I am so thrilled to have a special guest on the blog today! If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Kara Swanson, let’s correct that today. She’s such a sweet gal and her novella, The Girl Who Could See, if packed with beautiful imagery and relatable characters.
Without further ado, let’s chat!
Please welcome Kara
Hi, Kara! So happy to have you. 🙂 When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always scribbled down stories and ideas, but it wasn’t till I was sixteen/seventeen and co-authored a fantasy novel (that was actually published—it’s called Pearl of Merlydia) with one of my best friends that I truly realized how much I loved writing—and how this was something I might want to do for the rest of my life. 🙂
I love that you dove into everything at such a young age, not holding back. Were Pearl of Merlydia and The Girl Who Could See your first story ideas? Or are there more bouncing around in your head?
Oh, I have so many story ideas 🙂 TGWCS was really just a short story concept that continued to grow, until I realized I may have to release this novella to the public. For example, I’m working on last-minute polishes of a sci fi/dystopian novel my agent and I are planning on shopping to various publishers soon. I had actually written six novels before I wrote my first draft of TGWCS. So, yes, I always have story ideas floating around in my head 🙂
Oooh, you have six novels floating around? I bet your readers can’t wait to get their hands on those babies. 😉 What’s one thing your #sorrynotsorry about putting your character(s) through?
Hmmm…well, there’s a scene toward the end of the book that was painful to write, but that pain was what made it truly beautiful. It took that hard moment (can you tell how hard I’m trying not to spoil? 🙂 ) for the main character to realize what it would take to truly overcome. For her to see how important her perspective on the world truly was—even if that realization came through a terrible loss.
Yes, trying to dish the secrets but hold back spoilers is always hard. 😉 But I love that your character was able to see the beauty despite the pain. <3 So who has been your biggest influencer in writing? (Or who inspires you the most?)
Hmm so hard to say! As far as an author who inspired me to write speculative fiction (fantasy, sci fi, etc) from a Christian worldview, it would definitely be Lewis. Narnia, of course.
As far as an influencer, my dear author friend Joanne Bischof has been both a mentor and sister to me. I love her dearly and she has taught me so much, helping me grow and understand the publishing industry.
Lewis was an inspiration for me as well! And your mentor sounds amazing. <3 So happy you have that connection with her. Now if you weren’t a writer, what other career would you have? Auditor, chef, pirate, dragon chaser, etc.
Oooh! I’ve always thought I’d love to be in the theater—I love singing and acting, and would love to perform in a musical or something of that kind. 🙂
That sounds so fun! If you ever do that, let me know. I’d love to catch one of your shows. 😉 So, what are you currently reading?
Well, right now life is a bit overwhelming so I haven’t gotten as much time to read, but I have been reading Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne when I can squeeze in time 🙂
Ooh, I’ve heard a lot of good things about that book. Got a favorite candy you must have on hand at all times?
CHOCOLATE. Especially Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
Ah, a girl after my own heart. I knew I liked you for a reason. 😉 What about a favorite quote and/or Bible scripture?
Yes Ma’am! Isaiah 40: 31—“They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” <3 Through my childhood overseas as the daughter of missionaries, to my battle against Lyme Disease, God has so often shown me that in the moments where I am weak, where I can do nothing but simply wait on Him, He will give me the strength to press onward.
That’s beautiful! Love that the scriptures were such a source of strength for you. Being a daughter of missionaries, I’ve bet you’ve traveled a lot. Any places you’ve yet to visit but would love to?
Europe! Paris, London, Tuscany, etc
All lovely locations! Well I can’t seem to get away from more food questions, got a favorite dessert?
Homemade Cherry Cheesecake! Yummmm
Ooh, that does sound delicious. *jots down on family menu* Okay, back to book stuff. Are you working on something new? If so, what’s it about? Spill the details!
Well, I already kind of did 😉 But right now I’ve got my fingers in two series—one is a YA paranormal/supernatural trilogy about a girl born with wings. Her father is a fallen angel, and the novel takes place against a backdrop of the End Times. So it has a lot of unique supernatural elements 🙂
The other is the YA sci fi/dystopian I mentioned above. It’s about a young woman living in a futuristic city, who realizes that her entire world is a lie—including her very identity 🙂
They both sound fantastic! Hopefully they get picked up soon so the reader world can get their hands on them. How about fandoms? Got a favorite?
Oooh hard one! I enjoy Dr Who, Narnia, LoTR, Starwars, Marvel, DC, etc
What about music? Is there a genre you favor? What are a few songs you love?
It really depends on my mood! I love rap, pop and Christian contemporary. My favorite rapper, NF recently released a few new songs so I’ve had those on repeat lately 🙂 And top 3 NF songs—Oh Lord, I’ll Keep On, and Motivated 🙂
I’ll have to check out those new songs! Okay, I’ve got one more question for you and then we’ll have to say farewell *sad face* What’s the biggest thing you hope readers take away from your story (stories)?
Hope. That there’s hope in any situation, no matter how dark or strange, because we serve a God who gives purpose to our lives, and reaches down for us when we’re at our worst. Because we serve a Lord of light, and beauty and hope.
*warm heart fuzzies* I love that so much! I’ll be praying for you and your journey. Thanks so much for stopping in and chatting with me. <3
Thank you so much! I so enjoyed this 🙂 <3
More about Kara …
As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. Her co-authored fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia was published when she was seventeen. In June of 2017 she independently released her novella, The Girl Who Could See. Kara has also had articles and short stories published—as well as receiving the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer Award in 2015.
When she’s not creating new stories and placing characters in peril, she’s probably binge-watching Marvel movies, playing with her huskies, reading till two in the morning or experimenting with a dairy-free mocha Frappuccino (skills, I’m telling you).
You can stalk her here:
Facebook: Kara Swanson, Author
Twitter/Insta/Snapchat handles: @kara_author
Pinterest: Kara Swanson, Author
Don’t forget to grab her book!
All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?
Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.
Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.
Add to TBR List: Goodreads
Go buy a copy: Amazon