Kyle Waller has been writing as far back as he can remember. His first story he wrote for himself at six years old was a melting pot of Sailor Moon, Timesplitters 2, Star Wars, Army Men, and Star Trek. Since then, he has gone on to prepare several novels in his series for publication (since written out of order but written nonetheless), as well as earn an award from the former President of the United States for National Service, and while doing so, composed his upcoming dystopian novel, WARD, set to release Oct 1st.
Interview Transcripts Kyle Waller
Richard Lowe 00:00
Welcome to author talk with Richard Lowe. I’m interviewing Kyle Waller. And he’s been writing as far back as he remembered. His first story he wrote for himself as six years old was a melting pot of Sailor Moon TimeSplitters to Star Wars, army men and Star Trek, and I can’t wait to find out more about that. Since then, he has gone on to prepare several novels in his series for publication, since written out of order, but written nonetheless, as well as earn an award from former president of the United States for national service. And while doing so composed his upcoming diastole open novel, Ward set to release on October 1. Welcome to the show, Kevin Waller. So Kevin, tell me, tell me about Sailor Moon TimeSplitters, too, and all that stuff?
Kyle Waller 00:59
Well, I first composed that, like I said, when I was six years old, and honestly, that was just my brain kind of running around thinking, Okay, I love video games. I love anime. And I love to write, how can I just practice for myself and better at my craft and a way to where I can actually start composing stuff that I create on my own instead of having to, you know, pull from stuff that’s already been created. So what I did is that as we all know what Star Wars and we haven’t seen Star Wars, you should go watch it. It’s full of space battles. It’s full of lightsabers, it’s full of intense combat. And Sailor Moon has a lot of sort of like the How can I say, sort of like some of the philosophical elements to it, if you do know what to look for. And then TimeSplitters two is just a game where you go back in time, and you have to pretty much stop an evil madman from taking over the world, you know, your typical game line plot. But I wanted to combine all of that, because I didn’t have a choice. You know, that’s why I write you write because you don’t have a choice. It’s something that compels you to do what you need to do. It’s what wakes you up at three in the morning and makes you jot down an idea. Or like what just happened to me, I was just taking a shower, and a whole scene was just downloaded into my brain for my upcoming book. So I had to get out early, write it all down and make sure Oh, crap, okay, make sure I don’t miss this interview.
Richard Lowe 02:16
I understood yeah, I’ve had that same phenomenon happen to me, or I just have to get it out. And it could be midnight, it could be two in the morning. It could be one in the afternoon I can be driving that comes from it becomes really weird.
Kyle Waller 02:28
I thought that happened. Me too. And it’s going seriously, how am I supposed to do this? Now? You couldn’t have wait 10 extra minutes?
Richard Lowe 02:34
Exactly. Exactly. All right. So how did you start becoming a writer? You’ve mentioned the melting pot. How did that morphed into writing?
Kyle Waller 02:44
Well, with me and writing, it’s just something that happens. And I think that sort of goes for anybody who is an artist, regardless of what persuasion you are, it’s just something that you do. It’s something that you’re compelled to do, you may not understand why you may not understand how it’s all going to pan out in the end. But it’s something that you’re just going to accomplish, you need to do it. And this thoughts swimming around in my brain that as a writer, they need to get put out on paper. And the biggest reason why I write is because we have so many problems going on in the world nowadays. Yet, people don’t seem to be paying attention to them for whatever reason, or it’s almost as if, oh, it’s another terrorist attack, we’ve become conditioned to it. And becoming conditioned to evil into negative energy is not normal. We shouldn’t be going Oh, another terrorist attack only killed five people today. Well, at least it wasn’t 10 like it was last week. It’s stuff like that. And that’s one of the big things why I’m writing what I’m writing, which is covering mental illness, which is, as we all know, a very black sheet taboo subject that our society as a collective still does not like to address. We like to look at it and go, Oh, yeah, he’s just a funny uncle. He’s just, he’s got some extra problems going on. But I’m sure he means well, that’s not how we address a problem. We don’t sweep it under the rug and go, it’s there. But I don’t know. Just shrug your shoulders and move on apathetically. That’s not how this was.
