I love stumbling upon teens who are out there writing and getting their novels published. One such lovely lady is Kaitlyn Deann. Kaitlyn is the author of THE WITCHES SLEEP, the story of a young girl trying to find herself in the afterlife after she was shot and killed.
Thanks for being here, Kaitlyn. Let’s get started.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your novel.
My name is Kaitlyn Deann. I’m 17, a senior in high school and I’m homeschooled! My debut novel, The Witches’ Sleep, was released July 25, 2012. The Witches’ Sleep is about a girl who is shot and wakes up in a new world as a different person, where she has to learn to adapt to a culture that encourages slavery.
Wow. What a premise! Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. Almost anything can inspire me! For The Witches’ Sleep, I had watched the movie Inception, and from there I built a whole book, taking small ideas from other little things and squishing them all together, molding them until it was what I wanted.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not often. Other writers seem to have this problem a lot worse than I do. Then again, I have a few tricks up my sleeves! I like to use the method (I can’t think of the name of it right now) where you go to bed with a sentence halfway done, cutting it off. The next day when you see the sentence hanging like that, your brain will be all like, “I HAVE TO FINISH THIS!” And your brain will brainstorm how to finish it without you even realizing what just happened. Boom. Writer’s block cured, and your mind is blown.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely a plotter. This also helps me steer away from getting writer’s block because I know exactly where I want the story to go and how I want it to get there.
How did you come up with the title for your novel?
It was one of those obvious titles. Like, it’s catchy and the basis for the whole trilogy. I guess you could call it a no-brainer. Easy.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Haha, well, I’ll start from my childhood years. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a huge influence in my life as a child. When I started reading young adult novels, the Twilight Saga really solidified my love for reading. As for authors that have influenced me, I would have to say Chad Eastham was and is the biggest influence. He’s not a fiction writer; he writes non-fiction books for Christian girls about relationships. He’s really helped me with my outlook on relationships that’ll last me the rest of my life.
What project are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to The Witches’ Sleep. The title is World of the Beasts. A release date has not yet been determined.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism given to me would have to be opinions that are so opposite, I don’t really know what to do about it. Some don’t like the main character while others loved her. Some didn’t like her boyfriend, and yet others ask me if I based him on a real person because they really want to meet a guy like him. Some say there were too many pretty dresses and others say the clothing dazzled them. Some say there was too much “lovey-dovey” stuff and yet many have told me there wasn’t enough. I guess these are tough for me because I don’t know how to handle it most of the time.
The best compliment I’ve received would have to be the tear-jerker line, “Best book I’ve ever read.” It still amazes me to this day that more than a couple of people have said this about my book. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and I thank God for moments like these.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Hang out with friends, play the piano, daydream, be all girly by doing my hair and makeup, tidy the house, think about twenty different impossible things a day and mess around on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and schoolwork. Ick.
Now for the Fun questions
Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
Um, I wore a dress once and I’d forgotten to shave my legs. It was awful.
Do you prefer fuzzy or tub socks?
“Or” is my answer!
Do you make your bed in the morning?
Every morning, yes. My family jokes that I’m a little OCD when it comes to tidiness and things being “squared away”.
Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
Every day, or every other day.
Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide?
Yes, I go out of my way to kill almost any bug, especially spiders and anything that looks like it might hate me and want to suck the life out of me. I don’t hide from bugs but I will screech if it’s on me and I can’t find it or get it off or know where it is for sure, you know?! (This made me squirm just thinking about it!)
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Never give up! It’s hard, but in the end you’ll be proud of your accomplishment and you’ll be able to say, “Hey, I wrote a good book!” But to write a good book, you need to become a good writer, and that doesn’t happen overnight. I suggest studying the art of writing. Buy books and software programs to help you develop your story, your characters and your scenes. Don’t be afraid to learn. Life is all about learning. Always be learning, always be growing in your knowledge, but not just of writing. Learn new things too. Learn all you can.
Great advice! Thank you Kaitlyn for being here today. I really enjoyed having you on my blog.
For all of you out there, here’s a bit about the book:
Back cover blurb: At only seventeen, Ella Barnes is shot and killed for an unknown reason. She is shocked when she wakes up in a different world, a world of witches. Ella has to learn to adapt to a new body, new life and new world, surrounded by new people. As Ella gets to know Raena, the world of the witches and its people, she realizes they aren’t the perfect creatures they believe themselves to be, and she’s not the type of person to stand around and twiddle her thumbs. Will Ella succeed in changing the mindset of the people? Or will she be doomed to die another cold and tragic death because of her rebellion?
Bio: KAITLYN DEANN is a seventeen-year-old homeschooled student. She’s an avid reader and writer. As a writer she wants to be able to keep a reader turning the pages late into the night and give them something to think about long after they finish the last page. She loves her friends, family and God. Laughing is her favorite calorie burner. She lives in Texas with her family. To know more, visit www.authorkaitlyndeann.wordpress.com.
The Witches Sleep is available at the following locations: