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Kaylin McFarren is the author of several novels, most recently the fourth title in the Threads series. Read our BookLikes interview and get to know the author!
Kaylin has been very generous to BookLikes readers and offered SIX (!!) ebooks of her new book Twisted Threads! Enter our giveaway contest to win!
Let's start with a few questions about writing itself, and your books. How often do you write and how long at one time? What does your writing schedule look like, if you have one? And, finally, how do you manage to juggle family life, helping in your community, and writing?
I begin my day at 7:30 a.m. on a daily basis by taking my two high-maintenance puppies outside, sipping a hot cup of Chai tea, reviewing and answering dozens of emails, and posting comments and photos on my social media sites. By 9 a.m., I’m ready to rock. I review previous chapters, send my husband off to work, and orchestrate new developments in the story I’m currently working on. This can involve 4-5 hours before I take a break, stretch, and then put my energies toward a non-profit event that takes nine months to organize. After sending out dozens of letters to sponsors, music and restaurant event coordinators, I call family members and set aside a few hours every week for family-only time. It’s truly a challenge with traveling so much and participating in social engagements.
Your most recent book, Twisted Threads (book 4 in the series) was released quite recently, in November. Have you written more books that are waiting to be published, or will you start working on a new one now?
I’m currently working on my next book, titled High Flying, which involves a time travel story resulting from a near-miss plane accident.
Do you have writing goals - as in a certain number of books to publish per year, or in total?
I try to write one book each year, as it takes time not only to write the story I’d like to tell but also to edit it thoroughly and to publish it in a timely manner.
When you write, especially in the case of a series, do you have all the stories and characters planned out from the beginning and then just write them, or do they come to you as you write the book?
When I began writing the Threads series, I had characters in mind and actually wrote detailed descriptions of each one in a notebook for easy reference. As the series progressed, I became more acquainted with them and knew how my characters would react to various circumstances, which made it easier to continue their stories.
Tell us about your characters. Are they completely fictional, or are you inspired by people and stories you know?
I tend to base my characters partly on my own characteristics, and partly on the various people I’ve met over the years. I like them to be flawed, damaged, and filled with doubt, which makes their transitions into stronger, more caring individuals believable and more rewarding for readers.
Who designed your book covers? Were you very involved in choosing the covers, and, if so, how involved?
My youngest daughter, Amanda Tomo Yoshida, is an incredible, talented artist. She listens to my storyline and is quick to understand the message and thread I want to convey to readers when they ultimately see my covers. Although they all look like photographs, my covers are truly original designs, and they help me to translate my ideas into a real story while I’m still writing it.
Let's move away from your writing and talk about literature and reading in general. Who are your favorite writers, who do you admire, look up to? Any contemporary writers you are fond of? Any favorite books you'd like to tell us about?
I read dozens of books every month and have hundreds of authors I love. The ones that influenced me the most are Jodi Picoult - for her internal conflicts, personal interactions, and controversial current events - and Lisa Jackson - for her graphic descriptions, believable dialogue, page-turning murder mysteries and horror stories. I greatly admire both of these writers and continue to strive to be like them even today.
To sum up this interview let's introduce a little bit of magic and move away from the real world for a moment. If you could choose one character from a favorite book to have dinner with, or spend a day with, who would that be? What would you ask that person?
I would have to say Jane Austen's Emma mainly because she is so human. She is always plunging into such embarrassing mistakes, and yet they're the mistakes one longs to make oneself...like telling the tediously garrulous Miss Bates to shut up. And, bless her, she is truly ashamed when she does, because she is actually very nice. I guess I’d want to know why she believes herself incapable of truly loving someone and believing someone would love her completely.
Follow Kaylin McFarren's blog on BookLikes: http://4kaylin.booklikes.com/
Kaylin McFarren's books on BookLikes (click the book covers to add the books to your bookshelf):