Richard Lowe 04:21
Very interesting. Very interesting. What was your first novel?
Kyle Waller 04:25
The first novel I wrote was called the radix. Fable, which is, ironically enough, so you know how Star Wars came out episodes four, or 5612378 and nine. Well, that’s how my series is going to come out. That was not planned. It’s just something that sort of organically evolved on its own. So the first book I ever wrote was going to be the first book in that series. But what I ended up happening is that I thought I had written one novel. Turns out that one novel was over 400,000 words and ballooned into about three. But all of that was putting much more my college experience, if you will, I haven’t gone to college, I’m self taught, I just sit down and I do it because I know that’s what I’m destined to do. So I took those novels and I use it as my college writing equivalent experience. And then I took all of that knowledge, and moved it over to what is now what we just said to come out, as you said, October 1.
Richard Lowe 05:20
All right, and you’re self published, correct? That is correct. So why do you like self publishing as opposed to traditional?
Kyle Waller 05:29
Ah, a couple of reasons. One, I hate writing query letters. And the second reason is that I want to retain my creative control, because I know for defending the fact and especially within Western civilization, we’ve seen this rampage epidemic, if you will, of increasing censorship. And I’m not saying that my stuff is overly gory, or what there is some violent elements to it, but it’s not go away. It’s not, you know, sexual in any way. But I do know, the big five are very big on cookie cutter type novels. Well, you know, if you don’t fix something that isn’t broke, you know what I mean? I feel like that’s sort of their mentality. Whereas I’ve never been a conformist. I’ve always been a deviant. Either of my parents that I’ve always been row, only child, thank God, they couldn’t handle to have me. But that’s why I’m a self publisher. It’s because I want creative control over what I do.
Richard Lowe 06:26
I understand. Did you have any, any issues self publishing, that you can help other writers get over by talking about them,
Kyle Waller 06:35
the biggest thing is going to be develop your market plan. If you do not develop a market plan, you are sunk. That is the first thing. The second thing is to realize, art in whatever shape or form is to pause. It is your passion, but it’s also a business. So by default, you and artistic entrepreneurs, I like to call it, you can master the art of writing to a tee. But you cannot master the art of getting that novel in front of your target audience. It’s not gonna matter how great you write, you took the next JK Rowling and exported the beans, the next day on high 451. You don’t get in front of the people, it’s not gonna matter how much time you put into editing the writing. And we all know how the boy is that could be
Richard Lowe 07:21
very true. Very true. And how did you go about putting together your marketing plan? That is
Kyle Waller 07:26
still something that I’m working on right now, believe it or not, because I’ve never actually had to do it before. So much like learning how to properly write, I’m also learning how to properly market BookBub is turning out to be my Lord and Savior, I recommend trying to go through them. And if you can’t afford to purchase some of the ads at them, I’m about to launch my first one on there within the next few days. And a minor setback with my technology where I had to delay my ad but we’ll get that taken care of right split. Identify your target audience know what genre you’re writing know, who typically leads that genre? Who was your fellow competition? How can you market your novel in a way that stands out from all the others, because let’s be honest, writing, and especially if you go into fiction, and dystopian, especially, the market is utterly saturated with so many novels, and especially if you go down the self publishing route, the biggest thing that I’ve seen is that a lot of them are poorly formatted, the full of spelling errors, and they just do not come across as professional to really anybody, even readers who don’t typically read are going to look at this and go, This is how to format this isn’t set up correctly. Why would I want to read this. So narrow down your formatting and narrow down your marketing plan and your target audience?
Richard Lowe 08:45
Now what I’ve found is you shouldn’t even bother to market until you’ve got your cover your story, Everything looking good, because if they see your cover and your covers awful, they’re gonna buy your book.
