Author Q&A- Ian Reading

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Ian Reading. Ian is the author of quite a few books including the Wizards of Waterfire series, The Dragon of the Month Club, and the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series. He is an amazing writer, and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. So lets get into it!

iain-reading

Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start? 

A: I have been writing now for a few years.  Or maybe more accurately I should say that I was writing for a couple of years, starting a few years ago.  In the past 18 months I have not written much, unfortunately, because of being so busy.  (That’s a lame excuse, I know, but I am currently trying to reconfigure my writing process so that the constant stresses of my day job are not interfering with getting books finished.) 

Q: What inspires you to write? Do you have a muse? 

A: The thing that inspires me the most to write are the stories themselves – and the characters in them.  When I have an idea in my head and I am excited about it, I just have to see where it’s going to go, I have to see how the story develops.  And that pushes me to actually sit down and write it out. 

Q: What was the original idea behind your book Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold?kittyhawknewcover

A: The original idea behind the first Kitty Hawk book was the character of Kitty Hawk herself.  She was my muse.  I just loved the idea of a teenaged female pilot with her own plane, flying around the world and solving mysteries.  That was the basis for everything that followed and to a great degree because of that the stories just sort of wrote themselves. 

Q: Tell me about Kitty Hawk. What kind of person is she? Is she based off of someone you know?

 A: Kitty Hawk is unlike anyone I know in the entire world, but she is definitely someone I would LIKE to know – and someone I admire and would like to be, in fact.  She is smart and quirky and funny, and best of all she’s a pilot and has her own plane!  For me that is the coolest part about her, by far.  I often imagine her being able to fly up into the mountains and land her trusty De Havilland Beaver seaplane on a lake somewhere, and just be in nature, alone and peaceful.  There is such freedom and potential in that and I love it.

 Q: What other fictional characters do you think Kitty would get along with best? What would they do?

 A: Kitty Hawk would definitely get along well with Nancy Drew.  She is a bit of a Nancy Drew herself.  I think she would also get along great with the lead character in Carl Sagan’s Contact, Ellie.  They are both driven and ambitious and intelligent characters.  But maybe most of all Kitty Hawk would get along with Amelia Earhart (who is real, of course, not fictional).  They are both pilots, after all.  And they both want to fly more than anything else in the world.

Q: Where is the strangest place an idea for the book came to you?

A: Long before I really knew what the plot details of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold were going to be, I found myself on a whale watching boat off the west coast of North America.  And being a proper naval vessel their radio was constantly tuned to the Coast Guard emergency frequency.  And at one point a Coast Guard bulletin came on calling for planes and vessels to be on the lookout for a missing plane that had taken off but not arrived at its destination.  This was tragic, of course, it could only mean one thing up in the bush pilot parts of the world – but what I remembered about it was the organization of the message, how the Coast Guard followed a specific protocol and structure, and months later that came back to me and found its way into the book.  The same protocol and structure as the Coast Guard called for people to be on the look out for Kitty Hawk’s missing plane.

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: I think what I would want most for the world to know (or at least the fans of Kitty Hawk and of the Dragon of the Month Club books) is this:  I am working on the next books in the series.  I promise.


Some more on Kitty Hawk-

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon. 

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves.

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5). Each book can be read as a standalone.

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

About the Author: 

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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Author Q&A- James W. Ziskin

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing James W. Ziskin, the mystery author of the Ellie Stone novels. He has been nominated for the and Lefty award and has won the coveted Anthony award for the Best Original Paperback in 2015. Read the interview below!AuthorPhoto1_CreditWilliamZiskin.jpeg

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I began writing at the age of twelve. After several bad novels and forty years of starting and stopping, I finally succeeded in writing a book good enough to sell to a publisher. Now four books later, I’ve learned the most important lesson: Never give up.

Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?

A: A deadline. The best inspiration there is. That and a deep-rooted love of stories and language. Never be boring. And you’ve got to care about words.

Q: Tell me about your latest book, Heart of Stone. What was the original idea behind it?

A: Heart of Stone is the fourth book in the Ellie Stone series. It’s set in August 1961 on a beautiful Adirondack lake. I felt it was time to give Ellie some support and love in the form of her aunt Lena and elderly cousin, Max. I also wanted to explore music, art, culture, Cold War politics, and the fiery passions of old grudges. The story revolves around the diving deaths of two men in the waning days of an idyllic August vacation. One of the victims is a teenager from a nearby music camp, while the other is an unknown man. A stranger to the lake. Ellie wonders how they happened to be diving from a dangerous cliff together. Surely they didn’t know each other. Add to that a reunion with some old friends, a torrid summer romance, and a healthy dose of nude bathing and you’ve got Heart of Stone.

Q: What is your writing process like? How much ‘grunt work’ goes in to the finished product?

A: Writing a novel is a marathon. Of course I’m not the first to say that. Some days it’s a slog, while others it’s a breeze. But you’ve got to put in the time. I typically take a couple of months to outline my books. There’s a lot of time staring off into space, thinking about the plot, the setting, mood, and characters. Then there’s the research and the solution to the murder. Once I’ve done all that, I clear the decks as best I can for three or four months to write the first draft. A thousand words per day should get it done in three or three and a half months. Then comes the revision. I revise many, many times before submitting the finished manuscript to my publisher. And then I revise some more as they edit it. No, writing isn’t as glamorous as people think. It’s a lot of time alone staring at a screen, searching for the right word, followed by months, even years, of waiting to see if anyone liked it.

Q: If Ellie Stone met Nancy Drew, what do you think would happen? Would they work together or get in each others way?

A: Ellie Stone would love Nancy Drew. Surely she read all the books growing up. But Nancy Drew might be scandalized by Ellie. Nancy Drew was a “nice girl,” while Ellie most decidedly is not. She’s a nice person, just not a nice girl.

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: That we can do better as a civilization. Much better.

Find James Online:

Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon

Barns & Noble

IndieBound