Monday, March 24, 2014

Featured Author: A.E. Kirk




A.E. Kirk, author of the romance/sci-fi novel, Loving In Time

, published by Vanguard Press, is on tour with Pump Up Your Book Tours. Today, Abi talks a little bit about her book, herself, and writing, and she treats us to an excerpt from the book.

 

About the book:

High-school student Helen Xenakis becomes instantly swept up into a love heptagon, where seven strikingly handsome boys have sworn to protect her from a group of soldiers, who have come from the past to kill her. Yet the boys hold an ancient information that will unlock Helen's past, for she is Helen of Troy, the Princess of Sparta. When given a life altering decision, Helen leaves her modern present and goes back into the past and tries to stop a vicious cycle involving the boys, herself and someone who is very close to her. But when the time comes to break that cycle, will Helen come to terms with what must be done? 



Interview with Abi Kirk:

Abi, do you have another job outside of writing?

I currently have one, I'm a Care and Support Assistant, but I'm aiming for 3 jobs this year. Sadly, the UK doesn't pay in money, it pays in tax.



How do you get to know your characters?

The only way I know how, I act them out, out loud. As weird as that sounds, I think of an incident in my head, and while driving and making myself look like some loon that's escaped from bedlam, I talk out loud how they'd react in that situation and the more I do this, the more I understand how they would speak to other characters. I'm not sure if other writers do this, but this is how I get to know my characters.



Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I enjoyed writing Marcus. He's so sarcastic and bossy and doesn't take crap. And although has a soft spot for Helen, as all the boys do, he's the only one who hates to love her.



Is Loving In Time based on real events?

Oh another tricky question, yes and no. Yes in the sense that archaeologists believe that the War of Troy existed, and no because the way that Homer incorporated's mythology into his events isn't true, sadly.



Are you like any of your characters?

I'm very much like Dom. I tell the truth, I'm annoyingly honest. 



Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

I think the dodgeball scene. I have a very strange sense of humour and had to stop and leave the laptop because I was laughing so hard when I was writing it. If truth be told, if I had the power to stop time, I would have done exactly the same thing. That's the only bit where my personality springs into Helen- and also it would be Sod's Law that the ball smacks into her face as that would definitely happen to me. 



What song would you pick to go with your book?

"The Moment I Said It" by Imogen Heap.



Who are your favorite authors?

What a question! Gosh um, JK Rowling, Andy McDermott, Brandon Sanderson, Steig Larsson, L.M Alcott, John Connelly, P.V Brett, Pittacus Lore. Steven Gould, Jean Auel, to name a few.

That's quite a list. 

You get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?

Ooh, a tricky question. There are so many people with sexy voices. I think it would have to be... Johnny Depp.



I don’t claim to be an expert on writing, but there are some writing techniques (or mistakes) that stand out to me when I read (e.g. when an author switches POV mid-scene). What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?

I hate it when people write "Okay" in an historical novel. The word didn't exist until 1940's so, why would people be saying it during the Tudor times?




Good point. Let's say you’re leaving your country for a year. What’s the last meal (or food) you would want to have before leaving?

Strangely, I left the UK in 2012 and was South Korea bound for a year, and the last meal I had at home was a large family roast. Capon (which is an extra large chicken), sage and onion stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and roast potatoes, roasted parsnips, pork stuffing, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts with white sauce. Heaven!


Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

I've worked in a bookstore, in Waterstones in Newton Abbot, and I loved it there. When new books came out it was lovely seeing people's faces light up in awe that they've got hold of something they've been waiting for, for months, even years. I was working there during the time The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini came out, and some girls were screaming when they got hold of the book. That type of fandom and love of books, really comes from a bookstore.


Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?


The library at Lampeter University in Wales. It was my favourite place to escape to. Be engrossed in arhcaeology books and ignore everyone around me. It was bliss.


You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?


Go to a new forest or a lake up country and just go for a walk, on my own.


What would your dream office look like?

It would have three white walls and one that would be a pastel orange with Egyptian hieroglyphs, Celtic designs and Nordic runes decorating it. The other walls would have pictures of landscapes from around the world, and on the desk I'd have my laptop, a calendar of Harry Potter, a multi-coloured beanbag in the corner, a comfy swivel chair, a huge funky-looking bookshelf with all my favourite fiction books, up-to date thesaurus and dictionary, and a research cabinet full of mythology, witchcraft and pirate books. And I'd also have a heater because England is always cold.



