(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Kayla was written by Kayla Matt.)
Kelly drew near to this shop on the street. She could honestly say that she’d never been in a comic shop. Not that she didn’t like comics, but she’d grown up in the middle of nowhere, and there never was a comic shop around. Now was her chance, and she briefly wondered if she’d get stuck looking at all the different comic books after the interview because, after all, they were stories, and she always loved a good story.
Stepping in, she began to meander around. Seriously, she shouldn’t be left alone here in a shop like this for too long. Too many story ideas!
Kayla was looking at the shelves. To be honest, she didn’t have a lot of chances to come to one of these shops in recent years. She had been living in the middle of nowhere for quite a while, herself. But she’d gotten the opportunity to head into a much more populated area for a bit, and this area had a couple of comic shops, who was she to pass up the opportunity?
Of course, in her perusal of the shelves, she didn’t seem to be paying much attention to her surroundings.
Kelly saw someone who looked like the person she was supposed to meet, so she approached her. “Kayla Matt?” When the woman looked at her a bit surprised, Kelly smiled, reaching out her hand. “Hi, I’m Kelly—the person here to interview you. How are you doing today?”
Kayla thought for a second, before shaking Kelly’s hand. “I’m good,” she replied. “Almost came close to forgetting about this, though. Memory’s not the best.”
Kelly chuckled. “Hey, I don’t blame you. I could just browse around here all day long, totally lost in the imagination too. So…shall we meander, or is there a place we can sit, so we can talk or what? Otherwise, we both might get too distracted with everything on the shelves.” She grinned, gesturing to the comic books and graphic novels and such.
“I’m good with either option, really,” Kayla replied. “I think there’s a smaller room around here. Usually used for D&D sessions.”
“Let’s see.” They poked around a bit until they came to a small room with tables and chairs, and Kelly grinned. “Ahha! Perfect!” And she took a seat. “So, Kayla, tell me about yourself. Obviously you’re a writer or else I wouldn’t be interviewing you, but do you have a job other than that? What is it that you do?”
Kayla sat down. “Well…I’ve been trying to find something to add to my income. But that hasn’t worked out. I’m also an artist.”
Kelly brightened when she heard this. “You’re an artist too? Do you draw? Paint? Or what exactly?” But then she explained, “You have to understand, I cannot do art for the life of me, so I admire those who can—especially those who do that and write!”
“I usually work in Illustrator. The sketches are done by hand before being scanned into the computer, and then they’re inked and colored and whatnot digitally. Most of what I draw now is connected to my books,” Kayla replied.
“Very cool! Okay, so let’s talk about you being a writer.” Kelly shifted in her chair to get comfortable. “When did you first begin writing?”
Kayla thought about that one for a moment, tapping a finger on the table. “I guess it started back in middle school or something. A number of years ago, at any rate.”
“But what got you serious about becoming a writer?” Kelly raised her brows.
“I think I started taking it a bit more seriously when I started doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve been at that for…it’ll be six years this November.”
Kelly smiled when she heard this. “NaNoWriMo is quite influential like that!” Then she decided to shift the topic a little. “All right, so I’m sure you have many stories you’d like to talk about, but which one would you like us to focus on?”
Kayla leaned back in the chair for a second, fingers tapping the table again. “Well…I’m thinking the best one to focus on would be the series I’ve been working on for the past four years.”
“Ok. I’d love to hear about it. What’s it about?” Kelly smiled as she raised her brows and sat back to listen to the tale.
Kayla grinned a bit; this project was a major part of her life. “The series’ title is ‘Hell Bent’, and it takes place in a city in Pennsylvania known as Hell Bent. It’s sort of a combination of sci-fi, urban fantasy, horror, and graphic novels. Actually, that last part is partially why I’m here: research. As for plot line,” she continued, tucking a bit of hair behind an ear. “These books follow this one family. Most members are genetically-altered in some way, a couple of them are cyborgs, there are a couple of magic users, a psychic…even a normal person or two.”
