Name: Karlie Lucas
Age: 33 years old
Where are you from: Originally, Utah. Currently, Dallas, TX
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I come from a family of eight kids, four sisters and three brothers. My dad worked for the university and mom stayed at home. I graduated Southern Utah University with a degree in Creative Writing. I almost double-majored with general art, but decided I was done with school for a while. Now, I’m happily married to the love of my life, and have one fur baby, a cat named Kally. I currently work at a private preschool, teaching young toddlers by day. At night, I write and try to whip my cast into shape for my small production radio dramas.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I guess you could say that my latest news is that I am releasing a new book, Kas. Its official launch is April 17, 2015.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I think I started writing back in first grade. It was an assignment to create a little book, and illustrate it. (I think my mom still has that book.) But pretty much, ever since I can remember, I’ve been interested in writing, reading and writing. I like how I can create a feeling, a world, with just written words. It’s like letting out something deep inside of me that wants to be shared with the world.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess you could say that I first considered myself a writer during my first year of junior high. I had written a few fun short stories (most were short at that point), and had even published some poetry (albeit through a vanity publisher. I didn’t know what those were at the time.) But as for real, out and out, probably not until college, when I had an amazing teacher teach me how to really write.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I published is about Christmas Elves, and you could say that I was going for my take on the whole Santa and his elves mythos. I liked what the movie The Santa Clause had done with everything, but thought that I could do it better. At the same time that I started writing that story, I was actually working on a lot of other stories. So, it’s really hard to say which was my first, but there is always something in the back of my head saying that I can create something amazing, if I just put the pen to paper.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Oh goodness. If by writing style, you mean do I prefer writing in third person or first, or whatever, it depends on the story. My first published book is in third person omniscient. My second book is in first person. I guess you could say I have a style, but I couldn’t really put a name to it. Maybe that’s something someone else has to tell me?
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For my current work, since I was going off of something similar to Beauty and the Beast, and my favorite version of the story is Robin McKinley’s Beauty, I thought that I would just go with my character’s first name. It’s always been Kas, even in draft form. Nothing else came to mind so that just stuck.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is a definite message in Kas. She’s what I hope is a typical teenager, feeling lost and out of place. The story is about her finding her place, realizing that she has a lot bigger potential than she ever imagined, and being willing to embrace that potential. I hope to convey the idea that everyone has a purpose, and that everyone is special in their own way. They just have to find what that way is and embrace it.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Um… I guess you could say that most of the book is realistic. Kas goes between several different dimensions/worlds, but I try to keep a consistent feel that corresponds to what we know to be true. I try to make the reactions and places as “real” as possible. All of my writing is like that. I don’t want to just entertain but to make my works believable.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
This is a bit of a hard question, to be honest. I think that Kas has a lot in common with my younger self. I often felt isolated, out of place (and what teenager doesn’t). But as to the actual events in the story, I think I can safely say that they aren’t really based on anyone’s experiences. There are snippets that I took from my own life, like the family cabin, and how certain members of my family acted in comparison to how Kas’ family acts. Those elements are based on things I know. Everything else is pure imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Now this is a question that could take forever to answer. I have always like to read. My personal library has over a thousand books in it, easily. (I lost track around 800.) But I guess you could say that there is a special place for J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. Tolkien has been a constant companion for me, ever since I first read The Hobbit back in middle school, then Lord of the Rings right after. Any writer who can write well, who can tie the world together so beautifully with the characters, making them believable, making them come to life as those two authors have, is going to be up there on my list. Those are just the top two.
As for a mentor, I refer back to my college years when I had this amazing writing professor. The course was fiction writing, and he told us up front that he had no idea how to write fantasy. (His genre of choice was mystery or western.) But he taught me more about writing than any other person has. Sadly, I can’t remember his name for the life of me, and he was only there as a guest professor, but I will never forget what he taught me about my craft.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now? Well… I just finished reading The White River Killer by Stephen Wilson. I’ve also just finished Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl. I haven’t had time to get into a new book just yet, but I have a huge list of books to read, so who knows what I’ll pick?
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I guess you could call Stephen Wilson a new author. His writing was very intriguing, and I would definitely like to read more from him. Tara Mayoros is also fairly new and I’ve enjoyed her works, along with Dorine White. Both are excellent story tellers.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently, I’m working on a lot of stuff. I have a three part series about dragons that I’m working on. I’m also working on a sort of middle grade/young adult fantasy that mixes elements from Lord of the Rings and Shadow Moon. On top of that is another fairytale twist, a sequel to Kas, and a dystopian superhero story. Admittedly, I switch back and forth between all of them.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I feel strongly that God has been a strong supporter of my work. And yes, I’m Christian. I also have several friends who continually encourage me to keep at it. I even have a self-proclaimed fan boy who can’t get enough of my work, even if it is in draft form.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to make a career out of writing. I have so many stories that I want to share with the world. And there are so many stories out there that want to be retold as well. I think that if I can get a good fan base, anything is possible.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
To be honest, I don’t think I’d change a thing. Well, maybe add in a scene or two here or there. I have a couple scenes that were changed, but I like the overall outcome of how things are so I probably wouldn’t change a thing.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I guess my interest for writing started when I was in elementary school. After I learned how to read and write, I found that I could put my thoughts down on paper. And that, more often then not, those thoughts turned out to be pretty good stories. At least pretty good for the age. And from there, a passion for writing just bloomed.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A wolf called out and I hugged my wet shirt closer around me, goose bumps running around my skin. I heard another twig snap, and the faint breath of someone behind me. My mind raced. “Don’t turn around. Just don’t turn around. Run,” it seemed to say but I hesitated.
My limbs were frozen. “Run, you idiot. Run!” The almost yelled advice woke me from my paralysis and I ran. I realized, only after I’d started into some disjointed stride of panic, that I’d been the one to yell. And not just in my mind, but out loud. I didn’t even look back to see what I was running from. Then the panic set in.
The tree branches tried to grab at my clothing but couldn’t without grabbing me too. I wouldn’t let them grab me. But they didn’t seem to bother with that. I felt like they had changed their goal and were now trying to trip me. That thought alone made me run all the harder. I heard my breath now, coming in short gasps. I didn’t know how much more my body could take. I imagined myself being chased by a pack of hungry wolves, which gave me added speed, adrenaline pumping through my veins.
The trees seemed to reach out farther and my ears fancied the sounds of voices calling. It was some strange language that sounded unnatural to my ears. And there, in the background, was the sound of wolves howling. A root lifted of its own accord and tripped me, the rocks dancing to stand in my way. I was still falling, even after I’d hit the ground.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think the most challenging part about writing is when my characters decide to stop talking to me. Most people call that writer’s block, but for me, it’s more like my characters are just being silent. I’m not always sure why this happens, but have several theories on that matter. Theory one is that they think I need a break, or they need a break. Theory two is that they get bored.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
J.R.R. Tolkien is definitely my favorite author. His ability to create such a realistic world, with such amazing characters is just… insane. The depths that he goes into with creating the history, the language, is just incredible. I can only dream of ever creating something that amazing.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t really have to travel much for my books, no. Most of the traveling I have done does influence my books. But, at this point, I haven’t really had to go out of my usual to see or do anything for them.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I actually designed the covers for both of my books. The Unknown Elf’s cover was one that I drew with prismacolor pencils, then did a bit of manipulation in photoshop. For the cover of Kas, I asked some friends to stand in as models, created their costumes, and had another friend take the photos (at least for the front cover. I took the photos for the back cover.) They were all to what I designed.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Goodness, the hardest part of writing Kas was editing it. I have this really bad habit of trying to make everything I write as perfect as possible. I often have to have someone tell me that it’s good enough. But for Kas, I worked on editing it for years. And every time I’d sit down to edit it, I’d tear it apart, because it wasn’t good enough. It’s only been in this past year that I was able to put it back together, after having separated it into four different sections that I worked on at different times. Putting it back together was probably the hardest part.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I guess you could say that I learned how to create a different world/worlds (because Kas happens in multiple worlds). I learned how to write in first person, how to delve into my younger self to create a believable character.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice for other writers is that you just have to keep plugging at it, no matter how much you think your writing sucks. I think it is those who keep on plugging away who end up making the best stories.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to ask my readers to share what they learn from my book with others. I’d like them to put themselves in the main character’s shoes, be they boy or girl. It doesn’t matter. The principles apply to both genders. And just remember, that no matter how bad life seems, or gets, it will always get better if you try to overcome whatever it is your facing. There is a rainbow at the end of the storm.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Um… honestly, I’m not really sure, but it was probably one of those Tom and Jane books, if you know what I mean.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A lot of different things can make me laugh; not a whole lot makes me cry. I think it just depends on how stressful the day has been, what my attitude is towards whatever, and that kind of thing.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Tolkien and just thank him for creating the wonderful world that he created.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I would like written “her works will never die” because that is what I want my legacy to be, a lasting tribute to those who overcame.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I direct/produce a radio drama, and occasionally do panel discussions at conventions about voice acting. I also like to cook/bake, do anything artsy, self-defense (including swords and bow and arrow kinds of weapons), and just sit out in nature.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like a whole slew of shows and films. Generally, I like sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, drama, crime, fantasy, comedy. I’m just not into anything that’s horror, gore, gratuitous violence, or that uses sex and profanity to sell or tell the story.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’d have to say that blue is my favorite color, any shade, variation, hue, saturation, etc. As for music, I’m eclectic, loving a wide variety, so long as it’s not heavy metal, grinding, screeching stuff that you can’t understand what they’re saying, or whose lyrics disappear with a potty mouth filter. And for food, it just depends on the day. Just don’t give me seafood or those weird foods, like snake, or liver or stuff like that.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Well, I’m currently teaching preschool, so there’s that. But if I weren’t a writer, I’d probably be a professional artist, doing pencil portraits, which I have actually done before.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do have a website. It’s http://www.karlielucas.com
Thank you very much.