Author Interview: KoalaKaos

Hey lovelies! So I’m bringing you another awesome author that you need to check out. And she’s not strictly a TMI girl, either. She’s written for The Selection Trilogy as well. Not that I know what they is, but I skimmed her other stuff-and yeah it’s just as good as The Beauty is the Beast. I was intrigued when I was scrolling through ff when I caught sight of the summary and needless to say, I was not disappointed. So let’s hear from her, huh?

 

Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
KoalaKaos

So, tell me a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a University student and am study to become a primary school teacher because I know I don’t have the ability to control a class full of teenagers. I can’t wait to be a teacher, but secretly I harbour the dream of throwing it all away and pursuing the life of an author. Who knows maybe I still might.

I have two brothers, one older and one younger and three dogs. Four if only my brother would work harder to convince my mum to get a chocolate Labrador.

What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
At the moment, I’m obsessed with watching ice hockey. I’m kind of a sports nut. I’m from Australia and we have some very irregular sports that I’m guessing a lot of people haven’t heard of before, but where I live, our country’s football is like a religion. Not to mention my love of cricket, trust me once you know what’s going on it’s definitely not boring, no matter what people try and tell you. I generally always have sports on in the background when I’m writing because I think I find the commentators soothing.

Of course I’m also trying to read all the books I can possibly get my hands on.

What are some things you never leave home without?
A book, never leave the house without a book. I need it for whenever I feel the world just isn’t living up to my expectations. I always have a pen and a notebook. I have quite the collection of both because I love to handwrite a lot of my stories because it feels more tangible and real to me than if I’m sitting at a computer all day. I’m notorious for forgetting my phone at home or just opting out of bringing it. I love to watch people and if I’m glued to my phone I feel like I’ve missed out on the world.

What are some of your favorite books?
Oh wow, the list is literally endless. I think thats every book lovers problem but I think I’m going to try and narrow it down to five. I think that’s manageable. In no particular order, lets start with one of my more recent loves. “The Rosie Project,’ and its sequel, ‘The Rosie Effect,’ by GraemeSimsion. This was a real cute love story that had me in stitches to the point where I had people on the train needing to know what I was reading because it was making me smile so much. I’m definitely counting that as one, it’s a series. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors of all time and I love all of her books so I’m going to tell you two of my absolute favourites from her. ‘Where Rainbows end,’ which I think was recently made into a movie. I never saw it because I knew it could never do one of my all time favourite books justice. I adore it. A more recent one from her which I absolutely fell in love with was ‘How to fall in Love.’ Okay I think that counts as two so I guess I have only two left. So much pressure.  Okay, lets go Non-fiction for this one, ‘The Missing Ink,’ by Philip Hensher discusses a favourite topic of mine, the lost art of handwriting.

Finally, a book I supremely enjoy is ‘Sophie’s World,’ by Jostein Gardner. I believe it has everything to do with my love of everything Alice in Wonderland.

I could go on forever with every book I have every read because each one of them had something that I loved, no matter how bad they were sometimes. I have two bookshelves which have exploded onto every surface of my room and find it almost impossible to walk out of a bookshop without buying two to three books. I would tell you which book I am reading right now but there are too many because I don’t like to limit myself to exploring only one world at a time. I’ll read anything and I’ll do anything to be reading.

Favorite TV shows and movies?  
Due to my aforementioned love of sport you will rarely find me sitting down and watching a tv show. Honestly I’m not sure I have the attention span. I’ll generally be reading a book or writing whilst watching it. But I do have a few favourites. I love, ‘Once upon a time,’ it’s about fairytales, how could I not? Peter Pan is my absolute favourite character. I can’t even explain the love I have for that character. He just makes evil so appealing. My all time favourite show is of course, ‘Friends,’ I just can’t get enough of Monica and Chandler. I love classics like ‘Bewitched,’ and the ‘Nanny.’ Currently, I’m making my way through ‘Modern Family’.

