Welcome to my stop on the Kailin Gow Loving Summer Blog Tour, hosted by SupaGurlBooks. Check out my interview with the awesome author below:
Everywhere. Just kidding. I’m pretty global. Born in Taiwan, but raised and grew up mainly in Southern California since I was 1 year old. Lived in Texas and England, but have traveled to over 24 countries.
2. What inspired you to become a writer and who are some writers that influence you?
I wanted to become a writer, not only a writer but a teen and young adult writer when I was 7 years old when I read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. She was a teen author, and although I was 7 at the time, I was a voracious reader and early reader, that I thought I would write a book, too. So at 9, I wrote a book that was about a magical squirrel kingdom with knights, ladies, bakers, dragons, and lots of swordfights. I still write fantasy and medieval themed books (Wordwick Games for instance and The Alchemists Academy). Having a childhood filled with books and reading fueled the imagination and inspiration I have today with my books.
3. You’ve written young adult fiction to business and lifestyle books. Quite the versatile author. Is there one particular genre you lead more towards?
Definitely YA fiction since that comes much faster to me. There are some things that just flows quickly and naturally for people, and for me, it’s YA fiction and fiction in general.
4. Tell us about your new book, Loving Summer. How’d you come up with such a fresh story with lovable characters?
It’s based on a few true life experiences I have. I did grow up spending summers with a family – a single mom who had two sons and one daughter. I always thought one of the sons was cute and was intimidated about it when I was younger. It was until I was dating someone else (who became my husband), that we bumped into each other and he began acting interested in me. He came to my wedding and acted jealous, and to this day, he still hasn’t gotten married. Also, Mrs. Donovan was based on the mother of another family who stayed with us briefly during a summer, and she was undergoing a horrible divorce. She had the most gorgeous sons and a beautiful daughter, and I had a crush on both boys. Aunt Sookie is based on people I know in acting. Astor Fairway, too. Funny, but sometimes my life is stranger than fiction, and every book I write is based on some personal experience. Loving Summer is based on my own personal experience so it is my own story, although it may sound familiar to some fictionalized stories already out there. I’m sure others had have similar real life experiences like this. That’s why this book has that nostalgic quality, too.
5. What can readers expect from this new series?
Lots of interaction between characters that are meaningful, lots of growing up, heartaches, love, joy, and new experiences for these characters. It’s not just about the romance, but about each of them finding themselves and who they are becoming. Definitely about their journeys. Oh, and yes, lots of hot swoon-worthy guys.
6. A best selling author of over 100 books, and recipient of several awards. How does it feel to have achieved so much?
Thank you! I don’t really sit back and gloat or anything. I know there are many authors out there who have done more so to me, it’s just icing on a cake that is already so filling. I love what I do, which is why I have so many books. But I’m not driven by going after the accomplishments. I’m driven because this is what I do, and to me, it’s like breathing. I’m honored and blessed to find that what I write is enjoyed by others.
7. Do you ever feel pressured to live up to expectations?
Good question! Of course, it happens, but most of the time, it’s because I have set myself up for high standards, so I can only blame myself for feeling pressured on that. All in all, though, I have recently developed a devil-may-care attitude about it. Everyone has their own opinions, everyone has their own set of standards and norms when they pick up a book, so there is bound to be different opinions and expectations. I can’t please everyone nor am I aiming to. I write the kind of books I like to read, and it has to start from there.
8. Aside from being an author, you’re also a radio host I hear. How do you balance everything while working on your next book?
Hard, but it’s about time management and dedication. I also have an assistant who helps, and a team behind me through my publisher.
9. So, what do you do for fun when you’re not working?
Visit amusement parks, see movies, go to the beach, travel, shop, eat out, do girl things with a group of ladies I’ve been friends with for years, and spend a lot of time with friends and family.
10. Thank you Kailin, any message for your followers or tips for aspiring writers?
Enjoy life and live it to the fullest. Life is the greatest inspiration, and when you write about something you know and have experienced firsthand, it gives that authenticity to your work. No one can take those experiences away from you, and no one can claim they’re not your own experiences. That’s what I love about this writing life…you find the most memorable authors are the ones who really lived – Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. They wrote about their own experiences.