Bookish Musings, Banter & More
Every post on the tour will have unique information and pictures so be sure to check out all the posts.
Monday January 7: A Fort Made of Books, Tuesday January 8: Books4Ever, Wednesday January 9: Baseballs and Bows, Thursday January 10: Fanatic Space Blog, Friday January 11: Right Here at Bibliophile’s Retreat, Saturday January 12: Children’s Literature Book Club, Sunday January 13: Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-A-Holic, Monday January 14: A Year of Books, Tuesday January 15: Author Chris Rettstatt’s blog, Wednesday January 16: Deliciously Clean Reads, Thursday January 17: Into the Wardrobe, Friday January 18: Real Gurlz Magazine, Saturday January 19: Chauceriangirl
Kaza says: Thanks for hosting me on your blog! I’ll be checking back over the week to see if any of your readers might have questions. I’m happy to answer anything!
AND NOW THE INTERVIEW:
1. Who do you want to meet and why?
There are so many people I’d love to meet. I think I’d like to meet a future version of myself, and get some advice from her! (I am a fantasy writer . I can’t help it!)
2. What’s your favorite comfort food?
Hot fudge sundaes! Yumm. Apple pie isn’t bad, either!
But of course – doesn’t comfort food always have to involve some form of CHOCOLATE! I know for me it does. Unless of course it’s a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup.
3. What would be your dream vacation?
Right now, something quiet and relaxing would be perfect. Hawaii. On the beach, with a good book, waves on my toes. And no writing deadlines!
I’ll second the quiet and relaxing with no deadlines part!
4. What five books would you take with you to a desert island?
It would be so sad to only be able to take five! I’d pick some super long ones, maybe War and Peace, to give me more pages to look at!
I’m not actually one to re-read books a lot. There are SO many good ones out
there that I rarely read a book twice. (The exception is in a series when I need to update myself on all that happened before.) But a top five list of mine might include To Kill a Mockingbird, the play “The Crucible,” a book of poetry -something that made me think, the complete works of William Shakespeare, a technical how-to book, like “Desert Island Living for Dummies,” and a guitar / songwriting how-to book (and a guitar.) And lots and lots of paper to write my own stories!
The top five is actually six LOL! However I can’t claim to do any better job counting when it comes to books. When my shelves are overflowing and it’s time to pull books for a trip to Powell’s and Pilgrim (These are two used bookstores in my area where I sell books for credit towards other books) – it’s not only nearly impossible to give any up (despite knowing it means I am trading for new ones – at least new to me), I cringe at the thought of picking the ones to go.
5. Why did you start writing and when?
I’ve written since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I was actually one of those kids who made her friends write stories when they came to play – until they couldn’t stand it any more and then we’d play school or tag. I’ve written hundreds of short stories, a lot of articles, poems. I wrote an adult novel before I wrote Erec Rex – it’s still in my drawer. I think writing is just a part of who I am.
6. Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?
When I was a kid I had some great teachers that really inspired me to follow my creativity. I think I really owe the most to them. And, beyond that, I love to read. So, in a way, every book I have read has influenced me as well – from Dr. Seuss to Shakespeare!
7. How do you choose names and get to know your characters?
Choosing names is so important to me. I wrote most of The Dragon’s Eye not knowing Balor’s name. I just left a space when I wrote about him, so I could go back and fill it in later. I knew I needed a name that sounded like a bad kid, and Balor sounds like pallor. Also, Balor was the name of a nasty guy in Celtic mythology who had one eye – that fit well with the eye theme in my book!
Most of the characters names were well thought out, and there for a reason.
My readers might want to google a few of the characters names and see what they find!
Thanatos Argus Baskania, the villain, for example, has an apropos name.
Thanatos was the Greek god of death. Argus is a hundred-eyed beast (and those who know Baskania will understand the similarity!) And, my favorite, Baskania is Greek for “the evil eye,” a concept that fits in so many ways! Plus it has such a cool and villainous ring to it.
Getting to know my characters is interesting. They come to me as whole people, and I think about them for a long time before writing them. But as I write, they continue to form and evolve in my mind. In Dragon’s Eye, I actually had to go back and rewrite the beginning of the book after I finished it, to make the characters more into what they’d become!
8. Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with the Erec Rex books?
Long and painful. Well, I can’t complain. It all worked out great. I found a great agent, Jennifer Lyons, at Writers House, a fantastic agency in New York. But it took months of incredibly tense waiting. And then, there was almost another year of waiting, editing, sitting around and finally changing agents after Jennifer left Writers House. I went with a small press in the end, which worked out great for my books.
I think the bottom line is never to give up. This does not necessarily mean sticking with a manuscript that nobody wants. It might mean figuring out what’s wrong with it and fixing it, or moving on to something else.
As long as we learn and grow from our defeats we’ll keep getting closer to our goals.
That last line would make a great quote for a poster.
9. What first gave you the idea for The Erec Rex books?
I started getting into mythology, and the Hercules legend just rung a chord
with me. It was at a time when I was ready to start a new project, and the whole story just fell into place. Not to say it wasn’t a lot of hard work. I plotted for months for the series and in more detail for book one. But I don’t think I would have been in the right place mentally, ready to bring Erec to fruition, without having written so much in the past.
10. What’s your favorite character/scene from The Erec Rex books so far?
Oh – it’s a dramatic scene in Book Two towards the end. One character gives up something immense for Erec – not to give anything away! It’s very moving to me.
11.What else would you like to share with readers about yourself or the Erec Rex series?
I’d really like to pass along my appreciation to my readers, for enjoying my books with me and being a part of this with me. There is nothing that brightens my day more than a message through my website or in the mail from someone who has loved one of my books. As a writer, making that kind of connection with my readers is what this is all about. And when I’m hard at work on a book, getting messages and letters like that makes me realize it’s worth all the work.
12. Do you have any teasers you can share for Book Three?
I suppose I could! For starters, it will be called “The Search for Truth.”
Following the saga of Hercules, there is a chance that Erec’s next quests may in some way parallel those of that great hero. For example (not to give much away,)in Monsters of Otherness, Erec’s first quest was to do something that involved finding the incredibly rare Lion Skin flowers in Nemea. Well, Hercules had to slay the Lion of Nemea for his first labor – and bring back it’s skin!
Readers might want to look up future labors of Hercules and guess what might happen!
I will tell you Erec spends a bit of time on Upper Earth in Book Three. And he has to learn more about his eyes – how to handle them. (Not to give much away!) I will also say that the mysterious last few words of the Epilogue in Book One may be explained!!
13. What else have you written / are you currently writing (including unpublished works)?
I’m finishing Book Three of the Erec Rex series now. It’s called The Search for Truth. I’m really excited about it – can’t wait to see it in print! When that’s finished I’ll be working on a side book for the series, will be really cool.
Before I wrote Erec Rex, I wrote an adult novel that never got published. I like to think of that as a learning experience!
Any chance that adult novel might ever get reworked and submitted again some day???? I’ve enjoyed the Erec Rex books so far even though they aren’t my usual type of reading and would love to read something written for adult readers from you.
I have written more short stories than I can count! I have fun pulling them up and reading them. A lot of them feel almost new to me when I read them – I remember just enough of them to make me smile, but forget the endings until I get there. I’ve written nonfiction articles – I enjoyed it but they were not nearly as fulfilling to me as writing fiction. And I’ve dabbled in poetry – but that was a while ago and never amounted to much. Fun, though! And lately I’ve been getting into writing song lyrics. When I need a break I find that a great way to unwind.
14. Are there any closing remarks you’d like to share?
Never stop dreaming – and always live your dream! I say this from the bottom of my heart. We only live once, and there are so many amazing things we can do.
Don’t be afraid, don’t let your inner voice tell you you’re not good enough.
Just go for it!
Thank You Kaza for taking the time to share with me and my readers.
Here’s My Review of Book 1 Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye.
I am currently reading Book 2 Erec Rex: The Monsters of Otherness right now so check back soon for a review.
Check out excerpts from both books at the Erec Rex Website
Both Books can be purchased at Amazon: Click on Book Cover below for more info.