I'm super excited to be taking part in the Australian Blog Tour for Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking, the third and final book in the Kanin trilogy thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia! I recently read the whole series in anticipation of the tour and absolutely loved it! Yesterday I shared my review of Crystal Kingdom and today I'm chatting with Amanda Hocking herself :)
First off, congrats on Crystal Kingdom’s upcoming release! I can only imagine how busy it must get for you when a new story is about to be released out into the world. Is it still something that gets you wildly excited, or are you a bit used to it how having released a few books already?
I still get excited. Releasing the final a book in a series – like Crystal Kingdom – is always the most nerve-wracking. I’ve spent several books building it up and getting readers excited, and I’m always terrified I’m going to let them down with the ending. So far, the reader response for Crystal Kingdom has been some of the best I’ve ever gotten, so that’s very exciting for me.
I’m gonna be honest, I was a latecomer to your Switched series and now the Kanin Chronicles, but boy do I love them! How does the ongoing reader response make you feel? Even now, you must get new fans like myself who find unexpected gems in your books……
I wrote Switched six or seven years ago, so it’s always fun to hear from people just diving into for the first time. I think sometimes, as a writer, I get so focused on release dates, and it’s easy to forget that books have an eternal shelf-life. It’s crazy to think that people might still be picking up one of my books for the first time, ten or twenty years from now.
For those who haven’t read the Kanin books yet, tell us a little bit about your heroine Bryn.
Bryn is strong, but she has a huge chip on her shoulder. She’s of mixed heritage in a kingdom that all about lineage and the hierarchy that comes with that. She refused to let anything stand in the way of her goals, sometimes her detriment. Since she has spent so much of her life being shut out by the society she loves, she has a hard time letting people in. But she does, she is fiercely loyal and will do anything to protect those she cares about.
All your covers are so incredibly stunning, from pretty much all your books, self-published or professionally published. How much say do you have, if any, in choosing the covers?
It varies. Sometimes I know exactly what I want on a book cover. Like for Tidal, the third book in the Watersong quartet, I knew exactly what I wanted, and that’s how the cover looks. But for the Kanin Chronicles, I really didn’t have any idea. I did give them descriptions of Bryn and suggestions for her clothing, but that was about it. The rest was the art department at St. Martin’s, and when they showed me the covers for the first time, I was like, “These are perfect. I love them.”
Though I was new to your Trylle world not so long ago, I have read your Watersong Quartet and I have to ask…what do you think would happen if Wendy, Bryn, Harper and Gemma ever met? Would the girls get along?
That’s interesting. I think they would mostly get along. Gemma is the youngest – and the wildest, so she’d probably get annoyed with everyone else bossing her around. But I think that Harper and Wendy would definitely bond over feeling like they have to be responsible for everyone. Bryn is slow to warm up to people, but I think she’d like them.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, real or fiction, who would you want to meet and why?
Jim Henson. He’s my hero. Not just because of the creatures he creates or the imagination he inspires, but the way he lived his life. He understood the importance of kindness and silliness, and that’s something that I have to remind myself of all the time, especially when I’m stressed out. Being nice and having fun are important, too.
I know for a lot of authors their books are like their children, but do you have a favourite by any chance? One that has special meaning over the others?
My favourite book is usually the one I’ve just finished writing. As an author, I constantly strive to improve myself and my writing, and I always hope that each book I write is better than my last. But I would say that I do feel particularly proud of Crystal Kingdom. I took some risks I normally shied away from, and I am very happy with how the book turned out.
Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life? Both as an author and as a person….
I would say Jim Henson and my grandma. My grandma was British, and she had the quickest wit. She was so funny and so full of love, and that is something that I strive for. Even though Jim Henson wasn’t exactly an author (he wrote mostly for television and film), his creativity and the worlds he created are constant inspiration to me.
What’s next for you now that the Kanin Chronicles have concluded? Any hints as to what reading brilliance we can expect next?
The next book I have coming out is Freeks. It’s a standalone YA paranormal romance novel set in the 1980s that follows a travelling sideshow. I pitched it as Pretty in Pink meets The Lost Boys (minus the vampires). It should be out sometime in 2016.
6 Quick Questions:
1. Summer or Winter? Winter
2. Cats or Dogs? Both?
3. Favourite movie? Labyrinth or The Dark Knight
4. Lucky number? 13
5. Favourite ice-cream flavour? Vanilla
6. Physical books or Ebooks? Physical books, preferably paperbacks
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions Amanda. I’ve loved reading the Kanin Chronicles and can’t wait to read whatever you release next!
Thank you for having me :)
Then, while she's still trying to make sense of it all, Ridley tracks her down while she's on the run for a crime she didn't commit. He refuses to abandon her, so she finally decides that she wants to be with him and that they do belong together. Together, they return to the Kanin capital and rally other trackers and the King's Guard to defend their kingdom from the villain within. But in the process, Bryn learns a startling truth about her former enemy. Brynn's loyalty is still to her kingdom, but will she be rewarded with a place in the royal guard -- and who will ultimately win her heart?