Please help me welcome Author Sierra Kay to the blog. Welcome Sierra.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a national bestselling and award-winning author with an M.A. in Writing from DePaul University. I’ve won a Nuyorican Poets Cafe Short Story Slam and participated in comedy fests as a member of Spankx, N20 Comedy, and Suspicious Package, respectively. I love writing poetry and suspense novels.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m planning. I have characters in my head battling for supremacy. I’m currently working on sketches for a show in August. So, it’s rare that I don’t have a project of some sort in the works.
Do you have a day job as well?
Yes, I work in Digital Marketing as my day job.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve always written. I used to do more poetry. However in 2011/2012, I started writing novels.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I found my voice as a writer when I wrote From Behind the Curtain, which launched in 2014. My favorite movie is The Wiz. I’ve always loved a good musical. We were having a conversation at work about what a contemporary version would look like and From Behind the Curtain was born. From then, suspense called to me.
Where do you get your ideas?
I write contemporary retellings of my favorite tales from childhood. For instance, my last project, Sweet Whispers of the Devil, was based on the Old Woman that Lived in a Shoe.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
When I get writer’s block I usually just change genres until I figure out the problem in the story that has me blocked. I’ll write a few poems or a sketch. When I’m blocked, it’s normally because there’s a problem in the story that needs a solution and I don’t have it. So, the story has nowhere to go. Once I have my “eureka” moment, the story starts flowing again.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I just write, which probably means my projects take longer because everything isn’t worked out in advance.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I would have to say Brothers Grimm fairy tales influenced me. In the Midst of Fire references Hansel and Gretel and At the Touch of Love references Sleeping Beauty. The real intriguing part is if you read versions from other cultures, you get different experiences. I never wanted to do a straight retelling with different character names. The darkness from Grimm is there. However, I’ve taken my stories on a completely different path.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I’m working with a group called NK Tribe Called Success. For me, working with other great writers and leveraging resources to share best practices and push each other’s work has been tremendously educational.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Since I write suspense, I’m hoping to never personally experience in real life what I put my characters through. However, there are elements of my life that are infused in the lives of my characters. I believe it makes the story stronger and more authentic.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The first chapter is my favorite to write. It gives me my main character. It lays the foundation for the direction of the story. And if my first chapter can hook the reader, then they’ll continue the journey with me.
What project are you working on now?
I’m working on tale loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. Poor Red. She’s going through a few things. The wolves (yes, there’s more than one) are delectable creates that I’m having a blast writing.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I’m hoping to publish a book later this year. My current project doesn’t have a launch date yet.
Great Midwest Bookfest – July 13, 2019 Greatmidwestbookfest.com
Cavalcade of Authors — September 27, 2019 – https://naleighnakai.com/15th-cavalcade-of-authors
Purchase Links – https://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Kay/e/B0737MN1B6