This month, it is a real pleasure to present Kristyn Levis, aka K.M. Levis, a Sydney-based bestselling author with a unique path to publication. After years of pitching her first novel, The Girl Between Two Worlds, a publisher in the Philippines picked it up over three years ago. It proves the old adage that writing about things you know, things that are in your realm of experience adds something to both the writing and the writer.
Since then, Kristyn has released two other books in the series: The Girl Between Light and Dark and The Search for Adarna (published September 2019). I thought it might be interesting to ask a few questions not only about her books but about her journey as a writer.
Krystin, can I ask if your background has influenced your writing?
My Filipino heritage has a huge influence on my writing. It’s a bottomless source of inspiration for my stories – one that’s uncommon in western societies. The moment I realised just how many fictional stories I can create using the mythology I grew up with, I was able to continuously come up with ideas not just for the young adult genre but for other genres as well.
Is there a specific reason you chose the YA genre?
I didn’t specifically set out to write YA. It just ended up that way. There was a story in my head that just wouldn’t go away and when I started writing it I realised that the main character had to be a teenager. So, I just ended up going with the flow. Having said that, some of the stories I’m planning to write are not YA anymore.
Do you think your books will always have a Filipino spin to it?
At this point, I think that’s how it’s going to be because the next two books I want to write (and one I’m already writing) all have a touch of my cultural heritage. I think it will eventually change but not sure when yet.
The third book in your series doesn’t have the same characters as the two previous books, does it?
The Search for Adarna, the third book in The Engkantasia series was inspired by the retelling of fairy tales (The Lunar Chronicles in particular). I thought why not do a retelling of a popular Filipino story, but with a modern twist and set in in the same universe.
I love that idea. It maintains the continuity while adding something new. So, what are you working on right now?
I am waiting for the edits for the fourth and final book of my first series while writing a New Adult book at the same time. I’m also editing a manuscript I shelved ages ago because I think it’s time to take it out of the drawer. There’s a lot of juggling at the moment. I’m looking forward to the holidays so I can write more!
Thank you to Kristyn for taking the time out to do a guest blog spot. She is a very interesting lady and currently doing well in the Philipines with a wide Young Adult audience following. Kristyn keeps busy writing but loves her fans. If you want to know more about her, then don’t hesitate to jump on the links below to see what she is up to.
Until next time
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