Inkitt Interviews: Beyond Time Contest Winners

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Here at Inkitt, we’ve hosted some fantastic contests and some equally fantastic authors! Each one of our writers brings something different and fun for you to read, which is why we like featuring the ones that make the site shine! Today, we’re sitting down with the winners of our Beyond Time Sci-Fi Contest, whose futuristic visions, not-so-human characters, and streampunk worlds blew us away. We wanted to get to know them a bit better, and we hope you do too!


1st Place:  The Children of Tsitsi by Katie Masters 

Inkitt: Tell us about yourself!

Katie: There’s so much to tell… and so much to keep secret. You know, when you have a particular set of skills… but I digress! I was born a talker, and my family can regal you with tales of all the stories I made up before I could write. My childhood was spent bouncing around living in apartments, a dinky boat, and a tipi placed on a hill in the middle of nowhere on a mountain range that had no running water or electricity. Why yes, that does mean no bathroom! I loved listening to stories, and books were my only friends growing up. I love writing as much as I love talking and reading, and I thank my lucky(ish) stars everyday that I can wake up everyday and call myself a writer.

Inkitt: When did you start writing The Children of Tsitsi?

Katie: I started writing The Children of Tsitsi on a September day, and finished it by November. Or was it October? Either way, I believe it only took a month or so write it!

Inkitt: What inspired The Children of Tsitsi?

Katie: Honestly? My fear of spiders. Why did I pick spiders as Gods? WHY? But also the entire concept of it just sort of plopped into my head one day, fully formed. I wish I could say I struggled with coming up with it and spent weeks agonizing over plot points and character building. But I didn’t. Don’t hate me too much.

Inkitt: Do you have any writing habits (eg. Special writing locations, listening to music, jotting ideas in a notebook… etc)?

Katie: When I write a story (or at least want to write it well) I NEED music. My character’s flow better, my scenery becomes more detailed, and my word choices begin to sound like I actually read and memorized a dictionary and maybe even passed English in school. I usually write at home on a couch with my cat, but when I get stuck, I always go to my local coffee shop. The coziness helps me write, the owners are so kind, and I’m pretty sure they sold their souls to get the recipe for their chai tea, because it’s AMAZING.

Inkitt: What do you feel is unique about The Children of Tsitsi?

Katie:  Oh, this must be the part where I need to brag about myself. Let’s see if I can find the self-confidence to do that! I think what makes my story unique is…..oh god. I don’t know. Honestly. So I’ll have to go with what I’ve consistently heard about it! The characters and their reactions to things and each other are very real. That combined with a good plot and twist that’ll make you drop your computer (only maybe don’t do that, since you still need to finish the story, and also computers are kinda expensive). So….I suppose the twist at the end is what makes it unique!

Inkitt: Do you have any advice for other authors on Inkitt?

Katie: Write what you love. Seriously. Don’t worry about if your story will be the next Harry Potter or The Lightening Thief or Frankenstein. Write the book you want to see on a shelf or Amazon because you don’t see it there. Write the story you want to read. Don’t be JK Rowling, be YOU. Also, one of the best pieces of writing advice *I* ever received (besides being told to read all my character’s speaking lines out loud to make sure it sounds authentic/like something an actual person would say out loud) was this: Start in the middle.

Which basically means we don’t need 10 pages on how your champion grew up. Start with them staring down the eyes of dragon with their sword too far away to reach. We don’t need to know how he/she learned to sword fight as an opening. Start in the middle.

Also, don’t be like me and use the word ‘and’ too much. I counted just now and I’ve used it 14 times. don’t be me. Make better word choices.



2nd Place: Cyborg by Alex Rushmer 

Inkitt: Tell us about yourself!

Alex: I’m sixteen years old, and I’ve been homeschooled my whole life. I’m the oldest of four girls. I became a Christian when I was little, and I hope to use writing to serve my Lord Jesus. Writing is my passion. I’ve been doing it since I was eleven. Besides that, I love to draw, take walks in the woods, and read everything I can get my hands on. One day I want to be a published author and perhaps a freelance editor.

Inkitt: When did you start writing Cyborg?

Alex: I started writing Cyborg a little over a year ago when my creativity was going through a bit of a dry period. I was just learning about how to write short stories and had the notion to put together a collection. It was part-way through the editing process that I came across Inkitt and their Beyond Time contest, and I’m very glad I did. It’s been a great writing community and place to exchange feedback.

Inkitt: What inspired Cyborg?

Alex: We live in a world where technology is progressing in leaps and bounds. I’ve always been a little nervous about that because I think that too much technology can cause human life to become cheaper. More easily replaced. Cyborg is set in a time where war and technology has become the most important thing to society, permeating everything. I wanted the story to explore both the dangers and the benefits of such a society and the mindsets that may go along with it. It helped me to set in stone for myself what I believe about the safeguards we should have and about a world that might be closer than we think.

