Blogs / Life



I write. I drink tea. And I live my life to the fullest, knowing that my abilities come from God.

My name is Kayla Ann, I’m an author who just recently signed with a publishing house to write a non-fiction, scholarly book on human agency in The Hunger Games series. I have loved to write ever since I was a little girl. I wrote my first story, “Kate the Pirate” when I was in second grade. It was then I decided that I would eventually become a published and established author. However, as any writer may know, this is not as easy as it seems. This wonderful world of writing is also complex and sometimes exhausting. So in this blog I will be offering up Writing Tips and my own experiences in the hope of encouraging other authors to continue on creating wondrous worlds of their own.

Feel free to hit me up in the comments with any questions you might have about writing.


Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Set your Environment

What do I mean by that? Here’s the thing, my ideal environment to write in is up in the mountains of Big Bear, sitting on the deck of a two story cabin, the sky blue and the breeze light with birds chirping in the background. However, as a full time student and worker, my chances for retreating to the mountains are minimized. That doesn’t mean that I can’t manipulate my current environment.

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What I find helpful is setting up a space. For me, that is my kitchen table. There is plenty of room for me to spread out my laptop, my notebook, my sources, and hey! easy access to food! But before I can start writing I find that I need music. For me, that means turning on Pandora and clicking on The Hunger Games soundtrack playlist which has already been modified by my thumbs up and down. These familiar songs automatically switch my brain into writing mode.

Music is such a great motivator! Maybe you don’t have a specific playlist that comes to mind. Have you considered playing gaming music (specifically boss level music). If you aren’t sure what this means, in video games there is specific music that comes on when a character faces the ultimate bad-guy; this music has been specifically created to motivate the gamer and keep them engaged. In the same way, if you are having a hard time staying motivated, consider playing music from a popular video game.

If that’s not your thing, consider playing soothing music in the background or simply your favorite playlist. Whatever you decide, try to keep it consistent. That way, when you hear the familiar music, you will automatically think that it is time to write!

This one might not be applicable to everyone, some of you might prefer to work in complete silence and that is okay! Whatever you do, try to control your environment the best you can. This might not always be possible so the important thing is to keep writing.

*If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip be sure to check out additional tips under the “Writing Tips” category on my home menu!

Write down in the comments how YOU plan to set your environment! 👍🏻

Happy Writing everyone!



I’ve decided to share some of the music that I listen to at times when I need some motivation!


The Agency Games

The Agency Games: An Update (3)

Well it’s that time of the month again, time for my monthly update on my work in progress:

The Agency Games

(a working title)

The Agency Games is a nonfiction book which analyzes human agency within the popular Hunger Games trilogy. I will be doing in-depth character analyses of individuals such as: Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne, Haymitch Abernathy, Cinna, Primrose Everdeen, and more in trying to understand how human agency is discovered, maintained, tested, lost, and regained in a dystopian society and how that relates to us as readers.

The goal is to write approximately 500 words per day so that I can meet my goal of 75,000 words by May 31st to send to the publishers.

  • On January 22nd, 2018, I posted by first update. I was at a total of 22,000 words.
  • On February 22nd (after a VERY productive month having written 19,000 words), I was at a total of 41,000 words having written 3,500 words more than my original goal.

There were 28 days between February 22nd and March 22nd, and at 500 words per day, my goal was to write 14,000 words. Meaning, that I should be at 55,000 words.

Let’s see how I did . . .

(Drum roll Please)

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55,200 words!

Okay, I won’t lie, I am totally surprised by that number! There have been some days this past month where I have been unable to write at all because I was so busy with work and wedding planning.

I knew that I was behind so these past few days I have been cranking out 1,000 words a day in an effort to catch up and man, am I happy to know that I was able to catch up!

March Chart

While my most productive month was the time between January 22nd and February 22nd, I am pretty dang happy that I was able to meet my quota for this month!

