Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Game On Blog Tour: Interview with Author Kyra Lennon!

I'm very proud and honoured to feature Kyra Lennon on the blog today, as part of her tour for her fantastic debut novel, Game On. Since I met Kyra in the A-Z Challenge, she's become one of my best author buddies due to her generous and outgoing nature. She even offered to critique my WIP with nothing in return, and her feedback has been invaluable! So I jumped at the chance to interview her as part of the tour. Let's get to the questions...

Hi, Kyra. First, can you tell us a bit about who you are and your background?

I live in the UK, on the South Coast, and have lived here all my life. When I left school, I attempted college for almost a year and realised that it was not where I wanted to be, then began working in retail. I’ve worked in gift shops and toy shops, and I loved it! Working in those kinds of shops in a seaside town at the height of summer is insanely busy but always a lot of fun.

I've been in many such shops. Bet you've got loads of stories to tell!

When did you first realise you wanted to write and can you tell us about how you got started?

I’ve always written. My mum encouraged reading when I was little, and writing seemed like a natural progression for me. There was a long period of time when I stopped because working full time didn’t really allow me much time for writing fiction, but it was something I always thought about, and something I always loved.

It took me a long time to write seriously too, because I didn't think I could write anything good. You've got to get past that and just get on with it!

What are your biggest inspirations when it comes to writing?

Life. Just being out in the world, where so much is happening, it’s hard not to be inspired. I’ve always been fascinated by people, too. I like to people watch and imagine scenarios about what brought them to where they are, what makes them tick, and why they act the way they do. Life, in general, inspires me.

I agree, there's endless ideas to be had from life and people!

Tell us about your debut novel, Game On. How did the story come about and what was the process of writing the book from beginning to end?

I think the synopsis says it best! After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S., Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

The story was kind of born around an image I had of Radleigh McCoy in my head. He didn’t have a name then, but he had this arrogant, disrespectful-to-women personality that needed exploring. I wanted to know what would happen when he came up against a woman who wouldn’t fall for his sleazy lines, and the whole idea for the story just kept on growing from there.

Game On is one of the only stories I have ever written in the correct order! I used to write scenes as they came to me, then filled in the gaps. Once I finished, I realised that writing in the correct order is actually easier for me.

Everything's a learning process!

You're currently working on the follow up. Any advance nuggets of info you can share with us? Go on, you know you want to... ;)

Haha! Well, the follow up to Game On is loosely titled Foul Play (I will need to put some more thought into this because it’s kind of an ugly title, but it fits the story and the soccer theme!). It focuses on Jesse Shaw, the youngest member of the Westberg Warriors team. It follows almost directly after the end of Game On, and it’s the story of Jesse and his best friend, Hunter, going to London for a month, to get away from the craziness of L.A. Foul Play is a little bit different to Game On for a few reasons. Firstly, it falls into the category of YA, which is something I never really planned to do. Secondly, there is very little soccer because it’s off season. And finally, it is dual POV. While in London, Jesse meets a girl named Isabelle, and half of the story is told from her perspective. It seemed like a good way to introduce her character, and we will see her again later in the series.

I like how you're sowing seeds for further entries. It'll be good to hear more from Jesse, and I'm interested to see how you handle the male POV (it'll be great, I'm sure!) Also, can anyone come up with any more soccer-based titles? How about "Striking Out"? Lol, I'm sure others can do better! 

Your day job is writing freelance articles, which is awesome. How do you balance this with your more creative side, as well as blogging and other such activities? In other words, describe your daily routine, if you can?

I don’t really have a daily routine. The nature of freelancing is such that, if there is work to do, I’ll do it. It’s not always possible to have set working hours, or set amounts of articles per day, so I just work when the chance arises, and the rest of the time I write fiction.

At least you always get to write!

What do you like to do when you're not writing or blogging?

Sleep LOL! I like to read a lot. I am on a huge YA kick at the moment, and about three quarters of my Kindle is filled with YA books. My other big passion is jewellery making. I got good at it very quickly, and it is so relaxing!

I'll have to get my wife in touch with you, she loves custom jewellery!

And just for fun, can you describe yourself as if describing a character from one of your novels?

Ack, I was dreading this question LOL! Okay, let’s give it a try:
A twenty-something woman stared out at the calming blue waves, raking her fingers through the hot sand. It was another beautiful summer’s day, and she’d finally swapped her trademark jeans and boots for a skirt and sandals. Sure, the skirt was denim, but going too far out of her clothing comfort zone was just not in her nature. Her dark hair – up in a high, and possibly unsuitable for her age, ponytail – swung in the light sea breeze as she watched the brave people, swimming and splashing in the ocean. In spite of living by the sea for her whole life, she’d never learned to swim herself. And that was okay with her. She’d always been more of a beach volleyball kind of girl anyway. 

Ha, nice job! Where I come from it's usually a bit too cold to swim anyway...

Here is my review of Game On!

