Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interview with Jody Kihara

About Jody:

 I'm an author of mid-grade and young adult novels. I also have a couple of chapter books that I'd love to find an illustrator for!
You can check out my website ( or preview my books via the Amazon Kindle store ( or Smashwords ( I'd also love to also chat with you on Facebook ( ...and here, of course!

I'm an avid reader, and NEVER tire of discussing books!

1.-As a Writer, what has been your newest discovery?
Jody Kihara: My most fun discovery was how important my critique friends have become, not just to my writing, but to my life. They crack the whip when I need to do my editing, and rescue me when I’m feeling down. Some have become true BFFs. If you’re a writer, start getting critique partners ― you’ll learn more critiquing each others’ work than you will through any course. And you’ll make some lifelong friends!

2.-Convince me to buy your book Twitter Style. 140 Characters or less. GO!
Witch! Ghost! Ghost-of-witch! Cemetery, nightmares, scary dog, drowning… Shaya has to solve a 13-year-old mystery before Halloween.

3.-Would you be so kind as to unlock the treasures of White Witch Pond
Here’s the official blurb. (Side note: don’t you just hate the word ‘blurb’? You’d think writers and publishers could come up with a better term!)
Shaya Solen’s walk home from school takes her past an eerie pond, where one day she finds an old bracelet made of raven feathers. Soon, strange events begin to unfold: a shadowy figure across the water, ominous nightmares, and rumours of a witch who once drowned in the pond. With the discovery of a strange family connection to the witch, Shaya is drawn into a mystery that looks like it must be solved before the approaching Halloween… which is the thirteenth anniversary of the witch’s death.
(then cue music: dah-dahnnn!)

4.-How is it that you came up with the story for White Witch Pond?
I was having one of those magical creative streaks, in which I drafted 3 books in a 6-month period. (One was a chapter book, so it’s not like they were super long… but still!). The other two books are quite goofy, so I was in the mood to write something with some atmosphere. Most of my book ideas come from me suddenly ‘seeing’ one of the scenes in my head, and for White Witch Pond it was the opening scene, in which Shaya finds the witch’s bracelet. From there, the story just came to me… and White Witch Pond was my fastest ‘write’ ever! Which is possibly why the story is so fast-paced!

5.-Shaya – main Character of White Witch Pond – was just the perfect character for the story, she was real and held the perfect combination of everything, she was the cherry on top of the cake. Where you like Shaya as a kid? Did she come completely from your head or was there more inspiration?
Most of my characters arrive fully-formed, so I don’t really have to ‘think them out’. I love characters so much (mine and others), and I’m fascinated by psychology, so ‘inventing’ a character is the one thing I don’t have to struggle with. I think there’s a bit of Shaya in me… although it’s Devin who’s taken from real life - he’s based on my older brother (shh!) And all the family bickering scenes are definitely taken from childhood, LOL!

6.-Now that I think about it… Ailishaya is not the most ordinary name. Where did that one came from?

When I decided I wanted a name connection between Shaya and the witch, I needed a name that ‘Shaya’ could be a shortened version of. I know a girl called Ailish, so I simply put the two together. It is a cool name, come to think of it!

7.-I think you are an author with so much potential and with a really good writing style that I would describe as flawless, Any suggestions for us aspiring writers?

First of all – thank you!
Advice for writers:
1. Critiquing, as I mentioned before. You’ll learn as much from critiquing other people’s work as you will from having your own critiqued. A great website for this is Critique Circle, because you get input from several different people at once, and they’ll all notice different things: logic, pacing, character development, grammar, and writing style.
2. Grammar – learn it! The one thing you have to be careful of with critiquing is that there are many people out there with a rather, er, shaky grasp of grammar. This is one thing you should learn from a book or school and NOT the net… unless it’s a site you can trust, like Grammar Girl or OWL at Purdue ( But many writers and bloggers give writing advice that is NOT correct, so make sure you’re thoroughly grounded in it!
3. Keep at the writing. Most of us take a break in late highschool or university because we’re busy studying, and sometimes you have to take that break ― just make sure you get back to writing soon, because like any skill, it’s a ‘use it or lose it’ deal! I had to take a long break once because my day job was so busy, and when I went back to writing, I was shocked by how much my skills had backslid!
4. When you’re drafting a novel, try taking a break from reading other books. You want to keep your mind receptive to YOUR ideas. If you do read while you’re drafting, read something in a similar writing style, because it’s surprising how much another author’s writing style can influence your own without you realizing it!

8.-Tell us a secret ;)
A writer’s secret weapon: chocolate and tea.
(Wait, that’s two weapons…)

9.-Last but not least, what doors are next to unlock?
I’m releasing two more books this summer, one Young Adult historical fiction and one chapter book. Then I have a stack of drafted novels waiting to be edited.
It would be nice to see book sales taking off. In the meantime, I’d like to unlock the door to a bank vault. J

Thank You So Much to Jody Kihara for giving me the chance to review your Book White Witch Pond and for being so kind in answering this interview witch, according to Miss Jody Kihara, was a bit of a challenge


Other Books By Jody Kihara: