Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Interview with Katie Hamstead, Author of the Kiya Series

I love that I can say the Kiya series, implying more books to come. Can you guys tell how into these books I am? It's not healthy. And not doing me any favors when I try to read other stuff. 

I digress. Katie is gearing up for the release of Kiya: Mother of a King October 25 and she was brave enough kind enough to stop by for an interview. I'll be reviewing Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh here October 24, so there's still more Katie and Kiya to come! 

Mara V: You live a very busy life. You study Creative Writing, you are a mother, a published author, and it sounds like your husband keeps pretty busy too. Oh, and going home for the holidays means traveling halfway across the world for you. How do you find balance?
Katie H: You know, I really don't know. Sometimes I don't sleep enough! Usually I use nap time and bed time to work on writing things. While the kiddo and hubby are around I try to spend time with them, clean, grocery shop, be domesticated and such. Those two hours in the afternoon while the kid is sleeping and hubby is at work I use for writing. For the rest of the day, I have everything on my phone so I can do it on the go! Love my smart phone.

MV: Kiya is a very well researched book. What can you tell us about the research that went into the story? Did you do all of your homework first, or dive into the books when questions arose?
KH: Both really. I had to have a clear timeline of events before I started writing so I researched and lined up the theories I wanted to use as well as build the timeline of all the historical figures' lives around it. Once I started I did run into questions, so hit up museum and university websites/journals to clarify events and culture.

MV: Congratulations on Kiya hitting the top ten of Amazon's historical romances! What was your reaction to the ranking news? 
KH: Ah... something like, "Holy crap! Babe, come look at this! Stop playing your stupid game. This is more important."

MV: Hitting the top ten on Amazon is really impressive, and what some might define as a successful book. What are your goals beyond rankings for your books? 
KH: Writing wise, I really just want to move people. Like with Naomi/Kiya, I really wanted to create a character women could admire and see strength and nobility in their womanhood and motherhood.
Outside of writing, I just want to have a happy marriage and family.

MV: Kiya has been quite successful, drawing in readers who aren't exactly drawn to the historical fiction genre (like myself). How do you think you managed to pull in readers beyond the usual target audience?
KH: I really wanted to break the norm for Historical fiction, so I made it a more contemporary feel, but not in a way that made it unbelievable historically. I love hist fic, but it can be very dry and bogged down with historical details and facts. I wanted this one to be character driven, so people could connect and gain some knowledge while igniting their curiosity at the same time. If people who've never like history and historicals will be interested now, I feel like I've accomplished something.

MV: You refer to yourself as a New Adult author. What can you tell us about the New Adult category, and why you are drawn to it as a writer?
KH: I like writing for the age group. They are a little more mature and clearer thinking that YA's, but still have that passion and desire to find themselves and someone to love. For me, the "sex" that is commonly associated with NA is a side note. I think a strong, character and plot driven NA is far more appealing.

MV: Are you more of a pantser or plotter when it comes to your writing?
KH: Pantser, big time! Aside from Kiya where I had to construct my timeline of events, when I begin a story I think of my beginning and my end and then run with it.

MV: Curiosity Quills is a small press featured quite often on this blog since it has such a great reputation of being like a family of authors. What made you decide to sign with them, and what has your experience been like so far?
KH: They were eager to have me. I knew if someone was that excited about my book, they would make it succeed. And so far I have loved it! Everyone is happy to rally around each other, help with releases, tours, cover reveals, promotions etc without being asked! My editor is amazing, and the big bosses are always happy to listen and give their encouragement.

MV: What can you tell us about your next book, Branded?
KH: Ah! Branded! It will be controversial. I can give you the blurb:
Terrorists have invaded Sydney, and Allison King barely escapes her brother’s wedding reception alive. She and her siblings flee, but their parents are killed by firing squad.
Now Ali’s on the run and terrified. While searching for other survivors, she is captured by the General who leads the invasion. He’s smitten by Ali, and when she refuses to submit to his whims, he brands her for death. In a wild act of defiance, she snatches the branding rod and sears the mark onto his face. Marking not only him but also sealing her fate. Ali manages to escape and flees into the bush once more where she finds a group in hiding. Even with the scars left by the General, Ali learns to love and falls in love with the young man who found her—Damien Rogers. 
But the General is hunting her. When he discovers their location, and finds her with another man—Damien—his wrath is kindled and his obsession is inflamed. Ali must put herself on the line or the General could kill her family, those who help her, and most significantly, the man she loves.
MV: What was the last book you read and couldn't put down?
KH: It was a submission... can't talk about it ;-) But a published book, Mrs. Poe. It broke my heart!

Add Kiya: Mother of a King on Goodreads, and make sure you read Book 1 first or you might get a little lost. 

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