Hello everyone, I hope everyone is having a great morning. The weather is a bit humid here on America’s east side.
Today, I had the pleasure speaking with Karyn Pearson, author of the new book Spark. This is such an amazing book and I am honored to be able to ask Karyn a few questions about her process.
Hi Karyn. Thank you for being here and having a conversation with me. When did you know that you were a writer?
I knew I was a writer back when I was eleven years old and writing Harry Potter fanfiction. I used to post my story on the Harry Potter forum there and I started to gain a following. The fact that people actually liked what I was writing and that they were telling me to write more of it made me realize that writing was something I really wanted to do. So back then I knew I wanted to share my stories with the world, and that’s what I’ve done ever since.
That’s great! The Harry Potter series was one of the novels that truly gave me a love for reading. Tell me about your writing process. Any quirks?
Oh god, yes. For the most part my writing process is pretty normal. I’ll sit and brainstorm or I’ll pass a few hours doing research before “getting in the zone” and hunkering down to get some work done. But then there are the times where I have trouble putting what I’m imagining down on a page and things can look pretty weird to the outside observer. In those times, you’ll find me doing one of two things, each of them equally bizarre.
The first thing I might be doing is carrying on conversations with my characters. I visualize my headspace as a giant manor where every character I’ve ever created lives. Each story has their own wing of the manor, but when I’m working with a particular universe, the cast of that story exits their wing and joins me in the downstairs sitting room and we all have a chat about what will happen next. During these conversations I can appear as either myself, the author, or as a character from the story I’m working on. I embody that character and interact with the story’s universe and its characters. Naturally, when having these conversations, I end up doing character voices, which I’m sure if anyone were to watch me doing it would find to be very strange.
And if that wasn’t weird enough, the second thing I might be doing is acting out scenes. Mostly I do this for action sequences, but sometimes I do it for key plot points as well. For some reason my brain processes better if I can visualize the scene in action. Translating physical action into words just works somehow. For me, I’d say it’s just a matter of acting out what I want to happen and then trying to figure out the words to describe the action.
That’s very interesting! Did you go to school for writing or were you born with the skill?
I don’t want to say I was born with the skill because that sounds a bit presumptuous. More accurately, I would say I was nurtured by culture to become a great writer. From a very young age I loved to read. My favorite days in elementary school were the Scholastic Book Fairs. And then of course, I read the Harry Potter books as I grew up, starting at eight years old, so I had some very excellent examples of good writing. When it came time for me to write my own stories, the forms and styles I had read before were ingrained in me. So I did my best to emulate the styles of great authors until I eventually found my own voice through writing my own novels.
Harry Potter was an inspiration to most of our generation. It is amazing how many young writers were inspired by J. K. Rowling. What is the most difficult part about writing?
The most difficult part about writing is the struggle of transferring ideas to the page. I can envision the most extraordinary thing and when it comes time to write it down, I find myself unable to find the words to describe it.
I think that is a universal issue in the writer’s world. What do you like best about writing?
I like the freedom to create whatever I want. I can write whatever fits my fancy and I don’t have to worry about it sounding ridiculous or strange. My only limitation is my imagination.
Who inspires you the most?
Probably J.K. Rowling. Her rags-to-riches story of success inspired me to become a writer and to keep persevering no matter what. She struggled so much before she became the worldwide icon she is today, and the fact that she triumphed despite those circumstances showed me to keep pushing forward, no matter what life throws my way.
That’s great and so true. No one should ever give up on their dreams, no matter how hard times get. Who is your favorite historical figure?
Nice! What animal do you think represents you the most and why?
Probably a cat, which is ironic as I’m a dog-owner, because I’m keen and intelligent like a cat and I’m small, as far as height’s concerned. And I’m pretty quiet and very introverted, also a cat-like trait.
Has your writing style changed much other the years?
Yes, definitely. When I first started writing, I mostly emulated the writing styles of other authors. I had yet to find my own unique author’s voice. But over time as I got older and more experienced, I started branching out and began writing original works and my own voice began to emerge. I’ve noticed recently though that my voice changes depending on what I’m working on. I make different stylistic choices for different stories.
That’s cool. Do you write one book at a time for do you have multiple projects going on at once?
I have multiple projects going on at once, but I try to work on one at a time. However, there have been times where I have two word documents open and I’m going between the two. Currently, I have revisions for the sequel to Spark that I’m working on, an original science-fiction story, an Inuyasha fanfiction, a Naruto fanfiction, and a planned original horror story involving ghosts and shadow people.
Wow, I am a huge anime fan and Inuyasha and Naruto is one of my favorite. I usually write a cafe, Do you have a favorite place to write? If so, where?
Not really. I tend to write at my desk in the living room.
If you could pick any time in history to live, when would it be and why?
Feudal Japan during the Sengoku (Warring States) Period, because I love the history and culture of the whole era. I’ve always been fascinated by samurai and the shogun and the court ladies of Japan with their ornate kimonos.
Wow, that’s great! I lived in Japan for two and a half years. It is an amazing place to live and write! What is your favorite quote and who said it?
I have so many favorites, but one I can think of offhand was said by Neil Gaiman: “Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.”
I’ve never heard of that quote but I will definitely look him up. How attached do you become to your characters?
I become very highly attached to my characters. I see each of my characters as an embodiment of one trait or quality I personally possess, or someone close to me in real life possesses. So when bad things happen to my characters, I can empathize with them and I feel their pain. I laugh with them, cry with them, and I rage with them.
That’s awesome! Where did you get the inspiration for your novel?
Inspiration comes from many different sources. Sometimes it’s from TV, sometimes it’s from reading books. Other times, it hits me out of the blue. It really just depends where my mind is at when inspiration strikes.
What is the best advice you can give to a new writer?
I would say that no matter what happens, if writing is what you want to do, then do it. Don’t give up, no matter what people say. They might laugh or roll their eyes at your dream to be a writer or they might ridicule you and tell you your dreams are foolish. But don’t listen to them. Prove the naysayers wrong and set out to accomplish everything you promised yourself you would do. Just don’t give up because it seems like the rest of the world who just doesn’t “get it” wants to see you fail. Because I guarantee that as long as you keep pushing forward, that dream will come true.
That is great advice, thank you! What is the weirdest interview question, if any, you have ever been asked and what was your answer?
I have yet to encounter a weird question. Perhaps someone should ask me one.
Haha! I will think of one next time we talk. Do you have plans for a future novel?
Yes. For this November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I will be writing the final book in the Hellfire Trilogy.
NaNoWriMo is a great motivator for writers! I was recommend all writers to get involved. Where can fans contact you?
I can be found on Twitter @kp_writes and on my Facebook fan page here: https://www.facebook.com/KPWrites
Great! Where can fans buy your book?
My book is available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon.co.uk, B&N Nook, Smashwords, and Kobo.
Thank you so much for speaking to me today. I had a blast and I hope you did, too.
Series: The Hellfire Series
Author: Karyn Pearson
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: The Writing Network
Formats Available In: Digital
Release Date: June 23, 2013
Blurb: For centuries, the powers of Heaven and Hell have been at war, locked in a perpetual stalemate. Fifty years ago, the war spilled out on Earth and the last modern age of man ended. Humanity now finds itself at the brink of annihilation, barely surviving in small pockets of civilization scattered across the globe. But even in the direst of circumstances, the human spirit lives on.
Now, in this post-apocalypse, humanity has but one choice: resist or die. In order to combat the forces of Hell, man has learned to fight, training from their youth to hunt the demons that threaten their very existence.
Twenty-five years ago, a demon hunter dared rise against an ancient demon family, the Saligia—the Seven Deadly Sins—and was cursed for her defiance. The curse appeared in the guise of an innocent: the huntress’s own daughter, Ardentia, who had been born with a demon soul attached to her own.
In the present day, Ardentia, now grown, seeks to free her mother from her curse by hunting down the demons responsible. But the road ahead will be difficult now that the demon within her has awakened. Trusting him is dangerous, especially when he can turn on her at a moment’s notice. Others have warned her that succumbing to the demon will be her own downfall.
Now Ardentia must decide what she’s willing to lose: her mother’s freedom or herself.
The demon snapped his fingers and the daemonis igni behind Ardentia grew blindingly bright and white-hot, the flames reaching over forty feet high and surging straight toward her. She froze with fear, knowing that in a few seconds she was about to die, burned alive in the fires of Hell.
“Ardentia!” Noxius was shouting. “Run! Run now!”
She was too scared to move. She could not even muster up the strength to take that first step. Somehow, even if she did run away, she knew that the flames or Gula would end up devouring her anyway.
Distantly, she could hear the voices of her comrades, yelling for her to run, to find higher ground, but still, she could not move.
Noxius snarled with irritation, muttering a stream of curses in lingua daemon.
“Idiot girl!” he hissed at her. “I’ve no other choice. I simply cannot allow us both to die here.”
And then an indescribable force slammed against the inside of Ardentia’s skull. She saw bright lights pop in front of her eyes, nearly blinded with pain, and dropped to her knees in a daze. Dimly, she could feel Noxius seizing control; his power coursed through her, flooding her with an unimaginable strength and power that she was incapable of using. Her hand started to reach for the reliquary dangling from her belt, only to feel an invisible hand within her snatching it away.
“What are you doing?” she asked weakly.
“You’ll thank me in a moment,” Noxius answered her.
Ardentia’s eyes fell shut and she thought she could hear the sound of wings being spread then close around her. If she leant to the side ever so slightly, she swore she could feel the leathery velvet of the wing brush against her cheek.
An intense heat passed over her; she realized that it was probably the demonic fire, having reached her at last. She inhaled sharply, preparing to scream as she burned in the hellish pyre, only to find that she did not need to. There was only heat but no flames. She was not burned.
Karyn Pearson is a post-grad university student with a B.A. in Anthropology, currently living in California with her two dogs. Over the years, she has created many worlds, characters, and series, which naturally makes her head a very crowded place to be.
When she’s not writing, she can be found curled up with a book, playing video games, doing research for her books on the web, or attempting to not burn the house down with another kitchen experiment, a hobby otherwise known as cooking.