Today, I’m taking a moment away from my babbling about comics to introduce new suspense and horror novelist, Kayla Krantz. Her book, Dead by Morning, the first in her Rituals of Night series, is already available for purchase. I don’t know about you guys, but I think she’s pretty cool.
Q–Describe the moment when you first wanted to be a writer. How old were you? What pushed you in this direction?
Kayla–I never chose to be a writer; I think it chose me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always written something down. I wrote my first short story when I was four years old, and I’d write pieces all throughout elementary school that my principal always wanted to read. As I got older, my stories just got more elaborate. I think it was around middle school that I realized just how much joy it brought me.
Q—I’ve seen you mention that you are a fan of horror and the darker side of storytelling. While that might show in your writing now, has it always? Or was this a genre that you grew into? I can’t imagine that 4 year old Kayla was writing a scary story but with kids these days, you never know.
Kayla–As far as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in horror and creepy things. My stories weren’t as gory as they are now, of course, but I liked the paranormal element at the very least. When I first started writing, I wrote about eerie things such as haunted houses and mummies.
Q–Alot of people like being scared. Have you always enjoyed trying to frighten your readers? Have you ever created anything that you were able to scare yourself?
Kayla–I always thought it was an interesting concept to explore the idea of fear, and the fact that everyone’s range of fear is different. Even during our lifetime, our fears may change or progress. I think the thing that’s scared me the most with my writing is how evil my antagonist, Chance, really turned out. When I originally drafted him, he was evil of course, but nowhere near as malicious as he is now.
Q–Speaking of Chance, how did you come up with him? Which came first, the creation of Chance, or the plot of your story?
Kayla–Chance definitely came first. The whole story focuses around him. It’s hard to say what exactly inspired him, but I think it was a mix of things. After doing research for serial killers for some projects I worked on for school, I wanted to try my hand at creating a character that could embody all the traits I had read about; someone who was cunning, dangerous, and of course unstable. A lot of his traits he seemed to create himself. The addition of the dagger, for example, seemed to sprout along with the story.
Q–Now that you’ve told us about Chance, tell us more about Dead by Morning. What do you think will set this story apart from others in its genre? Something drew you to write it so that same thing should draw us to read it.
Kayla–I think my series is unique because it’s such a blend of so many different genres. I would call it contemporary except it doesn’t quite meet the criteria for it. Dead by Morning is new adult, psychological, horror, and thriller novel with hints of paranormal though some could argue that the unrequited love/obsession element could also give it themes of romance.
My story shows the mindset not only of a killer but of a victim of stalking to give the story a unique realistic perspective in midst of all the crazy.
Q–With Dead by Morning being the first in a series, can you give us an idea what will be in the rest of the series? How many books and what will be different about each? Besides this series, what other works have you got up your sleeve?
Kayla–The rest of the series will basically involve the relationship between Luna and Chance, eventually moving on to other characters that’ll be introduced later on in the series. I’m planning to have about nine books in total, in which I’m currently working on the fifth. Each book will have their own sort of overlapping theme and tone such as love, insanity, friendship, and freedom. On the side, I’m working on a trilogy about witches known as The Witch’s Ambitions. A few weeks ago, I completed the first book, The Council.
Recently, Dead by Morning was nominated in the horror category for the Summer Indie Book Awards #SIBA. If you can, give her your vote.