Happy Thursday Everyone,
I'm delighted to introduce to all of you author Kim Lenox of the Shadow Guard Series. (I've read all 3 that are out -- Night Falls Darkly, So Still The Night, and Darker Than Night).
The first time I ever talked to Kim was when she was giving a talk on writing at an NWHRWA meeting. I approached her with some questions and asked her to sign my copy of Night Falls Darkly. She generously answered the questions and signed my copy.
She is a truly personable, and fun person. She's funny and very encouraging. She also writes really well (I really liked the Ravenmaster idea in the 3rd book, by the way) :-)
Oh, and pssst...please comment and include your email address...Kim might be giving out a signed copy of her book, Night Falls Darkly. If she is doing that, you need to comment on this post with your email address to be in the running to get it!
Anyway, why don't I give you a chance to get to know her yourselves?
Me: Introducing... Kim Lenox!
Kim: Bethany, thank you so much for inviting me to be interviewed on your blog!
Me: Amaranthine is a color and a flower, what made you choose the word for your particular type of immortal for your Shadow Guards Series?
Kim: Yes! You are right – the Amaranth is both a beautiful flower and a lovely, deep shade of purple-red. I don’t see history in black and white, but rather in vivid images and rich tones. Beautiful structures, glittering chandeliers and parks. Gilt scrollwork, green velvet and yes – claret red. History isn’t boring, and this particular word intrigued me. The Greek word, amarantos means “unwithering”. My books draw deeply from ancient mythology, and the Amaranth flower has long (loooooong) been a symbol of immortality. I wanted to use it somehow to distinguish my Immortals.
Me: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who is it and why?
Kim: I love, love, love Selene, the heroine of DARKER THAN NIGHT. She is also a secondary character in both NIGHT FALLS DARKLY and SO STILL THE NIGHT. Because of her history–she’s the daughter of Cleopatra—and because she’s a warrior in her own right, she has a very different personality for a historical heroine. At the same time, I spotted a certain vulnerability in her from the moment she stepped onto the page, one that made me want to see her find happiness. I admire her quirkiness and how ferociously loyal she is to the few people she allows herself to love.
Me: What made you place your stories in Victorian England?
Kim: I’ve always been someone who wants to see what lies beneath, and Victorian era England, and especially London, was a perfect study to dissect. Imagine Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, crammed right up against overcrowded slums and immense misery. Yes, the lives of the people that lived in one or the other were extremely different, black and white, but … their paths and destinies crossed. Throw in some fog, some sexy Immortals and a nasty villain, and this write was in Heaven.
Me: Can you describe what the research process has been like and what's your favorite part?
Kim: I read a lot of old books, newspapers and publications on Google Books, or other websites that have public archives. The more I read and the more notes I take, and my mind starts to see certain interesting patterns. For instance, something I saw when researching the Jack the Ripper crimes (Jack, being the villain in my first book, NIGHT FALLS DARKLY) was the oddities taking place in the weather through 1888 and 1889, and the terrible world disasters that happened in the years just preceding and during that time. I wove those details into the books and gave them meaning.
Me: For Fun: What's one of your favorite movies?
Kim: I love the Batman movies. The Dark Knight rocks!
Me: Has there been a piece of advice that's been particularly helpful to you that you can share?
Kim: My dad always told me not to use credit cards. Oh, wait, you mean writing advice. I’ve had a lot of helpful advice, because writers and the writing community are awesome. I think my main advice would be: To be a writer, you really need to be a reader. I’m amazed at how many people write with the goal of publication, but say they never read books. It’s important to read for many reasons. I dissect scenes that made me sigh and laugh and cry just so I can see how the author makes me feel that way. It’s also important to read current books so you’ll know what sells. I’m not talking about trends, I’m talking about style and flow and pace.
Me: Could you describe the changes in your life since you became a published author, versus an aspiring author?
Kim: The main plus of being published is the confidence it’s given me in my writing. No, I haven’t gotten a big head, and I don’t believe gold spouts from my fingertips, but I write a bit freer now, without obsessing over every syllable.
Me: For Fun: What literary character would you want to meet and why?
Kim: Van Helsing, because I bet he would be super cool, have some great stories to tell and have a great collection of weapons.
Me: What was the hardest part of the writing and publishing process for you?
Kim: The hardest part of writing a book, for me, is always the first draft. Remember those books we used to read when we were teenagers and they offered chapter ending A, B or C, and you got to choose which direction the story would go? My mind is constantly presenting alternative endings to paragraphs and scenes and chapters. There are so many ways a story could go, that sometimes it’s hard for me to decide on the “perfect” direction. I love editing and fleshing out my stories, though. Fun!
Me: Anything else you'd like to add?
Kim: Writers love to hear from readers! If you enjoy a book--tell the writer!
Thanks so much for letting me blog with you Bethany!
Have A Terrific Tuesday All!