Author Spotlight – Kit Mallory
Meet UK Lesbian Fiction Author Kit Mallory
Our reviewer Valden had this to say about Kit Mallory’s books:
Kit Mallory is releasing her first lesfic romance as I write this. Congratulations! This is an impressive start to her writing career, and I am sure (and hoping) we will be reading more of her dystopian fiction in the future.
Synopis of Blackout: For 16-year-old Skyler, fear is a way of life.Fellow refugee Mackenzie is a ghost from her past she’d rather ignore. Forced, with extreme reluctance, on the run together, Skyler and Mackenzie, along with enigmatic contract killer Angel, must find a way to outrun not only the Board and the South’s most sadistic crime lord, but their own personal demons. But more is at stake than any of them realise. And Skyler, who has long believed she has nothing left to lose, is about to discover just how wrong she is.
We spoke to Kit Mallory about her debut novel and her writing plans for the future.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your debut novel, Blackout.
Although it might seem like I just based the premise for Blackout off the last three years of UK and US politics, I actually started writing the first draft in about 2012. If you’d told me then that by the time I released it the UK would be leaving the EU and the US president got in on a manifesto of building a wall across the country, I would’ve laughed in your face. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually seem very funny now…..
(b) What got you into writing?
I’ve literally been writing stories since I could write sentences (early works tended to heavily feature My Little Ponies). As a teenager, writing was escapism and I spent a lot of time writing when I should have been doing homework or revising for exams (sorry, Mum!).
Now, it’s really important to me that what I write gives people – especially young people – who have typically been marginalised in YA, like members of the LGBTQ community and people with mental health problems, the opportunity to see that they can be the hero of their own story; and that their story doesn’t just have to revolve around that one aspect of their identity.
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m very much a pantser. Every so often a character will wander into my head and set up camp there, and as I get to know them the story sort of unfolds around them. Sitting down to write feels like setting off on a journey – it’s an adventure, and I love that.
Over time I’ve come to realise that my life would probably be a bit easier if I did *some* planning around complex plot elements, though, so that’s something I’m working at incorporating into my process.
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
The biggest thing is that I’d have started seeking out other writers and asking for feedback on my work much earlier. Until a few years ago I never really showed anyone anything I wrote, and when I went to my first writers’ group I was absolutely terrified! But the people I’ve met and the process of learning to embrace criticism have taught me so much and made me into a much better writer.
The best piece of advice I could give any newbie writer is to find your people – by which I mean people who can get that balance between lifting you up and supporting you while still challenging you and being brutally honest in their critiques.
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
Oh, God, I have so many at different stages! The next two on my agenda are a sequel to Blackout (you didn’t really think I was going to leave the gang there, did you?!) and the first in a YA contemporary fantasy series – both of which I’m hoping to release in the next twelve months.
VALDEN’s REVIEW OF BLACKOUT
The north/south divide that is frequently discussed is made real as a future. It is very well thought through, and has you as the reader wondering, along with the main characters, where all the money has gone, where the people of the north have gone and who is the Board.
The south is ruled by fear, and unquestioning obedience born from that fear. The main characters are all victims in one way or another and are beautifully described, from Skyler the hacker, to Mackenzie the thief, to Angel the underground medic with other, more secret skills. There is f/f romance, and while the romance is an underlying slow burn thread, the story is more about the characters overcoming the rules and regimen of a brutal society and working out how to overcome their own weaknesses in the process. I am waiting impatiently for the next book!