Xavier Kent is a writer and ukulele player from Illinois. His writing ranges from memoirs to suspense and from prose to poetry. A prolific writer, Xavier also lets his sense of humor come through in his stories.
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You use a pen name on Figment. How did you come up with your name?
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I guess I’ve always had a fascination with X-names, and Xavier in particular has a nice ring to it that I’ve always liked. When I first joined Figment, my pseudonym was actually Xavier Ross for a few days before I changed the last name to Kent. I’m not exactly sure what brought on this name change either; it just sounded nice to me so I kept it.
Fill in the blank: “At 2 a.m., I’m most likely …”
Depends on what I’m dreaming about. Ha.
Surprisingly enough, I can’t listen to music when I write. If I do, I get distracted and end up paying more attention to the music than what I’m writing at that moment. I do, however, listen to music when I’m trying to brainstorm ideas, and usually when I’m doing this I listen to a wide variety of music – some of my favorite artists/bands include Regina Spektor, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Feist, MGMT, Coldplay, and Cults.
What cliché would you most like to see erased from YA fiction?
If I had to choose, it would probably the concept of vampire romance. Countless authors have written books about it which makes it even less original than it already is. Besides, I really can’t see how necrophilia could be at all appealing to a person.
How does it feel to have your own Figment fan club?
To be honest, it feels really amazing. I’m so grateful for everyone who’s joined the fan club, and it makes me incredibly happy to know that there are people out there who enjoy my writing that much.
What’s the best writing advice you’re ever received?
About a year ago I e-mailed Polly Shulman after reading her book The Grimm Legacy, just for kicks. She responded (within half an hour, surprisingly – I was so excited!) and answered some questions I’d asked her about writing in general, and the advice she gave me was really worthwhile. One suggestion she gave me was to never write yourself to death – if you’re out of ideas, then you should take a short break. Running, reading, or cooking (or any activity, really) are good ways to get around your writer’s block. Once you’ve taken a brief hiatus, chances are your muse will return and you’ll be ready to write again!
We noticed you’re a member of the Ukuleles! Group. What are some of your favorite songs to play?
“In the Sun” by She & Him and “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train are two songs I like to play on the ukulele; the chords are fairly easy to learn and they’re fun to sing along to!
Which literary character are you most like and why?
Luna Lovegood, probably. Despite the fact that she’s a girl, we have a lot in common – both of us are very whimsical, spacey, eccentric; any way you want to put it is fine. Like Luna, in my spare time I enjoy fishing for Freshwater Plimpies and I’m also currently campaigning to save the Crumple-horned Snorkack.
What is your biggest reading guilty pleasure?
I’m slightly ashamed to admit I devoured all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I haven’t been keeping up with the series since the movie came out, though, so I think my addiction might be broken by now.
In your opinion, what’s the best book-to-film adaptation ever?
I was actually really surprised at how well The Hunger Games stuck to the plot of the book. It had been two, maybe three years since I’d read the books when I saw it in theaters a month or so ago, but all the specific little details I remembered from the book were included in the movie. Although they omitted the Avox/Mutts sections, I think the movie represented the book very accurately.