Today I'm happy to be bringing you an interview with Andi Katsina, author of "Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures (Journey to the Kingdom.) I will be reviewing this book in the near future. But for now, lets meet Andi and get to know a little more about her book! On to the interview:
When did you first want to be a writer? What was your 'Aha" moment?
I don’t remember ever wanting to be a writer. It seems I was good at writing plays, did this for years, aged nine onwards. I did some writing in my early twenties, and later wrote the odd essay. Almost a decade ago I wanted to write a story for a friend, from then on I started writing books. No Aha moment, it more or less just happened naturally, kinda flowed into it.
Where did the inspiration for Rick and Wylie's Fantastical Magical Adventure come from?
Inspired by the desire to write a story for a friend of mine to read to his daughter, whilst spending two months in Hawaii, Kaua’i island, a beautiful place, thinking about some of the island’s legends, I imagined a mystical forest that existed inside the island, and was almost as big as the island, with lots of different regions. A story was born….
Are your characters based on people you know in real life, or completely from scratch?
I wrote the book for a friend of mine to read to his daughter. I based the two main characters on them, placing them in a completely fantastic situation.
How do you come up with your character names?
My Characters really do seem to name themselves. I don’t force anything onto any of my characters. Sometimes I actually continue writing the story without using a character’s name, because the name hasn’t come to me. I leave it that way until the name reveals itself. All the names in my stories are especially suited, tailor made, you could say : )
If you had to describe Rick and Wylie's Fantastical Magical Adventure in 12 words, how would you describe it?
A Fantastical, Magical Adventure, journeying to the far reaches of your imagination.
How long did it take you to write the book?
It’s a big book and took about a year and a half to write. With all the editing, proof reading and tweeking, it was about three years in the making.
What is the hardest part about writing a fantasy novel?
For me there is no hard part : ) I’ve always been blessed with an extremely fertile imagination. I guess ordinarily to write a great fantasy one must come up with a fantastic story; this is an area in which some fall woefully short….
Do you have a writing routine, ie special pen, time you write, word goals etc?
My main ‘thing’ is to set my desk up. I must have my writing space just how I like it. For some books I’ve worked afternoon into the early hours, on other books I’ve worked from about six a.m. until early evening, can’t identify what determines that order. I like to write approx two thousand words per day, with a five hundred word leeway either side. Whenever the story becomes especially complex, lots of activity, characters etc, this happens more in book 2 of this epic trilogy, then my word out put drops down to anything from three hundred to six and a half hundred words per day.
Other than writing, what are your hobbies/passions?
I really like riding motorbikes, swimming in the sea, body surfing, running, going through national parks, where you can see the most amazingly spectacular sights.
Are you working on any new writing projects right now?
Right now I’m concentrating on promoting [Journey to the Kingdom], book 1 of the Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures trilogy. I have two books in the pipeline; book 2 of this trilogy is due to be released late Spring 2013, and later that year, Gurk & Whale [The Rose Mane Arrows], a fantasy adventure which was actually written in 2007, will be released.
Quick Fire Round:
E-book or Hard Copy?
My book is available in both formats. As an environmentalist I much prefer E-book, however it’s early days for this technology and not everyone, yet, has an E-reader. I think it’s important to cater for all my readers.
Coke or Pepsi?
Neither, no soda, although a very long time ago, pepsi.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla. I sometimes have vanilla flavoured almond, and rice, milk
Blazing hot summer days or cold winter ones?
I come from a relatively brisk, wet, sunless climate, good olde Blighty. I’d take the blazing hot Summer days, thanks.
Morning person or night owl?
Right now morning person, but I can easily become a night owl. Once I get into a routine I’m comfortable writing at any time, late at night or early mornings. Now going dancing and clubbing, I miss that : )
No one single favourite, there are too many to choose from, but can I just mention a few who impressed me greatly when I was a teenager; Jack London, Richard Bach, Maya Angelou, Joseph Heller, Fyodor Dostoevsky, J. R. R. Tolkien, John Steinbeck
Last book you read?
It was to do with particle physics, don’t let me bore you with this, what can I say; I’m a science geek. I sometimes also write science fiction books.
What's a quote that inspires you?
‘Stand up and be counted’. That’s my own quote, featured in one of my books. I find it significant and inspiring.
What's your favorite comfort food?
Melissa, I need to give this answer some thought, get back to you on this. I’m a vegan and like fruit….
Meet Andi Katsina:
I'm English, of rich Irish, African descent. Born in the sound of bow bells, an orphan, I grew up in Manchester, England. Quite a bit more than forty, I‘m a vegan, though occasionally lapse into vegetarianism.
Throughout my school years I was a champion athlete and swimmer, going on to become an athletics coach, swimming teacher and youth leader. After which time I was trained as a Chartered Accountant. Interrupting my training, I branched out, working freelance as a troubleshooter in the field of accountancy. Six years of adding and subtracting, was followed by two years of trading as an international commodities broker. This led me to the sedentary position of ‘trader in antique, oriental carpets’. It was at this juncture that I became completely inspired to become a writer.
As a ‘school kid’ I very much enjoyed writing plays in English, Latin and French. Fortunately for me, writing came naturally. I so, so like writing stories that give people, especially young people, and people young at heart, the chance to exercise their own imagination.
I love taking my readers on fantastic journeys. The enjoyment and taste of adventure my stories give to my readers, warms me greatly.
Best wishes from Andi Katsina
About the Book:
Title: Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures book 1 [Journey to the Kingdom]
Published: June 2012
Release Date: 1st September 2012
Publisher: KatsInc. UK
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Number of Pages 550 ; words ; 173,477
Publisher Hub: www.theindieoracle.com
Author: And Katsina (And, short for Andi. Andi, short for Andrea :)
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Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures (Journey to the Kingdom), tells the story of a father and his daughter, Rick and Wylie, who, due to the actions of an evil wizard, become separated, whilst on holiday in Hawaii.
Wylie has to work her way across a huge and dangerous mystical forest. Rick, along with some of his friends, enters the mystical forest to go in search of his daughter.
Both Rick and Wylie endure trials and tribulations, and are finally reunited in the forest. Together, they succeed in awakening the sleeping kingdom, a place that has been hidden from the evil wizard for more than half a millennium
And now, it's Giveaway Time!
ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY:
3 lucky winners will each win an E-COPY of Rick and Wylie's Fantastical Magical Adventures
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