Uncharted Horizons The Uncharted Waters Chronicles Book 2 by Kyle Langan Genre: YA Mystery
Another summer in the Hamptons was just what Kingston, Claire, Kurt, and Amelia were looking forward to after their tumultuous meeting last year. But when mysterious new residents seep into their social circle, their seemingly perfect friendship becomes frayed.
Kingston and his new girlfriend fall victim to the trappings of fame. Amelia gets an enigmatic, sexy new neighbor. Kurt meets a gorgeous southern debutante. And Claire is frantically planning a wedding to a man she doesn't want to marry.
But when a harrowing murder rocks the villages of the Hamptons, and a few of them become suspects, it's a race against time to decipher who the real murderer is - but can their friendship survive it?
Uncharted Waters The Uncharted Waters Chronicles Book 2
With their first year of college behind them, wealthy New Yorkers Kingston Lang and Claire Buckingham escape to the Hamptons for their annual retreat, expecting another fun-filled season of sun, surf, and friends. But their lives are forever changed when they accidentally befriend two newcomers.
Amelia Colombo is an Italian runaway that flees to the Hamptons. Kurt Nitro is a working-class landscaper looking for a job to pay his college bills. When Kingston and Claire fold these two outsiders into their circle, worlds collide, and tensions flare, causing jealousy and deceit to erupt between the bluebloods and the local island residents.
Caught in a class war between their roots and their new friends, Kingston and Claire must work out who their true allies are in a world full of manipulation, money, and greed. And they’ll have to decide quickly who they can trust before their summer of fun transforms into a summer of peril.
Kyle Langan started writing as soon as he could pick up a pen. What started out as homemade comic books turned into short stories, then chapter books, and finally culminated into the heralded Young Adult novel, Uncharted Waters.
Set in the Hamptons, Uncharted Waters takes a splashy and humorous look at the class divide on the East End of Long Island between a group young adults. Kyle also is the Founder of the lifestyle website and brand, www.HamptonstoHollywood.com, which also chronicles the culture and people of the Hamptons and Los Angeles.
He's contributed to the L.A. Times, as well as many other print and digital publications, and hosts the streaming interview series, Town Hall Chats, for Town Hall Los Angeles. He even moderates events with millennial thought leaders across the country.
Whether he's writing, producing and hosting video projects, or just spending time with friends at the beach, Kyle is known for his optimistic outlook on life, his humor, and of course, his signature laugh.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I grew up spending summers in Montauk, in the Hamptons, and knew that when I wrote my first book series, I wanted to incorporate that place somehow. It’s such a unique and magical spot, unlike anywhere else. I wrote my first book, Uncharted Waters, when I was in Australia and missed the Hamptons. I created a world that I had to keep coming back to, and from there, Uncharted Horizons (the sequel) was born.
What are some of your pet peeves?
When people end a sentence with a preposition. I know, it’s so “writer-y,” but I can’t help it!
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Denver, CO but was raised primarily in New Jersey, not too far outside of Philadelphia. It was a very wholesome upbringing that I’m so grateful to have had.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
Such a good question! Probably taking everyone important to me (family and friends) out for a really amazing meal on the beach and just laugh and share stories and tell them how much they all mean to me.
Who is your hero and why?
If you know me, you know my biggest role model is Gwyneth Paltrow. I so admire how she is a seeker and she’ on a journey to optimize life. I think people are your heroes because they are specters you not only look up to and want to emulate, but also because you feel a deep, spiritual resonance with their character. I feel that with GP because from what I know about her, our lives have interesting parallels. I love that she pushes the envelope, is constantly curious, has flourished despite harsh projections, and is still funny and irreverent.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
I would be fair and optimistic, but decisive and authoritative when push came to shove. I would really want to meet “my people” and be of service to them. And inspire them to be the best version of themselves.
What are you passionate about these days?
