You may know her as the author of the Fletch stories in my Greylands serial (and who knows, there could be a reason I’m mentioning this now), but K.L. Schwengel is developping quite a name for herself. First her novella “Blood Tells All” in the Witch Hunt: Of the Blood anthology, and now a novel!
Ms Schwengel stopped by to reveal a little about herself, her process, and her debut novel First of her Kind.
Everyone, it seems, wants to dictate what Ciara does with her life: Serve the Goddess, destroy the God
dess, do as you promised your aunt. All Ciara wants is to keep the two magics she possesses from ripping her apart.
And that won’t be easy.
Not only are they in complete opposition to each other, blood ties pull her in divergent directions as well. And then there’s Bolin, the man sworn to protect her. There’s no denying the growing attraction between them, but is it Ciara he wants? Or her power?
None of which will matter if Ciara can’t overcome her fear and learn to use her gifts. No one knows the depths of the ancient power she possesses, or what will happen if it manages to escape her control.
Will she lose herself entirely? Or be forever trapped between darkness & light?
A hundred years from now, some wise literary student chooses you as the subject of her thesis. She’s poring over biographies and literary criticisms of your work. What would she learn about you?
She’d undoubtedly discover that, outside of my dogs and dog related activities, I would have been very content at living the life of a hermit. I shunned large parties and social engagements, had no love of crowds, and although I was *cough* somewhat of a control freak, I did not want to be the center of attention. People who knew me best, and were interviewed because I became so outrageously famous, referred to me as an independent, stubborn, bi– um . . . strong woman. Extremely loyal to the few close friends I kept, and very protective of them as well as anything I considered mine, my passion was always creativity and dogs. My works showed a deft hand at creating plot and tension, and discovering the details that made my characters bounce off the page.
No doubt said student would be very intrigued with your character study! After she learned about you as a person, she moves onto a study of your work. What would she learn about your first publication First of her Kind?
It was a long time coming. A *long* time. Because, also somewhat of a perfectionist, Kathi suffered from rewriteritis, and treatment was not always successful or long lasting. Regardless, First of Her Kind launched the popular Darkness and Light Series, introducing the world to Ciara, Bolin and Donovan, among others. A fantasy novel, at its deepest level, First of Her Kind dealt with having to reconcile various parts of our personalities to form a whole, and accept that we can’t escape from what we are, but we can learn to control and embrace it.
Making First of her Kind available to the public provoked a lot of personal conflict for you. Blog post series & heavy debate, and yet you finally opted to self publish. What helped you decide?
Yeah, it was a really tough decision. Mainly I had to overcome my feeling of “giving up” or “settling” — and it’s really doing neither of those things. It’s a business decision. My “Sage” (main beta reader and tormentor) played a part in my decision, as well as my belief in the story I had to tell, that it really was good and was ready. What really pushed me over the line was all the research I did. The funny thing is, I was doing that research to prove to myself that self-publishing was *not* the way to go! The realization that a lot of successful, traditionally published authors were also opting to self-publish was another factor in my decision. Of course, they already have a fan base, so they stand a better chance of success.
The research you did will be a lot of help to other authors weighing the same decision, I have no doubt. I’m glad you blogged about the process! So what comes next?
I have a story coming out in a fantasy anthology around the end of April. Book two in the Darkness and Light series, of course. Which I hope to have out by fall. A couple other small projects I’m toying with, and possibly something completely different from anything else I’ve put out there. I might just be exploring my darker side this year.
The previously mentioned literary student digs a little deeper into your history, looking to find some motivation to keep working on her own personal writing projects. What advice from you would she find?
My advice: if you have to write, then write. There is nothing worse than a starving muse, tryst me, I know. Surround yourself with a supportive group of writerly pals who aren’t afraid to kick you in the arse. They should also not spare your feelings when it comes to what you’ve written. If it’s tripe, they better tell you. Then pull yourself up, have some dark chocolate, and get back to it. Grow a thick skin, or invest in armor.
Learn more about KL Schwengel and follow her blog here