Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

Interview with Kaytlin Phillips (Writers’ Vision Blog Tour)

Hey readers! Today I will be sharing an interview I recently did with the author Kaytlin Phillips. As some of you may know, I prefer to interview authors either in person, or on a video call, and then transcribe it later. That way it feels more personal. So that’s what I did with this interview!

Kaytlin has recently relaunched her writing community website, Writers’ Vision, and this is a post I wrote for the blog tour she’s doing. Last week, I posted a guest post written by Kaytlin, so if you want to find out more about Writers’ Vision and how we writers are made for connection, check that out!

For now, let’s get on to the interview! My questions are bolded, and Kaytlin’s answers are in normal text.


Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey. What first inspired you to write and where did that lead you?

Let’s see… a bit about myself… I’m a homeschool graduate who works from home for her mom, which is actually a pretty sweet deal. I started writing when I was seven, but I just took a Roy Rogers film and I wrote it down because my brothers were big into westerns. 

Then when I was about fourteen, I started writing again with my sisters ‘cause our dad encouraged us to. 

And then when I was about sixteen, I got my idea for my first book that I wanted to do by myself. So I started writing that down after my dad said, “yeah, that’s a great idea, you should do that.”

So, I started writing, and I haven’t really looked back since. I always loved reading, so writing was just another extension of that.

What was the first book you wrote?

The first book I actually finished was a fantasy book I did with my sisters.

We have an extensive collection of little horse figures, so we would act out these elaborate stories with them. And Dad overheard one of those stories and he said, “You guys should write that down! That’s really cool!”

So we did. We still have the file, but it’s really bad, so… we plan to rewrite it later. The concept’s good, it’s just really bad writing. 

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Sometimes it’s a song, or a movie that I wish they would have done differently, or a book, or my dad saying something totally off-topic…

Dad is definitely a big source of inspiration for book ideas. Because he’s always coming up with these wacky ideas, but he never writes them down himself. He always says, “You guys should do that, because I don’t have time.”

Yeah, and just… pretty much anywhere. Siblings, too. I have a lot of siblings, so they’re definitely a source of inspiration for characters and such. 

In what ways have you most grown since you first started writing seriously?

I’d say that I’m finally realizing that writing is hard. At first, it was fun, ‘cause I didn’t really think about any of the rules or anything that needed to be done. I was just writing down these ideas, and it didn’t really matter if they lined up to me or not, I was just getting it down. 

And then I realized that, to actually make a book, you had to make sure everything added up, and that was when I was like, “Oh, crap, this is hard.” 

Yeah. That’s definitely one of the biggest things I realized. Writing can be fun, but it’s also a lot of work. 

What does your writing process typically look like? Are you a plotter, or a pantser?

I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle, at least recently. I used to just pants. I would just have a story character, and I would take it and run. 

But, um, after many, many drafts that I stopped writing in the middle because I didn’t know how to make it end, I decided I needed to have a little more of an idea of where I was going.

So now I come up with scenes, basically, in my head, and I write them down, creating these little fragments of a story. Usually there are some from each area of the book. Then I just figure out how I want it to start, and a general idea of how I want it to end. And then I can fill in the middle however I kinda want. But I know where I’m starting and where I’m going, so that helps me stay focused.

For you, what is the hardest part of writing a story?

Oftentimes, I guess it’s the character’s journey, ‘cause I just wanna get it right. And sometimes I don’t know how to do that. 

So I have this idea, and I’m like, “I want him to get him from Point A to Point B”. And he’s not a Believer, but I want him to be by the end. 

And getting from that point to the next point is oftentimes really hard! ‘Cause you don’t want it to be too sudden, but you don’t want it to be too slow. So you’re trying to find that happy medium, and it’s really hard sometimes. 

And what is the easiest part for you?

I think coming up with characters, ‘cause they kinda just come to me. It’s like, “Hey, I’m here, wanna write a book about me?”

And I’m like, “I’m actually working on something else right now, but if you could just sit over there and wait your turn…”

The book I’m working on right now I’ve had this character in my head for like three years. And finally to put a story to her character is actually pretty fun. 

But there are a bunch of them just hanging out in my head, waiting their turn.

What writing projects are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on a Young Adult Fantasy called Emberling

I have a blurb, but I don’t have it with me right now. So it’s about a girl who is an Emberling, which is a group of people gifted with fire by their Creator, Ellohim. But her people are hunted for the fire that they have, because the human race believes that they are evil. 

