Getting acquainted with Harriet Goodchild

I know I’ve mentioned that I love being part of the writing community and helping out fellow authors before, but I have to say it again: The writing community rocks.  It rocks so hard.  Know why?

This is why:

If you haven’t heard of Harriet Goodchild yet, you should have.  And you’re in luck!  Because today, she’s going to chat with me about writing, fantasy, and her latest book, After the Ruin.

KK: Hi, Harriet.  Tell us about yourself.

HG: I live in Edinburgh now but I was born in the west of Scotland and go back there whenever I can. Lest that sound a narrow life, I’ll say I’ve lived in a few other places as well, including the United States and Australia, and spent twelve years in Oxford. Life in Oxford is rather like living in a fantasy novel: pretty soon you start meeting seneschals or quaffing from an aurochs horn after dinner.

I share my flat with two pets: a Bengal cat called Talisker and a very large goldfish called, imaginatively, Big Fish. Big Fish is outgrowing her third tank and soon I’m going to have to find a safe pond in which to rehome her. Until then, Talisker enjoys sitting nearby her tank to keep her company. Or at least I think that’s her reason. Never assume nefarious intent, even in cats!

KK: Have you always written?

HG: In my teens I wrote a lot. Short stories and poetry, mostly, and a novel that rambled on and on through several college notebooks, acquiring characters along the way. It wasn’t good – and I hope it never surfaces – but I enjoyed writing it hugely and that’s all that matters. Some of the ideas in those stories, in fact, laid the groundwork for all that I’ve written since, although I think my writing has improved since my teenage years. After that, reading a lot and writing a bit was enough, although I published some non-fiction along the way. Then, about five years ago…

The poet speaks

callumWith me today is Callum McLaughlin, author of The VesselFalse Awakening, and Seeking Solace.  He’s graciously agreed to talk poetry with me, and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading about his work as I did. 🙂

KK: So, how long have you been writing poetry?

CM: I’ve been writing in virtually every capacity since childhood. My earliest memory specifically associated with poetry is when I won a school competition aged 10 and I’ve been interested in the art form ever since. The poems included in Seeking Solace were written throughout the last couple of years, which is when I’d say I started really taking it seriously and falling more and more in love with it.

KK: We have something in common there – I wrote my first poem at age ten for a summer homework assignment. 🙂  What got you interested in poetry?

Barren Island Books interviews Anna Martoka!

Anná Artwork by Hazel Butler

Anná
Artwork by Hazel Butler

What’s new in the world of The Lokana Chronicles? Well, today Anna Martoka was interviewed as part of the Barren Island Books interview series that my wonderful friend and fellow author, A.F.E. Smith, runs on her blog. If you’d like to know which books Anna counts among her favorites, head on over and check out her interview!

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out some of the other interviews. There’s loads of great books just waiting to be discovered at Barren Island Books!

(c) 2014. All rights reserved.

An interview for the ages

Today I’m excited to be interviewing Irene Soldatos, author of the wonderful book, Bad Bishop.  It really is a fabulous read, and I jumped at the chance to learn more about it.  Share my curiosity?  Then pull up a chair, relax, and get ready for a little fun with history!

KK: What inspired you to write this story?

IS: That’s a difficult question. There was no one moment of inspiration, rather an idea that slowly developed. I read a lot of history. And there are three historians in my family, so I’ve grown up steeped in it, and I suppose I am more conscious than most of the enormous differences, cultural, social, ideological, technological between the people of one historical period and those of another, but also the very many similarities. I found myself often wondering what someone who was born and grew up in classical antiquity would make of the middle ages, for example, if he or she could somehow see it. I suppose this book is a thought experiment on that concept. I wanted to bring together and juxtapose people from various different time periods, in one story. One way to do that would be time travel.  But I didn’t like that idea, because it would mean they would have missed the process of history. And the process is even more important than the time period they would arrive at, i.e. the one I set the story in.

KK: The amount of research needed for this book must have been incredible.  What did that process involve?

And now, an interview!

Will's PhotographAs promised, I have an interview for you with the lovely Will Macmillan Jones, author of the hilarious Banned Underground books.  It might have taken me a little longer than I first thought to get this posted, but what can I say?  Writers are not necessarily the most organized lot.  (Some may very well be, but I most certainly am not.)

KK: So, now that you’ve done it a couple of times, what’s it like to put out two books a year?

WMJ: What’s it like?  Let me see…imagine being run over by a lawnmower, thrown in a washing machine, a tumble drier and finished off in an old fashioned mangle.  It’s hard going.  As you know, I don’t write especially long books, mainly for commercial reasons.  But even so it is very hard work, both creatively and practically.  But actually quite rewarding too.  I can now look at my dressing table and see a line of my books.  Yes, I’m really that sad as to have them on show in my bedroom, so that I can see them when I wake up.

KK: I see nothing wrong with that.  In all honesty, I would likely do the same thing. 🙂  They say it takes three books to see success.  Do you feel like that’s true?   Why or why not?

