We have another author coming on the blog today. I’m so excited to be able to introduce K.A. Wiggins to everybody! Recently, I have had the privilege of asking her 5 questions – questions that I’m curious about and I think other readers and authors would also love to read about. If you don’t already know her, here’s a little introduction!
Meet The Author
K.A. Wiggins is a Canadian speculative fiction author, speaker, creative writing coach, and marketing collective co-founder. Her debut novel, Blind the Eyes, was selected by Barnes & Noble Press as one of their “20 Favorite Indie Books of 2018” and later recognized by Page Turner Awards in their eBook Award 2020 shortlist.
- Tell us a little about how you decided to become an author.
I was frustrated at workplace limitations for women and trying to decide what next career step to take when a family member challenged me to identify what I actually wanted to do . . . and I was stumped.
Was I allowed to not want any of the traditional paths—middle management, MBA, constant negging to be a more pleasant, acceptable female, eternal corporate drudgery?
I only had a career in business in the first place because it was made very clear to me that authors—my first choice goal since high school—had to have day jobs . . . but university and work had been too exhausting to even consider creating on top of my other responsibilities. It wasn’t an easy transition, but with the support of my family, a fair bit of sacrifice and a lot of angst (lol), I was able to start to pursue my original dream and transition to freelancing and writing, and—after a few years—publishing and teaching creative writing.
- How did you come up with the idea for your YA paranormal/fantasy series?
I started with a character and a concept, loosely inspired by a dream I’d fallen in love with back in highschool—a prickly, antisocial girl who struggled with even the idea of having choices and was really just trying to survive + monsters that could take the form of your own personal worst nightmare. Then I worked backward to try to shape a world that could explain how that character developed, and ended up with a post-climate-apocalypse, repressive, totalitarian dystopia based on the towers of Vancouver’s downtown business district, which . . . might’ve been unintentionally projecting a little there, lol.
Editing the first book was a headache, though. Even though real people struggle with getting stuck and feeling like they don’t have choices (or at least, not good ones), we generally like our fictional heroes to be active and motivated to drive the plot forward. In the end, instead of a thriller-style fantasy dystopia, I landed on more of a gothic one—with a heroine who wandered the urban equivalent of moors trying to escape from ghosts, duplicitous, power-hungry abusers, and her own past while searching for a safe path through the mists.
- What are some of the must-haves/writing tips that you’ve developed over the years?
Study story structure (three or four act structure, character arcs) and try to outline at least some basic frameworks ahead of time for longer/novel-length stories! I’m 100% a discovery writer by nature, but working out some key motivations and plot points ahead of time gives me the freedom to explore and create within that structure and still end up with an engaging (and marketable) story that doesn’t need to be exhaustively rewritten.
It’s often hard to find time (or energy/motivation) to write, so figure out how to trick your brain into letting you (Deadlines or rewards work well for some. I like to leave documents open in the background to lure me into spending “just five minutes.” Boring chores also motivate me to write as an escape, lol.)
Also: done is better than perfect (there’s no such thing as perfect, practice/learn to ~let it go~) AND you need to actually finish stories to become an author.
- What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
I read a ridiculous amount—200+ books a year. I used to love playing in rock or trad-fusion bands, but between COVID-19 and the struggle to balance writing/marketing/publishing, freelancing & teaching creative writing workshops, it’s kind of fallen to the wayside.
- What advice do you have for other authors that are just starting off?
Publishing is a business no matter what path you choose (there are contracts involved! Someone will be making money, even if it’s not you.); do your research (my favourite resource is https://kriswrites.com/business-musings); keep up to date on industry developments (things are changing fast!); and figure out what you care about (e.g., are you in this for the long-haul, or do you just want to see your name in print? What are your non-negotiables? Do you care more about sharing your current story with readers or getting a publishing deal with your preferred publisher? etc.)
K.A. Wiggins is the author of Blind the Eyes, the first book in the Threads of Dreams book series.
A not-quite-alive girl and her not-quite-dead ghost discover trusted authorities lie, allies have their own agendas and even the monsters wear masks in a labyrinthine journey of betrayal, revenge, sisterhood, and finding the strength to fight back.
Blind the Eyes is the Page Turner Award Book Spotlight Prize-winning first book in a trilogy for ages 14 and up. Lush, creepy, genre-bending YA paranormal dark fantasy set in post-climate apocalypse Vancouver overrun by monstrous nightmares for fans of Brenna Yovanoff, Laini Taylor, and Melissa Marr.
Check out the links below if you’re interested:
A big thank you again to Kaie for joining me on the blog today and sharing your thoughts! It was truly a pleasure having you.