Khaiah Thomson

Khaiah Thomson

Q&A with Author Khaiah Thomson

What inspired you to be a writer?

In a nutshell, reading is what inspired me to become a writer. I’ve always been a bit of a binge reader and when my first son was little, I binged a lot of books during a short space of time and found that I just couldn’t find the book with the exact themes and vibes I was looking for. As the quote by Toni Morrison says, “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I already had a bunch of ideas in my head so decided to give writing a go.

What prompted you to write the 'Blackwood' series?

When I decided to write a book, I had this grand story that had been floating around in my head for years but I just couldn’t get the words down. So, I took a step back and thought about the type of book I wanted to read rather than write. I took two of my favourite fictional worlds, Twilight and X-Men, decided what themes I liked (and didn’t like) about each of them, mashed them together, threw in a powerful female protagonist, and plonked them in a world inspired by one of my favourite places, the South West region of WA. When I did this my imagination went KABOOM and the Blackwood series was born. 

Do you have any more books in the pipeline?

Oh yes, and I can’t wait to share the next one with you! The next book will be the first in a YA dystopian series. To set your hearts as ease; there is magic, a strong female protagonist and (drumroll) a morally grey love interest.

What is your professional background?

I have been a social worker by day for over 14 years. It’s a job that has allowed me to meet a diverse range of people from all walks of life.  It’s given me the opportunity not only to help people through some really challenging times in their lives but has allowed me to witness how those experiences shape people and their life journey. This has helped to inspire the character development in my writing as it has shown me the many ways that people can respond and grow through conflict.

Any advice you’d like to give aspiring writers?

Firstly, write what you want to read because you will read it over and over and over again.

Secondly, have the determination and courage to finish it - only 3 out of a 100 people will finish writing a novel. You can do it!

Thirdly, if you find something difficult to write/describe, draw on something familiar. I chose to base the setting of the Blackwood series on South West WA because it was a place I could describe with my eyes closed.

Who/what inspires you?

The process itself inspired me in the beginning. I enjoy creating characters and worlds that come together piece by piece to form a story. I love how characters can surprise me as though they’re writing the story themselves. I still love the process but It’s my readers who breathe life into these characters and worlds. Readers are the ones who encourage me to continue writing and creating.

What are your hobbies, interests and favourite books?

Stating the obvious, I love books. I’m a binge reader. Discovering the online library app was not healthy for me. 

I love writing although it is a tenuous relationship… at least until the first draft is done.

Other than reading and writing, gaming is my favourite pastime. I love open world games and action-adventure games. Skyrim is still my all-time favourite. I wish Bethesda would get their act together and bring out the next elder scrolls saga.

I love the beach! Give me a swimsuit, towel and umbrella and I’m set.

My favourite books?

It’s much too hard to pick favourites, but I will say this, The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley is my all-time favourite comfort read. I discovered it in the school library when I was fourteen, and still read it at least once a year. It came to me at an important time in my life and hasn’t left me since.

How can readers contact you?

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