Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Kaytalin Platt's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions at Operation Awesome

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

The Living God by Kaytalin Platt


1- Given your skills in cover art, did you make your own cover?

In this case, I did not make my own cover. It was designed by the very talented Tim Barber of Dissect Designs. Though, I did make an initial cover for The Living God, (and there may be remnants of it floating around on the interwebs) Inkshares, my publisher, had a better plan. I actually found it much harder to design a cover for my own work compared designing one for a stranger.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Focus on progress, not perfection. Don’t get trapped in an editing loop, keep building your story. You can’t edit a blank page, so don’t stop writing.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

A small town, a shortage of books that interested me, and my mother. I grew up in a town of 450 people, and I burned through all the available science fiction and fantasy that intrigued me in our school library. We lived almost an hour from a bookstore, so I didn’t buy new books often. I’m still very thankful that the Scholastic Book Fair exists and travels to small, rural schools. My mother was a painter and dabbled in writing. She also let me listen to her music, which was mostly instrumental, and she challenged me to write what I imagined was happening while a certain song played.

4- Your resolution on your blog was to give up "self-doubt, laziness, and impatience" this year. How's it going?

For the most part, laziness and impatience have been relatively easy to give up. I still find impatience creeping in at certain times, mostly when I need to be somewhere or do something quickly. However, I think, as a creative, self-doubt will always be my personal boogeyman. It is a complex issue that, for me, hinges heavily on imposter syndrome. I oscillate from being extremely excited about my successes to mind-numbing terror that I don’t deserve them. When I approach an opportunity or a project and I am overcome with concern that I can’t do it or will fail, I push through those feelings and attempt it anyway. I’ve always believed that we are each capable of wonderful things, if only we try. Even failing is better than never having tried at all. Overcoming self-doubt will be a never-ending battle, I’m sure. But, I’m stubborn and welcome the fight.

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

My Twitter handle is @KaytalinPlatt. I have so many writer friends on Twitter I would love to shout out too. Seriously, the #writingcommunity on Twitter is absolutely amazing. But, if I had to pick two, it would be Liz Kerin @liz_kerin (The Phantom Forest) and Jaye Milius @jayemilius (Terminus). Both have offered me wonderful advice and encouragement and both have books releasing soon! Go check them out.

6- My fellow Pennsylvanian, would you share a picture with us of you book somewhere iconic in Philadelphia?

In front of Independence Hall.


7- What prompted you to start a Patreon?

Accountability and a desire to share stories in a new way! I have so many projects I want to work on at any given time, aside from The Living God and the follow ups to it. I’m often overcome be a sense of dread that I am running out of time or that I’ll never get to share all those different stories with others. The Patreon has two roles. First, it will act as a cattle prod to keep me focused on this project–I will have a commitment to fulfill for the patrons and an overactive conscience that will ensure I don’t break that commitment. Second, it will (eventually and hopefully) help fund the self-publishing work that will need to be done–professional editing primarily.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

Like most people, I’m drawn to books with strong female characters and unique premises. However, as a graphic designer, I’m also drawn to cover imagery and more often than not will pick up a book because of that. Also, I’ve been so busy lately, that my to-be-read list has grown thanks to the suggestion of friends.

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

One of my favorite authors is Robin McKinley, and my favorite book is the Hero and the Crown. A princess who desires to become a dragon slayer? What isn’t to love? But, I’m unsure if Robin McKinley has a Twitter handle (I could only find an unverified account), and I’d really like to recommend an indie author!
Author name: @acwestonwrites
Title: She Is the End
Love because: I liked the movie Jupiter Ascending but something nagged at me and left me wanting more. She Is the End was everything that I wanted in Jupiter Ascending from an emotional and depth perspective. It was an entertaining, well paced read that made me care very deeply for the characters and I’m itching for the next installment.


10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

Aside from my mother-in-law, my biggest fan would have to be my best friend Kathy. She has been on this crazy writing journey of mine since I was in the 10th grade. She became my fan with a little story I posted on FictionPress.com called “The Necklace,” and I’m pretty sure she would like me to revive it one day. We became long distant writing buddies (1,800 miles apart). Kathy has read almost everything I’ve ever written, encouraged and pushed me. I probably would have given up a long time ago if not for her. I write for me, but I love writing for her, too.
She’s also a sucker for a tortured character (honestly, who isn’t?), so she loves Keleir and the potentially doomed romance he has with Saran.

