Author Interview: Kaitlyn Legaspi
1. Tell us a little about yourself. Do you have a latest book we should know about?
I am currently a junior attending the University of Florida studying Business Management. Other than reading and writing, I love singing and cooking, and I absolutely love boba tea! I just came out with the first book of my new Card Holders series. It’s called Red Blood, and it’s my first YA urban fantasy book!
2. Tell us how this story first came to be, or what inspired it. Was it an image, a movie, a person, or anything? How did you develop the idea into a plot?
For Red Blood, the world-building came first rather than the plot. At the time, I was really into card games, and I wanted to somehow incorporate a standard playing deck directly into this new world I wanted to create as well as it’s power system. After having the basics of the world I created, I focused all my efforts into creating the main characters next, especially my female protagonist Neela Blydes. The plot definitely came last. I didn’t even know how I wanted the book to end, and now I have six completed manuscripts for the series, including the one I just published.
3. Share with us how you market your books. Would you recommend your way to other authors? Why or why not?
I market my books on Instagram. I used to be active on my FaceBook page, but I just didn’t have the time, so I just stopped making content for the platform. I also have my own newsletter and blog that’s now primarily for book reviews. Social media marketing is definitely a great way to market nowadays, especially now that people are on their phones more and moving away from older forms of consuming information such as newspapers and even television. It’s also really difficult because there are other people trying to do the same thing, trying to tailor their content so the algorithm will pick it up and show it to more users. I unfortunately don’t have the money to do more, but if you can afford some level of paid promotion whether it be on a social media platform or just purchasing a promotional package from an online company, I’d say go for it. Just make sure they’re reputable.
4. Do you think you will shift to other genres in the future? If yes, what genres would you like to write? What do you think of creating pen names for writing different genres?
I’m not sure if I will shift to other genres. I know for sure I want to continue writing books in the Young Adult and New Adult age ranges, and I’m quite happy writing books in the fantasy, urban fantasy, and romance genres. If anything, I would probably try out a niche sub-genre of those three in the future. I think creating pen names for different genres is pretty clever, especially if an author has no intention of showing their face to their readers. This is mainly because author branding is a big thing, and I think most authors tend to stick to one genre or a cluster of closely-related genres, so the genres become a big part of their brand. I haven’t done it, and I don’t think I ever will, just because I would like to put myself out there as a writer who likes trying different things.
5. Who is the biggest supporter of your writing? Does anyone in your family read your books?
I have a very supportive family! My dad has read all of my books, my mom is reading them, my younger siblings have read a few. I also have family members in the Philippines who have enjoyed reading my books. My aunt was one of the main reasons why I wanted to pursue becoming an author, and she has definitely been one of my biggest supporters. I also have a really supportive boyfriend who, funnily enough, hates reading but writes and speaks more eloquently than I do. Despite not being an avid reader or writer, he offered to help me edit Red Blood, and he’s done a fantastic job! He’s also my current editing partner for the sequel.
I remember life before I moved to the city. While I can’t recall much, I held on to enough for me to figure out what life was like before.
From what I can piece together, my parents, my older brother, and I lived in the meadows around fifteen miles away from a bustling city. We didn’t have much; no television set, no radio, not even common kitchen luxuries like a microwave. Even though we had little, we made the most out of it, enjoying our time outdoors and exploring the dense forests nobody else dared to venture into. We had a great time, my brother and I, playing dangerous games of hide-and-seek and learning about the surrounding wildlife from our father.
Then, on a lovely spring day, everything we’d done for those few years suddenly disappeared.
I remember almost nothing about that day, and I’m too scared to even try and look back at what happened. All I can uncover without digging too deep are men dressed in black suits, my parents shouting for my brother and me to escape, and fire. I especially remember the fire.
It was a beast that consumed everything, burned everything to scorched powder. It gorged everything in our house; every painting, every wood carving, every memory. I listened as it forced a fearful scream from my mother. I watched up close as the searing flames killed my father.
He stood over me, protecting me from falling debris as he was caught by its quick claws. With my eyes wide, I stood and trembled as my father burned to ashes in front of me, the flames turning his once pale skin into brittle black scales. What was relieving, though, was the look in his eyes. They showed no fear, no anger, no signs of pain despite the flames broiling every part of his body. All they showed was compassion, love, and sincerity.
I stood and watched the expression flicker in my father’s eyes until my brother pulled me away. He dragged me out of the house and led me into the dense forest we knew so well. From the bushes, we shook as our house fell to the murderous hands of the blazing fire, gasping as the place we called home was burned to ashes.
Beyond that, I remember nothing. I don’t think I fell asleep or fainted, but one of the two happened that day, because the next time I opened my eyes, I found myself in a hospital. It was the only hospital in the slums of the domain, and in the slums I remained. The only reminder of the event is a burn scar on my left shoulder. Every time I stare at this dry, pink distortion, I think and I wonder.
There’s a reason why those men received orders to get rid of an innocent family living in the rural outskirts of the domain. See, there are two kinds of people in this world. There are the people without powers and the people with them; the bound, and the unbound. I’m the latter, and I absolutely hate hiding it, but it’s necessary to hide what I am. When you’re unbound, you’re always considered a freak… and what do ‘normals’ do to freaks like me?
They torture them.
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