Kaylie Hathaway joins us today. She is a fellow OakTara author! She is a teen with a passion for writing novels of all genres and poems of all lengths. When she was twelve years old, a poem of hers was published on an online magazine. Since then, she has thrown herself into the writing world by taking creative writing classes and going to writing conferences. Although she enjoys writing poetry and devotionals, Kaylie’s favorite things to write are novels. Take a few minutes to get to know her.
Kaylie, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a sixteen-year-old with a passion for writing, family, friends, and most importantly, Jesus Christ. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, have three great siblings, and the most supportive parents. I was brought up in the church, my dad being a pastor, so I was blessed to have come to know Jesus on a personal level at age five. Now, God is continuing to bless me with my novels!
I was a pastor’s daughter, too, and was saved at six. I am thankful for my upbringing. I always dreamed of being an author. Did you?
I always loved reading for fun. Stories were exciting! I started reading Nancy Drew mysteries when I was ten, and that was what inspired me to write. I imagined how cool it would be if I could write a mystery novel that became as popular as Carolyn Keene’s.
When did you first begin writing?
At age ten, I started and finished the first book I ever wrote; it wasn’t a good book by any measures, but the fact that I finished it at ten years old was a big deal! And that was what fueled my love for writing.
I, too, began this journey at a young age. Why drives you to write?
Writing is, I feel, my God-given talent, and God wouldn’t give me this talent to waste it. Honoring Him with the talent He gave me is what drives me to write; not only that, but I also love it.
I have learned that when we are called to write, we can’t help but do it. It’s a part of us. Tell us about the journey to getting published at such a young age.
It was a long, exciting adventure! It started with the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference, where I met Ramona Tucker, the co-owner of OakTara publishing company. It wasn’t until a year later, at the same conference, that Ramona told me that she wanted to publish my books. Ten months, much editing, and many emails later, my books were printed!
This is a perfect example of the patience and perseverance an author must have to reach her goal! And now you have two books published! Tell us about them.
Beautiful Disorder is about Lux, who is wrongly accused of vandalism. She is assigned to community service at a home for the elderly. There, she meets Diana, a woman who shows her that there is more to life than bitterness and anger. Beautiful Disorder is her story of how God can take unfair circumstances and turn them into moments of blessing and growth. My other novel, The Virus, is about a boy named Travis who creates a computer virus that, when sent out, also gives out a medical virus. When the virus is stolen, Travis and his companions must find a way to save the world from the dangerous weapon he created.
What inspired you to write these books?
With The Virus, I wanted to write a fun, clean story where kids were the heroes; and I wrote Beautiful Disorder to give teens an entertaining, fictional, but realistic story about how God can take something that seems bad and turn it into something good.
Different places. It usually starts with an idea for a character, someone quirky with a personality that I hope will jump off the page. From there, I consider situations that this character could be in that would create a conflicting adventure for them, what would push that character to the limit, what they could learn from their experience, and if it would be exciting for a reader.
How do you choose names for your characters?
I’m a name nerd–I love names! I think that they are important for the character, that they need to represent a character’s personality and background. Usually, it’s a fifteen-minute process for each character, of me deciding which name jumps off the page, which name is more likable, and which name fits the character best.
Very cool! Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
It’s a bit of both. I find that all my characters display certain qualities and/or faults that I have, but there are also areas that they are inspired by other people that I know. I’ve never fully based a character on someone real, but it’s nearly impossible not to be inspired by people.
I totally agree! How difficult has it been to juggle writing with school, family responsibilities, or other obligations? How do you balance it?
Being homeschooled makes things much easier, because I feel that I have more time to dedicate myself to doing what I love. And if I didn’t know that my family backed me up one hundred percent, I don’t think I would’ve been able to accomplish everything that I’ve done so far. God has definitely blessed me with a supportive family and loving parents who know that homeschooling is the best thing for me.
I homeschooled my children for fourteen years. I think it provides a wonderful opportunity for creativity. Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
It’s pretty obvious, especially in Beautiful Disorder, that my faith does affect my writing. Beautiful Disorder’s story is built on faith. I want people to walk away from reading my story closer to God than when they began it.
Do you have a favorite scripture? If so, why is it your favorite?
Jeremiah 29:11 is my absolute favorite verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)
I love it because it shows the Lord’s character, shows that He loves us. This verse says that no matter what bad things may happen, He’s got a plan for us. And God’s plans never fail.
I love that verse. I’ve lived that verse many, many times. Whenever I feel doubt creeping up about a situation I’m in, I remind myself that it’s all in His plan. Now for fun, if you could have dinner with someone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?
I think I’d choose Corrie Ten Boom. I absolutely love her testimony, love her story, and love her passion for God. It’s inspired me in my Christian walk.
I first read Corrie’s story when I was a little girl and her bravery amazed me. I feel like if she survived all she did, surely I can survive the things life throws at me. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
There are so many places I would love to go. One place I’d love to visit is France, not only because of the Eiffel Tower, but because of the pastries!
I have to admit, a week eating delicious French pastries would be pretty divine! Well, our time is up here. I thank you so much for stopping by for the interview. I’m excited to meet a fellow OakTara author and a fellow homeschooler. Where can fans find out more about you and your books?
Okay, everyone, please show Kaylie some love. Leave a comment for her to encourage her. Share this interview with your friends.