I would like to welcome Kris Austen Radcliffe to my author spotlight...I may need a suit of amour for this interview...
As a child, Kris took down a pack of hungry wolves with only a hardcover copy of The Dragonriders of Pern and a sharpened toothbrush. That fateful day set her on a path traversing many storytelling worlds—dabbles in film and comic books, time as a talent agent and a textbook photo coordinator, and a foray into nonfiction. After co-authoring Mind Shapes: Understanding the Differences in Thinking and Communication, Kris returned to academia. But she craved narrative and a richly-textured world of Fates, Shifters, and Dragons—and unexpected, true love.
Kris lives in Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, Handsome Cat, and an entire menagerie of suburban wildlife bent on destroying her house. That battered-but-true copy of “Dragonriders”? She found it yesterday. It’s time to pay a visit to the woodpeckers.Ok, it looks like I really do need to put my armour on and grasp my broad sword while we have a little talk and spar...
Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?
I write under my own name. It seemed like the best thing to do at the time. Plus, I have a writerly name, so I might as well run with it.
What made you want to be a published author?
I’ve always had my head in stories and narratives. A couple things happened in my life—not all of them good—and it worked out that now became the time to publish.
What genre do you write in and why?
Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon, my current
series, is Urban Fantasy with Strong Romantic Elements. My next will be a Sci Fi Action
Adventure. I write the stories as they
present themselves to me, no matter the genre.
But I am a Sci Fi nerd girl,
so I lean toward the speculative and the uncanny.
If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?
Start now. Don’t wait. Write every day.
Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?
Ann Rice, because of her brilliant setting and environmental descriptions. Ann McCaffrey’s Pern novels sparked my love of mixing fantasy and science fiction. Neil Gaiman, for his flow and his exquisite character building.
If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?
Right now, with the changes going on in the industry, I think it’s the best choice for an author. My experiences have been good, but I did a lot of research before I started. I hired an editor I whom LOVE (Annetta Ribken at http://wordwebbing.com/) and a copy editor I know and trust (Terry Koch at http://beyondgrammar.com/). I set up my own company, invested in the software and equipment I needed, and now I’m streamlining my process.
How would you rate your writing?
Brilliant and entertaining. ;)
I don’t write super-hot scenes, but it’s
How do you react to poor reviews of your book?
You mean the “It didn’t download so I giving your book 2 stars!” reviews? I roll my eyes.
For the most part, I just shrug. People have different tastes.
What influences your choice of book covers?
I do my own covers. I shoot my own photos and do the design myself. I have a design background and I’m a photographer, so I know what I’m doing. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Covers, I can do.
When designing a cover, you also need to conscious of genre, of course. And design elements, placement, tag lines, etc. I also happen to know some good-looking men, which helps helps.
How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?
My family understands I work a job. I have my own business and I put in a full 40 hour week, every week. We work together to get done around the house what needs to get done.
Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?
Both. I aim my characters at certain scenes I know need to be there, usually the major plot points, and let them go at it.
Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.
No. My dreams are either too banal to make them worth the effort, or too damned weird and I haven’t figured out yet how to translate the images into words.
Do you market yourself or pay a professional?
Both. I’m an introvert, so I hire help, Vicki at Innovative Online Tours, http://www.iobooktours.com/. She’s a big help.
What are your tips for editing?
Put it in another format. Print it, move it to your Kindle, whatever. Just get it off your computer screen.
What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?
My heroine has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, plus an assortment of other anxiety issues. It’s not a characteristic you see often in fiction. But it’s a real issue for many young woman, including someone I love dearly. I wrote “Games of Fate” for her.
“Flux of Skin”, book two of the series (out Sept. 3) touches on another issue important to me: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this book, my hero’s past is beginning to ooze up through his floorboards. So, as a whole, the series is for everyone who has struggled with pain and anxiety. I’m giving them characters who are dealing—an I’ve wrapped it in a nice high-action candy-coating of Shifters and Dragons.
Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?
Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon will be a long series—I have four trilogies planned. My next series will be an ongoing, episodic adventure, much like a television show. But I also have a stand-alone I hope to get to in early 2015.
If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?
I hate formatting and I hate the final proofing stage, were you need to find all the typos. I have a “proofing crew”, people who help with the last read-throughs after copy editing. They’re invaluable. I also hate all the uploading business, and the “business” business, like taxes and bookkeeping. I hope to someday be able to hire office staff.
I’m also an introvert and I can tell you, I don’t like social media. It’s overwhelming. I basically stick to Facebook because it’s the least stressful for me. I don’t Tweet, nor do I Pin or use any of the other outlets. I do not like Goodreads at all. Updating my web site is a chore. That’s why I hired Vicki to help with promotions. I’m terrible with it. I’m dreading attending cons. But Vicki’s set up one, the ARC cons http://www.authorreadercon.com/ , and she’s basically taking care of me, so I should be okay.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Write a good book. Then write another one. Then write another one after that. You’re a writer, so write.
Indie publish what you write, but know what you’re doing. Write a good blurb. Don’t put an ugly cover on your book—and make sure it’s genre appropriate. If can’t figure it out yourself, ask for help. And hire who you need. You’re running a business, so think of it that way. I’m in this to be successful. You should be, too.
Share a favourite quote from your book.
