International Women's Month Collection: Kaylyn Gabbert
This year I invited women to ask me whatever they wanted. I interviewed them. It was their turn to get to know me in any way they wanted. They sent me these questions in February and March. So I gave them my answers right away. Now you guys can get to know me as well.
Kaylyn Gabbert: Do you have anything you want to know about me? Any questions you've wanted to ask? (Asked to all women)
Kimmie Cooper: I already know everything about you!! Lol!!
Cheyanne B.: What inspires you the most when writing?
KG: I'm inspired by a lot of things when writing like shows and movies on TV, interesting/insane conversations with friends and family, listening to music, and things I read. I also get inspired by real life events such as what I learn in documentaries or personal experiences. It depends on what scene I'm writing, and that will dictate what's inspiring me the most at the moment.
CB: How do you truly focus on keeping any story idea straight enough and detailed enough to create the novel itself?
KG: As you know I work on many projects at a time and not just for myself but for others as well. When it comes to working for clients, I make sure I only work on one type of that project at a time to not mess up the storylines in my head. When it comes to the many projects of my own I have many folders for each project with notes for: outlines, story, research, characters, and anything else I may need.
Jessicah: First, you said you don't have many memories from childhood. What is your earliest memory?
KG: Unfortunately, my earliest childhood memory is my seventh birthday where I had a foley catheter in. I was miserable, and my so-called best friend at the time told Mom I was pulling it out when it was actually falling out because it was too full. Mom had to go to the bathroom with me and fix it. So it was the most embarrassing birthday of my life.
Jessicah: Aww I'm sorry that sounds terrible!
KG: What's worse is I talked to Mom, and she still has pictures of that birthday? *cringes*
Jessicah: That sounds awful. I'm sorry. And second if you could have any superpower what would it be?
KG: As for what I'd want my superpower to be... I've been asked this sooo many times, and I'll be honest, it has never once changed since I've become an adult. I wish to control music waves. I don't know exactly which is why Pandora Snow in my book Drag Me to Hell had music based abilities, and there's a whole species of musically powered beings in my Head Hunters universe that can control their abilities in different ways. All I can say for sure is I hope that if I could control music waves I could protect myself and my family as needed.
Jessicah: I like your super power answer! I remember that from Head Hunters.
Jane: As a strong woman what advice would you give someone starting out (like 15-20)?
KG: I would tell them, never be afraid to be who you are. We spend way too much time trying to fit into other people's lives, we often don't do what we want to do until it's too late, and we end up resenting parts of ourselves because of it. I was told by my dad, 'Never dumb yourself down for a guy' when I was a teenager, but I think it really should be, 'don't chameleon yourself for others'. I've done it, I know people who have done it, and we all very much regret it. Being yourself from the beginning and following your passions will help you so much. And stay strong because not everyone in your life is going to want you to succeed, but you will succeed because everyone, you included, has the heart of a warrior.
Grandma Sally: Just a quick hi to see what book number you are reading. (Received by email on March 9th)
KG: My response at the time:
I'll up the challenge by another ten books when I make it to forty books.
GS: You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
KG: (UPDATED REPLY: 4/18)
GS: You are COOKING young lady!!!! I’m proud of you!!! (email from today 4/18)
By the way, this is the woman who late last December gave me the moniker, Book Devourer.
Tiffany H.: Since you're a writer, are there any authors you feel inspire your own writing?
KG: Although I have a love and hate relationship with his writing, James Patterson's Maximum Ride series inspired me a lot. Other authors that inspire me are lesser known authors that I've become friends with like Elana A. Mugdan or writers that are still on track to become authors. I also am inspired by editors I've worked with.
TH: Favorite genres to read or write?
KG: My favorite genres to read are Young Adult Fantasies, Graphic Novels, Self-help, and books on myths and legends from around the world. My favorite genres to write are horror, mystery, and young adult. I'm also dabbling in fanfiction for clients and a self-healing project, short stories, and a romance. One of my most recent projects is an adaptation of Disney 1989 animated The Little Mermaid, and when I told my grandma about how my version was going to have elements of horror she said, "Leave it to you to write a Disney take off and add horror. Ha ha."
A couple days after the interview went up, I was asked a few more questions, so I'm adding them.
Irene Lyla Lee: What have you been inspired by lately?
KG: I've recently been inspired by one of my best friends and siblings I call Fake Big Bro in public. We hang out often and are working on a book together. I'm inspired by a mobile game I play called Obey Me because the main cast you stay with is well-rounded and lovable. I'm also inspired by my husband and meetings with my friends I call my Accountabuddies; they are just as creative as me.
ILL: When you're feeling stuck on a specific writing project, what are ways you deal with it or get yourself unstuck?
KG: As you know from our one-on-one meetings and our writing sprints with the Brooklyn Women's Writing Group, I like to juggle a lot of projects. If I'm stuck on a specific project I'll research things I'll need from where I'm at, reread the beginning of the latest chapter, reread the entire project thus far, or sometimes it's best for me to distance myself from the project for a while.
ILL: What is one of your favorite words and why?
KG: My mom said my favorite word as a teenager was 'of doom' to the point that when she heard a coworker say it, she'd immediately think of me. Now, my favorite terms are 'yoho' and 'piñata' and fully out of context. They are code words for one of my protagonists who is a violent, protective thief.
ILL: What did "of doom" mean to you as a teenager?
KG: I was abused a lot starting as a preteen into a teenager, and me adding "of doom" to things in a joking manner helped me cope as situations kept unfolding. I actually got the phrase from an old Nickelodeon show that was popular at the time, Invader Zim. It was dark, weird, and macabre sometimes, and it helped me just chill out to use a phrase from it and bend it to help me deal with life.
Speaking of, that reminds me of another phrase from teenage-dom that earned me a nickname because of how often I said it. I used to say, "Note to Self" a lot in a physical therapy place I used to go to, always near one of the housekeepers. I was literally always mumbling it to myself, so eventually every time she saw me she'd be like, "If it isn't Ms. Note-to-Self." "Note to Self" was a way to help me connect with the book character Max Ride from the series Maximum Ride by James Patterson who at the time was raising me as well as helping me through survival mode with everything from how to survive at home, with the other parent, what exercises were the most important, and what was the most important school assignment at the time.