Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My Interview with Kandi J Wyatt

What is your name and/or pen name?

Kandi J Wyatt 

What genre do you write?

Fantasy and Biblical Retellings 

What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve viewed myself as a writer since high school when my sister and I would take Friday nights and write stories. However, as I grew older and gained more responsibilities, writing went away. I focused on other hobbies, until around 2006 when an idea came, and I wrote it down. To my surprise, it ended up being novel length. I didn’t write any more until 2009 when inspiration hit me, and I wrote the Dragon Courage series. After that, I participated in several National Novel Writing Months, and in 2015 Dragon’s Future and the rest of the Dragon Courage series was accepted by a small hybrid press. 

How do you feel about the writing community as a whole?

I love the writing community. The majority of them are very encouraging. Indie authors in particular are the best. They realize there isn’t a huge publishing house behind them, and so they band together to help each other out. In particular Clean Indie Reads and Realm Makers Consortium are the best group of collaborative authors. I can’t say enough about either of the two. 

Have you or will you be willing to collaborate with other authors in the future?

I work with Fellowship of Fantasy in their Indie Book Club. The club is open to any reader who loves clean fantasy. We have a free ebook each month that we read and discuss together. There’s a monthly party where readers meet the author of the month and at the end are introduced to the next month’s author. It’s lots of fun and a ton of interaction between authors and readers.

Just since April, I’ve joined Realm Makers, a group designed specifically for Christian writers of speculative fiction—whether fantasy or sci-fi. I am part of my first critique group, as well as an online sprint chat group, and have joined in on the conversations on their facebook page. 

Tell us about your book and if it’s upcoming or already published.

I have nine books that have been published—seven strictly fantasy, and two Biblical retellings. The Dragon Courage series is a world where dragons and humans live in peace with each other—for the most part—and dragon riders, like everyone else, must find their purpose. Each book in the series deals with a different coming of age scenario. Journey from Skioria tells the tale of a young girl who’s washed ashore and must find her way back to human civilization. It’s a middle grade story. My Biblical retellings so far have taken a Bible story and retold it in a different setting and time period. The One Who Sees Me sets an Old Testament story into the medieval ages, while To Save a Race tells a different Old Testament account in a steampunk setting.

In September, An Unexpected Adventure will be released. When four eighth graders discover a dragon’s egg, they must choose between protecting their treasure from the NSA or protecting their town from a growing dragon! The story takes place on the rural Southern Oregon Coast. I’m currently in the editing phase and can’t wait for this story to be released. 

Is your book or upcoming book an eBook, paperback, or both?

All of my books are available in eBook, paperback, and the first three of the Dragon Courage series are available in audio format as well. My goal is to have the books available in as many formats as possible—even to the point of having Dragon’s Future translated into Spanish. 

Is this your first book?

An Unexpected Adventure will be my tenth book published since 2015. 

Are you planning to write more?

Oh, yes! (As I rub my hands together and chuckle with glee.) An Unexpected Adventure is book one of a trilogy, Myth Coast Adventures. After that, I have a Biblical retelling trilogy that will be based during Biblical times but will tell the story from a different point of view. I hope to dive back into the lands of Dragon Courage with a trilogy called Tales of the Carr. When all of those ideas run out, my husband asked his famous two words, “What if..?” That has given me a new world to explore. I’m not sure if it’ll be purely fantasy or a mix of science fiction and fantasy. Either way, there’ll be a ton of stories to tell in it. I’ll be able to traverse its history and meet many more new characters. 

Is there anything you would say to other writers, that want to write and publish a book?

Keep trying! No, you didn’t hear me. I said, Keep writing—no matter what. Find your why and stick with it. Why do you write? If you don’t have that, then when those rejection letters come, it’ll stop you cold in your tracks. And they’ll come. Your stories aren’t for everyone. Find your niche and write to them.

Find a group to help support you. Being an author is much more than just writing. It’s social media, editing, proofreading, cover art, formatting, and marketing, and doing it all over again. If you’re going to make it, it’ll take years for your name to get out there, and you’ll need to write again and again. That takes persistence and a base you can draw on for those tough times, or when you don’t know where to find the help you need. Clean Indie Reads and Realm Makers have become that for me. Be willing to give back into the community once you’ve learned. Share your ideas with others.

Don’t hold your ideas too closely, and yet, be willing to defend what you know is right for your story. Editing can be brutal. Your hard work is taken and given new words and sometimes you’re asked to rewrite whole sections. If you have a good editor, they’ll want what’s best for your story; accept their ideas with grace. However, only you know what will make your story yours. Only twice have I fought against an editor. Once was with the wording for dragon rider in Dragon’s Heir. The other was just recently with An Unexpected Adventure. I knew my setting and shook my head at the suggestions. I was able to step back, sleep on it, and then face the suggestions with grace the next morning and give a bit more details to help explain the setting.

Have fun! Being an author is work, but allow it to be fun as well. Enjoy meeting your readers, the writing process, and the interaction with other authors. 

Where can my readers find your book and how can they follow you on social media? Leave only links that you want open to the public.

You can interact with me on the following sites. I’m not as active on twitter any more, but I do check it every so often. The rest of the sites are updated regularly.

     Learn about my books, follow my blog, and interact with the various worlds.

     I share info about books, cross-post fun memes and videos, and share recipes.

This site usually just has links to my blog, but occasionally I’ll share other content that I’ve found online if it gives me an option to share to google plus.

Follow boards for my stories and see what I’m thinking about writing as I link articles related to my research as I write and as I brainstorm.

     Find all my books here, and sign up to receive an email when new books release.

Thank you so much Kandi for this informative and detailed interview. I now feel a connection with you and your husband because I constantly ask myself what if, and why not, questions when I am writing. 
Kandi has a large selection of books and I hope everyone will take the time to look them over and buy one to read.

As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone

G. D. Talbot

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