It’s not often one meets a true Renaissance woman, but that is exactly what happened when I sat down to interview Kara Skinner recently. Kara is not only an author, she is also a blogger, YouTuber, book & TV reviewer, and ambassador for a charity called Trees for the Future.
At only 14 years old, Kara was already a regular contributor for Differences Online Magazine as a Blogging Bookworm. She started her own blog a year later, and by the time she was 17, she was ghost writing romance novels. I know you will enjoy getting to know this multi-faceted, multi-talented dynamo of a writer.
Interview with Kara Skinner
IRIS: First of all, thank you, Kara, for interrupting what is clearly a very busy schedule to be interviewed.
KARA: Thank you so much for wanting to interview me! I really appreciate it!
IRIS: You know that our blog readers are mostly writers and readers, like yourself. Tell us, what inspires you to write?
KARA: For my blogging, causes I’m passionate about inspire me. I love helping indie authors and local bookstores find more readers while also raising money for Trees for the Future, a non-profit fighting climate change and poverty around the world.
KARA: I’m a firm believer in positively influencing the world by doing what I love, and I hope I accomplish that goal with Lover’s Quarrel.
KARA: As for my fiction writing, I don’t do as much as I would like. I have a teen romance, Swapping Secrets, that’s free to read on Swoonreads. I started writing that in high school because I was crushing on a guy who was in a completely different social circle than me but was too shy to approach him (ah, high school).
KARA: So I fantasized about how two people could get together when they don’t talk to each other in their daily lives and thought, “What if they accidentally switch journals and had to read each other’s journals to switch them back?” And that’s how Swapping Secrets was born.
KARA: I have a few other book ideas that I work on now and then, even though blogging takes up most of my time. One is a fairytale retelling about Cinderella being a mob boss who got her name by burning down the homes and businesses of people who owe her money. She’s really just a figurehead for the true leader, of course, who is the Stepmother. I was inspired to write that story when I was 19 and watching Cinderella II for the first time in years. I was really annoyed about how Cinderella was completely unscarred after years of emotional and verbal abuse and wanted a darker version of the character.
KARA: I also write erotica under a pen name, but I’m sure you can imagine what inspires those stories. 🙂 (Feel free to cut this line out if you want)
IRIS: When you write fiction: Do you listen to, or talk to, your characters? How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?
KARA: I both listen and talk to my characters. Usually, they shout at me when I’m writing about how I’m going to get them from point A to point B without changing their personality or creating a problematic storyline. If I’m really into a scene I’ll mouth what they’re saying and make the same facial expressions as them, which effectively makes me the craziest person in the coffee shop.
KARA: I’m usually not writing when I’m talking to them. That happens when I’m just thinking about the story, usually in the shower or while doing some mundane task. I usually talk to them for my own entertainment but it often helps me develop their character a bit more.
IRIS: What is the most important or most frequent advice you give about writing?
KARA: This advice applies to just not writing, but any sort of creative endeavor: insecurity is toxic and ruins lives. Just do it, and the skill and ease will come with practice.
IRIS: What would you change about the world of writing and publishing, if you could?
KARA: The biggest thing I would change in the world of writing and publishing is Amazon’s death grip over the entire industry. It scares me they have such a big market share because not only is it a threat to independent bookstores, but it’s a threat to everyone in the book industry.
KARA: Everyone is more or less at their mercy and what’s even more concerning is it doesn’t matter to them if books are sold or not because they can just sell the dream of being a full-time writer through Amazon Ads.
KARA: As a Bookshop and Smashwords affiliate, it would be great for me if those two retailers shared the bulk of the market share (and I daresay great for independent authors and bookstores) but ideally, there wouldn’t be any bookseller with significant power over the rest.
IRIS: Where can readers and writers find your books or other works?
IRIS: Thank you, again, Kara Skinner, master of many literary venues, for taking time to give us this interview.
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