Name K.C. Sprayberry
Where are you from Northwest Georgia
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born and raised in Southern California. School was private until eighth grade, and then the public high school and onto college. A change in career plans had me joining the Air Force. That became an adventure I will never forget or regret. Not only did I see places in the United States where I’d never been, but I also had a chance to explore Europe when I wasn’t on duty.
My last duty station, Luke AFB in Phoenix, wasn’t the end of my travels. About a year after my discharge, I moved to Denver, where I met up with the man who would be my second husband. From there, we migrated to Northwest Georgia, where we live in a small, rural town where everyone knows your business ten minutes before it happens. That’s when I began writing, which coincided with the birth of my youngest child.
For the first time in my adult life, I was a stay at home Mom. Not one to be satisfied with the normal day to day life of that position, I accepted my husband’s challenge to begin writing full time, to fulfill a dream I’d had since I was a child. It wasn’t long before I discovered my niche, young adult coming of age books. Not that I don’t write in other genres, the story always dictates what kind of book it will be, but I’m happiest when I’m appealing to teens with books that will capture their attention and show them different ways to handle problems.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest YA coming of age novel, Lost & Scared, released on March 3. This book is a psychological thriller about non-custodial parental abduction. It’s heartbreaking, intense, and has moments of incredible joy. A couple of people involved in the process of writing this book told me that I had the makings for a second book, and idea I discarded, until my characters returned, demanding that I finish the story, let the world know how they moved on from what they experienced. Lost & Scared II The Hard Road Back has begun and promises to be even more intense than the first book.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
The love of writing has always been with me. English was always my favorite class, compositions what I looked forward to the most. I devoured books as a child, never satisfied with the offerings for teens during the late sixties and early seventies. They were so scarce, and consisted mostly of mysteries. The stories I created then were adventures where girls didn’t stick with the expected types of jobs. They got dirty, rode bikes like the guys did, and pretty much didn’t let anyone stop them from doing what they could.
Why did I begin writing? It’s part of who I am, deeply embedded in my soul. Not writing is the worst thing I can imagine.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think in many ways, I’ve always considered myself a writer. I had a diary as a child and was always jotting down cute stories on pieces of paper. Once I learned the importance of description and balancing narrative and dialogue, I always kept a notebook at hand, to jot down thoughts, or record descriptions of places I visited.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’d been writing short stories for a while and had sold more than a few. But I wanted more. The vision of a book was always right there in front of me. My first attempt at a book was a great learning experience, but I soon realized it would never sell. So I began researching topics that teens found interesting and reading books on those topics, both fiction and non-fiction. After many starts and stops, Softly Say Goodbye, began to develop. Underage drinking is a problem that’s been around forever. Teens, alcohol, and vehicles are a bad combination. All these elements were good, but I needed a hook, and that took reading many novels with this as a theme, until I realized there were very few books that concentrated on the protagonist standing up against underage drinking because that’s how they felt. I didn’t want a teen who gave up alcohol and went on a crusade. I was in the market for a character who had deep seated beliefs, and was willing to take a stand because that’s how she rolled.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m mostly a panster, an author who writes by the seat of her pants. I’ve tried outlining, but by chapter two, I’m off and running, away from what I planned. Yes, I do research, sometimes before I begin writing, other times while I’m in the middle of a plot point.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For my current book, Lost & Scared, it took some work to come up with the right title. It was originally Gone, but there are a lot of books with that as the title. I tried every synonym of that I could think of, but they were all also taken. The next title I came up was Goodbye Forever, but that changed because the book’s ending changed. Then I worked through the plot line, read the story with an eye as to where I could figure out a title, and came up with Lost & Scared, to express the feelings of the twins who are my main characters.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, that you can stand up for yourself, no matter what you think you aren’t capable of doing. Keri, the female main character in Lost & Scared, doesn’t think she’s good at the physical stuff, that her brother, Shane, has a lock on that. Until she’s faced with escaping her worst nightmare, she leans hard on her Big Bro, but then discovers an inner core of strength and a fierce protectiveness for her younger siblings, and manages to do what has to be done to keep those children safe.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Like all of my young adult coming of age books, I work hard to add in the layers to create characters and situations that feel real, seem real, and hit the reader at a level where they begin to believe these people are real and could be friends. To do that, I have to create three dimensional characters who become as real to the reader as their own friends. There are always flaws, moments where a person can say, “Hey, I did something like that.” and the way these fictional teens extract themselves from a problem are much like any other teen would do.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To a degree, everything I’ve experienced, or witnessed, or my children have gone through somehow finds its way into my books. It might be something small, like hanging upside down way above the ground, or finding themselves confronted by a person they’d rather avoid, but they are there, a part of the book as much as they a part of our lives.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
My mentor is my husband of more than twenty-two years. He’s always been my cheerleader, and my biggest critic. I don’t know many people who can say their spouse or significant other will tell them a book won’t work for this reason or that, but my husband does.
