Hey adventurers! L.S. Mooney here. Last week I talked about the necessity of community and Critique Partners. As a result of that post, I connected with the lovely Kayla Olson on Twitter. I am just getting to know her so I asked her to do an interview here on TGNA so we can all get to know her 🙂
She seems pretty awesome, if you ask me!
Describe yourself in four words.
Disciplined, Hopeful, Sincere, Introvert
How did your writing adventure begin? (When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing seriously in my mid-twenties. I’d worked a series of jobs that merely exercised my patience, my ability to multi-task, and my talent at accounting for the thousands of dollars I touched each day, but ultimately, I was completely unfulfilled in my work. (Yes, I was a bank teller for one of these jobs. NOT my favorite experience.)
What stage of your noveling adventure are you at right now?
I recently signed with the most fabulous literary agents in the world, Holly Root + Taylor Haggerty of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. I <3 them so very, very much.
What book or writer has inspired you?
There are too many to list, so I’ll settle on four. (Five, if you count J.K. Rowling—but, really, who isn’t inspired by her?) I love Laini Taylor for her vibrant, gorgeous writing and her larger-than-life imagination, and I love Sara Zarr for teaching me so much about how to infuse writing with emotional depth (please, everyone, read HOW TO SAVE A LIFE if you haven’t already). Also, I love Stephanie Perkins for the subtlety, setting, and staying-power of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and the way R.J. Palacio so brilliantly crafted WONDER (loved the voice in that book, and the empathy it made me feel).
What are you working on right now?
I just finished the first draft of a YA novel I like to describe as “lots of LOST-ish-ness and beaches and what-the-heck-is-happening?!”
What inspired you to write this book
One: I always crave the beach. Two: my writing window faces tons of green foliage that reminds me of the jungle. Three: I’d always thought it would be challenging and fun to attempt something with tons of layers to it. There are also pirates involved—that element was inspired by a craft my toddler made at our local library’s story time.
What’s a quick, three-song playlist for your book?
This is actually a challenging question for me—I write with a thunderstorm track on in the background, because music distracts me. I’ll go with “Hide and Seek” (Imogen Heap), “Set the Fire to the Third Bar” (Snow Patrol), and “Peacekeepers” (James Newton Howard, from the Catching Fire soundtrack).
Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
I’m neither a detailed plotter nor a completely-by-the-seat-of-my-
What’s your favorite part of writing?
I love the initial spark of an idea—writing the first page, or the first chapter—and I love finishing a first draft. If I had to pick between drafting and revising, though, I’d go with revision almost every time: I love carving and chiseling at my work until it becomes exactly what I envisioned.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to fellow adventurers?
Be grateful for every step of the way. Create what you love, and stand behind it, because that’s pretty much all you can control. Stay hopeful and strive to get better with every project. (Okay, I know, that’s more than one piece of advice.)