Movies, that’s easy, anything Disney. Currently, my favourite movie is ‘Big Hero Six,’ I cried because I laughed so hard. ‘How to train your dragon,’ one and two, ‘Legally Blonde,’ ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ anything with Reese Whiterspoon really. ‘Easy A,’ or anything where Emma Stone in there and my all time favourite is more of a musical, ‘Annie,’ the older ones not the new one which I’m afraid to say was missable. Don’t even get me started on how unhappy I was with that movie.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
John Oliver because his humour would definitely help me to pass the time. He may be useless at everything pertaining to survival but at least I would die laughing. Chris Hemsworth, my countryman, because I’m sure he would be helpful for many, many things. The third is more fictional but I would love it if the Mad Hatter was there. No reason other than being his awesome self.

What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
I desperately want to go to Ireland and Scotland. I adore their accents and their culture. They both tell the most beautiful stories about love and I’m nothing if not a hopeless romantic.

Do you have any pet peeves?
Useless questions, those obvious ones your parents always ask you that you just really don’t want to answer or just pointing out the obvious just to start a conversation. Sometimes, silence is definitely preferred.

What are some of your favorite foods? How ‘bout comfort foods?
Cookies!!! I love cookies. I bake all kinds of cookies and whenever I don’t know what to eat I always turn to cookies. I make the cookie monster’s love for cookies look tame.

What’s your favorite scent-one that says “home” to you?
Eucalyptus. Obviously being from Australia almost everywhere you go there are Eucalyptus trees and there isn’t another scent that I love more. After a long trip all I want to do is go for a walk and soak up the Australian sun and smell the calming scent of eucalyptus. Never gets old.

What kind of music do you like? Any you absolutely can’t stand?
I love Sara Barielles music, Gabrielle Aplin, Christina Grimmie, Melee, One Big World, One republic, Imagine Dragons, Bastille and Fun. My favourite Australian artists are Missy Higgins and Sheppard.

I’m sorry to all you One Direction lovers out there but I can’t stand anything they produce. I just can’t handle it. Same with you Beiber. I recently discovered a dislike for Taylor Swift whom I used to love before she changed her sound. I miss her old stuff. I can’t stand rap or hip hop or any of that really loud, thumping dance music that all sounds the same. Kind of makes me want to saw my ears off.

Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla?  Chocolate
Silver or gold? Silver
Apple or PC? Apple
White wine or red wine? Neither, I’m not a big drinker (a more apt description of my drinking habits is non-existent.)
Liquor or beer? Neither
Coffee or tea? TEA!!!
Sleep in or get up early? I want to say get up early but generally I always sleep in.

Okay, now for the good stuff.
What are your preferred fandoms for writing/reading?  
I do love reading and writing for The Selection trilogy but the Mortal Instruments comes in a close second.

What kind of environment do you write in?
Any kind, it doesn’t really matter for me. Just really depends on my mood. Sometimes I want loud and chaotic, or maybe writing outside. Sometimes, I opt to go to the library because I always feel more comfortable surrounded by books, although, sometimes that can be very distracting because all I want to do is read every book there.

Ever write in your PJs?
Always, most of the time I’m writing at two or three in the morning so the majority of my writing has been done in my PJ’s

How bout naked?
Nope, always clothed :)

Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
Everywhere, driving I often wonder how I have gotten places because I’ve been too busy think up another story. I watch people, listen to conversations, start insane ones whenever I can. A lot of my characters have traits I have seen in others or even myself. I believe the only way to make a character truly believable is to take something from yourself and expand from there. Then you have to put yourself in their mind. Sometimes I’ve been so deep in a character’s mind that I forget. I was writing a particularly angry scene once and stopped midway to got to work and couldn’t understand why I was so angry or even what I was angry at until I realised I had forgotten to leave that character’s emotions on the page.

Do I put real life into my stories?  
Sure, I think it’s almost impossible not to allow real life to sneak into a piece otherwise it could never be relatable for the reader.