Kyle Waller 08:58
Exactly, exactly. And luckily, in that sense, I did decide to wait, I think I waited slightly longer than I should have. But again, learning learning pains, growing pains, lessons when we apply that knowledge going forward. I don’t have any regrets about it.
Richard Lowe 09:12
Of course, yes. And if you’re if your description doesn’t grab them or your header or your title rather, then you’re just not going to get the customers in. And of course, you start marketing. At least my belief is, when you’re writing a big book several months before you release the book, of course, if you realize I didn’t realize that, I often write short books. So I don’t start marketing until the books published because I write them in a day. But the longer books that take a longer time. You should start in advance. Would you agree with that?
Kyle Waller 09:43
Hmm, I believe that definitely. Yes. There’s plenty of benefits to that. I think it’s honestly a matter of what’s going to work for you. And it would depend ultimately on the genre, if it’s fiction, if it’s nonfiction, and ultimately if you’re already established or if you’re not, so established, I definitely won’t dispute what you’ve said, because it definitely has plenty of valid points. And it’s very much a viable option. I do not have the ability to write books in a day as you do. I know you’ve written enough to feel probably alive, but it was one before I looked you up a little bit on your site, and I’m going Holy crap, that’s what he’s doing.
Richard Lowe 10:20
It’s true. I have written a lot of books. And I’m writing a lot of short fiction now because it’s quick. And it lets me tell the story very fast and very easy and very to the point. But you’re writing longer stuff.
Kyle Waller 10:33
Yes, so I am. And like I’ve said, What is the first in a planned series of approximately 12 to 14 novels, I’ve got the next several books, and at least some of the critical key plot elements already planned out. I won’t go into detail about those. But we can, I’ll tell you this, a lot of it does involve California, because I am born and raised here in California, specifically the Bay Area. So I wanted to go ahead and take this unique environment and go, Okay, what can I do to really make my novel stand out? What’s going to be unique, and in addition to that, what is a very interesting subject that is not widely talked about, but needs to be talked about, because it affects human society on such a deep and intricate level. And at the same time, I’m going, okay, so what has been my personal experiences, mental illness, because I have been doing a lot of it. I’m a survivor of very severe depression. I’m a survivor of suicide, I did not attempt it. But I was on my way to go do it back in 2009, when I was 13. And I’m sitting here and I’m going, Holy Moly, I think we may have our answer. And thus Ward was born. Very
Richard Lowe 11:45
good. Very good. So that helped you with your depression and other things going on.
Kyle Waller 11:50
In some ways, yes, it did. The biggest thing was about finding faith. And I’m not here to proselytize. And I’m not here to preach faith on the other people, because people tried to push it onto me, and it didn’t work out to be willing to accept that kind of stuff. But I try to write in a way that conveys important messages such as open mindedness, talking about evil, talking about how direct and how manipulative evil can be behind the scenes, and how evil can ultimately mask people’s perceptions of reality, a prime example of that individuals who have mental illness or individuals who are homeless, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been there, I go to San Francisco. So frequently, we have a homeless epidemic currently ongoing and ever evolving. We just look at them. And we treat them as second class citizens as if they don’t even register, that isn’t human. That’s evil minded. Right? They’re evil minded to do that,
Richard Lowe 12:47
are you sure we treat them as second class citizens or not animals?
Kyle Waller 12:52
I am trying to be optimistic. Yes, I would hate to say it. But in many ways we do treat our animals better than we treat our fellow humans who are unfortunately, going through a rough patch. And a lot of people don’t want to admit this fact. But most people only one paycheck away from ending up like that. But again, that’s one of those realities that people don’t like to discuss. The same thing is with mental illness. So I’m one of those people who takes a very uncomfortable subject, much like George Carlin used to do the late George Colin dressing piece, and I put it in front of your face, and I make you look at it, because there’s no other way for our society to solve these problems. And as I say, they’re sorry, as our society becomes more and more, shall I say, overly sensitive to virtually everything. And I think you know, who I’m talking about when I say this, we’re going to lose the ability to look at these hard problems dead in the face and go, How do we solve you before you become a crisis level incident?
