ABOUT THE BOOKNicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities — yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.
This doesn’t stop her from competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.
Nicole turns to her best friend, Lizzie, for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.
As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice — especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA PEARSON
Andrea, how did you get started writing, and when did you become an “author?”
Back in 2008, I finished my very first book — a middle-grade fantasy called The Key of Kilenya. It’s a story that had developed over the years, ever since I was a child and played games with my brother. It developed into a six-book series. By the end of 2009, I was picked up by an agent who landed me a contract with one of the Big Five. Exciting as that was, I couldn’t get over the feeling that I’d end up regretting the choice if I signed with them. I turned down the contract, much to the chagrin of my agent (and trad-pubbed author friends). Over the next year or so, as I tried to figure out where I needed to go that would serve my books best, I ultimately decided to self-publish. It’s been wonderful.
What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
The flow of creativity. Basically, when I get into a scene and lose myself in the characters, their thoughts and dilemmas, and feel like I’m actually there. It’s pretty exciting.
What books do you currently have published?
The Kilenya Series, a six-book middle grade fantasy series
The Katon University series, a five-book YA fantasy series
Bezza’s Book of Enchantments, an illustrated chapter book
The Kilenya Romances, a three-novella teen romance series
Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
Don’t market until you have several books available. While waiting, aim to increase reviews on books you’ve published and newsletter subscribers. Don’t be afraid to give away a free eBook to anyone who’s interested in joining the newsletter list. Once you have several books available, with multiple reviews each (Verified Purchase reviews), then start slow and see which websites work the best, one at a time. Ask other authors for their favorite websites to promote with and try those out. Don’t let yourself get discouraged when downloads don’t happen immediately or when popular promoting sites say no – it’ll only derail you from doing what’s most important: writing more books. And having fun while writing those books.
How long have you been a writer?
I was a technical writer for several years before switching to fiction. Technical, including: writing knowledge base articles for the computer industry and legal documents for attorneys, etc. I’ve only been a fiction writer since 2008. I absolutely love it.
How do you feel about Facebook?
I have a love/hate relationship with it and pretty much all social-networking sites. Facebook has been very beneficial as a way to keep up with old friends, family, readers, and other authors, but I’ve found, especially recently, that a lot of people abuse their ability to comment and are frequently unkind to other people. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook for this reason — I’d rather be writing or spending time with my husband and daughter instead of trying not to get mad on a friend’s behalf at a rude comment someone made.
What five things would you never want to live without?
Dairy products, meat, my Kindle, and my family. (Was that cheating?)
A little. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an extrovert. It’s toned down a bit since college and since becoming a writer, but I enjoy being with people, speaking, and making others laugh.
What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Nachos, buttered popcorn (air popped, not the kind they serve at theaters), water . . . and a little bit of something sweet to counter the warm salty.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“The greater the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly.” – Thomas Payne
What would your main characters say about you?
Probably that I hate them. Mainly because I inflict so much pain on them and don’t allow them to enjoy the simple pleasures of life very often. Hey – I write fantasy and soft horror. Readers don’t want simple pleasures, they want excitement.
Have you ever been to a fortune teller? What did she tell you?
I’ve never been to an “actual” fortune teller, but I did have a friend for a few years who believed she had been given gifts from God to tell people their past lives. She said I’d previously been a dog and had been married to her dog. She truly believed this. I never knew if I should be offended or amused.
Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could invite anyone in the world?
My grandpa, who has since passed on. He was a full-time author, with more than 50 books published (many of which he ghost wrote and never told anyone the titles of). He wrote thousands of essays and was a keynote speaker at colleges and universities across the country. He passed away when I was 17, long before I knew I wanted to be a writer. I wish I’d taken the opportunity to talk to him about his books and writing career. It would be nice now that I’m also an author to get pointers from him and to hear what he thinks of the current state of publishing.
What's your relationship with your cell phone?
An interesting one. I have several Twitter accounts of “big” people in the publishing industry set up to come straight to my phone as text messages. This helps me keep up with all the big news in the publishing world. So, I love my phone for this reason. I also love listening to author podcasts while on my stationary bike, playing games.
How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
I’ve always aimed for at least eight, especially while in college or pregnant. I don’t handle less than that very well, and find I’m much more productive when I get plenty of sleep. Plus, I have Epstein Barr and get really sick with horrible flare-ups when I’m not sticking to eight hours of sleep on a regular schedule.
What are you working on now?
Another YA fantasy series, along with a romance series. I’m really enjoying both. The fantasy series is a combination of my Kilenya and Katon University series – the characters team up to fight “bad guys” and monsters. The romance series is based in a fictional town called Cobblestone in Nevada, near Reno and Carson City. I need to pick one of these and focus on it, but for now, it’s been enjoyable jumping back and forth.
Cake or frosting? Cake
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray
Emailing or texting? Texting
Indoors or outdoors? Both – depending on the weather. Usually outdoors.
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Sweet.
Plane, train, or automobile? Plane!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connect with Andrea:
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