My books! I have a comprehensive writing plan that that outlines what books I’ll release and when. I am so excited for people to read them and hopefully provide entertainment and a sense of acceptance/belonging when they do.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I try to read as much as possible. Is there anything better than lying on the beach with a good book? I also watch TV/movies. And working out is a MUST; it really helps me focus mentally as well as physically.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I don’t have kids yet, but they are in the 5 year plan
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Can I do 5 adjectives instead?! Curious, empathetic, optimistic, imaginative, existential.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I had my first piece published in an actual professional publication. I was chosen among my class of journalism students to write a recurring editorial column for a local newspaper when I was in college about current events from a college student’s perspective.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I have 5: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Eat Pray Love, Cruel Intentions, Closer, the Mission Impossible franchise
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I actually write them all cinematically with the intention that The Uncharted Waters Chronicles will be films one day.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I just got back from Italy, which was as incredible as one may think. I get inspiration for a new story whenever I go anywhere – even if it’s an hour away from home. My imagination is constantly on overdrive, so I can’t help thinking about new stories in new places.
What inspired you to write this book?
Uncharted Horizons is the sequel to Uncharted Waters. I knew when I wrote Uncharted Waters that the story wasn’t over. What inspired me most was that after using the first book to set the tone of the world, I wanted to delve even deeper and further deepen the character development and take the characters on a crazy ride. Everything is bigger in this book. There’s more sex, murder, and deception than the first installment. I wanted to make it as juicy as possible for new readers.
What can we expect from you in the future?
There will definitely be a third installment in the Uncharted Waters Chronicles. And more books within the same world, but with new characters.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in the books?
Kingston Lang is reeling from his newfound fame and struggles to find his place in Uncharted Waters, which causes him to trust the wrong people, leading to very dangerous circumstances. Claire Buckingham is busy planning a wedding she doesn’t want to have, but is forced into by her mother. We see her “perfect society girl” image going into a downward spiral. Kurt Nitro never thought he would return to the Hamptons, but he’s back, with a secretive new girlfriend. And Amelia Colombo, a new homeowner, gets a very sexy, but very mysterious new neighbor.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
Uncharted Horizons was my chance to deepen the characters arcs from Uncharted Waters. The whole theme of the series is to explore new situations and venture into unknown territory. I approached each character and thought, “how can I make them completely vulnerable and stripped down?” I incorporated new characters to challenge my main characters and give each of them a shock to the system, while still telling a cohesive story that entraps all of them in a grisly murder mystery.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
The main character’s names are based on my best friends, while the new character’s names are ones that are specific to their place of origin.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I loved describing the character’s innermost emotions. There is a scene where one of the characters explores their sexuality for the first time and it was a fun experience to further take the character into “uncharted horizons” and describe what the feeling of exploration is like in adolescence – fear, excitement, anticipation. It’s something everyone can relate to, no matter what the new experience is.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Kingston is motivated by adoration – he’ll do anything to be loved, which could be his downfall.
Claire is a perfectionist trying to manage an imperfect life. The stress overwhelms her and throughout the book she is heading toward her breaking point.
Kurt is much less cynical in Uncharted Horizons than he was in Uncharted Waters. He leads with his heart instead of his head in this book.
Amelia is motivated by the truth, and a little bit of lust. She desperately wants to find out what the real story is with her new neighbor, and to see if he’s the one to whom she’ll lose her virginity.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
The title evokes the coastal nature of the Hamptons, but also is in keeping with exploring new territory.
Who designed your book covers?
The first one was an artist I worked with, and the second one was me!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope, I am so so proud of Uncharted Horizons.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned how to construct a mystery. Uncharted Horizons is very much a murder mystery, which is a hard thing to write because you first have to know the truth, and then go back and not only throw off the characters, but also the readers. It was a lot of work!
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think about this often. Because I have an acting background, I would love to play Kingston Lang. Brittany Snow would be my first choice for Claire Buckingham. And the rest I’ll let the readers weigh in on.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I want them to really give this book a shot. By the end, they’ll be taken for quite a wild ride. The book is entertaining, but also resonant for college-aged readers.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They are more exaggerated versions of my core group of friends from college. They have inspired me so much.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
This is interesting. I definitely feel like through exceptional character development, which I put a lot of time into, the story begins to tell itself. As the author, I don’t feel like I don’t have control, but when you have strong, well-developed characters, it’s much easier to let them direct the flow of what happens in the plot.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Uncharted Horizons is a must read because it has everything a guilty pleasure book should have. As I mentioned, there’s sex, murder, and deception, which all make for a compelling plot. But there’s also a ton of heart and self-realization. Readers will be entertained by what happens, but they’ll also be reflective and think about wanting to go to the Hamptons, or look into their own lives and take inventory of those crazy relationships they had, or the times that they were a fish out of water and feel understood. What more could you want?
