Hello everybody! Please welcome J.D. Kirkland, author of The Guardian Society!
What inspired you to be a writer? Any person or event?
Yeah, I had this really cool English teacher in the second grade and she made reading and writing really fun for me. So I would write stories for her. Then when I was about twelve or thirteen years old my uncle bought me one of those really old laptops and I’d just sit on it all day, teaching myself how to type, and writing down all sorts of things. It became an escape for me and I absolutely loved it.
Were you working on The Guardian Society as a college student? If so, how did you find time to balance college work and writing your novel?
I’ve been working on the Guardian Society since high school, actually. It actually started off as a short story on a writing website and people liked it so I decided to write more. When it was finished I just let it alone, and a few years later I looked at it again and I was like, “Wow, this is REALLY bad.” So I edited it again and again and managed to get it published after like the tenth edit. As for balancing my school work and my book, it’s all about time management. I’d do all my school work and then I’d write until I was too tired to write anymore.
Did you ever consider any other careers? If so, what?
Engineering! My high school guidance counselor convinced me to take up engineering. I had to convince HER that I wasn’t a math and science person. For most of my freshmen year I was a journalism major, but that was a problem because I wanted to write what I wanted to write and I didn’t want anyone telling me I couldn’t. So I became an English Literature major instead.
How did you come up with the idea of The Guardian Society?
Mylo Elizabeth Rinnwuld. For a long time I’d been writing female characters who were just perfect, beautiful people, who had no problems in the world. I wanted Mylo to have problems, but she couldn’t have too many problems because then she’d just be a tragic protagonist. And I didn’t want her to be like every other beautiful female. I’d read something somewhere about red heads and freckles and Mylo Rinnwuld was born. But she had to have something to hold her up: Sean. I just didn’t know where Sean would come from. In the first versions he was described as just an orphan, living in like a boarding house kind of place. I thought what if he didn’t have a choice but to be at that place. And what if he didn’t have a choice but to look after Mylo, like he was her guardian angel or something? So I started writing that and it all seemed to just fall into place as I wrote.
How did you come up with the title? Were there any other possibilities?
When I was writing the short story version to post it on the website, the book was actually called My Boyfriend is a Vampire, which couldn’t have been a more horrible title. I couldn’t have been any older than fifteen when I wrote that. When I was rewriting it for publication I thought that the thing that was keeping Sean and Mylo apart was the Guardian Society.
Were the characters inspired by people you know?
In some fashion many of the characters have some traits from people I know, but don’t know. I observed people I went to high school with and college and I took from those observations. So I didn’t know them, but I’d watched them enough to incorporate some things into my characters. Sasha was taken straight from my fourth grade English class. I rewrote Ian’s character many times and changed his name SO much. I think he was born in my sophomore creative writing class.
Are there any other genres that you might consider writing?
Favorite food/ drink/ movie?
I knew there’d be a hard question like this, haha. Currently, my favorite food is strawberry yogurt, if that counts. (I’m going yogurt insane!) I don’t drink soda, so I’d have to say fruit punch is my go-to drink right now. I’m currently obsessed with Catching Fire.
Anything you would like to mention?