The first author in my new interview series is K.N. Lee, a talented up-and-coming young writer who has already self-published a novel, a book of short stories and a book of poetry. Her work, which is both creative and achieves a depth of emotion, is riveting. I’ll also admit that I’m drawn to her newest novel because it stars a strong female heroine who can take care of herself (and kick a little butt when the occasion calls for it, too). Clearly, she knows quite a bit about how to channel her muse.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, raised in Atlanta, and currently live in Charlotte. I discovered my love for writing when I was in the second grade. Obsessed with books, I decided to create my own. I’d write a story, draw the pictures, and then cut up cardboard and wrap it in wall paper to make my book a hard back. It was the only thing I enjoyed. You’d have to force me to play outside. I just wanted to write!
What was your inspiration for your newly released novel, The Chronicles of Koa?
The inspiration for Koa came from a nightmare that I had. Not only that, but I love characters that may look small and nonthreatening, but can indeed be the most dangerous person in the room. There are many factors that went into creating The Chronicles of Koa. I grew up an Anne Rice fan, and I fully believe that she has the best vampire lore. So, what did I do? I created my own version of vampire, completely re-imagined. I didn’t stop there. As a high-fantasy fan and writer, I also created my own creatures and classes. Syths, Scayors, War-Breeders, Jems…they add an unexpected element to the story. You’ve never heard of them before, so the intrigue is heightened in my story.
Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling blocked?
Whenever I’m feeling blocked, I do a variety of things. Sometimes I’ll take a nice long walk with my iPod and my dog. Other times, I’ll take a yoga class or play video games (believe it or not, but video games are excellent inspiration!) Above all, I always go back to my desk and simply…write. It may feel forced at times. You may feel like it is a chore, but for me, I usually end up surprised by what I come up with. That blocked feeling has been conquered!
What’s the strangest thing that has ever inspired you?
Umm…OK…here goes. I had an experience with what I feel was a ghost. I was a child, and as I look back at the experience, I am no longer sure what happened. All I know, is that something grabbed my leg when I was trying to fall asleep. That moment, as horrifying, and as quick as it happened, started a traumatizing period in my life. I didn’t tell anyone what happened for years, for fear that whatever had grabbed me might still be watching me, and might try again. So, I took that fear and used it to my advantage. In silence, I instilled that feeling of absolute terror and let my characters use it. Such a real emotion gave my characters life.
Tell us about an inspirational figure in your life.
Tolkien is such an inspiration. He showed us that you don’t have to recycle the same creatures that have been used for centuries, and created his own. I do this myself. I may use elves sometimes, or vampires, but I also create my own creatures. In Koa, you’ll learn about Jems, War-Breeders, etc. In my high-fantasy trilogy, Rise of the Flame, you’ll see Tryans. The power of creation is exactly why I love writing so much.
What are some words that you live by?
If you have to choose between a material good or an experience, always go with the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop! However, if I have a chance to travel, see a show, or hang out with friends, I’ll always pick the latter.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I suppose I would like everyone to know that even though I am always cheerful, bubbly, and giggly, there is a darker, more serious, side to me that fuels my stories. I don’t hold back in my writing, and I fear that I truly live through my characters. Who knows, pick up The Chronicles of Koa, Wicked Webs, or Thicker Than Blood on Amazon…I might just surprise you.