Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Kaytalin Platt.
About the author:
Kaytalin Platt is a writer, illustrator, graphic designer, and former publication designer and content editor. She grew up on a farm in southern Alabama - a place that inspired many of her future writings. Platt currently lives in Philadelphia. The Living God is her first novel.
Click here to visit her official website.
About The Living God:
Legend has it, The Living God will bring about the destruction of the world in order to rebuild it into a paradise. Some worship and welcome His coming, others fear Him and would do anything to stop it.
Kaytalin Platt's The Living God follows the internal struggle of two mages, Saran and Keleir, as they confront their fears and attempt to find meaning in the hand that life has dealt them. Saran seeks to overthrow her crazed father and salvage what is left of her country before it falls into complete ruin. Keleir is cursed with a Rauke's soul, an ancient creature who is only able to survive by merging with an unborn child upon entering our world. Saran and Keleir are touched by fate, gifted with the ability to sense each other, and destined for a future that neither care to know. When Saran's magic is stolen, she must confront a life without the ability to manipulate time, struggle to see the rebellion finished, and keep Keleir from becoming The Living God.
AN INTERVIEW WITH KAYTALIN PLATT
Could you tell us something about yourself in your own words?
I grew up in a town of around 450 people, in a place called Deer Park, Alabama. With not much to do other than work on a farm, I spent my spare time in the woods on imaginary adventures. My sister and I were the farm hands. Among many things, my dad taught me how to weld, build fences, fix cars, and catch snakes with my bare hands—a strange assortment of skills for someone who now lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
How did you become interested in speculative fiction, and when did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
My mother introduced me to writing. She’d always been a writer herself, though she never pursued publication. She is a talented artist and painter, with an abundant imagination. I have her to thank for all my quirks and interests in science fiction and fantasy. My babysitter was Luke Skywalker. I grew up watching Star Wars whenever she needed a moment of peace.
I knew I wanted to be a writer from a young age. My school didn’t really enforce physical activity during PE, so I spent middle and high school PE telling stories to a group who found them interesting. When I went to college, I took that passion more seriously. I started working on the very first drafts of what is now The Living God.
Your debut young adult fantasy novel, The Living God, will be published in May 2019. What kind of a fantasy novel is it?
I’ve often referred to it as “genre-bending.” It is very much a fantasy, but it also blends fantasy with multiverses—a fantasy world, a modern Earth, and a dystopian future. I tasked myself with merging all my favorite concepts in genre fiction in a way that was entertaining, captivating, and contained a message. It is simultaneously high fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction—The Living God is the start of that journey for readers.
What inspired you to write The Living God? Were any books, stories or films a source of inspiration to you?
That is hard to pin down. I would say that in some aspect, even very small, all my favorite things about the fantasy and science fiction genre had an influence in this story. The first draft some 10 years ago, and this may sound strange, was very heavily influenced by Star Wars—which had a huge impact on me as a child. But, there is also touches of The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, Rhapsody: Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon, and even the faintest religious themes from the Bible.
The most influential, however, was my upbringing and the impact parental alcoholism had on me. My father quit drinking once he realized it was tearing the family apart. However, I still remember being a child and wanting nothing more than to hop through a portal to another world to escape the fighting.
Could you tell us something about the characters in this novel? What kind of characters are Saran and Keleir?
Both Saran and Keleir have their own stories of abuse, and that abuse has had lasting effects on them. Both have been given specific, unchosen, responsibilities at birth. Saran will rule a kingdom of people who hate her family—and probably want her dead. Keleir will purge humanity so that only the “worthy” are left. Neither want those fates.
Saran is headstrong and stubborn. For so long she’s been impervious to harm, and then she gets knocked down to a very mortal peg. For someone who has been one of the most powerful people in her world, this takes a heavy toll.
Keleir has always been governed by rage and the entity inside of him. While he had no control over the things done by his hand before the start of our story, he is haunted by guilt and the belief that he is inherently evil.
Do you explore any themes or issues in The Living God?
A few themes are explored, but they really all have to do with destiny. Sometimes destiny and fate can’t be avoided—no matter how hard we try. There are some responsibilities we can’t run from, some problems we can’t solve, and some people we can’t save.
Is The Living God a standalone novel or will there be sequels?
The Living God is the first in a (currently planned) four-book fantasy/science fiction series about elemental mages who fight to stop an Oruke, a creature forged from the excess matter left over at the birth of a universe, from collapsing whole worlds to form a single, perfect one for his kind.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
I have lived in the world of The Living God for a very long time and I’m excited to share the beginnings of Saran and Keleir’s story with everyone. It is an emotional one, full of deep character development. It sets the stage for an extraordinary, poignant journey that spans multiple universes and, in some ways, multiple timelines.