Interview with Shona Kinsella…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
My name is Shona Kinsella and I’m a fantasy author. I live in Scotland with my husband and children. My debut novel, Ashael Rising, was published by Unbound on 06/02/2017. Ashael is an apprentice medicine woman who must learn how to protect her people from soul-sucking invaders from another world.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Lots of places! The idea for Ashael Rising came from a dream but for other stories it’s been a word or phrase that I’ve heard, a picture, something I see when I’m out for a walk, a funny thing one of my kids says …
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
No, not really. Some of my characters have certain traits that reflect people I know but not a whole character. What I would say more is that many of the relationships that I write about reflect the relationships I have had with other people.
How do you pick your characters names?
Generally, my main characters spring into my head fully-formed with their names already attached. With minor characters, I usually go for a linguistic theme. So, the names either share a common root or sound.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
Sit down at the keyboard and see what falls out. I realise that sounds glib, but it really is how it works for me. I rarely have a plan, beyond a vague idea of how the next bit of the story should go and sometimes I don’t even have that.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Only five?! In no particular order, Stephen King, Brandon Sanderson, Karin Slaughter, Kate Mosse and Terry Pratchett. But that’s just today. There are many, many authors that I admire and may pick as a favourite in a different mood.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Stephen King, and “Can you teach me?”
Were you a big reader as a child?
Definitely, I was rarely found without a book. By the time I got my adult library card, I had read all of the children’s books, some of them more than once.
When did you start to write?
I wrote as a child and in my teens but put it aside for other pursuits, like a job. I only started to write seriously in 2014, after taking a career break to care for my children.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
The Returned by Jason Mott. I thought it was a really intriguing concept, but the end fell flat for me – nothing is resolved, and it felt like he had run out of time. I would have given it a bit more of a resolution, some explanation for the events of the book.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
No, because each book belongs to their author. If I had written it, it wouldn’t be the same book.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
My Adventure in Words
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Is it cheating if I pick one of my own characters? I would probably choose Bhearra (the healer and spiritual leader in Ashael Rising) and take her to Tchai Ovna, a little tea house in the West End of Glasgow. They have an amazing variety of teas and the best chocolate brownies – I think Bhearra would love it there.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on book two in the Vessel of KalaDene series, Ashael Falling. In amongst that I’ve got a few projects in various stages; some short stories, two novellas and a serialised story that I’m collaborating on with a wonderful artist.
Do you have a new release due?
The serial is due to launch in spring and I hope to have two novellas out this year.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Have a glass of bubbly with my husband.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
You can check out my website at www.shonakinsella.com, follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/shona_kinsella, Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShonaKinsellaAuthor and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shona.kinsella/
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Thank you for reading, I’ve really enjoyed answering these questions!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Shona 🙂
Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe. The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land. Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of those taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance. When Ashael meets Iwan in the forest, neither realise that she is the one the Zanthar are looking for. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on her shoulders.
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Author Bio –
Shona Kinsella is the author of Ashael Rising, (Unbound, 2017) the first in her series, The Vessel of KalaDene. She is also one of the editors of the British Fantasy Society’s fiction publication, Horizons. When she is not writing or wrangling her three children, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.
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