There’s a story behind every writer. The author is not only a storyteller, they are a story. Let’s find out more about today’s guest, Kylie Day!
A word after a word
after a word, is power
– Margaret Atwood
Kylie is a blogger, author, introvert, professional coffee addict, incurable reader, and apparently she sings in the shower.
Yay shower singing. I love shower singing. (beat-boxing is epic in the shower)
Let the show begin…
*You’re from Sweden, I think? What’s it like?
Yes, I currently live in Sweden. It’s not like living in a small county as Sweden has affected my writing. The internet gives everyone a chance at being international, no matter where you’re from or where you live, and I think that’s really exciting. Especially for writers who have the chance to reach millions of people with their written word (whether that’s actual books or blog posts).
Awesome. I love the ability to be international. The opportunity to reach millions with our words is at our finger tips!
*What’s your genre?
I write non-fiction for writers, and then have a pen name for my fiction stories which are set in the fantasy genre.
I have all of Kylie’s Busy Author’s Guide books. They’re purposefully short and designed to get you back to what you love to do—writing!
How to Outline Your Book with Pre-Outline questions
How to Outline Your Story with “What If” Questions
How to Get to Know Your Story’s World with Wordbuilding Questions
HOw to Get to Know Your Characters with Character Interviews
“A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” -Vladimir Nabokov
*You studied literature in college correct? If so l, tell us about your studies and what led you in this direction.
Yes, I’m still working on a Master’s Degree. My love for reading was what led me to study literature. Literature has always been a big part of my life so it wasn’t a difficult choice. And my studies have also given me the opportunity to develop my own writing skills because I’ve been given the opportunity to read and study works of fiction that I might’ve never thought to read before.
Kylie, I would love to pick your brain regarding your reading experience and what you’ve learned in literature. You’ll have to come back!
*What have you learned about the craft? (Don’t hold back let her rip!)
Wow, that’s a huge question, one that can take me hours to answer. But at the end of the day, what I’m most excited about having learned about writing is that the first draft is always crappy. The important thing is to get the story written. If you don’t get the first draft done, there is nothing to work with. And, honestly, the real work starts when the first draft is done. While that notion scared me a couple of years ago, it’s become a huge relief to me now. My first draft can be bad, really bad (I usually skip descriptions because I move so fast through the first draft), but I know that I can add that when revising the draft. So, instead of going back into the story every day, just to add descriptions I think are necessary, I skip that completely until I’ve finished the first draft. This way of writing has made it so much easier to finish my first drafts, something I struggled with a couple of years ago, and I’ve actually finished more first drafts the past year than I’d done during the ten years previous to that.
I love that. This is so true! I’ve slowly been learning the same principle. You can’t edit a blank page. Nor can you revise a blank one. You’ve got to get it out of your head and onto the page. Without the clay there is no pottery. This is my experience with poetry, fiction and even blog posts!
*Can you tell us a little about your current WIP? (Work in progress)
I’m currently working on an ebook on character creation for my non-fiction. My fiction WIP is actually a series of short stories that are set in a fictional fantasy world that’s quite dark and gritty, a bit gothic, mysterious, and corrupt. I can’t say that I’ve read anything like it before, so there’s nothing I can really compare the series to, but it’s a lot of fun to write.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Keep us posted!
*How long have you been working on your WIP? (Work in progress) I’ve been pondering mine for at least 2 1/2 years now.
I think the idea to the first story in my fiction series came to me at the beginning of this year (January or February). I’m editing the first two in the series and have just finished outlining the 6th story, which I will begin writing any day now. The ones I have at the moment are between 4.000-10.000 words, so they don’t take very long to write. And I’ve been lucky enough to consistently get new ideas, which keeps the ball rolling.
Awesomesauce! Totally looking forward to reading it!
*What’s it like publishing non-fiction? I’ve been thinking about this a lot and would love to publish some someday.
Publishing non-fiction is quite simple, really. One of the differences between fiction and non-fiction is that non-fiction is categorized into a niche instead of a genre, and you can get a lot more eyeballs on your non-fiction because of the targeted keywords you can use (both in the keywords list on Amazon, but also in the title and sub-title of your book). One of the things non-fiction is used for a lot nowadays is to grow the business behind the book. The book may serve as a lead magnet to an online course or to get people to hire you for speaking gigs, etc. But you don’t need a business to write non-fiction. My initial thought behind my own non-fiction was (like I said before) to get my thoughts out on paper. I didn’t think about creating a whole business out of it. With that said, it doesn’t mean that I won’t create online courses on writing in the future (I do have some ideas, but I also need time to execute them properly).
