The Institute

The Institute - Kayla Howarth

Societies tend to be very frightened of anything new or unknown. 

Dystopian authors have used this to fuel their writing fires for many years. The Institute is a marvelous example of how this can be done in an exciting and hopeful way. While the main character, Allira, is struggling against an oppressive and fearful government, she becomes more and more hopeful throughout the book that the situation can and should be changed. 

I love the smooth blending of intrigue, action, suspense, romance, and the importance of family throughout the work. It's impressive to be able to touch on so many aspects of life and maintain a happy balance and an easy-to-follow plot. 

Allira is extremely easy to relate to and despite her human quality of saying and doing the wrong thing at times, she is easy to love. Tate is a fun character that I hope to see more of in sequel. And, although I know I should hate him, I'm pretty fond of Drew. 

This was a book that I very much enjoyed reading. I flew through it in one sitting and was immediately ready to start on the second. Much to my dismay, it wasn't available yet. 

Needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the sequel!


Some Bio Information

Kayla was born and raised on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. She still resides there with her husband and son, working part time while working on her writing.

Her love of reading and movies inspired her to start something she never dreamed possible: writing her first novel.

When she's not working, looking after her son, or writing, you'll most likely find her hosting her own dance party in the kitchen while she does the dishes (where her husband will argue that more dancing is achieved than clean plates.)


Q&A

1. Where did your idea for this series come from? Or do you keep your inspirations a secret? 

I was driving home from work one night, and drove past an estate that had a huge fence around it. I wondered what kind of people lived there and then my imagination got ahead of me and suddenly I was thinking they could’ve been forced to live there for some reason. The story grew and adapted many times before I ended up putting pen to paper… or in my case, fingers to a keyboard.

2. Who is your favorite author?

I have to say it’s Suzanne Collins. I’m like fan girl embarrassing when it comes to The Hunger Games.

3. Describe the perfect writing environment. 

I have a favourite spot on my couch where I can put my feet up, with my laptop on my lap and coffee on the table next to me. I also have my favourite spot at the library and if it’s taken when I get there I can’t concentrate! I end up stalking my spot until whoever is there leaves.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become an author? 

This one is hard to answer. I have always loved writing stories (especially in high school) but stopped when I became an adult and needed to get ‘a real job’. I decided to write a book as part of a challenge where I had to do 30 things before I turned 30 last year. By my 30th birthday I had written “The Institute” and was close to finishing my first draft of “Resistance” - I got addicted and just wanted to keep on writing!

5. What do you and Allira have in common? 

Allira is everything that I am not, and everything that I want to be. I admire her strength and ability to stand up for what she wants/thinks is right. I wish I had the guts to do that.
We do have one thing in common though: We are both horrible in emergency situations. There is a scene in The Institute where Allira is explaining that she once stood by and watched her pet goat run into an electrified fence. That story was based on me, watching my dog run onto the road in front of an oncoming car (don’t worry, the dog is fine!). I froze in panic and just watched it happen!

6. Are you currently working on a sequel? 

“Resistance” is in its final stages of publishing and is due for release on April 1st 2015. The final installment of The Institute Series (“Defective”)  is currently in first stages of editing and is due for release in July 2015 (hopefully).

7. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? Or have you already been there? 

I was lucky enough to travel the US and western Europe just after high school, but was planning a return trip to Europe with my husband when I fell pregnant with out son. The plan to go to Lapland in Norway is still there, we just don’t know when it will happen! (We want to go to the Ice Hotel and see the Northern Lights.)