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Not yet! But I have already started on one.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
There is a local candlemaker based in the Hamptons named Hamptons Handpoured. Her “East Hampton” and “Montauk” scents are perfect for this book.
What did you edit out of this book?
I edited out a different version of one of the murders because it didn’t fit with the overall plot. I was really proud of it. Maybe I’ll release it to my VIP readers…?
Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would like to pick someone like Nick Horny’s mind who creates such incredible characters that no matter what, you like. Despite their flaws. That’s skill.
What are some of your favorite books/authors?
Catcher in the Rye
A Long Way Down
What book do you think everyone should read?
Catcher in the Rye
How long have you been writing?
Since I was about 8.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Mostly they came to me before I write. I flesh them out as much as possible, and then I let them tell me what adventures to take them on. It’s like having kids and then watching them go out into the world.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I like to set my current roster of books in real places, so I mention real names of restaurants, parks, and beaches in the Hamptons so that if the readers go there, they’ll have a map of where the characters went. It adds authenticity and helps them envision the story even better.
Do you see writing as a career?
What do you think about the current publishing market?
I think it’s at a really interesting inflection point. Traditional publishing is still amazing, but publishing has become democratized with the advent of independent publishing. One on hand, it’s great for authors who already have a following they can leverage. Though on the other hand, it’s become an increasingly saturated market. However, I think people find good stories. Right now I’m working in a “build it and they will come” paradigm.
I had a traditional publishing contract before I embarked on my independent publishing journey, so I know my writing is “good enough” to be enjoyed by a wide audience. And that gives me confidence to keep going.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I absolutely do. I actually like really dark books, which is so antithetical to my personality. Gillian Flynn is a favorite of mine.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
SILENCE. I can’t have any background noise.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I need to stick to one at a time or I’ll get too confused!
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Uncharted Horizons. I wouldn’t have wanted to write anyone else’s story but my own.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer all the way. I’m old fashioned in a lot of ways, but the computer is the single greatest way to optimize a writer’s life haha. It’s so efficient!
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
This will make me sound like a sociopath, but I love Amy from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I hesitate to say that I related to her in the first couple chapters of that book, because she is homicidal and histrionic, but I love how complex, cunning, and unapologetic she was.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
It’s just something innate. I don’t think I ever really decided, it just was sort of something I had to do. To express myself through storytelling. It was more of a decision to go through the process of getting everything published. And I have zero regrets.
A day in the life of the author?
It’s a mixture of writing what you know and also observing what you don’t. I need to watch a TV show, go into public and take things from what I see, or have deep conversations with friends to help inspire me.
Do you have any advice to offer for new authors?
You can do it! Make an outline. Be serious with yourself about why you want to write. And just don’t stop. Because if someone tells you that you can’t and you don’t listen and do it anyway, at the end of the day, you’ll have written a book and they won’t. And that’s the greatest revenge ever.
Describe your writing style.
A bit irreverent and sarcastic, but deeply thoughtful at the same time.
What makes a good story?
A good story is anything that makes a reader feel something – good or bad. Obviously it’s preferred if you write something that makes the reader feel good, but a good story is anything that simply evokes strong emotions. If a reader feels a visceral reaction to a story, the author did their job.
What are you currently reading?
Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I outline the entire book’s plot. Then I make an outline for character arcs and map out what they have to go through in the story to get to the end of the book and feel completed.
Then I go back and break into chapters as I go, when it feels right, creating suspense along the way.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I think just feeling too precious and thinking you’re not good enough to start or that what you’ve written so far isn’t good enough. Don’t think about that. Get so wrapped up in your story that you have no choice but to tell it. Let other people decide if it’s good or not, because if you take on that burden, you’ll never finish a chapter, let alone a book.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Procrastination. I’m guilty of it too.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I like originality. I know some readers like a formula so they can predict the ending or the arc of the story, but that’s boring to me. I love a twist. I love turning genres on their head. I like pushing the envelope. I like unlikable characters because they’re so much more realistic. It’s much more interesting that just churning out a story that someone can expect.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
That in 2021 you’ll release 2 books in the same year. So don’t stop dreaming.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from other genders?
I don’t find this difficult at all! I love it.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About 3-4 months.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do, but I think the antidote for it is to step outside your routine. Shake up your environment so you can take in new places, people, and experiences and can’t help but be inspired by them.
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