Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Author Interview: K.A. Parkinson

1.       How did you get the inspiration for your book?
At the risk of sounding cliché I have to admit the base idea came from weird dream I had about 12 years ago. In the dream there was this extremely old man sitting in a rickety, dusty arm chair in an ancient house, staring into a crumbling fireplace. The fire was barely glowing, casting flickering shadows across his face. That was the whole dream—but it wasn’t the image that made the dream stay with me, it was the undeniable feeling that this man had a secret, a secret he was bound to protect. When I woke up I desperately wanted to know his secret. Eventually after a million daydreams and penciled scenes, I knew who he was. He was a Watcher, those sanctioned to find, train, and guard the Chosen ones—gifted children selected to protect the human race from the monsters of the Dark. I researched Hindu, Native American, and other worldwide myths to build the world this man came from. The Hidden.

2.       Could you talk a bit about your publication process/experience?
That’s a novel in itself😊. For most of my life I only wrote stories in my head or notebooks I never showed anyone. The first story I shared was for a youth event I was asked to speak at. Once I shared that first story that was it, the voices could no longer be silenced. At another youth event with girls 12-18 I was discussing with them the power of dreams and how they should never give up on them. By this point I’d been writing stories for several events, and this particular group of girls knew that. They challenged me to take my own advice. I’d finished The Shadow Prison (now called A Chosen Life) and partly to show them  I wasn’t a hypocrite, and partly because I felt a longing to try, I started submitting to agents and publishers. I made it past the slush pile with one agent, but then she decided to no longer represent fantasy. Another publisher showed interest a year after I’d submitted to them, but by then I was tired of the rejection headaches and decided to try the Indie route. Boy was it a lot harder than I thought. The headaches didn’t go away. My first book did better than I expected. When I finished the second book, the editor I hired did free-lance work for a brand new small press publisher. She told me she loved the book and said that she would recommend me to this publisher if I was interested. I liked the idea of having a partner in the process, someone to worry about the technicalities while I could just write. I figured that even if they said no, it wouldn’t change my situation. I’d just continue to self-pub. Within a month Snowy Peaks Media had contacted me with a contract offer. They wanted the whole series, but they wanted me to add a lot more to the first book. Now it’s so long that we had to turn it into two books. We hope to release book two this fall. This decision to go with a publisher was perfect for me. I have an amazing editor who has stretched me as a writer and blossomed my book(s) into something I couldn’t have done on my own. And it’s really nice not worrying about all the technical stuff and just focusing on what I love to do…write.

3.       If you could jump into the world of your favorite book, who would you be and what would you do?
That’s a tough one. I love so many books. But if I have to choose, it would have to be Narnia, and I would want to be Lucy. Ever since I was a little girl and I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time, I’ve envied her. To walk into a wardrobe and come out in Narnia! To have tea with a faun! Awesome!!! If I were there the thing I would want to do most is just to take a walk with Aslan, just be in his presence…  He was incredible to me then, and is still today.

4.       Are you currently working on any projects?
I am currently in the revision process of book 2 in The Chosen Chronicles series. After that I’ll be working hard on books 3-6😊

5.       What is something that surprises people about you?
I love to write, paint, sculpt, and build things. I don’t know why, but many people have been surprised when they learn this about me, because I deal with major anxiety and low self-confidence. I guess they expect someone who likes to create to be

6.       What section of a bookstore do you go to first?
Always fantasy & sci-fi. Always.

7.       Who is your fictional crush?
Hmmm... I can honestly say I don’t have one right now. But if you go back to when I was younger… It would probably be Jack Ryan. The Hunt for Red October. Oh so good!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! 

Book Blurb:
When Macy was chosen to join an elite group of children responsible for protecting ignorant mankind from the monsters of the Dark, she understood there isn’t time for speed bumps, and the arrival of the Ninth Chosen ten years late is one big bump. The Ninth is to one day lead all the Chosen in a final battle between Light and Dark forces, but the legendary warrior turns out to be Tolen Parks, a clueless and reclusive seventeen year-old whom Macy fears will not be their captain but instead their downfall. In an action-packed entertainer, Tolen and Macy are swept down a dangerous path that tests everything that Macy is, and brings out everything that Tolen can be, as they discover the power of choice, true friendship, integrity, and the incredible influence a single person can have on the world. 

Author Bio:
K.A. Parkinson was raised in a small suburb where she spent her summers hiding under her bed with a book, a flashlight, and a bag of cookies. She is the mother of two incredible boys and has been married to her high school sweetheart for nineteen years. Writing and making up stories is something she has enjoyed doing for as long as she can remember. A Chosen Life is her debut novel and is the first book in The Chosen Chronicles.

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