Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday once again. This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind I am going to be chatting with a talented writer and an amazing editor as well, the lovely Kayla Krantz.
KADE: Good Morning Kayla, Thank you for taking time away from your hectic schedule to chat with me. Would you mind telling us about your upcoming book?
KAYLA: My upcoming book, Alive at Sunset, is book two in my Rituals of the Night Series. It’s the sequel to Dead by Morning. These books are all psychological thriller and horror, meant to explore what goes on in the minds of both a serial killer and their victims.
KADE: I am a bit biased about these books because I have had the honor of reading Dead by Morning and I have to say the readers are in for an amazing treat. Alive at Sunset sounds like it will not disappoint. So, what inspired you to write your first book?
KAYLA: I was inspired to write Dead by Morning by a reoccurring dream that I have. Or rather, reoccurring figure in my dreams.
KADE: Wow, that is creepy and incredibly interesting. So your books are books are based on real life experiences?
KAYLA: Basically, Dead by Morning was a twisted version of my own high school experience. I didn’t have a lot of friends, I stuck to myself a lot much like Luna. I never really took stock of what the other kids did. I had a handful of friends, but beyond that, I got picked on a lot so I would dive into books at school to avoid confrontations.
KADE: Oh, Kayla. I am so sorry to hear that. But on the up side your haven within the pages of the stories that protected you has obviously exposed you to the power that books hold and the basis of an incredible career choice. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
KAYLA: My favorite part of Dead by Morning would have to be the part at the dance. It’s a real turning point in the story where Luna starts to see past Chance’s annoying demeanor and realizes that there’s something actually dangerous about him.
KADE: I remember that part. That does seem to stand out in my mind too. How did you come up with the title?
KAYLA: I went through a string of titles, unable to decide on one that fit the tone. I was watching a “Family Guy” episode and one of them said. “We’ll all be Dead by Morning.” And I just thought, “Dead by Morning” that’s perfect!
KADE: Ha ha, that is too funny. The universe speaks to us all if we pay attention but I like the fact that it seems to have a sense of humor as well. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
KAYLA: The toughest criticism I’ve gotten is that the story simply isn’t believable. The thing about that is this could be considered an urban fantasy book. Of course it’s not believable—I don’t want it to be. It’s supposed to be a twisted observation on reality to show the twisted thoughts and feelings of someone slowly losing their mind.
The best compliment I’ve gotten is that people can see my book playing out as a movie in their heads while reading.
KADE: Now wouldn’t that be incredible? I can totally see it. Fingers crossed for you Kayla. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
KAYLA: I don’t know about quirky but I have a very OCD writing routine. When I begin a new story, I have to write it out in a spiral-bound college-rule notebook with a fountain pen. It can’t be a composition book because I just don’t like those. After finishing my first draft, I rewrite all of it on loose-leaf college-ruled paper with binding tape that I keep in a three-ring binder. When that copy is finished, I finally begin typing it up.
KADE: That is a lot of work but I completely understand as everyone has their way of writing. If this process works for you and keeps the stories flowing then keep on pushing those fountain pens to their demise. Good job. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
KAYLA: The strangest thing I’ve probably researched is what car is typical for jerks to drive.
KADE: Ha ha, that is a strange search but I am sure google would know. Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
KAYLA: All of my characters are based on real people, except for Chance. He’s based on a reoccurring dream figure that I’ve seen since the ninth grade.
KADE: Oh nice. This was probably helpful in knowing how to write them and express their mannerisms in the story. So when you do being your writing process, do you work with an outline, or just write?
KAYLA: When I start a new piece, I usually jot down on my ideas in a loose type of outline similar to the steps of the “hero’s journey.” When I actually get to writing, I stick to it and sometimes, I diverge. It all depends on what directions the characters decide to go!
KADE: That is true. When they want to take you down a different path it is best just to let them. They know where to go and sometimes they have a way of surprising you with what they see. So now that you have a few books under your wings, we need to know when did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
KAYLA: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I first started writing short stories when I was four, and I had a habit of it all throughout elementary school. I didn’t finish my first novel until I was fifteen, however.
KADE: Wow, that is quite an accomplishment for a fifteen year old. Impressive to say the least. How did you choose the genre you write in?
KAYLA: I never really set my mind to writing a particular genre. I actually wanted to write more horror work, but the ideas I had were more thriller/suspense in nature so I just went with it.
KADE: That is smart of you not to press the story to go in a direction that it wasn’t meant to go and to let it develop naturally. Where do you get your ideas?
KAYLA: My ideas come from a variety of places. Sometimes from songs, from a word, or simply an item. A lot of ideas I’ve had have actually come from dreams.
KADE: It sounds like you are very open to inspiration, ready to take it and run with it. That is wonderful. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
KAYLA: From little on, I’ve always been very inspired by Stephen King. I absolutely adore how out of the box some of his work is and the deeper meaning some stories such as The Dark Half have.
