Hi Everyone! Welcome to the next stop on the World of Silence Blog Tour! I see some new faces today, and I’m so glad you all stopped by.
I had the great pleasure of interviewing World of Silence’s author, Kayti Phillips, so without further ado, let’s go!
Lily Keith: Hi Kayti, I’m so glad you could join me today. Congratulations on the release of World of Silence. I’m super excited to start this interview.
Kayti Phillips: Hey Lily, I’m so excited to be here! Thank you! Hopefully, everyone’s not majorly disappointed when they read it…lol…one of my worst fears there. But yes, let’s get to these amazing questions!
LK: Lol. I doubt it. I believe you have a lot of great answers to share!
Alright, let’s start.
P.S My questions and replies will be in bold for this interview.
- Which author would you say has influenced you the most with your writing?
Wow! Hard one…um, I would definitely say S. D. Smith has influenced me a lot! (Reason why Feldge was originally a rabbit) But Andrew Peterson, Jonathan Auxier, and Jennifer Neilsen (the reason WoS is now in first person) have definitely influenced my writing as well! I love just reading a lot of books by an author in a sprint and learning everything I can about their style, picking what I like and mixing it with all my other favorite authors if that makes sense?
Ooo, those are some really great authors (haven’t read Auxier yet *adds to list*) But yeah, that makes sense; it’s fun to blend different writing techniques of favorite authors and create something new.
- What inspired you to write middle grade stories? (i.e a particular author/book/person you know/etc).
Well, most of the books I read when I first broke out of reading classics were MG fiction, fantasy, or historical fiction so that was what I was familiar with. My dad, who was the one who got my sisters and me to start writing, told me to write what I felt I could write at first. Don’t try too hard to write, say adult fiction when you’re more comfortable with MG.
That and the fact that I just love the innocence in the MG genre and wanted to be a part of that! I wanted to lift kids up and give them a good story to read!
Aww, that’s great that your dad encouraged you guys to write; and inspiring kids is a great reason to write MG stories.
- Who or what inspired your main character? (i.e picture, song, real-life person?)
Okay, so this is pretty funny…weird mix here. It was (don’t laugh, okay, you can laugh) a bird, a tv show, and a song. Yeah, weird mix. We were watching Sue Thomas F. B. Eye and I kept having this character come to mind, an archer who couldn’t hear. I thought it was a cool concept but I always wrote with my sisters and had never even attempted a story on my own (since the age of 12, that went horribly wrong…lol…). So I didn’t name him and pushed him away.
Sunday rolls around and we ‘rescue’, we thought, a baby bird. Turns out he was a fledgling and we should have left him alone, but yeah, he flew away when we got home. I liked the sound of fledgling…and then out comes the archer and the name Fledge is given to him. Having recently rediscovered Wake me Up by Avicii my sisters and I listened to it and it all fell into place.
A deaf archer whom everyone thinks is unworthy to fight because he can’t hear…his struggle to be seen for who he is instead of his disability. His refusal to wake up to the reality that he can’t fight in the war because he deaf.
That’s so cool! It’s interesting to see how the creation of characters can come from a whole lot of things that inspire us.
- Do you find it easier to write male or female characters (or both)?
Male…lol…I’m not very good at female…um, but I’m trying to get better. I’m working on a female character now and she’s the best one I’ve ever done, fingers crossed I don’t mess her up.
Fingers crossed too!
- Why did you choose self-publishing, and would you do it again?
I had sent WoS to several literary agents and received a few rejections, then I realized there weren’t any agents I really wanted my book with, just because the traditional market is politically correct and the Christian publishers didn’t want my book because it wasn’t necessarily Christian…So, I went with self-publishing. It’s been a ton of work, but I honestly have loved every minute! I would do it again. I’ve discovered a love for formatting and creating chapter heading art on Canva! So fun! And putting together graphics and meeting all sorts of cool people who want to help, it’s been awesome! I would 100% do it again!
Ah, those are some good reasons. That’s super cool that you’re creating your own chapter heading art. I can’t wait to see it in its final form!
- Why do you believe stories are important?
Wow! Good one! I’ve thought about this so much. Growing up stories were (and still are) a central part of my life. I was always lost in one book or another and whenever I finished, or when I was reading, I remember my dad coming up to me and asking, “what are you reading?” or “What did you learn from that story?” and I’d always have to stop and think…dig for the moral and tell him what I thought the story was about and that is part of what shaped me.
Stories are powerful! They have the ability to build someone up or tear them down in a moment. A snap of the fingers. Words are sharper than swords. You can reach someone through a fairytale in ways you could never reach them in a conversation. They have the power to inspire, to change, and to build a person’s opinion. I love this quote by Heidi Johnson: “The best stories are not an escape from reality, but an escape into reality.” They teach us in subtle ways…so what are your books teaching you?