Do you write on a schedule?  
I have no schedule, generally I can’t get through the day without writing something otherwise it feels like my mind might overload. I’m not always writing something worthy to be read but sometimes I just need to get the words out there before they start to drive me insane.

Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
Generally, I get an idea for a story and I just need to put a scene down on paper. It’s usually the middle of the story that I get hit with and then I build the story from there. I work my way back to the beginning and might have a vague idea of how it will end but its fluid and always changing as the story progresses

Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Nope, I write whenever and wherever I can. My only habit is more of a general one, but I drink gallons of tea. I have three tea pots and well over twenty mugs, most from Disneyland and Disney world.

Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?  
I cannot write any sort of murder mysteries. I remember I had to write one in year nine but I don’t ever remember writing it and I have no idea what it was about. I think I got a pretty awesome grade for it but it was not an enjoyable experience for me. I love writing about love and overcoming insurmountable obstacles because that’s what I like to read about.

What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
I hate disappointing my readers by not being able to update frequently.

Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
Titles for stories generally hit as I’m writing it or sometimes the title comes first and then the story.

Which character do you identify with the most?
I have no idea, I guess they all have a little bit of something which I can identify with.

Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
‘Altered Dreams,’ in The Selection Fandom because I have invested so much in it. As those who have read it will know it is a sequel to the original story I wrote whilst waiting for, at the time, the final book in the series, ‘The One.’ I enjoy writing it so much because most of the characters are my own. There are of course those from the original books but they are much older as I’m writing about their children. I also love it because it is based off another story’s themes, my favourite, Cinderella. I do love fairytales.

Do you talk to your family about your writing?
No, never. I’d feel ridiculous talking to my family because I don’t really trust that I’m any good. I talk to one friend about my writing but I never let anyone I know read it.

What is your favorite book/episode in your preferred series?  
My favourite book in a series is generally the first because it sets everything up. So, I love the first book in the selection trilogy. I must have read it ten times before the second came out. Same with the Mortal Instruments, until that ending and I wondered what kind of book I had stumbled across. That had me going insane until I could read the next book.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
That’s a hard one because there are so many supportive and beautiful people out there who give me awesome encouragement but I’ve got to say whenever people tell me they’ve been discussing it with their friends I almost lose my mind. It’s unreal to think that there are people out there actually discussing what I’ve written.

How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I think I definitely need the criticism, I need to know what I’m doing wrong. As much as I appreciate the beautiful reviews about the piece I think I may appreciate getting the more constructive negatives ones more because they stop me from becoming a lazy author which is a really easy mode to slip into. If the people reading my story are constantly asking me questions about why I’ve done something or why a character has acted a certain way or flat out telling me that something doesn’t make sense I take it on board and try and figure out how to either fix my mistake by reworking something or sometimes I have been known to justify myself. However, at that point I know I’ve already made a mistake because if I need to justify something it means I haven’t written it well enough to let the words speak for themselves.

What is your favorite/least favorite part about your preferred fandoms?
In general, I just love that people are brave enough to post their stories in any fandom.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write! Pick up a pen, boot up your computer and write anything, everything and all that comes in between. Dream, I can’t tell you the amount of hours in a single day I spend daydreaming about alternate stories and far off places. I lose hours staring out my window lost in a world completely of my own making. Never dismiss a story because you think it’s too unreal or no one wants to read it. Who cares, write it for yourself then, write because you want to read it. Take inspiration from everything and then let your mind run wild. There are no limits. This isn’t maths, there are no rules to the worlds you can create other than the ones you choose. Never stop writing and more importantly never stop dreaming. I’m just like all of you, I’m not published but maybe one day with the right story I could be. At least I can dream it anyway :)

And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?  
Umm, I’m not really into social media. I have no idea what tumblr is or any of the other things, so the only real place to see me is on Fanfiction, where my stories are.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!

 

There you have it. She’s such a sweetie and you should really go check her out. :) Leave her some love and reviews, cause-ya know-authors thrive off of that. :)

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