Contributor Interview with Kelly Esparza

Everyone, welcome Kelly Esparza to our Contributor Interview series, a routine blog feature that introduces you to the wonderful writers whose work will be featured in our upcoming anthology, Byline Legacies.

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“Kelly’s submission is so compelling for me because I was the girl that was too shy to join the writing club or anything editorial in high school. I love how Kelly’s journey encourages and motivates young writers to quiet that fear and jump into new, maybe even scary, passions.”

— Jaime Dill, editor for Cardigan Press

[E] Hi Kelly! Thanks for joining us here on the blog! What genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?

I love writing fiction and poetry mostly, but I also like writing children’s books and creative nonfiction. At this point, I write pretty much everything, as I love to try writing in different genres that I may not be as familiar with. I’ve always loved a good story, no matter what genre it is, and I don’t want to be known as one type of writer. I’m a writer; I write.

I will say, however, that my favorite is to write novels. For books, I love writing YA dystopian and/or YA fantasy that incorporate both mystery and romance, as well as a strong, independent female protagonist. After reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent, I fell in love with writing stories set in dystopian worlds, and the young adult genre itself. For poetry, I enjoy writing uplifting poems about self-discovery, love, healing, inner strength, hope, and kindness. I think the world has enough sadness, and I want to make my readers happy and hopeful. I believe the world can be kind and beautiful and that we can learn from each other’s experiences and stories.

[E] Your love for so many mediums is inspiring for all who read and wonder — can I do more than one thing? How great that you have so many outlets and ways to communicate! Where would you say your submission to Cardigan Press falls on your writing spectrum?

While I have written creative nonfiction before, I am not as familiar with writing anecdotal vignettes. I found it to be fitting, however, because my submission recounts a time in high school in which I challenged myself to write in a completely different genre and read my work out loud in front of a large group of people. Ultimately, I placed myself out of my comfort zone as I tried something new and different. The more that I practice writing creative nonfiction, the more I start to fall in love with it. I believe that every genre I write helps me further develop my craft as a writer, and every genre opens my world up to tell a different type of story.

I will say that my creative nonfiction piece is also similar to my usual writing in that it has an uplifting message that I think will resonate with others, even if they aren’t writers themselves. I want my writing to touch another person’s heart, and I think the best way to do this is to write about uplifting universal truths and messages.

[E] We fully agree that your submission, “My Performance”, is universally relatable, especially in the way it captures the challenge and fear of trying new things to learn more about yourself. We’re honored to feature it in Byline Legacies this September. Until then — where can readers follow you and show you support?

I’m currently working on a variety of projects. I’m editing my first novel, which is a YA fantasy adventure, and I’m writing my second book, which is a YA dystopian novel. A few poetry collections are in the works, and I’ve also been co-writing a screenplay for a feature film. I guess you could say I’ve been a little busy.

In the meantime, I’ve recently gotten some poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in various literary journals. My self-published poetry collection and other published writing can be found on my website. I am also on Twitter, which is where I often announce my publications, as well as any publishing and/or writing opportunities.

[E] Thank you so much, Kelly, for hanging out with us. We’re so excited for readers to explore your writing and get to know you!

Everyone, please show your support and give Kelly a follow!

Do you know Kelly? Comment below and let others know what Kelly’s writing means to you. If this is your first time meeting her, say hello!

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