The last in this round of fantasy author spotlights is Kevin Nielsen, the author of the fantasy novel Sands! Based on what I’ve heard, it’s a stellar read, so be sure to grab a copy. A voracious reader, traveller, and dragon enthusiast, Kevin has a lot to offer the genre.
1. Tell us a little about yourself. Your hopes, your dreams, your favourite childhood idol?
Well, I hope to one day be able to make a living as an author – that and eventually become a dragon rider. As I child, my idol was actually my dad, though David Eddings was a close second for a while there.
Sands is an introductory epic fantasy novel set in the Sharani Desert. For nine months of the year, the genesauri monsters sleep. The clans are safe and everything is peaceful and prosperous. Then, like clockwork every year, the genesauri monsters wake up for three months and death and chaos reign. The clans are forced to take refuge in the Oasis and live together in a tension-filled confined space until the genesauri once again return to their sleep. But suddenly, everything changes. The genesauri come early. When seventeen-year old Lhaurel takes up a sword in defense of a friend, her clan leaves her stranded as bait while they run for the Oasis. She is saved from certain death by a mysterious stranger who helps her discover that she holds a mysterious, uncontrollable power, one upon which the fate of all the clans rests.
3. Why should people read your work?
Honestly, Sands offers a lot in the way of a unique look at the fantasy genre. From the environment, to the magic system, and even to the characters within the story, there is a unique twist on what one would typically find in a similar YA fantasy novel. Sands has flying monsters, desert climates, a unique magic system, and a strong female protagonist. What’s not to love?
4. Who is your target audience?
As many people as I can get to read it. Due to the nature of the novel, I would say it is decidedly YA and up.
5. Of everything you’ve learned and developed over your projects, what are you most proud of achieving?
Honestly, I am most proud of having been able to recently publish with a traditional book publisher. I’ve been working toward that goal for 15+ years and to have that process end and another one begin is a feeling of indescribable joy.
6. What is your writing process?
I am a signpost writer. By that I mean that I pick five points (or signposts if you will) I want to hit within the novel and flesh those out to begin with. These signposts always include the beginning, middle, and end of the book, plus any two points within those three. Once I have those, the real writing begins, moving from signpost to signpost like a game of literary connect the dots. Sometimes this means the revision process is longer, but it works well for me.
7. How can people find you?