In preparation for Ch1Con this coming weekend, we’re posting interviews with all our wonderful speakers this week! Today’s interview is with Kira Budge, who will be speaking Saturday on our panel and leading a workshop on how to open novels on Sunday.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I feel like I’m answering this question a lot lately, haha! Well, I’m a sophomore at BYU-Idaho studying English: Creative Writing, and a novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, though I like some room to spread out genre-wise. Additionally, I’m the Associate Online Administrator of this lovely writing conference, which I am also speaking at this year. I play cello, foster kittens, and obsess over British TV in my spare time. (Because Doctor Who and Sherlock.) In the past, I’ve worked primarily (for the monies) as a freelance writer and editor.
2. You’re currently studying creative writing at BYU-Idaho. How is writing for classes different from writing for yourself?
Well, I’ve only taken one creative writing class so far at the college level (darn gen eds). Nonetheless, the main difference really is that I wouldn’t write short stories on my own, and short fiction is a big part of creative writing classes, as well as poetry (which I do write on my own at times). Short fiction of all kinds is a stretch for me, and not always an enjoyable one, but I do learn a lot from it. In the end, it’s better than taking something like *gasp* MATH.
3. You’re twenty years old and have already completed eighteen novels. How do you manage to write so much?
See, I used to think nothing of this, and then people started asking me this question! I don’t know, exactly. I guess in general I’m really good at focusing REALLY HARD on one thing at a time, and with NaNoWriMo available to encourage me, it comes naturally that I could write so quickly and prolifically. I mean, it does help that I really love it. =) When I’m writing a novel, I don’t ever want to stop until I’m done. You know, unless it’s not working out. That does happen at times.
4. You previously worked as a freelance editor. What’s your advice for critiquing someone else’s work?
You have to be really aware of the needs of the writer, what they’re looking for from you. For me, sometimes, it’s frustrating when you know you could fix a whole lot more if you went in-depth, but they only want the surface edits. They’re the customer, though, and you have to remember that. Patience is an incredible skill to have! You also want to be kind, especially having been on the receiving end of that yourself, as I have. Encouragement is important for people in artistic fields like this.
5. What are some of your interests outside of writing and reading?
Welllllll, as listed in my little bio above, I do play cello, though I’ve taken kind of a break from that since my one very difficult year of being a music major (freshman year). I also like to watch TV, especially le BBC, and I’ve done fostering/volunteer work with the animal shelter for a while. I also love learning about psychology, which I guess qualifies as reading, but its a bit more of a niche interest. I really do spend the majority of my time reading and doing school, haha!
6. What is your dream career path after college?
NOOOOOO, WE DON’T SPEAK OF THE SCARY AFTER COLLEGE!
For realsies, though, I’m hoping I get married to a guy who can do most the work in terms of, you know, money, so that I can continue to do what I’m doing right now – writing and editing and sending out to agents with the intention of eventually getting published and bestselling and famous and movies deals and yay! Plus I intend to raise a family, so that’ll be happening too, in this ideal scenario.
7. Quick: List five books (either coming out or already released) that you’re excited to read.
SO MUCH PRESSURE! Sorry, I need to consult my Goodreads TBR list real quick here because there’s no way I can do this off the top of my head without spontaneously combusting.
Okay. So five recent/upcoming YA books I haven’t yet read that I’m excited about are:
1) INDEPENDENT STUDY by Joelle Charbonneau (out now) — THE TESTING (book one) was really exciting and well-written! The third book, GRADUATION DAY, also just came out.
2) DEAR KILLER by Katherine Ewell (out now) — I love serial killer novels, guys. Sign me up!
3) WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart (out now) — I am very unclear what this is about but everyone seems to love it and there’s a twist ending, so yay!
4) WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand (September 2014) — I have been dying to get a great novelization of The Nutcracker, so I’m all over this!
5) UNDIVIDED by Neal Shusterman (October 2014) — The Unwind Dystology is current one of my top top faves.
And that, my friends, is a teeny tiny sample only. There’s a lot of good stuff coming. I could go on for pages. (My TBR list does, in fact, go on for many pages.)
Thanks for reading, guys! Super excited to see everyone at Ch1Con this year. =)