Monday, November 21, 2011

Interview with Author KaSonndra Leigh When Copper Suns Fall.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me KaSonndra. It has been fun, allowing us a glimpse into your writing word.  I hope you share this interview with your friends so we can all get to know you a little better.  Patti 

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Charlotte, NC (race car capital). My parents moved to the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina when I was young so I don’t remember living there.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
My most recent book is my debut novel and it’s called When Copper Suns Fall. To sum it up in 30 words or less (b/c I’m kinda good at these mini pitches now, haha) I would say it’s about a fifteen-year-old girl trying to use her memory power to face rival demon slayers and save her brother.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Ohh the fun part. Here goes:

Chela Prizeon (our 15-yr-old protag) would say: life is a curvy road filled with potholes and steep turns waiting to throw you over the edge of the mountain.

Faris Toulan (male protag#1) would say: the first three dead-heads are all for me.

Seth Alton (male protag#2) would say: Girls are like foxgloves: easy on the eyes, but deadly when eaten.

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?
I do. I have three books that will published in 2012. One of them is the sequel to Copper Suns. It’s called When Silver Moons Rise. I’ve already begun writing it and I have some big shoes to continue to fill after the reviews Copper Suns received. The other two are horror/fantasy novels. Yikes, right? One is called Hacienda Moon (due out in April, 2012) and the other is called the Moon Goddess Memoirs. I’m really excited about both of those.

What or who inspired you to write?  And how long have you been writing?
Actually, I attempted to write my first book after watching the movie the Last Unicorn and reading the book My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews. That was a long time ago, so, um it probably wasn’t a very good first attempt. I ended up chucking the story. About five years ago, I tried to write it again. I revised it, sent it to agents, and then…crickets! Oh, and rejections. It was terrible. I hadn’t found my voice/style yet, so I chucked the story yet again and enrolled in an official writing program. I’ve been writing since I can remember. But professionally, I’ve only been at it for about three or four now.

Would you like to giveaway a copy of your book on this blog?
Sure thing. I’ll be giving away 3 copies - HERE

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
Oh fun! Fun! I was hoping many people ask about the cover. My story is a cross-genre, and not just your typical one. I created an urban fantasy inside of a dystopian world. The urban fantasy doesn’t have vampires, either.  I chose two very different genres so the cover had to reflect the flavor of both while pulling the story into it too. Phew! What a task. Enter super graphic designer extraordinaire, Shy3 (a nickname) and the world was saved. The result?—A dystopian style cover that clearly tells the reader about the supernatural element present in the book as well. Pretty clever, right? Big grin. :-D

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Of course, our writing always is based on the events, people, and places that most shaped our lives. I’d say the characters, themes, and overall tone of Copper Suns’ message is based on the way I feel about losing my grandmother. She was the one who told me to learn how to talk to the flowers. They hold the secrets hidden by the angels. So that’s what I did.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
Elizabeth Kostova’s the Historian, Alice Walker’s the Color Purple, and Stephen King’s the Stand. (I know, a pot of multi-cultural soup, right) All three of those authors have had the most impact on my decision to pursue a full-time writing career. Each one represents someone who is truly at the top of their game. But (there’s always the ‘but’ factor) they struggled to overcome many obstacles to get there. Elizabeth’s literary novel brought strong criticism from male critics. Alice Walker was a black woman struggling in an industry that sometimes stifles ethnic voices. And Stephen King struggled with an alcohol addiction while trying to keep his family together. All very inspiring, very real stories that make you want to not only buy these people’s books, but cheer them all the way to the top.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Yes! Yes! Cassandra Clare who was my inspiration for writing Copper Suns. And guess what? Not only did she tweet with me a few nights back, but she’s also coming to my regular hangout Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC on December 9th. That’s the same day as my Twitter release party. Talk about angels watching over you, right?

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I prefer any readable format. But e-books are slowly becoming my fav. I can gobble books up faster in that format. Big grin. My attention span is terrible, so audiobooks end up talking to my walls.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
Again. No real preference anymore. But l will say the last five or six books I purchased came from online stores like B&N, ibooks, and Amazon.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
I’m an indie author and proud. TriGate press is the brainchild of several local readers/writers/authors who believed enough in my baby to invest. I heart all of you dearly. Copper Suns was given the same treatment as the works of authors at major houses. I’ve gotten much respect and support from the industry all over. And I’m both grateful and proud. :-D

Have you ever read a book more than once?
I read Copper Suns through almost twenty times before I was satisfied with my editor’s handy work. That’s how I know others will enjoy it, too. Other than that, I’ve never read anything twice. Not because I’m that picky, but because there’s so darn many books and so little time. **sigh sigh**

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone in e-book!

