Narratives of Resilience with Kristyn Landau

Discover the compelling narrative woven by Kristyn Landau, an indie author with a poignant voice illuminating themes of class struggle and love transcending toxic cycles in rural Appalachian communities. In this insightful interview, Kristyn shares her inspirations, challenges, and pivotal moments in crafting her novel “The Other Half,” offering valuable insights for aspiring creators navigating complex themes and aspiring to make a social impact through their work. Join us as we delve into her creative journey, lessons learned, and upcoming projects, inviting readers to connect and explore her compelling storytelling on Instagram at @kristynlandau.author.

What inspired you to delve into the themes of class struggle and love overcoming toxic cycles in rural Appalachian communities?

I think my biggest inspiration was growing up believing that being middle class is essentially the norm, and that laziness was the culprit for being poor. When I entered adulthood, I quickly realized how wrong I was. Especially living in a small Appalachian town that relies heavily on low paid service jobs, it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers and becoming financially comfortable. 

Could you describe some of the challenges or struggles you faced while working on “The Other Half” or any other creative projects you’ve undertaken?

I definitely struggled with a lot of self doubt. For the first year and a half of my writing journey I didn’t ever plan on letting anyone else read it because I didn’t think it was very good. Connecting with other indie authors and finding beta readers that were willing to give me honest feedback helped me gain the confidence I needed to put it out there for the world. 

What lessons have you learned from your experiences as a writer and creator, especially when dealing with complex and sensitive themes in your work?

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it’s okay to create something just for the sake of creation. There doesn’t have to be a financial incentive involved in order for it to be worthwhile. I’ve also learned that writing can dredge up lots of hidden feelings that you’ve kept buried beneath the surface for a long time. It’s important to get these things out, but extra self-care may be necessary when writing about traumatic topics. 

How do you stay motivated and inspired during times of doubt or creative blocks?

Oh gosh, I wish I had the answer to this one lol. No, but really I just wait for that spark to come back and it always does. Real life stuff sometimes forces me to put writing on the back burner, but when I have a scene in my head I won’t be able to fall asleep until I put it on paper. If I’m having a slump I just tell myself it won’t last forever, and it never does. 

Can you share a pivotal moment or turning point in your career that significantly impacted your approach to writing and storytelling?

Realizing that it doesn’t have to be earth shattering. It’s okay to write solely because you want to. Every scene doesn’t have to be super emotional or action packed, sometimes it’s okay (and good) to write a scene just because it’s fun!!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers or creators who are passionate about addressing social issues through their work?

You should absolutely write it. Even if it feels like no one will care, write it. I strongly believe that there’s a reason ideas come to us and it’s because that idea needs to be brought to fruition by someone, it just happened to choose you and that’s awesome, take advantage of it!

In what ways do you hope “The Other Half” will resonate with readers, and what do you ultimately want them to take away from your story?

Oliver is from a poor family and Oakley is from a wealthy family, but what they have in common is that their parents don’t support their dreams. I think all of us can relate to the feeling of someone not believing in us or thinking that our goals are silly, even if it isn’t a parent. I hope that someone somewhere will read my book and it will help them realize that it’s okay to live a life that others may not understand or support, as long as it’s what feels right for you. 

Another important theme in my story is domestic violence. In many books I’ve read that involve domestic abuse the focus is on the victim, as it should be, but I wanted to write a story about it from the child’s perspective. Oftentimes unhealthy marriages affect the children just as much as the adults involved. I wanted people to see how domestic abuse can affect a child’s self esteem, making their own future relationships more difficult for a variety of reasons. 

I also wanted to illustrate that it’s possible to break free from that toxic cycle, and that just because you grew up that way it doesn’t mean that you deserve to be treated that way by your own partner. 

Are there any future projects or goals you’re currently working on or planning to pursue in the near future?

I’m currently working on my third novel! This one is quite different from my last two, it’s going to be quite a bit longer and will probably take longer to write. I’m hoping to finish it by the end of this summer. 

Lastly, how can people connect with you online or support your work, and do you have any upcoming events or announcements you’d like to share?

I mostly use instagram to connect with readers and other authors! My instagram handle is @kristynlandau.author 🙂

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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