The closer I get to the end, the harder it gets. I can feel myself burning out just a bit, but I will continue pushing forward. I am really hoping to finish all 75,000 words by April 22nd so that I can spend a couple weeks looking it over one last time before I send it out.

That means that I need to write approximately 20,000 words in 31 days which is approximately 665 words a day. It might not happen but I sure am going to push myself as hard as I can!

Thank you again to everyone who is offering their support and encouragement! I appreciate you guys more than you know!

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Stuffed Stacks (A Poem)

Happy World Poetry Day!

I always see these beautiful pictures of perfectly shelved books in libraries and personal bookshelves, but that’s not how my bookshelves look 📚

My books hardly fit

They teeter and totter

They’re shoved and stuffed

And shoved a bit harder

But I love my books even

When they’re stacked on the floor

I’ll love my books even

When I can no longer open the door

My books hardly fit

I should probably stop buying

But if I agreed to that

You’d know I was lying

blogging tips, Writing Tips

How to Conduct an Interview

We are writers, not reporters, and yet, the time may come when it is necessary for us to conduct an interview. Perhaps we need to speak to a war veteran about the reality of war, or perhaps we need to talk to a high school barista. By interviewing real-people with real-life experiences, we can add a level of authenticity to our narratives instead of filling pages with guess-work and speculations. Whatever your reason may be, if you have to conduct an interview, here are some suggestions.

Plan & Prepare for the Interview

  • While people may encourage you “to wing it” because it will be a more “natural” conversation, I highly suggest that you plan ahead. If you decided to just “wing it,” the conversation is more likely to be filled by awkward silences and might even lead to your interviewee thinking that they are wasting their time. So here are some ways to prepare:

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  • Ask them ahead of time, don’t just spring it on them.
  • After deciding who you are interviewing, decided why. What is your primary reason for interviewing them, what is the thing you want to learn most about them.
    • Having considered your objections, make a list of questions. You do not have to use every question. If you ask one question and that leads into the next question not on your list but it’s where you want to go, then follow that line of questioning, but it’s good to have those questions there in case you hit a dead end.
    • Try to avoid questions that force a specific “yes” or “no,” “this” or “that” answer. Use open-ended question such as “why” and “how”

Interviewing your Guest

  • While you are obviously going to be asking questions, try not to dominate the conversation. Be a good listener. You are there to prompt the conversation, not to add in your own experiences or thoughts.
  • Be considerate. If you told your interviewee that you will be there for an hour, don’t go over, even if you have more questions without asking them if they are available. Most people have busy lives.

Not done yet…

  • Thank your subject both in person and either: a call, an email, or a hand-written note. They took time to help you with your questions so be kind.
  • Immediately after, go over your notes and spend some time reflecting on the interview. Expand on your notes and answers while the event is fresh in your memory.

So, get out there and get writing! Don’t know enough about your subject? Start Interviewing!

Happy Writing Everyone!

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Flash Fiction – Results!

The Flash Fiction Contest closed on Friday and I had all weekend to read over the submissions and let me tell you, there were some really amazing pieces!

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The Winner of the Flash Fiction Contest goes to . . .

Savannah the voice behind Rejoicing in Hope!

Although there were several pieces in the running for first place, I kept coming back to Savannah’s post time and time again. Only 6 words long, her flash fiction slams into the reader’s heart and steals their breath while they are left wondering what happened. So here it is:

“Single Mother: Now she’s just single.”

Author’s Bio:

At Savannah’s foundation, she is a Christian, a wife, and a mommy. She enjoys writing, coffee, Hallmark movies, and going on adventures with her little tribe. She says, “I have a Bachelors in English, a GED in life, and a Masters in making mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way that I’m not perfect, and I hope to use my own failures and experiences to help and encourage you.”


