Teen Press Corps Member Xander Interviews Author Kayla Olson

by Xander Christou, BookPeople Teen Press Corps
Xander Christou: What’s been the coolest thing about getting published?Kayla Olson: I think the coolest thing about getting published has been actually talking to the readers. Having had an idea, seeing that idea spring out of just a seed and growing into something I can share with other people, it’s no longer mine but I get to share it with other readers. I think probably the coolest experience I’ve had was I did an event in my hometown a couple weeks ago and there was this reader who bought my book at 9:30 in the morning, by the end of the festival, at 12:30, she came back to my table, “I finished it! I finished it!”
XC: What do you think about your cover?

KO: When the green showed up in my inbox, I was totally shocked. I was [like] “this is so green,”…I feel like my style is more lyrical, and there’s so much about beauty and hope. I was expecting something more tranquil, like island, teal, beach colors…but I love it. I feel like they completely captured the menace and the mystery of the island. It’s a very dangerous island, and what I had in my beforehand, it was just a different angle of the book, looking at it from one that I think probably gives a better idea of what the plot is. I think that it’s eye-catching. I’ve met people “oh, you’re the one with a bright green cover.”

XC: What is a young adult book that you’ve read recently and really enjoyed?

KO: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada. I’ve only read the first chapter, and I was just like “this is the best first chapter I’ve read since The Hunger Games or Beth Revis’s Across the Universe.” Both of those have incredible first chapters and this one is no exception. So, The Mortal Coil, I’m super excited about.

XC: Describe The Sandcastle Empire in 10 words?

KO: When all hope is gone, how do you survive? They gave me a good tagline and it fits the book pretty well.

XC: There’s a Sandcastle Empire movie being made, what are you exciting about seeing it on the big screen?

KO: Yeah! …It’s always really fun to get the updates, but it’s hard to sit on them. I will say I had a meeting out there in April, at Paramount, and it was just so surreal and exciting. Their enthusiasm in is has given me so much trust and faith that it is in the best possible hands….Definitely one of those things I never knew to hope for.

XC: What author are you excited to see today at TTBF?

KO: Steph Perkins. I love Steph Perkins…I think we first met in 2011. We’ve hung out every now and then but this is our first event together both as authors. We just did our signing right beside each other.

XC: If you could choose one language for your book to be translated in, what language would it be?

KO: We have 15 translations in the works…I would’ve said Chinese, it’ll be in Mandarin, cause I spent two summers there, and so I’m excited about that…if I could choose one that hasn’t been bought yet I would say Norwegian. My first college roommate was Norwegian, and she taught me a little bit, and my husband’s family is Norwegian, so that would be really special to me.

XC: If you could go to one country, where would you go?

KO: Iceland.

XC: If you could choose one song to sum up your book, what would it be?

KO: A song by The Rescues, Come Hell or High Water. A friend sent me this after she read the book and she was like “this song is your book,”…the whole feel, it feels like simmering, survival, energy, and then just explodes in a way that feels like my book is.