Friday, March 3, 2017

The Oracle by K.S. Marsden Interview & Giveaway

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Blog Tour ~The Oracle
Author: K.S. Marsden
Genre: Fantasy
Tour Dates: 27th of Feb - 3rd of March
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

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 Blurb: After a brief respite, the Gardyn rebels have returned to fight the tyranny of King Hrafn and Prince David. Samantha, Jillis and Tobias will have to find their place in the new vision of Enchena; but first, they have to risk everything to make it real. New allies will rise, as the past plays a huge part in the future; and an Oracle must be brought, to guide them all.


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 Author Bio: Kelly Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life - books and horses. Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.


1.   When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It has always been a hobby of mine. I've been making up stories for as long as I can remember.
I finally decided to make a professional go of it when I was about eighteen. I was bored with the books in the bookshops, the ones that all seemed to be telling the same stories; or were proclaimed to be amazingly life-changing, but I found disappointing.
I realised that, if I wanted to read a book that I could really enjoy, I'd have to write it first.
2.   How long does it take you to write a book?
Now there's a question.
The first Enchena book was actually the first book that I wrote. That was ten years ago, and it was a very different creation to what was finally published in 2015.
The quickest book to get written was Winter Trials – I was asked to join an anthology with some amazing YA authors, and only had a few months to put it together.
3.   What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I actually have a full-time job. And a part-time job. And horses to train. Because of this, I never set myself any sort of schedule. Finding an hour in my day is a rare and precious thing; and I find that if I try and force myself to write, I just get stressed and my mind goes blank.
I find that I get most of my writing done during my dinner break at work, and on the occasion I can join a #Writestorm session with some author buddies of mine.
4.   What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
During the writing process? Or the books themselves?
You can always tell when I'm writing, I have a tendency to act out the facial expressions of my characters. I had no idea I was doing it, until my boyfriend pointed it out.

My books' quirk is that I don't like to follow stereotypes. The Enchena series in particular shows that a characters background and history have absolutely no bearing on where they will end up.
5.   How do books get published?
I am an indie published author, and I think I have a pretty awesome team of editors, beta-readers, and cover designers behind me. I make the stories, and they make them work!
6.   Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
That depends on the story.
The Witch-Hunter trilogy, and my interest in witches in general, all began with a long-standing family joke that all the women in our family are witches. I was then fascinated by the old witch trials and the historical basis of witch-hunters.
The Enchena series is an ode to all the stories I loved when growing up – Narnia, The Silver Brumby, and The Last Unicorn. I wanted to create my own wild adventure.
7.   When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Discounting the book that I wrote when I was five, about a wicked witch and a tricksy princess (already the witches!); my first book – The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1) - was published in 2013. I was twenty-seven years old and it was the most terrifying thing I'd done to date.
Working with horses gives you steady nerves (and a bizarre ability to dismiss injuries and danger); but revealing to the world that I had written a book – much scarier.
8.   What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read, of course. I have a blog where I review (mostly) indie books – it started off as a way to keep track of the books I've read, and has gained popularity since.
Away from books, I spend a lot of my time with horses. I used to be a professional rider, training horses and riders, handling stallions and working with Olympic stars. It was all a fairly awesome way to spend my twenties; but now I just keep to training my own horse, and teach others to ride at weekends.
9.   What does your family think of your writing?
I don't think it was a huge surprise that I started writing, after I was such a bookworm as a child.
I don't think they really knew what to make of it when my first book was published, it was so different to what anyone in our family had aspired to do.
I did get a pat on the back, though (we're not very expressive).
10.                     What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How many other people are interested in various areas of producing a book.
It never ceases to amaze me, how many people have told me that they are interested in writing; editing; proof-reading; cover design; marketing blasts etc. Some of these people I've known for years, and I never had a clue we were interested in the same things!
But I can't really blame them for not saying anything, I was so scared, I only confided in my best friend about my dream to publish.
11.                     How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written six books so far.
My favouritekeeps changing!
Today, I will say my favourite is The Shadow Falls. It's the third part of the Witch-Hunter trilogy, and it was so much fun to write, and I think it has the most twists and revelations. I get to explore more of the history of Hunter Astley and his family, and there are discoveries along the way that bind the Shadow Witch to him.
There's crazy new characters to keep the same level of humour, but there's hard choices too.
12.                     Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
I have two pieces of advice:
1.   Get a group of readers that you trust to read your work and give honest feedback. Avoid family, or people you feel are only giving glowing reviews; and avoid anyone who criticiseswithout giving constructive feedback. This is harder than it sounds, and can take some time to find these gems.
2.   Read books and review them. Write a blog about it if you like. Write about why you like them; what doesn't work in stories. Get a feel for which tropes are overdone; what is your pet peeve about other stories? This will all make your work stronger. The good stories will inspire you, and the bad ones will educate you.
13.                     Do you hear from your readers much?
I love hearing from my readers! They usually drop tweets or message through my website.
14.                     What kinds of things do they say?
Most of the time they want to say how much they enjoyed a certain book; or want to discuss what happens with a character they've connected with. Lately, a lot of people are asking whether the Winter Trials short story will be continuing as a series (btw, yes it will, the follow-up is scheduled for release later this year)
15.                     Do you like to create books for adults?
I don't purposefully write for any particular age group, and I can't remember there being a magical age when I suddenly became an adult. All of my books are written the same way, and it's only during editing that swearage etc. is taken out for books intended for a YA audience, or left in for adults.
I don't write books for kids. Children are horrible little creatures.
16.                     What do you think makes a good story?
I think that when it feels real, it's a sign of a good story. Which sounds crazy for the Fantasy genre – but it doesn't matter if you have Steve the flying pink rhino as your main character, as long as he stays true to character, and allows the reader to connect on some level.
17.                     As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a vet from the time I was five years old. That didn't change until I was nearly eighteen I was all lined up and ready to go to vet school, I'd done all the necessary work experience, aced my subjects, and done extra courses. Then I received my rejection letters from every application, just before my exams.
I was pretty bummed, to say the least, and I failed my exams; but I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to study horses at Aberystwyth.
I have to say, I haven't regretted a single moment of my life since. I think I was so ready to commit to that profession because I was expected to do something with my smarts, and in a way it was easier to have everything set ahead of me. But I have been free to go where I want, to do what I want, and I have loved it.
18.                     What Would you like my readers to know?
I would like to say thanks for stopping by. I have a terribly dry sense of humor, so if you've managed to read all the way to here, you deserve a hug or something.

In all seriousness, I'm honoured to be featured today. Don't forget to enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Oracle (Enchena #2); or if you'd rather have a sure thing, The Shadow Rises and Winter Trials are both free from all eretailers.

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5 e-copies & 1 signed paperback of The Oracle

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