Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Carolyn Kay. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Alright, Carolyn thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Do you wish you had waited to pursue your creative career or do you wish you had started sooner?
I started writing when I turned 39. It was an escape for me. My marriage was falling apart and I felt unappreciated and burnt out at work. On a whim, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. In that one-month sprint, I completed over half of a fan-fiction novel, and I was hooked on writing. Over the next six months, I finished that novel, posted it on FanFiction.net, and started working on other stories.
There are times when I wish I’d started writing sooner. If I’d found this love of writing in college I could have taken creative writing classes or taken the time to go to one of the big six-week writing workshops. Doing so may have catapulted my career, but there’s no way to know.
That being said, I don’t think I would change when I started writing. Where I was in life, in regards to the creative communities I had access to, greatly aided my writing career. Being involved in the scifi/fantasy convention scene in my 30s and 40s has opened up doors to me that I wouldn’t get anywhere else. I didn’t have those same connections and communities in college.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’ve been an avid consumer of science fiction and fantasy my whole life. I was raised on Star Wars and Star Trek. I read the Hobbit in elementary school and devoured Anne McCaffrey novels and anything else featuring dragons. I’m an unapologetic geek. You can find me at most of the local scifi/fantasy conventions, as well as a few outside of Colorado.
My first novel-length work was an Avengers/Star Wars story titled, “A Jedi Lost” that I started during my first NaNoWriMo. You can find it on FanFiction.net, but please don’t critique it too hard – it was my first novel!
I’ve published several short stories in a few anthologies that cross multiple genres from Norse fantasy to steampunk, to comedic fiction, and I have a few more stories coming out in anthologies later this year through Knight Writing Press.
My longer works live in the world of Ashelon: a steampunk fantasy world built with my husband and illustrator, Chaz Kemp. Together we wanted to bring positive cultural diversity to the Steampunk genre because the 1800s happened everywhere. Multiculturalism is paramount in the world of Ashelon, and everything Chaz and I do artistically. There’s so much to explore outside the typical locals of Victorian England. Who wouldn’t want to fly around in an airship captained by a rough and tumble fairy?
I love to build worlds that sucks readers into them. I want them to feel the heavy press of humidity in a jungle, the sting of snow in a blizzard, and smell the fragrant scents of cinnamon and coffee in a quite corner of a garden. I want my readers to feel like they’re right there with the characters, and what I have the most fun writing.
How can we best help foster a strong, supportive environment for artists and creatives?
Honestly, society needs to forget the myth of the starving artist. We all sacrifice for our art, but none of us want to go hungry while doing it. Pay artists and creatives what they’re worth. Don’t ask an indie author for a discount on their books – they don’t have a big publishing house paying for editors, a marketing team, or even the books. We Indie authors do it all ourselves, and none of that’s cheap. That goes for any artist or creative out there. Don’t ask for discounts on their work. If you can’t afford our work, but still want to help, spread the word about us on social media and tell your friends about us. Word of mouth, recommendations, and reviews are incredibly valuable.
Creatives of all types provided much-needed escapism during the pandemic. They deserve our respect and support.
And if you’re a parent, support art and music programs in schools. You never know where the next Mozart or Prince may come from.
What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
It’s getting to see the joy and enthusiasm on people’s faces when they buy my books. To have someone come up to me after reading one and tell me how much fun they had while reading the story, or how a certain scene grabbed them feels amazing. Yes, it feeds the ego, but it also fuels my heart, and is what keeps me going when all the other aspects of writing are dragging me down. Knowing that my stories have touched my fans and given them some respite from the crazy world we live in is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced.
- Website: www.carolynkayauthor.com
- Instagram: @betwitchinghips
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolynKayAuthor
- Twitter: @bewitchinghips
- Other: Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Carolyn-Kay/e/B00OM37PO0