Hey guys! So here is another interview with a fellow writer. You might recognize the name from yesterday’s post. E. Kaiser Writes is launching a new series “Thaw” this week, and I’m so happy to be helping her spread the word.
And so without further ado here is the interview.
1) How did you come up with the ideas for your series Thaw?
Well, I’d wanted to write a piece titled Winter Queen for some time now, it just seemed like such a great title and there was a lot of heavy drama in it, to my mind. (Also I had a lovely picture for the cover, of a white dress taken by my sis that evoked a story-tale feel.) But I had another person’s story in my head (basically a maiden ends up married to Winter itself, and she becomes the Winter Queen and lives forever while everyone else dies, but that’s okay because she’s protected from the cold by her husband.) I didn’t want to go that route, but nothing was materializing. Then when Frozen came out, and I liked some of what they did, but felt there was so much missing… especially the Christian themes in Anderson’s original. While researching that the idea came to combine the Snow Maiden tale with the Snow Queen, borrow a bit from Disney’s version, (it is a universal truth that as soon as they do a version of a tale it immediately becomes the stock version for American audiences!) add in some historical aspects, toss it into a not-quite-Europe world and add a generous helping of “what if then?”
After that it just grew, and became three books; with a fourth and fifth in the offing.
After that, there are a lot of minor characters that will get to have major roles in spin-offs, retelling even more fairytales in a faith-focused way!
2) How many years(months) did it take for you to finish your series?
They had percolated in my mind a long time, as I resisted writing them down. I had “better things to work on” and I was trying to “finish the WIPs” that pack my docs folders… but then, just to get the plot out of my head and encourage it to fly away, I told my sister about it. She got so excited that she insisted a write it down, even if just to make it a story or novella length. ‘Just write the really good parts.”
As soon as I started writing it all came pouring out in a huge tangled mass and there were no “not good parts” I could throw away. It quickly escalated to a novel, then two, and I was really hoping to keep it there. But no… Winter’s Child splintered off as a origins prequel, and then Reindeer King and Princess of Noran insisted on happening, and we were up to a five book set up.
Then… our boy Hess, (did you know that Hess is named after a place in Germany? Also, we once had neighbors with the last name of Hess, and as soon as I cast about of a name for our beloved Prince of Demargen, Hess just stuck to him like glue. As a nod to the historical origins, his mother Queen Agatha, says it’s from her side of the family… and she is a inner kingdom princess, from the area on the map, if corrolated to the Europe’s map; would be approximately Hesse. With a silent “e”.) Anyway, our boy Hess is one of 13 princes, (which we borrowed from the Disney version, it was too cute to toss, and the sequels it leads to…!!!!) So… his 12 older brothers all get spin-offs, retelling other fairytales. Princess and the Pea? Yep. Snow White? Yep. Cinderella? You got the picture!!!
But first, we’ll travel back in time to when our boy Hess was only a little tyke, too young to be out of the nursery, and the year that his 12 older brothers got into trouble of a nasty sort in Twelve Dark Knights, (a 12 Dancing Princesses twist.) (I absolutely love this one! It’s going to be so much fun!)
Anyway, to answer your question, Winter’s Child, Winter Queen, & Prince of Demargen came out in one year; I started letting them onto the page last January. Those 3 are finished, and I have 56k on Reindeer King, under 10k on Princess of Noran (a super fun book!) and 17k on Twelve Dark Knights. (Another super fun one!)
So yeah. We’ll have to see how this year goes, but I hope to have 3-to-5 of the others readied, possibly out, by 2016. I have to move fast, because they’re putting so much pressure on my poor brain! I’ve got to get them removed…
3) What made you decide to self publish?
It’s really the only way I would ever be published in this day and age, with the shrinking pool of pulishers and the current trends, my work would have little chance of ever seeing print. I’m too old fashioned…
I knew this from the beginning, and tried really hard to quit writing as a teen because “there was no way I was going to be published.” There were a lot of reasons: I had no connections, my style was literary-ish, my faith was non-negotiable, and my subjects could be best described as “wholesome but edgy.”
Yeah, try thinking of one publisher that loves that kind of stuff…!
It was very discouraging, and I went through a lot of depression that writing was actually my best therapy for… but at the same time I felt like I was throwing time down a black hole from which nothing would ever come of it.
With the advent of indie publishing, I actually have a chance to have books in print and kindle… I’ve made fans and online connections that have really meant the world to me.
As a result I am much more confidant in my possibilities of a future as an author, and it’s because of this shift in the publishing world. The Lord makes a way; I guess!