What book do you know that you will never read?
Loaded question! I’d better plead the fifth amendment of silence on that one. :-D

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
Yes! Yes! The fabulous Patti Roberts because her story of the angels in Paradox, along with the eye candy all over the pages, sent my head a whirling. I cannot wait for Progeny of Innocence. I will be the first one to purchase a copy. Also, Laini Taylor, the author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her style and mine are similar, and it’s always fun to read other authors who can really strive to be different with the dark side of angelic characters.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
**Groan** Always a double-loaded question for a writer. At the end of the day, I’m a perfectionist. My editor told me to stop reading through and picking out sore spots. So, I did. That was hard. But I’m pretty sure if I would’ve kept on reading through, I would’ve found something I just ‘had’ to change.

Who designed the cover of your book?
Oh fun! Fun! I was hoping many people ask about the cover. My story is a cross-genre, and not just your typical one. I created an urban fantasy inside of a dystopian world. The urban fantasy doesn’t have vampires, either.  I chose two very different genres so the cover had to reflect the flavor of both while pulling the story into it too. Phew! What a task. Enter super graphic designer extraordinaire, Shy3 (a nickname) and the world was saved. The result?—A dystopian style cover that clearly tells the reader about the supernatural element present in the book as well. Pretty clever, right? Big grin. :-D

Do you have a book trailer?
The book trailer is coming. It will probably hit YouTube about the same time as the book’s release. There’s a matter of permissions, etc. with the song we want to use for it. **groans again**. But I promise it will be well worth the wait.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
Love them! I’m one of the people who always goes poking around to see if my fav new release has a trailer attached to it.

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
Read, read, read, and critique the writing of others. You can learn so much that way.

Do you write under a pen name?
No fancy, seductive names or anything like that for me. KaSonndra is my real name. Although I changed the way it’s spelled so people could differentiate between me and the other author of nephilim mischief, Cassandra Clare.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
All the time!

What are your pet peeves?
People who hate on you because you’ve got the guts to be bold and different.

Cats or dogs?
Too many of all of the above. :-D

White wine or red?
Whichever works the fastest at any given right moment.

Coffee or tea?
Again, all of the above. I am a writer. Repeat after me. We are all addicted to caffeine in any form.

Favorite food? Anything Italian (love these fun questions, btw)

Vanilla or chocolate icecream? Cookies and cream all day long, baby!

What do you normally eat for breakfast? Nothing. Never have time. :-D

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
iPhone, notebook (I’m a bit old-fashioned, okay), lip gloss (goes without saying, lol), and sunglasses (Big Hollywood style ones! Haha) In fact if you poke around Myspace, you’ll catch me with them on!

Laptop or desktop for writing?
Laptop. Although I have a really fancy desk made out of clear, blue glass that I sometimes remember is sitting neglected. LoL I at least try to open the door and glance at it every now and then.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
3am-7am is the time when I have to catch my muse. In fact, I’m filling out this interview and it’s 6:48a.m. So I’d better hurry the heck up and finish before she turns my thinking cap off!

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
1)     Oprah Winfrey(sorry, but she can gab like no one else I know)
2)     Keanu Reeves (have had the hugest crush on him since I can remember)
3)     Gabrielle Garcia Marquez (Gotta have someone who can construct killer sentences that can outdo my longest ones. And yes, I know how to string them up!)
In fact, I’d probably never want to leave that island if I were stuck in that situation. :-D

One of your favorite quotes – “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe

List 3 of your all time favorite movies?
The Matrix, the Color Purple, and V for Vendetta

An actor you have a crush on –
OMG! The list is endless…top of the list winners for this month? Will Smith and Josh Hartnett. Next month’s contenders…who knows? Too many, eh-em, thoughts going through my head right now. LoL

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
The Walking Dead of course! You can find me and members of that cast/crew/writing squad tweeting each other up all the time on Twitter. We’re always happy to take in new brigade members. :-D

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Follow your dreams, and work on fine-tuning the knowledge you’ll need to master in order to get there. Read, write every day, find a mentor if you can (I did), and keep reaching for the stars. Persistence always pays off in the end.

Where can your readers stalk you?
I make stalking me very easy. See answers below:

My facebook page:

Smashwords all formats : Here

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
First run in December will be an ebook. The timing of the second run (print books) depends on how well the ebook does.

KaSonndra Leigh

Image of KaSonndra Leigh
KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about teens doing fantastical things in magical worlds. Her two sons have made her promise to write a boy book next.

She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora's Box (good writer's block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.

And thank you for supporting me, Patti. I will heart you forever. :-D

Reader comments:

Review by: Danielle Gonzalez on Jan. 31, 2012 : star star star star
If you're a fan of "The Hunger Games", then you will certainely enjoy "When Copper Suns Fall" by KaSonndra Leigh. Chela Prizeon has spent most of her life keeping her true heritage hidden from everybody that she knows, including her best friends Jalen and Lexa who are all living under the rules set for them by a governing group called the Tribunal. When her brother Micah suffers a mysterious accident, she is determined to find out what actually happened. Chela finds herself in an entirely new world of trouble as secrets about her heritage begin to unfold, and she must choose between good and evil in order to protect the people that she loves. This book had me hooked from beginning to end, and I cannot wait for the next installment of this series!

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