On the Raven’s Wings is an interview series presented by Sumayyah (me!) of The Raven Desk blog. It interviews aspiring writers (both agented and un-agented alike) to get their perspective on writing, the business and life. This week, I have the pleasure of presenting to you Karla!
Q: Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
A: Hello everyone! I’m an 18 year old aspiring writer who would love to publish one day. Writing has been a part of my life for 8 years now, and novel writing for a little over 5. I go to college at DePaul University in Chicago where I am working on my Creative Writing degree. If I can’t live off novel writing alone, I’d like to be a copywriter because growing up, I always had the snazziest jingles and slogans. Writing is my favorite thing to do, and I would love to share my passion with others as a published author.
Q: What genre do you write? What attracted you to this genre?
A: YA romance. This hadn’t been my initial genre. I started out as a sci-fi/fantasy writer, but I couldn’t build worlds as well as I would like. Then in June of 2009, suddenly I had this great idea for a contemporary romance, and then another one came along soon after. Soon, I figured that romance is definitely more of my calling. I am every bit of a romantic after all. So I decided YA romance was my thing. Then the romance ideas started pouring in. I think that’s a sign.
Q: What are you currently working on at the moment? How was the story inspired?
A: I’m currently working on a novel titled Call Me Robin Hood. This is a modern retelling of Robin Hood with a romantic twist. It’s about a boy who is like Robin Hood, but instead of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, he takes girls from the jerks and gives a chance to the deserving. I actually finished this book in 22 days, and an agent contacted me on Day 21 to tell me she’s intrigued by the premise and would like to consider it. Right now, I’m polishing up the first 50 pages to send in as a partial along with a query and a synopsis. This story was first inspired by some Twifties on the Teens Writing for Teens thread talking about Greek myths. I remember a used book I bought years before called Legends of Long Ago and I flipped through it. I saw Robin Hood and the idea struck!
Q: Is there a place you like to go to write? Are there any rituals you stick to when writing a story?
A: I like to sit down at my desktop computer and right. I HAVE to listen to music. I can write in other places, too, but I like the click-clack sounds of my keyboard better than my laptop. And I find that I always accidentally highlight/delete on my laptop a lot which makes me angry. I don’t have any other rituals besides music, but sometimes I’ll like to drink coffee to write faster.
Q: What is your favorite thing about writing? Why?
A: My favorite thing is getting lost in a whole new world that I created. I love writing about my characters’ lives since they’re way more interesting than my own.
Q: If you had to pick a soundtrack for your current WIP, what songs/bands would be on it?
A: I already have a soundtrack. Some bands included are Boys Like Girls, Dashboard Confessional, Lifehouse, Sum41, Sean Kingston, Shaggy, and others. My favorite on there is With Me by Sum41. I must have listened to it over 100 times in the last week.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your current work? Who is your favorite character to write?
A: My favorite thing is getting inside Joe Parker’s head. He’s probably my favorite main character now, and I absolutely love him. If I were to meet a guy like him in real life, I would fall for him in a heartbeat. Obviously, he’s my favorite to write, too.
Q: What plans do you have for the future writing wise? Any new ideas in your mind?
A: I have around 16 novel ideas. I’m going to finish the first draft of Love Square, which I trunked to work on CMRH. I’m planning on sending out the materials to the agent, who contacted me, around mid-February. I think I have a pretty good chance with her!
Q: What keeps you from losing interest in your work? How do you make sure you finish a project?
A: I don’t know actually. I guess I’m just so in love with what I created, that there’s no way I’d lose interest. As for the second question, that’s a tough one for me. I’ve had a lot of unfinished novels. CMRH was my first that I finished after nearly three years of giving up on this novel or that. With CMRH though, I was just so dedicated to it, and I loved how easily Joe’s character came to me. It was like I knew him in real life, and he was relaying his story to me. I’m hoping this will be the same for my future WIPs.
Q: What’s the best part of finishing up a novel?
A: Oh wow, just the idea of accomplishing something so great! It’s an amazing feeling, especially since not a lot of people my age can say, “I wrote a novel.”
Q: What advice do you have for writers, both veteran and amateur?
A: I’ll keep it simple. Never lose sight of your goals and always follow your dreams. There will be obstacles along the way, but if you continue to strive toward your ultimate goal, everything will fall into place.
You can learn more about Karla at her blog Creative Blossoms! Stay tuned for more wonderful writers in the next weeks!