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Watch Transcript Reading of THE MAGIC PILLOW:
Performed by actor Amaka Umeh
Get to know writer K.J. Kratz:
1. What is your novel about?
Jenna receives a mysterious package from her great aunt who died several months prior. Jenna quickly discovers that what appears to be just a decorative pillow turns out to be a portal to another world. As Jenna visits the other world, she discovers her hidden talents and forms an unbreakable bond with a diverse team. Jenna and the team use futuristic technology as they take an incredible journey to save their world from the evil aliens.
2. Why should this novel be read by people?
This book is the perfect story to lift you out of your daily routine and take you down a road of creative adventures ensuring a perfect inspiring escape for your mind.
3. How would you describe this novel in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
5. How long have you been working on this novel?
Roughly 5 1/2 years
6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?
“Where the Red Fern Grows”
7. What motivated you to write this novel?
I was inspired by my nighttime dreams. During the daytime my life was very robotic and boring, but the simple act of placing my head on the pillow at night transformed me into a different person. In my dreams, I was a star-fighter killing aliens in space, a spy killing terrorists, I was an assistant to the president of the United States dialing up Vladimir Putin. These were just a few of the dreams that I experienced. I always woke up feeling like my dreams were trying to tell me something. That was the spark that led to the story and its characters growing inside my head. I didn’t see myself as a writer at that time so I tried to ignore the story. Eventually, I just started writing the story and it turned out to be the most exciting adventure I have ever experienced.
8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Being a good mother to my son.
10. What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?
After doing nothing with the book for an entire year due to being caught up in my stressful job and juggling a new baby, a stranger reached out to me and told me that if I finished the book it was probably because I intended on sharing it with others. She sent me the link to the festival and urged me to submit it. I followed her advice.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
1. Write from the heart.
2. Remember that when you create a story, you are only held by the boundaries located within yourself.
3. Don’t force the writing. I was working a 50 to 60 hours per week job so the only time I could write was early in the morning on weekends. I would wake up at 4:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays to write. Because of my limited opportunity to write, I felt anxiety around using every moment that I had to write. I quickly learned that sometimes you just don’t feel it so it’s best to take a break from it.
4. Don’t be scared to share your writing with others. As writers we know that what we write can be a portal into ourselves. Even though it is fiction, it’s still a part of you. I found out that sharing allowed me to see this the book from a different perspective. Sometimes what I intended for the audience to see wasn’t what the reader was seeing.
5. Always have a notebook or blank paper and a pen handy. One of my favorite parts of this book was inspired after a long day of repeated delays at the airport. When I finally flew into Denver I noticed the most beautiful display of clouds that seemed to have mysterious tunnels. As I travelled in the cab to meet my coworkers for Margaritas, I quickly wrote down all of my ideas for the tunnel of clouds. I was so thankful for that delay!
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson
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