Author Interview: Marisa, Jaiden, & Kaytlin Phillips
These sisters three are three of the loveliest, most talented people you'll ever meet! Rissy, Jaidie, and Kayti Phillips have quickly become sweet friends and amazing authors, and I am SO excited to introduce y'all!
Our interview (my first time interviewing a group, so I got to use y'all in every question...y'all know I enjoyed that *winks*) is not only interesting, it's also so uplifting! I know y'all will enjoy!
And stick around to learn more about their new book, Unfortunate Events!
What first inspired y’all to write?
This answer is actually pretty simple. Our parents have said we’ve always been really imaginative, and our dad happened to pause in our bedroom doorway one day (looking for one of his many theology books…lol…on the shelf right outside our room) and heard the game we were playing (with our extensive collection of Schleich horses ;) ). We didn’t notice he was there, or rather that he was listening, but after a while he told us we should write it down.
So, we did. That was the start of our journey and was the first novel we completed together; it took about 4 months. Then our dad told us we should write stories about our pet rabbits, like adventures they went on at night while we slept. So we did. And then…we just loved writing so much we kept doing it…but also because we moved and had nothing else to do. We loved the craft and have stuck with it! And we are happy to say dad continues to ask us what we’re writing and gives ideas…lol…so, ‘ere we are!
What are some of the driving forces behind y’all and your writing now?
We need more God centered literature, especially for young people. There just aren’t enough good books out there.
We long to spread hope and love and the story of our Heavenly Father to as many as we can, lighting a path through stories to the Greatest Story Writer of All!
Because if we didn’t write the stories inside, our heads would literally drive us insane! These characters are relentless, you guys!!! Lol….
Can you name any authors who have influenced y’all in some way?
Yes! S. D. Smith, Andrew Peterson, and Chuck Black being the main three. We like a lot of authors but these guys were the authors we were reading when we first started out, that made us want to write stories like they had delivered. Stories that pointed to a higher calling, stories that were both amazing and heartfelt! Where action and emotions collided and pointed toward our Father above. :)
What are some of y’all’s most favorite books/genres—to read and to write?
We love writing and reading fantasy, contemporary fiction, dystopian, sci-fi (sometimes, more of dabbling), and action/adventure…lol… Basically, we’ll read or write in all these genres! But Kayti has branched into westerns, and both she and Rissy of late have dabbled in romance…haha…
Favorite books are impossible to nail down so we won’t waste your time or ours…lol…
What do y’all do when you aren’t writing?
Just kidding, we have other hobbies…lol…
Jaidie is an artist (You can view her work on the cover of UF!), reader, and a Dulcimer learner…lol…
Rissy spends her time wrangling our overactive dog, baking amazing cakes, learning mandolin and dulcimer, and listening to audiobooks…haha
Kayti reads, crotchets, edits a lot, practices dulcimer (yes, we are all learning dulcimer), bakes bread, and dabbles in graphic design…oh, and she works for our mom!
And we all enjoy hiking and visiting historical sites with our parents!
Y’all’s debut novel, Unfortunate Events, just released September 9! What inspired this story?
Boredom. Honestly, that is legitimately the dedication…which says something along the lines of ‘For Dad, thanks for being late to supper that day’....and some other stuff. But Dad was late, we were bored, and Rissy said “let’s write a ‘fun’ story.” So we did…it ended up being an emotionally heart-wrenching prologue (which is what happens with three teenage girls…lol…) that set us on the course of writing The Dragon Prince Chronicles!
Could y’all tell us a little bit about your individual projects?
Ooo, great question! We like this question! And individual projects, eek! We thought you’d never ask! Haha…
Jaidie is working on two, a MG contemporary about a set of twin boys separated as babies when their parents divorced…which contains much emotional trauma and upheaval…lol…
And her other project is YA fantasy about a boy named Dice and that is all she has allowed to be disclosed…haha…
Rissy is working on two YA fantasies. One has the first two chapters in the back of her upcoming anthology, Emotional Commotion.
And the other is a secret project set in a chilling landscape about a girl who lives in mystery and secrets…and that’s all we’re allowed to say.
Kayti is working on a Western with a redemption arc and a subplot of romance, set on a ranch in 1860-70 Kansas.
And a MG fantasy about a squirrel, but the plot is very secret-bound (hence the book having the working title of Secrets…haha…).
What do y’all want, most of all, for readers to take away from your writing?
Hope and the realization that there is a God who cares for us all! That no one is beyond the love of God, that He is always there for us, that because of Him we have hope!
Have you ever endured any discouragement as authors? If so, what inspired y’all to persevere?
