Across the Darkling Sea
Publication date: November 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the new serial fantasy series Magicfall, by K. Ferrin!
Magic is forbidden in Brielle, but that never stopped Evelyn. Until Now. Because Evelyn has discovered she is magic, and now she is running for her life.
Her only hope is on an island cloaked in shadow, an island of dark magic and even darker beasts. An island warlocks call home.
Evelyn’s friends have turned against her, her own mother tried to kill her, and the place she calls home has banished her. Hidden away in the belly of a riverboat, a stowaway, her journey begins.
Across the Darkling Sea is book one in a serial series. Each book is roughly 50,000 words or about 150 pages. To emphasize, this is a serial series, meaning it’s one story that stretches across multiple books.
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I never thought of it as a viable career option for me. So, while I have written stories from a very young age, I also worked to obtain degrees in prelaw and business leadership and built a career in technology. It wasn’t until 2014 that I started to get serious about writing for publication.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I can plot and write a book in about six months. Editing usually takes an additional three months or so, and then I plan and set up the book launch which is typically another few months of work. So, from the point I begin plotting to actual publication is usually about a year or so.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
For me, this grows a lot out of the experiences I’ve had growing up. I was a bit of a nerd as a kid, always a bit on the outside of things, and I explore this a lot in my writing. Sometimes I hear something - something going on in the news, a bit of conversation I overhear - and it strikes me as something I would like to explore in a story.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
Sort of. When I’m in full writing mode my goal is to get 5,000 words down every week, but how I get to that number will vary from week to week. I like having the flexibility of a word count goal rather than a schedule I have to stick with. If I’m exhausted when I come home on a Tuesday I want to be able to relax with a glass of wine and read without feeling guilty about not getting my words in that day. As long as I hit 5k words that week, I’m golden.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
This is one of the most challenging aspects for me. Ultimately it comes down to choice. We all have limited time, and it’s up to you how you spend that time. Over the years I have winnowed out things that don’t contribute to the life I want for myself. As an example, I rarely watch TV any more. You have to choose to make time for your writing, and it’s a hard thing to do.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
Wow... can I say everything? Characters are a huge part of it for me. They don’t need to be sympathetic but they do have to be interesting. World building can really play into this as well. I’m currently reading N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season and I love the world she has built. The world is so compelling it’s essentially become a character for me.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
People often say that writing a book is a marathon, and they are very, very right. It is hard sticking with it through plot points that don’t work, characters who sometimes don’t cooperate, sagging middles, endings that don’t line up... It requires a huge amount of dedication and focus to write novels, and that is exhausting. At the end of each book I always wonder if I’ll write another one.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I have published three, with a fourth coming out later this year. I’ve written about eight of them, but those other four will never see the light of day.
I can’t say I have a favorite, but I do love different things about each of them. I love my current protagonist Ling. Her arc across the series is just awesome, and it’s really been wonderful writing her so far.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
I’m really enjoying my current protagonist, Ling. But you know I also really liked Elisa from my novel Magicless. She is just a vibrant, live out loud sort of person, and it was fun writing her.
10. Where do you write?
Mostly on the couch in my living room. But I often visit a local tea shop as well. They’ve got these delicious sesame crackers they make on site that are the perfect crunchy snack for an afternoon of writing.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I have always been a very business minded person, so when it came time to decide how to publish there was no question I wanted to take the indie route. I love owning the entire process of creating my books. I hire artists whose work I love and admire, I work with the most amazing creative people every day, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
Yes, of course. They tell me they love them, but the opinions of close friends and family cannot be trusted. They are, after all, biased. ;)
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love traveling and I do it often. I’m also a big time garden geek. I’ve got a large veggie patch as well as fruit trees and bushes. I’ve learned how to can too. I’ve always got a batch of pickles or jam bubbling in the background as I’m writing. This year I’m attempting to make elderberry wine from my garden, we’ll see how that turns out!
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Do it! And be kind to yourself.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
I absolutely adore Robin Hobb. I have fallen deeply in love with everything she has written, but her Liveship Traders books are among my absolute favorites. Dragons, pirates, and ships that can talk - oh my!
16. 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?
Yes, definitely! I have a great editorial team. I do not self-edit my books, I rely on their sharp eyes to find those things I miss. I also have a great cover artist who is just a pleasure to work with, not to mention incredibly talented. She takes my crudest descriptions of what I am envisioning and turns them into something so beautiful. Writing is often a solo activity, but publishing takes an entire team.
17. Are you working on anything now?
Of course! The third book in my Magicfall series will be out in November of this year, and I’m currently writing the fifth.
18. Tell us 5 things that make you smile
- Warm sun on my skin
- Waking up in a tent
- The airport - adventure is coming!
- Working in my garden
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
- Fall - because that means no more fresh veggies/fruit from the garden
- Coming home after a trip abroad
- The fact that the writing machine in Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers has not been invented yet
- The lack of flying cars is also a real bummer
- Not being able to wear my pajamas to work
20. If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
Ooh, a travel question! I think I would have to say Petra, in Jordon. People carved an elaborate and beautiful city into the stone itself. It would be an amazing thing to see, and a beautiful setting for a book.
K. Ferrin spends her days surrounded by engineers, technology, and humming machinery, but her evenings are steeped in magic, myth, and adventure. She writes fantasy, loves gardening, and eats way too much pie. She lives at the foot of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two pooches.
Her novels include the stand alone YA fantasy novel Magicless, as well as Across the Darkling Sea, and A Dying Land, the first two books of a series. You can find her online at www.kferrin.com.
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