Kai Leakes Website

Kai Leakes Website
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Liebster Award [Ten Questions on my 'Work in Progress' (WIP)]

 Hey #Teamsineaters & #Teamcursed,

Author K.Ceres Wright tagged me in a ten-question blog hop entitled: "The Liebster Awards", so here is my response!

1. Tell us about your work in progress (WIP)
Currently, it is titled "Pulse." This story is about a young woman who's simple life is thrown for a loop when she is kidnapped as a bounty then ends up on a journey and mission to protect a object, she acciently was given.
2. How is your WIP different from your prior work?
This story is different in the fact that it is a steampunk based fantasy. There are no vampires at all, or paranormal activity. 
3. How has writing changed your life?
I first of all never thought that I'd be a writer, but once my first novel, "Sin Eaters" was born, everything changed. I found myself no longer in the seat of being a reader, but now a creater of crazy, exciting worlds. Writing has made my life fun, but burdensome because now I can't stop writing! 
4. What inspired you to start writing?
The inspiration actually came from being a reader first. I began searching for fantasy based stories where I could picture myself actually in them. Once, I found that not to many authors could give me that, I decided to test drive writing a story where I could hop in and that turned into "Sin Eaters."
5. Who is your favorite character from all your works?
Just to pick one is hard. I love them all, but the one I would pick would be the least expected and that is, Lord Valc. He's in Book Two. Just look at that adorable face!
6. Do you like to write villains?
Actually, it depends. I have to be in a specific mindframe. When I am, yes, I love it. The Dark Lady, Medusa and Mad King are my best villians. 
7. What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve learned?
To trust in yourself first. If you don't believe in your own work, then it has no business being out there.
8. How have you grown as a writer?
It goes back to the advice. I'm learning to trust in myself and silence my hesitations and fears about writing. I think I've grown a lot in that aspect. Before, I would worry about why someone may not like my work. Now, I let that self-hesitation go.
9. What’s your favorite line from your WIP?
I never really have a specific line that is my favorite, but I do have a scene I like due to the banter between the two. Read below:
“Tam, sometimes when a bull is caught by its horns, it can’t perform.” Eko stood to pace back and forth with his arms tucked behind his back while he spoke, “Sometimes they get to fighting so much and jumpin’ and hoppin’ around so much that it forgets that its horns are locked. You get want I’m saying? That’s why I had to agree to this.”
 Tameri stared in complete silence. Her teacup was delicately perched near her lips and she stared blinking slowly. What in Rameses’s palace, was going on? A bull fighting? What did she have to do with any of that?
“Eko, what?” she gently asked. (Eko & Tameri - Pulse)
 10. Do you like dragons?
LOL. Have you read the Sin Eaters series? The book is teeming with them! Oops! Spoilers. :)
 Now I get to tag some other writers and get them to answer 10 questions. I tag: Nikki-Michelle, Crystal Connor, & Valjeanne Jeffers.

  1. Tell us about your work in progress (WIP).
  2. What about your WIP stands apart from your other works?
  3. How has your writing shaped you as an author?
  4. How has it changed you in your everyday life?
  5. What is your favorite moment from any of your books?
  6. What is your favorite line from one of your books?
  7. Who is your favorite character?
  8. If you could disappear in your world of stories, which book would you jump into?
  9. What advice would you share as a writer?
  10. Let's play Being Human! Which would you be: Wolf, Vamp, Ghost, or Zombie?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year 2015 & Creative Writing with Kai Leakes

Happy New Year Team Sineaters/Cursed,

I want to update you all on a little news about me. I'm currently in a point of reflection on where to lead my brand. I have just finished a manuscript that is in a new genre, Contemporary Romance and slight Erotica.

I am very nervous about this story, and can't wait to share it with you. Tentatively titled, "Pleasure Principle: A BOK Novel" and it will introduce you to a character by the name of Qin and a woman named Aria. I won't share more until later. I will say that, it has rave comments already.

So now, I want to move on and do something that I never do and that is share a little of my writing process as a means to help those of you who wish to jump into the writing world.

I was asked by a fellow #teamsineater/cursed, the process in which I work with my chapters when formulating my books, so I'll start there.

Please sit back, enjoy some tea, listen to some classical or hip hop and imagine me sitting in front of a huge fire in steampunk attire with a British accent. (LOL)

Also, remember to visit my website and read the new Behind The Book addition to The Compound.

First rule to Kai's writing club is this: There is no method to my madness. What works for me, might work for you, or it might not. Take what you learn at your leisure.

Chapter Development:
  1. Chapter development is simple for me. I like to retrain myself on purpose. I believe for me that my books all need to be 20-21 chapters. If I go over, it is because the story demands it. 
  2. Why do I feel that way? Because I hate the idea of rambling, though it's only natural and I'm a stickler/stubborn. This is just my personal way of writing, there is no rhyme or reason.
Chapter Page Development: 

Rule 2#: There is no set number of pages to a chapter, so they say. You can write to your heart's content, such as G.R. Martin does (he rocks).

  1. This is true. However, for myself, again. I do limit my page quota per chapter. I do this because it keeps me on track of my chapter count and word count at times. I also, feel that I'm rambling if I go on and on and on.
  2. If I go over my page count, I typically attempt to chop it into a new chapter. You can see this from time to time in my books. 
  3. Me, going over chapter lengths, typically occur because I went back to add more detail, or the chapter led me to go over (See, Chapter Development). 
  4. It's natural to go over and it happens. Usually you can go back in edits and cut it down or finesse it. (I have a chapter like this in SE 1. Its a chapter that annoys me, but feedback has been that it's a fan favorite, so I can not complain too much about it.) 
Outline Development:

Rule 3# We do not discuss outlines. We never mention outlines. It only causes more ruckus. 

  1. Honestly, I do not do outlines. I am a horrible procrastinator who is lazy. I do not have the patience to craft such things. I've been this way all my life, including when I was but a wee one in school. 
  2. What I do create are long drawn out notes. I enjoy taking notes, that is my thing. The 'outline' for Sin Eaters consist of nothing but notes. If you buy book Two you will see those notes were then turned into a index for the reader to understand the world I created. Terminology and all. 
  3. If you are an outliner, I suggest to use my method of knowing how many chapters you want to craft and pages you wish to have within those chapters. It will help you in the long run.
  4. Research, research, research. This helps in formulating your notes or outline. This can come in the form of reading, or watching action movies/fighting movies, just to get a feel for writing action and fighting in your works (This is what I do. It also helps me in my procrastination). 
General Writing suggestions (Writing style & Betas): 

  • I'm called wordy/detailed and I like to put a lot of characters in my works (This is usually because of my love of Fantasy writing).  I've been told to tone that down, so I'm working on that.
  • However, on this current book (Pleasure Principle) I worked it where it fit me and fit the suggestions of my two beta readers. One beta was like "OMG this book is awesome", and sat back with a huge smile (with this beta, I had been waiting to get a reaction with my work from them in that way and it made my day), because I did not take anything out that usually I'm told too. I just worked it to where it fit their suggestions. I'm still wordy and I still have a team of people in the story, they are just background now. LOL
  • A little about me, I never thought that I'd be a writer. I was always the reader, and girl imagining grand worlds. Later when I graduated from college and was in my depression of being broke with no job, I wrote, Sin Eaters. It was years later, when it was published and finished. In between that, I jumped on a readers forum connected to my favorite author, and met other readers. 
  • That's where I started doing fan fiction and sharing my shorts and the one friend I met and stuck with, ended up being my main beta and we both ended up being writers at the same time. She was just a reader like me. 
  • So that's how that started and its good to be in a protecting mindset in regards to your work as a writer, always. 
  • Your friends are the best to get feedback from with crafting so keep that in thought as a writer.
Sharing one's work as a writer is a good thing and  part of one's growth in writing. You have to know who you are dealing with and keep them around you as your betas if they like being a beta. It helps you as a writer in the long run with content feedback. (My main beta, and I always ruffle each other's feathers in this regard, but in the end, they have helped me greatly with my works, and I write to see her reaction because it is the best).
Ultimately, my writing advice is this. You only can take the lessons of others as far as you want it. What works for others might not work for you. You have to find your own muse and lessons and work everything out in a way that fits you.

I wish those of you venturing into the writing work the best of luck. I'm here for any questions you have, writing wise, or just to answer questions about my characters, or ask for advice. Find me at my website, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Have a lovely 2015! There's nothing but greatness for us all. ~K.L.