Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus (FSF): So Kathryn, when did you know you wanted to be a writer and describe the journey that led to your publication of Between Worlds?
KT Wilder (KTW): I started writing and telling stories young, thanks to my mother. She was the one that encouraged reading which lead me to writing. I really started writing in my teens, during highschool. I was used to be a very active person but I spent a few months laid up due to sports injuries. In that down time writing really picked up speed. Between Worlds took about 10 years to come full circle, starting as a short story. It was inspired by a piece of art I saw online, a fallen angel with blue eyes. Over the years of graduating highschool and going into college, I finally finished a draft. I reached about 55,000 words during the National Writer’s Month Challenge and that made up the first very rough draft. I left it alone for a few months and ended up doing 7 drafts over 3 years. The first few months of covid made draft 8, and I published in July.
FSF: Awesome. So can you give our audience a bit of a background on the novel and why it should be their next click?
KTW: Absolutely! The story starts with Faelyn. She is a brave, impulsive Guardian with her young wyre, Celestin. Their job is one that keeps them traveling all around their world with one main goal – keep watch for dangers. Ten years before the start of the story, a lethal virus broke out and destroyed the populations of all peoples before disappearing. After rumors of the viruses return start to stir, Faelyn finds proof that something is happening again. She comes across Warren, her friend who should be dead. Its definitely fitting that this was published during a pandemic. I promise there’s no social distancing and quarantines in this one! I wrote this when I needed hope and adventure. I hope during times like these, someone could read this story and enjoy it like I did when I wrote it. It has a little something for everyone – romance, epic fights, furry dragons, danger, and a rainbow of characters.
FSF: So do you write with an audience in mind or do you write for yourself and hope that readers will come along for the ride?
KTW: I definitely write for myself. Writing is cathartic for me. It was only during editing I put focus on how readers will receive the story. I hope its a good ride!
FSF: How much of yourself and people in your personal life make it into your work?
KTW: There’s a lot of me in my stories. I use writing to process my experiences and emotions, so there’s definitely some strong feelings in the words. I don’t use too many real people inspirations often, but there are a few people in my life who have most definitely inspired certain characters and their quirks.
FSF: Who are some of the biggest influences on your writing. Draw from not only books and authors but also other forms of media.
KTW: The first author that truly inspired me was Christopher Paolini. Eragon completely captivated me and kickstarted an adolescent writing phase. The movie AVATAR is also a big inspiration for me. The concepts and visuals of this movie are the stuff of dreams! I could watch it on repeat. I’m also inspired quite often by video games. Okami by a company called Capcom has been a huge influence, especially in Between Worlds. Assassins Creed is to thank for my fight scene inspirations. I’m a very visually motivated person so I love using pinterest to make inspiration boards. I end up doing one for almost every writing idea I come up with. Im really inspired by landscapes of places like valleys or cities at night so there are a lot of those. Music is necessary for writing. Spotify is my best friend! Epic movie scores are some of my favorites to listen to when writing but a few artists like Starset and Hidden Citizens are my most listened to.
FSF: Can you recommend some other Indie Fantasy and Sci-fi for our readers?
KTW: Fortune’s Fool by Angela Boored is awesome. I just got a copy of Seraphina’s Lament by Sarah Chorn and Im in love already!
FSF: So what takes up your time when you’re not writing?
KTW: Work, mostly. I work at a vet clinic and I’m also a licensed physical therapist assistant. I get to hold puppies a lot and make people feel better, so I think its a good use of time! I ride horses competitively, so I spend as much time as I can at the barn. I’ve managed horses for 15 years and loved every minute of it. Other than that, I like to play video games with my wife.
FSF: How important is reader interaction to you as an Indie author? How do you most like to interact with your readers?
KTW: Reader interaction is fun and interesting, I like hearing what people think of my work, be it positive or negative. Its growth either way. I love talking to readers! I love answering questions. Having a reader base is a special thing. For someone who didn’t initially want to publish stories, I really enjoy sharing them now and talking about them.
FSF: So what can we look forward to from you in the next year?
KTW: The first draft of Between’s World’s sequel will be finished! I promise not to take 10 years for this one. I’ll be keeping the facebook page active with extra content and memes. I am aiming to release more information about my other project The Story of Us, a story about a supernatural family working in a secret organization aiming to protect normal humans from all other beings.
FSF: So I like to end all my interviews with this question. What is one piece of advice that you can offer to new and aspiring authors?
KTW: Write for yourself first. Find joy and adventure in the things that excite you or scare you. Put that on the page and I promise, you will find readers like you.