Where Honesty Never Ends.
Greetings everyone! For our second July Author Spotlight, we have a special treat. Making her interviewing debut is Wordsmith Andi!
Dear Wordsmith, you have the floor.
First I have to say it’s an honor and privilege to interview you as The Review Board’s July Author Spotlight.
I am the one who is honored! Thank you for having me.
Several months ago I had the opportunity to read and review The Escape of Princess Madeline. I loved the story and characters, and was most intrigued by your wizards and the role they played. In my review I said “She creates enough intrigue in the mystery of the wizards and their exile to support an entire series based solely on these people yet this intrigue only adds a delicious element to the main story.” I haven’t yet had an opportunity to read the second and third books in the trilogy. Do you explore more of your magical world in them and where did your inspiration come from for the series?
Absolutely! I also loved the wizards and wanted to showcase more of their past and how that fit within the world I created. They come back to the kingdom in the second book, and play important and surprising roles in several of the character’s lives.
My inspiration came from the desire to create a series for middle graders that took everything I loved from traditional fantasy – princesses, knights, castles, adventure, wizards, and put a more modern spin on it. When I sat down to write this series, the ideas for the trilogy came pouring out.
What made you decide to write a series for middle school children?
I think a lot of time in our careers, we strive to fix a problem that we experienced growing up. For me, one of the issues I felt was finding fantasy stories that were both challenging and appropriate for me at a younger age.
When I began writing, my first idea was to fill that hole, and create a series that is enjoyable for the middle grade range, and appropriate for younger readers. Now there are so many great books that fit that genre, and I am honored to be included with them.
How much of your life experience influences your ideas for stories and characters?
That’s a tough question. There are certainly aspects of my life that get filtered in… wonderful memories, painful lessons, the feelings and struggles of growing up, but everything is exaggerated and embellished with artistic license.
Are you able to pinpoint, and hopefully describe, the moment when you knew you were a writer?
Looking back, I can tell you that I have always been a writer. It is my creative outlet. Some people may paint, sing, build, bake, or garden, but for me, writing is how I choose to express myself. That passion has never left, faded or dulled.
As for that moment when I knew I was a writer… let me tell you, only a writer will let a gallon of ice cream melt to dash off to the computer to write down my latest idea… or burn zucchini bread… or burn grilled cheese… come to think of it, my writing success may be closely related to kitchen catastrophes. 😉
Taking a look at your website, you have quite a few upcoming projects in the works. Can you tell us a little more about your most recently anticipated Dreamscape: Saving Alex? The snippets you’ve shared in your blog are delightfully tantalizing; so entirely different than your writing and subject matter in Princess Madeline.
I would LOVE to! Dreamscape: Saving Alex is a YA Fantasy adventure. Here is the blurb:
After years of protecting Dreamscape from the tyranny of the evil king, and fighting for their freedom, the rebellion’s last hope lies with the Golden Hero. When the enchantment brings Alexis Stone from the real world, both get more than they bargained for.
Alexis realizes too late that in this fantasy world, the consequences and enemies are real. When the stakes rise, surviving the dangerous game may be easier than facing her feelings. Can she help the rebellion’s cause, or will the difference between their worlds prove deadly?
And if she does succeed, who will rescue her?
It’s kind of a blend between Tron and Zelda.
Right now it is with my beta-readers, and I hope to have this released later this Fall.
I noticed too that you seem to be quite comfortable in writing in several genres: middle school, young adult, fantasy, adventure, dystopian, historical, and science fiction just to name an easy half dozen. Is there any genre you haven’t experimented in, or any that is your particular favorite? Why?
Haha, I know, I am a branding nightmare. Inspiration can be fleeting, so when the muse sends me a burst of something, I grab ahold and write… in any genre.
Most of what I write falls within the fantasy genre because that’s where my comfort lies. I can address a philosophical idea, or moral while still working within the realm of suspended belief. Even though there is realism in the stories, it is removed enough from everyday life, to keep things from being ‘too real.’
I admire writers who can write contemporary literary fiction, because it is a genre that I find extremely difficult.
Whose next book are you eagerly anticipating release on?
If you had to choose from of all your works and all your myriad characters, which characters are your most and least favorite? What about each of them earns such a ranking?
Ohhh… Fun! There are so many characters that I love and relate to on different levels. My favorites are my heroines.
The Escape of Princess Madeline
Click HERE to check out all titles in the series.
Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline series) is fun in terms of her character. Besides the obvious princess factor, she balances vulnerability with strength, defiance with intelligence, and stubbornness with creativity. She doesn’t find the answer easy, but she never gives up.
Simone (The Ivory Tower) is a fighter. Stuck within the confines of the camp, Simone struggles with monotony or routine and structure. I love Simone for the fire that burns within her.
Alex (Dreamscape: Saving Alex) is a new favorite. She is a normal girl from the real world having to come to terms with being transported into a fantasy world. Based on how she reacts to the challenges, dangers, and new characters, she proves herself the hero they’ve been looking for, and the hero she needed for herself.
As for least favorites…
The name that immediately pops into mind is Prince Paulsen (The Battle for Princess Madeline.) He is the epitome of the ‘bad boy.’ Full of charm, good looks, and slick words to lure you over, but he does not know what to do when you turn him down.
Any of the unnamed guards from the Ivory Tower. These guards only look after their own interests at the cost of the people in the camp. Whatever terrors they do in The Ivory Tower pale in comparison to what they’ll be doing in Pale Bricks. (future novel)
Do you have any words of wisdom for new authors or those who might be hesitant to embark on the journey of indie publishing?
I would tell them to believe in themselves. Life is about living, taking chances, and following dreams. It’s not easy, but worth it.
Thanks so much for your time in answering my questions Kirstin! You are a woman of prolific talent and phenomenal storytelling skills. You are certainly deserving of our July Author Spotlight!
Thank you so much!
Thanks to all of you for checking out this special spotlight. Feel free to like, share and subscribe. Have a terrific day!