“Wow, sounds like quite a complex group of people.” Kelly leaned forward, setting her elbow on the table and her chin in her palm as she absorbed the idea of this story. “So you said it’s following this family…with what? Their day-to-day life? Or are they trying to accomplish something?”
Kayla pushed up her glasses. “Well, in book 1, two of them are trying to go about their day-to-day lives. But then they make the mistake of accepting advice from a woman that turns out to be a serial killer. The first three books involve their dealings with her, as they put her out of business and she elects to make their lives a living hell.”
“Well, that complicates things for sure. How many books are in the series?” Kelly tilted her head as she furrowed her brows.
“So far,” Kayla replied, yet again tapping the table, “I have three of them finished. Number four is in the works, and there would be a grand total of twelve in the full series when it’s done. Each arc consists of 3 books, and is from the main POV of one of the family members. At this point, the main work I’d have to do for book 4 would be the comic pages.”
Kelly sat back, awed. “Wow, you really have it all planned out. That’s brilliant!” She grinned at Kayla. “So what inspired the idea for this series?”
Kayla grinned back, figuring out how the thing had come about. “Book 1 was originally based on a dream I’d had. There was some kind of really shady and unnerving film studio and I was one of my characters, sneaking in there to locate someone close to me. And that was what led to Visions. After that, ideas for more stories began coming to mind.”
“Don’t you just love it when that happens?” Kelly chuckled, shaking her head as she thought back to the numerous times when she experienced similar things. Then she looked back at Kayla. “So what is your favorite thing about this story? What really makes it stand out about all the other kinds of stories that are similar to it in any way?”
“Hell yeah, I do,” she replied, leaning back again. “I think my three favorite aspects are the fact that one of the main characters is a monkey-human hybrid that regenerates, the antagonists that are way too fun to write, and the comic sections that I use to show fight scenes. Sometimes, the comic sections aren’t even used for fights so much as other major plot elements or some instances of magic usage.”
“That is very creative! I like it!” Kelly smiled brightly. “I hope you the best with all your work. Sounds complex but fun.” But then she sighed. “Unfortunately though, our time is up now, which is too bad because I could just sit here and chat with you all day.” She gave Kayla an apologetic look as she rose to her feet but then smiled, “But it was so good to meet you and great to hear about your stories. Thanks for meeting with me.”
Kayla stood up, nodding slightly. “Yeah, it can get sort of complicated to work on,” she said, giving a nervous chuckle as she thought of the workload ahead. “Thanks, and thank you for interviewing me. Hope the next one goes well!”
“Me too. I can’t wait to see which character you will have me meet!” Kelly led the way out of the room. “Well, you take care. I will be in touch with you. Keep writing!” With one final smile, Kelly headed out of the store to head to her next appointment.
Kayla Matt has several books available online. The one we discussed though is not yet published, but should be release sometime this September! Follow her on social media for more updates and check out her other books:
Visions: (Hell Bent series Book 1)
CreateSpace e-store: https://www.createspace.com/4716031
Amazon (paperback or Kindle): http://amzn.com/1500260630
Lulu (Full color hardcover): http://www.lulu.com/content/hardcover-book/visions/14875668
Retribution: (Hell Bent series Book 2)
CreateSpace e-store: https://www.createspace.com/5295775
Amazon (paperback): http://amzn.com/1508546266
Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.com/B01387TIEU
Lulu (Full color hardcover): http://www.lulu.com/con…/hardcover-book/retribution/16363814
Destruction (Hell Bent series Book 3)
CreateSpace e-store: https://www.createspace.com/5817252
Amazon (paperback): http://amzn.com/1518730809
Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.com/B0186GZ220
Lulu (Full color hardcover): http://www.lulu.com/con…/hardcover-book/destruction/17607619
Deception: (Hell Bent series Book 4) — not yet released.
Arc 1 (There are paperback and hardcover versions for this…but the Kindle one is the easiest to afford)
Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.com/B018701YLS
https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey (Character’s FB page)