Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Author Interview with Mikayla Kayne

I am excited to introduce you to a good friend and author, Mikayla Kayne. She and her husband Gregory have an amazing book out called The Angel Crest Deception. Thanks so much for joining us, Mik!

1. Tell us about your book. The Angel Crest Deception is a near-future speculation about coming events on the world-stage, grounded with personal stories of spiritual footholds and challenging questions of faith and culture. It’s a fast paced thrill ride that gets uncomfortable at times, depending on the sensitivities of the reader. The themes, subcultures, and historical characters are pulled from reality, making ACD almost as much fact as fiction.

Aware believers are noticing the political stage being set for God’s end of days drama, but we often miss the subtleties, the small steps between one major prophetic fulfillment and another. The Angel Crest Deception digs into one such intricacy as it pertains to the implementation of the Mark of the Beast, a massive global undertaking that won’t be mandated with one act of one dictator’s pen, but will require a cooperative effort between hundreds of governments organized under one unifying body. For a Christian in a position of influence, it becomes a challenge to discern where to attempt to intervene, and where to step back and allow evil to progress unfettered. One of the characters in ACD is just such an evangelical heavy-hitter, and has to decide how to use that influence and where to direct the focus of his massive ministry. 

This issue will become personal to many of us in the months and years ahead as we see prophecy unfolding faster and faster. We must discern how to pray, whether and how to take action, and how to provide for our families. The first step for each of us will be to get right and stay right with the Lord, which can involve breaking down spiritual strongholds. The book gives several testimonies from all walks of life showing a variety of doors oppression can be invited through, and how those footholds can manifest in lives.

2.  How did you and your husband come up with the idea for Angel Crest Deception? 

To be honest, we didn’t come up with it, it rather happened on its own. The finished book is so dramatically far from the idea we began with, that it’s quite interesting to look at our early notes. For years, people have shared their supernatural stories with us. For whatever reason, we’ve amassed a fairly large collection of testimonies from all kinds of people who have witnessed, experienced, or suffered from supernatural encounters. Some were Christians seeking help with demonic manifestations, some were non-believers excited to have a ghost story of their own to tell, some were in the midst of their experience, and others were successfully past it. There came a point when Greg and I tallied up all these stories and thought they needed to be shared.

The Angel Crest Deception began as a fictionalized retelling of those accounts, but in the end, that portion of the book shrank dramatically as God expanded the story from personal battles to His global purpose. I’ve always been a news junkie as part of my calling as a prophetic watchman, so when we began writing this novel in 2006, the news and its dovetailing with Scripture helped broaden its scope. We didn’t write it using conventional tools like a completed outline, which was not the best idea in retrospect due to the editing mess we made, but that did give us flexibility to grow with the story as time marched on and technology advanced towards the fulfillment of prophecy.

The characters revealed themselves to us much like they reveal themselves to the reader, and I’ll never forget the two key moments when we realized the two major “gotchas” that wrap up the book. We were both taken by surprise, partly because we didn’t think it was normal for authors to be shocked by their own characters. I’ve since learned that it’s fairly common.

 3.  Will there be more books in the series?

There is a sequel currently being written, called The Mandate. We had hoped to have it finished by the end of the year, but we haven’t had as much time to dedicate to writing it as we’d like. Until we finish The Mandate, we’re not committing to a third book, but we’re not ruling it out either. We have other projects we’d like to focus on, so if there is ever a third book it will likely be after some of our other concepts are published.

4.  What are you working on now?

Personally, I’ve been blogging more than anything, although I have a non-fiction companion to The Angel Crest Deception that I’m anxious to finish. In The Angel Crest Deception, there is a book referred to called The Independent Soul, and that’s what I’m working on. But with all that has been going on in the world, in God’s timeline, I’ve been held back from working on that book in favor of these teaching blogs. Light in Dark Corners is where I’ve been the most active, but I’ve been walking through the Sermon on the Mount at 1000 Year Plan as well.

5. What advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Get started, and write anything! When I began writing, I had no idea I’d ever end up with a finished novel, or publish anything. I just wrote. Journals, blogs, letters, comments on news articles, posts in interest groups…and eventually, my skills began to take shape, my ideas began to congeal, my style began to emerge, and viola…I am a writer!

I don’t think you have to stay so hyper-focused on one project that you only work on that one thing until it’s finished. Writer’s block can be a result of one-track thinking, but many authors are afraid to diversify in case they forget where they’re going on their main project. I believe that blogging and article writing are great distractions that can build an author’s brand, and keep their ideas flowing.

“Finished” is also a relative term for writers, because there are many levels of “finished.” Re-writing, editing, re-writing again, more editing…these are all part of the process for any major project. Partly for that reason, I think it’s helpful to start with small projects, because tackling a novel as a first project can be overwhelming, and you run the risk of becoming so consumed with it that if/when it’s categorically rejected (as is much of our early work as writers) you will be utterly crushed and discouraged.

Start small, develop your style, improve your skills, study your craft, and work your way up to big projects. Don’t hold on to those little projects either, put them out there in the world to be read, criticized, lauded, or lambasted. It will help you develop thick skin and not to be married to your writing products. Use every interaction as a learning experience and you’ll emerge stronger and better equipped for the day that you offer your first “baby” to the world, because nothing is more terrifyingly exhilarating than the day you release your first novel and realize “people” will be reading it!

6.  Any insights into going traditional publishing versus the ever-expanding self-publishing route?

These days, being in charge of your own career and your own finances is easy as a self-published independent author with no managers, agents or publishers to take cuts of your royalties, and the power to set your own release dates, prices, and marketing strategies. What most newbies don’t know is that every publisher relies on the author to do serious marketing footwork, but many make it difficult by overpricing, not understanding the ebook market, or putting restrictions on what kinds of promotions an author can do.

The stigma that used to exist around self-publishing is falling away as more quality books are hitting the market from independent authors. There are so many great low cost resources for indie authors as well, like editing services, cover design, video trailers, web and social networking setup, marketing co-op groups, and even general emotional support – which you won’t get from any traditional publisher.

7.  What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?
One question I get asked often in person that doesn’t usually come up in interviews is, “As a mom of three boys, how do you have the time to write?”

How would you answer that question?
My husband worked a full and a part time job most of the time we worked on Angel Crest Deception. He wrote during any crevice of time he could eke out of every day for three years straight. And I eked out the night crevices for the next three years. The lessons we learned have made a big difference in our efficiency, so the sequel to ACD won’t take us nearly as long!

Mikayla Kayne enjoys writing and performing with her husband Gregory and encouraging others. She spent fifteen years in marketing and advertising before she chose to be a stay at home mom and discovered her love of writing and teaching.

The Angel Crest Deception is the Kayne’s first novel, now available at all online and major retailers. This edgy near-future conspiracy thriller follows agnostic media producer Chris Malone as he sets out to destroy the career of a pompous religious figurehead. Will he be able to deliver the scathing exposé or will he get sucked in by the secret world-shaping group that just bought his old network?

For more about the book, and to view the video trailer,
Click Here.

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