Tag Archives: author interview

Blog Tour Interview | Quickish w. Julie Kagawa

Via Goodreads

Name: Julie Kagawa

Who is Julie?  One of Tanya’s favorite fantasy authors (so I am bias)

Books: Shadow of the Fox series, Iron Fey series, Talon series, Blood of Eden series

Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles

As I mentioned, I am bias. My first introduction to Julie Kagawa was her Iron Fey series. And I recently heard, she is coming back to that series and I am extremely excited. To be able to interview her and be part of the book tour makes my 16 year old self smile in glee.

I highly recommend reading her books. All of them. Enjoy this interview!

What were your biggest influences when creating this world in story, whether they be legends, folklore, anime, manga or other novels?

Anime, Manga and video games have been my biggest influences when writing the world of Shadow of the Fox, but also the works of Akira Kurosawa like The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon.   

The Iron Fey series was your first large published success. How did you feel as a writer when you reflect upon those books? How did/do you feel as a reader when you read or re-read those books?

The Iron Fey series holds a very special place in my heart as my first published series. I know I’ve grown since then, and when I re-read the Iron Fey I know I’ve come a long way as an author. But I also know that I wrote the best books I could at the time, so even though I wouldn’t write them the same way now, I’m happy with them.

What is it about fantasy that draws you to it?

Is everything a good answer? I love myths and legends, other worlds, magic, swords, wizards, dragons, evil gods, epic quests, and the battle between good and evil.  I read to escape, but also to travel to far away places and encounter creatures and beings I would never meet in real life. Who hasn’t daydreamed about flying on the back of a dragon?  I read fantasy for the same reason.  

How much research goes into your books and at what point do you stop using research and build off it?

It depends on how much I already know about certain aspects of the book.  For example, from the amount of anime and manga I’d consumed over the years, I knew a lot about kitsune, oni, tanuki, and various other Japanese monsters.  I still did a fair amount of research, though it was more about the samurai and the Sengoku Jidai, the era I was basing the book off of. I never really stop researching, though most of it goes into book one, which is where much of the world building takes place.

Would you ever write adult fantasy? If so, what would it look like?

I certainly have considered it, though it would look a lot like my YA books, just with older protagonists.   When I write, I don’t think “This is for teens,” I just write how I would always write. Really, the only thing that differentiates YA from adult is the age of the heroes and the lack of graphic sex in YA.  And even that is changing.

Out of all the books you have written, which has your favorite world and why?

Probably the Iron Fey series, though Shadow of the Fox is a close second.  I love fantasy and all the fantastic creatures that populate it, so the Nevernever is my favorite world for that alone.  Even though I wouldn’t last a day there without getting eaten by an ogre, a redcap or a kelpie. Maybe if I could find a big gray cat…    

Finally, what do you hope people remember about Night of the Dragon?

I hope people come away with a new appreciation of Japanese myth and folklore, particularly all the wonderfully bizarre yokai, yurei and bakemono that populate these stories.  From kitsune and tanuki to oni and kirin, I hope it inspires readers to learn more about the world of Japanese myth and legend. And I hope people remember how much they cried at the end of the story.

 

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Twitter: @Jkagawa

Website: http://juliekagawa.com/

 

 

Author Interview: Johanna Nield

Hey Guys!

I have had the most amazing pleasure to conduct an extended Quick Five interview with author Johanna Nield.

Author of the New Beginnings series, Ms. Nield is excited to share the re-release of her series, after self-publishing, with the UK publising company Cranthorpe Miller.

Y’all I cannot tell you how great this interview was. To be able to dig deep wth Ms. Nield about changing from self-publishing to sponsored publishing, to find out more about her as a writer and what she views as sucess was extremely exciting.

I hope you enjoy this very open interview.

You can find Johanna Nield on her website at http://www.johannanield.co.uk/ Facebook and Goodreads.

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Your book New Beginnings was originally published in 2010 but it looks like it is getting its own “new beginning” now. 😊 How do you feel about where your book is going, nine years later?

