Author Interview: Kay L Moody

Kay L Moody

Kay is the author of the fantastic Elements of Kamdaria series, which I personally love. She has very kindly agreed to an author interview. So without farther ado, here we go.

1. You say in your goodreads profile that you believe in happy endings, what is the best happy ending you have read?
I love the ending in Jane Eyre. It’s my favorite book, and a lot of that is because of the happy ending. I love it because things happen a little “conveniently” in order for the happy ending to come. However, those “convenient” things only happen after Jane has continually chosen to do the right thing even when it’s hard. I truly believe life is like that sometimes. When we keep trying to do the right thing, everything will eventually work out.
2. Which of your characters do you think is most like you?
This is an easy question to answer, but unfortunately, I haven’t yet published the book featuring this character. But I will someday! Her name is Rose, and she’s a spy for a rebel group against the government. At her core, she is kind and loving. But she has also been through a lot of difficult experiences that caused her to put up walls. She has a rough exterior that very few people get through. She’s also extremely smart and highly dedicated to her cause. Actually, she’s a lot cooler than me, but I guess you could say she’s who I aspire to be.
3. If you could have any mythical or fantasy creature as pet, what would it be? And what would you name it?
I wish I could have a pet phoenix! Ever since reading Harry Potter, I have a deep fascination for them. I love the idea of life being reborn from ash. I’d want a yellow phoenix and I’d probably name him Lemon.
4. What gave inspiration for the The Elements of Kamdaria series?

Several months ago, I was browsing a stock photography site and looking for some inspiration for a short story I had to write. In my search, I came across this gorgeous blue crown made of water. My mouth dropped, and it was love at first sight. Then, I had a thought. What if the crown started as water, but then, turned into ice?

Then, I had another thought. What if someone melted the crown? And what if there was a competition? And some scary bad guys? And a school where students learned to manipulate the elements?

The ideas kept flowing, and soon, I had way too much for just a short story. I had an entire series-length of ideas full of court intrigue, elemental magic, enemies to lovers romance, epic sword scenes, trials, escapes, battles, and a seriously awesome main character.

By the time I wrote the short story for my website, I already knew I had to expand it into an entire series. That’s how The Elements of Kamdaria was born.
The book cover designer actually used that crown on the cover of the first novella, Ice Crown. I love it because it fits the story perfectly and because it was the inspiration for the entire series!

5. Was the Truth Seer trilogy the first series you wrote or have you written some that are not yet published?
The Truth Seer trilogy was the third series I wrote. I have two other series I wrote beforehand that I intend to publish someday, but probably not for several years. One series takes place in an alternate universe. In a world where people are judged for their usefulness, a girl who is mute struggles to prove her abilities both to the professors in her new school and to the young man who supposedly loves her.

The second series takes place in the future in an imaginary country. It features a rebel spy who loves her country. She knows everything about combat, politics, and intrigue, but when it comes to making friends or falling in love, she’s clueless.

I also wrote one other book I haven’t published. It’s historical fantasy. Basically, a servant girl falls in love with the prince, and it leads to all sorts of romantic shenanigans.

 

6. Do you have a notebook full of ideas or do you only focus on one at a time?
I have sooooo many ideas. It’s pretty ridiculous to be honest. It’s not just one notebook either. I have about twenty notebooks that contain anywhere from a few pages of dialogue to fully outlined novels. I’m pretty good about only writing one thing at a time, but I’m always adding new story ideas to my ever-growing pile. In my heart, I want to turn all those ideas into completed books, but I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to do it. Plus, I keep adding ideas, which doesn’t help.

7. How many more books do you plan to write in the Elements of Kamdaria series?
The Elements of Kamdaria will have a total of twelve novellas. There will be three groups of four, and each group will feature a different area of Kamdaria.

The first four novellas take place in the inner ring (the Crown), but the next four novellas will take place in the middle ring (the Gate). The last four books will take place in the dangerous outer ring (the Storm).

Along with the twelve novellas, I will also have three large paperbacks that include four novellas each. The first paperback will have all the Crown books (novellas 1-4), the second will have the Gate books (novellas 5-8), and the last will have the Storm books (9-12).

