but I guess you could say she’s who I aspire to be.
3. If you could have any mythical or fantasy creature as pet, what would it be? And what would you name it?
I wish I could have a pet phoenix! Ever since reading Harry Potter, I have a deep fascination for them. I love the idea of life being reborn from ash. I’d want a yellow phoenix and I’d probably name him Lemon.
4. What gave inspiration for the The Elements of Kamdaria series?
Several months ago, I was browsing a stock photography site and looking for some inspiration for a short story I had to write. In my search, I came across this gorgeous blue crown made of water. My mouth dropped, and it was love at first sight. Then, I had a thought. What if the crown started as water, but then, turned into ice?
Then, I had another thought. What if someone melted the crown? And what if there was a competition? And some scary bad guys? And a school where students learned to manipulate the elements?
The ideas kept flowing, and soon, I had way too much for just a short story. I had an entire series-length of ideas full of court intrigue, elemental magic, enemies to lovers romance, epic sword scenes, trials, escapes, battles, and a seriously awesome main character.
By the time I wrote the short story for my website, I already knew I had to expand it into an entire series. That’s how The Elements of Kamdaria was born.
The book cover designer actually used that crown on the cover of the first novella, Ice Crown. I love it because it fits the story perfectly and because it was the inspiration for the entire series!
5. Was the Truth Seer trilogy the first series you wrote or have you written some that are not yet published?
The Truth Seer trilogy was the third series I wrote. I have two other series I wrote beforehand that I intend to publish someday, but probably not for several years. One series takes place in an alternate universe. In a world where people are judged for their usefulness, a girl who is mute struggles to prove her abilities both to the professors in her new school and to the young man who supposedly loves her.
The second series takes place in the future in an imaginary country. It features a rebel spy who loves her country. She knows everything about combat, politics, and intrigue, but when it comes to making friends or falling in love, she’s clueless.
I also wrote one other book I haven’t published. It’s historical fantasy. Basically, a servant girl falls in love with the prince, and it leads to all sorts of romantic shenanigans.
6. Do you have a notebook full of ideas or do you only focus on one at a time?
I have sooooo many ideas. It’s pretty ridiculous to be honest. It’s not just one notebook either. I have about twenty notebooks that contain anywhere from a few pages of dialogue to fully outlined novels. I’m pretty good about only writing one thing at a time, but I’m always adding new story ideas to my ever-growing pile. In my heart, I want to turn all those ideas into completed books, but I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to do it. Plus, I keep adding ideas, which doesn’t help.
7. How many more books do you plan to write in the Elements of Kamdaria series?
The Elements of Kamdaria will have a total of twelve novellas. There will be three groups of four, and each group will feature a different area of Kamdaria.
The first four novellas take place in the inner ring (the Crown), but the next four novellas will take place in the middle ring (the Gate). The last four books will take place in the dangerous outer ring (the Storm).
Along with the twelve novellas, I will also have three large paperbacks that include four novellas each. The first paperback will have all the Crown books (novellas 1-4), the second will have the Gate books (novellas 5-8), and the last will have the Storm books (9-12).
8. If you could have any character from any series as a best friend, who would it be?
I would be best friends with Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles. I love how she’s down to earth and kind, but also a little spunky.
9. Have you ever found yourself thinking “Did I really write that” whilst editing?
I have thought this exact thing so many times! Sometimes it’s because the writing was incredible, but usually it’s because the writing was terrible. 😉 Luckily, I go through several revisions before I ever send it to an editor, which helps a lot. I also have amazing editors who help me spot plot holes and tighten up flowery sentences.
10. What is your favourite part of the writing process?
The best part is being able to read what I’ve written. Sadly, the actual writing part is not nearly as fun. I always feel like I have this incredible mountain range of ideas in my head, but when I try to put it into words, it turns out more like an ant hill. Getting the first draft down is always a little painful.
Luckily, I do enjoy revising a little bit more. Once the words are down, I have the freedom to spend fifteen minutes choosing the perfect word in one particular sentence. When I’m writing that first draft, I try to write as fast as possible just to get the story down. I’m always afraid I’ll forget some of my ideas because I didn’t write them fast enough.
11. Who is the first person who gets to read your books?
My husband reads everything first. After our kids go to bed, I often make him read anything I wrote that day. Luckily, he loves my Kamdaria series, so he’s always really excited to read it. My oldest son also gets to read my books before they are published. He loves them, but he thinks I kill way too many people. He still hasn’t forgiven me for a certain someone’s death in Ice Crown.
12. Do you plan to only write fantasy or do you have ideas to write in other genres too?
I love writing fantasy, but I also love when fantasy and science fiction collide. I have a thing for cool technology and awesome tech gadgets. I also love it when fantasy has dystopian undertones. I’ll probably stick to those genres for a long time, but maybe someday I’ll venture into something new.
Thank you Kay for your very full and interesting answers. I had a great time reading them.
If you fancy checking out the Elements of Kamdaria series, click on the picture to take to the goodreads page.