Today we welcome Kayla Krantz.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Kayla Krantz: Outside of writing, I’m a mother and a CSM at Walmart. I’m also going to school for my Bachelor’s in English.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Kayla Krantz: As of today, I’ve written several books all on different subjects though they are all fiction. My Rituals of the Night Trilogy is paranormal thriller that focuses on the dangers of obsession using a supernatural twist. In my Witch’s Ambitions Trilogy, I write about a crippled witch who must learn the truth of who she really is by overcoming a variety of obstacles. Currently, I have a psychological thriller/horror short story anthology set to release at the end of January called When Night Falls.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Kayla Krantz: My current work in progress is actually my NaNoWriMo novel for this year, The Crimson Grotto. Here’s the summary I have for it so far:
After a man’s betrayal to his water nymph wife, Valencia, the battle between humankind and the Underwater Kingdom began. Ashley, the last of the mermaids, is a slave to Valencia and her loyal guards, Sirens by the names of Crescent, Ruby, and Brooke. As the war between her Kingdom and mankind worsens, Ashley finds her place among the carnage and realizes she has a bigger role than she ever imagined.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Kayla Krantz: I think the second book of the Rituals Trilogy, Alive at Sunset, was the hardest book I’ve written because of the content within the piece. It’s the darkest book I’ve ever created and some scenes made me cringe as I wrote them so it was hard releasing that out into the public for anyone to read.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
It depends on what the subject matter is. If it’s something more imaginative, like my NaNo piece, I do little to none but if it’s more complicated, like my Rituals books, I’ll do extensive research on all different aspects.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Kayla Krantz: Stephen King is my number one favorite author and always has been. He’s my biggest inspiration to write well and to write at all really. I also enjoy reading books by Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Kayla Krantz: I’ve had handfuls of other authors encourage me to write but as for my personal life, no in particular really supports it.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Kayla Krantz: As an author, I think I’m good at crafting plot and twists. Suspense has always been something I’ve loved to create and I’ve gotten good at keeping my readers on their toes.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Kayla Krantz: I write whenever I have the time. I don’t usually have a routine, I write however the situation calls for. For example, if I get an idea at work, I might write in my phone simply because I don’t have access to any paper.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Kayla Krantz: I hope to start making a decent amount of money off my writing, enough that I can work only part time at my current job and still live well.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Kayla Krantz: Never give up. Writing is a hard business and a lonely occupation. Many times you will feel alone and full of doubt but you should keep writing and get past it. The feeling when your ideas all come together is one of the best in the world.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Kayla Krantz: I’m always flattered just to have someone read something of mine but I think the best compliment I could get would be that
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Someone pokes me in the shoulder, and I turn around stiffly, attempting to put on my best fake smile as I do so. In my mind, I’m convinced it’s Kaylee coming to criticize something about me—as she usually does. I’m surprised when I catch sight of a man, maybe a year older than me, with bleached-blond hair and piercing blue eyes standing beside me. He wears a black three-piece suit, and I snort to myself as I stare at him.
Even his clothes are fancier than mine.
“May I have this dance?” he asks, stretching out a hand to me.
It’s a straightforward question, but I have no idea how to respond. I glance at Miranda to see her standing alone on the edge of the crowd. She hasn’t been asked to dance yet. My gaze shifts back to the boy, and the fake expression returns.
“I’m sorry, you must be mistaken—Miranda is over there.” I point to my sister.
He lifts an eyebrow, seemingly confused by my reaction. “Ah, Madame, I saw her, but I would like to dance with you.”
My confusion only grows at his statement. I take a step away from him, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Destiny and Miranda’s availability usually determined my participation in events like this.
“Yeah, alright,” I agree finally.
I put my hand in his and let him pull me into the middle of the dancing people. I search around again, trying to catch sight of my sisters, Kaylee, or my father to see the looks on their faces, but the crowd is too thick for me to see through, let alone pinpoint the location of my family.
Gently, the man swings me through the crowd, and for a moment, I’m almost able to forget where I am…and who I am. For the first time in years, I feel happy, and it’s unsettling. When the song comes to an end, he bows to me, a smile lighting up his beautiful features. I smile back at him but let it drop. Every bit of good in my life usually balanced with something bad.
Would this evening wind up being another case of Murphy’s Law?
“Thank you, ma’am. Would you care for another?”
I graciously decline, fearing for his safety as I catch glimpse of Kaylee’s straight red hair nearby. I’m not used to people taking such an interest in me, but I’m sure it will be bad for him if my father sees it. My sisters were the stars of the family…I may as well have been a troll. The man seems upset but doesn’t say a word. I want to ask him his name, but I can’t work up the courage to do so. I squeeze his hand before I abandon him in the crowd. I walk to the buffet table, nervously picking up a paper cup to push away the biting thoughts. I drain the punch completely before I crumple up the cup and move to the outer edge of the party. I let my gaze sweep through the people, but the man I danced with seems to have disappeared.
I think about him anyway—who was he, and what’s his business here?
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