 

8. If you could have any character from any series as a best friend, who would it be?
I would be best friends with Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles. I love how she’s down to earth and kind, but also a little spunky.
9. Have you ever found yourself thinking “Did I really write that” whilst editing?
I have thought this exact thing so many times! Sometimes it’s because the writing was incredible, but usually it’s because the writing was terrible. 😉 Luckily, I go through several revisions before I ever send it to an editor, which helps a lot. I also have amazing editors who help me spot plot holes and tighten up flowery sentences.
10. What is your favourite part of the writing process?
The best part is being able to read what I’ve written. Sadly, the actual writing part is not nearly as fun. I always feel like I have this incredible mountain range of ideas in my head, but when I try to put it into words, it turns out more like an ant hill. Getting the first draft down is always a little painful.
Luckily, I do enjoy revising a little bit more. Once the words are down, I have the freedom to spend fifteen minutes choosing the perfect word in one particular sentence. When I’m writing that first draft, I try to write as fast as possible just to get the story down. I’m always afraid I’ll forget some of my ideas because I didn’t write them fast enough.
11. Who is the first person who gets to read your books?
My husband reads everything first. After our kids go to bed, I often make him read anything I wrote that day. Luckily, he loves my Kamdaria series, so he’s always really excited to read it. My oldest son also gets to read my books before they are published. He loves them, but he thinks I kill way too many people. He still hasn’t forgiven me for a certain someone’s death in Ice Crown.
12. Do you plan to only write fantasy or do you have ideas to write in other genres too?
I love writing fantasy, but I also love when fantasy and science fiction collide. I have a thing for cool technology and awesome tech gadgets. I also love it when fantasy has dystopian undertones. I’ll probably stick to those genres for a long time, but maybe someday I’ll venture into something new.
Thank you Kay for your very full and interesting answers. I had a great time reading them.
If you fancy checking out the Elements of Kamdaria series, click on the picture to take to the goodreads page.
ice crown

The Kingdom

the kingdom

Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom™ is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species―formerly extinct―roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty―and what it truly means to be human.

Review

This book was slow burner for me, but in a good way. It was detailed without being over whelming. I loved the setting, I imagined it as Disney Land mixed with a large zoo of every kind of animal imaginable. The switching of timeline was well done and kept me guessing. I did work out the end (well most of it) but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

Ana was a great main character, she thought through everything and discovered the truth slowly. This was a unique book where you cannot acuse a charcter of being niave since she was a hybrid and part machine, so her programming did not allow certain things which allows for her niavity.

I liked Owen, he seemed to geniuninly like Ana and want to do what was right even though it wasn’t his job. I would have liked to see a little more of his interaction with people other than Ana to get who he really was as a person but it wasn’t needed for the story.

I liked the trial, was a great simple way to get information across. Ana does not lie but her way of bending the truth was genius.

The ending was a little lacklustre for me, it just seemed too easy and very well planned out like the rest of the book. This is the only down side in a very good book for me.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and was always looking forward to picking it up.

4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful covers

I recently discovered this new series and not only is it a great story the covers are gorgeous. There may be more in the series but when I am posting this, this is all there is. As I have not yet finished the series I do not know if it’s wrapped up nicely or a cliffhanger waiting for the next installment.

ice crownwind crowndust crownflame crown

They are quite simplistic but I like this style, doesnt give too much away but you know at a glance they are all from the same series.

If you want to check out the first one click here.

Synopsis of Ice Crown.

The competition could save her life…
But only if she wins.

Talise can manipulate the elements with ease; water, air, earth, and fire all bend to her will. As a citizen of the Storm—a crime-laden land where death is the only constant—her only chance for a better life is to become Master Shaper.

A competition for the position takes place at the end of her training years. If she wins, she would live in the palace, work for the emperor, and escape her inevitable death in the Storm. But she’s not the only one with a chance to win.

Aaden is another talented student. As a citizen of the Crown, he was born with unlimited privilege and resources. When someone from the Crown wants to win, they do. End of story. And his shaping is unlike anything Talise has ever seen.

Complicating matters, Talise’s loved one in the Storm gives her reason to abandon the competition altogether, forcing her to make an impossible choice.

Torn between duty and freedom, she must learn that clinging to the past, might destroy her future.