Inkitt: Do you have any writing habits (eg. Special writing locations, listening to music, jotting ideas in a notebook… etc)?

Alex: While my writing habits (time and location) are generally sporadic, I have a couple things set in stone to keep me on track. Music has always been very important to writing, from finding inspiration to giving myself the right mindset about my current story. I have different playlists that I listened to while writing each of my stories. A band called Starset was a particular inspiration while writing Cyborg. I also try to keep notes on ideas for the story I’m working on or for future stories. Usually my ideas come in the middle of night, so I’ll wake up with scraps of paper scribbled full of ideas all over my nightstand. I find keeping track of these ideas very beneficially, however disorganized my methodology may be.

Inkitt: What do you feel is unique about Cyborg?

Alex: I believe that Cyborg is unique because it humanizes something that is often portrayed as a killing machine or henchman in many stories. Thinking about the psychology of a cyborg and their feelings on such a condition was a huge inspiration for me, so I spent most of the story exploring those things. Everyone (or at least almost everyone) knows what it is to feel insecure and unwanted. And it is those feelings that my protagonist struggles with and must overcome in the story.

Inkitt: Do you have any advice for other authors on Inkitt?

Alex: Be a part of the community as much as you can. If you’re unpublished, you can support others like yourself by encouraging them and reading their stories. If you’re published, you’ll have advice for the aspiring authors on the site. If you want feedback and support, you should be willing to give feedback and support. The Inkitt community is about enjoying and growing in the craft as much as it is about promoting individual writers. I think that we should all be helping each other along the journey.


 3rd Place: A City In The Air by Lyndsey Lewellen

Inkitt: Tell us about yourself!

Lyndsey: I am a young adult science fiction writer and self proclaimed geek. Along with my husband and five children, I live on a farm in the north Texas area, where I enjoy watching chickens and imagining retro-futuristic realities. When I’m not spinning tales of adventure, I’m designing covers for novels as a freelance graphic artist.

Inkitt: When did you start writing A City In The Air?

Lyndsey: Oh my goodness, five years ago. The revision process has been a long road. I suppose the birth of three children since I started this novel slowed things down a bit.

Inkitt: What inspired A City In The Air?

Lyndsey: There was a comic book written by Joe Kelly and drawn by my favorite comic book artist, Chris Bachalo, called Steampunk. It was my initial introduction to the genre, and I fell in love. The gears, the top hats, the dirigibles! It was all so beautiful and grungy. The story itself was inspired by a mix of Japanese mangas and the biblical book of Ezra (I know, talk about eclectic). As this is a character driven novel, I was inspired by the twin and sister relationships in my family, and how those bonds could play out under fantastic circumstances.

Inkitt: Do you have any writing habits (eg. Special writing locations, listening to music, jotting ideas in a notebook… etc)?

Lyndsey: I’ve got a twofold writing environment. My ideas mostly come to me when I’m out driving. Lately, epic instrumentals or fast paced dubstep beats blaring through my speakers are what I use to get my imagination going. But when I’m actually putting words in my book, I’ve got to have absolute silence. Sad to say, silence is a tall order in my house. And sometimes sleep inducing. But when it works, it works.

Inkitt: What do you feel is unique about A City In The Air?

Lyndsey: I haven’t seen many steampunk stories on Inkitt yet, but I think what sets A City in the Air apart is its focus. While the novel holds a vast array of steam-powered tech, it’s main heart is in its characterization. I tried to make sure each character had their own unique voice and were relatable. This is a story set in a steampunk school, yet it is more modern in its social aspects. For instance, females in this world are treated with more equality than they were in historical Victorian times. I like to think of this novel as a “what if” book. What if steam technology evolved in ways our modern technology had, but certain parts of the culture progressed at a snails pace?

Inkitt: Do you have any advice for other authors on Inkitt?

Lyndsey: Putting my book on Inkitt was a great decision, but I’m very grateful for the revisions I did before having it on the site. Though this is a critique site, it’s still nice to put your best foot forward. At the same time, don’t be afraid to get your writing out there. The writing community can be a little harsh at times, but for the most part, I find other writers to be honest and encouraging. And my work is better than it’s ever been because I took the chance.


Next Time: End Game Horror Contest Q&A, with AMeadon, O.A Guilfoyle, and Daylon Deon!

Do you have a topic you would like us to cover? Let us know about your suggestion. 


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    • Katie Masters on

      Awwww thank you Joshua! It was fun answering the questions! I want to win another competition just so I can answer more of them! Lolol!