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I hope it evokes a range of emotions, as the emotional journey of the characters is really the heart of the story. There is action, but the emotional journey is what the story is about. It is complex, deep, and sometimes confusing–as most human emotions are. There is never one feeling, but a range of feelings at any given moment.
At a point in the story, where Keleir is hopeless and convinced that he is doomed–that no one believes in him or trusts trust him–he has all but given up on fighting the creature in him. Saran sets him straight by making a vow to rid Keleir of the beast and insists she trusts him. The emotion that radiates in that scene still makes me cry when I read it, and I’ve read it over and over in the editing process. If any scene in the book touches someone, I hope it is that one. I think we all understand hopelessness, alienation, or desertion, and what it means to us to have someone come in and remind us we are loved, trusted, and believed in.

12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?

https://www.instagram.com/some.place.new/
I love Some.Place.New’s #bookstagram. Those images make me want to go out and buy all the books and I love that she has found her creative visual voice. Just beautiful.

13- How do you hope your book will help readers in their life?

Sometimes life feels hopeless, sometimes we are faced with situations outside of our control, and sometimes we are bombarded by a hundred different problems at once. I hope my book inspires someone to carry on despite the heavy burden they bear. At the heart of this story, the true message is that some things in life are unavoidable and we simply have to keep going and work through it. Even if it isn’t the path we chose, even if it isn’t a life we wanted, just keep moving forward. Keep going. Sometimes the only way out is through.

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

Keleir was born with stark white hair and blood red eyes. Those traits define him as a monster in his world. In our world, he just looks like an anime cosplayer, so he gets his photo taken a lot. He doesn’t mind.

15- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?

My favorite book with a diverse main character would have to be Tahani Nelson’s The Last Faoii and her MC Kaiya. Seriously, that book is fantastic. Rich world-building and a strong female character (who happens to be black and gay). Who she is and her strengths are the central focus of the story, not her race or her sexual orientation.


16- How are you dealing with the heat this summer?

I love being outdoors in the summer, which doesn't make a lot of time for writing. Since there have been many days considered "dangerously hot", especially for an asthmatic like myself, it's created a great opportunity (or excuse) to stay indoors and devote time to reading and writing. I've made more progress than I thought possible on the sequel to The Living God, though I do wish it was cool enough to garden more.

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I went with Inkshares because their publication model was intriguing. It mixed crowdfunding with traditional publishing. I knew that my story was kind of crazy-pants. It is genre-bending, complicated, and not usually what a publisher or agent would be interested in taking a chance on. It is kind of experimental. In many ways, that experimental nature is subtle in the first book, but the entire series is high fantasy meets Sliders (The TV show. From the 90’s? Anyone remember that one? No... Just me? Okay.) It will be a four part series following world-hopping elemental mages who race to save multiple universes from total obliteration. Like I said, crazy-pants. So I took a chance on a system that, if you garner enough reader interest and pre-orders, leads to publication. By some miracle of the Universe... here we are.

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

I think it helps other readers know if a book is a good fit for them. I also think the review process for each reader is very personal. Once this book is in your hands, it is ultimately your story too. It will inspire entirely different emotions in you than it did in me, or your friends, or your mom... No two people will have the same feelings about a book. Just like how I am one of two people who love the movie Waterworld.

Also, this is my first time being an author at the end of a book review from a stranger. I’ve been told by a few authors that I shouldn’t read the reviews, but I did in the first few weeks. Initially, there was this visceral gut-punch realization that it is out there in the world and real people are reading it and I can’t pull it back if there are things about it they don’t like. Its over, done, and free for everyone to form opinions about. Imagine spending years of your life working on this one creative project, building characters, molding their story and lives–basically living in that place with them–and then turning it over to the world without the ability to alter or change it anymore. It is utterly terrifying. I’ve learned a lot based off the reviews so far. Nothing will ever be perfect, but the few reviews I have read tell me what I’m doing really well and what I will work on in the next book.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

Oof! This is a question that took me some pondering. Lately, I’ve adopted #BeTheBiggestFan as my new motto. I want to support other creatives. I want to be their biggest fan. I think I’d love a discussion on ways we can support creatives, whether that be writers or artists of any medium. Reviews are one of the most important steps to supporting writers. What else can we do? How can we be the biggest fan?

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

I’m just a woman from a little town called Deer Park, Alabama, who fell in love with the North East and, on a whim, moved thousands of miles from home. I share my home with my supportive husband and our adorable rescue doggo, Mr. Bones. You can follow Mr. Bones on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/bones_the_wonder_dog/). I’m sadly better at keeping up his Instagram page than my own, but feel free to follow me too (https://www.instagram.com/kaytalinplatt).

Also, follow me on Twitter!(@KaytalinPlatt) I’ll try to follow back! I love discussions about writing, art, Star Wars... and of course supporting other creatives!

If you’re into dark fantasy stories, angels and demons, and life after death, check out my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/kaytalinplatt)!

Thank you so much for reading this. It means the world to me.



Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

The Living God by Kaytalin Platt

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