1. Why did you choose to write in the Fantasy genre?
I’ve always enjoyed reading YA fantasy, especially the more realistic, character-driven variety, and I follow the writing rule, “Don’t write what you know. Write what you love.”
2. Are you interested in writing in any other genres or will you stick to magic and fantasy?
I write a lot of genres. My science fiction and contemporary short stories are published in various magazines. Leaving Home, my collection of short work, contains flash fiction thrillers, travel narratives, re-told fairy tales, and even poetry. For kicks, I just wrote a mini romance.
3. What type of magic system can we expect to read about in Far-Knowing?
Nearly a quarter of the population possesses a faint glimmer of magic, enough to enchant a fussy baby to sleep, or sense strong emotions in their loved ones. Only naturally gifted and well-trained mages can do serious magic, however. In one scene, Kalli needs the guards to see what they want to see on her fake identity papers. To cast the enchantment, she uses gold dust, a hair from a beautiful maiden, and a bit of dried beef—all containing the essence of things that the guards might want to see. Much magic is based on perception, so it’s a tricky art. And of course, not everything goes right, especially for our characters.
4. Although I am sure you love all of your characters equally, is their one character from Far-Knowing that you like a little bit more than the others?
I like Kalli. She’s a little prickly, but she’s really dedicated to what she believes to be right, and never stops fighting for it.
5. Have you always known you wanted to be an author?
Yes. Even before I really started writing stories, I invented them in my head and acted them out with friends. I still have folders full of cringe-worthy material I wrote in pencil, in a kid’s careful handwriting, when I was in fifth or sixth grade.
6. Is there a romance in Far-Knowing, and if so, what kind of relationship is it?
There’s just the beginning of some romance, but it’s not the main plot. For a bit more romance, wait for AGRILON’S ARROW, my next fantasy.
7. What is the most challenging aspect of the writing/publishing process?
Promotion. I’m not very good at selling myself.
8. What is the most rewarding aspect of the writing/publishing process?
The sheer creativity of the process is rewarding, but I admit I also like the product. When I re-read something I’ve written, and get so caught up I forget I’m supposed to be editing, it’s a real sense of accomplishment. I also love it when the characters do things without my permission.
9. Without giving spoilers, of course, what can you share with us about Far-Knowing that the synopsis does not cover?
I think readers will really like the differences between Kalli and Ista, the two mage apprentices from completely different backgrounds, who don’t like each other much, but who have to work together. I’ve always been fascinated by how people can see the same situation in completely different ways, and I’ve brought that out in the book.
10. I like to play a small game at the end of an interview. I will start the sentence, and you finish it however you like!
(A) I am happiest when…I’m surrounded by trees or water…or both.
(B) I wish there were 8 days in the week instead of just 7 so I could spend more time…writing.
(C) People might be surprised if they knew I…speak a little Czech..
(D) I’m not trying to brag, but I’m pretty good at…board games and card games.
(E) The world would be a better place if… everyone lived by the motto, “First, do no harm.”