For fans of Red Queen, the Grishaverse, and Avatar the Last Airbender, this desperate fantasy world has elemental magic and tension you could cut with a knife.

Have you read this series or is it one you would check out? Let me know what you think.

Happy reading

Emma

Arcane Blaster Casters- Now Available

I do not usually post about games, but since my partner and his friend have made a game and it is available on Kickstarter now I thought I would share it with some magic lovers. Wanna check it out on Kickstarter click here.

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The Creators are Malcolm and Mihai. They have been friends for a long time and working on this game for about 5 years.

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It’s a game where you play as a Caster, casting spells to try and kill off the other casters. It’s a fun game, thats not a mean as it sounds.

abc2

I know I am biased but I adore the artwork, it is just amazing! So detailed and fun.

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If you missed it at the top, here’s the link to check out the game on Kickstarter.

If you do end up backing this game, please comment here, I would like to know 🙂

Emma

Author Interview : Maram Taibah

maram taibah
I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading Weathernose and speaking to the author Maram, she very kindly agreed to this interview and to my great pleasure she had fun and answred in detail and glee. She is not only an author she writes for films.
weathernose
1. Where did you get the inspiration for Weathernose from?

I was bored. It was summer. The days were long. One afternoon, I saw an image of a thin gangly man with a straw hat standing, confused, on the shore of his island. And I went with it. That was the conception of Tart Morning, the lead character in this book. Cypress, on the other hand, came as a fresh surprise. She was supposed to be a woman who would challenge Tart but suddenly I saw her as a self-satisfied ten-year-old girl and I laughed. That was where the fun began!

 

2. Out of all the characters you have written which is most like you?

Tart because I’m an introvert (I’m not grumpy though). And Sari.

 

3. If you could give any advice to Cyrpress from Weathernose, what would it be?

Be yourself but be nice!!!

 

4. If you could have any fantasy or mythical creature as a pet what would it be?

I’ve always wanted Morwen’s talking cats. The witch in the “Enchanted Forest” series by Patricia Wrede. They’re smart and very companionable. Unlike real cats.

 

5. What book is currently on your bedside table?

The Map of Salt and Stars, by Zeyn Joukhadar.

 

6. If you could sit down with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?

Mmmm VERY hard question. Charles Dickens. J.K.Rowling. Definitely Elizabeth Gilbert.

 

7. Have you read any books set in Saudi Arabia, do you think the setting is protayed actruately?

Yes I have. The books that I’ve read by Saudis were morose. The books I’ve read by westerners tend to have an orientalist lens, which is contemptible. 

 

8. What language do you write in? Can you speak more than one language , if so do you translate your books yourself?

English. I speak Arabic and English and a little bit of French. Nope. I’ve never translated any of my books. I wouldn’t do it myself though if I were to have them translated.

 

9. Which do your prefer writing books or films?

Mmmmm…REAALLY hard question. They are two different experiences entirely. But if I absolutely had to do only one, I would write books.

 

10.When you think of a story do you instantly know which one you will write, a film or book, or do you try writing both and see which works best?

Yes. Books and films have different essences. I can usually tell if something is begging to be a book or a screenplay. And very often it doesn’t work when I try the story in a different medium. For me, since I had a hunch about the medium, it rarely works when I change it.

 

11. If you could have any character from any book, as a best friend, who would it be?

Anne Shirley. Or I’d want to be one of the Ingleside clan. (L.M.Montgomery universe)

 

12. Do you plan more books in the weathernose universe?

YES! I’m planning a sequel.

 

13. Have you ever visited a real life place which has inspired you to write a fantasy world?

YES. All the time. Istanbul has inspired a large part of the Fantasy novel that I’m currently working on. Malaysia may have inspired the Cerulean Universe a little bit. I’m adamant about visiting places. A producer was once wanted me to write a script that took place in Ethiopia and I insisted on visiting it. He asked “Why don’t you just hop on Google?”. No comment!

 

14. Do you do research for your books?

Yes. Definitely. It’s one of the most fun phases of writing a book. I had to research hot air balloons for Weathernose, for example.

 

15. Do you have a favourite place to write?

My bed. I usually get the most writing done on my bed. It does change though. I can be a bit nomadic, fixating on different spots at different times.

