11 March 2011
Author Interview : Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow is the bestselling author of over 68 books. She has traveled all over the world, conducting research, and collecting stories. Some of the more interesting places she’s been to are: Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania where she was presented with a sketch of Dracula, The Stanley Hotel in Colorado where she saw something quite odd, the lost city of Pompeii where both her cameras were drained of battery, St. Petersburg where she held an hour-long conversation with a Russian soldier who didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak Russian, and the orphanages of Thailand where she distributed toys, books, and hugs to hundreds of disabled orphans.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was 9 and I read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. I wanted to write about my own experiences and express myself, especially what I was going through at the time I was 9. I began writing short stories and even began illustrating/writing a children’s book about squirrel knights who lived in a tree. As you can see, I still write about fantasy. Haven’t deviated much from that.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me 2 to 3 weeks to write a full novel, but at least 1 to 2 weeks to revise. But because I have multiple books going on at the same time at different stages, I’m constantly writing and revising , and never having writer’s block in the meantime. Once I finish a book, it goes to an editor to read, proof, and send back to me to revise. There is a lot that goes on besides the writing process. Each book before I actually write had been well-thought-out and outlined with character growth, plot points charted, and setting/world written out. This process in itself takes a month or so before the real writing begins.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Over 70, and part of that is because I write under another pen name besides my own, and I have been writing books as a published author for ten years. I actually can’t tell you which one is my favorite because I put a lot into each and every book.
Which of your characters is your favorite?
Again, that is hard for me to say because they’re like children. Ask any author how they feel about their book, and they will say the same thing. Authors have to be passionate about their books because that passion will drive them to finish the book and get it through the process of publishing and then promoting.
What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
For me, it’s the ending because it has to feel right for me. Each book has its beat and a certain amount of events and character growth occur in each so that it is ends in a way that feel right. I realize lots of other YA books now end in cliffhangers, too. It’s funny, but I’ve been having endings like cliffhangers since my first book was published ten years ago. The reason for these endings is because these books are part of a series and was planned that way. When you write a series book, you have to have an ending that can’t be too conclusive (unless of course, it is the ending book of the series where things should be wrapped up) so the story continues.
What are the your favorite authors/books?
Favorite authors are Stephen King, Anne Rice, Shakespeare, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Jane Austen, Screenwriters/producers like Rod Sterling and Al Gough.
What do you like to do when not writing?
There is barely a time when I’m not writing. But I do set aside time to do something fun and creative with my daughter once a week.
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Good question! For me, it usually involves both because I see characters first, but they always come with a story. Everyone has a story. I just like peeling down the layers. One thing I’m very influenced by is also the setting. For instance, I’d pass by a small town on a drive and think.. who lives here? What kind of a life do they have? Who do they live with? Who do they love?
I’ve been known to be influenced by dreams, too. Also, I’d get a word or a vision of something, and then a whole story is formed.
I also base a lot of my books on personal experiences. For instance, PULSE was inspired when I lost a lot of blood during surgery, and I had to have transfusion. The ideas of vampires and how blood is vital to them and to humans came about and resulted in the PULSE series.
Does any of your personal likes come out in your characters? For example music choice?
Yes, usually choice in clothing, room décor and furnishing. Music and book choices, too. For instance in Stoker Sisters, they choose to read Dracula by Bram Stoker for a book club because that is the book the Stoker Sisters’ name is based on and the Stoker Sisters is used as a contrast to, on the Dracula legend.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, that I love them and thank them for continuously supporting me. When Silver Frost was released, my husband surprised me with a Christmas cruise, and all I can think about was staying in touch with my readers while I was out-to-sea. I’m devoted to my readers as they are to me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, read a lot, write a lot, and live a lot.
What are your current projects?
Continuing the Frost Series, The PULSE Series, the Wicked Woods Series, and The Stoker Sisters Series…
I’m very excited about the DESIRE series since it’s my first dystopian paranormal older YA book series. I’m excited about The Wolf Fey series with Logan from the Frost Series.
The Brotherhood of Blood, a PULSE novel, may become a series, too. It’s about Octavius, his army of vampire mercenaries, and the Greystone Brothers from the PULSE series.
I’m also geared up to begin making television and radio appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox to talk about teen and young adult issues besides my books.
I would like to thank Kailin Gow for taking her time and doing this interview. So go and purchase some of her latest books and read them. They are really good and Kailin is a GREAT author who writes GREAT books.