Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Kayti Nika Raet!
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11, where she was bitten by the writing bug, as well as other, less friendly insects.
She is the author of The Outsider Chronicles, a five book series starting with NIKO and set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh eating monsters roam.
She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel: Kayti Edition.
When she is not hard at work on the fifth and final book in The Outsider Chronicles she has fun reading, listening to K-pop, and photography. Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Without further ado, here’s her interview.
I love reading the author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? I was interested in a lot of things growing up, dentistry being one of them, but I always found myself going back to writing and storytelling.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I like writing the books that I would want to read myself. I’m a big fan of action and ‘squicky’ horror. I also like science fiction and fantasy, and that love seeps into my writing.
What is ‘squicky’ horror? To me, ‘squicky’ horror, is not necessarily gory but is the creepy kind that gets under your skin. Nails on the chalkboard kind of horror, not pools of blood horror. And with maybe some sexuality thrown in.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? Do flesh eating monsters count as strange? [Uh… yeah!]
What are you currently working on? Now that I’m finished with RISE, the fifth and final book in my post-apocalyptic series The Outsider Chronicles I’m working on a new Paranormal/Urban fantasy trilogy set in the 1920’s about a girl who hires a devil to get revenge on the people that tried to kill her. [That sounds very interesting.]
What motivated the plot of your latest book? For The Outsider Chronicles, it came out of the desire for a book with a strong female character who was confident, and didn’t need anyone to tell her she was amazing for her to realize it.
For my current work in progress, Blood and Breath, I wanted to write something sexy, scary and full of morally ambiguous characters.
What was the hardest story for you to write? The hardest story for me to write (at the moment) was MONSTER, the fourth book in The Outsider Chronicles. It’s a more emotional story and took longer than the others to complete. Looking back on it though, I think it might be my best one so far.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I don’t really plan out my novels. I’ll feel constricted. I have a vague idea how I want it to end and maybe a major scene or two, but for the most part I adjust my stories to my characters and let them lead me where they choose.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? In The Outsider Chronicles, I love Niko of course. Gotta love your main character. I also like Ben, he has my humor. And Ari. And Alice… okay! I like all of them! For Blood and Breath, I love my devil Jack.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Every character does to some extent, even the bad guys. It may be an amped up version of a particular trait, or even the complete opposite of one I possess, but for the most part I think giving a character a piece of myself helps them become more real.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Writer’s block is the worst. Usually that means subconsciously you know something is wrong with your story, maybe you went left with the plot instead of right, maybe your protagonist did something totally out of character. For that type, it’s a good idea to go back a few chapters and try to figure out what the problem is.
If that doesn’t work, sometimes it’s better to just take a break and not do any writing at all. Don’t try to force it, do stuff you enjoy and eventually the mojo will come back and you will have a better story for it.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Mystery! I used to be a big mystery novel fan when I was younger. I would love to write one, but I good mystery requires plotting, and until I reconcile with my dislike of outlines, that genre will remain elusive.
Which authors inspire you? Langston Hughes, Dia Reeves, Sarah Rees Brennan, Brandon Sanderson Justine Larbalestier… I’m probably forgetting some.
Among indie authors, Madhuri Blaylock, Suanne Laqueur. They both write romance which I’m not a super big fan of, but they’re able to capture the emotions of their characters so well and their word use is glorious.
What novel would you read multiple times? I usually reread these books at least once a year: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves, Extras by Scott Westerfeld, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Real – Cat and Imaginary – Phoenix
What is your favorite color? Aubergine (Purple)
Kayti is mostly a full-time writer working on her own projects along with some freelance work.
Catch up with Kayti online at:
It was a pleasure meeting you Kayti! Join me next week when Alica McKenna-Johnson will be featured.