If you read my review of Kay L Moody’s Truth Seer, then you know that I fell in love with the characters and the world created in the book. About a million questions popped in my head while reading, and Kay was awesome enough to answer some of them!
How did you come up with the idea for Truth Seer?
Truth Seer started out as a picture in my mind. I imagined a girl tiptoeing through a dark and winding tunnel. The tunnel was filled with all sorts of things, but everything was opposite of what it seemed. The girl traveled with another person, but only the girl could see what was real and what was fake. She had to convince the other person to trust her even though everything looked opposite of what was really there. I remember two illusions specifically: In the tunnel, it looked like there was a patch of daisies, but really it was a cluster of poisonous spikes. In another spot sat the world’s most comfortable bed, but it looked like a huge, never ending pit.
Most of my original idea had to be adapted as the story evolved, but I did manage to keep the never-ending pit. 🙂
How did you come up with the idea of hilas? Was it challenging to work through all the different hilas and decide upon which character gets which one, etc.?
I remember seeing a thing on Pinterest where someone said their superpower was being able to remove sticky labels off glass objects. I remember thinking that was funny. But then I started reading the comments and a lot of people were genuinely impressed and asked for tips. I thought it was really interesting how people could be impressed by such a simple thing. And then I thought, what if that skill was trained so intensely that it actually became a superpower? Or what if being hyper aware of smells was a superpower? If we focused in on these mundane abilities and trained them to become more than just mundane, what would happen? Then, I imagined what the world would be like in a hundred years where we’ve trained these powers and almost everyone has a superpower.
It wasn’t hard to decide who had what hila, but it was hard to keep track of what their hila was actually capable of. I worked really hard to make all of the hilas realistically plausible. At first, Siluk could create smells out of thin air. But I decided that didn’t fit any of the other hilas, so I had to give him that same ability, but make it scientifically plausible. So instead, I gave him spray bottles and he knew how to use them to create any smell he wanted.
Are there other female authors (or authors in general) in the genre that inspired you to write Truth Seer?
I was more inspired to write in science fiction because of the lack of woman. But since writing and researching the genre more, I have found a few authors that I love. When I was almost done with the 2nd draft of Truth Seer, I discovered The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I was completely blown away by the story and quickly became a huge fan of this strange genre where science fiction and fantasy are smooshed together. I’ve written a lot about science fantasy/soft sci fi on my website because the genre fascinates me. I really hope to see more books like this in the future.
Also, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, is basically my hero. For those who don’t know, Frankenstein is widely considered the first science fiction novel ever. And I love that it was written by a woman! I haven’t read Frankenstein yet, but it’s on my to-read list and I can’t wait to start it.
If you had to pick, who is your favorite character? Why? Were they also your favorite character to write, or did you enjoy the actual creating of another character more?
Imara is probably my favorite because she has such opposite forces working within her. She has the desire to protect other people, but she also thinks very little of everyone around her. She has to learn a lot about herself that she has tried to ignore for a long time. But of course, Abe was another favorite. Imara has pushed everyone away for so long, she hardly knows what to do when Abe comes in and forces himself in her life. Her instinct is still to push him away and instead of being offended, he tries to figure out why so he can help her.
I also had a lot of fun writing the side characters. I love all of them for different reasons, but my favorites are probably Mr. Nazari and Siluk.
If Truth Seer were made into a movie, who do you imagine playing the lead roles?
I love to imagine Lupita Nyong’o as Imara, especially since Lupita grew up in Kenya. And for Abe, I feel like Marc Casabani has the right look.
Can you give us a hint about what’s in store for Imara and Abe without giving away too many spoilers?
At the end of Truth Seer, we know a lot about Imara and her past, but we know almost nothing about Abe, other than what happens in the catacombs. In book 2 we’ll get to learn a lot more about Abe’s life and past, which I’m really excited about. There’s also a new antagonist in book 2. If you’ve signed up for my email list to get Keiko’s story, you’ll get a little introduction to the new antagonist. I don’t want to give away too much, but there will be lots of new technology and lots of crime. And there’s going to be a lot more at stake than just hostages.
What are your top 3 favorite books of all time?
I have a very eclectic list of favorite books. In no particular order, my very favorite books are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer
What was your favorite part of the writing/publishing process? What was your least favorite?
My favorite part was the writing and my least favorite part was the writing. 🙂 There were so many days when I’d stare at my screen and have no idea how to write what I was thinking in my head. I kept saying, “Why is writing so hard?” But I also loved the actual writing. When I got to my favorite parts, it was so fun to finally put on paper the ideas in my head. I guess the very best part was finishing and knowing that I had actually accomplished my goal of publishing a book.
What started you on the road to writing/why do you write?
I explain this in a lot more detail on my about me page, but basically my mom inspired me to write. And she graced me with the genetics to always have a story in my head. I started writing to escape the world. I loved creating worlds where my characters could overcome the struggles I faced and find happiness despite pain.
About Kay L Moody:
Kay L Moody is proud to be a female science fiction author. Her books feature cool science and technology, strong female leads, and a dash of romance. There’s a strong focus on character development and societal conditions. Kay loves books because they provide an escape from the world. She writes so that her books can provide both entertainment and edification. She believes that no matter how difficult life gets, a happy ending is never permanently out of reach. She likes to say, “If it isn’t happy, then it’s not the end.”