Thursday, September 12, 2013

Indie Author Month: Welcome Kristy Brown @kierasquest

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Welcome to Indie Author Month hosted by Never Too Old for Y.A. & N.A. Books group from Goodreads.
Today, for author Thursday, we welcome author Kristy Brown!

 photo 3-2_zpseed34142.jpgMeet Kiera, a pretty, intelligent, and talented girl, brought up by her uncle, and abandoned by her parents. Life is as normal as she believes it to be, apart from the deep ache inside her,
telling her she’s different. For years, Kiera had dreams where she ventures into a different reality. She’s not alone; a presence is always there, keeping her safe, yet she feels vulnerable,
and hunted.
Zakk, Prince of Zantar, is under the Witch Queen’s spell as she tries to take over his world. He crosses paths with Kiera, and their fates are entwined.
As their journey unravels, she learns that she is not the only one affected by this prince. Who is on her side? Will she find out why she has been chosen? How can someone so young, defeat such evil? Will she find the strength to save the ones closest to her? Will this be Kiera’s only Quest?
Great for MG-TEEN readers.





So, let's hear what Kristy has to say!


Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I actually wanted to be an actress! I trained at various performing arts schools. I gained an honors degree in contemporary arts. After doing a bit of theatre and going for many auditions, my passion for it all faded. I met my husband and we had our first child. I started writing when he was a baby. I’ve always written poetry and short stories.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
The first “Kiera’s Quest-Awakenings,” took a few years. I was new to it all and I was also bringing up a baby. Book two “Sacrifices,” took a year. Book three “Perceptions,” was a lot quicker at around seven months.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Well, book one simply came about when I was staring at my niece’s doll’s house one day! The rest of the plots followed on easily. The next book I write, after Kiera’s Quest four, will be based around a dream I had!
Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
Yes, when my kids are at school! I need total silence.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
When my boys were younger, it was a matter of grabbing time whilst they slept etc. Nowadays I work when the urge takes me.
What elements do you think make a great story line? 
Great, relatable characters, plot twists, colourful worlds and laughter.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Getting it out there to the readers. There are so many talented writers to compete with.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
I’m on book four, the last in the series. Not sure I have a favourite, they are all so different.
Do you have a favorite character?
I do love writing the Witch Queen’s parts. She is so twisted! I also pour a lot of me into Daz. He is very dry in his sense of humour.
Where do you write?  
Normally at my kitchen table.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
I tried normal publishing houses, but kept getting the same rejections. Most had been returned unread. It can be very upsetting. So I looked into e-book publishers and found a great company in “Muse It Up.”
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
They love them. I have never seen my dad so enthusiastic about a story! My husband is always the first to read them; he is great and very honest!
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love spending time with my kids. Reading. I like the cinema. I am blessed with fantastic friends.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Go for it! If you have a story inside you, write it. If you believe in it, someone else will.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
There are so many! I guess as a child Roald Dahl was a firm favourite. The book that touched me recently would be The Hunger Games.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
I never ask for help with story lines, as I need to feel that it’s my work.  But my hubby and editors at “Muse” are my go to people.
Are you working on anything now? 
Yes, I’m writing the last book in the Kiera’s Quest series. I feel a little sad that Kiera and her friends are coming to an end, but I have so many more stories to tell.


Thanks so much for being here today, Kristy!
And now, a little excerpt teaser from Kristy's book!

Chapter One


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
his windpipe.
“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.


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