We are so excited to have Kay L. Moody with us today for an exclusive interview! She’ll talk about her books, about narrating an audio book, her favorite color, and more. We hope you enjoy!
Let’s start off with a fun question. What is your favorite color?
This should be pretty obvious to anyone who follows me on instagram, but my favorite color is definitely pink! My second favorite color is glitter, which I know isn’t actually a color, but it’s still my next favorite. I’m a huge fan of anything sparkly and pretty.
You are a young adult fantasy author. Is there anything specific you like to write within that genre?
Yes! I love young adult fantasy, but I have some favorite things within that genre too. I write epic fantasy with strong female leads (my favorite!), magical settings, and a splash of romance.
How many books did you write before you published one?
This is kind of a hard question to answer since I re-wrote the same book 3 different times, and each time, I never looked back at what I wrote before. So that one kind of counts as 3 books, even though it was technically the same book. But if I only count that as one book, then I wrote about 5 books before I ever published any.
What made you choose to write in secondary worlds/high fantasy worlds?
The simple answer is escape! When I read, I love to dive into worlds so unique and fascinating and real that it makes me forget the real world for a little bit. When I write, I do my best to create that same kind of experience for my readers. I love creating worlds that can take people away from the real world until the magical setting I’ve created feels real too. I have to say, my favorite world that I’ve created is my Faerie, which is my Fae of Bitter Thorn series.
You experienced a traumatic event at a young age that many people only hear about or see on TV. How has that defined who you are as a writer?
For those who don’t know, my parents were killed in a car accident when I was 12. Like you mentioned, that experience greatly defined who I am as a writer. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, but one day I thought back on all the stories I’d written, and it suddenly occurred to me that every single one of them had a dead parent or another. For awhile, I tried to resist my natural inclination of killing off the parents in my stories, but now, I try to lean into it. At one point, I just realized that very few people could write an orphan like I could, since I can draw on personal experience. So I figured I might as well write authentic orphans.
There’s something very powerful about orphans in literature. I think most of us can identify with orphaned characters, even people who still have both their parents living. All of us have likely felt alone at some point in life, and maybe un-ready to tackle responsibilities that are thrust upon us. These feelings are especially common in young adults and in young adult books, so it makes sense that so many orphans abound in this genre. I personally love orphans in books. Obviously, I can relate to the experience of losing one’s parents on a personal level, but I think orphaned characters also act as perfect vehicles to convey those feelings of loneliness and the fear of growing up/having more responsibility than one is ready for.
What do you think should come first? The plot or the characters?
Personally, I always start with the characters first. I think we all connect to characters much more than we connect to a plot. It’s not just about what happens. It’s about how it happens and how the events affect the characters we’ve come to know and love. I particularly love stories that have a small group of friends that become so close, they are essentially family.
Have you ever cried while writing a scene?
I’m honestly not much of a crier, but there was one scene that definitely got me. In my Elements of Kamdaria series, there’s a part where Aaden finds something for Talise. I won’t say what it is because… spoilers, but if you’ve read the book, you probably know what I’m talking about. It takes place in the third book, The Elements of the Storm, about 3/4 of the way through the book. This was a scene I had planned from the very beginning of writing that series. It took a looooong time to finally get to that point in the story, and by then, I had planted lots of seeds for it, which made the scene itself a lot more powerful. I cried in a good way, but yeah, it definitely made me cry.
What was your favorite childhood book?
I remember so vividly when I read The Giver by Lois Lowry. My mom had read it with my older sister, and she told me I needed to read it too. I thought my mom was insanely cool, so I definitely picked up the book and read it as fast as I could. The plot twist had me gasping, not to mention, I was fascinated by this idea of a “utopian” society that was actually pretty awful. The scenes were heart wrenching and powerful, and I loved how thought provoking it was. I was only ten years old or so when I read the book, so when I read it again in high school for a homework assignment, I was fascinated by how much deeper it was than I realized when I first read it. It’s just a brilliant piece of literature for readers of any age.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It mostly exhausts me, but maybe that’s just because it’s my full time job now. I think it’s pretty common to feel that way after a while of doing something. I do have to say though, when I have a big twist that I’ve planned for a while, and I finally get to write the scene where the twist occurs, I definitely get energized. It’s so fun to write a plot twist!
What was the first story you ever wrote?
I don’t know if I remember the first story EVER, but I do remember one I wrote when I was pretty young. It started with a secret agent named Nicole. She kept hearing a “drip, drip, drip” which distracted her as she was trying to solve a mystery. Where were the cookies? What happened to all of the recipes and ingredients to make them? Throughout the story (it was very short), it was revealed that the “elders” had been taken away, and with them, all cookies were taken away too. Nicole and her friends were certain if they could find the cookies, they’d find the elders too. The tone of the story was very serious and intense, and yet, the conflict was all about finding cookies. At the end, it was revealed that “Nicole” wasn’t a secret agent at all, but a young child playing a pretend game. The “drip, drip, drip” she kept hearing came from a leaky faucet in the nearby bathroom. It was a fun twist that I tried to hint at by giving a serious story a not-very-serious conflict. I guess I’ve always liked writing twists.
Let’s talk about one specific book for this question. In your book, Flame & Crystal Thorns, what was your favorite scene to write?
Flame and Crystal Thorns has so many scenes I love, but I do have one that’s definitely my favorite. There’s a scene inside of a black cave where there are twinkling golden lights up above. It’s a scene that was so visually striking in my head, and I really wanted to make that come through on the page. But it’s also a really low emotional moment for the characters. Some things about the past are revealed, which are painful, but they also make the character’s previous actions clear. Emotional scenes like that can be draining to write, but I love how much more powerful they make the story in the end.
In Flame and Crystal Thorns, there’s a war between the mortals and the fae. If you were thrown into this war, which side do think is right?
This is such a hard question! The leaders guiding the mortals in Flame & Crystal Thorns are definitely not good people. They do not have good intentions, but all the rest of the mortals do. They just want to be
free. On the other hand, Faerie belongs to the fae, and they certainly have a right to defend
themselves when the mortals try to take over. All I can really say is, the line between who is
right and who is wrong is only going to get blurrier as the series progresses.
Do you have any special editions of your books? Or do you sell signed books?
I do have exclusive hardcover editions of my Fae and Crystal Thorns series. Book 1, Flame and Crystal Thorns, has a very special under the dust jacket design and a bonus chapter from the love interest’s perspective. This exclusive hardcover edition is available everywhere the hardcover is sold. The under the dust jacket design even has an illustration of Chloe and her love interest on the back of it. The illustration was done by @artbyartemis
I do sell signed books as well. I even sell art/bookmarks that go with my series. You can order them from my etsy shop.
About the Author
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