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Interview with KT Wilder

She is a happily married mother to five dogs, two birds, two horses, and a bearded dragon. Texas is home for now. Wilder has been a Physical Therapist Assistant for three years, currently working in pediatrics. Her hobbies outside of writing include stargazing, dungeons & dragons, and video games.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I can wiggle my ears!

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?
Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Between Worlds. It’s a big project, bigger than I thought it was going to be. I had only planned for two books in the series, but now I have a third book outlined.

Q.3 When did you decide to write the Legend of the Starbreather series?
I started writing when I was around thirteen years old, and it was one of the first solid ideas I had. I kept writing it and expanding it through my school years and college. I stuck to writing it because it reflected on a lot of things I was going through emotionally during certain periods of my life. When I originally set a goal to finish a solid draft, I was recovering from second knee surgery. I had a lot of surgeries those few years for various things, but the story was my constant. It became a safe place.

Q.4 How do you come up with the name of your book?
When I started writing this, I had in mind that the story was taking place in a space between spaces. A connecting space that’s important because of what it represents. That’s why I named the world the Between and why the title is Between Worlds.

Q.5 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Write it. Don’t stop, don’t think it's a silly idea. Just write it. It will be something amazing one day, or at the very least, it will teach you something.

Q.6 How do you select the name of your characters?
I get inspiration for characters from images I come across or an aesthetic I find. Usually, it will be accompanied by a culture I think is interesting or a concept, and the names come from that. Sometimes I just come across interesting names that I write down and keep for later.

Q.7 What do you find difficult about writing Fantasy Romance?
Keeping the balance between falling in love and saving the world was a challenge. I struggled to tell the romantic part of this story without letting it be overshadowed by the big fantastical events or vice versa. This was my first attempt at the genre on this big of a scale.

Q.8 How long does it take you to write a book?
Between Worlds took ten years from start to publication. When I really sat down and finished the second draft of nine, it took about a year and a half. I’m near that mark now for Book two.

Q.9 What were your feelings when your novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
The cover was designed by a wonderful woman I now call a friend over a few Instagram messages. She was my first beta reader, and I published a chapter of the book through her magazine first. When I finally saw the cover, I cried. It was the real moment when the weight of finishing this story lifted. I realized I had done exactly what I had set out to do in middle school - and it was just the beginning.

Q.10 What is one stereotype about fantasy writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
Wrong - We’re perfect world builders, with languages and cultures and creatures that are 100% unique. Not all of us can be Tolkien!

Dead on - we’re all weird and nerdy. Most of us have played Dungeons and Dragons at some point, and the coolest of us still do. Find me a single fantasy author that doesn’t have a rock collection. We’re also into video games - whether we’re good at them or not.

Q.11 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I write all the main scenes in the book first and then stitch them together. I have an end goal for this series, but I honestly have no idea what’s really going to happen in book three yet.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes, 100%. If I feel like I want to write but can’t focus, I’ll try something else. I’m a huge fan of using fanfiction as an outlet. If that isn’t working, I’ll step back. Go play a game for a while, watch a movie, crochet, etc. Sometimes I have to force writing, but sometimes I just have to recharge.

Q.13 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
I would be a Hobbit. Cozy little home, gardening, farming, eating all the time, writing my adventures down - it’s my life’s dream!

Q.14 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
This is a really hard one - too many books and authors! One that has always stood out to me was Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kloen. Neat book, a quick read, and powerful. It puts an interesting twist on the line of thinking that every story has already been told before.

Q.15 How do your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
I have a good support system. My family has been incredibly supportive the whole time, reading and rereading the early drafts patiently. My wife was the one who gave me the final push to finish it and get published.

Q.16 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Plot is hard; the characters usually come to me first. I use vision boards and playlists to help me develop characters, and from those things, I build more traits and quirks until I know their goal - then the plot comes. I’m bad at following outlines. Usually, once I’ve written one out, my brain will actively try to get away from it with ideas. I will usually write scene by scene until it builds up to something that resembles a story.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Research is important. Never stop learning; never be afraid to write something because you don’t know enough about it - go read! Experience! The more sources, the better! Also, write everything down; I promise you’re not going to remember it in ten minutes.

Q.18 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
The hardest part was getting away from stereotypes to make authentic male characters. I didn’t want to push toxic masculinity anywhere; in fact, I wanted more than anything to make a world where that sort of thing doesn’t exist.

Q.19 Who designed your book covers?
A. Elise Rorick
of lusicovicreative did my cover, and I hope to be working with her again soon for the sequel!

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
I started writing this series ten years ago. Through high school, college, and now my professional life, it has come into this world as the beginning. The most important part of this process, I’ve learned, is that you have to write to get anywhere.

When I worked as a waitress, the details, dialog, and major scene points were almost exclusively written on napkins and tickets. I had whole pockets full of them because when I went to work seemed to be when my greatest ideas would come. When I had a part-time job as nighttime security for this high-end retirement community, I would write for hours watching the security monitors - that was how my first draft was completed. Even now, working as a home health physical therapist assistant, I keep my personal laptop with me to work between patients.

Writing is the most important part of this lifestyle, whenever, wherever, and as often as possible. Sometimes that’s stealing moments in a half-hour lunch break or staying up that extra hour to get a scene done. I love it. I love that feeling of writing something good in the middle of the day - something that leads to a bigger piece later.

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent book! Looking forward to the next one! Keep writing KT