Kyra Dune is an author of fantasy fiction with several published books that “take you places you’ve never been.” Here we learn about her writing process and her road to publication.
Kyra’s Writing Process
Linda Covella: Kyra, so happy you could join us today. How long have you been a writer?
Kyra Dune: Since I was nine.
LC: You knew what you wanted to do at an early age! Do you write in one particular genre, or explore a variety of stories?
KD: I write mostly fantasy, both adult and YA. In my teens I wrote a few short stories in the genres of science fiction and horror, and there are some ideas for novels in those genres in my idea file. Whether or not I'll ever get around to actually writing them remains to be seen.
LC: From where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
KD: Everywhere. There are a million stories all around you every day, you just have to be receptive to them. They can come from songs, or other stories, or a form glimpsed in a cloud. Anything could spark the imagination. I'll give you an example. When I was a teenager I read The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. I was so enamored with the story that I was inspired to write my own short story in a similar fashion. Years later, I came across that story and decided to try and make it publishable. I ended up with two beginnings and couldn't decide which one to use. So I put the story aside for awhile and promptly forgot about it for another couple of years. When I came back to it the next time, I realized I had the beginnings of two different stories. Those stories blossomed into two unrelated trilogies that are so far from the original short story it's hard to believe that's where they got their start.
LC: That’s a great example and very inspiring. It’s true, you never know what story seeds will blossom into something special. What is your writing process? How much/often do you write?
KD: I write six days a week, seven to ten hours a day depending on what else I have going on.
LC: Do you have writing partners who critique your work before submission? Why do or why don’t you think this is important?
KD: There is someone who always reads my work before anyone else sees it. She gives me invaluable input and I wouldn't dream of submitting a book anywhere until she has the chance to give it a look over.
I think this is very important, because a writer is so deep inside the story we can't always see when something isn't working. We know everything about our characters and their worlds, and we sometimes forget that the readers don't. You need a fresh eye to find problems with plot, or a character doing something that seems wrong for them, or even simply for editing purposes. I write so fast and in such a frenzy, I sometimes leave out a word here or there and she can point that out for me.
Kyra’s Road to Publication
LC: How long have you actively been pursuing publication?
KD: I was twelve when I first started submitting stories and poems to magazines.
LC: That’s very impressive, Kyra! Do you have an agent? If yes, how did you go about finding him/her and what have the benefits been to having an agent?
If not, do you think an agent would be helpful to your writing career/do you plan to seek an agent?
KD: I don't have an agent and I don't plan to seek one out. Not to say I would turn one down in the unlikely event they come knocking on my door one day, but right now I'm doing all right without one.
LC: Have you self-published your books, or gone through a traditional publisher?
If self-published, why did you go that route? Or, why a traditional publisher?
In your view, what are the pros and cons of each?
KD: So far, all my novels have been published by traditional publishers. On October 14, I intend to launch my first self published title, Web of Light.
My publishers are great, really, I have no complaints with any of them. But through self publishing I have more creative control of my work. I can make my own covers and I can decide when my books are released, so that means getting them into the hands of consumers faster. Also, I'll be making a higher percentage off my novels by self publishing and that is, of course, a big motivator.
There is, however, a lot of work in self publishing that a writer doesn't have to deal with by going the traditional route. If you can't make your own cover, you have to find someone who can do it for you. And you have to find an editor, unless you know someone personally who is capable of doing that for you. To anyone wants to self publish, please don't be the only one who edits your book. It's a bad idea. If you can't afford to hire someone, then get someone you know who has a good eye for such things to help you.
LC: What’s up next for Author Kyra Dune?
KD: Right now, I'm working on several projects. Dark Light is the sequel to Web of Light and I hope to release it around the first of December. I'm also working on two urban fantasies Crossfire and its sequel Firestorm, a YA fantasy The Dragon Within which may be the first in a series, The Watchtower War which is the final installment of the traditionally published Time of Shadows Series, and a so far untitled high fantasy.
LC: Anything you’d like to add or that we should know about you?
KD: I'd like to thank you for having me on your blog. Also, for any of you writers out there, aside from writing I also make cover art and book trailers. If you're interested in having a look at my work you can see it here Shadow Portal Productions.
LC: Thank you for joining us today, Kyra. Good luck and happy writing!
Watch Kyra’s Book Trailers: YouTube