Her blog is a little bit of a lot of things but it is centered around making her and her readers better: better Christians, friends, spouses, individuals, and forces for good. Her blog might challenge you, inform you, encourage you, or maybe you’ll just have some fun! As a newer blogger she looks forward to branching out and meeting other bloggers on this wonderful world of WordPress! So be sure to click the link, stop by, congratulate her and say hi!



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A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated, re-blogged, and commented! You guys are awesome and I’ve had another blast reading your pieces!


I haven’t decided when or what my next contest will be on. What kind of contest would YOU be interested in participating?


Flash Fiction Contest ENDS TODAY!

Hey Everyone!

If you are interested in participating in the Flash Fiction Contest, be sure to get your submission in by midnight PST. There have been some truly wonderful submissions and it’s going to be a tight contest!

Please Click Here for all details, rules, and prizes!

I will take this weekend to go through all submissions and announce the winner on Monday!

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Also, as I am nearing the 1,000th follower, the Hunger Games box-set Giveaway is almost over! I will most likely be choosing the winner on Monday as well! So if you want to get your entry in be sure to reblog the Giveaway on your own blog this weekend and click that FOLLOW 🙂 button if you haven’t already!

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me, participated in my contests, and commented on my posts. You guys are amazing and have made this blog quite the adventure!

The Agency Games

Wanna Play a Game?

In my upcoming book, The Agency Games (working title), I am analyzing human agency within The Hunger Games trilogy. However, in one of my chapters I am pulling in some outside material from other young adult dystopian stories such as The Maze Runner and Divergent. In particular, I will be incorporating some dialogue from and analysis of Ender’s Game.

While Ender’s Game is technically well-known as a science-fiction, it also fits within the genre of young adult dystopia with its six-year old main protagonist, Ender.


Have you ever wondered why parents and adult figures are so lacking within young adult dystopia literature? Is there a point to their absence beyond shining light on the protagonist? And why is this absence so prevalent in today’s stories?

I will be addressing these questions and more in my book so be sure to keep following for updates if you want to be made aware of release parties and early access to the book in 2019!

Happy Writing Everyone!

What is your favorite book out of the series/books I listed above?


Flash Fiction Contest Ends on Friday

The Flash Fiction Contest hosted through my blog will be closing on Friday at midnight PST.

Remember, flash fiction should be under 100 words, you can either leave your submission in the comment section or link back to your post.

If you want extra points, quickly reblog (“Press This”) the contest or link back to it!

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The clock is counting down, the time is running out, so don’t be late, get those submissions in!

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They took away my benches
There is no place to sit
They took away my benches
And I might throw a fit

I visited my old high school
The day before the last
I felt that all too familiar pull
From memories of the past

Those benches of silver steel
Used to house my friends
It was there we made our deals
And there we made amends

They took away my benches
There is no place to lay
They took away the benches
That stood there in my day



Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Allow Your Book to Evolve Naturally

When writing your book just know that your book WILL change.

Perhaps not a ton, perhaps only a little, or perhaps it will be a completely different book than the one you intended on writing in the first place.

This isn’t a bad thing though. As you write, your ideas will grow and form. You might realize that what sounded like a great idea before doesn’t really work well in application. You may be hit with a sudden inspiration to go a different direction.

My advice?

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But in all seriousness, go for it! If you feel your book changing, you need to allow it. If you stick too tightly to your original plan, your writing will come out forced and it will sound that way to your readers. Take the new path and see where the new ideas lead you. If you hate them you can always go back and try again.

In other words, planning and outlining your book is important. But it is also just as important to allow your book to change and evolve as you write.

Just this week I was working on my chapter on Gale Hawthorne. I have been struggling with this character for awhile. However, as I was writing, I had new ideas come to my mind and realized that those ideas were more interesting for readers than my original. It meant immediately changing gears, but my book will be better for it!

Happy Writing Everyone!

***Enjoyed today’s tip? Check out my main page for more under the tab “Writing Tips”! Have any questions about today’s tip or writing in general? Leave your comments below!