KADE: Yes, Stephen King is an amazing inspiration. I can see why you adore him. We should all be so lucky to have such an imagination and wisdom. Since you have been writing for quite a while and are seasoned with how to manifest and actually see your creations to their completion. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
KAYLA: Never give up. Writing is a tough business but wear your battle scars proudly and never let anyone take away the joy it gives you.
KADE: I agree one hundred percent. Protecting your joy is important. Great advice Kayla, thank you. Do you have any favorite quotes or sayings?
KAYLA: “Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” —Morticia Addams
KADE: Oh I really love that…Very lyrical and profound but it is true. Now for some fun stuff. Tea or coffee?
KAYLA: Tea for sure!
KADE: Sweet or salty?
KAYLA: Sweet, of course! Chocolate is one of my best friends.
KADE: I hear you, chocolate is divine. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
KAYLA: Chance stayed where he was and looked around the people near him. At the sight of him alone, a couple girls ran up to him and Luna guessed they were asking him for a dance. She smiled a bit to herself…maybe if he got distracted with the other girls he would forget she was there. As she watched, he shooed the girls away with a simple movement of his arm, and Luna’s hope turned to disappointment. He walked over to her, searching her eyes with his.
“What’s wrong? Don’t like the paparazzi?” He laughed.
“You should dance with those other girls.”
“Why?” he asked, scrunching up his face.
“Because I want to go home.”
He shook his head. “No way, you’re not going home without at least giving me one dance.”
Luna slumped her shoulders. “Do we really have to?”
“Do I have to tell David that you didn’t follow his orders?” he asked, tipping his head to the side.
Luna closed her eyes for a long moment to hold back the building anger. She knew he’d keep his promise. “Fine, you win.”
He smiled and held out his hand to her. “Of course I did.”
Reluctantly, she set her hand in his. His skin felt clammy beneath her fingers, like he had been sweating. Luna wanted to pull her hand back, but she forced herself to keep it there. He closed his fingers around hers and pulled her onto the dance floor. The music turned to a slow, sappy song, forcing them to slow dance. He forced her arms up onto his shoulders and set his hands on her waist.
As he stepped to the music, she searched his expression for any sign of compassion. “Why do you do this to me?”
“Make me go to things like this. I mean, I know you don’t like me. What could you possibly want from me?”
He looked back at her, and for a minute, he didn’t speak, as if he had been caught off-guard by her question. “I can’t tell you.”
“You can blackmail me into going on dates with you, and you can have your friends kidnap me, but you can’t tell me why you do it?” she asked in disbelief.
“Look, you’ll find out eventually, and you won’t like it, I know. I try hard to get you to feel something toward me so that when you find that out, you won’t fight me,” he whispered in her ear.
“Find what out? What could be so bad? Do Susan and Kate and all of them know what it is?” She pulled back to watch his face carefully.
“No, they don’t. No one does. Just keep quiet, okay?”
“Does this have to do with the thing you hide in your pocket?” Luna asked him a bit louder. “Do you have it on you now?” She reached her hand forward to try to touch the side of his pants.
A couple people around them turned to look as she raised her voice to him. Chance caught her wrist easily in his hand, returned their stares, and smiled nervously before looking back at Luna. He had to resist the urge to shake her into silence as he let go of her arm.
“I don’t hide anything in my pocket okay?” he snarled. “That’s all just your imagination, Luna. Now drop it.”
Part of her was frightened by his sudden anger. He was hiding something from her…and from everyone else as well.
“Okay, we’re setting up to play,” a voice called from the stage. “We need a volunteer singer to help us out.”
“How about Chance does it?” Luna heard a nearby girl suggest.
The anger dissolved from Chance’s face as he turned to the girl who had spoken. Luna realized that all of his rage had been solely directed at her, and she felt oddly cold at the thought.
“Yeah, I’ll do it. Why not?” she barely heard him say.
He let go of her and moved through the cheering crowd toward the stage. The band took its place, and Chance stood at the microphone. He looked completely comfortable up there, normal, as if he weren’t the center of attention. The band began to play “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, and Luna watched Chance observantly. He began to sing the words gently, and his voice surprised her. It sounded beautiful.
As Luna watched him, she knew he looked like any other teenage boy. The girls around Luna cheered him on, but she stayed silent. His eyes flicked to her as he reached the chorus of the song, and they flashed in the lights. She knew there was something bad about him. Something that separated him from all the other teenage boys and made him a danger to the people who called him ‘friend.’
KADE: Oh, I love that part. This is such a good book. Thank you Kayla for that passage. Now that we know that there are a lot of incredible works out there just waiting to be read by the wonderful Kayla Krantz, would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?
KAYLA: Blog: http://kaylakrantz.wix.com/horror#!blog/c112v
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kaylakrantzwriter
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14006736.Kayla_Krantz
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KaylaKrantz77/
KADE: Just want to say a HUGE thank you to Kayla for hanging out with me today. And a big thank you to all of you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors. If any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and place Author Interview in the topic space.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!