1/22/14

Interview: K. Kirchner on ERA, Creativity, and Lessons from a Life Coach

I consider it a privilege to get an interview with author K. Kirchner.  It can't be easy to find time to answer my questions between classes, writing, and starting her own publishing company.  But like the upbeat professional she is, she gave intriguing insight into her current projects and the workings of her creative mind.


Thank you again for taking the time to be our first author interview on Writer, Uninterrupted.  What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Aside from writing, I play the piano, participate in school clubs (student council, art club, yearbook), and draw/paint. I love the other things I do, but they are merely loves. Whereas writing is my passion.

What skills and hobbies do you have besides writing that you think make your stories more interesting?


My mother is a life coach. And while I know that that is neither my hobby nor my skill, I notice myself picking up on many of the things she teaches. In her perusing her dream of helping people, she has really helped me in the character development area. I think I understand people and why they do what they do more so than when I first started writing (before she became a life coach). I will often find myself writing a version of what she teaches unknowingly.

I almost had a character once who was a life coach.  It's an interesting profession.  Do you write as a hobby, or would you like it to be your career?

Currently, yes, writing is a hobby for me. I do, however, hope to one day transform it into a career.

In what unexpected places have you found inspiration?

Inspiration is strange for me because I can look at a bread crumb or a door or something so simple and instantly form the entire plot of a book around it. And other times I can only see what is in front of me rather than what I can make it in to. It depends on the day and what tense my mind is currently in (regretting/remembering the past, being grateful/hateful for the present, worrying/dreaming about the future). Typically, I am most inspired when I am living in the now.

Do you have any advice for writers just starting out or trying to navigate the new maze of publishing?
           
My advice to new writers is this: write for you and take your readers into consideration. Not the other way around.

That's pretty good advice.  When writers write what's natural to them, they create better books for their readers.



Let's talk about your book.  Did your title come to you easily, or did you have to search for it?

The title of the book on my computer desktop is actually completely different than the final title. I had my heart set on one title for a while, but as the book grew, the title grew with it and eventually stopped with ERA.

What’s something you’ve wanted to tell people about your book or its inspiration that you haven’t yet?

Because I am still in high school, when I tell people that I wrote a book, and am currently working on another, they are one of three things: ecstatic, disbelieving, or confused. It’s funny to me in a way because writing, for me, is just like any other passion. And I want them to know that I am not an invalid, or a prodigy, I am simply pursing my passion.

Did the book turn out the way you thought it would, or did it throw you some curveballs?

When I initially started to write this book, it wasn’t supposed to be a book. I had this cast of characters shouting in my head and these castles and lions distracting me from homework, so I wrote them down. As more words appeared, it went through phases. There was one phase with a magical hedgehog, one with a pixie, one with a ghost-like creature that made you relive your worst memories. But after proofreading and editing over and over. And over. And over. I realized that those additions weren’t quite right for this book, and the focus of the novel began to shift to the characters and their journey.

I know you're planning this as a series.  Would you like to tell us about it?  How is the next book similar to or different from this one?

I am currently working on the second book in the ERA series. This one is different, let me tell you. While the first one was mainly focused on two characters and a definite plot, the second one dives a bit deeper into each character’s heads. We get to see what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling, and what they are planning (to some extent). This presence of deeper emotions and internal dilemmas causes the book to seem heavier. I’m still working on it, though:)

What haven’t you written about yet that interests you?

I love to write with colors. When I write, I am more or less translating a series of movie clips in my head into words on a page. And, when I see these clips, they are FULL of color. Viridescent trees, rosy pink petals, a buttery sunset. However, I would love to explore the idea of a book with absolutely no color at all. A city of grays and sharp edges. And then bring color to that world instead of having the color already embedded in the story.

I'm not surprised to learn how much color is a part of your process.  I liked the use of vivid colors when I started reading ERA.

Era (The ERA Series) is available for sale in paperback and ebook at Amazon.  You can download a free sample there, too, which I highly recommend.

If you want to learn more about K. Kirchner and see some of her insightful photography, check out her publishing company website, Words For Write.

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