Behind the writing of Kami Bataya, you’ll find not one, but two minds, sharing one body. The two of us go by the ‘innerworld’ names Kami Atera and Kathryn Bataya. Since our writing is nearly always a collaboration, we decided to combine our names and write as one.
For us, there is nothing quite like the feeling of someone not-you knowing you all the way down to your core, even those inarticulate ideas for which no words are quite right – understanding you fully – seeing every little piece of you, good and bad, and loving you anyway. It informs all but our shortest stories.
When we’re not writing, we spend our time living out the stories in our minds, reading others’ stories, gaming (computer and tabletop), and writing code. Occasionally – when Kathryn listens to Kami instead of asking for five more minutes or one more quest – we even remember to eat and sleep. :)
I am the bookworm and caretaker of the two of us. I keep us reading even when our life gets busy, and I notice first when our other responsibilities and hobbies should be set aside for self-care.
Though I am somewhat introverted, I enjoy our weekly tabletop gaming nights with our friends, and I can put our thoughts into speakable words with more ease.
When we play games, I am – relatively speaking – the risk taker, though to a lesser degree than other people we know. I hold a larger portion of our collective confidence, and I am the one reassuring Kathryn when she gives in to bouts of anxiety or starts imagining monsters into the darkness.
I’m the techie half of the two of us, and the super-introvert. I’d happily sit and write code for a month or more without feeling the need to go outside and talk to anyone.
I’m also the one who takes everything literally – if Kami’s attention is elsewhere, sarcasm is likely to go over my head. (You mean you didn’t want to know that the ceiling was up?)
I really like having a sense of safety and certainty in our life. Predictability and schedules make me happy; when those get thrown away, without Kami I’d probably end up running in circles. Sometimes that happens anyway.
For the curious, our way of existence is known as being plural (versus ‘singlet’, for those of you who are the only one in your head). Other words for the ‘innerworld’ include mindscape, headspace, and more. It holds the home and wider world we inhabit inside our head, where each of us has our own physical existence and goes by our own name. These names are not the same as our body’s name, but they are the names we identify with, and we consider them equally as real.
Our innerworld home has a room of portals to the worlds where each of our stories take place, along with other daydreams we have yet to write. When we start to daydream, we jump through one of the portals and come out on the other side as the pair of main characters in that portal’s story. The lives we’ve lived in our daydreams have led us along such enthralling journeys and filled us with such powerful emotion that we’ve always felt compelled to find a way to share them with others; this is why we write.