20 Questions with... K.A. Connolly
K.A. Connolly lives in the wilds of New England with a small beastie, a medium sized human, and her fiancé. She likes rousing adventures in the wilds and engaging chats by the fire. She self-published her first book, Winter’s Rest, in 2021.
Find her at: Instagram: @kaconnogram
Goodreads: K.A. Connolly
Amazon: K.A. Connolly
Medium: K.A. Connolly, @kconnoll_5964
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? What was your life like growing up?
Hello, my name is Kate Connolly, and I’m from Connecticut. My life was a series of adventures growing up, some that ended well, some not so well. On the whole, it was a magical time, though. I read a lot, travelled a lot, and imagined a lot.
Did you always want to be a writer? If you also work, what do you do / did you do?
Yes, I always wanted to write books. I would start to write stories just for the sake of having written something when I was a kid. It wouldn’t get very far, but I had a grand time doing it. I’m also a bookkeeper and a part-time MBA student.
Tell us about your most recently published work in a sentence.
I self-published a novel called Winter’s Rest, which is a coming of age story set in a small mountain resort town over the course of a few seasons.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a fantasy novel where a heroine must fight for justice after a great wrong is done to her family and her people.
Do you have a writing routine, and if so what is it?
I like to set a time goal when I write. That way, there’s no pressure on meeting a certain word count. There is only a certain stretch of time that I have agreed with myself to only spend on writing, nothing else. I often find that I get more done that way, as well.
Where do you write – always in the same space, or different places? Can you write ‘on the move’?
I can write anywhere as long as I have my journal.
What advice do you have for other authors who are starting out? What is the best advice you’ve heard?
In Stephen King’s On Writing, he says that the life giving water of the arts is free, so drink it. I agree. You can tap into your creativity and find joy at any time, in any place, so why don’t you?
Do you enjoy doing live readings or are they a necessary evil – or somewhere in between?
I’ve never been asked to do a live reading, but I imagine I would enjoy it if I did one. I like to share stories with people.
Are there recurring themes in your work? Where do you feel these emanate from if so?
One recurring theme I’ve noticed is that my female characters often have to struggle with the societal limitations forced upon them. It comes from my own life experience, though I can’t say I’ve struggled as much as women in other parts of the world might.
Should writers have a moral purpose? What is the purpose of a writer in today’s society?
I don’t think writers need to have a moral purpose to write. Sometimes a story is just for fun, and that’s ok. I’d say the purpose of a writer is to entertain, delight, and sometimes show us eternal truths about ourselves and the world around us.
Do you write between genres or not?
I mix genres all the time. I think a story should be allowed to exist outside of categories.
Which living writers do you most admire?
For young adult books, I most admire Tamora Pierce because I remember being wholly caught up in the worlds of her books when I read them. For adult books, I most admire Naomi Novik because her work is thought provoking, relatable, exciting, and fully involves me as I read it.
Which dead writers do you most admire?
I most admire Jane Austen because she could look right into the true face of human nature and still find something to laugh about.
What’s the book you wish you’d written?
Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
What other external influences do you have: nature/place, music etc?
Nature is a big external influence on me. I like to take a good long walk and think about my stories, and when I do, the natural world around me often gets mixed into my thoughts.
Do you suffer from ‘writer’s block’ and how do you overcome it if so?
I try not to put so much pressure on myself to write that writer’s block becomes a problem. I suppose that’s how I overcome it, by just stepping away whenever I need to think the story through.
What’s been your favourite reaction to your writing?
I’ve had some really good reviews on Goodreads. I think that if a total stranger can be moved by your writing and think it’s good, that’s a true victory because you are relating to someone you’ve never met before.
How do your family and friends feel about your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive of my writing.
Do you have a favourite bookshop?
Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT is a great place. I’ve found some good books there from the staff recommendations. The people there really know what makes a great read.
How do you see the future of writing? Will we become more or less dependent on Amazon?
I think there will always be writers as long as there are humans. Stories are so central to life, I can’t think of a way that they would disappear. Amazon is so convenient that I think its influence will grow. However, I think bookstores can survive, especially ones that become community centers and destinations to visit. Also, a bookstore is a great place to get a curated selection of books, and I love a good staff recommendation.