What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?
My grandfather was a newspaper editor, and writer. I still have the typewriter that he wrote his historical books on. I probably inherited a lot of his genes. I write as an emotional outlet mostly. I started writing my first screenplay in high school. I still have a copy of it, and it is absolutely terrible. Sometimes I go back and glance at it just to show myself how much I have improved. I like telling stories about human nature, stories that push boundaries, and stories about alternate worlds. I started writing novels about five years ago, at the advice of George R. R. Martin. I had been trying to get a writing agent with my screenplays. Most agents told me that I had too many characters. When I told George about my experiences at one of his book signings, he told me that I can have as many characters as I want in novels. So that’s why I started adapting my screenplays into books.
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
I don’t have any trouble sitting down and writing. Usually I try to write about five pages a day. It is a muscle that needs to be flexed. I think the hardest part about writing is getting people to read your work. Feedback and editing are such an essential part of the writing process; but like all writers, I have a hard time finding that essential criticism. I’ve been working with a professional editor for a year now. We have a mutually beneficial relationship. I would advise all writers to create some kind of monthly meeting with an adviser, so that they are constantly getting reactions.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received?
I’ve received a lot of bad advice in Hollywood. I’ve also been asked to write some projects I didn’t believe in. I’ve always taken the stance that if I don’t believe in the subject matter I won’t work on it. I didn’t become an artist with the intention of making a ton of money. I chose to work in film because I love it. I won’t go into specifics on the bad advice I have received, but I will say that I’ve learned to always trust my first impressions of people, and I listen to my gut.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I’ve gotten a lot of good advice! I’ve learned a ton in Hollywood, and I especially learned a lot from making my film Camouflage. The best advice I have received is that while the entertainment industry is small, it’s also full of jobs and people. I once got the advice that I don’t have to like everyone, or work with everyone that offers a job. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away from an open door.
What has most helped you improve as a writer?
Working with a professional editor. Honestly, in the past two years, my writing has drastically improved. I’ve also learned how to take criticism better, and how to implement an editor’s notes, while still maintaining the original intention of what I wrote.
Can you please describe your current project?
Sunshine is Forever is a fictional young adult novel geared towards helping people with depression. If you have depression, or know someone with depression, this book is for you. The novel is inspired by the experiences I have had with depression, and the people surrounding me who have depression. While the book sounds…well…depressing…I actually wrote the novel with a lighter tone than would be expected. Most of my stories are very dramatic, so I wanted to write something with a touch of humor in order to challenge myself. The book contains a lot of strong, relevant messages. I was most inspired by The Fault in our Stars, Kings of Summer, and Perks of Being a Wallflower. Definitely check it out and preorder today! $20 signed copy, $10 E-book. https://www.inkshares.com/books/sunshine-is-forever
And that wraps up the interview! I’d like to thank Kyle for finding the time to take part; some great insights from his personal experiences. For those who’ve followed the interview, please check out Chapter 1 of Sunshine is Forever, as read by Kyle.
Lastly, if you’re interested in discovering more about Kyle and his work, you can follow him through some of the below links.