Q: How did you get into fantasy?
I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy since junior high school, but never thought I could write a book. I’ve always made up stories in my head, though. I started reading urban fantasy with Anita Blake and Harry Dresden, then got hooked on Richelle Meade’s succubus books and Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.
About six years ago I bought a Nook, and discovered indie published authors such as H.P. Mallory and read about Amanda Hocking’s amazing success. I mentioned to a friend that I had a story I thought would sell, and she encouraged me to try and write it. The result was The Telepathic Clans Saga.
I’ve just released the third book in my Chameleon Assassin series, Chameleon’s Challenge. The series is sort of a cross between urban fantasy and dystopian science fiction set 200 years in the future, “after the oceans rose and the bombs fell.” In an exchange between the main character and her father, the question of “what is magic arises”:
“Rumors of chameleons have been around for a long time. And, of course, legends of shape changers are ancient.”
“But those are just fairy tales.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Are they?”
“Daaad. That’s not funny. All those old stories depend on magic.”
“And what’s the difference between magic and what you do?”
I stared at him.
“Magic is manipulation of the physical world using some sort of energy,” he said. “Using radio waves to transmit sound does the same thing. Clark’s Law. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
“But I’m not using any technology.”
“I think the same principle applies. We don’t have the science to explain it, so it might as well be magic.”
Q: What sub-genre of fantasy do your books/series fall under? Is there a different sub-genre of fantasy that you would like to experiment writing in and why? What is the next project you’re working on? When do you hope to have it available?
I’ve written eight books in the urban fantasy genre on the edge of contemporary science fiction. The book I’m currently working on is high fantasy, a Tolkienesque trilogy. I’m hoping to finish it this summer and publish it by the middle of September. I’m usually late, though. The trilogy is called (subject to change) Chronicles of the Soulless, and the first book is Winds of Prophecy.
Q: What makes your book(s)/series stand out?
I don’t do shifters and vampires and witches, at least in the conventional sense, which is what most of urban fantasy seems to be now days. I bend the tropes a little. The other thing is I write for an adult audience. So much of UF is written in a YA voice, and I don’t do that.
Q: Do you have a favorite character from your books and/or series?
I think my characters are what makes my books stand out. My current lead character, Libby Nelson, is one that I love. Rhiannon Kendrick from my Telepathic Clans Saga is another one. They’re similar in some ways. Both are kick-ass and don’t care much about what other people think.
Q: Do you have a favorite book cover? Why is it your favorite? Who designed it?
I have recently re-covered my Telepathic Clans series, and love a couple of those like they were my children. The cover for Succubus Ascendant is my favorite of all of them.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Be careful who you listen to. Everyone has an opinion, everyone has advice. Listen to those who are successful. Quality is important. If you can tell a good story, the writing doesn’t have to be Pulitzer quality, but the presentation does. Good covers, good blurbs, and good editing are important. Yes, some people are successful selling books with crappy editing. The authors would be more successful it they did things the right way. You want to have pride in a book with your name on it.
Thank you BR Kingsolver for participating in this Author Interview. Discover BR Kingsolver’s latest books at the Amazon page.