K.C. May is the author of The Kinshield Saga, we’ve talked to her about the latest release and other upcoming projects.
Can you tell us a bit about The Kinshield Saga?
It’s the story of warrant knight Gavin Kinshield as he tries to unravel the mystery of what happened to his country’s last king 200 years ago. A warrant knight is a cross between a federal marshal and a mercenary. Gavin’s not your typical hero — he’s a flawed individual, but he’s honorable and means well.
There are four novels in the series, and a sort of prequel novella. The novella isn’t necessary to the series, but for readers who are particularly interested in the character named Sithral Tyr, it sheds some light on his background.
You’ve just released the fourth book in the series, how has the response been?
Kinshield’s Redemption has been getting wonderful reviews, and I receive emails and messages every day from readers to thank me for writing the series and for wrapping it up the way I did. I’m glad (and relieved) that people like the ending. There were a few ways it could’ve gone.
Can you give us a sneak peek into your upcoming fantasy novel, A Piper at the Gates of Dawn
I’m intrigued with the notion of communicating with dolphins by using a combination of music and the Chinese language. What could they teach us? The story is about a flute player who learns a lost magic form from a dolphin she befriends. This is the first of a 2-book series.
You’ve written both Fantasy and Science Fiction, which do you prefer?
That’s hard to say. I love them both for different reasons. The research required to write (plausible) science fiction is a lot of fun, but so is the ability to make my own rules like I can in fantasy. I’m not big into space-based science fiction as a reader, and so I write the kind of earth-based, near-future stories I like to read. Unfortunately, I’m somewhat in the minority of SF readers in my tastes. haha!
You are also collaborating with India Drummond on a new novel, how did that come about?
India and I struck up a friendship on Facebook, having read and enjoyed each other’s books, and both of us have been curious about the prospect of coauthoring a book. She asked if I might be interested in writing an epic fantasy together, and I definitely am! Our styles are similar, as are our tastes in stories. We’ve got part of the book outlined, but I don’t suspect we’ll start writing until 2014. We each have our own (solo) projects to work on as well.
You are publishing your books through your own imprint. Why did you choose this way of publishing?
Self-published books have a reputation as being substandard in quality, though there are more and more notable exceptions cropping up all the time. I take my writing career seriously and wanted to convey my intention of producing the best quality books I can. As the publisher, I hire a professional editor and cover artist, though I have the formatting skills to do that part myself. I’ll never settle for simply running spell-check and slapping a stock photo on the cover. I’m hoping that establishing a publishing imprint would convey that attitude and my promise to release my work only when it’s ready.
What in your experience has been the best way of marketing your books?
Marketing is the hardest part. Nobody wants to have ads shoved in their faces all the time, and so I mostly rely on third party sites to help make people aware my books exist. Snagging a reader with a good title, cover, and description is half the battle. The other half is keeping their interest through the entire book. The absolute best way to market self-published books is by writing more books.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Staying focused with all the distractions of life. And staying off Facebook until I hit my daily writing target. Heh.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I always appreciate getting people’s honest responses to my books. Reviews provide better feedback than any rejection letter I’ve ever received from a traditional publisher! I wish I could please every reader, but I can’t. No author can. Bad reviews don’t bother me, but good reviews make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Definitely ebooks. While I do miss going to physical bookstores, my declining eyesight makes reading paper books difficult. Still, I keep my favorites on my shelf in my office because I enjoy admiring their spines.
What kind of books do you read, any favourite authors?
I enjoy SFF, of course (with Brandon Sanderson being my favorite author), but I also like thrillers, horror, and romance. Other authors I love are Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, David Gemmell, David Brin, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.
I guess we already touched upon your upcoming projects, but do you have anything else you would like to share with SFFWorld.com’s readers?
Another project on my to-do list is a science fiction novel about a psychopath who’s offered an unconventional way to stay out of prison for her crimes. It’s a story I’ve been wanting to write for years now. I hope to start on it late next year.
Thanks for the opportunity to say hi and chat about my writing endeavors! I’d like to invite y’all to swing by my web site (kcmay.com) to check out my books. The first book of The Kinshield Saga and the prequel novella are free, so I hope you’ll have a peek.