I have several ideas for non-fiction and can’t wait to dive into it.
*Can you tell us a bit about your blog? And desire to help other writers? I personally have benefited from your blog and appreciate your writing.
I started my blog as I started writing The Busy Author’s Guide, to get my thoughts about the craft of writing out of my head. Then, as I began to develop The Busy Author’s Guide series I saw the blog as another means to help writers who might’ve been as overwhelmed as I was. I read a lot of books on writing long before I started the blog, and I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I was with all the information (which actually led me to spend more time reading about writing than I actually spent writing). The idea behind the blog and The Busy Author’s Guide then became that smaller steps were easier to take. The Busy Author’s Guide are short ebooks because I don’t want writers to spend time going through yet another full-length book instead of writing. I also believe that exercises actually lead people to take action, so that was always a big part of the books. The blog has developed into something more than the books, I think, and some of my focus on the blog is to inspire people to write. I do have posts with exercises and such, but I also publish story structure case studies because I believe story structure is such a big part of writing fiction
Check out Kylie’s blog at: The Writing Kylie. Please see below for links to recent posts.
Neil Gaiman wrote in an essay, something like: “You get ideas when you ask yourself simple questions. The most important of the questions is just, What if?” I love that quote because I use it all the time when I outline my stories.
I love the *what if* question. The possibilities are endless.
“I love the possiblity of fiction” -Benjamin Thomas
*Favorite novels or writing books?
I have to say that Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art is a must read for all writers (all creatives, really). The passages about resistance are golden and has helped me a lot.
*You’re a writer; so what’s your story, or what inspired you?
What initially inspired my writing was that I needed to sort out the things I had in my mind. I’m also a very curious person, so I ask a lot of questions and spend much time searching for answers. I’ve learned that keeping my mind open – and my eyes – to the smaller things in the everyday life has helped my creativity a lot.
Reading books was what initially sparked my interest for writing. I think that a lot of people in my generation were influenced by the Harry Potter series (as was I). Those books were the starting point of my own more serious approach to writing fiction (I’d done it more for fun before). The whole process behind writing fiction was then the foundation on which I created The Busy Author’s Guide series. I wanted to get my thoughts of my own writing process out on paper, and while I wrote The Busy Author’s Guide I also honed my process of writing fiction. So, while my focus right now is on fiction, writing non-fiction has helped me develop as a writer.
I can’t wait to pick your brain regarding your reading experience. Come again! My other interview series is called, Forensic Lenses. An investigative and exploratory approach into the mind of voracious readers.
*What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?
My goal has always been to publish fiction. At the moment I’ve only published non-fiction but am working on my fiction writing as well. I don’t have any further goal at the moment.
Drop us a line when you get close to finishing your fiction. Pinky promise?
*What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)
I can’t really think of three things, but the one thing that’s hindered me before is a major one: fear of judgement (which I think most creatives have). That can be really crippling.
Yeah, I think fear is pretty much universal. Don’t let fear hold you back from your dreams! Let’s show him who’s boss.
Sparring with fear—knock em’ out!
*What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)
The thought of making up stories by writing them down for the rest of my life is what keeps me going. I can’t think of anything I want more than that.
YESSSS. I’m in the same boat.
*What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?
Again, fear of judgement or fear that people won’t think I’m good enough is something I struggle with. But, at the moment, my determination to meet the goal of publishing fiction is stronger than any fear (let’s just hope that lasts :)).
We all have that fear. But hey, let’s put a good fight! Our determination is much stronger than anything fear can muster up.
*Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?
I think that a lot of people quit because they doubt themselves or because they realize that writing something (whether it’s fiction or non-fiction) is a lot harder than they thought.
These are valid reasons. Doubt is a big one. Hard work is the other.
*What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?
If you have a story inside you, then I urge you to keep writing. I’m sure that your story is worth sharing. Sure, all of us have our good and bad days, and we may want to quit on our bad days. But if you stick with it, write the crappy first draft, work hard on edits, and get your story out in the world for others to read, you will feel like the struggle was well worth it.
“If you have a story inside you, then I urge you to keep writing” Kylie Day