Saturday, June 10, 2017

Interview with the Author - K. Bird Lincoln

Recently, I was able to interview author K. Bird Lincoln.  She recently released a new book, and I'm excited to share it with you!  * denotes a link you can click.

Initiate 5 questions:

(Q) Your new book, Dream Eater, was released by World Weaver Press on April 4th, 2017.  
How long was the road to publication from first draft to book release?
(A) So which answer do you want? The long one or the short one?
Definitely both!
The short: 7 years.
The long: I started writing it like 8 years ago. Then Big! Life! Issues! got in the way like recessions and cancer and small toddlers attempting to eat dirt and all that. Somewhere in there I must have kept up my dastardly-plan-of-world-domination-through-publishing- fantasy™ by submitting *Dream Eater to small presses. I truthfully don’t remember because, you know: cancer. Although I have a spreadsheet that chronicled a bunch of rejections from various places so I must have been paying attention at some point. About a year ago, Rhonda Parrish let me know Dream Eater was still under consideration. Part of me was like “oh, is that still being submitted?” and the other part of me ignored it because this was not my first “under consideration” rodeo, and I’d never made it through the publishing gate with novels before. But then Rhonda sent an email that *World Weaver Press wanted to acquire Dream Eater. And then she sent me editing suggestions a month or so later. And then line edits and cover suggestions…yadda yadda yadda it was April 2017 and Dream Eater was a real, live book in my hands.

(Q) Of all the books you’ve worked on, which character do you relate to the most?  Why?
(A) I never play favorites J
There’s a little bit of me in all the characters. Dream Eater’s heroine, Koi, has a Caucasian mother and a Japanese father: that’s more like my own daughters than me. In *Tiger Lily, Lily’s a girl who doesn’t exactly like being girly: that’s more like me. But in like all other ways she’s not at all like me (mostly because she lives in medieval Japan during an alternate *Muromachi period and hears gods sing—but that’s another story).

(Q) I know you’re involved with different writing groups.  What benefits have you found with online writing groups versus in person groups?
(A) Such a tangled question. I think what you get out of different writing groups depends on a matrix of three things:
     What’s your personality?
     What kind of benefits are you looking for?
     Where are you in your journey as a writer?
If you’re shy, online groups can be a good way to share info with people, and stalk….get to know them before you have to meet them in person . I think online groups also give you more access to a wealth of resources and opinions. On the other hand, it’s easy to lurk and get lost in online communities (believe me, I’m a veteran lurker) and the hard lesson I’ve learned from chronic lurking is that no one gets to know you. If you’re just looking for information, online communities are great. Some, like *Critters or *Codex also are way to find critique partners.

In person groups probably are more helpful at the start of your career, although as a veteran writer I feel you have a duty to pay it forward, you need to mentor other writers around you. We all rise together. Once you’ve come to understand your own patterns of writing, and how to receive critiques and how to edit, you probably are better off sending your writing to select beta readers than sending it through an in person critique group. On the other hand, in person groups are much, much more fun to drink margaritas with. J

K. Bird (center) and fellow Rochester Fantastical Women Writer Group members 
including (full disclosure!) myself on the left.

(Q) Name five of your favorite books and briefly share why:
(A) That’s such an unfair question. It changes all the time. I can only answer for favorite books in the last couple of years or so……although you could always cheat and check out *my goodreads “read” page. I actually rate/review a lot.

*Sunshine by Robin McKinley: Because it’s a vampire book but it’s not really about vampire romance. It’s more about ginormous cinnamon rolls and trusting in yourself. But there’s a yearning, lovely quality to the heroine that I can’t quite put a finger on, but that completely draws me in.

*Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert: Because the study of moss has never been so frought with greater philosophical significance and desire…..this is an intricately, packed-with-knowledge written book that touches on the basic meaning of humanity.

*The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee: I am a cancer survivor. Cancer survivors look for answers, for context, to try to wrestle some meaning out of our own bodies’ cells turning into the instruments of our deaths. This one is THE best historical survey of cancer in recorded history I’ve ever come across. Mukherjee is a gifted story teller and isn’t afraid to let us in on personal experiences related to his family and career as a physician.

*The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne: This is the book I recommend to romance readers as a prime, delectable, well-researched historical bodice ripper…..with a twist. I can’t really say more without giving away too much. Do yourself a favor, DON”T read the reviews. Just go read the book and enjoy what I enjoy: a master story teller completely making you think one thing when another thing is happening. LOVE that.

*Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Because this was a revelation to me as a reader and a writer. Nested storylines! Science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy all in one delicious, connected package!

But also the entire *Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Urban fantasy for thoughtful people who like angst and don’t mind an occasional vampire.

(Q) What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
(A) You can’t call yourself a writer…unless you actually write.  Not talk about it. Not write about writing. Not spend endless hours tweaking something that’s already been revised. Not lurking on writers’ groups endlessly looking for magical advice. Just…writing.  So maybe I should go do that now, eh?

You can find my Goodreads review of "Dream Eater" *here.

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