I’m delighted with its magnificent make-over! I self-published New Beginnings to please family and friends who wanted to read more than the extracts I’d been sharing, but I knew it needed a professional touch. The Cranthorpe Miller team have helped me improve and update my novel and I love the way it’s turned out.

Since the book was published nine years ago, how has the book and your writing changed since its original release?

The plot remains unchanged, but it has been updated to reflect current times, to clarify some events and references, and to shed some unnecessary passages. My writing has developed significantly over the years, particularly in terms of achieving more concise descriptions. The writing challenges presented by my university course helped me to cultivate my narrative voice and to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a writer but I view my development as a writer as an ongoing process because there’s always something new to learn.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a series?

For me, the most difficult thing is knowing when to stop! The second and third books in my series continue on from New Beginnings but I haven’t yet reached the end: books four and five are bubbling away on the mental backburner. It’s often difficult to remember who did what and when, so my character notes and plot timetable are extremely important for keeping me on track.

How do you balance being a reader and a writer when writing a book?

As a reader, I know what I like and dislike in a book and I bring that to my writing. If I don’t want to read something, then I’m less likely to write it. For example, a turn-off for me is stuttering dialogue, littered with “Um” and “Ah …” and long pauses. Yes, people do talk that way but for me it’s not an engaging way to present a conversation. Reading also lets me see how other tales are crafted, the best of which give me something to strive towards. I once put down a book and cried because the writing was so exquisite, and I almost gave up as a writer because I felt I couldn’t emulate that level of expertise. Thankfully, as many best-sellers have shown, writers are as different as the readers who enjoy their work.

Do you do any research for your books? If so, how does your research look like?

I needed to update my knowledge of NVQ modules for New Beginnings, and to ensure I used correct medical terms. Our local reference library is always my first option and I then supplement the information gained there with internet searches. I’m careful to only use reliable and certified sites to ensure the material I use is up-to-date and correct.

To change the subject slightly, what is it about literature or the overall the written word that drew you to becoming a writer?

Words have always fascinated me. I have loved reading from an early age and writing quickly became a joy. Words can be immeasurably powerful and the ability to express oneself with carefully chosen phrases is a gift of genius in some, in the same way as those who create beautiful artwork. I consider myself an eager apprentice, frequently enthralled by perfect prose.

How has the publishing world been for you? Is there any advice you would give a new author?

The publishing world has been instructive, challenging, supportive and developmental. Most of the rejections I’ve received over the years have been constructive and encouraging, and feedback from all quarters is always invaluable. I’m under no illusion that my life will change but I’m delighted that my life-long dream has come true. My advice to new authors is “Write. Don’t worry about how good it is, just write. Then read it, think about it, and write again. And never even think about giving up.”

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

Writing has always been a spare time activity as I work full-time and have family commitments. If writing didn’t captivate me, I think I’d be an artist because I love to paint and draw. Creativity is extremely important to me: it’s my way of relaxing and switching off from the demands of the day.

Is there anything that you dislike about the process of becoming either a published author or writing?

No! Writing is an exciting, exhilarating, wonderful experience! There is always something to learn and there will always be opportunities to improve, to try new genres and styles, to experiment with different subjects and eras – there are worlds waiting to be written about. The process of becoming a published author is also exciting, exhilarating, wonderful … and a very steep learning curve! If I could change anything about that process, I would make myself better at self-promotion as that is a skill I lack.

Finally, what is your definition of success as a writer?

For me, success as a writer comes when a reader enjoys what I’ve written and understands what I’m trying to say. It’s not about sales or best-seller lists; for me, hearing that someone likes my work is far more important and rewarding than knowing I’ve sold a certain number of books. The opportunity to engage with readers – to hear their feedback (good and bad) and to learn from them what works and what doesn’t – is far more valuable than potential fame for out-selling another author.

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Quick Five© with Joanna White

Courtesy of Joanna White

Name: Joanna White

Who is Joanna?  A lover of Stars Wars and a fan girl at heart.

Books: Hunter (Valiant #1), Forgotten (Valiant #0.5) and Shifter

Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles

Sometimes great things just happen to fall into your hand. Such as an interview you didn’t know you wanted to do. Meet Joanna White, Christian author of the Valiant series. 

Joanna has been an author all her life and wrote her first book at 10 years old. Impressive work that only foreshadowed her career in writing.

When did you learned that language, specifically the written word had some

Ambassador International
Published April 30th, 2019
260 Pages

power?

I don’t know if there was ever one specific moment, really. I used to write as a hobby for fun, but other than a few friends here and there, I was the only one enjoying them, and then it was more fun writing than reading them. It wasn’t until after high school that I learned how important my writing could be, that I could use it to encourage, inspire, and uplift people and give them good, clean books to delve into without worrying about bad things being involved.

Shifter is your third book. How has your mind set and/or writing style evolved since your first book?

Technically, even though Shifter is second in the Valiant Series, I actually wrote a few books before that, ones that became prequels to the series, so it wasn’t my third written. Plus, I had been writing many novels before that, ever since I was ten. My first book, when I was ten, was really good for my age, but it’s cringe-worthy now. My writing has matured a lot (we hope so anyway, haha) and my stories have obviously gotten deeper and filled with more meaning. I started off writing what I called Modern Christian Dramas where God helped a character through a real life issue, but the Valiant Series was my first Christian Fantasy. Ever since then, I started world and race building and I loved it and from there, I decided to try to branch into other genres for experience. Just recently, I wrote a Christian Biblical fiction romance, and Biblical fiction and romance were two genres I had never really written before.

Ambassador International
Published Feb. 19th, 2019
37 Pages

What does success in the book industry look to you? With your definition, are you successful?

I think it has many definitions. First and foremost, success comes from God. As long as I rely on God and use this gift, talent, and passion He gave me for Him, then I’m successful. Second, there’s my dream which is to become a best selling author with a lot of fans who love my books and were inspired and encouraged by them and enjoyed them. I have a few, but I still have a ways to go before I achieve that one. Then there’s the human definition of success which is money—still a ways to go before I hit that one, haha. And lastly, there’s how much I’m actually writing. When I first started the Valiant Series, I was young but I wanted to make an epic franchise like Star Wars only in book form. I didn’t think I could do it. In the end, I wrote a 17 book series and that in itself was a huge accomplishment. If you take into account all the other books I’ve written since I started—55 I believe, according to my last count—then, I’m definitely successful with that definition.

This is a bit of a controversial topic, but do you read your book reviews? If so, how do you handle bad reviews?

Ugh, I read carefully and nervously. I’m always excited for more book reviews because it means someone read my book, but there’s always going to be negative ones. When Hunter, Book One of the Valiant Series was self published, I had a troll come on and rate it a one star. Hunter was the only book this person had reviewed and they had a bunch of one star ratings on a ton of other products. They said it was a piece of crap and not worth reading. Even though I knew it was a spammer/troll, it broke my heart. I think a bad review will always hurt a writer, but you have to learn to take it and appreciate the positive ones or the ones that are sincerely trying to help you improve as a writer.

Finally, other of all the genres, why did you choose to write fantasy?

Create Space
Published August 1st, 2017
126 Pages

It’s not as boring as real life, haha. Honestly, I love that you can make anything happen that you want to, and in fantasy in makes sense. Even with sci-fi, you have to come up with all this technical or scientific stuff that I don’t really know or understand, but with fantasy, boom, magical explanation. Even that does have to make sense and fit into its own rules, but most of the times, it’s rules you invent yourself, so it makes it so much easier to understand. I just love making up worlds of my own and that fits better into a fantasy context. I would love sci-fi and I do love the whole traveling the galaxy thing, but I had to invent magical spaceships so I knew how they worked. Which gave me an excuse to build my own galaxy.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannamwhite

Website: https://joannamariewhite.wixsite.com/mywebsite