Interview: K.A. Last, YA author

Today I’m interviewing the fabulous K.A. Last, Indie YA author. In my opinion, she’s an Indie author who’s Doing It Right ™.

KALast_HeadshotFINAL_LRYour book, Fall for Me, was the first self-published novel I ever read. It was fun and fast-paced, and left me wanting to know more about the characters.

Thank you! You are too kind, and I feel honoured that my book was the first self-published novel you ever read. I hope I set a high standard of expectation. 😉

Maybe too high! To be honest, some other self-published novels I’ve read since haven’t fared very well in comparison. What advice would you give a new writer considering self-publishing?

My advice would be: aim to be as professional as you can with the resources that you have. That short sentence encompasses a lot of things: marketing, editing, cover design, production — the list is endless. Independent authors need to keep up with the standards that traditional publishers have set, so we can do away with the stigma that Indie means lower quality. I pride myself on producing a quality product (which unfortunately doesn’t mean to say that everyone has liked my books).

My other piece of advice would be: an Indie author is their own boss, but we can’t be too hard on ourselves. This publishing thing is a lot of hard work, and there are times we need to be a little nicer to ourselves. Oh! One more thing: take everything in your stride, don’t respond to negative situations, and if you fall, pick yourself back up again and keep going.

You’ve described yourself as a bit of a control freak, so I can see why you love the idea of self-publishing. Would you consider pursuing a small press or traditional big six publishing deal after having self-published your first two books? 

This is quite a hard question, and one I don’t really know the answer to. A year or so ago I would have said yes, most definitely. I guess if a big six offered me a contract with a huge advance I might consider it, but if I was to go with a publisher I think I’d feel more comfortable with a small press.

These days the big six publishers still expect their authors to do a lot of promoting. I do that anyway, so the added benefits would need to be worthwhile. I’m in this for the long haul. Things take time, so I’m happy working away at building my fan base, working on my next release(s) and doing it myself for the moment.

Also, I think sometimes I’m too impatient for the query process. I finish something and I want to get it out for people to read, not sit around and wait while someone may or may not want to sign my book.

As well as writing, publishing and promoting your books, you also have a graphic design business, and you work and have small children. How do you find the time to do everything?!

Ha! I don’t. Basically it’s whatever has priority gets done first. All the other stuff waits. If I have the choice between sitting down to do edits and playing with the kids, I play with the kids. My family is the most important thing in my life, and they always come first. I can stay up late and do edits after the kids are asleep.

There’s a quote I love from The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom: “It is never too late or too soon. It is when it is supposed to be.” Exactly!

KALast_Immagica_CoverRevealFinal

Cover illustration: Lawrence Mann

You’ve got a new release coming out before the end of the year, Immagica–which one early reviewer described as “the Never Ending Story meets Jumanji with a little Alice in Wonderland thrown in”. How have you found the experience of writing fantasy as opposed to urban fantasy? (I’ll be honest: so far the world-building has scared me off writing that genre!)

Immagica was so much fun to write. You shouldn’t be scared of writing fantasy! With something that is pure fantasy and set in another world, there are no rules. In Immagica I made the rules so no one can tell me any part of it is wrong. The world-building was a really exciting part of the story, and I love the world I’ve created. I’ve found Pinterest is a great way to help with inspiration and visualisation.

Urban fantasy is also a lot of fun to write, but there are already certain rules in place that you have to follow. If you break them there needs to be a good reason for it, or a really unique take on something that is already established. Basically I’m happy when I’m writing whether it’s fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, paranormal romance, or contemporary (yes, I have a contemporary WIP, although it may turn into an UF). Each story is different and sucks me in with its own uniqueness.

For those who’ve read Fall for Me: if you were stuck on a desert island, would you choose to be stranded with Grace, Josh or Seth? Assume for the purposes of this question that none of their various supernatural abilities are available (so you can’t just choose one that can teleport!).

Oh dear, I love all my characters for different reasons, so this is a really hard question. But I think I would have to choose Seth. He is a very multi-layered character. He’s a typical bad boy in that he likes to uphold his mean exterior, but on the inside he has a lot to offer. I’m assuming we will be on this island for a while and I think he would provide the most interesting conversation. He’s also been through a lot in his long existence so I think he could teach me a thing or two. Not to mention he’s pretty nice to look at. 😉

Haha, I’d choose Seth too. Mostly because I’m superficial and he’s smoking hot! Thanks for dropping by. 😉

About the author: K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.

You can find her at her website, or on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or on Amazon.

Blurb for IMMAGICA:

Title: Immagica
Author: K. A. Last
Genre: YA Fantasy/Adventure
Expected Date of Publication: November 2013
Word Count: Around 66,000
Cover Illustration: Lawrence Mann
Cover Designer: KILA Designs

Immagica…

Where anything is possible, but not always controllable.

Enter at your own risk.

The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton receives an amulet from her deranged father. He tells her she must find the book, and begs her to save him. Rosaline is used to her father not making any sense, and she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.

Rosaline and her younger brother, Elliot, find the old, leather-bound book tucked away in their Nana’s attic, and it sucks them into its pages. They land in a magical world where anything is possible, but when Rosaline and Elliot are separated, the only thing Rosaline wants is to find her brother and go home.

The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. Rosaline befriends a black unicorn, two fairies, and a girl named Brynn, who are under threat from a menacing dragon. Rosaline discovers she is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and the fate of this magical world rests entirely on her shoulders.

Add Immagica on Goodreads today!

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2 Comments on “Interview: K.A. Last, YA author”

  1. Stacey Nash says:

    Great interview girls. For the record, I’d choose Seth as well. Probably for the same reasons as Cass rather than KA.


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