I am currently reading What I Did by Kayla Krantz. You will get a review when I finally finish it (long story – but hard to concentrate on reading when you have concussion) but I couldn’t wait that long to give you guys some insight into this wonderful book.
So I’ve asked Kayla if she would give us some insight into how she came up with this intriguing tale. Enjoy!
When it comes to writing books, I find the inspiration for my projects in a number of different places whether that be a picture, a dream, or song lyrics. I have an interesting story behind nearly every story that I’ve written. Of all the projects that I’ve been part of to date, I would say that What I Did is perhaps one of the hardest for me to define. Not just because it focuses on such serious subject manner but because I had a purpose in mind that I wanted to explore. It was the first time I ever wrote a book based on the psychology of events currently happening in society.
When I first got the idea for this book, it was long before the virus lifestyle that’s taken hold of the world for the past year. It was around 2016, when there were a lot of active shooter situations in the news. It seemed like every other day, there were mass shootings and people were afraid to go to work or school, and even church. When people did go, there were drills designs to help people survive. At the time, I was working at a Walmart in Houston overnight. The store was right off a highway in a section of town that’s more likely to be hit with crime so I always had the terrible fear that one day, our store might be one of the places that would see one of these unfortunate situations play out. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I would do if it did occur. We had training for active shooter drills quite regularly telling us that in that situation we should remember the program “ADD” which tells us the three things we should consider: “Avoid, Deny, Defend.” In this idea, we’re told that we can 1. avoid the shooter, to find exits that get us out of the building and to safety 2. In the case that we can’t escape, we can deny the shooter access to our location by using locked rooms and barricades 3. In the case that the first two options don’t work, we have the right to defend ourselves.
Given those three options, I always wondered what I would do. In a situation where everyone can effect the outcome, there’s no telling exactly what the right or wrong move could be. Of course it’s easy to say we’d be brave and that we would do this or that, but until the moment actually comes, we have no idea how we would react. And that got me thinking about it even deeper. How would someone not of sane mind react to that kind of threat? Not only that, but what would drive someone to make the decision to harm others to begin with? So I started to read stories about shootings and studied cases like Columbine and Aurora and tried to learn all that I could about not only what happens in these situations, but who the people are who do these things.
Armed with all the knowledge I picked up, I decided to take a stab at creating a story where one of these unfortunate situations would unfold. I thought telling it through the eyes of a millennial would be an interesting approach because more and more we’re seeing millennials and zoomers in the centerstage of these events as both the victim and perpetrator. While What I Did features a lot of different mental health issues ranging from addiction to sociopathy, I wanted to display a range of possible reactions and reasons behind things like mass shootings. With that What I Did was born.Kayla Krantz
I thought you might also be interested in watching the official trailer for the book too.
Kerry A Waight - Author
A writer of historical fiction and paranormal stories.