So it’s her story of how she’s being hunted, and this boy who rescues her and doesn’t realize that she’s an Emberling. And they fall in love, but then he finds out. And it’s a whole love to hate to love storyline. It’s gonna be a journey.

What is your favorite book you’ve written, and why? (It can be a WIP or unpublished book too.)

Favorite book I’ve written… I’ve got some unfinished stuff, but I can’t say if they’re a favorite yet because I haven’t got far enough into them.

As far as my own stuff, I guess that would be World of Silence, ‘cause that was really a journey just learning everything to publish that. It took me three years to finally get up enough courage to do that and finish Fledge’s story.

But I really enjoyed writing The Dragon Prince Chronicles with my sisters. That has been a lot of fun. I think because we can act out the dialogues, so, uh, it really gets kinda crazy in our room sometimes.

Mom’s like, “Are you guys arguing again?”

And we’re like, “No, we’re totally just acting out a scene, Mom. We’re not arguing, actually. It’s the characters which are arguing.”

Okay, this is the last question, already! What is your best piece of advice for other authors?

I would probably say what my dad has told me, which is, “Write what you don’t know, and grow.”

He’s a pastor, so he gets very deep sometimes with his advice. His opinion is that if you don’t know something, and you write about it, you learn about it as your character is learning about it and it makes it almost more believable. Because you’re learning about it at the same time as your character is, so you’re able to write it better than if you already knew it. 

‘Cause you’re transcribing the information, you’re learning, and it comes across right

He’s said a bunch of things, but that’s one that stuck with me the most, because I was like, “They say write what you know, Dad, and I don’t know that much.”

And he was like, “Oh, write what you don’t know, and grow.”

And I was like, “Okay. That’s an interesting concept.” And it works pretty good for me.

Okay, that was all the questions! Thanks so much!

Links

Writers’ Vision: Home | Writers’ Vision (sistersthree3.wixsite.com)

Kaytlin Phillips: Kaytlin Phillips | Instagram, Facebook | Linktree


How about you, readers? What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you read Kaytlin’s book, World of Silence? Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Also, if you would like to read the previous posts in the tour, check out the schedule below:

Tour Schedule

Monday, Jan 16th

Writers’ Vision – Kick-Off Post

Vanessa Hall – Spotlight

Louise Taylor – Spotlight

Tuesday, Jan 17th

Pearl Christine – Spotlight

Sisters Three – Spotlight

Wednesday, Jan 18th

Louise Taylor – Guest Post

Allyson Jamison – Interview

Thursday, Jan 19th

Lorelei Angelino – Spotlight

Madisyn Carlin – Spotlight & Guest Post

Lillian Keith – Spotlight & Interview

Friday, Jan 20th

Kristina Hall – Interview

Vanessa Hall – Interview

Annabelle Batie – Spotlight & Guest Post

Abbigail Befus – Interview

A.J. Syngraféas – Guest Post

Weekend Off….

Monday, Jan 23rd

Joelle Stone – Guest Post

Louise Taylor – Interview

Writers’ Vision – Mid-Tour Recap

Tuesday, Jan 24th

Abbigail Befus – Guest Post

Issabelle Perry – Guest Post

Wednesday, Jan 25th

Saraina Whitney – Guest Post

Grace A. Johnson – Spotlight

Allyson Jamison – Guest Post

Thursday, Jan 26th

Grace A. Johnson – Interview

Sisters Three – About Writers’ Vision

Friday, Jan 27th

Grace A. Johnson – Guest Post

Annabelle Batie – Interview

Writers’ Vision – Wrap-Up Post

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5 responses to “Interview with Kaytlin Phillips (Writers’ Vision Blog Tour)”

  1. Vanessa Hall Avatar

    “Write what you don’t know, and grow.”
    Wow. That is amazing advice, and I’ve never thought of it that way. But just looking back on my own writing experience, it’s so true. Wonderful interview!

  2. Emma Avatar

    This was such an interesting interview, Annabelle and Kaytlin! I love your dad’s advice. And the way you get inspiration is awesome XD

  3. Saraina Avatar

    Ack! This was so cool!!! Oooohh, I cannot WAIT to read Emberling someday. *happy-sighs in anticipation* And your dad’s advice is so good, Kayti – “Write what you don’t know, and grow!” YES! Because seriously, if we only wrote about what we knew, what would be the fun in that? We’d never have the opportunity to explore and learn!

    Thank you for doing this, Kayti and Annabelle!

  4. Kayti Avatar

    Thank you so much, Annabelle! That interview was so fun! Thanks for all your help with the tour!

    1. Annabelle Avatar
      Annabelle

      Of course! 🙂

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