Hi, folks! Today, we’re hosting a quick Q&A with author A. J. King. Click here to check out her Amazon page or read on to find out what we talked about…
Hi,A.J.! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work.
Hi, I’m A. J. King, author of the Power Vested in Me trilogy and Monochrome Fervour, which is a poetry book linked to the trilogy.
Tell us about the Power Vested In Me series – what are the books about?
PVIM is a trilogy. It tells the story of five teenagers who were randomly given special powers as newborn babies.There is seemingly no link between them, except that they were born in the same hospital – until, that is, 13 years later, when they are brought together by Starkey the mysterious stranger who gave them their powers. He calls them the Stardust and sends them on a series of quests. In the first book they travel back in time to five different periods of history to gather five different items. In book two, they travel in their dreams through the Land of Nod seeking just one single item.
What was the reaction like to the first book (The Gatherers)?
The reaction was good, but different to what I had expected. The parts of the book I had expected people would jump on they didn’t and the parts I expected them to just brush over they really latched onto. Even though the books were described as young adult, fantasy readers are of all ages. In fact it was an 85 year old lady who was the only one who recognised the significance of their encounter with HG Wells (the father of time travel) as a baby.
How does the new book build on the first one? What can readers expect to see?
At the end of the first book we discover the purpose of the five items they’ve gathered. Book two starts exactly where Book one ended as they are immediately sucked into the fantasy world of Nod. Also in book two, characters who were merely mentioned in book one become much more significant. We also get to know their families better. This is important as the books are not just about the collection of items – they are about the Stardusts’ life journey. We see them develop both as individuals and as a group as they discover the importance of all their life choices.
I see you did a signing at Swansea Comic Con – how did it go? Have you done any other events?
The Swansea Comic Con was fantastic. It was the first time I’d been to a comic con, let alone done a book signing at one. I had no idea what to expect and was impressed not just by the hard work of the guys who organised it but also with the effort attendees had put into their costumes, making them really authentic. One that was remarkably impressive was Heath Ledger’s Joker. I’ve been invited back this year. It’s at a new larger venue and I think it’s going to be a great day.
In the last year I have done numerous radio interviews which I had thought would be daunting but I was lucky enough to have some great interviewers to ease me through it. I’ve done some book readings, too – one was to a group of scouts and I am sure some of the book characters were present. I could definitely pick out Stuart, Heidi, Pippa and Zak (not sure about Jason though).
What was the last book that you read and what did you think of it?
The last book I read was Absolute Power by David Baldacci. I love his books and style of writing. Looking through the angle of American politics it shows how the more powerful you are, the more misdemeanours you can get away with and the more you expect to get away with, as people become scared to challenge you in case they get crushed into absolute obscurity. What I really like about this author’s books is the way he digs a really deep hole for his characters and you have to wait right until the end to see how and if they get out of it.
What can we expect for the rest of the Power Vested In Me series?
Book two part two should be ready by Christmas. The fantasy part is already written, as is a big chunk of the reality bits. I’m wondering how far I should take this book and how many snippets of information I should give the reader to lead them into book three where, incidentally, all hell breaks loose.
No author goes it alone – tell us a little bit about some of the people who you work with and/or who support your work.
My illustrator Toby Duckfield is superb. We sit together and discuss the covers. He has an entire thought process behind the development of the covers for the trilogy (although I did throw him slightly by making book two in two parts). For the sketches inside I give him suggestions and descriptions and he comes up with them. To be honest, I’m a real pain with these and he has the patience of a saint.
I’ve had a lot of support from friends and colleagues and have been lucky enough to use their knowledge and skills. All relevant people get mentioned in the acknowledgements. My daughter was the first person who read book one and wanted that fact acknowledged as apparently J. K. Rowling did that for her sister.
How do you get the word out about your work?
Social media, interviews like this, book readings, book signings and my website. I use anything I can to spread the word.
What’s next for you?
The next thing is finishing book two part two while marketing book two part one.
Thanks again to A. J. King for stopping by SocialBookshelves.com. Be sure to check out her books on Amazon and to visit her website. You can also follow SocialBookshelves.com on Facebook and Twitter for further updates. I’ll see you soon!