I'm very excited to be hosting Day Ten of Kaza Kingsley's whirlwind tour through the blogosphere. Let me reiterate that her Erec Rex series is fabulous. I am reading it slowly to my little guy, but everyday I'm tempted to just sit and finish it myself. Kaza Kingsley is a wonderfully creative writer. Erec Rex, a Harry Potter-type series, is a ton of fun and absolutely worth reading.
The amazing thing about this tour, is that there are original questions/answers and pictures at every stop!
So, here goes...
1/16 – Deliciously Clean Reads ; Emily Beeson
Emily – Thank you so much for hosting me on Deliciously Clean Reads. What a great site! It’s been fun, and I look forward to see if your readers have any comments or questions. Also, enjoy the kid picture of me below! Readers will get to see me “grow up” along this blog tour!
-Kaza, This picture is SO adorable. It looks like you came straight out of a Harry Potter movie...or maybe an Erec Rex movie? Let's begin.
-What is your favorite thing about being an author?
I think it’s split right down the middle between two things – and they are complete opposites of each other!
First, for me, there is nothing better than escaping into my writing. It’s so satisfying for me to plunge in, and get so involved in the story in my head, that I lose myself. It’s escapist, really, like seeing a movie or listening to your favorite music. And it recharges me, too.
But, also, I like the opposite end of the spectrum just as much. Along with the quiet, solitary side of writing, I also enjoy meeting people, especially fans who love my series. Going to schools, talking to kids and adults, recharges me in another way, and gives me the inspiration I need to keep going.
-What is your least favorite?
The pressure!! I wish I could just focus on the books, and I hope to get to a point when I no longer worry about hitting sales marks and wonder where my books will fall on the lists. Unfortunately it’s a real part of being an author today. Book sales mean better placement in stores that lead to better book sales.
I wish I knew what the future held for the Erec Rex series. But at least I feel I’ve hit a point where I don’t have to worry quite so much any more. Cross fingers!!
-What do you want readers to take away from your books?
The most important thing to me is that my readers come away feeling like they’ve had a great escape. I’d like my books to be a safe place for kids and adults to go, to experience harrowing adventure from the safety of their armchairs (or beanbags…)
But beyond that, I do hope readers will come away with a few more things, too. I made Erec face some tough choices, and I hope these will inspire readers to question how they might handle the same situation. Do you do what’s easy, do something to help yourself only, or do you do what’s right, even if it puts you at risk? How far are you willing to go out of your way to help others in need? I think some of the hardest choices we face involve doing what we should do instead of what we want to do.
Similarly, the books also deal with themes of trust, prejudice and self-doubt that I hope give people some more thoughts to chew on…
-Do you consider your books to be for children mainly, or adults too?
I actually wrote the books for adults to enjoy, going with a story that I found interesting, rather than one written just for kids. There are definitely some references and jokes in the books that most kids won’t pick up on.
But at the same time I was conscious of keeping the words in the story relatively simple, so that kids wouldn’t be put off. It was important to me to keep it clean, too! There were a few times when, in a rough draft, a swear word might pop out of one of the characters mouths in a really tense situation. Of course, I changed those words. There are much better ways of expressing the same ideas without bad language. Usually more creative ones!
The beauty of fantasy is that it’s a great medium for stories that interest both kids and adults! That makes it a great genre for parents to read to their kids, too.
-You've had a lot of interviews, posted in your website. Have any of them gone badly?
I have had a lot of interviews! Luckily most go well, but there was one once that turned a corner and went terribly. It makes me cringe to remember it! It was a radio interview. The host had heard there would be twelve books in the series, but I corrected him and said it would be eight. Somehow that upset him, I think. For the rest of the interview he became so negative and disparaging! I tried to keep my wits about me, and bit my tongue until it was over. Not pleasant, though!
I actually didn’t decide on the main character of this series until after I knew the underlying story theme, which was the legend of Hercules. After I knew that, I had to go with a boy. But his best friend, Bethany, is a very big part of the series as well. I hope that evens things out for girl readers.
-Was it hard to write from a boy's perspective?
Surprisingly, no! Writing his character did put me in touch with my mischievous side, though. I think I was still able to find enough kid in me to get into his head, as well as his friends’. I guess once you know a character well you kind-of become them, so it gets easy.
Kaza, Thanks so much for stopping here. I've truly enjoyed hosting your tour.
Readers-Kaza will be checking back all week to answer any questions or comments, so talk away...and here's the schedule if you're itching for more...