Author Interview Series (17): Kayla Klassen
Today's interview is with Kayla Klassen, author of Nature Ninjas (which was included in my September Book Recommendations earlier this month). I connected with Kayla on Instagram. She has great energy and I love her posts and content! I was excited when she said she wanted to participate in my Author Interview Series. So scroll down and learn more about Kayla and her awesome book!
Hi Kayla! Can you introduce yourself?
K: Well let’s see, I am a wife and mother to two children ages 12 & 15. I have one dog and one cat (cat lover!). I adore coffee (with biscotti to dip). I love getting outside to breathe fresh air in nature. Also, I practise QiGong, deep stretching and EFT Tapping.
Oh, I saw a few of your QiGong videos on Instagram. It's such a great exercise!
So, what inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?
K: I have always wanted to write a children’s book. Though at the beginning of 2021, my New Year’s Resolution was to publish a children’s book – so here I am, as of July 31st of this year, I self-published my children’s book titled “Nature Ninjas”! From start to publish, it took 5 whole months and I am very proud of it and myself!
That's amazing! I made the same New Year's Resolution in 2020 and did the same thing! The first time I've ever achieved one too!
What are some of the challenges you have encountered on your author and self-publishing journey? How did you overcome them?
K: Knowledge! I had to learn each step as I went. I had absolutely no prior knowledge of self-publishing a book. I shadowed mentors online, watched how-to videos, read how-to articles and made many mistakes that I learned how to correct along the way!
And you did such a great job! Well done!
What has been the most rewarding experience since publishing your first book?
K: Meeting many new author and illustrator friends and learning from them! I also quite enjoy holding the completed Nature Ninjas paperback book in my hands – it is quite an accomplishment for me.
What is something you wish someone had told you about self-publishing before you started?
K: There is always someone who will know the answers to your questions. All you need to do is reach out. There are wonderful people all around us that will always help!
What was it like launching your first book? What did you learn from the experience? If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
K: I learned that it definitely is a lot of work. I really had to practise patience and learn when you take a break. If I could do it again, I would definitely ask for more help when needed.
Have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?
K: I had no disputes with other professionals, people are amazing. I did have format sizing hiccups that I needed to research again and smooth out. How-to videos and articles are my friends!
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?
K: To keep going! Even if you have doubts, move past them and keep writing, editing, formatting, asking questions and creating! You will be very proud of yourself in the end and so will I!
How do you go about marketing? Do you have any tips for first time authors?
K: So far, I am using all the Social Media websites including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I am utilizing Link Tree so that all my links are in one place and easy to find. I am trying my best to sign up for interviews (whether they are live or written, in person or through Zoom - even though the thought of it makes me nervous!). I have hopes to do in person visits to schools and libraries. And lastly I need to utilize using adworks on online storefronts.
Finish the following statement: I would love it if (someone famous) could read my book: Jennifer Garner and Hilarie Burton-Morgan because they both have children and seem like fun-loving people.
Oh, I love them both!
Would you consider traditional publishing? Have you tried reaching out to or pitching to agents and publishers?
K: Yes I have thought about traditional publishing. I have sent a few of my other stories out to publishers and I am waiting for replies.