The books that have influenced me the most are Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, anything by Robert Heinlein or Anne McCaffrey, Isaac Asimov, Franklin Dixon (The Hardy Boys), Caroline Keene (Nancy Drew), and Julie Campbell Tatham/Kathryn Kenny (Trixie Belden). The last three series are books I read as a teen and couldn’t get enough of them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Beyond the Shadows by LaVerne Clark
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve known many authors since I began writing, but I have to say KateMarie Collins, Mel Massey, Margo Bond Colins, M.A. Cortez, April Erwin, and Donna Alice Patton are the tops of new authors I’ve discovered. All are fabulous and work in many different genres, which attracts me because I don’t like sticking to any one genre.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Paradox Lost (Books 2,3, & 4), Canoples Investigations (Books 3 through 6), The Call Chronicles (Books 2 through 4), Ghost Flight, Deadly Trust, Shhh! Don’t Tell, Ghosties—Trouble to the Max, Shamed, and Lost & Scared II The Hard Road Back. I think that’s enough to list, although there are many, many more in various stages of development.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
That’s hard, but I’d have to say Solstice Publishing, my publisher. They’ve believed in me since they offered me my first contract for Softly Say Goodbye.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely, there is no other way to view it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I’m satisfied with how Lost & Scared worked out. There are a couple of plot points that weren’t completely cleared up, but those will be taken care off early on in the second book.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Not really. I just always wanted to write stories.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Lost & Scared II The Hard Road Back focuses on Keri and Shane after they graduate high school and prepare for college. Their plans have changed, due to the events in the first book. Keri is now more focused on helping others who went through what she did, to the point where she’s pulling away from everyone. Shane just wants life to go back to normal and must learn that their normal will never be what it was before their dad took Keri and three other siblings away for four months.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Breaking away during tense plot moments. I can’t walk away, sleep, or even eat until I finish those. Usually, the whole thing unfolds in my head and I feel compelled to keep on writing until I have it perfect.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
To be honest, it’s a three way tie. Robert Jordan, Robert Heinlein, and Steven King are people whose books I always try to grab and read. Two of those authors are no longer with us, but the third is still publishing and treating people to his own brand of horror.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. Most of my research is done on the computer, or the library if I need to find a book on the subject.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Most of my covers have been designed by Solstice Publishing’s cover artists: Kelly D. Abell, Deb Melanie, and Shelly Crocker.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Knowing when to stop and end the story. I always want to go on. Most of my books are about a moment in time, and I wonder if the reader wants to know more.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It wasn’t so much learning anything new, but reinforcing something I learned long ago. Always trust your feelings. Don’t accept that you can’t change things by speaking up, because that’s not always the case.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. Absolutely never. Keep working, but don’t expect overnight success. That rarely happens. Success comes from working hard every day, and promoting, and getting your name known.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my books. I have a worldwide fan base, as far away as New Zealand, and as close as my neighbors. I hold all of them in great esteem. If not for my fans, I wouldn’t be able to sell my stories.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Uh, no. The first book I remember the title of is Nancy Drew and The Secret of The Old Clock. It was a Christmas gift when I was thirteen.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh over the silliness in our lives or when something is extraordinarily funny. It’s hard to pin down any one thing that will make me laugh, because I have a wicked sense of humor. Crying is something I try not to do, to avoid the clichéd “women cry over the dumbest things” commentary. If something moves me, like a recent Twitter follower whose child was taken by his non-custodial ex-wife and the website he’s dedicated to his daughter, or it can be as simple as seeing a bird dead on the ground that I grew used to seeing on my windowsill. My tears aren’t something I waste and some people have called me cold because I don’t cry at certain situations, but that doesn’t mean I’m not crying on the inside.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I love history, and especially history about the Wild West. If I could meet them, I’d love to confront the men from the OK Corral shootout and ask them just what they were thinking, or if they were even thinking at all. The recorded reasons behind that particular gunfight seem so silly, when viewed from a present almost two hundred years later.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Nail the coffin shut well, or she’ll be back!”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love cross stitching, reading books, and would one day love to get back into gardening (flowers only). I am also an avid photographer. That’s my passion, while writing is my avocation. The photography is to relax, the writing to fulfill a deep seated need within myself.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like crime dramas. Currently, I’m watching Hawaii Five-O on Netflix. The current show, I finished rewatching the one from the sixties and seventies a couple of years back. I also just finished Blood Brothers with Tom Selleck, and all of his Jesse Stone movies. I admit it. That man as Magnum captured my heart!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Lasagna, Manicotti, Enchiladas, Tacos, Pizza, pretty much any well prepared meal.
My favorite color is green, but the blue shades not the yellows.
My taste in music is all over the place. I can listen to anything good, from Jazz to Rock. If I like a song, I like a song. I don’t stick with any particular kind.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
At one time, I toyed with the idea of being an architect, but that dream vanished fast as I approached college age. Back in the early to mid-seventies, women in that field weren’t accepted. So much has changed since that time, but there is still room for change.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?