Author Interview – Kayla Smith

I met Kayla about a year ago, when I first published Our Moon. I can’t remember exactly how we met, but I believe we may have participated in each other’s release parties? Maybe? Anyway, we’ve been chatting ever since and are now both participating authors in a multi-genre readers group, Readers of the Hidden Trove. If you’re not a member, check it out!

About Kayla, the author:

Tell us about your books/series, feel free to include links!

Devina is about a vampire, not just a normal vampire, she is a Royal Vampire. They are stronger and more powerful than regular vampires. Also, vampires are born not created. If they are created they are evil. Anyway, she is driven by revenge to catch the two men responsible for killing her mom and dad. On her quest to find them she meets Sebastian. Her destined mate. They go through hell and back but eventually figure out who is after her parents and them.

You can get Devina here Amazon or Smashwords.Kayla9

My Pandora series is about a girl who grew up in this world, but was born in Pandora, the kingdom she is a Princess of. She is also the key to winning the sixteen-year long war that the Evil Queen has been so kind to lead. Jackie is blessed, or cursed, with many gifts that a normal Pandorian would only dream of having. But these powers, although powerful, may lead to her premature death, if not used correctly. Zack, her lifelong best friend is there with her every step of the way. He has agreed to be her personal guard and he helps train her. You can get Return to Pandora at Amazon or Smashwords.

You can also get Into Pandora book 2 at Amazon or Smashwords.

What genre(s) do you write in?

I mostly stick to Paranormal. I like that anything can happen in a supernatural book. I tired writing one that wasn’t and I kept finding myself lost with where to take it.

Are any of your books your favorite?

Yes, one that I am working on right now. It doesn’t have a title yet. But it’s in the works and I am loving it.   

Where do you get your inspiration from? How do you come up with your characters and stories?

Most of the time they come in dreams. Yes, I dream up most of my stories. Except, sometimes they run through my head at the oddest of times. I could be driving home from a long day at work and my brain is still going strong. I came up with a new story that I am working on with another author at the moment from one of my drives home. But another story I am working on came from a dream. Well, more than one dream. Once I have an idea and I start writing it, my brain goes into overdrive giving me all these endless possibilities that I can add into my book.

I can relate. I have the same issues with my characters and inspiration. They start talking to me at the most random and unexpected times! ~ Jennifer

Are there any characters you love more than others? Why?

I think it’s Devina. But when I first wrote Pandora I was in love with how I made Jackie, strong, yet innocent in her lack of knowledge and her ability to actual take a life.

Devina is an adult, so she is strong willed and knows what she wants. She is fierce and doesn’t care for anyone but Ally. Ally is her “sister” and Devina will kill anyone who tries to harm her. Even though she is fierce she is still vulnerable and Sebastian brings that vulnerability out of her more and more.

Any characters you hate? Why?

Hate is a strong word. But, I dislike one or two from my Pandora series. They wont make it far in this series. And those die or have died are the ones I didn’t care for when I was writing the story.

If you were in a bind, which one of your characters would you call? Why?

Devina. She is very resourceful.

Kayla11Are there any pieces of you in your books?

More of me in Return to Pandora than Into Pandora, and my sassiness is a big part of Devina. But I can’t tell you which parts of me are in Jackie, because well, because that’s just not that important. lol

Which of your books would you recommend to a new reader?

I would first have to ask if they like vampires or not. If they do, then I immediately tell them to read Devina. If not then I tell them to go for Return to Pandora.

Why and when did you start writing?

I was depressed and writing came naturally to me. Writing also cheered me up more so I made it part of my life.

What’s the most difficult part of being a writer?

I would have to say that it varies during each book. I hate edits. No I despise them. But marketing and keeping up with it is the hardest part, besides getting people who have read my books to review them.

What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Starting a new story is always the best. New characters, new adventures, and new everything. Even if its book 4 in a series, it’s still the best.

How do you handle criticism…constructive or otherwise?

I have had to deal with criticism in everything I have ever done. I know it helps to shape me, and I try to ignore the nasty and use the rest to better myself and my writing, but I don’t get too worked up with it. We are always going to have people that don’t like what we write even if it’s a NY times best seller. It’s part of the job.

What’s the best advice you’ve received as an author?

To get a professional editor and use better covers. My first book, long before my Pandora series was a horrible book. The storyline was great, but the book lacked an editor and a lot of the things wrong with it would have been fixed if I had only just paid for it then.

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

I need snacks, and music. I prefer Reese’s, but chocolate in general in the best.  

How do you handle writer’s block?

I read. I read anything I have or can get in the same genre I am writing and after that book is done I go back to my keyboard and my brain is actually functioning again.

Do you have a go-to book blog?

No, I am still new to this blog business.

What is one thing you want people to know about you as an author?

That I strive to make each book better than the last and I am a very hardworking individual.

Do you have a current WIP, upcoming release, or other exciting book news you’d like to talk about?

I am working on book 3 of Pandora Series. If by some miracle I have it done before the end of the year I will have that one in December. I also have another book Michelle and I are working on and we planned for December as well. So we will see. That last one is still in the very early stages of being written so there isn’t much to discuss. I can’t really discuss book 3 of Pandora just because things I say will be a giveaway, but it is coming along great and there are many surprises laced into this beauty.

About Kayla, the person:

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I have 3 kids. I got married August 1st, I’m super excited. I also work full time as a Department manager for McDonald’s. I’ve working for McDonald’s for 10 years, and even though I am still there, I work hard and like it because they work with my schedule as a mom.

Favorite thing about your hometown?

My hometown is small. I knew everyone around my age, but it is a boring town, there isn’t much to do. No theater or mall, or anything like that for kids. But, my favorite part is the trial from West Street school (that starts in Southbridge) that leads you to Westville Dam (that ends in Sturbridge). Westville Dam is a nature trail as well. It circles the dam, and there are places to fish, and have picnics and parties.

Farthest place you’ve traveled from home?

My new place of living. Florida. I used to live in Massachusetts.

Favorite…Food? Color? Place? Movie? TV show? Song? Band? Etc…(whatever favorite things you’d like to share)

Food, Lasagna, Colors. Are purple, red, and lime green. Place, Westville dam. TV Show, only one? I love Arrow, the Flash, NCIS, Bones, The Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time. There are many more. These are my top choices.

Any weird collections?

I collect Scooby-Doo items. I have at least 10 stuffed animals and figurines in the boxes still. I even have a Pez collection of them.

Strange habits?

Define strange. I am a very unique induvial. All of my habits, may be strange. haha

What is something you’d like the book community to know about you as a person?

I am shy at first, and some people take it as me being rude. I have no intentions of being a rude person, I just don’t know how to make small talk with strangers. (Yeah, I’m that person.) Once you get to know me, I am pretty out going and enjoy spending time with everyone. So if you ever meet me, give me time to come out of my shell, I promise, I am not always that quiet and unsocial. Just ask my boss. 😉

Links:

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Newsletter
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page

I’m so excited to have had Kayla here today. I hope you’ll check out her books and find something you like! Also, congrats to Kayla on being a newlywed! I wish you all the best!!

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If you’re an author, reader, or blogger and you want to be featured here in an interview, spotlight, or guest post. Let me know! jenniferlallenauthor@gmail.com

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