 

16. Do you listen to music whilst writing, if so, what kind?

YES! I’m a big believer that music is a part of the process. Before I write each piece, I look for the musical tracks that express the world that I’m going to be spending time in. And then I listen to that soundtrack every time I sit to write and it instantly takes me there. It’s a bit Pavlovian!

 

17. Who is the first person you let read your creations?

Maybe my cousin? Definitely my best friend at school.

 

18. What was the last t.v. show you binge watched? Were you sad when it ended?

A Series of Unfortunate Events. I watched it this summer. I was so enamored by it because it was so well-done. It was fresh and funny and bold. It was better than the film in my opinion. Yes, I was sad that it ended…especially since, unfortunately, I didn’t like the ending.

 

19. What is your favourite type of fantasy to read?

YA and children’s fantasy. There’s still a child in me that is reveling inside a chrysalis of old-fashioned magic.

 

20. Are you a Harry Potter fan, if so who is your favourite character?

ABSO-EFFING-LUTELY. I was one of those kids who had to wait for two years on edge between the fourth and fifth book (remember that period? Ugh!). Favorite character would have to be Dumbledore. I love old people in Fantasy books.

 

21. What is the last book that kept you up late?

Phillip Pullman’s “The Amber Spyglass”.

 

22. Whilst writing do you ever forget ot eat or sleep?

Sometimes. The image of a writer writing into the night is often romanticized. I don’t like to write until burnout. I find that it disturbs my creative balance. I often get up for water breaks or coffee breaks. There were times when I’ve written into the night but I generally honor my sleep.

 

23. If you could have one person read your books, who would it be?

Elizabeth Gilbert or J.K.Rowling.

 

24. Have you ever written a part of a story that afterwards you wish you could change?

Well my previous novella “The Road to Elephants” was published in 2015. It’s about two children in 1920’s Saudi Arabia who run away from their abusive nanny to join the circus. Many readers found the ending in the book pretty jarring. Looking back at it now, I’m wondering if I built up the ending in a way that makes it justifiable. Also, I would probably go in and break up the linearity of the narrative.

 

25. Do you snack whilst writing, if so what?

Yes haha! I look for excuses to get up and snack. I also drink a lot: Coffee. Tea. Water.

 

26. If you could live in any fantasy world, where would it be?

I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did. If you fancy buying her book Weathernose, check amazon Here.
Happy reading
Emma

Review: Weathernose

weathernose

Kids are just too damn smart these days.

In the Cerulean Universe, the world is only just awakening to scientific discovery and invention. There’s no room for an old-fashioned weatherman like Tart Morning. And now, thanks to a ground-breaking invention called “the weathernose” – a machine that calculates weather predictions, Tart’s career is on the line. His only choice is to destroy the weathernose, but the machine’s smug little inventress, Cypress Korkul, is far too clever for him.

In his scrambling efforts to keep up with the times, Tart finds himself willing to go to ever more dastardly lengths. How far is he willing to go to get his job and his old life back? What will he find out about Cypress – and himself – along the way?

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book via booksirens in exchange for an honest review.

I found this a really sweet and fun book. I love the writing style, it was melodic. The characters were great and very believable. Tart came across mostly as a bitter man but with good reason. Cyrpess seemed a little too adult at times, but it added to her arogance which came across well.

The story progressed well and I found it charming. I loved where it went and how it ended. I would read more in the series. I would love to know more about the setting, seems like a really interesting world.

5 out of 5 stars

Ice Crown (The Elements of Kamdaria #1)

ice crown

The competition could save her life…
But only if she wins.

Talise can manipulate the elements with ease; water, air, earth, and fire all bend to her will. As a citizen of the Storm—a crime-laden land where death is the only constant—her only chance for a better life is to become Master Shaper.

A competition for the position takes place at the end of her training years. If she wins, she would live in the palace, work for the emperor, and escape her inevitable death in the Storm. But she’s not the only one with a chance to win.

Aaden is another talented student. As a citizen of the Crown, he was born with unlimited privilege and resources. When someone from the Crown wants to win, they do. End of story. And his shaping is unlike anything Talise has ever seen.

