Thursday, March 28, 2013
Author Interview with Kylie Griffin
Today I have Kylie Griffin, author of the super awesome Light Blade series on my blog answering a few questions. She's a fantastically fun lady and a gem of an author to talk to. Check out what she has to say about writing and her new book ALLEGIANCE SWORN, which comes out in just 5 days!!! And don't forget to post your comment to win Light Blade goodies. I can tell you from personal experience that they are super cool!
Kylie, thank you so much for stopping by today. I'm dying to know some of the ins and outs of how you've created this amazing world.
Amanda, thanks for having me. I'm sure you've got some great questions, so let's get started!
Okay, first question. Are the Light Blade books the first books you've ever written? I know a lot of new authors say they have been writing books for years until they finally wrote one they thought would sell. Is that your experience?
Yes, I have been writing for years, Amanda. I started as an 11y.o. and continued right through high school, encouraged by two wonderful English teachers.
Most of the stories though will never see the light of day again. Those years are what I consider my apprenticeship, the time I spent learning the craft of writing, entering contests, going to workshops and learning about the publishing industry. Many of the ideas from these early pieces of work however will be salvaged and reused.
So, the Light Blade series aren't the first books I've written. If you're talking complete manuscripts, then they're #6, #7 & #8 of the work I've produced that are what I view as being of a publishable standard.
Do you have a special place where you do your writing?
I have an office/library where I like to do most of my writing. Sometimes I migrate with my laptop into the living room and write in my recliner, just for a change of scenery.
Something I do like when I'm writing is a burning incense or a scented candle. Other than that, I like silence. Music just distracts me. If it has lyrics then I end up listening to them or breaking out in verse. LOL.
I've always wanted to know, how do you choose the names of your characters?
I have half a dozen baby name books on my bookshelf. I'll flip through them looking for names, take part of one and a bit of another and combine them. I like saying them out loud and hearing the combination of sounds as well as how they look on paper. Sometimes I spot a name in the credits of a TV show and use it.
That's sounds really interesting, and hard to decide!
When you write your books, do you write from beginning to end, or do you have specific events in mind and then fill the story in around them?
My writing process has evolved over time. When I first started out I was a pantster. I took an idea and just wrote, and ended up with with many, many incomplete pieces of work.
Now, because of the publishing process, I've had to evolve and become more of a plotter. My editor needs a rough idea of what happens in the story when I submit a proposal. So I have to know he beginning, several pivotal scenes, and the end before I write it.
As for the nitty-gritty process of writing, I like to go from beginning to end rather than just writing scenes out of order and cobbling them together. I'll write fresh scenes in the morning and by evening go back over and edit it. The next morning I like to reread what I wrote the day before to get into the mind-set and go again from there.
Rinse and repeat for about 3-4 months and I end up with a finished book!
When you started the Light Blade series, what came first? Did you have an idea about the characters you wanted to write and then created the demons and the half demons and such to fight that, or did you want to write about demons and then develop the characters from there?
Annika first “appeared” to me exactly as readers discover her in the opening scene of VENGEANCE BORN - descending into father’s dungeon about to meet a human Light Blade warrior for the first time, about to begin her escape and achieve her goal of beginning a new life.
It's usually the characters I see first when I come up with an idea for a story. They're usually in a situation and I just play around with the idea (aka daydream) until the details take shape and form.
As the Light Blade series developed I put all the details of characters, places, animals, the language, politics, military and cultural information etc. into a series bible so I could keep track of everything. I even drew maps as the world grew (they appear in ALLIANCE FORGED an ALLEGIANCE SWORN).
As an avid reader of fantasy, I appreciate a map in the front of the book to see where everything is and get perspective on a world I've never been to.
Will you ever give us access to your "Series Bible" that you reference on your blog? I know we'd all be dying to see it!
LOL! You make the "Series Bible" sound like a Top Secret document! I guess it could be considered just that given it has blurbs and information about future stories in the Light Blade series.
It's not a particularly neat notebook, as I write most of the information in by hand (and I don't have the neatest handwriting!) and I've loose leaf pieces of paper shoved into it as well. The pages are divided into sections, one for each book I've written so far, and they have preliminary ideas jotted down for future books in this series. Each completed book section contains information under the heading I outlined in the previous question.
But, yes, to answer your question people have had access to it and probably will again. I've taken it to writers conferences and author talks as a "show and tell" item for workshops, and I have no doubt that it will go on similar future excursions. :-)
It's just so interesting to see how authors think through their process, I think it would be like an insight into your mind :)
Okay. Last question and this was one I was dying to know the answer to before I read ALLEGIANCE SWOWN. The events in Vengeance Born and Alliance Forged all seem to be leading us to a big battle. Will we get the battle in Allegiance Sworn? And will that wrap up the current plot line and move us into a new one, or will we not get the resolution quite yet?
Amanda, this is a great question!
Before I wrote ALLEGIANCE SWORN I'd have given the resounding answer of "Yes! A big battle is planned for this book! The Light Blades and Na'Reish will decide once and for all which of them will prevail over the other. And yes, this will wrap up the current plot line."But - yep, you knew that was coming, didn't you? - all I want to say is that the big battle morphed into something I wasn't expecting. No specific details (*grin*), but there is a battle or two, lives are threatened, decisions are made, people die.
As the story is set in demon territory for the most part, readers will get to see the Na'Reish up close and personal. And as Arek spends most of his time as a slave in this story, readers will see and experience Na'Reish culture from his perspective, and it ain't pretty!
For those also wondering if we get to see the demon leader, Savyr, you will. Arek and Imhara encounter him in a rather tension-filled scene that has unexpected consequences for both of them.
What I envisaged as "the big battle" and what the characters wanted, ended in a compromise that I hope readers will understand and like. Instead of one final battle, ALLEGIANCE SWORN is the first of many confrontations between opposing sides. I can't say more than that without giving away spoilers for this book and the next two (which I hope my editor will contract!).
I totally saw this as I was reading ALLEGIANCE SWORN. The demon realm was so interesting and the book had such a different feel to it. It was really powerful. And I thought I was going to be disappointed that there wasn't the resolution I was looking for, but I found it incredibly satisfying in the most unsatisfying way! If that makes any sense. LOL.
Amanda, it's been great being here on your blog! I really enjoyed answering your question about the "Series Bible" and I was wondering what sorts of things readers like authors to share with them along these lines.
Do you enjoy reading about how the author keep their world-building consistent? Deleted scenes? Character interviews? Something else? The information would be helpful to know for future guest blogs or when talking to readers at events or book signings.
Anyone who shares an answer & leaves an email address (so you can be contacted) will have their name thrown into the hat for a special Light Blade swag* draw in thanks! (*signed bookmarks, magnets, notepad & Allegiance Sworn tote bag) The winner will be announced Wednesday, 3rd April, 2013.
Kylie, thanks so much for coming! It's always so interesting to get a look inside a favorite author's brain. Thanks for hanging out with us today, and I can't wait to see where we go next in the Light Blade world!
Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when
she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend
the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her
Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young
children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.
Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she
volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community. Visit
her website at www.kyliegriffin.com
ALLEGIANCE SWORN (Bk#3 in the Light Blade series) comes out on 2nd April, 2013. For those new to the series, the mass market version of VENGEANCE BORN (Bk#1) releases on the same day. If you aren't familiar with the series, jump on the wagon! You don't know what your missing!
If you want an inside look at Kylie's books, check out my reviews!
Book #1 http://mrsclaresbooks.blogspot.com/2013/02/vengeance-born-by-kylie-griffin.html
Book #2 http://mrsclaresbooks.blogspot.com/2013/02/alliance-forged-by-kylie-griffin.html
Book #3 http://mrsclaresbooks.blogspot.com/2013/03/allegiance-sworn-by-kylie-griffin.html
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