Today's guest is MuseItUp YA author, Kristy Brown. Kristy recently released the first in her upcoming series, Kiera's Quest, Awakenings.
AUTHOR: Kristy Brown
BOOK TITLE: Kiera’s Quest: Awakenings.
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
Please tell us about yourself? I am 37 years old, and I live happily with my husband and two young boys.
Tell us your latest news? I have just signed a contract for book two in the series.
When and why did you begin writing? I have always written poetry and short stories so it was just a natural progression.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? When book one was accepted.
What inspired you to write your first book? I had my first child so I wasn’t working. My mind wandered a lot while he took his naps! I had a lot of ideas and finally had the time to get them down.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Believe in yourself.
What books have most influenced your life most? I would have to say books such as The Spiderwick Chronicles, Percy Jackson , Harry Potter…have made me want to write “Kiera’s Quest.” I love real ‘get lost in yourself’ fantasy.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I am really into the young adult scene at the moment, Lauren Kate, Maggie Stiefvater, Becca Fitzpatric, Alyson Noel…I love Angels, gothic fantasy etc.
What are your current projects? Kiera’s Quest . Book 3!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Yes , I often head hop from one character’s oint of view to another, which is easy to do when you are writing in the third person.
Do you ever have problems with writers block? If so how do you get through it? I do often. I tend to walk away for a while. Normally I get inspired with ideas whilst doing mundane chores.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Finding a publisher who loves it just as much as I do.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Be patient and don’t take criticism too hard!
Do you have any advice for other writers? Carry on. Believe that there is someone out there that will believe in you.
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Muse It Up. I connected with one of their authors on Face book and he had very good things to say about them.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
Zakk felt his throat grow tighter, barely able to breathe. Sweat dripped from his brow. “What ― what did I do wrong?” Zakk gasped helplessly. He could see nothing, but felt the invisible hands clamped around his neck. “Please stop, please.” Zakk was on the verge of falling down a bottomless black hole. He felt heavy like lead, dragging him deeper and further down. Knowing this to be his ending he managed to push out with a thin, shallow breath, “I’m sorry."
Suddenly, the vice gripping his throat loosened and discarded him to the ground like a crumpled tissue. Maybe an apology was all that ‘it’ needed. Minutes passed, feeling like an eternity. All seemed quiet in the icy air. He dared not move. Zakk tried to collect his thoughts and regulate his breathing. In and out… in and out slowly, he told himself. He tried to catch a glimpse of his jailer, but couldn’t see past his own shadow. There was a definite presence watching him, enjoying the show. A wave of emotions passed through him; pain, loneliness, emptiness, dread, but most of all fear. They seeped into him, like black ink coursing through his veins, devouring his consciousness. For the first time in his life, he felt totally alone. He knew if he could scream, no one would come. If he tried to run, his legs would not aid him.
“Who are you?” Zakk whimpered.
“Who am I― who am I?”
This voice somehow seemed strangely, and uncomfortably, familiar to him. The voice broke into a spine-chilling laugh.
“Don’t you know?” it mocked. “Look hard, deep into yourself. You know who I am. I am your darkest fear when you close your eyes. I lie in wait at your very core. Who am I?” The voice seemed outraged not to seem significant in Zakk’s life.
Zakk nervously fiddled with the dull glass ring on his middle finger. It had belonged to his mother, and just touching it reminded him of her warm smile, her golden silky hair and the lullaby she sang to him to tuck him up each night.
“You’re the Witch Queen!” He realised instantly, like a storm cloud had passed letting the sun reign through. He’d waited so long for answers, but still was not face-to-face with this cold blooded murderer. “You killed my mother.”
“Clever, clever Zakky. Clever child,” she hissed. “Your mother would be so proud of you.”
Silence fell upon him again. He felt deeply saddened, but immensely angry. If he was going to die here in this cave, he needed to know. Zakk spoke calmly and evenly, trying not to annoy his captor.
“Why did you take her from us?”
“I should have ruled this world. I should have been Queen. She was useless. I will do better. I should have been at your father’s side. She never loved him.” She spat out her words as if they were poison.
“But you did?” Zakk asked, even more confused. “You loved my father?” Surely she was not capable of such an act.
“Silly boy, silly little Zakky. I do not love. It is a weakness. It eats you alive, swallows you whole then moves on to dessert.” She spoke as if she’d tasted this bitter pain, but no one this void of life could have. “I got my sweet revenge on Helen when I threw her body into a D’rog pit. They tore into her like she was a yummy treat.”
Tears pushed under his eyelids. He couldn’t swallow, for the boulder-like lump blocked
“She was tossed from one to the other, like a little raggedy doll,” she sang, with great malice and delight.
Zakk, now broken, wept. He could no longer hold the tears at bay and gave in to his despair. He pictured his mother’s gruesome death, and melted into a pool of sorrow. The Witch Queen poked her spindly leather finger into Zakk’s cheek, but she was still covered by the veil of darkness. Watching his tears run down her long, ugly finger, he noticed a very familiar glass ring at the end of it. Shaking his head in disbelief, Zakk looked again recognising his father’s ring. Time slowed down in his mind. Sweat gushed down him like rain.
“Father!” he cried. “Father?” Zakk knew his only response would be that of his own echoes chasing each other round the stone cave walls.
“He’s gone,” she said, stepping a little closer so he could just make out her eyes. He searched them wildly for a hint of compassion, but there was none to be found. Like hard coal they were dead inside.
“No, no,” pleaded Zakk, kneeling on the floor with his arms clasping his chest. He held on to all he had left. Himself.
“I will rule Zantar, it is meant to be. All will live in despair and fear of my gaze upon them. I thought you might have been my biggest barrier. But as I look upon you, crying like an infant, I find you weak, boy. It will be easy to send you to join your parents. It’s only fair after all.”
Immediately, as if from nowhere, flames bolted toward him. Bright reds and dancing oranges licked at his heels, engulfing him. Zakk raised his hand to shield his eyes. This is it. I am finished. I couldn’t save my family, or my people. I am nothing, he thought.
At that moment, something happened. The air directly around him cooled. He opened an eye, feeling safe from the heat. Zakk looked up. A force of light surrounded him, bringing the fire to a halt. Bizarrely, the force poured from his mother’s ring, which now shone all the colours of the rainbow. In her own way, she still watched over him, and protected him. He felt the wrath of the Witch Queen lift from him. Love glided back through his veins once more. Zakk slowly rose to his feet, feeling strangely confident. His new resolve seemed to anger the Witch Queen further. She tried once again to execute her enemy, throwing arrow upon arrow of flesh stripping fire, but to no avail. Her efforts bounced off him, like raindrops on a pond.
“Damn your wretched mother, and your proud father. If I cannot kill you, I’ll make you wish that I had.”
A high-pitched squeal and a flash of white light and Zakk began to fall. He couldn’t feel his body or open his eyes. There were no sounds. The heartbeat pounding in his chest moments ago, fell deathly silent, and all went black.