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Sunday, 26 May 2019

'Jill of all Trades' Author Interview with Kylie Jude

Another interview! Today is with the wonderful musician and author Kylie Jude. She shares life as a 'jill of all trades' trying to balance the arts...

Hello Kylie! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me. Tell me a bit about yourself and your creative background.

Happily! I'm an author and musician but I also dabble in art and filmmaking, especially video editing. I'm also an INFJ, a Ravenclaw, team Marvel, and a cat person (and proud co-owner of the most interesting cat in the world, as she would call herself, who happens to think she's a dog - but don't tell her I said that).

Above all else, no matter what I'm doing or creating, my biggest passion is inspiring people to live their purpose, to stand up for themselves and the things they believe in, and to be the best version of themselves. That's what I strive for in almost everything I create, no matter what medium that presents itself in.

Like me, you’re a musician as well as an author, and you have a host of other creative pursuits (acting, video editing). Which did you start off doing and how did they all lead into one another?

I honestly can't remember if I started with writing or music. My mom was a piano teacher so I started picking up piano as soon as I was tall enough to reach the keys, and would often play the same songs my mom's students had just been playing, having learned by ear from the next room. I also remember writing my first poem on a restaurant napkin at a very young age, and I wrote my first story by the age of eleven (which I plan to finally turn into a novel soon) and around the same time, I also wrote my first song. So both have always been in me, interconnected.

Then came acting, which led to screenwriting as well. Then came drawing, inspired by comics, which led to character creation and a desire to create my own comics, since writing was already in me - the comic phase didn't last long but it did have a big influence on the way I write and illustrate now.

Then later I was introduced to video editing, and fell in love. My favorite thing to edit is music videos, because it combines 2 of my passions - editing and music. My stories all have illustrations to go with them, and sometimes even music (consisting of both playlists to inspire the scenes and also music I've written based on the novels) so I seem to try and combine all my passions whenever I can, which I recently heard is the best way to find your calling and to never work a day in your life, so hopefully I'm doing something right - time will tell!

Do you find it difficult managing them all? Do you tend to focus on one at a time or do you try and work on everything together?

That's my Kryptonite - staying focused is hard! Due to all the ideas bouncing around in my head, and all the varied passions and projects I have, it can definitely get overwhelming and distracting. It doesn't help that I have ADD so it's hard to stick with one thing for long anyway, lol - not to mention how distracting the internet can be! But I've recently come up with a system that seems to help a little - I try to dedicate certain days of the week to certain projects. For example, on "Writing Wednesday" I try to focus on writing, and on "Music Monday" I try to focus on music. It can still get hard and I do still get distracted, but having this kind of schedule committed to memory (and in reminders on my phone just for that extra nudge) has helped a lot so far.

Following that, do you ever combine creative ideas on all your projects? (I noticed on your Patreon you have a sci-fi album which I’m guessing ties in nicely with some of your books!)

As I mentioned some of the songs I write are based on novels I've written, so yes! As for my sci-fi themed album, it's not so much about my novels as the themes in general (aliens, for example) but it's instrumental so I can definitely see some of the songs on the album fitting into the world of Undying nicely. I may even use one for a book trailer in the future ;)

I've also written songs for other people's novels and films, which is so much fun for me and I get to do it as part of my work with Frozen Creek Studios (where I also get to put my video editing skills to use by creating book trailers for fellow authors) and I'm actually planning on releasing an album soon (on my Patreon)  featuring nothing but book-inspired songs. You heard it here first!

Your book ‘Over The River and Through the Woods’ sounds super cool! Do you have any upcoming fictional works in progress?

Oh my goodness, yes. At least 3 stories are in the works at ALL times, and when I'm not physically writing them they are at least bouncing around in my head, picking up speed and emotion and inspiration like little hurricanes that threaten to drive me bonkers. :D

But yeah, Over The River is a short story I came up with, based on a nightmare, so that one's pretty dark, but... Well, no, ALL my stories are actually pretty dark :p but my first novel is finally almost finished after about 10 years of writing and illustrating and editing and rewriting and pulling my hair out and crying like a baby then rewriting some more - that novel is Undying and the series will be called The Undying Chronicles, and I'm so excited to finally share it with the world. It's Science Fiction, but interlaces a couple other genres as well. Then I'm planning a more contemporary series that falls into the superhero category (and romance - most of my stories involve romance - I'm hopeless) and then later I'm planning on turning that childhood story I mentioned into a High Fantasy novel (or possibly novels) so yeah, lots of plans.

Who is your favourite musical artist? 