Here’s one from Games of Fate:
Twenty-three centuries he and Dragon had fought battles and dealt with Burners. Twenty-three sets of one hundred year intervals, a meaningless measure of time for someone who’d lived through so many of them. Yet, they’d persevered and done what they were supposed to do. Every single one of those actions and reactions dropped onto their heads like a grain of sand blown in from the desert. Twenty-three centuries and sometimes Ladon wondered if he still had the strength to move through the dunes of his life.
“Mom,” Rysa whispered.
The young woman clinging to his arm carried no such weight. Yet the boulder of her new existence would smear her flat if he and Dragon did nothing—or worst, the minimum necessary to finish this job.
He’d been annoyed by her questions in the van. Irritated when he realized she was Jani. But she didn’t deserve this. No one deserved vile insults hurled at them, especially from a parent.
So Ladon folded her tighter against his ribcage, his arm around her shoulder and his hand spread protectively across her shoulder blades.
Rysa wasn’t the terrible things Mira spat from her Burner-confused mouth. The beautiful, overwhelmed woman he held cared more for her mother than he’d ever seen a Fate show. More than her mother had earned, now or ever.
More than he would merit, if she cared for
And one from Flux of Skin:
After twenty-three centuries, he should be better at this. Countless wives who needed attention in ways he understood intellectually, but emotionally made no sense to him. They always needed to hear the same words again and again, but if he was going to repeat himself, he’d rather do repeated physical actions.
He walked into the little room, his boxer briefs low on his hips, doing his damnedest to keep his physical interest in her company under control.
“Well, now.” She looked him up and down from her perch on the side of the tub, her gaze first stopping at his chest, then at his bellybutton. “I think I won the man lotto.” Her gaze dropped lower still, moving down his trail of body hair to his groin.From one introvert to another...you are born to write!!
So let's have a looksy at your books...
Here’s the first trilogy:
Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon
Trilogy One: Activation
Three Prelude Stories of Fates Fire Shifters and Dragons
GAMES OF FATE #1
It’s not a good love story until something explodes.
A Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon novella of binding and compulsion
FLUX OF SKIN #2
All Shifters understand fury. Now they learn rupture.
Available September 3, 2013
FIFTH OF BLOOD #3
Gavin and Daisy’s story.
Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon crosses genre boundaries, mixing strong Romantic Elements with the New Adult themes of transitioning away from school and parents into an adult life, all with an Urban Fantasy framework. The series also carries touches of Science Fiction and Thriller—with a heist or two thrown in.
Here’s Games of Fate:
Contains Adult Sexual Content and some violent imagery.
Rysa Torres misses information. Loses concentration. Her attention problems randomize her life but she pushes forward anyway, doing the best she can—until monsters activate a part of her she didn’t know she had.
As visions of the future whip inside her head, Rysa realizes the truth: She’s a Fate.
And she will set fire to the world.
All her options explode. Her family ripped away, what little control she had destroyed, Rysa is left with one choice: Will she die to stop the coming flames, or will she allow the man and the dragon she loves to die in her place?
Games of Fate begins Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with Strong Romantic Elements by Kris Austen Radcliffe. Set in the open spaces of America, the series takes Rysa and Ladon—and Ladon’s companion beast, Dragon—through a landscape punctuated by unfamiliar creatures: Fates with the ability to see past, present, and future. Ghouls called Burners who devour with fire and acid. Shifters who shape much more than their bodies. And two dragons who speak with color and pattern.
It starts here, now, with one young woman’s fight against a burning future—and against the death of the man she loves.
Here’s Flux of Skin, available September 3, 2013:
Contains Adult Sexual Content and some violent imagery.
Flux of Skin, book two of the Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon series, picks up Ladon and Rysa’s story four hours after the events of book one, Games of Fate.
How many loves must Ladon watch die?
Ladon thought he controlled the rage. He thought he left his past—and his violence—behind. But the Shifters take Rysa and now no one is safe…
Ladon wanted a gentle life. But century after century, the call to battle malicious Fates, Shifters, and Burners always won. The world needed him. So he fought.
War took its toll and now, sometimes, his scars show. When it happens, Ladon ruptures—body, mind, and soul. And the world pays.
But he’s found a new way: a modern life with his beloved Rysa. He won’t give her up. Not because of family strife. Not because of the issues twisting her life into a raging cyclone. And definitely not because of war—until a new group of Shifters rain death onto everyone he loves.
Every Shifter understands fury. Now they learn rupture.
FLUX OF SKIN, book 2 of the Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon series, a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with Strong Romantic Elements by Kris Austen Radcliffe, continues the story of Rysa and Ladon. Set in the open spaces of America, the series takes Rysa and Ladon—and Ladon’s companion beast, Dragon—through a landscape punctuated by unfamiliar creatures: Fates with the ability to see past, present, and future. Ghouls called Burners who devour with fire and acid. Shifters who shape much more than their bodies. And two dragons who speak with color and pattern.
FLUX OF SKIN, available Sept 3, 2013.
All I can say is WOW!!!
Want to stalk and buy her books? Here you go...stalker links...
The Kris Austen Radcliffe Street Team:
Most of the fun happens on the Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamKAR/
Information at the Six Talon Sign web site: http://www.sixtalonsign.com/fate-fire-shifter-dragon-street-team-info/
Web site: www.sixtalonsign.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKrisAustenRadcliffe
Facebook Profile page: http://www.facebook.com/kris.austenradcliffe
She's also a photographer...is there nothing she can't do?
Six Talon Sign Media LLC Photography: http://www.sixtalonsign.com/photo-galleries/
Red Bubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/krisradcliffe
Other contact points: