Fire and Ice welcomes author Andi Katsina author of Rick &Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures book 1: Journey To The Kingdom for an exclusive interview and giveaway.
What Are Your Top five favorite all-time books?
There are so many great books to choose from, but often the most influential are the ones that initially set you on the path to further discovery. In my case some books I read as a young child, and a teenager, had me hankering for more.
Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Down and out in London and Paris by George Orwell
How did this book come to you?
Heather, I’ve always been blessed with a limitless imagination, and so it’s quite easy for me to come up with a complex, highly entertaining story. Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures came to me after a long visit to Hawaii. Employing the Hawaiian Menehune legend of mythical, mystical people who can only been seen in the moonlight, I went on to create a mystical forest which exits down inside the island, and on and it goes….
Favorite life quote or motto?
‘Stand up and be counted’, ‘never give up’ two of my own mottos.
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had as an author to date?
The most rewarding experience was selling my first book, that was way back in 2007. I received an order from a book store. Wow, after all that hard work, somebody wanted my book, I was so happy!
What has been the most rewarding part of this whole process of being published?
I have to say the wonderful feedback I’ve received about this book from my readers has made it all worthwhile. Added to that, the book is now being translated in Japan where it’s expected to be a bestseller. And in California there’s been talk of making a film based on the book. Here in Panama, were I’m currently staying, the book distributors have already ordered copies. It’s really taking off in a fabulously, exceptionally rewarding way.
Any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
Yep! Book 2 of Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures is due to be released in the Spring of 2013. Later that year, Gurk & Whale [The Rose Mane Arrows], a fantasy adventure which was written in 2007, will be released.
Fruit is my favourite food, so I can snack on any fruit. In Thailand, working on the second proofing of the book, most days I was snacking on pineapple, juicy and delicious. Sometimes when I have a break from working I enjoy a glass of fresh orange or fresh carrot juice with garlic and ginger, juice it myself.
What lessons do you hope to pass on to your readers and teens?
I like to express my belief that no matter how difficult one’s circumstances become, one should never give up, and also that there is within each one of us the potential to do great deeds. Wherever possible I express the sentiment of loyalty. I also try to introduce an environmental issues theme, for instance in Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures book 1, I make subtle mention of the necessity for clean waterways. I’m an environmentalist so these issues are important to me. The wonderful thing is that a great proportion of today’s youth are also very environmentally conscientious. Also, my stories are geared to give my readers a wonderful, colourful canvas on which to exercise their own imaginations.
Tell us what you enjoy to do when not writing?
I really enjoy hanging out with friends, but rarely get the chance anymore; writing is quite an antisocial habit. I enjoy swimming in the ocean, going out for a daily run, and boy oh boy do I like riding motorbikes.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
The Galapagos Archipelago, six hundred miles into the Pacific, off the coast of Ecuador. This is a UNESCO reserve, and though fragile, is relatively unpolluted. You can see a great many species of birds, reptiles, mammals and fish, including twenty-nine species of shark. It’s a beautiful place and the front line for the efforts of many environmental groups working to protect the region. Tortuga Bay, in the Galapagos, is the place where turtles come to lay eggs on an annual basis. The massive Sierra Negra caldera is there on one of the larger islands, Isabella. It’s a very relaxing place where you can feel close to nature. It’s also the place where Charles Darwin worked on his famous piece, Origin of the species.
What advice would you have to aspiring writers?
Most importantly, do not give up! If you come to a point where your words no longer flow, don’t feel as though you’ve reached the end of your short lived writing career, you may simply have what is commonly termed writer’s block. If you are struggling to find direction in your story, or even reach it’s end, stop writing, procrastinate, work on another story if you like, give your story a chance to breathe. It will always be there in your thoughts, and taking a breather from writing it down gives the story time to become better formulated in your mind, most often the next part of the story will present itself, at which time you can return to completing it. Sometimes writers work on more than one story, this is totally acceptable, and can often help bridge a writer’s block. As for finding your audience, readers are great; they’re usually willing to give your work a chance. And now with the Internet and all the various reader groups, it has never been easier to reach people interested in your topic of choice. The best of luck to you all. Never give up and keep true to your story.
Is it planned as a standalone or a series?
Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures is an epic fantasy adventure told over a series of three books, a trilogy.
What do you imagine as a place for setting?
Heather, in this book I’ve set the main location, the mystical forest, within a Hawaiian island, making the forest practically as big as the island above. In one of my other books the main settings are in the Mojave Desert, and at the Goldstone Observatory. In yet another of my books the location setting is the Monterey Peninsula. I like to choose a setting that adds more depth to the story, and can be described in ways that give my readers the feeling of actually being right there at the location.
If there is something you want readers to walk away with after reading your book what would that be?
I want my readers to feel good about themselves, and as fantastic as the adventure is, I want them to feel as though they’ve been right there with me and my characters.
About Her Book
: Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures [Journey to the Kingdom],
tells the story of a father and his daughter, Rick and Wylie, who, due to the actions of an evil wizard, become separated, whilst on holiday in Hawaii.
Wylie has to work her way across a huge and dangerous mystical forest. Rick, along with some of his friends, enters the mystical forest to go in search of his daughter.
Both Rick and Wylie endure trials and tribulations, and are finally reunited in the forest. Together, they succeed in awakening the sleeping kingdom, a place that has been hidden from the evil wizard for more than half a millennium.
Click here to read an excerpt of the book
Author Bio: Hello my friends
I’m English, of rich Irish, African descent. Born in the sound of bow bells, an orphan, I grew up in Manchester, England. Quite a bit more than forty, I‘m a vegan, though occasionally lapse into vegetarianism.
Throughout my school years I was a champion athlete and swimmer, going on to become an athletics coach, swimming teacher and youth leader. After which time I was trained as a Chartered Accountant. Interrupting my training, I branched out, working freelance as a troubleshooter in the field of accountancy. Six years of adding and subtracting, was followed by two years of trading as an international commodities broker. This led me to the sedentary position of ‘trader in antique, oriental carpets’. It was at this juncture that I became completely inspired to become a writer.
As a ‘school kid’ I very much enjoyed writing plays in English, Latin and French. Fortunately for me, writing came naturally. I so, so like writing stories that give people, especially young people, and people young at heart, the chance to exercise their own imagination.
I love taking my readers on fantastic journeys. The enjoyment and taste of adventure my stories give to my readers, warms me greatly.
Best wishes from Andi Katsina
Visit her website to learn more.
The Giveaway: Andi has offered three copies of her book to our readers at Fire and Ice! To enter fill our the rafflecopter form below.
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