Monday, June 8, 2015

Kevin Hopson, The Fire King

AUTHOR: Kevin Hopson
BOOK TITLE: The Fire King
GENRE: Young adult fantasy
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I would say part-time since I’m a stay-at-home dad and my writing comes and goes. However, when I do go into writing mode, it is very much a full-time job until I’m done with the project. Because I have a toddler at home, it can be difficult organizing my writing time. I’m most productive in the morning, when given the chance, but most of my writing has to be done at night after my son goes to bed.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

I love to read and watch movies. I’m also a big sports fan, particularly soccer, and enjoy spending some of my downtime with family.

What are your thoughts about promotion?

I’m not an overly-aggressive promoter, but it’s something that has to be done if you’re going to get the word out and market yourself. I like to use social media, book clubs, blog tours, contest giveaways and general word-of-mouth to promote my works.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

The toughest criticism probably came with my first short story, World of Ash. I have grown so much as a writer and person in the last few years, and I see many things that could be changed for the better with my earlier works. Anyway, a review site absolutely destroyed the book, citing issues with both the characters and plot. At the same time, another review site gave it a glowing review and recommended it as one of their top picks. As a result, it just goes to show that you can’t please everyone as a writer.

I always use criticism and praise as means of improving my writing. However, I have a certain style of writing, which I won’t change for anyone. It’s who I am, like it or not.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

MuseItUp Publishing is my publisher. I came across the company when they were a fledgling several years ago. I didn’t have any luck placing a couple of my short stories, so I submitted both of them to MuseItUp. They found homes with MuseItUp, and I’ve been with the company ever since.

What are your current projects?

I just finished edits on a story that’s different from anything I’ve ever written. It’s based on my personal experience with loss. More specifically, the loss of my first son, Aydin. I’ve already received a lot of positive feedback from editors and others who have read the story, which is titled Delivering Jacob. It has a little bit of everything in it…mystery, romance, crime, action, and thrills. I’m also working on edits for a prequel/spin-off to The Fire King, which touches on the early days of Modrad the dwarf.

What do you plan for the future?

I have yet to write my first full-length novel, so that’s still on my bucket list. In the meantime, I’m pretty happy writing shorter pieces, and I want to start submitting more stories for anthologies and magazines as well.

What genre do you write in and why?

I write in several genres, including dark fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and crime fiction. Though I started out writing a lot of dark fiction, I have gotten away from that genre a little bit to expand my mind and my writing. As long as there’s a good story to tell, I figure I can write in just about in genre.

What is your experience working or being around children or teens?

I have a toddler of my own along with three nieces and two nephews. I’ve also coached high school sports. Though I’m far from an expert on kids, my experiences with them have helped when it comes to writing for them. 

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

Sometimes I put stuff down on paper and other times I don’t. If I outline, I typically do it in my head, and I rarely have an entire story planned out from beginning to end. I’ve noticed that my stories can take some really interesting turns if I let them play out naturally, as opposed to outlining everything from the beginning.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Plot almost always comes first, at least when brainstorming. This doesn’t mean I put more emphasis on plot than characters when actually writing. It just means I need an idea before thinking about which characters I want to include in a story. I’m not the type who has to build a story around characters. It’s usually the other way around with me.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

A good, page-turning story. Even if a book picks up the pace later on or has a great ending, I might not read that far if it starts out slow. I want something that grabs my attention from the very beginning and doesn’t let up.  

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?

Lack of editing. I can’t stand reading a story where I’m constantly being distracted by typos, bad grammar, etc. Even if the plot and/or characters are good, poor editing is enough to turn me away.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

The Fire King is a young adult fantasy novella. The following is a blurb for it.

The planet Oabrora faces a perpetual winter after a human mage, Vico, causes all of the volcanos in the dragon homeland of Jifihx to erupt. Three dragon siblings—Mianth, Tulvir, and Hirador—survive the blast and set out on a journey to bring Vico to justice. However, when they cross paths with two humans, they discover a far worse enemy than Vico.  


  1. " can't please everyone..." A good motto! Good luck with your writing!

  2. Absolutely LOVE this book.

    Absolutely LOVE this author.

    Absolutely LOVE this Hostess.

    Can't been this FANTASTIC meeting of creative brilliance!

  3. Good luck with The Fire King. It sounds like a great adventure story. Fantastic cover too!

  4. This was a wonderful Interview, Kevin and Penny. I've read Shifting Alliances by Kevin and he is an awesome author. I'd be interested in reading your WIP, Delivering Jacob. Our first grandchild died a few years ago and everyone is still grieving. I don't think you ever stop.

    Best wishes, Kevin for The Fire King. It sounds like a winner!

    By the way, it sounds like we both outline the same way, in our heads. I never have story planned from beginning to end before I start writing.