It is my pleasure to introduce (and grill) ABNA quarterfinalist and one of my all time favorite writerly type people, Candi Wall writing as K.R. Lawson!
Thanks for having me Jenn! I’m super excited to visit all the lovely ladies here at Writer’s Gone Wild.
1) I’m a huge fangirl of the world you’ve constructed here. (Post-apocalyptic sci-fi romance, yum!) For those not in the know, tell us a little bit about your Y.A. novel, Ceres Wrath.
Ceres Wrath is the story of Krista Brewer. She’s a sixteen-year-old orphan, living in a world that’s been thrown into perpetual winter. The only person she counts as a friend is a scientist who’s creating alternate energy ‘suns’ that could give heat and light back to her dying planet. But when her mentor disappears, it’s up to Krista to complete his work and protect the ‘suns’ from brutal men who would use them to control what remains of humanity.
2.) When we first met you were strictly a romance writer.
What possessed you to try on Y.A?
Actually, I have a bit of a confession. I’ve dabbled with kidlet stories – of every age level – for years. I’ve written each of my kids their own stories, you know, just for fun. Then came Krista and Jace. They were originally supposed to be adults. That was my plan. For some reason, I couldn’t get past the first few pages without seeing Krista as a teen. She refused to let me. I listened to her and I’m sure glad I did. The characters wrote this book, not me.
I still love romance though and I try to infuse some of that into the YA as well, it just takes a secondary role.
3.) Wow! Learn something new everyday! I'm sure your kids loved that!
What or who was your inspiration for your main character, Krista and the mysterious Jace?
This is the beauty of writing. I started this story without a clear idea of who SHE was going to be. For close to ten pages, SHE was just a set of X’s so I’d know where to put her name when I figured out her character. Same with Jace. I have to write my characters first and let them tell me who they are. I’ll often put them in odd situations on the screen, just to see how they’ll react. They become their own entity. Though I will admit that my daughter had a really incredible picture of herself on the computer. She’d photo-doctored it in a blue-ish hue and she was wearing one of the fur-lined caps with the ear flaps. That picture screamed Krista!
At the last minute! Well, sort of. I entered and kept updating my submission until the cut-off date. It was all somewhat of a blur, so I’m still not completely certain I managed to get in all the edits before submissions closed.
What I love about ABNA is the amazing opportunity Amazon is giving authors. There are two categories – General Fiction and Young Adult. Two winners, one from each category, will be chosen in the end by Penguin Group and will receive a nice advance and a publishing contract. Well, why in the world wouldn’t I give it a shot?
I’m happy (and shocked) to say I made it through the pitch round (10,000 entries whittled down to 2,000) and then the next cut (2,000 down to 500) to put CERES WRATH in the quarter finals. Now we all have to wait for April 26th, when the semi-finalists are announced (500 down to 100). Anyone have any suggestions on how to get through the next couple weeks?
5.) Do you have more books planned for this particular series?
What else do you have in the works?
YES! And I’m so excited about the next two novels. There is SO much still in store for Krista and Jace. The stories are outlined and just waiting to be written. Hint, hint, any publishers out there listening? Oh, sorry. That was a ‘shiny’ moment.
Goodness, do you have a word limit? (Not for people we like! ;-)
In YA I have the first draft almost completed for a ‘Mulan meets Matched’ story, where my character takes the place of her twin brother in a futuristic military. She does this to hide his mentally disability – a condition that would sentence him to a deadly asylum.
I also have a few romance novels in the works that are centered around characters who rescue, rehabilitate, or work in a field that helps animals. The stories are super fun and what’s more sexy than a hunky guy brought to his knees by a puppy – or a Chinchilla? (Yes, that actually happens in one of the stories.)
6.) Give us a glimpse of a day in the life of K.R. Lawson.
What’s your day to day routine?
I’m a mother of four, my oldest son is nineteen and serving in the military. I have a fifteen-year-old daughter who’s about to get her driving permit, a ten-year-old son who loves 70’s and 80’s rock, and a seven-year-old son who loves life so much he wanders through every day with a smile on his face and an imagination that’s incredible. I’m a Cub Scout leader and serve as a committee member, and you can definitely call me a soccer-softball-baseball-wrestling-basketball-mom.
I work full-time with my husband as a landscaper – and I’m glad spring is here so I can start working off some of this winter padding I’ve gained. You aren't alone there! I've got an M&M chin!
Oh, and I’m an Animal Control Officer for four towns. Spay/Neuter your pets! Sorry, that’s habit now.
There’s no routine for me. I write when I can, usually in stolen moments after the kids are in bed. But at any time, you could potentially find me along the road chasing down horses, pigs, cows, dogs, cats, (and once a peacock) who decided to go-a-visiting. Other days, I’m in court, wishing I could find a judge that gave tit-for-tat punishment to people who abuse their animals.
7.) Do you have a career arc mapped out or are you winging it? (Like I am ;-)
Oh, definite career arc mapped. In dry-erase. In three potential patterns.
One for each genre I play with so that if any pans out, I know how to utilize publication in one to further the other. I want to write, as my career, in all three genres I enjoy and I have every intention of building a solid foundation for each persona I put out to the public.
8.) Wild Card Question. Lights on or off?
OFF! Always. I love the dark!