Okay, getting preachy….pastor’s kid alert…lol…
Haha, preach it, sister! But really, those are some amazing points, especially when you said books are powerful and can affect us even in subtle ways.
- What do you hope young readers will take away from your books (i.e any special message)?
Hope. It’s simplistic, but I want them to have hope. Hope of bright tomorrow, hope of a future, hope to go on, hope that everything isn’t as bad as it seems. When I was seven my world as I knew it fell apart, when I was nine that old wound was opened and I felt as if I never wanted to hope again. Was it worth it? When something you hoped for didn’t come true and it hurt so bad! Was it worth it to keep hoping?
The answer I found is yes! Hope is always worth it. Without hope in Jesus we have nothing. Not hope in material beings (like I had) but hope in someone who will never let us down. Hope in Jesus, believe in yourself, in your worth in Jesus and you’re on the right track. (I won’t say you can’t go wrong because Lord knows we humans have a knack for finding ways to go wrong…lol…)
But from World of Silence I hope not only that the message of hope comes through but also that you are good enough. Don’t limit yourself because you don’t think you can do or because some else doesn’t think you. Be open to help and guidance and reach for the furthered star! You have a place in this world and purpose, and that’s what I hope Fledge is able to share with the world.
Amen! Wow, those are some amazing messages! I hope that your stories touch a lot of kids and give them exactly what they need to hear!
KP: Thanks so much for interviewing me, Lily! It’s been so much fun to answer your amazing questions!
LK: Thank you for joining me on the blog!
And a big thanks to the readers who joined us today. I hope you enjoyed this interview. Before you go, check out the rest of the tour below for more fun. It all leads up to World of Silence’s release day on May 25th. If you’re interested in Kayti’s new middle grade book, I’ve left the synopsis below for you to check out (as well as her bio and social media links); plus I’ll be doing a special release day post with an exclusive sneak peek of the book, so be sure to come back and visit! Until next time!
Silence. Complete silence. That was all I heard.
Fledge Owenby is a deaf archer struggling to be seen for his potential instead of his disability. When forgotten and left behind during a dragon attack, he thinks it is the chance to prove himself that he has been waiting for. But who knew one trip out of the bunker would change everything?
Saved from evil dragons by a dragoness, Fledge wonders why she would help him and soon discovers how similar they are. He is deaf and she is without fire. Drawn together by a bond, not even he can understand, Fledge and Galexia are unwittingly pulled into adventure.
Betrayal of the highest level, deception, and a war that never should have been. Fledge must find a way to end it all while trying to be seen as the boy he is, instead of the disability he has.
About the Author:
Kaytlin Phillips is a homeschool grad who spends her days praising her Savior, reading, writing, blogging, and annoying her sisters with random thoughts. She is the fifth child out of seven and resides in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Her favorite hobbies include writing, reading, hiking, theology, history, blogging, ASL(Of which she only knows the basics but has good intentions of learning more), crocheting, doodling, wild orchid hunting, and anything she does with her sisters or family.
Goodreads Author Profile: Kaytlin Phillips (Author of World of Silence) | Goodreads
FaceBook:(1) Kaytlin Phillips | Facebook
Links for the Book:
Amazon: Amazon.com: World of Silence eBook : Phillips, Kaytlin: Kindle StorePinterest Board: https://pin.it/1gm5lrL
Pinterest Board: https://pin.it/1gm5lrL
Monday, May 16th
The Sword of the Penmaiden – Guest Post and character interview
Vanessa Hall – Spotlight and Review
Tuesday, May 17th
Kristina Hall – Review and Sneak Peek
Wednesday, May 18th
Saraina Whitney – Review
Tasha Van Kesteren – Interview
Thursday, May 19th
The Introspective Introvert – Interview
Friday, May 20th
Abbigail Befus – Facebook Review
Teen Writers’ Nook – Review
Bookish Productions – Review
Saraina Whitney – Behind the book Interview and Sneak Peek
Saturday, May 21st
Sisters Three – Character Interview
Sunday, May 22nd
Sisters Three – Fan Art
Monday, May 23rd
Saraina Whitney – Character Interview
Vanessa Hall – Interview
Tuesday, May 24th
Bookish Productions – Behind the book interview
Into my Writing Journey – Spotlight
Wednesday, May 25th
Sisters Three – Launch announcement and Winner of the Short Story contest annoucement!
The Introspective Introvert -Sneak Peak – Lillian Keith
Abbigail Befus – Facebook
Into my Writing Journey – Issabelle Perry
Thanks so much for joining us! I’ll be seeing you guys next Wednesday for the release!
So, why do you believe stories are important? What inspires you to write? Any favorite middle grade books?