I had the privilege of interviewing the lovely Kayla Green, aka The Unicorn Writer. Kayla is a former teacher, soon to be a librarian. She enjoys working with kids and helping them discover a love for reading.
An incredibly sweet, kind lady, she's also a talented writer and has authored a poetry collection, Metamorphosis, and an upcoming novel, Aivan: The One Truth. Her novel releases July 26th! Below, I'm asking Kayla questions about her life, faith, and exciting new fantasy book!
1) What got you into writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I wrote my first “book” that I called The Lonely Guinea Pig. I drew my own illustrations and even bound the pages with electrical tape for it to look “official!” In middle school, I won a short story competition with a story about two middle school students who found and opened Pandora’s Box. In high school, I wrote for my school newspaper and during my senior year I served as the paper’s editor. In college, writing was placed on the back burner, but I’ve always been drawn to writing. I began seriously writing again after I started teaching.
2) Cool! Do you have any hobbies or fun facts you’d like to share?
When I’m not writing or reading, I like spending time with my husband and furbabies. I also like to paint and do arts and crafts. Some fun facts about myself include the following: I have an identical twin sister, I have a slight obsession with the color pink, glitter, and unicorns, in college I studied religion abroad in India, and I collect sugar skulls.
3) Do you read much? If so, who are your favorite authors?
I love to read; however, I’ve been spending most of my free time working on the sequel to Aivan: The One Truth! Some of my favorite authors (in no particular order) include C.S. Lewis, Maggie Platt, Nicole Adamz, M. H. Elrich, you, Hannah Carter, V. Romas Burton, AJ Skelly, Edgar Allan Poe, Lousia May Alcott, Tabitha Caplinger, and Kristiana Sfirlea. Fantasy is my favorite genre to read, but I also enjoy poetry, science fiction, and contemporary. I enjoy young adult and middle grade novels most, but I also enjoy new adult and adult reads, too.
(That's a great list, and I'm honored to be on it! 😊 Thanks, Kayla.)
4) You’ve published poetry and short fiction before, but Aivan: The One Truth is your first
A sermon at my home church on Elijah inspired a rather important scene in Aivan: The One Truth. Once I wrote that, I knew there was a larger story to be told!
5) That's great when sermons inspire our stories! In a nutshell, tell me the plot:
The story of Aivan: The One Truth follows two characters: Rune Kallio and Rolf Larsen. From the north, Rune has been a devout believer of the gods of Vihishki her entire life, but after experiencing the power of Aivan first hand, everything she’s always believed comes into question.
From the south, Rolf hears the voice of Aivan and more readily follows the One Truth than Rune, but he's thrown
novel. What inspired it?
temptation after temptation to go astray. Both Rune and Rolf must face challenges, learn from their mistakes, and decide for themselves the truth about the world.
6) Sounds fascinating! As a Christian author, how much does your faith influence your writing?
My faith is the reason I write. Weaving biblical truth in my stories flows naturally, because I believe the words I write were placed on my heart by the master creator, God. Though not all of my stories are as forward with themes of Christianity as Aivan: The One Truth, I hope readers of my words will walk away knowing God’s love for them.
That's awesome! I love how your goal is to impact readers with God's love. 👍
7) Are you a panster or a plotter? What was the hardest thing about writing Aivan: The One Truth?
I’m a mix of both! I always start with an outline, but then typically as my characters begin to take shape, they steer away from the original plan! The hardest thing about writing Aivan: The One Truth is figuring out how best to tell the story. The original draft was re-written TWO times. The first draft didn’t even include Rolf. Once I introduced him to the story, it began to come together.
8) What advice do you have for writers struggling with their first novels?
Keep going! I once heard, “You can’t edit a blank page, but you can edit a bad page,” and those words are so true. Put your words on paper – write the story God puts on your heart; just tell the story with the first draft. Then, clean it up with rewrites and edits. Writing definitely has many challenges, but it is so rewarding, too.
9) Amen, that is great advice! Kayla, you’re a traditionally-published author with several titles out there in the world. Can you share about your experience being traditionally published?
I have a poetry collection titled Metamorphosis, published with Wipf & Stock. Aivan: The One Truth is being published with Ambassador International, and I've also got something else in the works (more book news coming soon)! My favorite part of the publishing process has been working with editors (Susie from AI is absolutely a delight to work with) and being a part of the cover design process. Being traditionally published has been very rewarding, but I understand that it is not the route for everyone. It is a looooong process for sure!
10) If you could be any character in your novel, who would it be and why?
My first initial response is Lumi…who wouldn’t want to be a pegasus? Lol. I think I would most want to be Rune. She loves with all she has and she never gives up.
Aivan: the One Truth character art.
11) What are some of the main themes/messages in Aivan: The One Truth?
Aivan: The One Truth is a story about self-discovery, identity, and faith. I hope readers take away knowing that much like Aivan is the One Truth for the people of the Great Continent, we can find solace in our own real life truth that God is in control.
12) Now that you’ve published Aivan: The One Truth, what’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the book that follows the story of Aivan: The One Truth–a teaser can be found at the end of the novella. I’m also working on a middle grade duology…more information coming soon!
13) Ooh, sounds intriguing! Are there any final thoughts you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for interviewing me! If readers would like to stay updated on me and my writing, they can check out my website/blog at the unicornwriter.com and follow me on Instagram @theunicornwriter93. Thank you again! :)
You're most welcome, Kayla! It was my pleasure, and I wish you the best as you launch your book and work on future endeavors. 🙂 Interested in her new book?