Today I will be interviewing Kyra Gregory, author of Ordinary.
What are your favorite book(s)?
I've always been a big fan of the Blood books by Tanya Huff. From childhood I've adored Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore, both by Murakami Haruki. Most recently I've been in love with The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and plenty of manga (Japanese comic books), particularly anything by Yuki Kaori.
Who is your favorite author?
Probably Khaled Hosseini. I've read both of his published works, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, and I really admire how he can tackle difficult subjects but gives so much attention to feelings. The way he writes gives people insight into the lives of people that are different but also very much the same because we can relate to those characters feelings.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The things that inspire me are almost difficult to put my finger on because they can be anything which evoke a real feeling out of me. I could look at a moment in a film or in a book and wonder how I would have handled that situation, what I would have felt and how my feelings would have influenced my decision. A lot of my stories are very much character-driven which I find enjoyable because everyone is so unique and different combinations of people, their feelings and their choices, make for completely different stories. Music that I find touching or sets a mood becomes my companion while writing.
Anything that makes me feel something can inspire me and, more often than not, it's something that I think isn't talked about enough. I can listen to someone or even see a situation in which I realise that not enough people know that these things happen. Something that needs to be talked about or needs some light shone on it is something that is just asking to be written by me.
Where is your favorite place to do your writing?
I'll usually choose my setting depending on what I'm writing. Since I often write late into the night after a long day I typically do my writing at a desk in my bedroom which I set up to fit the mood of the scene or story I'm writing. This includes the right music, the correct lighting, any items that fit my story and any research that I need on hand. This is the ideal place for me to write because I can always tailor it to my needs and pace around if I need to without fear of bothering people.
What was the hardest part of writing your novels?
I deal with a lot of heavy topics in my writing, topics that I have to do plenty of research on before I feel I can feel confident enough to write about them. My novella, Despair & Decision, was one of those cases where research was emotionally draining. I feel like it's two sides of the same coin, actually. It was the hardest part of the planning process but it made me increasingly aware of how important it was for me to portray it effectively. It became my job to find a balance and, however difficult it was, those feelings helped me to create something that I don't think I could have created had it not been so difficult.
What has been your experience with self publishing?
Honestly I'm still getting into it slowly. I've been learning through trial-and-error which makes it very exciting. I got into self-publishing because I wanted to be able to control all aspects of my projects; however difficult that is sometimes I'm so happy to be able to do it. Along the way some people have supported me and some have treated me like I'm foolish; I knew that would happen and I prepared myself for it. I'm very thankful for the people who have supported me, especially new readers who took a chance on me. I want to continue working hard at self-publishing to keep being able to do what I love and also to thank those who have supported me.
Tell us about your new novel.
Ordinary, released on 29th July, was written after a conversation with a friend. He began wondering if some people really knew that gay people were just like everyone else. He went on to say things like 'they should know that we're still human, you know? That we have jobs, social lives, friends, family and that our relationships are still just like theirs.' It was interesting to me because it was true that I had always read novels and manga that clearly defined the parts in which gay couples were different but very few ever portrayed how similar they were.
Ordinary follows a young man, Michael, as he goes through life simply trying to be happy and who has always seen his life just like everyone else's. With highs and lows in his health and relationships he tries his best to deal with everything, however much some feedback will deter him.
My next novel will be out in early September and I'm truly proud of it as I really got the opportunity to tackle something that I hadn't before. Please look forward to more details.
About the Author
Kyra Gregory is a young author from the tiny island of Malta. In those rare moments when she isn't writing or even thinking about writing she's furthering her education. Writing novels from a very young age she began self-publishing in June 2011.