Author Interview: Anna Kyss

Title: Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)
Author: Anna Kyss
Publisher: Kyss Publishing

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?
Anna Kyss: Wings of Shadow is the tale of two twins, who were separated at a very young age. While there is adventure, humor, and a love story, I also tried to weave in mythology and social Darwinism. The underlying theme goes further than the typical “good” versus “evil.” It really questions what lengths a society should take in order to survive.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?
Anna Kyss: I love how you phrased this because my writing journey began while on an actual journey. My other love in life is travel. I am rather talented at procuring great travel deals and I stumbled upon ridiculously cheap airfare to London from the United States. We are talking $200 roundtrip, so I impulsively booked a ticket in the middle of the night. There was no planning or consulting with anyone, just a quick click to the purchase button. It turned out to be the best impulsive click I have ever made!

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?
Anna Kyss: While traveling through England, the story just told itself. I spent time in the Cotswolds and within London; as the trip progressed, the novel became clearer and clearer in my mind. I found that I am very inspired by locations. I try to only write about places I have been to. I want the full sensory experience that my characters feel, so I can really bring the novel to life.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?
Anna Kyss: Yes, my dystopian novella will be released in late November. Cerulean has a unique premise, in comparison to much of the YA dystopians on the market. I cannot wait to share it.
I am also about 20% finished with the sequel to Wings of Shadow. The second book in the Underground Trilogy takes place in a completely different location and is told from a different character’s perspective.

BAB: Your current novel, “Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)”, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?
Anna Kyss: I am a huge fan of YA lit. This was my favorite genre to read, so it seemed only natural to want to write it. YA literature often has strong themes. I love how the characters are finding themselves, expanding their boundaries, and coming into their own powers (both literally and emotionally).

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for Meghan/Kiernan/Wish/Avery/etc?
Anna Kyss: There’s this magical faerie festival held in Eugene every year. People from all over the country come dressed like Fae and other magical folk. Years of faerie-watching helped to inspire many of my characters. Meghan emerged from the values I sought in a main character. I wanted a character who learns to be strong and discover herself throughout her journey. Too many stories have the rote formula of: girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl gives up everything for boy. Meghan takes a more balanced approach. While there is some great romance, she is just as focused on developing her own confidence, determining career choices, and honing her judgment. My hope is she will be a realistic role model for other teens.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?
Anna Kyss: I feel like a parent being asked to choose her favorite child! How can I possibly choose between Avery’s honesty and genuineness, Selena’s wisdom, and Wish’s whimsicalness?
Secret confession: the sequel will be told from Kiernan’s perspective. You can interpret that anyway you would like. It doesn’t have to mean I favor tortured, irresistible, bad boys, does it?

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Anna Kyss: After I wrote this novel! I always loved reading. I was that kid/teen/adult surrounded by an enormous pile of books. Writing my first novel was more of a challenge to myself. I really just wanted to see if I could do it. At some point along the way, this passion for writing emerged. Now, I cannot imagine not being able to tell my stories.

BAB: In writing, “Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)”, what was your most surprising discovery?
Anna Kyss: At times, the characters completely took over the story. They steered the novel in unplanned directions. Since this was my first novel, I wasn’t expecting how much they would guide the direction of the story.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?
Anna Kyss: Much of my writing was done late at night. When I could power through my exhaustion, there seemed to be a few hours of magical creativity where some of WOS’s best scenes would unfold.

BAB: My favorite scenes in the novel are; when Meghan attempts to escape by going up the chimney and “movie night” near the end with Kiernan. What are your favorite scenes?
Anna Kyss: My favorite character interaction scenes: I love the Sky Tree picnic and had tons of fun writing the Truth-or-Dare scene. But I also really enjoyed some of the scenes which wove in mythology and ritual, as well as Lord Killian’s conversations about Darwinism.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?
Anna Kyss: I went the indie route (publishing my novel myself). For the most part, it has been a great experience. I love the degree of control: being able to choose my own cover artist, having the final say editing-wise, and staying true to the story I envisioned. I would say the one negative is the amount of time spent on marketing. In some ways, that has kept me from completing the sequel to Wings of Shadow as quickly I would have liked.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?
Anna Kyss: This might sound cliché, but I really enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s work. As an author, I am a little in awe at how she could slip in subtle clues that would (books later) be revealed as major plot points. As an author of a series, I find that level of planning rather amazing.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?
Anna Kyss: I would love to give a huge thank you for making this dream of writing into my new reality. Each positive review and kind word means so much.

Available from Amazon & Amazon UK. To check out what is happening next for Anna just go here or click on her link in the writers links.

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A few special announcements

Back in September I wrote that I would be posting a couple of mystery posts, and the first one was made on the 13th October (which you can find here). Today I’m posting the second and in it I will be revealing a few secrets I’ve been keeping under wraps.

Before I begin, I do want to emphasize that this is only an announcement post, so details will be scarce for now, but I will come back to these topics at some point in the future to tell you all my plans in full.

