Guest Writer: Emily Kinney – Author of “The Island of Lote”

RobertJRGraham.com Interviews Emily Kinney, author of The Island of Lote.

I’m always fascinated by the inspiration of authors, and there seems to be a lot of truth to your book’s premise.  Is this based on true events?

loteHahaha! Not this time! No, the events in this book are purely fictional, and, honestly, it’s probably better that way. I would feel absolutely terrible if anyone actually had to go through what Milo went through. Originally when I wrote the book, I wanted to relay the events in such a way that it would show starkly just how outrageous it all was. My concept was that I take an idea as unheard-of and far-fetched as crash landing on an island and being forced to marry and make it somehow sound plausible. But, I’m rather desensitized when it comes to what is and isn’t realistic, so I don’t know if I accomplished the believability factor. Everyone still loves it, though. It’s a nice break from the norm. Which is also a good description for me, truthfully.

Can you sharea bit about your writing process, how long did it take you to write and publish?  Did you enjoy the process?

Oooh, now there’s a heck of a story. My writing process is somewhat sporadic. I generally set out to meet the needs of the story. Each story is different, so I bestow unique attention on them all. But typically I first develop the plot, characters, prose, purpose, and so on in my head, quickly write everything down so I don’t forget, and then start building from there. Usually, I’ll envision a bunch of scenes in the story, and then I figure out where they all are in conjunction to each other. Beginning? Middle? End? From there I find ways to connect them all, and what style, or prose, this particular story requires. And then the glorious task of actually writing it. It’s taken me many years, but I think I finally have a good system down that allows me to avoid both writer’s block and self-doubt, which can be such an obstacle. It mostly has to do with focus. If your focus is right, you’re generally good to go. Plus practice. Practice helps.
Now, when I was fourteen, it took me five and a half months to write the first draft of The Island of Lote. It took me about seven years to get it published. During those years, I was writing constantly (including trying to keep Lote on a computer without it crashing), dealing with life in general, and avoiding learning about the publishing industry. Back in the day, it was hella scary. So, you could say the writing process was wondrous and life-affirming, and the publishing process almost pushed me to the brink. I’ll forever be grateful I’m not in that place anymore.

 

Will your character Milo Hestler have further adventures, or is this a one off?

Ah, Milo. You know, I’m sure she’s having lots of adventures, just not any I’ll be writing down. It’s my policy not to do sequels. And, yes, I’m aware that this is sacrilege, but I’m a non-conformist. Besides, the books I’ve got coming are all amazing. Writing should be about exploration, and you can’t do that if you only focus on one story.

You’ve brought up an interesting topic regarding being forced into marriage.  What do you think about arranged marriage?

That’s a good question. It’s funny you ask that, because Milo and Simon’s marriage wasn’t arranged. The engagement was accidental, since she didn’t know what he was saying, and out of stupidity, she put on the ring he insisted she wear directly afterward. Since, after all, they were only teenagers, what dangers could exist? Had Milo known the island laws, she would have acted differently, but Simon didn’t introduce her to them until afterwards. Tricky little fellow. And the laws stated that putting on the ring was binding, and there was no way to get out of it. Either go quietly or be forced. Which I think is very wrong, but the whole point was to show how ridiculous the entire situation was. Characters are meant to be put in harrowing circumstances, and this is no different. Arranged marriages, though, I think are kind of sad, and at times revolting, because of age differences. I believe how Milo believes: That you should marry when you are in love. Can you fall in love with an arranged spouse? Sure, but the commitment they have can also be utilized in non-arranged marriages as well. Devotion and commitment, people. Loyalty and love. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

I don’t want you to spoil the ending, but do you think there’s a positive side to two strangers being forced to ‘make it work?’

I think being forced to ‘make it work’ can be positive in most situations. Humans are so much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. There are specific means to making things work, depending on whatever it is that needs working out, but as far as marriage and relationships go, people seem to forget that it all takes work anyway. There’s this assumption circulating that it all should be effortless, or placed on just one person’s shoulders. Humans of the current era are a spoiled lot, to be sure. Strangers, lovers, close friends, whatever have you, being forced to make it work can prove positive, I think so, yes.

What’s “Fueled by Whimsy?”

siteFueled By Whimsy is both my slogan and my brand. It is self-explanatory in that whatever is being offered has elements of whimsy and magic and wonder. It doesn’t stray from my core passion and talent, which is storytelling. There is a Fueled By Whimsy blog, where readers can sample more of my work, a merch line, which includes clothes, a Pinterest board, with little stories as the captions for the pins, and there’s a Facebook page. Fueled By Whimsy allows me to do more as an author aside from writing books.

How can we get a copy of your work?

Either enter your favorite books store or library and request it, or hop online and go to Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble.com, or Books-a-Million.com and type in the title. Truth be told, it’s available on basically every book website in existence. Nothing like choices!

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