“Writing isn’t what I do, its who I am.”
K.L. Hall is a woman who believes you either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. As a serial storyteller, K.L. Hall pens enthralling love stories intertwined with the grittiness of urban fiction. With her latest children’s book, Princess For Hire, she can also add kid’s literature author under her belt of remarkable accomplishments. I caught up with K.L. and we discussed her writing career, books that changed her life, and her biggest goals for 2019.
What inspired you to pursue a career in urban fiction & kid’s literature?
KL: “Writing has always been a passion of mine. I fell in love with urban fiction when I was in high school and really never wanted to read another genre again. I never set out to make being an author a career, it was just the path that my passion led me down. As far as the kid’s literature, I honestly don’t like being boxed in. Just because you write one genre well, doesn’t mean you can’t do the same for other genres. When I was a child, I loved to read. It never occurred to me that there weren’t many books out there with characters that looked like me, so I decided to give my idea for a children’s book a go. I sat down to write it out, and it went from an idea, to a rhyming story, to an actual tangible book that I’m super proud of.”
What was the most challenging book you’ve written so far and why?
KL: “Hmm…tough one. I will say that each book can be challenging for me in its own way, usually it’s me getting hung up on an idea that I can’t fully map out or something like that. I think prequels (after a series is done) can be challenging because I have to make sure that I have the timelines right, tell full backstories, etc. because there is already a solidified series in place. That can be draining at times versus creating a brand new book from scratch and letting my creative juices flow.”
Tell us about your latest book, Princess for Hire.
KL: “Princess for Hire is a book geared towards girls of color. It’s about a young girl named Yuri. She’s an orphan, and she’s always dreamed of becoming a princess. One day she’s at the market and she sees someone putting up a sign that says, “princess for hire” and learn that the king and queen are going to retire and want someone to run the castle. They don’t have any children of their own. So, she decides that this is her chance to make her dreams come true. She packs a bag and heads off to the castle where there are dozens of other girls who also want to be princess. By the time she gets to the front of the line, she tells the king why she should be the princess and ends up having her dream come true and also gets the family she always wanted.”
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
KL: “Yes and no. (long story alert) So, in 2013 when I first started really trying to see if I could do the whole publishing thing, I did a lot of research. Everything I found said I had to write a million query letters, find a literary agent, and only THEN would I finally get published. It wasn’t until I talked to my older cousin who informed me that I could actually self-publish through Amazon. (My mind was blown!) So, with less than a hundred bucks or so to my name, I wrote a short story and got free trials of Photoshop, found a stock photo and watched tons of YouTube tutorials on how to make a book cover. Once that was done, I uploaded my book and thought I would instantly become a millionaire overnight. WRONG. Not only had I done zero promotion, I only told a select number of people that I’d written a book because I was so shy and nervous that I would be judged, or no one would like it. Fast forward a few months, I met a lady who walked into my full-time job who just so happened to be a book publisher. I don’t even remember how we got on the topic of books, but she asked me “do you know anyone who is looking to be published?” My response was, “Uh, yes, me!” I told her about the TWO books I’d self-published on Amazon within a month of each other and she said she’d check them out. Later that night, she read them and found me on Facebook and said, “I have to sign you!” That’s literally how I got my first book publishing deal.”
What do you love most about being a writer?
KL: “The ability to be anyone and be anywhere anytime I want. To me, there’s nothing more freeing than being a writer. I can be as creative as I want to be, have my characters live and do things I may never do, all while telling an amazing story.”
If you were given 3 more hours a day, what would you do with them?
KL: “Does napping count? I LOVE NAPPING! It’s the best (lol). If I can’t choose napping, I’ll say, write. (crazy, right?) There are days where I wake up and I’m like, “Yup, this is the day that I write 20,000 words!” Then I blink and it’s ten o’clock at night and I have 25 words on the screen. It’s so crazy how time gets away from me some days!”
As an educator for aspiring authors, what is the best advice you have for an aspiring author?
KL: “I would say write because you love to write. If you’re writing for any other reason than that (money, fame, etc.) you’re in this for the wrong reasons. I’m sure there are people who have become bestselling authors overnight, but that’s not as common as it seems. It takes tough skin, dedication and determination. Also, never stop trying to get better at what you do. Read books, take classes, anything that’ll help you better your craft and keep growing as a writer. ”
You deeply believe that reading is dope. What are some books that changed your life personally and as an author?
KL: ” ‘Addicted’ by Zane was the first urban fiction novel I ever read, and I never looked back. From there, I dived head first into books by Omar Tyree, Eric Jerome Dickey, Sister Souljah. (The list goes on!) Reading books by those authors and so many more made me fall in love and helped me realize that reading is truly dope.”
What is a typical day for you like?
KL: “Phew! Okay, so not only do I write, but I also have a full-time job and a part-time job. (I like multiple streams of income!) So, every day is spent working and then I come home to eat dinner, workout (when I’m not being lazy), and writing if I’m not completely drained. I honestly do NOT write every day. I wish I could (that’s definitely where those extra three hours would come in). With writing, sometimes I have amazing days/nights where I can write anywhere from 5,000-11,000 words, other days, I write 500 words and stop, and some days nothing at all.”
What more can we expect from you in 2019?
KL: “OMG so much! I’m not sure if 2019 is ready for me! I have two books dropping in February. I am also working on a few more books right now that will come out within the upcoming months. On top of that, I’ve completed two more children’s books that are with my illustrators. I’m blogging more often, creating more workbooks for aspiring authors and creating more apparel.”
National bestselling author K.L. Hall is best known for her In the Arms of a Savage trilogy. She is also the author of Diary of a Hood Princess, Built for a Savage and over a dozen other novels.
As a serial storyteller, Hall pens enthralling love stories intertwined with the grittiness of urban fiction. Her writing style is a fusion of eminently relatable female characters like Sydney Tate and Raquel Valentine, and the flawed, yet desirable male leads who love them, like Law Calloway and Justice Silva.
At a young age, she found her passion in a pen and knew that writing would continue to be a vital part of her life from that point forward. After becoming infatuated with the intricate genre of urban fiction, Hall made her childhood dream a reality and self-published her first short story in 2013. Since then, the Virginia native has been featured in blog and radio interviews, press articles and acknowledged as a top urban fiction author of 2016 and 2018 by the Urban Books, Authors and Writers of America.
Each of her stories aim to capture the attention of whoever picks up her book by bringing her pages and characters to life through lessons in life and love and personal growth. Ready to read one? Join Hall’s email tribe by texting KLHALL to 22828 to receive updates on all things literary. Follow her on social media to be the first to know about future releases and appearances.
Instagram and Twitter: @authorklhall
Awakened: A Paranormal Romance (Novella) (February 5, 2019)
Lovin’ the Alpha of the Streets: A Valentine’s Day Novella (February 15, 2019)
How to Develop Your Fictional Characters: https://www.authorklhall.com/product-page/how-to-develop-your-fictional-characters
How to Self-Publish Your First Book on Amazon: https://www.authorklhall.com/product-page/how-to-self-publish-your-first-book-on-amazon
How to Build Your Brand: https://www.authorklhall.com/product-page/how-to-build-your-brand
Decide. Commit. Succeed. 2019 Book Goals Planner: https://www.authorklhall.com/product-page/decide-commit-succeed-2019-book-goals-planner
Reading is Dope Tee: https://www.authorklhall.com/product-page/reading-is-dope-with-website
556 Book Chicks Atlanta Kickback: July 20, 2019