What do inspiration, kindred spirit, and swag have in common?
C.A King, that’s what. C.A. or Carol to her friends is the next author on the Summer Splash Book Blog Tour. She is an inspiration to all self-published authors, especially me. She is fearless when it comes to self-promotion and knowing the ins-and-outs of this crazy business. What I like most about Carol though, is that she doesn’t mind sharing her knowledge and helping other self-published authors along their journey.
Carol’s Insights on Writing
How long have you been writing?
I have always written. The first novel I started for myself in 2012. I had no thoughts of publishing at the time.
What genre do you write in?
Do you hand-write or use a laptop/PC when creating.
I like the laptop.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I can escape reality for a while.
Do you have a favorite time of day to write?
In the evening. When the house is settled and quiet.
Do you have a planned schedule for writing?
I need to work on schedules more. I try to always participate in NaNoWriMo the camps and in November. That helps a lot.
Carol’s insights on Character Development
How in depth are you when you create your characters e.g.; background stories, favorite foods, genealogy?
I think of my characters like children. In the beginning of a series, they are in their “raw” form and that is deliberate on my part. I want the reader to be there and actually see what makes them who they are.
In my personal opinion there isn’t enough time in one book to experience the growing pains of life. In a series, however, you have a chance for not only the protagonist to learn, but, also really delve deep into expanding on the supporting characters as well.
It’s important to me, that if a person takes the time to read my books, they can fully invest their emotions into every aspect. When you meet a character, they have a purpose and aren’t just there for page filler. To me, there is nothing worse than having someone introduced into a story and never hearing about them again.They each have their own tastes, foods, clothing, hair, accessories.
Who is you favorite character to write for e.g.; protagonist, villain, sidekick etc.
I like characters that teeter between good and bad. The ones that are in the grey area and keep the reader guessing as to where their loyalties are.
Do you have a favorite character that you have created, and why is she/he/it your favorite?
Jade ~. I love her! She evolves so much through the series that you won’t know she is the same girl by the end. It’s a spoiler but she has a big role to play.
Carol’s Insights on Merchandising and Promotion
Besides your books, do you have merchandise that readers can purchase?
I love Swag. I have a lot of swag, but I don’t always sell it. Sometimes I give it away, or use it in raffles. Items I have are:
Sunglasses – There are characters who wear sunglasses in the books quite a bit.
Trees -. My books have environmental issues woven into the plot. There are also great trees (right now Tree of Justice, Hope, Freedom and Love). What better swag could there be than tree seedlings. You get to plant your own great tree for whatever you need and spread a little magic to the environment. It’s a win-win.
Pens, Bookmarks, Mugs, glasses, steins, buttons, postcards, mousepads, tote bags
If you have merchandise where did you have them made?
Vistaprint, http://www.amsterdamproducts.ca/, Zazzle I buy bags for packaging (especially bookmark bags from clear bags.)
Do you think it is important to have merchandise, (besides your books) at promotional events?
I do think some is a good thing. I go a bit overboard sometimes.
Do you have future merchandising ideas that you would like to share?
I, ordered too many pens and have decided to make them into something a little more memorable. To do this I am turning them into an entirely different product by packaging them with a piece of bark. The following quote from book five of my series should help you understand.
“Bettulla,” Elfred answered. “A true goddess of the woods. Once a year she would shed paper thin pieces of bark and grant love to all who wrote requests on them. Now she stands here, silent, merely a shadow lost in a forest.”
With a simple piece of bark and some packaging added, my pen becomes the instrument with which to request love from The Tree of Love Bettulla.
In a short paragraph tell us about your book. If it is a series tell us about each book.
The main protagonist, Willow, is a teenage girl growing up on her own in a magical world where the events of the past are a mystery. A series of events set her and her friends on a journey like no other, leading them to a new understanding of themselves, their feelings and their abilities. As they begin to unravel all that previously transpired, they find themselves the sole opposition to a plot that could destroy all existence. The one clue they have is a book filled with hundreds of predictions called ‘The Portal Prophecies’. Deciphering them however, will not be an easy task. Written by someone from their past, the pages are lined with riddle like poems. Even worse they appear to be in no particular order.
Each book is based on a different prophecy leading our heroes and heroines to new places and new friends while experiencing growing pains along the way. The entire series, delves deep into the understanding of magic and self-discovery, all the while questioning the right versus wrong equation on personal levels. As the books progress, readers will find some new explanations for old tales, myths, legends, folk lore and unusual phenomena that could just make them question the validity of stories we all have grown up with. Vampires, Witches, Ghosts, Monsters, Santa Claus, Atlantis, Elves, Dragons, Faeries, find out the alternate truth to them all.
Book One – introduces you to Willow’s world as she starts the road to self-discovery. The book, The Portal Prophecies, ends up in her hands and it’s a race to solve their first riddle.
Book Two – takes place at Halloween. Witches, vampires, zombies, ghosts and more wait for our Heroes. More than one riddle needs to be deciphered. But are they all prophecies, or could one be a curse?
Book Three – is a winter wonderland. Another prophecy lurks over our heroes’ heads. This book brings you alternate explanations for Yeti, Santa Claus, Christmas elves and the ice age.
Book Four – sees Willow forced to attend school without any of her friends. She’s being isolated from everyone she knows. Can she solve the prophecy without her usual help? Can she make new friends? In this book the reader will be introduced to all new characters, including the elf races.
Book Five – takes place in the Elf realm. Willow’s considered an outsider there and sets out on a quest to prove her worth. Readers will have their imagination filled with dragons, fairies, Atlantis. We’ll also find out about some well-known names from history, such as; Merlin, Pandora and more. The pieces are starting to pull together in this book.
Book Six (Available this fall) will be the epic finale. This storyline will come to a close. Don’t worry, there is bound to be a spin off or two.
What is up next for you e.g. up and coming events, another book/series, movie deal.
August 20th and 21st – Arts Fest
August 26th – 28th Fan World Niagara
September 1st – 4th Fan Expo
September 11th – Hamilton PPD
September 17th – Ignite Your Soul Author Event
September 25th – Word on the Street Toronto
October 1st and 2nd – Hamilton Comic Con
Weekends in October – Bizarro’s Factory of Fear
March 17th-19th 2017 – Toronto Comic Con
New Series – Merliance (A Portal Prophecies Spin off)
New Series – Tomoiya’s Story (Vampire Alien race)
Thank you so much Carol for joining me today, you are indeed an inspiration. Please provide our readers with your contact information and links to your work.