Oh man, I knew these questions would get harder! Music has always been a huge part of my life. I listen to music every morning to wake up, every time I'm in the car, every time I need to process some ginormous event that has just happened, and to inspire my novels. I've had a lot of favorite artists and bands over the years, but for me it's always been more about specific songs than whole groups of songs. Maybe this is because of the wide variety my life requires of music, but yeah I listen to all kinds.

For some examples though, some older favorites are Matchbox Twenty, Live, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Ours. Some newer favorites are Zayde Wolf, Ruelle, Fleurie, Birdy, and Odesza. And a couple favorites that have inspired my Undying Chronicles more than anything else are Thirty Seconds To Mars and M83. But I have playlists for relaxing or sleeping, playlists for waking myself up or getting pumped, happy playlists, sad playlists, and on and on. It's kind of ridiculous, but I just love music. It's really true what they say, for me at least - music is life. ;)

I absolutely loved your video edit of ‘Alice in Wonderland’; big fan of that movie! When did you get into video editing?

Aww, thanks! Yeah, in addition to making book trailers for fellow authors (and occasionally editing films and trailers for filmmakers, such as the Rayden Valkyrie trailers, which can also be found on Youtube) I also love making fan videos in my free time - which unfortunately I don't have much of anymore, so that's why my fan videos have dwindled, but not for lack of wanting to make more!

I was 16 when I was introduced to video editing. My step father was working with a local TV station and he and his co-worker who was also a family friend showed me the ropes and they both lit a fire in me and mentored me in that area, and I loved it. I started out with either Spider-Man (the older Tobey Maguire movies of course) or the Final Fantasy VIII video game, which I loved. So those 2 things are eternal loves of mine now because they represent my discovery of video editing and how much I love it. My husband (fellow author Colonel D.R. Acula) says that he could never do what I do because it would drive him crazy, but I guess someone's gotta do it so I came with that passion pre-built in me for doing things most people find maddeningly tedious, like video editing and music production.

Money is always tough when it comes to the creative arts. Do you think more could be done to support creatives so we can do what we love without struggling to make ends meet? 

Absolutely - it's sad to know that most people will spend 3 bucks on a fancy cup of coffee but are unwilling to spend even one dollar for an ebook. Most novels take years to write and are usually the product of a lot of blood sweat and tears, and it seems most people don't see the value in that. When you read a book you are getting a glimpse inside the author's mind, heart, and soul, and there really needs to be more value placed on such an enormous contribution to society.

The human race has always loved stories, and while I'm a huge movie lover I think the visual mediums have replaced the written word a lot in this area. But I think that as long as authors value their own work and don't sell out or give their books away for free constantly, that will help others continue to see the value in what they are offering as well, if that makes sense. We as authors need to set the example when it comes to how our work is viewed. Because, even if it's just one of many things we do, it is just that - work. And most people get paid for their work.

Do you see yourself as more of a musician or a writer?

Wow, that's a tough one. For me, as I said, the two have always just kind of been connected - I write lyrics for music and I listen to music to inspire my novels - so it's hard to say which one I'm more of. I'm probably more well known as an author (not that I'm very well known at all because I'm not, at least not yet!) and I've probably made more money with my music, but being known for something and making money doing something don't necessarily equate with how much of yourself is in that thing. I think what really determines your identity is how much you love something, and how passionate you are about it. And with that in mind, I really see the 2 as completely equal. So I guess I'm a writician :p

Finally, any advice for young aspiring creatives (especially the multi-skilled)? 

Pick a passion! (Says the girl with a million passions). But even if you're like me and can't pick one, you can still narrow it down to just a few things you're really good at and you really love, and you can also combine the different passions or talents to create even more meaning in your life and maybe even find your purpose! You might be someone who loves both writing and cooking - well, maybe writing about cooking is your thing. Or you might love both music and filmmaking - maybe your thing is composing scores for films (which I also love to do by the way) - so it really is different for every person, but it's definitely worth taking some time to sit down and figure out.

Because trust me I know how hard it can be to do any one thing well because you have too much on your plate. So consolidate as much as possible, is my advice - that and LOVE what you do. If you'd still be happy doing it even if there was no hope of ever making money from it, it's a keeper. ;) Oh and of course, scheduling certain days for certain things like I do helps too. And most importantly, be yourself. Be authentic. Be that beautiful brilliant unique spark that can only light up the night with YOUR vision, YOUR passion, YOUR story. The world is waiting to see you shine. They just might not know it yet. ;)

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Videos and images used in this post all credited to Kylie Jude.

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Interview with PD Workman:

Interview with Lauren Alder:

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