Richard Lowe 13:55
Yeah, we do tend to solve crisis is when they are actually crisis is instead of before that,
Kyle Waller 14:01
exactly. We wait until we’re faced with extinction, then we go, oh, so what’s our plan B.
Richard Lowe 14:10
Exactly. So how are you planning to promote your books, you’ve talked a little bit about marketing and been in BookBub. BookBub is out of reach for most authors, because the preliminaries, so if you can’t get a book, bub, what do you what are you going to do?
Kyle Waller 14:26
That is something that I’m also working on trying to identify right now. I would say one of the best things you want to try and do is get free traffic or get very cheap driven traffic. Facebook ads are a godsend for this. Once you learn how to use them a Facebook ads don’t have to be expensive. You can run them for $1 a day, a few dollars a day, you can run them for $1,000 a day. It depends on your budget. And then I would also try and do like what I’m doing with you right now. Secure as much free publicity as you possibly can. And I understand it’s very competitive. I’m enjoying the same difficulties right now, I suppose the biggest thing you want to identify is, what is your story? What is unique about you? And why does the world need to see you right now? What is unique about you?
Richard Lowe 15:15
And what is unique about you, let’s go. Let’s just segue right into that.
Kyle Waller 15:21
I suspect what’s unique about me is that I am here to take a very sensitive subject and hit you directly in the face with it and go, Listen, we have a problem, we treat individuals with mental illness as if they are second class citizens at best, we will look at a problem we do not understand. And we often hate what we do not understand either that or we fear it, I’m here to take a problem and put it in front of your face. I’m also here to do it in a way that entertains you, I’m here to do it in a way that is creative. If you ever get if you get the VSI. To read any award, you’re going to see how vivid the world is, I’m a very big fan of Well, I’m a very big fan of taking what I see in my mind, putting it onto paper. And doing so in a way to where you can feel like you are walking beside the main character. You can see what he sees, you can feel what he feels, you can see the combat that’s happening all around you in your face.
Richard Lowe 16:21
All right. Do you find any techniques such as show versus tell to be useful for writers to understand?
Kyle Waller 16:28
I imagine when when it comes to showing rather than telling, at least for me and what works. You want us you want to imagine the world that you’re in before you start writing and you want to go okay, what does it look like? What does it feel like? And then I would compare that to some of the things that you have experienced in your own life. I’ll give you an example. San Francisco at nighttime, they release all the sewage out for the flow throughs beneath the city. If you’ve never been in San Francisco at nighttime, if you happen to be standing down when at the right opening. It reeks of death. And what I do is I take that and I go, Oh, okay, how did that make me feel? What did what is the comparison to it? And I go, let’s put that into my novel. Let’s put that in a way where people can relate.
Richard Lowe 17:18
Very interesting. Yes, I find that show versus tell is one of the hardest things for newer writers is and even writers have been in it for a long time to get. But it does make a book a lot more engaging. If Now, that doesn’t mean you always have to tell or show rather. But it does mean people want to be in your story rather than have you having somebody tell them their story?
Kyle Waller 17:43
Oh, exactly, exactly. And I think especially in this day and age, people don’t want to be told a story, they want to follow along on a story. They want to see what the character sees. They want to feel his emotions. And I think one of the biggest things, they want to be able to find some way to connect with that character. They want to give themselves a personal stake in the well being or misfortunes of this character. And if something good or bad happens to them, they go,
Richard Lowe 18:12
Oh, damn, that sucks. Exactly, exactly. What other kinds of tips would you have for new writers who are just publishing say their first book, How to what should they do?
