Kyle Prue - Born with Superpowers, Raised as an Assassin
Kyle Prue is an award-winning author, actor and comedian. He wrote The Sparks: Book One of the Feud Trilogy when he was just 16 years old. The next two books in the series are The Flames and The Ashes. The books have won numerous national and international awards for Best Young Adult Fiction and Best Young Adult Fantasy including: - Presidential Awards from Florida Authors and Publishers Association - Florida Book Festival - New England Book Festival - Midwest Book Festival - Southern California Book Festival - International London Book Festival. Kyle also won an International Moonbeam Award and a prestigious Indie Fab award for Best Young Author. Kyle spent a year on a national book tour visiting over 100 middle and high schools and meeting over 80,000 students. Kyle is a student at the University of Michigan, studying acting and creative writing. He is a popular keynote speaker at conferences and his assemblies are a huge hit with teens. As our Author of the Day, Kyle tells us all about his latest book, The Sparks.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Sparks is about.
The Sparks is a young adult fantasy novel about a family feud where each family passes down a particular super power. They’ve divided their city into three quadrants and have been at war for centuries. However, once members of the families start going missing and getting killed they realize they’re being hunted and they have to make a decision. Team up, or potentially perish.
What inspired you to write about someone with superpowers?
I wanted a metaphor for wealth, and superpowers seemed to do the trick. It also ties into privilege, which is a large theme in the story.
Tell us more about Neil Vapros. What makes him so special?
Neil is special because he’s an extraordinary kid with absolutely no desire to be so. It doesn’t matter how often the universe pushes him towards depravity or greatness, he pivots away. He’s also a little bit of a smartass :-).
You have visited over 100 middle and high schools on your book tour. How has this influenced your life and writing?
Visiting all those schools was remarkable. I truly realized how powerful and intelligent young people are, and that that power and intelligence can come from anywhere. It didn’t matter if I was at a 2,000 kid public school or a thirty person school in the middle of the woods. I met little geniuses everywhere. I can’t wait to get back to it.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I can vibrate my eyes really quickly but that’s never come in handy. I’m also an actor and a photographer, which are more employable but only barely.
Which book in this trilogy is your personal favorite, and why?
The Ashes is my personal favorite. It’s never easy to judge your own work but I think things came together pretty nicely. I got lucky. Which is what most of writing is—getting lucky.
Although you created a vivid world that is otherworldly, your characters are very relatable. How did you pull this off?
We all have the same basic hierarchy of needs. While we probably can’t relate to Lilly’s desperate desire to kill Carlin, we can all relate to her frustration and fear of processing her grief. I also find that consistent characters are easier to connect with.
Why did you decide to include feuding families in this story?
I wanted to write a story that was about young people overcoming, and I’ve always found the concept of a family feud to be really interesting. What do you do when you’ve been told violence is a way of life? How do you navigate that in a civilized society.
Which character did you find the most challenging to create?
I had a lot of trouble with the Hyena because he’s always cracking jokes. Every time I started writing a scene with him I was like “ah s**t I gotta write some jokes.”
Any interesting story that happened to you as an author?
There’s a few but I’m saving them for the memoir.
What advice would you give to an aspiring novelist?
Read. Read. Read.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I am not to be emulated. I write from about 2AM to 4AM every night. Is it healthy? No. Does it work? Sometimes.
What are you working on right now?
Currently beefing up my writing packet with a few more plays and screenplays. Trying to decide what’s next! The Feud Trilogy has been in some stage or another for the last seven years so I’m excited to be moving on to some different mediums.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I’m on Instagram, twitter, and tik tok as @kyleprue !