I really enjoyed this book. While I would not typically pick up a book in the category of chick lit, human relationships are fascinating to me and this story deals with some heavy emotions which feel very raw at times. Leah is an eminently likeable protagonist and the author draws us in to share in her conflicting feelings as she undergoes various trials and tribulations at the hands of her arch nemesis, star footballer Radleigh McCoy. Will they? Won't they? Well, I'm not going to give anything away but I will say that you're going to find it hard to tear yourself away. Lennon has a sparky and engaging voice and there are many one-liners that had me laughing out loud. A perfect holiday read!

You can pick up a copy at the following places...

And you can find Kyra through these avenues:

I wish Kyra all the best for the remainder of her jaunt around the blogosphere!

NB: Just a quick note to say that I'm disappearing again as we're going down to Brighton for a few days, but I aim to be back in full force next Wednesday. :)


Kyra Lennon said...

Aww, thank you for having me, Nick! I hope you enjoy your time away in Brighton, and that the weather is good for you!

Hildred Billings said...

Great interview! Man, by the time this blog tour is over, I'll know everything there is to know about Kyra :P

Suzanne Furness said...

Hi Nick, thanks for stopping by my blog whilst I was away. It's great to meet you. Pleased to hear Kyra's tour is going well.

Catherine Noble said...

Excellent interview questions, Nick (and answers, Kyra)! I especially liked the one of describing yourself in the form of a character, it makes me want to go to the beach :)

Clare said...

Excellent interview Nick, you can tell you know Kyra well with the type of questions you asked, and all the added links, review etc. were great.

Kyra, your answers were fab and I loved the one at the end where you described yourself.

Are high ponytails when you're our age wrong? Then I'm in trouble too! :P

Suze said...

Congratulations to Kyra! I've seen the cover for 'Game On' and that sweet smile of hers all over the blogosphere the last few days.

Well done!

And thanks, Nick, for interviewing her.

Ciara said...

I love jobs that you don't have a set schedule. It's great that your freelance allows you time to write fiction.

Julie Dao said...

Congrats, Kyra! I love the book cover and the story sounds wonderful. I also write for a living and it's so nice to be able to write for work and for fun :)

Susan Oloier said...

Congrats to Kyra on the release and on working on the sequel.
Jewelry making. Along with writing and reading, I'm all about jewelry, too.

cleemckenzie said...

Here's my best wishes to you on your book, Kyra. Good luck and great to read your interview.

Anonymous said...

I'm learning plenty about Kyra. I wish her much success with Game On.

nutschell said...

Great interview Nick! Great to meet Kyra and learn more about her book :)
sounds like a good read!


Lisa Regan said...

It sounds great! Congrats to Kyra! Wishing her much success and big sales!

Kyra Lennon said...

@Hildred – LOL, I hope I’m interesting enough for all these interviews!
@Suzanne Furness – Thanks!
@Catherine Noble – I had the hardest time writing that, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
@Clare – Hee hee, I’m pretty sure there is some kind of age limit on the high ponytail, but I’ll stick with anyway!
@Suze – Aww, thank you so much!
@Ciara – In some ways it is good, but in others, a strict schedule would be very useful!
@Julie Dao – Yay for writing for a living!
@Susan Oloier – Jewellery making is great, isn’t it? :D
@cleemckenzie – Thank you!
@Medeia Sharif – Thanks for visiting all the blog tour stops – you’re the best!
@nutschell – Nice to meet you, too!
@Lisa Regan – Thanks!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can relate to sleep!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great interview. I love the question where Kyra has to describe herself!

Christine Rains said...

Fabulous interview! I bet you met all sorts of characters in those gift shops, Kyra. :)

Leigh Covington said...

Ha! I love that last question Nick, and Kyra - you answered it beautifully. I'm so jealous you get to live in a seaside town. FUN!
And I like the title, Foul Play! It totally works. Can't wait to hear more about Jesse!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Great interview! I only did a year of college as well, Kyra, and then went into retail for many years. Retail is fantastic for writing inspiration.

Nicole said...

Wow, Kyra has been one busy lady today! Another great interview.

Kyra Lennon said...

@Alex J.Cavanaugh – I honestly don’t understand how you get so much done every day – you must sleep brilliantly every night! :D
@Annalisa Crawford – Thanks!
@Christine Rains – Oh yes!
@Leigh Covington – Thanks, Leigh! <3
@Lynda R Young – It really is! You see so many different people, with so many different personalities. :D
@Nicole – Thanks, Nicole!

Morgan said...

Great interview, Nick! Kyra is so fabulous. And have fun on your vacation! I was I could say I was "going down to Brighton." Sounds so British. :)

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Great interview. Thanks, Nick for introducing me to Kyra and her work.

Jessica L. Celaya said...

Thanks for the post. I enjoy getting to know other authors. Her book sounds quite good.

Alice said...

Nice interview. I'm a new follower from my friend Lauren's Eclectic blog.

J.L. Campbell said...

I've seen the cover of Game on around for a bit now.

Writing is such an interesting process and we all do it so differently. Rarely do I write scenes out of sequence.

Cherie Reich said...

Fantastic interview! Congrats to Kyra on her book release!