How are ya’ll doing this month? I hope that you’re doing okay because my life is a mess. Okay, not a mess per se, but I am in the process of moving and, well, I’m sure a lot of you know how that goes. So, in order to take a break from my crazy, box-filled, bubble-wrapped, tape everywhere life, I’ve decided to take the time to interview none other than K. Ancrum! So buckle up, and get ready for this ride. And, if you’re feeling it, check out this book review for Darling, which dropped earlier this year.
Fun Facts Interview
Jaleesa: Hi Kayla! First thing, I want to thank you for agreeing to speak with me on my blog.
Kayla: Thank you so much for having me!
Jaleesa: Of course, it’s my pleasure. Alright, so, let’s get to it. In our email correspondence, you sent me some pretty amazing facts, but I want to start with my favorite: the feet. Why don’t you tell us about it.
Kayla: So, unfortunately, I am really good at picking things up with my feet, throwing them over my shoulder, and catching them in my hands.
Jaleesa: Right, so, I have to know, who taught you how to do this? I mean, it sounds impressive.
Kayla: Weirdly, my mom does it too. I learned it from watching her and have been doing it since I was a kid. It’s great for when you’re too lazy to bend down and pick things up.
Jaleesa: I get that. Second question: Can we get a video of that? I just think it would be amazing to add to the blog post.
Kayla: OMG, no I’m way too embarrassed about it. The only people who have seen me do it are my family and my fiancé, haha!
Jaleesa: That’s the answer that I thought I’d get, but I’m still a bit disappointed, haha. But, okay. Gymnastics aside, tell us a little something about writing. When did you get into it?
In lieu of K. Ancrum, here's a video of Drew Barrymore's Talented Feet
Kayla: The first time I wrote a book was in 7th grade, and it was 100 pages long.
Jaleesa: That’s pretty good for a 7th grader. I knew I wanted to be a writer in 3rd grade, but in 7th grade, I was only writing short stories.
Kayla: I have only ever written novels. The very first time I wrote a short story (for an assignment no less!) was when I was a senior in college.
Jaleesa: That’s right, you did mention that as one of your facts. So, what was the book in 7th grade about, and why only novels?
Kayla: Oh god, it was horrible. This was before Twilight came out obviously, but it was a book about a girl who was in a love triangle between a demon and a vampire. As for why it’s only novels…Around twelve I read the book A Wrinkle in Time and it was so impactful to me that I—someone who was a talented painter, singer, and dancer—decided that novels were the way I wanted to communicate artistically with the world; I stopped doing all those other things and started focusing on writing books. I started studying how books were written; pacing and length; and character development and all that, while I read. So by the time I was ready to write, novels were the only thing I knew how to write. Short stories and poetry requires completely different skills and I simply did not have them until maybe….six years ago when I wrote my first short story.
Jaleesa: That’s interesting considering most writers start out with short stories and poetry. Although, I guess it’s a matter of finding your niche and sticking with it until you’re ready to venture out. What do you think?
Kayla: I do! I think that people create the best art when they lean into what comes most naturally for them and hone that skill to a fine point.
Jaleesa: For sure! So, what else do you like to do?
Kayla: Aside from writing, I love fashion, and I change my style dramatically every 2–3 years.
Jaleesa: Really? How so?
Kayla: Well, I recently went from wearing 60s inspired clothing in only black or blue to a full red wardrobe with 70's silhouettes!
Jaleesa: Man, I wish I could do that with my wardrobe. Doesn’t that get expensive?
Kayla: It does a bit, but at this stage of my life, there’s method to the madness. I would say it costs about $3,000 every time, which is about two paychecks give or take how much I’m making at the time. So I spread that cost over a full season (fall, etc.). First I go to a thrift store to replace all of my basics; then I go to a fast fashion place to round out more stylish elements (pants and coats tailored to modern sensibilities are usually hard to find in thrift stores); then, with whatever I have left, I buy higher quality longer lasting pieces from places like Nordstrom Rack. Then I go through my old wardrobe and give away nearly all of my older style to charity shops and sell my higher-quality pieces to places like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange.
Jaleesa: That’s amazing. I really love that about you. How understanding and generous you are, I mean. I want to be like you when I grow up.
Kayla: That’s such a kind thing to say. I feel like I’m barely rounding out what kind of grown-up I want to be so it really does mean a lot to me to hear that—at the very least—I’m on the right track.
Jaleesa: You are! And you should be proud of that. Alright, so, last fact. Tell us about your cooking.
Kayla: For sure! I love to cook, and I often throw dinner parties that correspond with films.
Jaleesa: Want to give us an example?
Kayla: Yes! So, the year I met my partner, I tried to impress him by throwing a Lord of the Rings dinner party and made a whole leg of lamb, homemade bread, honey cakes, roast root vegetables, and mead.
Jaleesa: That sounds exquisite and a bit over the top. But like, in the best way.
Kayla: It is! The experience of having my friends enjoy my food while enjoying a film is sublime for me and very much worth the effort. I’m hoping to do a Grand Budapest Hotel party either at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. Something like this:
Jaleesa: Oh my gosh! That looks amazing and I would love to be invited!
Kayla: Haha well if you’re local to Chicago or anywhere nearby, I’d love to have you!
Jaleesa: I'm not local, but let me know when it happens and I might just book a trip! That said, I think this is it for me in terms of my questions. Is there anything else that you want to tell the readers?
Kayla: Yes! Keep an eye out for my next book Murder of Crows: Lethal Lit coming out January 4th next year!
Jaleesa: Publishing a new book is so exciting, so 'll definitely be waiting for it! Thanks again for doing this! I’m so excited that I got this opportunity!
K. Ancrum is the author of Darling, The Wicker King and The Weight of the Stars. All of them are available in bookstores and at the library.
Her groundhog day story about a couple of teens trapped on a ship in space where time reboots every twelve hours will be featured in Out There, a queer anthology put together by Saundra Mitchell.
To keep up with this and more, or to contact her or schedule library visit, visit K. Ancrum’s website.