About K.D. Kinney:
I moved a ridiculous number of times all over the country by the time I turned 18, and no, we were not a military family. I think my mom is a gypsy at heart. I have a treasure trove of memories from all the places I’ve lived to draw from, even traveling to and from Alaska by car. Finally living in one place long enough, I now call Boise, Idaho my home. I spend my days writing with my Chiweenies, Dobby and Yoda, sleeping at my feet . That is when they aren’t chasing squirrels or barking at every thump in the house. I would probably get more done if Oliver the cat wasn’t in my face when I’m trying to view my laptop screen. I have five daughters and am surrounded by far too much estrogen, shoes, and ponytail holders. They are the inspiration for many of my characters when writing for Young Adults.
What inspires you to write?
First of all, I have always loved reading. It was the thing I could always turn to when my life was so unsettled. I knew I wanted to write when I was in my teens and wrote stories in my head when I had constant insomnia.
My daughters are huge inspiration. Some of my daughters struggle with reading. I wanted to write in a way that would appeal to reluctant readers. I love that they have strong personalities and I love to use bits and pieces of those traits into my characters.
I use to think all the moving when I was young was terrible. Now so much of those experiences goes into what I write, whether it is the locations, adventures while roaming the woods in Alaska with my sister, the feelings and anxiety that comes with always being the new kid in class, homeschooling, working with horses, the traumas of an unstable life, the awkward moments, and those moments of when you think you’re falling in love.
Tell us about your writing process.
It depends on the story. I have outlined some stories and I have just sat down at the computer to see what comes out. I don’t have a preference. I used a beat outline on a piece of paper for one and that worked really well. I hit all the beats and wrapped up the story with a word count I was aiming for. With my Western, I had scenes in my head and I tried to write it off and on for years. It wasn’t until I sat down during NaNoWriMo a few years ago and just went for it that I got it all out exactly as I wanted it to be. I had so much fun writing that one.
With my fantasy series, I had a nightmare that I inspired a story and it turned into something rather epic. I wrote scenes in parts when I was inspired to write them and later pieced them together, knowing exactly how they fit together and worked in the transition scenes later. I don’t use that method with my stand alone books. That’s a good thing. It can be a bit of a problem trying to build the manuscript later.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t know that I listen to them or talk to them. I do try to see everything I write through my main character’s eyes. I see things as if it were a movie in my head. I have caught myself actually tilting my head or slightly acting out actions or other expressions as I write.
There is a twang that many of the characters speak with in the Western and one of the characters is inspired by my grandpa. When I read the dialogue, I try to hear him or my other New Mexico family members whenever they speak to get it right.
What advice would you give other writers?
I was scared to death to my work out at first. Criticism on my first work I put out was hard to hear. I forgot how to write after so many years of not doing it. What I forgot was how to show and not tell. Instead of completely shutting down, I researched everything and worked at it some more. The feedback was still on the fence and it made me dig deeper. I’m easily overwhelmed when trying to learn new things but I didn’t give up. My writing got better and I learned I still had it. I try to always be open to learning and finding my own answers, not waiting for someone to give it me. When I do ask for help, I try to be selective and use what information works for me. I’m not afraid to try new genres since I like to read it all. Commas continue to be the thing that trips me up. It is getting better. Also, I’m trying to stop using the word “but” so much.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I really wanted to publish traditionally. I wanted to give it a good go. I did. I wrote, I queried, had requests for partials and fulls but no offers. I have done Twitter pitch contests and got agent love there but no real bites in the end. At the same time, I was reading about self-publishing. I am huge on research and not one to jump into an endeavor like that until I felt I knew my stuff. I queried another manuscript that hit requests right from the start, good feedback on my writing, and still no real luck with representation.
I’m an independent person. I do like to do things on my own. I had some stories that I wanted to publish the story I wanted to publish without an agent or editor transforming into something else. So I decided to go for it when I felt I had the knowledge I needed. I like being in control of what I’m doing when and how I’m doing it. I also write in a lot of different YA genres and I don’t think that would have fit well with a traditional deal. So here I am.I have a lot of work I’m polishing to get out there so there is much more to come.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I see that self-publishing is gaining traction. I have experienced how hard it can be to get a traditional deal. I also see how self-publishing could get a foot in the door to a trade deal. So I don’t know. I like to watch and see where it all goes and I’m ready to adapt whatever swing it takes.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Young Adult, Historical, Realistic fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.