We have…a lot of people when we said we wanted to be writers said we couldn’t be that, we’d never make a living doing it, we needed to be realistic. We also got from one or two people that we were unsocialized homeschoolers so we couldn’t write books because we didn’t have enough ‘experience’ with interacting with other people….haha…we’re 3 out of 7 kids! Plus, they told us that at church, where we were interacting with them!
But yeah, we did have some people tell us it was just unrealistic. What kept us going was 1.) we’re stubborn, so they said it couldn’t be done and we kept doing it to prove them wrong…lol… and 2.) our parents said to do what we felt called to. After lots of prayer we decided writing was what we loved and even if we never make a successful career out of it we are going to keep doing it because we love it! And we’d go crazy if we didn’t…lol…two months of not writing last year taught us that one…haha…
What has being a writer taught y’all?
To look closer, be more observant…you never know what you’re missing in the world around you. It’s taught us that it’s not as easy as it looks…lol…writing is really hard, like REALLY HARD!!! But it’s also really rewarding and enjoyable!
It’s brought us closer to God because our characters ask some really tough questions that we have to find answers for and it grows our faith and relationship with the Lord. Overall, it’s just been a really great and awesome experience!
What are y’all’s advice for other aspiring writers on writing and publishing?
Wow, to stay true to what God has laid on your heart. Listen to the advice of those who know more than you do. Never sacrifice your style for the rules of today (because honestly, most of the published books we’ve read don’t follow all the rules we’ve been told we should follow…lol…). Write what is laid on your heart, seek God’s heart for your story, and be brave enough to take that leap of faith!
Thank you so much for having us, Grace!
about the authors
Kaytlin Phillips is Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction and Fantasy author. She’s a homeschool grad who spends her days praising her Savior, reading, writing, blogging, and annoying her sisters with random thoughts. She is the fifth child out of seven and resides in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Her favorite hobbies include writing, reading, hiking, theology, history, blogging, ASL, crocheting, doodling, and anything she does with her sisters or family.
Marisa Philips is a teen author, saved by the grace of God! She was born and raised in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. She is the sixth child out of seven and has been homeschooled her whole life. She likes to write fast-paced stories that catch the attention of all and that will hopefully inspire them in a wonderful way.
She enjoys hiking, writing, reading a good fast-paced book, baking, daydreaming, teasing her sisters, and playing with her dog, Ruger.
Jaiden Phillips is a teen author residing in the mountains of western North Carolina. She has six older siblings and one set of amazing parents!
More often than not you can find her sketching one of her wild ideas, writing out a scene for a book, or giving her sisters a healthy dose of sarcasm.
She enjoys praising her Lord, reading, drawing, writing, hanging out with her sisters and bestie, hiking if there is a destination, and wearing vibrant rainbow-colored things.
about the book
Lies are worn as masks, darkness threatens, and fear spreads like fire.
Mazleah has lost its Crowned Prince and the kingdom stands on the edge of ruin. When Kahtan Faber is forced into the King’s army life as he knew it collapses. Thrust onto a team with a brogue-speaking street boy, a secretive lordling, and his hometown bully, Kahtan quickly learns what it means to be alone. As a Blacksmith’s son who has never wielded a blade, he’s nothing more than a failure to those around him.
But when secrets about his teammates are revealed, secrets that could shake Mazleah to its core, Kahtan must decide whether to stand with his team or with his country. Although nothing in Mazleah is ever that simple.
snag your copy
Monday, Sept. 12th
Sisters Three - Blog Tour Launch Announcement
Joy Woodbury - Review and Spotlight
Abbigail Befus - Review and Spotlight
Tuesday, Sept. 13th
Madisyn Carlin - Author Interview and Spotlight
Rose Q Addams - Review and Author Interview
Wednesday, Sept. 14th
The Introspective Introvert -Author Interview, Sneak Peek, and Spotlight
Saraina Whitney - Review and Sneak Peek
Vanessa Hall - Spotlight and Sneak Peek
Thursday, Sept. 15th
Old Fashioned Book Love - Review and Spotlight
Lorelei Angelino - Review and Spotlight
Jasmine - Review, Spotlight, Author Interview, and Character Interview
Victoria Marinette - Sneak Peek
Issabelle Perry - Goodreads Review
Friday, Sept 16th
Kristina Hall - Review and Sneak Peek
Vanessa Hall - Review
Saraina Whitney - Character Interview
Grace A. Johnson - Author Interview and Spotlight
Natalie Nordby - Review and Author Interview
Hailey Marshall - Author Interview
Sisters Three - End of Tour Post
Those girls have got such hearts for the Lord, and you can tell by the inspiring posts they write that they truly desire to serve Him and produce literature that glorifies Him - such a rarity in this day and age!
And doesn't Unfortunate Events sound SO interesting? They had me at the tagline!
Thank y'all for joining us, and y'all be sure to check out the other fabulous posts in the tour!