Interview with Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse

» Posted on Mar 11, 2011 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse

Kim and Kayla

This week I’m hosting Marta Perry with Sarah’s Gift, Robin Caroll with In the Shadow of Evil, and Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse with No Safe Haven. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (March 13th) evening.

Interview with Mother/Daughter Writing Team: Kimberly and Kayla Woodhouse:

1.What made you start writing?
Kayla: My brother and I have always come up with short stories, plays, and parades together. When Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came and built us a new house, they gave us each personal computers. As you can probably imagine, this was a HUGE deal for an eleven year old. So the day we programmed them with MS Word, I started writing. I finished my first 25,000 word document a couple of weeks later, and started working on new stories. I kept reading books (okay, so devouring books) and kept coming up with more and more ideas. After editing my first book again, I asked my Daddy to read it (mind you he’s not a big reader). And he jokingly said, “when you get published, I’ll read your book.” LOL *smile* So, I kept working at it. About a year later, things began to come together in my mind, and in March of 2009 it finally clicked. We were at the Grand Canyon and I wrote something in our hotel room (after Mom had sprained her ankle, *smile*). I handed it to Mom and asked her to read it. She was amazed! I was so happy that something of mine was actually good! Well, long story short, about six months later we met with a friend of ours, Karen Ball (the most fantastic editor in the world) and she suggested that Mom and I write together. So we came up with a story and wrote a proposal. Three days later Mrs. Karen presented it to the fiction team at B&H and later, we signed a contract.

Kim: I started writing about fifteen years ago when my son was a baby and sick. I stayed up all night with him and couldn’t deal with all the creative juices flowing, so I typed it all out. You see, I’ve been a professional musician for a long time. That’s what I was trained in, that’s what I went to college for. Writing hadn’t been a thought or dream of mine, but wow, has God used it!

2.How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
Kayla: I’ve been really writing for about two and half years now, and I sold my first book in December of 2009.

Kim: About fifteen years off and on – life has been very busy. ☺ My first book was bought in 2008.

3.How do you handle rejections?
Kayla: LOL Well, as a thirteen almost fourteen year-old who got published totally by a God-thing, I’ve never been rejected. (Since I’ve only proposed to one publishing house!)

Kim: I haven’t had to deal with much of it – but I always look at any opportunity as a learning opportunity.

4.Why do you write?
Kayla: Because God told me to. *Smile* I love it, He’s really placed writing on my heart. And since it’s a thing I can do all my life, and God is constantly placing new ideas on my heart, I have no doubt that this is what I’m supposed to do. I really believe that He’s got big plans ahead and I’m excited to see what He does with our books!

Kim: To glorify God in all that I do. Everything I do should be an act of worship to Him, and that’s why I write.

5.What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
Kayla: Haha. *Smile* I’m not really sure. I can’t imagine not writing since it’s been a part of my life for a long time, even if—when I was young—it was just for fun. I do have a lot of hobbies, swimming, painting, sketching, music, and school (that counts as a hobby, right?), but I really love what I do and love seeing what God does through writing.

Kim: Wow. I’ve had so many deadlines that I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I think I’d probably get caught up and STAY caught up on my scrapbooking. ☺

6.What are you working on right now?
Kayla: Mom and I are currently working on editing Race Against Time, the second book in the series, and are about to write book number three (which doesn’t have a definitive title yet *smile*). We’re also working on books separately as well.

Kim: What Kayla said ☺ and I’m working on a Romantic Suspense set in Alaska (where we used to live) and Kayla is working on a Fantasy/Allegory.

7.Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Kayla: Very much so! Andie is almost an exact replica of me. *Smile* As the first REAL character I’ve written, I decided that she would just be the total “me” character. Shoot, she even got me hooked on M&Ms!! (You may wonder how a fictional character could hook the author onto something, and to tell you the truth I have no idea how she did it!) *Smile* Everything else was just the stuff I rubbed off on her. LOL

Kim: Oh my goodness, yes. Every character gets a lot of quirks and flaws from me. ☺

8.Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though twelve year-old Andie has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. It’s news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna’s husband (Andie’s dad) in a car accident.

But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who doesn’t want to save them, but to kill them.

Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn’t come easy to Jenna or Andi and they both sense Cole is hiding something.

A relentless tale of survival and suspense unfolds, involving military technology designed by Jenna’s late husband that some would do anything to possess.

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?
Kayla: I know it sometimes gets discouraging writing, especially if you’ve never been published. Although I’ve gotten published at a young age, (LOL since I’m now the youngest published full-length novelist, I guess I should say a VERY young age,) I’d encourage you not to give up. Every story has a reason, and it doesn’t matter if you never get published. God may intend that story for just a friend to read, or a family member, or He might want you simply to write to follow His will. He may want you to be another Terri Blackstock, or He might want you to simply follow His calling. Just follow Him. My Daddy once told me, “As long as you’re in God’s will—as long as you’re obedient to Him—you can’t go wrong. You know you’re in His will when you follow His calling.”

Kim: Kayla’s right. Don’t give up. Through this incredible process of writing with Kayla, I’ve learned so much. One of the biggest things is to forget about all the “baggage” we carry around as writers. All the rules and reviews and negative comments that bog us down and keep us from just writing. Kayla’s got a great advantage, she’s fresh and not worried by all that. I love it. And I’m so thankful that God has taught me so much through it all.

10.How important is faith in your books?
Kayla: Faith is the foundation for my books. My stories would have no purpose without faith, and it’d be just plain dumb to take God out of them. *Smile* God is the one and only important thing to me (and yes, it has taken years to get to that conclusion). I don’t want to anything that isn’t totally God centered, nothing. And as you can probably relate to, this is a constant battle for me. I know I lose track of Him at times, but I do know that He’s there and won’t leave me. And I hope that God shines through in my stories, as well as everything else I do.

Kim: I don’t think I can add one thing to that. Wow. Where’s the Kleenex?

11.What themes do you like to write about?
Kayla: Besides what I write with Mom, I mostly like to write fantasy/allegories. The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings, and the DragonKeeper Chronicles are my favorite books, and I love studying them to see what mysteries/truths are hidden. I want people to see God’s love, and to strive to live for Him.

12.What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
Kayla: Well, No Safe Haven was amazing to write. But I think I’m more attached to Race Against Time mainly because Zoya goes through such a deep struggle. It was EXTREMELY hard to write her character, but know that I look back I see how I grew in the Lord during that time. I based Zoya’s struggle off of a song I heard by the group Barlow Girl, called Never Alone. I was really in the depths of despair the entire time we were writing Race Against Time. I felt as if God wasn’t near me, and I couldn’t feel Him. Then about a week or so before we finished the book things changed, and it was literally like a beam of light shone down on me. I knew that God had been with me, and I saw the way He had worked through my life. Although I would really prefer to never write a character struggle quite like Zoya’s (but yes, her struggle has been toned down a lot since then *smile*) I’m all for it if that’s how God would like to work in me.

Kim: Well, I think each book is my favorite at the time ☺ Especially when you get the opportunity to go back and read and say, “Wow. I wrote that?” I think it just shows how God uses flawed, cracked and broken vessels to do His will and purpose.

13. What is your writing schedule like?
Kayla: LOL!!! Do you really want to know? Let’s just say that our schedule is totally insane! With school, swim team, writing, crit group, speaking engagements, and everything else in life, things get just a wee bit crazy. But to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! On days that we shut things off and try to take a break, I feel so bored! *Smile* But I guess that’s life!

Kim: Kayla again is right. I never understand how we tackle the list each day and get it done, but we do. And have a lot of fun in the meantime.