Friday, April 27, 2018

Author Interview Kitty Lewis

This week, I reviewed The Colourless and Beyond The Serpent Hills where we enter an incredible new realm of demons, predators, and heretics in the new Fantasy series “Legends of the Lost Tribes”, by author Kitty Lewis. And today, I’m sharing an interview with her. Kitty, welcome to Lori's Book Loft and thank you so much for joining us!
1. For readers who aren’t familiar, can you tell us a bit about the Legends of the Lost Tribes book series? 

It’s a fantasy adventure series, set in the world of Drenius. The first two books follow Kandrina, a rebellious young woman trying to uncover the truth behind her brother’s death. Along the way she discovers that the Lightning Demons, who the People have lived in fear of for generations, might not be as terrible as they have been told. With some help from her tutor Remlik and a few other friends, she ends up traveling far outside of the tribal lands to face a much greater threat and finally avenge her brother.

2. Book 1 is titled “The Colourless” and Book 2 is titled “Beyond The Serpent Hills.” Are there any characters in either book that came more naturally to you than others?

The main character from both novels, Kandrina, was quite easy for me to write. I also enjoyed writing the time goddess Dranjari, and I’d love to find a role for her in future books – I did try to fit her into Beyond the Serpent Hills, but there just didn’t seem to be a good way to bring her in!

3. What part of the story is the hardest for you to write?

The hardest part is probably writing the middle of a book. Most of the time, I know how the story begins and I have some idea of where I want it to end, but getting my characters from start to finish is pretty difficult at times. I have several separate threads going at once, different sides to the story and several sub-plots, or things that are setting the stage for the next book, so working out how to bring them all together can be quite a challenge. It is enjoyable though, and very satisfying when I manage to weave it all into a good ending.

4. How do you know when the book is complete?

Most of the time, I seem to reach a natural pause – whatever major issue or conflict the book’s about has been resolved, or at least temporarily staved off, the characters have learned something or developed to a certain point – sometimes it seems like I’m just narrating the story my characters are telling me, and the book ends when they’ve finished talking to me!

5. If you had to describe your writing style what words would you use? 

Character-focused, and probably quite descriptive in terms of world building. I’ve tried not to go off on a tangent with my descriptions, I know it’s something I can be prone to doing if I’m left to my own devices... a fair amount of editing goes on before I’m happy with that.

6. What inspired you to write this series?

I’ve had the world and characters in my head for a long time, in fact I think I was around 6 or 7 when I first started imagining the earliest parts of it all. It was always just a sort of private fantasy though, the little world I’d escape to in daydreams (or during a boring school lesson!). A few years ago I was trying to work out what I actually wanted to do with my life, after a lot of plans and ideas had fallen apart, and I realised I’d already created this entire world, so why not share it with others?

7. What are you doing when you’re not writing?

If I’m not writing, I’m usually either reading or gaming! I do enjoy unwinding with The Sims, and I have been known to stay up til dawn trying to build the perfect house or playing with new content. It’s also a good way of visualising characters or settings, which can lead to more inspiration for my writing.

8. What drew you to the Fantasy Genre?

I like the freedom within the genre, and being able to make my own world with my own rules. I’ve always enjoyed reading fantasy,
so writing it seemed to come naturally. Mostly, I like not having to be too concerned whether something would happen a certain way in reality - the laws of Earth don't have to apply to my world of Drenius. 

9  Can you share your process with us? Do you have any particular practices that help you write?

I try to fit some writing in around my day job as a cleaner, so quite a few pages have been scribbled quickly in a cupboard during my breaks. I also tend to get a couple of hours in the evening when I can sit down with a cup of coffee and work on something for a bit longer, or just type up what I’ve made a note of during the day. I don’t have a particular place where I write really, I just tend to write wherever I can find some spare time – I actually wrote the epilogue for The Colourless while sitting in a bus station, though I wouldn’t recommend that as a good place to write!

10. Do you use names of family and friends when you write characters?

Most of my characters names are old-fashioned or unusual names I find online, but a few are sort of combined. For example, Kandrina is a mixture of Candice and Katrina, two names I quite liked the sound of but neither seemed to fit the world I was writing for. I try to avoid using the names of people I know, since they always ask ‘Oh, is this character based on me?’ which can be a little awkward if the character in question turns out to be the villain...

11. Do you write every day?

I try to get some writing done every day, though not all of it ends up in a book or short story. Sometimes I just end up working on character backgrounds, or developing some of the world’s lore and history. Some of what I write gets stuck in a drawer and forgotten about for months on end, until I dig it out and realise it’s exactly the plot point or character I’ve been trying to think of to move one of my other projects along.

12. Do you get writer's block?

I think most writers do at some point. Usually I can get around it by switching to a different project for a while, or skipping ahead in the book and writing part of the next chapter. Sometimes I’ve been really stuck though, and absolutely nothing makes any sense, so I’ve found the best way to get around that is to switch off for an hour and do something else – watch some TV, play a game, go for a walk, just clear my head and let things unstick themselves. When I get back to the keyboard I usually find I’m back in the zone and can carry on writing.

13. Who is your favorite author?

That’s a tough question, there are a lot of authors I admire! I’d have to say either Raymond Feist, or Robert Rankin. Both of them are excellent at what they do, and Rankin, in particular, seems to have a talent for weaving the most far-fetched and diverse plot lines into a good story.

14. And finally is there anything you'd like to tell readers?

Really, just thank you for picking up my books, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

To learn more about Kitty Lewis and her books you can view her website here or check her out at Beacon Publishing Group featured authors page.

Here's the  review of The Colourless (Book 1)

Here's the review of Beyond The Serpent Hills ( Book 2)

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