Interview: Kyra Dune
Name: Kyra Dune
Latest Release: Oracle (Prophecy Of The Cataclysm Book Two)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Kyra Dune was born in Oklahoma, but spent most of her life travelling with her family. She is the author of more than two dozen fantasy novels, including: Shadow of the Dragon, Elfblood, and Firebrand. As a child, her favorite stories were those that told of ordinary children being whisked away to magical lands. She has yet to find her own secret wardrobe or rabbit hole, but she hasn’t given up the search. You never know what might be waiting over the next rainbow.
Interviewed by: Stephanie Ayers
- How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was nine years old.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I write YA, NA, and adult novels in a number of fantasy subgenres.
- Why did you choose that particular field or genre?
I’ve always loved to read fantasy novels, so I guess it’s no surprise I write them.
- What inspires you?
Everything. LOL Sometimes inspiration can come from the strangest places. Or from nowhere at all.
- Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing, etc. come from?
Huh, I don’t really know. I’ve been an avid reader since forever. And I kind of started writing by accident. I was bored at school and I didn’t have a book to read, so I just started writing one. If I had to take a guess, I’m betting it was probably my mom. I can remember her reading to me a lot when I was a kid.
- How do you find or make time to write?
Writing is my number one priority. I spend six to eight hours a day, six days a week at it.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I’m totally a pantser. I tried outlining, but it doesn’t work for me. I have to sit at the computer and write whatever falls out of my head. Makes for a messy first draft, but it’s the only way I can get anything done. The second draft is when I tidy things up and make sure all elements of the story are serving the plot. On the third draft I polish the novel until it shines. This is when I work on expanding scenes to better pull readers into the story. Then it’s three rounds of edits and off she goes.
- How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
My parents have really helped me along my journey to becoming a published author. My dad was always my cheerleader. He was the one I could count on for encouragement no matter how discouraged I sometimes got. His belief in me helped me to never give up. He was a head-in-the-clouds kind of person, like me. My mom, on the other hand, has her feet firmly planted on the ground. She has always been my greatest source of criticism. When something isn’t right in my work, she’ll point it out. She pulls no punches and doesn’t worry over hurting my feelings. She’s the reason my writing has gotten progressively better over the years. She’s the one I can always count on to help me learn from my mistakes. Together, they made out a good balance in my life and I have to give them a lot of credit for the person I am today.
- What projects are you working on at the moment?
I currently have six projects in the works:
What The Heart Wants (A Dual Realm Novel): NA Paranormal Romance
Godstone (The Godstone Chronicles): Pirate Fantasy
Eye Of The Storm: High Fantasy
Cataclysm (Prophecy Of The Cataclysm Book Three): Epic Fantasy
Inferno (Dragon Within Book Five): YA Urban Fantasy
Untitled (A Dual Realm Novel): NA Paranormal Romance
- What process did you go through to get your work published?
I had a few short stories, poems, and writing articles published in my teens and early twenties. In my mid-twenties my first novel, Flight Of Dragons, was published by a traditional publisher. I submitted it myself, no agent. I went on to have fifteen novels accepted through the traditional route. In 2013, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a risk on my first self-published novel, Web Of Light. Since then, I’ve self-published ten original novels, as well as three others which had come out from under their traditional contracts. Going forward, I intend to stick to self-publishing.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting through that first draft. As many books as I’ve written, I still have those anxious moments of self doubt when first writing a new novel. Getting past that feeling is the single hardest thing about being a writer for me.
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.
I love being able to share the worlds inside my head with other people. Spinning these characters and their stories out of thin air makes me feel like I’m contributing something to the world. It’s a way of making a connection to other people I will never know, and yet they will know me through the stories I tell.
- What is the biggest thing people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t true?
A lot of people who are not into fantasy seem to think it’s this silly thing. Something stupid for people who lack the intelligence to read ‘real’ books. It’s not true. Fantasy can be as deep and real as any literary novel. Yeah, sometimes it’s the silly, light hearted, unicorns and fumbling wizards in pointy hats. But that’s not all it is. Fantasy can teach morals, and lessons, it can make people think in ways they might never have thought before.
- What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they should?
Fantasy is not just dragons and wizards. It’s this huge umbrella hanging over a myriad of subgenres. So many it can make even a fantasy writer’s head spin.
- For those interested in exploring the subject/theme of your work, where should they start?
That’s hard for me to say. My stories are so varied from one another.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
Promotion is my least favorite part of being a writer. And I don’t think I’m alone in that. Word of mouth is still the most important thing, but how do you get your book into the hands of those first readers? That’s the question. And it’s a hard one to answer. I like Facebook parties. I generally make sells any time I attend one (unless the party is a dud and that does happen) and I always throw one for my new releases. Other than that, I don’t know. You just have to jump on any opportunity that has even the slightest chance of getting your work in front of new readers. And yes, sometimes those parties do detract from writing time. It’s a balancing act. Sometimes you have set the writing aside in order to work on promoting the books you’ve already released.
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
Stephen King has been my favorite writer since I was twelve. Other writers I love are: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Kate O’Leary, Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and there are so many more. I think everything I read, good or bad, influences my writing to a degree. The books I read teach me what works and what doesn’t work from my point of view and help me express my own voice.
- What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?
My stories are my own. Anybody could tell stories with similar plots and characters as mine, but nobody except me can write my stories. Because they’re part of me. My heart. My soul. My thoughts. My personal view of the world, the experiences I’ve had in my life, the way these things have shaped the person I am, all of this is uniquely mine. How could the stories that spring from me be anything less?
- What are you currently reading?
I just started Moon In The Mirror by P.R. Frost. I’m not far enough into to it to decide whether or not I like it yet.
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I think, like everything else, the way we tell stories will continue to progress into the future. Print books will eventually go the way of cassette tapes and VHS. It has to happen. That’s just progress. It may be a ways down the road, but it’s coming. That kind of makes me sad, but the good news is that stories are not going to die. We’ve been telling them since our ancestors were sitting around a fire in a cave, and we’ll continue to tell them. It’s in our blood.
You can purchase Kyra’s books below: