Meet Kayti Nika Raet!
Posted by amoscassidy
As part of our Dystopia month, we have the wonderful Kayti Nika Raet down for a visit. Kayti is the author of The Outsider Chronicles (five book series. Three out so far) a YA dystopia featuring a badass girl with a baseball bat. Set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh-eating monsters roam…
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11, where she was bitten by the writing bug, as well as other, less friendly insects.
She is the author of the Outsider Chronicles, a five book series starting with NIKO and set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh eating monsters roam.
She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel: Kayti Edition.
When she is not hard at work on her fourth book she has fun reading, listening to K-pop, and photography.
Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Now for some questions…
So, when did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Was there a single moment of clarity or did the knowledge just creep up on you?
I was always writing, and telling stories, but it wasn’t until I was fourteen that becoming a writer became an active goal of mine. And it wasn’t until I was twenty-two that I finally succeeded!
Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you write everyday? At the weekends? Or, like us, whenever you get the chance?
I try to write a thousand words a day and take a couple of days off every two weeks, but lately, that hasn’t been happening and now I write whenever I have the chance.
What is it about the Dystopian genre that inspires you?
I think it’s the fact that Dystopia at its heart, is a failed Utopia. It’s a world where an attempt at stability and structure in the face of epic disaster moved to the extreme of repression, “other-ing”, and control. And while most dystopias focus on the future, it’s actually quite easy to find dystopian elements in history: Rome, the Antebellum American South, World War II Germany, Post War Eastern Europe, etc. They provide good templates to write by, and I’ve always found the distortion of theories and ideals fascinating.
If you could step into any Dystopian future what would it be and why?
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. Even though water is strictly rationed, the mafia runs everything, and things like chocolate and coffee are illegal, there are no zombies, or death matches, so my chances of survival are quite high!
Zombies are busting down your door, what four objects do you grab?
These are slow zombies, right? If not, I’m totally dead…
Duct tape, sturdy pair of boots, hatchet, water bottle.
I’d probably get bit anyway because I have no endurance whatsoever, but hopefully I can take out a few before that happens!
How do your storylines evolve? Do you already have it planned where you want to go, or do you let the story take you along with it?
I usually know what’s going to happen in the first few chapters, and I’ll have a vague idea about the climax, but most of the time I let the story and characters take the lead.
If you could choose any Dystopian book in the world to have written which one would it be and why?
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. It’s more post-apocalyptic than full blown dystopian, but the trilogy was very engaging.The writing style is very sparse, and the pacing is much slower than I would normally write, but I love how she set up a society forced to live around zombies. Not to mention the creative ways they make use of them in the cities.
If you could be any character from a book who would it be and why?
I answered this question in a previous interview and the answer remains the same. Anya from All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. She’s the daughter of a black market chocolate dealer, things in her world have seriously gone to pot but despite everything she’s really cool, and smart, and resilient.
What advice would you give to other writers of Dystopian fiction out there who are thinking of self-publishing their work?
Edit, edit, edit.
Oh, and find a community of writers, be engaging, not spammy on social media, and realize that writing your book is the easy part.
Who is, or are, your favourite author(s)?
Dia Reeves, Justine Larbalestier, Brandon Sanderson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Scott Westerfeld… I can go on…
Okay, some quick fire questions! Don’t think too hard. Just answer…
Super Villain or Super Hero?
Super Villain. Way more fun!
Ice-cream or chocolate?
Beach or the skiing holiday?
Beach. I like the water.
Keep the One Ring or throw it in Mount Doom?
That’s a Lord of the Rings reference. Haven’t read, or watched it, so I can’t say.
Audio or book?
Book. My brain goes on tangents with audio and I miss a lot.
Zombie Apocalypse weapon of choice: Axe or Shotgun?
Axe. It’s simple, multi-purpose, effective. Also I don’t have to spend time hunting for shotgun shells… not to mention making sure I’ve got the right kind.
You can find Kayti…