Complicating matters, Talise’s loved one in the Storm gives her reason to abandon the competition altogether, forcing her to make an impossible choice.

Torn between duty and freedom, she must learn that clinging to the past, might destroy her future.

For fans of Red Queen, the Grishaverse, and Avatar the Last Airbender, this desperate fantasy world has elemental magic and tension you could cut with a knife.

Review

I recieved a free copy of this book via Booksirens in exchange for an honest review.

From the beginning I was entranced in this book. Talise is a great MC, even when she was young, although I did feel when she was being portrayed as seven, she felt older. I was a little annoyed with the time jump at first but that was because I wanted to read about what was happening. But once I got into the next chapter I didn’t care. It was so well written adn interesting I caould barely put the book down.

I loved the magic or shaping as it was called in this series. Really interesting idea and different than anything else I have read. The series is made up of short books, so quick but exciting and jam packed books.

Wendy was a nice side character although I think she could have donw with a little more personality. I was a little miffed as to why no-one else though they could try for master shaper, surely everyone should have been trying their hardest.

Overall I loved this book, and I will be reading the rest of the series.

5 out of 5 stars

Magical Creature Academy Series

magical creatures academylion shiftermage shifter

Night shifter

The school hasn’t made a mistake in a century, but she might be the first one. That’s just the kind of thing that would happen to her. Especially since no one has any idea what kind of creature she’ll be … assuming her powers ever decide to make an appearance.

The Academy is the leading institution for paranormal creatures in the world. Its students are the finest of shifters, vampires, and fae.

Speaking of fine fae … Leander Verion, prince of the elves, is off limits. Not only is he arrogant, stubborn, and totally not her style, he’s her brother’s best friend. She will not fall for him. No way. Besides, he’s not interested … is he?

When two men who head the Shifter Alliance, a rebel faction of shapeshifters who seek to escape the control of the Enforcers—the supernatural police force—find out about Rina and her potential for a different kind of magic, they hunt her. For them, the stakes are as personal as they get.

Whether she’s ready or not, Rina is about to find out what she’s made of…

This is a series I really like. I highly recommend it.

 

Do you use review sites?

I see a lot of reviews from Netgalley and other sites, I was wondering which ones people use and if they use more than one, do they prefer one to another? If there’s any authors out there, which ones do you think you get the most out of?

I personally use three: Netgalley, Edelwiess and Booksirens. I like them all. Booksirens has a month limit on reading a book so I cannot get behind which is good. I find it hard to be appoved on Edelwiess but that might just be because I am new to it. I have been using Netgalley for about 6 years and still find a really good place to find out about books even if I do not request or am approved for them.

I look forward to seeing peoples opinions.

Emma

Spellbound

spellbound

An enchanted Rose spellbound to a greenhouse prison. 

Cursed to live within the glass walls of a greenhouse for her entire life, sixteen-year old Rose has finally reached her breaking point. She had to escape before she lost her mind. But life outside the protective glass was filled with perils of its own.

When she met Gabriel, she thought she’d finally found a savior. But neither was aware of what lurked inside him. Someone was pulling the strings from the shadows. With darkness on the horizon and danger lurking around every corner, Rose must escape the greenhouse, but at what cost?

How hard could it be to break out of a glass cage?

If you like devious nymphs, bloodthirsty curses, and fairytales with a dark twist then check out “Spellbound,” the first in the Spellbound mini-series.

Review

I recieved a free copy via Booksirens in exchange for an honest review.

This is a hard review for me to write. I really struggled to finish this book, for me it wasn’t a great read. For being 124 pages, there was some parts that would have been better cut out. There was a lot of repition. Also plenty of areas where I feel more more explanation would have been better. It was very confusing and not very exciting. There was no hook to keep me wanting to read (other than it was a review book, if it hadn’t been then I probably would have given up). It felt rushed and dragging at the same time.

The characters were a little all over the place. They weren’t consistant in their personalities. I know it’s meant to be the first in a mini-series but there were too many unanswered questions. It didn’t feel like a cliffhanger, it felt unfinished.

With some work this could be a great book, but for me as it is, it’s a huge miss. I do respect the authirs hard work but a little rewriting wouldn’t go amiss.

2 out of 5 stars