Greetings Brave Adventurers,
I’m very pleased to have Naomi Eccles-Smith, author of the fabulous Kin Seeker on my blog today for a chat. You can see my review of Kin Seeker here.
HFA: Hi Naomi, and thanks for joining me on my blog.
Thank you for having me!
HFA: Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I’m a fantasy author/ illustrator living on the Gold Coast, Australia. Animal-lover, gamer-chick, fantasy-addict, and deeply creative soul, I will always and forever remain enveloped in fictional stories and the depth of wonder, excitement and delight they add to the world.
Interestingly enough, my calling as a writer didn’t awaken until I was in senior high school. Only then were my eyes truly opened to the wealth within creative literature. Before that, I thought I’d be an animator or cartoonist (I used to draw all the time as a kid).
HFA: Who are your favourite authors?
There are so many amazing authors out there, but when it comes to naming my ‘favourites’ I find it easiest to pick the authors who’ve written in my preferred genre (fantasy), and who’ve inspired me as a writer in way one or another (otherwise the list would be too long! lol). So my favourites are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Emily Rodda, Diana Wynne Jones, C.S. Lewis, Peter S. Beagle, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, and J.K.Rowling.
HFA: What’s a typical writing day like for you?
A typical writing day will include at least three cups of tea, a lot of staring at the screen whilst playing a scene over and over again in my head (instead of writing down said scene whilst imagining it); getting up off my writing chair (or lounge), and finding an unnecessary distraction; mentally scolding myself for being distracted and forcing myself to sit back down again; finally writing something new, then going back over older scenes/ pages for the umpteenth time, when really I should be sustaining my new inspirations and continuing on from the new paragraphs.
Mmm … probably should throw in a couple more “getting up off my chair and finding unnecessary distractions” moments.
HFA: Kin Seeker is your debut novel. Can you tell us a bit about it, and the inspiration behind it?
Kin Seeker is the first in a five-part fantasy series (called Dragon Calling) following the adventures of a young dragon named Laeka’Draeon, in his quest to find the others of his kind. The character, Laeka’Draeon, originated from a ‘children’s fable’ as a part of the world-building of a different fantasy story I was working on years ago. Kind of like a story within a story.
But the more I continued working on the ‘main’ story, the more my mind strayed back to the ‘fable’. I found myself wondering what exactly made this young dragon so famous that his tale became a legend passed down through generations of story-tellers. I was curious, and my curiosity grew until I found myself enveloped by his world and his story. The other fantasy story was set aside, and I followed after this young dragon, drawn to him in a way I’ve never been drawn to a character before.
It’s a strange way to find a story, I think. I’m not sure where the exact inspirations came from, but the fantasy stories I grew up with as a child were obviously good fertiliser. Dragons, unicorns, centaurs–these are all very standard mythical beings, but I think you can always make them your own when they are not forced into the story; when they come to you as though they were always a part of the threads colouring the tapestry of your created world; as natural as the green of grass and the twinkle of the stars.
HFA: I absolutely loved the epigraphs in Kin Seeker. And I believe you did your own cover art as well. Poet? Artist? Writer? Which one describes you best.
I’m very pleased you enjoyed the epigraphs! They’re a small but expressive addition to the overall world-building of the series, and I thoroughly enjoy creating them (almost as much as I enjoy creating characters). A good thing, too, since there’s an epigraph for every chapter in each of the novels (twenty eight in Kin Seeker, and Kin Seeker is the smallest of the books)!
And yes, I designed and illustrated the cover (and all the illustrations on the Dragon Calling website related to the series). A lot of people know me for my drawing talents, and with my debut novel, they’re starting to get a taste of my writing, too. It’s rare for people to see me as a poet, but I suppose I am, in a small (yet hopefully eloquent) way. If anything, people generally describe me as ‘that really talented girl’. Hahaha. I’m very flattered and humbled when people praise me so generously.
HFA: What can we expect next for Laeka’Draeon, Ubi and their friends?
There are quite a few surprises in store for Laeka’Draeon and his friends–some pleasant, some not so much, and a couple that really stir things up and thicken the plot! You’ll get to see the centaurs in action, and meet fascinating new characters (both good and bad), and get your first good and proper glimpse at the most dangerous antagonist in the series. Plus, a brief encounter in the first book becomes a thread tied to Laeka’Draeon’s quest in a way he never could have imagined.
HFA: Any idea of when the sequel will be available for purchase?
At present, I’m working hard toward getting Kin Seeker’s official paperback book launch off the ground. Once that ball’s rolling steadily, I’ll fix my attention on getting the second book ready for publication. Thankfully, it has already been written and is ready to go through the various editing, typesetting, and cover design processes. I’m aiming for an August/ September 2014 release date for the second book, but if things go well in regards to Kin Seeker’s paperback launch, it might be earlier.
On a side note, I’m also working on comic-styled mini prologues of each of the characters Laeka’Draeon encounters. The prologues will cover what each of the secondary characters were doing leading up to their first encounter with the young dragon. I’ll be posting the comics up on my website when they’re done, so keep an eye out for them! In the future, they will likely be added to the back of the Special Edition version of Kin Seeker, along with other bonus materials.
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You can connect with Naomi through the following channels:
Website – http://dragoncalling.wordpress.com/
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/342932
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/thewhimwerecat/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/dragoncalling
Book Trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcOgsLZDSJA