Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Kendra: I’m Kendra Mei Chailyn and I’m 35 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Kendra: Originally, Jamaica. But I live in Canada now.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Kendra: Well, like I said, I was born in Jamaica. My family is scattered all over, Jamaica, Canada, USA and England. I work a day job and write at nights. Aside from writing, I love food, travel, photography, movies (I love movies no one would think of watching. I’ve found some gems that way). I’m a proud Ally, the crazy aunty and friend.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Kendra: I will be doing my final event of the year Halloween weekend in Belleville Ontario at the first ever Kalicon! I’m super excited.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Kendra: I’ve always been writing. I did a good portion of my schooling in Jamaica and they stress the arts as much as everything else. I started out with poetry and song lyrics. After I moved to Canada, in high school an English teacher gave us a genre assignment where we had to pick a story genre, research it and write a paper plus a story in that genre. After she marked mine, she suggested I try my hand at doing it professionally. I honestly thought she was crazy but a year later I had my first story Destiny’s Cowboy written. But I was only seventeen and had to wait a year before a publisher would accept it lol.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Kendra: Would you believe I still don’t consider myself a writer? It’s weird. Even though I had a few stories under my name, I still have a ways to go. Maybe one day.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Kendra: Two people. One, my teacher who was encourage me and one other person (who shall remain nameless) who didn’t think I had it in me. I’m stubborn like that lol
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Kendra: I didn’t have a title until the story was finished and edited. The character Gage ran away from being a cowboy to the big city to play football but eventually wound up back in his little small town, working as a cowboy…so he was Destined to be a cowboy. I know, it’s a dumb way to pick a title but in my 17 year old head, it was a genius idea lol
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Kendra: I usually don’t plan anything. I am an improvisational kind of person. Was always good at making things up on the fly.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Kendra: My first book? It was all made up. At 17 I wasn’t a people person and was busy going through my issues to focus on many. So, all fake there.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Kendra: I don’t have that luxury. I would LOVE to travel to write but can’t afford that now. I do a lot of research and I have friends from some of these places.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Kendra: My recent covers for self published books are all done by the same three designers. Emmy Ellis of StudioENP – this woman is amazing! Then Kyleigh Castronaro of Free to Be (one of the nicest people ever) and more recently Tracie Douglas of Dark Waters (Those haven’t been released yet! I’m super excited). I write interracial so it’s hard for me to find designers who cater to that.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Kendra: My soon to be released story SWEETEST TABOO has a message of acceptance. Personally, it is very hard to accept a bunch of about myself. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to love myself, to think positively of who I am, and to enjoying being in my skin. I know women out there struggle with weight, skin colour, hair all that stuff and I’m hoping this story gives them a little bit of a push toward that acceptance.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Kendra: My favorite author? Lawd – this is like asking a mother who is her favorite child…I love Catherine Coulter – Her Legacy series is to DIE for. I’m also a huge Beatrice Small fan. Jayne Ann Krentz, Tami Hoag, Judy Powell – I could go on and on…Lately, I’ve fallen for JC Hannigan. Her Rebel stories are amazing.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Kendra: My best friend. This woman has been pushing me since I met here in college. Every time I’ve wanted to quit she’s been there. Then there’s my very own Allison Cosgrove. I haven’t known her all that long but she’s been another driving force, helping me to stay standing or to get up again. And I know you said, aside from family but my niece, So. She’s always told me how proud she is of me and that means TONS.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Kendra: No. I can’t. Writing is the only thing I have to help me breathe. If I start depending on it to survive I’ll grow to hate it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Kendra: No. This book says ME all over it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Kendra: That I have a lot more patience than I give myself credit for. I started the thing three times.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Kendra: I love this question. Let me see now. Queen Latifah (The Holiday) would play Kisse Drake. She’s gorgeous and curvy with the attitude to match. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Hayden Snow (am talking with his Thor body). His brother Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) would play Hawk Snow. Catherine Sutherland (Power Rangers Zeo)asErin.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Kendra: There is room in the industry for everyone. No two authors write the same. There is no reason to be so harsh with each other. Do not get caught up in the drama.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Kendra: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Kendra: At the moment I am on book three in Stephen King’s gunslinger series (Dark Tower). I’m enjoying it immensely.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Kendra: Ghost in the Gallery by Carolyn Keene – It’s a Dana girls mystery.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Kendra: Hrm…well, laughter is easy…Gabriel Iglesias. Cry – it all depends on the day lol. Toronto public transit, winter, a sad movie or book…
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Kendra: I would like to sit down with Mrs. Obama. There are so many questions—how’d she become as strong as she is? How can a young girl become as mature and dignified as she? Is there still room to dream as big as she’d become? What does it take to stand as firmly as she has, yet be so grounded and outgoing?
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Kendra: Food, travel, photography, baseball (playing and watching), football.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Kendra: Favorite TV shows – this is hard, considering I don’t have cable. But, I love reruns of Matlock. I loved Halycon, Neighbours, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks (most of these are from England, Australia and New Zealand) I love most British shows. I enjoy Power Rangers (Yes, I’m aware I’m a nerd). Favorite movie of all time is Citizen Kane. I enjoy Let the Yuletide Gay, Can You Ever Forgive Me, Big Eden, Nappily Ever After, Acid Rain (Aka Dark Skies)….the list goes on and on.
I am also a HUGE fan of Asian Dramas… Boys Over Flowers, Oh My Ghost!…Right now I’m obsessed with Together With Me and Love By Chance!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Kendra: Food – well Jamaican and Japanese. Favorite colours – Red and blue. Favorite Music – well, anything with a beat or anything that allows me to feel something. I always joke that somewhere at iTunes is someone looking at my buying history going “wtf?” I have English, French, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Indian – I have rock, hip hop, soul, RnB, Blues…. I have a very diverse taste in music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Kendra: um…I don’t know. I guess I’d continue working for lawyers but that’s a sad future. I mean, there were times I thought I’d quit but to actually do it would suck.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Kendra: With family. Eating, hugging everyone.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Kendra: Wow, gloomy much? Lol. Let me see now… “She wrote ALL. THE. WORDS!”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My next event will be Kalicon in Belleville Ontario – Halloween weekend of 2018. In 2019 I’m currently booked at Romancing the Falls in Niagara Ontario, May 18th, 2019 and 6ix Author Event in Toronto, Ontario May 24th-26th.
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Kendra-Mei-Chailyn/e/B008T9ZH6Q/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1538531977&sr=1-2-ent