Katelyn Varley writes poetry and prose. When not engaging in wordplay, she teaches swimming to all ages. She graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with a degree in History. She lives in Ayer, MA with her partner and their cat and two dogs. Find her on Twitter @HistKB.
Katelyn is one of our newest authors! She will be featured in our third issue, which is currently in production.
How did you get started writing?
In third grade, I wrote and read a story in front of my class. I was highly praised by my teacher for my creativity. It gave me a lot of confidence and encouraged me to continue telling stories.
There have been times in my life in which writing was the only way I felt comfortable expressing myself. Journaling keeps my writing going even when facing difficult times.
What types of stories do you like to write?
I have dabbled in different genres. Yet, whether it is a fantasy on imagined planet or a slice-of-life comedy, character is the most crucial part of my stories. Inspiration strikes me in the form of a new character first. I find developing and drawing out their story the most interesting process in writing.
Who influenced you most as a writer?
My spouse, Heather, is the most influential person in my life. She has pushed me creatively for years. Whenever I have a question about a character or a plot point, she always helps me figure it out. I would not have finished any of my work without her.
What’s the first book you remember reading?
The first book I can remember being able to read independently was Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I knew many nonsense words before I knew many actual words!
What movie, tv-show, YouTube channel, or blog do you think more people should watch (just pick one) and why?
The YouTube Channel I would recommend to nearly everyone is The Vlogbrothers. It is a channel by brothers John and Hank Green. It has been running for years and covers a vast amount of topics from general advice, creativity, (John is an author and Hank is a musician) and science. Through their channel they have also launched The Project for Awesome, which gives money to charities chosen by the donors. They take their phrase, “Don’t forget to be awesome” seriously, but also inject plenty of silliness.
5 Things you want us to know about you:
- Since 2011, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month annually. I find it creatively challenging and a way for me to connect to the larger writing community.
- I always listen to music when I write. For every piece I’ve written, regardless of length, I’ve also created a playlist that reflects the mood I aim to convey.
- I have a strong belief that all narratives must belong to a larger context. It is important for me to have a solid understanding of the history of the society I’m writing about. I have constructed family trees for characters because it is essential for me to know their roots.
- Although I’ve never employed the technique myself, I love footnotes in fiction.
- I have memorized Emily Dickinson’s poem “I’m a nobody! Who are you?”