Interview with Kim Falconer - Author of Road to the Soul and Path of the Stray (Quantum Encryption #1) published by Harper Collins.
In short Kim is described as an epic science fiction/fantasy writer that writes about real people, in extra ordinary situations. Her writing covers a range of traits that include nano-technology, witchcraft, quantum computers, fast horses, stunning tattoos and environments on the brink of destruction. Her writing is vastly contrasting.
My kind of writer.
1. As a start, kindly tell our readers a bit more about yourself and your writing.
Hi Nadine. Thank you for inviting me to My Addiction’s blog site.
I’m a professional daydreamer, astrologer and novelist. I’ve been writing all my life, beginning with volumes of epic poetry (unpublished for good reasons). I moved on to non-fiction, articles mostly on everything from astrology to childbirth to herbal medicine to mythology. I sold my first novel in 2007 and have been writing one or two books a year ever since. It’s very intense and I love it!
2. Path of the stray is the feature book at the Ian Somerhalder Foundation Book Club that was launched on May the 13th 2012. From some research I have managed to understand that the magical lands of Gaela are on the brink of a war. Can you tell our readers a bit more about what to expect within the novel?
I was very excited that my series caught the eye of Mr Somerhalder and is featured in the book club. I think it is the handling of the dystopian elements of the story brought it to attention. POTS immerses the reader in a post apocalyptic 21st century Earth where climate, environment and habitats are changing, whole species are dropping like flies and geo-engineering has gone terribly wrong. Their only currency is drinking water so you get the idea. It’s pretty rough.
Juxtaposed is a parallel world called Gaela, a magical agrarian hegemony where genders are equal, live is revered and thoughts can become things, instantly. There are techno-witches and shape-shifters on both sides of the ‘corridors’ and some of them learn to cross over. Between the temple wars, the lost quantum sentient, the rogue Lupins and the clock ticking on Earth, expect a wild ride! Enjoy the book trailer!
3. From everything that you have captured on your website it’s clear that you deal with a fairly busy lifestyle. Where do you get time to sit down and concentrate on writing an entire novel?
Priorities. They are absolutely essential. Of course it also helps that I have a ridiculously high work ethic, and I live alone (if you don’t count the menagerie.)
The key to writing a novel, and especially to writing commercial fiction where you want to be publishing one or two new works a year, you have to make the writing come first. Period. You have a room. It has a door. You go in and close it and you don’t come out until your day’s goal is met. For me that’s 2000 - 3000 words a day of new story, or x amount of pages edited or proofed, depending on the schedule.
Usually I am writing a draft of a manuscript, editing the previous one and making notes on the next one at any given time so I spend different sessions on each project. It takes focus and discipline. And love. You have to love it, otherwise, what’s the point?
4. As an author, how did you go about finding and editor and getting published on such a large scale?
I didn’t start big. First I wrote articles for magazines. It was a good way to learn how to pitch an idea, expand it into a piece, work with the editor (that takes practice) and finally see it in print. There is much to learn from that process, including getting used to rejection. This is vital. All writers get way more rejections than sales. Learning how to see rejection as a stepping stone to publication can be the difference between quitting and getting the big sale!
If you’re in it, you don’t give up. (My first few novels never sold, but that’s probably for the best.)You keep writing, learning and listening. My fifth novel was The Spell of Rosette and after working on it for a few years, including sending it to a manuscript assessment agency and working and reworking problem areas, I finally thought I had something that could be used for more than a doorstop.
I spent a further year or more finding an agent. Again you query with your best shot and you see each rejection as another step towards your goal. Once I found an agent, he made a sale within a few weeks. Of course they wanted a trilogy and I learned to write better faster. You don’t take years to produce a work in the commercial fiction world. When it’s game on, you power. But that’s part of the fun too!
5. How do you approach your writing? A lot of writers build their story. They first develop their characters, then develop their plot and then start writing. Others just jump into it from the word go.
My books are character driven and have always begun with a grain of truth, an idea from a painting, a song, a setting, a dream, a controversy . . . but basically I begin with a character in a pickle. For example, Quantum Enchantment sprang from the thought, ‘What would happen if a girl came home to find her family murdered.’ The answer to this question grew into a three book series covering a journey into parallel universes, quantum computers, magic spells and infinite possibilities. The story is actually still going! If you have an idea, a character and a problem, you give them a bit of life and they run with it. In the end, it’s all you can do to keep up!
6. How many novels have you done that have been published thus far? Where can readers find them?
There are six novels in the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption series out at the moment with a novella coming soon. Worldwide, they are all available from Amazon Kindle in ebook format and from Fishpond.com in paperback. Free shipping!
7. As an unpublished author myself, what tips do you have for others out there that are striving to reach similar dreams as yourself?
You keep writing and you keep improving your craft. That might mean being part of a critique group, taking courses or working with an assessment agency or editor. The big thing is, you don’t give up. Period.
You get visible. Blog, Facebook, tweet, go to conventions, take workshops, go to writer’s festivals. Having a web presence is essential for authors and there is a lot of self promotion involved once you get published, even with a major. Be ready for that and start building your audience now.
You participate. Go to other blogs. Comment. Connect. Research what publishers would be interested in your work and be active on their sites. Editors read them! Writing itself is done in solitude but the social media requires you to be ‘out there’ so use that PR time to connect, connect, connect.
8. Based on your vastly different interests give us an update on June’s astrology chart. Where can fans keep in touch for regular updates?
Ha! June Tip o’ the Month is live. It’s an exciting time, wildly up and down energetically. We are in the season of the eclipse and have had the rare Venus retrograde ‘occult’ the sun just days ago. Think radical reinvention of our values. It’s a period of growth and inner change.
I have daily updates for my facebook fans, shorter versions for my Tweeple and periodic scopes and insights on The 11th House. Feel free to drop in and glean.
9. As a vampire addict myself, I came about your article “A Vampire Goes on a Journey” which was hosted by The Voyager Blog. Your discussions started off about how handsome film vampires have changed the general perception from what people related to in Bram Stokers’ novels. What is your opinion?
My most recent thoughts on the evolution of the vampire are here. It’s not so much that the film vamps have changed the public. Turn it around. My thesis is that we are seeing a change in the depiction of vampires in film and literature because there is a change in the collective unconscious.
As a species we are forming new relationship to our ‘shadow’ elements and repressed ‘monsters’ and that is reflected in our art. What was once a hideous demon is now someone we can connect to, dialog with. Maybe even love. I see this evolution of the vampire reflecting the evolution of human consciousness. Towards enlightenment.
10. Have you ever come across those humans that indeed struggle with the basis on which these mythical creatures had been created? And if you did how would you relate?
If I have met someone struggling in such a way, I didn’t realise it. Would it matter though? I relate to people, plants, animals, stones, rivers and storms with equal respect. And of course, like attracts like. If someone is in my space, they have something to do with me. Everything is connected. At the core level, there is no one ‘else’.
11. Final words of wisdom to fans and colleagues.
No really, thank you! That’s my tip!
There is magic in that energy. If you want your life to expand, your joy to grow and your life to be everything you can dream of, appreciation is the fast track. The more you can find to be thankful for, right here and right now in this red hot moment, the more you will have tomorrow, and the day after that . . . and the day after that.
Appreciation is one of the highest forms of love. Try it on!