February’s Author Q&A is with Kara S Weaver. I first came across Kara on Instagram and in a few Facebook writing groups. Now, her first novel, Crown of Conspiracy, is a firm favourite of mine and I couldn’t do these Q&A’s without including her. Here’s a little bio to get us started.
Kara S. Weaver, (pen name) lives in a small village near Rotterdam, the Netherlands with her husband, two kids and a cat. She’s always been fond of the English language and ended up pursuing a career as a teacher. Four days a week, she tries to impart this beautiful language on her students. After work, she can be caught reading, watching Netflix, napping, playing with the kids, writing or being otherwise creative.
Getting to Know You
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A conversation with somebody on Instagram. Honestly, I had no idea what I wanted at first. A part of me dreaded querying, and the other part didn’t believe the story was good enough to do so.
During this conversation I learned I would still have to do my own marketing if I went for traditional, so then the choice for indie became more obvious. This way, I have control over everything, and the control-freak in me liked that idea.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Raising children. Teaching. Reading. Watching Netflix. Diamond Painting. All of which I do not do enough, except for teaching. I’m doing that too much. Every now and again I go to the spa with friends to relax. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d be there every weekend.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Teasing out the plot and characters and watch everything come to life and somehow work out. I love it when I suddenly go ‘oh-oh-oh!’ because pieces of the puzzle are coming together.
The Writing Process
What is your writing process?
Messy. Very, very messy. I have to write linearly; start at chapter one, finish at chapter whatever, and write everything in order. Because of this, I rewrite often. By the time I have a finished manuscript, I have two or three unfinished ones that never saw the light of day. And then as I edit and revise, scenes get added rather than taken out.
How do you get inspired to write?
Good question. I get inspired by other books, or by movies, or by series, or by pictures. But I think that’s more inspiration for what I’m writing. As for getting inspired to write, I just sit down and do it? Or try to do it anyway.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Take all the advice you see with a grain of salt and just write. Once you have written that first draft, do your research. By that I mean, look up rules, chat with people, find what you’ll have to do to get that first draft to something that is workable for an editor—to make it something that is more than worth publishing. If you look at everything from the start, chances are you get overwhelmed and you’ll fear putting that pen to paper. There’s nothing to fear. Write that draft. Finish that draft. Then look at what should be done with it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Really, only five? Only books? Can it be series too?
- The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier. It’s just the way she writes. It is full of emotions, wonderful characters, and she knows how to paint a picture with words.
- The Fire Salamander Chronicles by N.M. Thorn. I love these books because they’re action packed from the beginning with wonderful characters, and a world that is ours yet so, so, so much more. The way in which she weaves the magical with the normal? Wow.
- A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. I am an avid fan of Beauty and the Beast, and I just loved this new look on that old fairy tale.
- Scythe/Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. I read the second book over two years ago, and I still remember that ending. If that isn’t fantastic writing, I don’t know what is.
- The Deverry Saga by Katharine Kerr. Don’t make me pick just one, because this series has around 15 books and I started reading them almost twenty years ago. To this day, they’re amongst my most favourite reads because Kerr’s worldbuilding is phenomenal.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Through Instagram/bookstagram, and through two friends of mine, both of whom are avid readers.
What books are on your reading list this year?
All the books I bought in 2019?
Some of the most anticipated are A Heart So Fierce and Broken, The Toll, Vicious, Sword of Fire, Girls of Paper and Fire, Rebels of the Sand and some indie books I know are being worked on. More in the Fire Salamander Chronicles, book two of The Mirror Souls, hopefully more from the Seeds of Hope series by Douglas S. Pierce, The Re-Emergence Chronicles by L.C. Maxwell, the second book in the Divine Prophecy Series.
There are over a 100 books in my bookcase I haven’t read yet, and many more indie books I wish to read. There’s a LOT.
Crown of Conspiracy
When everyone has an ulterior motive, who can she trust?
Becoming Queen is the last thing on Shalitha’s mind, but when an unexpected illness takes down everyone but her, she has no choice but to rise to the occasion.
With more unexplained accidents happening around her, she is convinced none of them is coincidence. But when she sets out to find the truth, she soon finds herself surrounded by dirty intrigues and political schemes where she can no longer tell friend from foe.
Between the enemy at the gates and the unseen enemy within,she must fight with everything she’s got to defend her realm and survive.
But will it be enough?
What inspired you to write Crown of Conspiracy?
Oof. What inspired me to write it? It started off as a challenge to do NaNoWriMo, and all I had were four lines of a prophecy and the character of Shalitha. I had no clear idea of what I wanted exactly, except for a strong female character who doesn’t go by the rules forced upon her. Someone who does what she wants because that is important to her. Ironically, that’s exactly the path I am on now. Foreshadowing at its finest?
Is there going to be a follow up to Crown of Conspiracy?
Oh absolutely. Dance of Despair, book 2 in the Ilvannian Chronicles releases on the 27th of February, and there will be at least two more books after, perhaps even three, depending on what my characters get up to. I have ideas for novellas and even in a spin off, so I’m not yet done with this.