MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR K.A. PARKINSON!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Kelly Parkinson, but I write under the penname KA Parkinson. I write YA Fantasy
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The Chosen Chronicles all started from a crazy 10 second dream (I know cliché right?) but that really was how it started. In the dream I saw this ancient man sitting in front of a crumbling fireplace staring at a dying fire. I could see the flickers of flame on his face, the deepness of his thoughts in his eyes, and feel his concern. That was it.
When I woke up I knew this man had a secret, a secret he was bound to protect. I started to think about all the scary legends and myths in the world and how they could all be connected. Then I started thinking about how if there really were demons and monsters then we would need someone to protect us from them.
The ideas snowballed and before long I had Chosen ones, a Hidden race, and a growing list of monsters and heroes I had to give a story to.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
When I was little I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. From then on I was hooked on all things fantasy.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I researched a lot of ancient myths and legends across the world in order to create my monsters. I also studied a lot of ancient languages, especially Native American as I created the language of the Hidden.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Hmmm, probably the one I’m currently working on. I’ve learned so much about the characters, both the good guys and the bad, and I’m loving how all the plot threads are coming together. It’s hard writing the final book, but fulfilling too.
Was it always meant to become a series?
I always had the idea that it might be three books, I didn’t think it would end up being four.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
LOL, I get up and take my son to school (we live in the middle of nowhere so it’s a 26 mile round trip). Then I come home and try to get in a few hours of either drafting or marketing, in between housework and errands, before its time to leave and pick him back up from school.
I answer emails and do marketing at my desk where the screen is bigger for my old-lady eyes. But to write I love to use my laptop and move around. In the winter it’s the cozy chair by the fire. In the summer it’s my back porch or the couch. I’m hoping soon to have a “she-shed” out back where I can escape to and createJ.
Since my writing times are never consistent I do a monthly goal instead of a daily one. Right now (because its crunch time for book 4) I have a hefty goal of 37,500 words per month.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
The Chosen Redemption is the title of book 4 in The Chosen Chronicles, with a spring 2019 publishing goal.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
WAY important. I like to make up my characters names, I’m weird that way. I think about who they are and what they stand for, and then I just start saying random things aloud until I find something that fits. Nearly every name in the book has a special meaning, sometimes just to me—it won’t ever show up in the books.
Where do your ideas come from?
HAHA that’s a loaded question. I don’t really know. Sometimes I might get a spark of an idea from a real-life situation, but other than my characters being relatable to real people, my worlds are just my imagination gone wild.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Science Fiction. Totally.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting started. I often sit down to write and then feel overwhelmed at what I need to do and I get sidetracked. Once I get going it’s hard to stop—I just have to get over that first hurdle.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think book trailers are awesome! I do have trailers for two of my books. My publisher made them for me. My favorite is for book three A Chosen Path.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My boys. Hands down. I can’t take credit for how awesome they are, but I will take credit for giving birth to them.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Inspiring future generations of writers. I LOVE going to schools and talking to kids about books and writing. But most of all, I LOVE meeting my youth readers and having them say that they liked my books because, even though they are fantasy, they were able to relate to the characters challenges and came away feeling inspired and powerful in their own lives.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Ooooo I hope I’m a grandma reading stories to my grandkiddos
Have you always liked to write?
For as long as I can remember. Took me until I was in my 30’s before I got brave enough to share it with anyone though.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. It’s a hard road, but if you love it, it’s worth it. Apply constructive criticism where its useful, but when people are just plain mean, ignore them! Don’t ever let someone’s cruel words stop you from going after your dreams. Keep going. Keep learning. Keep dreaming.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Paint. Pictures, houses, furniture, anything.
THE CHOSEN: (by K.A. Parkinson)
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I try to look at bad reviews objectively. Does the review make a valid point? Is there a writing/story issue I can work on? Or is the reviewer just being mean? If they are making a valid point then I look at what I can do to improve as a writer. If they are just being mean I just tell myself everyone is entitled to their own opinion and try to ignore—but truth be told, they sting, no matter what you try to tell yourself, which is why I don’t normally go searching out my reviews, LOL.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Writing process, getting started. Publishing process, marketing—its stressful!
What are you working on now?
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
How about a peek at the prologue?
From the outside, his prison guards looked normal—dirty brown uniforms, black shoes, batons, guns on the hip.
But this was no ordinary penitentiary.
Only the guards lifeless eyes told what they really were—human pawns whose humanity had been blackened by the Dark. The Darkened could have tried to hide the truth, remained far enough away for him not to look into their eyes…but the smell gave it away.
It wasn’t the odor of human waste, sweat, and rotting food—the smell you would expect from a godforsaken place such as this. It was the quieter sweet tang of death mixed with sulfur and earth. And something else, a smell that tickled his senses and triggered his fight-or-flight reflex.
Not all evil had a stench, just pure evil—the kind of stinking malignancy that meant the Dark lurked here in force—and not every human being could smell it.
LAFAR (Light Elves) (by K.A. Parkinson)
Where did your love of books come from?
My mom. She read to my brothers and I every night. It was my favorite part of the day.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
C.S. Lewis—The Chronicles of Narnia, JRR Tolkien—The Lord of the Rings, and of course JK Rowling and Harry Potter!
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Forrest Bastian, because he continually surprises me
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Distraction. I can’t create when someone is watching TV in the next room, or talks to me.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I think it’s a balance of both. I create with my imagination, but as I go forward and meet more fans of the books, I’ve recognized that I have a responsibility to remember them and how invested they are in the characters and story. Especially as it relates to the mortality of a character.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have the best critique group in the world of both agent and unpublished authors. I wouldn’t dare put out my final book without them!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️