Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Kayeleen Hamblin

Today I'd like to introduce you to, Kayeleen! She is so very nice and has some fantastic story ideas that I'm dying to read! You can check out her blog here.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

My trip down Writers' Road is a little more round-about than some. I wrote a lot (and I do mean a lot) in my grade school years and when I graduated from high school, I majored in English. I thought I would be an English teacher in high school. That lasted for about one year. Life happened. I took a break from college. I forgot about how much I loved writing and books. I came back to college. I majored in Psychology. I decided to be a therapist. I graduated. I got married. I got pregnant. Everything else got put on hold. One night, I couldn't sleep and my husband said, "Try telling yourself a story." I got so caught up in the story, I had to write it down. I finished the first draft in about 6 weeks. Now. I have three kids and several manuscripts in various stages of writing/revising and no signs of ever slowing down.

Six weeks? Awesome time for your first book!

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?

I wish I had a schedule! I have a 5 month old baby and she is super clingy. She only naps well when I'm holding her, so most of my writing is done while she's napping in my lap. If I'm really lucky, I can put her down after she's asleep and crank out the words. I try to write after the other kids go to bed and my husband can take little girl, but honestly, I'm not as productive in the evenings.

I hear ya. Three kids makes it hard to write. Not that I would trade them for anything. :)

Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

Let's see. I used to play this game with my husband when we were dating called "You don't know." The rules were that you had to tell the other person something they didn't know about yourself. I ran out of things to say after a while and haven't ever recovered.

I grew up in a small own in Southern Utah and I still live there. I'm the oldest of 8 kids. We just bought a house a block away from my mom and dad, which is great for the kids. I married a guy I met while I was in high school, but it took him 10 years to convince to be more than friends. (You can ask for a more detailed version of that story, if you want.) I sing fairly well. I play piano fairly poorly. I can use various accents, like Irish. I have visited Canada and Washington, DC and lived in he Kansas City area for almost 2 years. I think I'm hilarious, but only to people who really know me.

LOL I'd love to hear the rest of the story about you and your hubby!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)

I would have to bring my supply of chocolate. I am a sugar junkie. Or, maybe I would bring desserts in general. Wouldn't want to burn out on chocolate.

Mmmm.... chocolate.... *drools*

What is one book you could read over and over and over?

I have a few of these. I read Pride and Prejudice, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, and The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery at least once a year. All three have female leads in different circumstances and a bit of a love story to them.

Sigh. More books to add to my to-read list... :)

What book are you dying to read this year?

I am anxiously waiting for my copy of Elana Johnson's Possession to get to my house. I have a pretty long TBR list and there's a lot of books coming out this year. Supernaturally. Crossed. And more.

SO excited for Supernaturally and Crossed!

What genre do you write and why?

I'm currently writing YA fairytale retellings with a twist. I'm a sucker for the happy endings. I love seeing things work out for the hero and go wrong for the villian. And I love the daydream that writing fairytales feels like.

I love fairytale retellings. Love, love, LOVE them! And I am also a sucker for a happy ending. :)

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

My writing time is spent largely ignoring things. I ignore Thomas the Tank Engine and Dora the Explorer. I ignore housework. I ignore the baby in my lap. I usually have my laptop propped up next to me and a portable keyboard that can be repositioned, depending on the stage of awakeness of the baby. I haven't ever had a playlist or anything like that. It seems counterproductive when I could be singing "I'm the map" with my boys.

I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map! *shudders* Yes, I know it too. :P

Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?

Most of my ideas have been things that come just as I'm falling asleep. I don't remember dreams very clearly, but my mind wanders a lot and it takes me a while to fall asleep. A lot of them are "what if" questions I've asked myself. I use time when I'm doing mundane, everyday things like showers and washing dishes to hone the ideas.

I am the WORST when it comes to falling asleep. My brain is always going a million miles an hour, but for some reason I never get story ideas when I'm tired. So, I lay in bed just staring at the ceiling. Or my bookshelf. My hubby hits the pillow and is gone. Grrr... I do get lots of ideas in the shower and while driving though. :)

Any advice for aspiring authors?

My best advice would be to get involved. Writing is such an isolated thing. You sit in your own world and type away. Make friends in the writing community so that you have people to help you and understand what you are doing. You need people who can look over your work and help you improve it. And you need

Don't just get involved with other writers, either. The best writing is drawn from our own experiences and you can't do that if you never experience anything. Take some time to get out and live. Have a real life.

GREAT advice. Live and have a real life. Love it.

Random Writing Question: If your MC could meet any fairy tale creature/person, who would it be and why?

I think this question might be a little bit of a cheat for me, since I write fairy tales. My take on them combines fairy tales in a new way, so this is actually the question I ask myself all the time. "What if Sleeping Beauty met the Beast from Beauty and the Beast?" "What would happen if you combine Cinderella with the Ugly Duckling?" There's probably a dozen stories that combine the different fairy tales. It's pretty awesome.

How fun! Can't wait to read your books! Thank you so much, Kayeleen!


Nisa said...

It's always fun to get to know you better, Kayeleen! You made your husband wait for you too? lol! I love fairytale retellings. Fun genre!

Sarah Pearson said...

Thank you both, I'll be checking out Kayeleen's blog later. Just one thing...I don't think it's possible to 'burn out' on chocolate. I've been trying for many many years and I haven't hit the bottom yet :)

Robin Weeks said...

Nice to meet you, Kayeleen! You absolutely have to share your love story!

Katie Dodge said...

Great getting to know you, Kayeleen! :D

Ruth said...

Hiya Kayeleen! Love fairytale retellings! Even better when they have a twist:)

Angie said...

Great interview. I like to daydream stories to help me get to sleep too. And I know how it is to write with little kids. When my kids were young, I could only write short stories. Best of luck in your writing, Kayleen!

Megan Dolan said...

Thanks for this interview Chantele! I am astonished and happy to see (for the first time) that someone shares my complete and total love of The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. That has been my favorite book since I was a kid. I remember getting it from Troll Book Order in elementary school. Do other people remember Troll Book Order? Best thing ever!

Sierra Gardner said...

Great interview! I knew I thought you guys were cool for a reason... =)

Jolene Perry said...

Great interview!
That was so fun :D

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Thanks everyone! Some have asked if that is a wedding picture. It is. My mom made the dress. It's nice to meet all of you.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I can't believe she can type one-armed! Way amazing. And those fairy tale mash-ups sound awesome!