Kyle Waller 18:27
You need to understand something, this is a marathon. It is not a sprint, time and patience is going to be your best friend throughout this whole process. Of course, you want to do your standards, you want to make sure you publish first, a great novel, because we don’t publish a great novel. It’s not going to matter what you do afterwards, nobody’s going to want to read it, make sure it’s formatted and edited correctly. And honestly, I would bite the bullet and I would pay a professional formatted to do it for you. I did that for my eBook for about I think it was $60. And thank God, because he spent me about five hours of headache. And then also decide if this is something you really, really want to do because this is not an easy road for you to walk. I don’t say this to discourage you. I say this to be honest with you. Because and I’ll even tell you what happened with me. I started working on the rate explainable like I said 400,000 was a little over. I thought it was great. I thought it was going to be the next ball in the greens. I went I got a rejection rejection laughter laughter rejection, and that’s if I ever hear anything back from the void of silence most most of the times I heard nothing back and then I went Okay, so now I have to be right this whole thing 400,000 Wars do I need all this so then I start cutting out I start cutting the fat if you will. And then I get down to the first book, which is about 95,000. I send it in. Oh, what’s your guess what happens? rejection, rejection rejection. So then I go, Okay? How can we do this in a very different unique way. And admittedly, at this time, I was going through some of my depression, and there was some family complications that were going on. But, and I went, Okay, you have a very big manuscript, you already have a lot of the material written down, you’ve learned a lot from it, stop the next book in the series, right in the middle, go forward from there and apply all of your lessons. At least that’s what I did. And that’s what works for me. But then, like I said, you really have to decide the something you want to do. Because you’re not likely going to be an instant millionaire. I thought I was going to be that it was cool to dream about that. But we must live in reality. That doesn’t mean you cannot eventually get through that level. But like I said, you’re probably not going to be a rocket, you’re going to be a marathon runner, there’s going to be bumps in the road, there’s going to be hills in the road, fantasy and look at you and Bill, you’re freaking nuts, dude. Tommy’s gonna go, you’re nuts, friends are gonna go. You should just get a regular job. The side if this is what you want to do, and then commit to it to the end. without regrets. That’s what I’ve done. And so far that has worked out wonderfully for me.
Richard Lowe 21:35
Do you use writing critique groups at all?
Kyle Waller 21:38
I occasionally have joined a couple of them in my local area. But I have found and I will disclaim, I’m on the polar opposite extreme end of passion. When it comes to what I do. I have found that the critique groups that I go to, they kind of they kind of have the mentality of, oh, well, we’re just here, we kind of do it for a little bit on the side. And it’s fun to do it, you know, and I’m sitting there going, No, we’re gonna buy sewage, we’re gonna plant the characters. We’re gonna plan the next five books ahead. What do we do here the novel? What do I need to do, and they go wall back up. So I just haven’t found the right group for me just yet. But I am in the Bay Area. So I don’t think it’d be too hard. I just got to look hard enough.
Richard Lowe 22:20
I found that they can be good or bad. It depends on the group. I had one group that focused on grammar and stuff. That’s not what I need to hire proofreader for that. And I had another group that we got into the plot and things and that was more useful. Exactly that was helpful. And how do you remain productive in spite of everything? What do you do to keep going?
Kyle Waller 22:40
It’s my passion in life. I simply don’t have a choice. This is something that I have to do. I remember I was my day job is disaster relief. I was in the US Virgin Islands helping out after the hurricanes. I had had my old computer for seven years prior, I ran nothing to the ground, and it died on me while I was out there. And you don’t know how hard it is to get a brand new computer shipped out to the US, vi it is a nightmare. So even then, have you seen the movie? Have you with Robin Williams when he has to text this entire speech and whatnot over his phone? Well, I pretty much had that for about a month and a half. Interesting. You just keep going. Especially for me. This is what I feel as if I was born to do and I find family try and stop me. And now they realize that they’re grabbing. Listen to them. I’ve had friends try and stop me. And now they’ll also glad that I didn’t listen to them. Only God and devil is gonna stop me at this point. I’m doing what I want to do. Have I made money off it yet? No. However, that will be corrected. I’ve often found that most people don’t make money off their first book, unless they somehow have excellent marketing. And I’ve been picked up by one the big five. And the stars just aligned in their favor.
