Author Interview: Kai Kiriyama


Ladies and gents...

DC: I am pleased to be participating in a blog tour for the lovely Kai Kiriyama, whose debut novel PATHOGEN: PATIENT ZERO releases on May first. Kai is here with me today --

KK: *waves* Hi!

DC: As well as my dear friend David --

DC: Yep, thanks for making it David. So Kai! Before we start, let me just say thanks for being here! I'm excited to participate in your Blog Tour!

KK: Thanks for participating! I'm really honoured to have been received as warmly as I have been, especially since this was pretty out of left field for me.

DC: Always happy to help! So, on to the questions. First, how long have you been writing, and what made you start?

KK: I've been writing since I was 11 -- all of my school stories in creative writing class were 20+ pages of handwritten awesome. I really got into writing X-Files fan fiction, though at the time I didn't know it was even called fan fiction (ah, the follies of youth!). My teacher was really into it, too and she always looked forward to my stories. I decided that nothing else was gonna work for me as a career when I was 13 and I never looked back. My first completed thing was an original screenplay at age 16 that took 2 years to polish. It never went anywhere (and never will!) but it made me get really serious about writing as a career after that.

DT: And we're all glad you did, because now you're here!

DC: That's absolutely right, David. Kai, tell us a little bit about your novel, PATHOGEN: PATIENT ZERO?

KK: ZERO is a book about the first person to become infected with the zombie virus. It's told from her point of view as things happen to her, as she gets sick, ends up in the hospital, and so on. It's the first in my Pathogen Zombie trilogy.

DC: Seems as though David's excited for it! What's been the biggest help to you so far in getting your book into readers' hands?

KK: Zombie culture. (ha ha!) Actually, with the success of The Walking Dead and other zombie driven media, it's been a breeze with this one. Mostly. I think it's just kind of one of those right-thing at the right -time kind of situations. My publishing team at Lemorn is amazing, and I work for Zombie Training Magazine, so their support has been killer, and I don't think that this would have gone as well as it has without them. My friends, fellow writers and everyone who has been involved with this has been invaluable as well.

DT: Ah, you writers, you amaze me. Such a strong community.

DC: Indeed. That's one of my favorite things about being a writer. Tell us a little about your personal life. Family? Kids? Job? School? What keeps you busy outside of writing?

KK: Ooh, personal life. Um, I'm 27, (well, will be 27 on May 30, 2013...) I have 3 younger siblings. I'm single. (HEY BOYS!) I work as a cook in an industrial kitchen during the day, and am a time-traveler the rest of the time. I pretty much only write, it's how I relax and unwind as well as express myself. When I'm not writing, I'm usually designing clothes or costumes for myself but who has time for that when there's so many books and scripts to write?

DT: DARCI. Did she just say she's a time traveler? Or did I make that up...
DC: Shhh, calm down! Yes! We totally understand that! So much to do, all the time! Where did the idea for ZERO come from?

KK: ZERO came about because I love zombies, but there's never really an explanation for where they come from, and when there is, it's always a wonder of how they got out of the hospital or whatever. So I decided to write a prequel to my own take on the zombie apocalypse. 

DC: Are you working on anything else while ZERO gets ready?

KK: Currently, or at least as I'm answering these questions, it's Camp NaNo so I'm struggling to finish that novel, which is about Norse gods causing mayhem. I'm also finishing up several spec scripts for different TV shows, including the speculative pilot based on my other novel, Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Knight Surgeon. I'd like to write for television and film one day.

DT: Ooo, think I could take a look at those?
KK: Haha! Yes, of COURSE, David!

DC: *snickers* What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

KK: The solitude that isn't really solitude. That makes no sense out of context. I like to be alone, I like the quiet, but with your projects and with your characters, you're never really alone. I love to immerse myself in my own little worlds (although 'little' isn't necessarily the right adjective to use here!) 

DT: Use whatever word you want, Kai.
DC: *snorts* Um, do you listen to music while writing?

KK: Sometimes. It depends on what I'm writing. Blaze is usually written in silence. ZERO was written to the sound of my tears. My current novel is being written mostly to Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani. I also have a huge list of soundtracks that have no lyrics to write to, though I've been using them far less lately. The Harry Potter films, Okami, Mass Effect, Halo, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit all have great soundtracks that really work for most writing projects.

DT: Written to the sound of your tears? *wipes eyes*

DC: *hands David a tissue* Kai,do you snack while writing? What's your munchie of choice?

KK: I typically don't, actually. I have no idea why. I just don't. But if I have snacks, I like raw veggies and potato chips. Or pepperoni sticks and marble cheese. 

DT: Pepperoni??? I love Pepperoni!
DC: Me too! That sounds like a yummy snack, I'll have to try it sometime! Okay, last question. What advice would you give to our fellow writers out there, whether beginning, querying or otherwise?

KK: Remove the following words from your vocabulary: if, maybe, and aspiring. You're not an "aspiring" writer. You are a writer. It's not a matter of maybe or if things will happen, only when. Take those words out of your vocabulary, especially when talking about yourself and your writing career because that is the first step to creating more solid self-confidence. That little shift in thinking will make a huge difference. Oh and also, be excellent to each other. Other writers are your allies and friends, not enemies, not rivals. Treat them as such.

DC: Yes indeed. Awesome advice! It's been a blast getting to know you a little. David and I wish you the best of luck on your release! Thanks again for being so awesome and willing to interview :)

KK: Thank you for having me! This was so much fun. I hope we can do this again some time! OH! I'm also holding a contest for commenters on every blog. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a prize pack! More details to come, but if you want to enter, make sure you leave a comment!

DC: Sounds great! Hear that guys? Leave a comment to enter the giveaway! And make sure you follow Kai on Twitter, her blog, and Goodreads! Oh, and thank you David for being here, I really appreciate it.

DT: Sorry, what?

DT: *runs*

DC: *chases* Gimme that book!

Kai Kiriyama

twitter: @thekiriyamaheir
Publisher: Lemorn Literary Works

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