21 October 2013

An Urban Fantasy: The Magical Dreams of K.N. Lee



Writing is therapy for the soul
~ K.N. Lee

In October, I am writing about all things autumnal: from art to spooky books, author interviews, recipes, and autumn-inspired writing prompts AND participating in the Two Pages-a-Day writing challenge.


T
his week, we get to know Chronicles of Koa author K.N. Lee and her wonderfully imaginative brain! 

Nycole and I were introduced to each via a mutual friend on the Book of Face and she is an encouraging and uplifting gal with a lot of sass!  She always has something inspiring to say about writing or a fantastical writing prompt on her blog.

Why do you write?
I write because nothing brings me more joy than the power to create my own world, one in which I can retreat to. Writing is therapy for the soul. It has been my passion since I was a child, and it is the one thing that I can always count on.

Name two mentors who influenced your writing.

Image Credit: K.N. Lee
My grandmother, Brenda Lee! She introduced me to Star Trek and Star Wars, and encouraged me to read and seek out knowledge wherever we went. We could take a walk and she would teach me about the different trees and plants, something that taught me to look deeper at our world.

Another mentor would be my creative writing teacher, Ginger Fox. She was the person that broke me out of my painful shell. For years I wrote novels and stories and I was too afraid to share them with anyone outside of my immediate family. Her encouraging and positive feedback helped me get over my fear and share a few stories with the class. The positive reception from my teacher and classmates lit a fire within me, making me determined to get published.

That was a major turning point in my life.

Name 5 writers you recommend.
Stephen King
Anne Rice
Terry Goodkind
Brandon Sanderson
Alexandre Dumas

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I am always reading! I also love to travel. My trip to South Korea influenced the main character of my novel, The Chronicles of Koa. I love drawing inspiration from new places, cultures, and people. I also enjoy learning different languages!

Describe your writing process.
My stories almost always come from dreams. I write my dreams down every night in a journal, and many of them are my main pool of inspiration. My stories are character driven, so I start from the first line and while I may have an idea of where the story is going, my characters usually take charge and lead me.

Whenever I feel as though the story is losing its focus, I will then create an outline, character list, scene list, etc. One thing that seems to work for me when I am writing is to turn on Pandora and listen to either Celtic music, or movie soundtracks.

It may be distracting for others, but music and the scent of incense or candles transports me to another place…a creative place.

Which character is most like you?
This is easy, although sadly my fans may not know of her yet. Lilae, the main character of my fantasy trilogy, Rise of the Flame is most like me. Many of her childhood experiences, fears, doubts, and thoughts come from moments in my life.

Second to Lilae, I would say Halston, one of the main characters in The Chronicles of Koa. He struggles with morals and what he knows is right versus what his heart tells him. I understand Halston and that is why it was so easy to write his chapters and figure out his role in the story as Koa’s best friend and boss.

Your book, The Chronicles of Koa, is a paranormal fantasy. Why were you drawn to this genre?
I’ve been reading fantasy since I was a very small child. Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t have been reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles in the fifth grade, but alas, I was drawn to it, and I’ve never been able to shake myself from the wonders of the fantasy genre. It is one that I am comfortable with.

Nonetheless, The Chronicles of Koa is more of an urban/paranormal fantasy, when I usually write high fantasy (swords and sorcery) stories. It was a challenge. You’d think writing in modern times and in a modern setting would be easy, but it was an experiment, and sometimes a struggle for me. I suppose I’d rather create my own world versus following the constraints of the ‘real world.’

Are you working on a new book? What is it?
Right now I am working on “Lyrinian Blade” (The Chronicles of Koa #2) which is set to release this December! Other than that, I have started a sci-fi/steampunk novel that has me enthralled at the moment.

One thing I’ve realized is that I have a plethora of ideas that I feel that I must crank out at full speed, but I am learning to take my time and devote the necessary attention to one story at a time. It is a hard lesson, but I can see its importance.

What does your writing space look like?
I write wherever I am. I carry a notebook and pen with me always. I do have a desk in front of a large window at home. I turn on the music, light a candle and get to work. It’s a little cluttered right now, with notes and drawings, but it works for me.

Give 2-3 pieces of advice for writers.
·         Never stop writing or give up on your dreams.
·         Write every day. Even if you don’t feel like it, you must set either a word count goal or a time limit and sit down and get to work!
·         Read! Writers must write…and read. How else will you know what works and what doesn’t? Reading can fuel your inspiration; don’t let such an excellent tool go to waste.

Favorite Doctor?
Easy! David Tennant! He is the best!

Jeremy Brett or Benedict Cumberbatch?
Oh my. Oh my. Benedict Cumberbatch. No one can compete with his quiet, calculated, charisma and intelligence. He is my favorite.


Image Credit: K.N. Lee

Nycole didn’t mention specific Celtic music she listens to while writing, but I know for a fact that Loreena McKennitt is one of her favorites.  Sound familiar, dear readers? 

Thanks for stopping by La Belle, Nycole!  And best of luck with Lyrian Blade ~ we can’t wait to see how things turn out!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of the Chronicles of Koa!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Have you read the Chronicles?  Weigh in!

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