Firstly, I am happy to reveal that “Forgotten” is going to be released as a paperback and it will be tentatively priced at $10.99. All being well, I am hopeful that it will be available in time for Christmas this year. This is something I’ve wanted for a while as I know that not everyone has a Kindle, or likes reading on a screen. International pricing and any shipping costs will be announced nearer the time.

Secondly, I would proudly like to introduce a series that I am calling “In The Shadows Shorts” (working title). These are going to be short stories / novelettes that are still a part of the “In The Shadows” universe, but will focus to expand events that would not necessarily be in the novels. The first short will be available exclusively on the Kindle in the next few months.

My third announcement is that soon you will be able to buy merchandise related to my novel. Whether you want a “Forgotten” mug, t-shirt or mouse mat, all of those items will be available (and many other products) in my online store, which will be coming soon… I’ll keep you all posted!

My last announcement is that between 29th – 31st October I will be running my Oktoberfest free promo to celebrate Halloween. Look out for my post on the 28th October for more information about this.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am in these developments! Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks and months.

Again, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone that has read my novel and to those who continue to read this blog.

Take Care.

Catherine

x

Recommended Reads: Part One

I know this is over a week late but…

Happy New Year!

I thought I would start of this year but doing two recommended reads posts, the first posted below and part two hopefully posted tomorrow after I have finished reading the book I want to recommend.

But on to two novels that I have read recently…

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (A book in the Jenna saga series)

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox  (A book in the Jenna saga series)
Author: Mary E Pearson
Publisher: Walker
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1406323012
ISBN-13: 978-1406323016

A seventeen-year-old girl wakes from a year-long coma and is told her name is Jenna Fox. She doesn’t remember the accident; she doesn’t remember her life; she doesn’t remember herself. Her parents show her home movies of her past, but is she really the same girl she sees on the screen? When the memories start to come, they come with questions – questions no one wants to answer. How did the accident happen? Why does her own grandmother hate her so? And why does she feel her parents are hiding her away? Who is Jenna Fox?

Available in paperback from Amazon & Amazon UK. Also available in Kindle & Kindle UK.

editors note: Even though I did like this book it took a lot for me to get in to it but near the end I couldn’t put it down and was crying, a sequel is planned for release this year and I will definitely be checking that out.

Eternal (The second book in the Tantalize series)

Title: Eternal
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Publisher: Walker
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1406325007
ISBN-13: 978-1406325003

At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, has his work cut out for him.

Available in paperback from AmazonAmazon UK.

editors note: I adore this novel and I wept from start to finish and it was only when I got to the end that I realize that it was book two, so now I have a couple more book in this series to look forward to reading.

I hope to have up part two in the next few days.

Happy Reading!

Recommended Reads: Night of the Solstice

With these two books, I have to admit that I haven’t read them yet but they are going to be re-issued this year (May 25, 2010) and I thought I would just list them. They are the first two novels that L. J. Smith ever got published and sometimes it good to look back on how a journey started.

The Night of the Solstice

Title: The Night of the Solstice
Author: L. J. Smith
Publisher: Aladdin
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1416998403
ISBN-13: 978-1416998402

When Claudia Hodges-Bradley meets a fox, she knows it will be an extraordinary day. Not just any fox, this vixen is the magical familiar of the sorceress Morgana Shee. For years, Morgana has guarded the solitary gate between Earth and the Wildworld, a shimmering parallel universe where legends still live. She alone holds the secret of the mirrors that serve as the last surviving passage to enchantment. But Morgana has been betrayed and imprisoned in the Wildworld, and the fox is determined to recruit Claudia and her siblings for the rescue mission. Armed only with courage and determination, Alys, Charles, Jane and Claudia must save Morgana before the winter solstice, when evil sorcerer Cadel Forge plans to escape the Wildworld and conquer Earth. And with December 21st only 2 weeks away, there is no time to lose…

Available from Amazon & Amazon UK.

Heart of Valor

Title: Heart of Valor
Author: L. J. Smith
Publisher: Aladdin
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1416998411
ISBN-13: 978-1416998419

California is the setting for this sequel to Night of the Solstice (Macmillan, 1987), which combines Arthurian legend and original fantasy. Thia Pendriel, a power-hungry sorceress from the Wildworld, awakens the great magician Merlin; Alys, Charles, Janie, and Claudia must once again help the sorceress Morgana defend the world. Smith’s imaginative reworking of legend casts Merlin not as a sage, but as an unscrupulous trickster.

Available from Amazon & Amazon UK.

Promotion101: LibraryThing

I came across LibraryThing about a month ago and even though I will be talking more about LibraryThing in an upcoming post.

So, how will LibraryThing help you promote your book(s)? Well, LibraryThing is like a giant book club and by placing your book on the site (which you can do for free or for a small fee if you want to post as many books as you like – check the site for more details) and getting it in front of potential readers to review your books. Also by signing up to can participate in author chats and loads more.

Also, check out LibraryThing’s blog for new features, plans, and announcements.

Look out for an upcoming post regarding LibraryThing later this year.

Published in: on February 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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