Richard Lowe 23:59
I don’t even think Rawlings made money off her first book right away.
Kyle Waller 24:03
Um, I’m not sure you would, I would have to look that up and get back to you on
Richard Lowe 24:06
that. Yeah, that’s what I heard it took her it took a little while for it to take off. And then it became big. You just got to keep going. Exactly. Yeah. So what is your favorite thing about being a writer,
Kyle Waller 24:20
being able to take problems that I see in the world and share them with other people in a way that is both entertaining, while also letting them know this is dead? Crickets? If you get mad at me, because I’m writing about some negative subject or some subject that’s very hard to swallow. I wouldn’t look at you and I’m gonna go, Why are you mad at me? You should be mad at the world in which you live in because all this is pulled from the real world. Don’t get mad at me. Get them out of the real life problems and solve it. Use that energy to solve the problem.
Richard Lowe 24:55
Yep, exactly. Now do you get writer’s block?
Kyle Waller 24:58
It does happen. I don’t think there’s a single writer alive who doesn’t get it. And typically with me what I do, I have to sit back and go, Okay, I’m trying too hard to actively write this. So what I’ve learned over the past five or six years of writing out this series is that I will walk away from it, I will walk away, I’ll clear my mind. I’ll go on a hike, I’ll listen to some music. I will volunteer at a food bank or something of that nature. And suddenly, we’re back to business. And we just get right back into the groove of it until it happens again,
Richard Lowe 25:36
very nice. All right, and what is your favorite memory about writing that you have?
Kyle Waller 25:42
My favorite memory is being able to actually finish these books and knowing that I had the passion to carry me through, and the dedication see me through to the end. Now that favorite memory will ideally be replaced when my book that’s upcoming October 1 takes off does reasonably well on gone at some respectable potential. But until that time comes, it’s been able to know that by writing these novels as to the level that I have, I have found what I want to do in life and I found it at six years old. So I got really lucky. I found out what I was meant to do on a daily early eighth. And I’ve been nurturing that craft ever since.
Richard Lowe 26:22
Very good. Very good. Okay. Well, we’re coming to the end. Do you have any closing remarks?
Kyle Waller 26:29
Yes, I want you to understand this, this path is not meant for everybody. This path is going to be difficult for you. I do not say this to discourage you. I say this to let you know of reality. This won’t be easy. You may even find yourself walking alone for a little while. That is entirely fine. That happens to all of us. Sits down deep within your soul. And if you’re a man or a woman of faith, use your faith for guidance. Go forward and go forward without any regrets.
Richard Lowe 27:03
Very good. And you said your books haven’t been published yet or they have.
Kyle Waller 27:07
They are currently available on Amazon for pre order as an e book exclusive. I am working on getting the paperback and the hardback online as soon as possible. But feel free to go to Amazon and go to type in water by Kyle wallow under Kindle ebooks.
Richard Lowe 27:22
All right. Well, we’ve been talking to Kyle Waller. And we’ve learned some fascinating things about his upcoming books, and tips and things. Be sure and subscribe to this channel by hitting the subscribe button below, and you’ll be able to see the future editions right now. We’re trying to come out with two per week, which is kind of aggressive but so far we’ve been able to do it and just keep going. All right. Thank you.
Kyle Waller 27:46
Thank you, sir. It was a pleasure to be here.
- 5 Powerful Ways “Do Your Job” Leads to Quiet Quitting 🦸♂️ - February 10, 2024
- How to Write Mental Illness in Fiction: 6 Essential Guidelines - February 9, 2024
- Discover the Powerful Art of Tattoos in Writing: 7 Emotional Journeys 🖤🖊️ - February 7, 2024