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Monday, December 12, 2011

Meet the Author: K.C. Neal




Thank you for joining us on our stop off of the Pyxis Blog Tour. Our date on the tour has been broken up into two sections: The review & giveaway and this interview with K.C. Neal! This is all thanks to the amazing K.C. Neal

K.C. Neal is the author of Pyxis: The Discovery and the upcoming sequel in the trilogy, Alight: The Peril. This promising new author has graciously taken time from her busy writing schedule to answer some questions for us.


How long have you been writing?
I liked to write when I was a kid - when I was 9 or 10 I started writing a novel in a spiral notebook - and wrote a lot as a teenager. I got away from fiction writing in my 20s, when I majored in Chemistry and worked science-related jobs. I started writing my first novel about three and a half years ago, after having a dream and waking up inspired. At the start of 2011, I wrote the first draft of Pyxis, and I knew it was something I wanted to get published.

What inspired you to write Pyxis?
I wish I had a great answer for this because I get asked this question a lot. :) I started reading a lot of YA last year, which I’m sure inspired me to try writing something in that genre. I’m not really sure where the idea came from, but the first seed of the story was the pyxis box with the bottles full of mysterious colored liquids that influenced people’s emotions. I thought the story would center around the potions, but it grew into something much larger.

When you first started writing Pyxis, did you plan for it to be a series?
Yes, I knew it would be a trilogy, but I admit even now I’m not completely sure how it will end!

What can you tell us about the sequel?
I’ve started writing Alight: The Peril, Book 2 in the Pyxis Series, and you’re in for a ton of revelations in this book. I set up a lot of mysteries and questions in Pyxis, and Alight addresses many of them. Right off, you’ll learn what the pyxis bottles do and what they’re for, as well as who the 2nd Guardian is. There will be some new characters, too, as Corinne learns that she’s not the only Pyxis, and there will be a new love interest. In Alight, Corinne begins to come into her own as far as her strengths as Pyxis, and she discovers how to consciously enter the dream world. She’ll be under a lot of pressure to get the pyramidal union functioning well together, deal with some pretty awful things that begin happening in Tapestry, and protect the convergence, so she’s definitely tested. If Pyxis left you wanting more, I think you’re going to love Alight!

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
Probably Corinne. Like her, I definitely felt awkward and uncertain about a lot of things when I was her age.

What is a secret about Corinne that nobody else knows yet?
This secret is about Corinne and Sophie, actually. There’s a very good reason for the rift in their relationship, though Corinne was young when it happened and didn’t fully understand what was going on. She doesn’t know that Sophie has been blaming her all these years for something that wasn’t her fault. But she’ll find out about it in Alight.

If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
Haha, this is a great question. I’d be the Likable Nerd. I had a lot of friends in high school, but I definitely was a nerd - lots of advanced classes, good GPA, yearbook Editor-in-Chief. I had a lot of fun with my friends, but I’m not sure my life as a teenager would have made a particularly interesting novel.

What book have you read too many times to count?
I’ve read both The Stand by Stephen King and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens multiple times. Definitely two of my favorite books. And there are a few short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald I’ve probably read a dozen times.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Don’t be afraid of criticism. Constructive criticism from others will help your stories and writing become so much better than they would be without it.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I never expected that writing and publishing a book would lead me to make so many friends. This is all very new to me - I wrote the first draft of Pyxis in January of this year (2011), and since then I’ve probably made at least 50 new IRL friends and hundreds of awesome online friends. Writing is such a solitary activity, but plugging into writing, publishing, and book blogging communities has been an amazing experience. Now, I can’t imagine life without all the great people I’ve met. Another very surprising thing for me is that I’ve discovered I really enjoy the promotion/marketing side of being an author, and that probably has a lot to do with all the great connections I’m making.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I work full-time as a Medical Writer. I do a lot of reading, of course. I take ballet classes, and I spend tons of time gardening spring through fall. This past summer I grew my first veggie garden with over 30 different vegetables and herbs. My husband and I have an adorable, spoiled dog named Oscar, and we play with him a lot. My husband is a musician and songwriter, and I’m learning to play the drums with some help and pointers from him. I don’t practice very often these days, but every once in a while I’ll play by myself or jam with him, which is a lot of fun!

Thank you for the interview and allowing us to be a part of your blog tour! It's been a blast!
Thanks so much for having me on What’s Beyond Forks?, Gabby! I love the name of your blog, by the way. :)
 

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