What’s your favorite candy bar? And don’t tell me you don’t have one!

Damn, I have too many. I'm a Cadbury fan, always have been. I think I actually eat my weight in chocolate several times over a month- no joke. Currently I'm obsessed with Mikado, they are also called Poki, or Peppero- chocolate covered biscuit sticks. I don't usually have bars of chocolate, I have slabs of it.



What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

Andy McDermott's new book, The Valhalla Prophecy, Brandon Sanderon's Mistborn series, and Stieg Larsson's The Millennium Trilogy. All amazing, can't-put-down books from start to finish.



What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I'm not writing, sadly I'm working. There's no rest for the wicked. I read a few hours before I go to sleep and play.



What are you working on now?

Currently I am working on a horror story called The Cursed Hill at the moment in time. I got the inspiration from watching Ghost Adventures, which I absolutely adore. The story is based lightly on the Pendle Witch Trials, which are similar to the Salem Witch Trials. I'm taking it very slowly, but I hope to go on a writer's retreat in June to see if I can punch through several more chapters.



Good luck! And thanks for being here today!


Excerpt from Loving In Time

Deciding that fourth and fifth period would be just as boring as the rest of the day, I called it quits and thought it was a good idea to go home. I had a damn good excuse for not going to the annoying classes of gym and crappy French. First off, gym was crap. If I had to hear that pathetic threat of ‘If you don’t pass this class I’ll keep you back a year,’ from Mr. Ash who is the nastiest man I had ever known, I would up and leave then and there. Secondly watching the guys playing up in French because they were head over heels in love with Madame Celion who seemed to adore the attention was enough to make you vomit. How the hell I was passing these crappy classes was a mystery. Plus what I found stupid was that they weren’t going to help me in my career, so I didn’t see the point in them.

As I got out of the front entrance and back into the sunshine, I came across a few rather attractive guys that I hadn’t met before. They were huddled together by the bush at the bottom of the steps that smells like wet dog. I walked past them only to be stopped by one who smoothly stepped out in front of me. For a few seconds the guy took my breath away. With messy brown hair and piercing brown eyes to match. a strange little girl screamed inside my head, ‘HE’S THE PERFECT GUY TO MARRY!’ Trying to inwardly beat her with a stick to shut her up, I regained my composure and acted aloof.

‘What?’ I asked, not in the mood for pleasantries.

‘Oh ho! And here I thought all you girls were nice,’ he said with a strange accent. It was American but there was a slight twinge of Greek in there.

‘Wrong girl,’ I said with a smarmy smile and ducked past him, but with a running-jog he caught up with me, blocking my path again. Sighing, I stood there waiting for him to say something.

Smiling like a freak he copied me by sighing heavily and remained mute.

‘Marcus, you going to tell her or what?’ called one of the other boys from behind me.

‘No, I don’t think I will,’ he smiled then moved aside. ‘But I will be speaking to you again, Wrong Girl,’ he named me and then with a cheeky wink of his right eye, walked past me and headed back to his friends.

For what seemed like an age, I stood there trying to understand what the hell had just happened. A cute guy stops me to tell me something, then gives me a weird name and walks off. ‘Ignore it and go home,’ I finally ordered myself. Somehow my feet listened and began to move; my head on the other hand was full of freaked out fuzzy crap. ‘Marcus was cute though,’ I told myself as I walked down the driveway, barely noticing that my parents cars weren’t there. ‘Weird but very cute,’ I smiled.


Discuss this book in the PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads by clicking here

About the author:


Abi Kirk is a writer of sorts. Mostly she writes about fantasy or science-fiction for young adults and or horror for adults. After teaching and traveling most of Asia in 2012 and early 2013, Abi now lives in Devon, UK and is constantly inspired by the views of the sloping, idyllic landscapes around her.



She got her inspiration to write this book while competing for a Writers Competition on Wattpad in 2011, and after coming in joint-second, Abi was guided by her fans and readers to seek out publishers.


Her first published book, Loving In Time, can be found on Amazon.co.uk and Pegasus Publishers website for those who live outside of the UK.


Connect with Abi:
Website
Blog | Facebook | 
Twitter | Goodreads |   


Buy the book:
Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | 

Blackwell's | Pegasus Publishers (US buyers)


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