Nov 20, 2013

Interview with Kacey Chumley

 When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Well, since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, really. Ever since I realized that the movies I created in my head could be shared with other people, I suppose.

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? The best and worst thing about it?
It is wonderful to be able to relate to other people through work. No lie. This is something I’ve wanted since I was eight, and it’s great to have people who’ve read the books come up to me and say they enjoyed it. The worst thing is looking back at some of your older stuff and going, “Man, what was I thinking?” It feels like looking at an embarrassing yearbook photograph.

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
Well, if you go way back into the awkward kaleidoscope that was my adolescence, you’ll find a bunch of scribbled-up, one-page stories that I wrote about me and my friends going on adventures. Most of the people involved in these stories are still some of my best friends.

What made you create (your book)?  How did it come to you?
Well, a year ago, when I had just turned nineteen, I started out my history classes at college. I really got sucked into it, and wanted to know if I could somehow plan a good story out using some historical elements. I’m also a huge nerd for bad sci-fi movies, and kind of wanted to incorporate that as well. Then one night, I was in the shower, and the idea fell from the sky. The two ideas merged beautifully and the characters (which I had weirdly planned beforehand) of Connor, Meredith and Owen fit into it so well.

Who is your literary hero?
Embarrassingly enough, I totally wanted to be Ella from Ella Enchanted when I was a kid. Even though she was forced to follow everyone’s orders, she always did her own thing and that was really admirable. In recent years, I’ve got to say Tris from Divergent, though. The girl can seriously kick some butt.

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
Oh man… Well, I don’t like to base any character off of anyone I know in real life. However, I notice sometimes traits I know from real life friends and family kind of shine through. Connor’s lines kind of felt forced in the beginning, until I became very close with this guy friend I had. Then I imagined what he would say and the lines suddenly kept coming way smoother. Sometimes things like that will happen, and to this day, all my guy friends like Connor the best out of any other character in the book.

Describe your main character in six words.
Introverted, shy, compassionate, emotional but pure.

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
Externally comforting but internally pressuring.

What scene was your favorite to write?
The scene when Meredith finally meets Owen. You kind of get a feel of who he is, and how utterly opposite he is of Connor. When they’re at the dinner, it was also very easy to write down her resentment and anger towards him. I couldn’t imagine having to confront another person when they were walking around in the shell of what used to be my best friend.

What scene was the hardest for you to write?
I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a scene at the end where Meredith feels as though she’s caught in choosing between who should live and who should die, despite caring for them both deeply. That was hard to write about simply because of the emotional factor.

What are you working on now?
I’m just finishing up The Last Replacement trilogy and I’ve got a paranormal, sort of southern gothic book in the works. I don’t want to give too much away, though. You’ll have to wait!

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
It was crazy awesome to hit the bestsellers list in the Dystopian category, but I don’t want to stop there. I would love to push boundaries for my work and never stop dreaming of ways that it can entertain and inspire people.

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
If you’re starting out, I would choose any book that would stretch your imagination. “A Wrinkle in Time” blew my mind as a second grader and “The Giver” did so as a middle schooler. Whatever book can truly suck you in and make you become a part of its world is what you really need to get your hands on.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
Well, I was once a roadie for a rock band, a janitor at a museum and sign-carrier at several of my university’s basketball games. Above all, though, I just love spending time with my friends and family. They’re what it’s really all about.