INTO THE UNKNOWN — AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
Welcome to my first author interview! I have the really talented—and funny, as you’ll see—Kasia Bacon here to launch this new segment. And I’m not kidding when I say talented. Kasia’s book The Highlander has been nominated for Best Fantasy in the 2017 Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards! How cool is that? There are a lot of writers out there and a lot of really great books, so being nominated for this award when the competition is so stiff is amazing. Take the time to read my interview with Kasia, but don’t forget to check out the blurb for The Highlander below before you click on the link and go buy it, lol. And now, for the good part—my interview. I know you’re going to enjoy getting to know Kasia.
First up. As a writer myself, I’m always curious about how others work. Is there anything weird about your writing process? Amuse us with some interesting quirk.
I always start with the final scene and then I write the beginning. As for the middle, I kind of go backwards and forwards. So, as you can gather, it’s hardly a process, but rather, total chaos.
Ha, ha. Well, for what it’s worth, I’m a linear writer, and it’s still chaos. Next up—When did you learn that stories have power, and how did that affect you?
At nursery (or kindergarten, for dear Americans). I told a scary story to other children—they freaked out, cried and couldn’t sleep at nap time—and I loved every second. The teacher had words with my parents afterwards.
My focal ambition as an author is to invoke emotions and make my readers feel, and feel deeply. Being the sadist I am, it delights me to hear that my stories unglued my readers or caused them to cry (ugly) tears. That’s by far my favourite reaction, however, err, odd that may sound. It just means a great deal to me to know that I’ve impacted someone on such a raw emotional level.
I completely relate to that. One of my mantras is to touch hearts. That’s why I write, so I get it. But it makes it hard when you don’t reach everybody, even though that’s inevitable. Some people just won’t like our books. How do you react to that? Are you a masochist? Ha, ha. Or, in other words, do you read reviews of your book?
I do sporadically, yes. To some degree, I find reading reviews to be educational. They can be helpful in terms of feedback—what worked for readers and what proved a bust. Any artist, in my view, must be prepared for receiving critiques the moment they release their creation, whatever it is, into the world. So ultimately, developing a thicker skin and the ability to avoid taking things personally might be a good idea. However, it’s easier said than done. But at the end of the day, all opinions are subjective, and there is no accounting for taste. Not everyone will like my stuff (some will downright hate it, LOL) and that’s a fact I have made peace with.
I’m grateful to people who leave a comment or rating upon finishing my stories. Reviews mean a lot to independent authors.
They absolutely do. Moving on from readers to the characters they love—or hate, if you could only be known by one of your characters, who would it be and why that one?
No doubt Lochan Féyes—a half-breed Elf and the Order assassin. Lochan is a silent, complex type who thinks a lot, but speaks little. When he opens his mouth, snark comes out. His stoic demeanour, however, hides a warm, loving and loyal heart.
Lochan was the first character I dreamt up, and he will always remain special to me.
Yes, the crusty exterior but beautiful interior. I like it. Lochan’s an interesting name, too. Do you need to know your characters’ names before you start writing?
Yes!!! Every time. I wouldn’t even attempt to start writing a character before naming them. It simply wouldn’t work otherwise—it’s almost as if by giving them a name I bring them to life.
As I always say, names are of particular importance in my genre. Fantasy is governed by its own rules. I mean, I cannot see myself writing about an Elven warrior called Bob or Tom, no offence to Bobs (or Toms). It just wouldn’t invoke the right vibe.
Being a linguist, I love coming up with the names for my characters, as well as the geographical places where their adventures happen. That’s always been a super easy and fun task for me, and the starting point of my writing process; they just come to me. I admit to being influenced by words of Celtic, Scandinavian and Japanese origin.
Interesting! I need to know my characters’ names, too. In fact, if I don’t get it right, the story stalls. Okay, one more question before I let you go. Do you write alone or in public?
During the day, I mainly write at a rustic coffee shop near my house. Unless I can get my usual table, I’m oddly wordless. I’m a creature of habit with a mild OCD. What can I do? *laughs*. I also write at home in the evenings. Wherever I write though, I always use headphones. In silence, I can hardly force a word out. Edgy music blaring in my ears is a must.
I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.
As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.
A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.
To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.
But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.
Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series, and not a stand-alone installment. Reading THE MUTT is crucial for its full enjoyment.
The Highlander has been nominated for Best Fantasy in the 2017 Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards
Buy links for The Highlander: