Please welcome Elizabeth Kirke to Parajunkee’s View.
Book Name: More than Magic: Snow Bound
Release Date: 01/22/2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve wanted to be an author pretty much for as long as I can remember. I think I’m incapable of writing anything that isn’t fantasy. Every plot I ever come up with ends up getting paranormal. I have more ideas tumbling around than I think I’ll ever be able to write down! I bounced around sports and jobs all through high school and college. It was never because I couldn’t pick one to settle on, but because I wanted to try a little bit of everything as fuel for my writing. I’ve worked in zoos, in a blacksmith shop, a gristmill, and a museum. I hopped in college from rowing to kendo to fencing.
I’m also a huge animal lover. I’m so inspired by the intelligence that I’ve seen working in zoos and stables, that it’s easy to imagine animals just a bit smarter when I write.
I live with my husband, our two turtles, and we’re right in the middle of adopting a dog.
In your own words, tell us a little bit about your book?
It’s the sequel to my first book, Semester Aboard, but I made sure to write it so that people who haven’t read the first can still enjoy it. The book is narrated by Jen. She has only recently found out that she’s a witch. She’s going to spend her winter vacation skiing with some magical friends (including one she has a crush on) she met in the first book. The first hitch comes when her cousin, who isn’t magical, shows up to surprise her. Jen struggles to balance the friends and only other magical people she can spend time with, and her cousin who can’t find out about the fact they aren’t human. Then they start noticing that someone is creeping around their cabin and suspect that they’re in danger. Jen, having faced vampires over the summer, doesn’t take the threat as seriously, until one of her friends is shot and on the brink of death.
Can you tell us about the characters in your book? Who is your favorite?
I hate this question! I find it so hard to choose a favorite. I love writing Jen, because I get to have her NOT do all of the things that make me mad in books. I wanted to strike a balance between a strong heroine and someone who is just stumbling into the world of magic. I also had fun modeling her after, I imagine, a lot of readers like me. She’s a reader, she’s a geek, she spent her entire life fantasizing about vampires and such. Unlike the rest of us, she got lucky enough to have her daydreams come true.
I also love TS. He’s a werewolf with a ton of canine tendencies. I have fun making him do little things like shaking off water, chowing down on food, and just being a loveable, snuggly dog in a human body. But, even though he can act a little simple, he’s smart. He’s fluent in several languages, holds a number of degrees, and has a healthy dose of common sense. Even though TS isn’t Jen’s love interest, a lot of readers say he’s their favorite.
And then there’s Dani. He’s not Jen’s love interest either, but he’s all kinds of fun to write! Dani has a long, dark past – which I’ll be reveling soon in a short story collection. He’s fun to write because I can just layer so much hidden meaning behind the stuff he says. Every one of his actions and lines is laced with hints and double-meanings.
I could go on! So, I’ll wrap it up with Rak. He’s Jen’s familiar and has a very small role in the first book. He’s a cat and, much like with TS, I love just having him do cat things. He’s always finding the highest or the sunniest spot. He offers succinct advice and is very attached to Jen, but has his own way of going off and being solitary like any old cat.
What makes your book different from other books out there in the same genre?
For one thing, there’s no vampires vs. werewolves or vampire hunters vs. vampires, etc etc. The magical beings (magics) in my books are just like humans in real life: they’re good, they’re bad, they’re gray. The enemies can be any type of magic. The vampires and the werewolves work side by side. In this book, the main threat actually comes from a regular human with no magic at all.
I also don’t have any love triangles. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never enjoyed watching a protagonist go back and forth between two guys for the entire series. Jen’s got a crush on one person. Their relationship develops, it doesn’t stop when another guy comes along. I think the ups and downs of a relationship, with a dash of magic on the side, are enough to keep things interesting.
Last, I have a LOT of different kinds of magics. Just in the main group you’ve got a witch, a werewolf, a vampire, a water elemental, a fire elemental, a mermaid, and a talking cat. Each species has their own quirks and abilities. Fire elementals, for example, have personalities much like fire. They can be dangerous, even to their friends, if something sets them off. They aren’t human, and for that matter, neither are many of the other characters in my books. If I’m writing non-human characters, I want to make sure that the reader always knows they aren’t human.
What led to you going “indie”?
I’m sort of a hybrid. I started off indie. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and the idea of publishing on my own was appealing. Smashwords and the indie movement had just started to take off, so I wanted to jump on board.
I actually ended up getting picked up by an indie publisher a few months later. My two books are currently published through them and I have another series coming up. However, I’m going to go solo with my upcoming short stories, and possibly another series. There are pluses and minuses to both. I absolutely love my publisher. I think, honestly, my biggest problem with a publisher is that I don’t want to be a brat! Every time I want to have a sale or anything, I have to ask her. She’s so busy, I always feel bad being like, “hey, me! me next! I need you!”
Is Writing your full time profession?
It is in my head. I’m always thinking up dialogue and plots and writing in my mind. Sadly, I do work a full-time job. I really don’t want to become a rich and famous author, I also know that that isn’t likely. However, if I could earn enough to quit my job and become a full-time writer, I’d be happy!
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
I talk out loud. I sit and babble like a crazy person and my husband think it’s hilarious. I’ve even given myself migraines pacing around and acting out arguments and fight scenes. If nobody is around I can be found falling to the floor and throwing myself around, trying to figure out how to describe poses and actions.
It’s quite embarrassing!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I think I was reading Mercedes Lackey when I first decided that I wanted to be an author too. Then, of course, we have J.K. Rowling. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Lynsay Sands.
What are you reading now?
I’m on a Post-UtopYA Convention kick. At the moment I’m reading R.K. Ryals. One of her characters was nominated along with my Dani at UtopYA, so I picked up the book to see the competition. Then I couldn’t put it down!
What advice can you give to struggling writers?
Just keep at it! Practice, read, write. If you’re stuck on something, go write something else. Choose a character and write a random fluffy story about them. Just keep the creative juices flowing. If you get bored with your story, step away, work on something else. If you don’t have the passion to finish it, why will the readers?
And network, network, network! Other struggling writers can support you, motivate you, and teach you. Indie authors have been there before and they have advice if you’ll take it. You can meet editors and cover artists and bloggers. You just have to reach out. Don’t wait until you’ve “finished” a book to seek us out. Start a network now. The support you can gain along the way is priceless.Find out more about Elizabeth Kirke and More than Magic: Snow Bound here:
Amazon Goodreads Author Web Twitter
Elizabeth Kirke wanted to be an author before she even knew what an author was. She used to say that she wanted to be an artist, but that was only because she was too young to write and had to tell stories with pictures instead. She hasn’t stopped writing since she learned how. It wasn’t long before she dreamed of becoming an author and couldn’t be happier now that that dream is a reality.
If she isn’t writing…well, let’s be honest; if she isn’t writing she’s probably on Facebook thinking that she should start writing. But, if she isn’t writing or on Facebook, she’s probably doing something involving books, baking, gardening, or yarn. In an ideal world, she’d be reading and knitting while something from the garden is in the oven. Then again, in an ideal world, she’d have a flock of ducks and a couple of goats.
Like most slightly-nosy, avid readers, Elizabeth can’t resist trying to catch a peek at books she sees people reading when out in public to see if she can figure out what it is. While doing just that one day, she realized that it would probably be the coolest-thing-ever if she caught a complete stranger reading one of her books. That’s her new dream.
3 eBooks of Snowbound
1 Signed Set of Snowbound trading cards (US only)
Giveaway ends August 20th