Catching up with Andrea Baker

Today, I’m interviewing Andrea Baker, a fabulous friend whose book, Worlds Apart – Leah, is well worth checking out.  So grab a nice cup of tea, get comfy, and settle in to learn more about this wonderful author!

CLD_0088

AB: Hi, Kay, and thank you for inviting me onto your blog – I love the title of this blog; it always makes me smile.

KK: You’re most welcome!  I’m always tickled when people tell me how much they like my blog’s title – titles are really hard for me, so it’s nice to know I picked a good one for my blog.  So, tell us a little about yourself.

AB: I’m pretty ordinary really – daughter, sister, wife and mother to a gorgeous and cheeky little nine-year-old girl.

I work full-time as an Interim Manager.  This means that I tend to have short term (usually at least 3 months) contracts with different clients, covering projects, service transformation and that sort of thing.

I’ve always loved the paranormal genre – I’ve always referred to my favourites as being the “edge of reality” stories, where they are based in the real world, but unreal happens.  Because it is my favourite genre to both read and watch, it was natural for me to write it too.

KK: Write what you know, eh?   Have you always written, or is it a recently discovered passion?

Presenting Will Macmillan Jones, Comedy Goon and Author Extraordinaire!

Will's PhotographWith me today is Will Macmillan Jones, author of The Banned Underground series (and the Alliance of Worldbuilders’ resident Comedy Goon, as noted above).  He was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, though without the aid of the Spanish Inquisition (and I’d so been looking forward to calling them up – no one expects the Spanish Inquisition! :D).

Tell us about yourself.
My bio will tell you that I’m a fifty-something lover of blues, rock, and jazz, and have (sadly) spent much of my time working as an accountant.  Some of my friends suspect that I’m a covert adrenaline junkie as well, having crashed hang gliders, done a little sailing (didn’t like capsizing), fallen over on the way up several hills and crashed the odd motorbike, and put various cars into ditches.  Er, there seems to be a bit of a pattern forming there. . .

Have you always been interested in writing, or is it a recently developed passion?
I’ve always loved reading, ever since I was a small child.  My father was a primary school teacher and read to me every night from a young age, something I’ve done with my own kids, too.  It’s brilliant fun!  So when at grammar school I was encouraged to write, I loved it.  But then it took a back seat for many years, until I discovered you could get a minor flesh wound from a pen instead of crashing into things, and I haven’t looked back since.

Can you tell us a little about some of your other writing projects?  Are they all fantasy, or do you write in more than one genre?
As well as the fantasy, I also write some paranormal books, on the edge of horror.  The first of these has been very well received indeed, and so I’ve a sequel in the works.  There’s also a children’s fantasy and a YA fantasy coming along.  I think I stay pretty much round worlds of pure imagination, because it’s so satisfying to create something that can be made to feel real.

Wanna know what inspired the series, why the baddies are accountants, or where the Banned will head next? The conversation continues behind the cut!

Barren Island Books

This has been a busy week for me!  It seems I’ve had something going on every night and even when I didn’t have to be somewhere, I still had plenty to do.  Last night, for instance, I had to bake seven dozen (84) cookies for my church’s cookie walk this weekend.  I found a recipe that claimed to make approximately six dozen (72) cookies.  I thought, “Okay, I’ll make small cookies and then I’ll be able to squeeze an extra dozen out of the dough.”

I ended up with a hundred and sixteen cookies.  That’s almost ten dozen.

Tonight, I have to work on my presentation for tomorrow morning.  But this afternoon, you can find me visiting with my good friend, A.F.E. Smith, at her blog, Reflections of Reality.  She’s just started a new weekly feature called “Barren Island Books” and today’s post features me.  If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about what sort of books I enjoy reading, head on over and check it out!

And even if you couldn’t care less about what I like to read, do check out the rest of her website.  A.F.E. is a great writer and has a wonderful site, full of neat odds and ends.  You won’t regret visiting her, I promise.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

The Next Big Thing…again

That’s right, I was tagged in the Next Big Thing blog hop again, this time by my good friend Sammy HK Smith.  An author of many talents, she wrote about her current WIP called Anna.

Since I’ve already participated in this once with The Lokana Chronicles, and since Sammy was so kind as to tag me again, I was going to try to do it again using my current WIP, tentatively titled The Lokana Chronicles: Fog of War.  Then I reread my original post.  What I discovered is that a lot of the answers apply to my WIP as well as my original novel, since my WIP is a sequel.   But I’m feeling procrastinatey, so here we go! 🙂

Another interview

I’ve been again.  The interrogator extraordinaire was none other than the zombie master himself, everyone’s favorite sock puppet, Splinker.  That’s right, in a new feature called “Someone Else Who Isn’t Me!”, I’ve Been Deader author Adam Sifre interviews other authors and today, that author is yours truly.  So pop on over and have a read!  We talk steaks and books and killer dust bunnies.  There’s even an excerpt from The Lokana Chronicles.  Leave a comment!  After all, even zombies love comments. 😉

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.