Make your Summer Reading SIZZLE with these hot reads from fresh new authors!
This week's featured author is Kristan Cannon
Kristan Cannon was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario and educated in North Bay and Toronto. She is a staunch supporter of literacy, reading, and young writer's programs. She also holds a current membership with The Indie Writer's Network and is a member of the NaNoWriMo Ambassador's program.
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When not researching or writing, Kristan exists for sailing her classic wooden sailboat with her cat, friends, and family... or for video games and books when snow and ice have the boat locked in its slip and she can't get away.
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Waterstones
Book One of the Kingdom of Walden Series
WE THOUGHT WE HAD NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT...
...WE WERE WRONG
The residents of the small town of Whitefish are no strangers to snow. Used to being forgotten and digging their own way out, no one thought anything of it when, during one of the coldest winters on record, help just never came. But, as fuel runs out and raiders press in on all sides, Derek, Sheridan, and Garrett realize it's not just the snow they need to dig their way out of...
THE LAST IRON HORSE
Book Two of the Kingdom of Walden Series
THEIR BIGGEST TEST IS HURTLING TOWARDS THEM...
... ON STEEL RAILS.
With the corrupt Colonel to their east, and the slavers to their west, determined to both call Walden’s rich resources their own Derek, Sheridan, and Garrett have to act quickly to make sure their home isn’t the next to fall to the pressures from outside… and within.
I had the chance to sit down and ask Kristan some questions ~ have a peek at a few of the answers.
Question: Who is your favourite character in the book and why?
Answer: Wow, that’s a difficult question. The cast is so huge, even if I limit the Points-of-View, that to pick just one is nearly impossible. I honestly can’t even play favourites because the readers will be able to tell.
However, I can tell you who the fan favourite is (Derek Moss), and I think people like him because he breaks the most popular tropes running right now in either the post-apocalyptic or the science-fiction genre, but at the same time people feel they can relate to him and his experiences. That’s why I picked him as the main character—other than he all but demanded he should be the main character.
How do you mean that?
Well, there’s a few ways I mean that. As a warning, there’s a method to the background. It’s a rather open secret that the first book was a happy accident. I never meant to get it published, and through luck or providence (still not sure which), the final decision was left to someone else. I had left out the book I’ve been working on since 1996, but never submitted anywhere, with the eventual intent to publish that. However, the book he found was the one my then husband pulled out of a drawer… and well, the rest is history. However, the reason I had left After Oil (and all the background research & notes) in that drawer was because I didn’t intend to publish it. It was a “novelisation” of a tabletop role-playing game that a bunch of friends and I had played, and I had written what happened during those games into a book form.
How does that tie back to the character?
Because, when I was first writing the book (as part of NaNoWriMo 2012), said inspiration behind that very character called me. He was celebrating something else and called us because he knew we would understand why what happened was so important to him. Somehow the conversation turned to why were we up so late, and when I said my then husband had actually been in bed and I was up writing, he wanted to know all about it. So I told him…
And how that ties back to the start…
I created Derek Moss from that conversation because the inspiration demanded I do so.
Question: Please describe him a) physically b) their personality.
Answer: You know, other than what Derek wears after the First Winter, and generally his hair, eye and build I never really got into depth. He’s basically average. Average height, slighter of build… honestly he’s not someone you’d look twice at and he uses that to his advantage. While he is older, he’s not old per se. Closer to the latter part of middle age. Blue eyes, sandy hair.
Personality wise, he’s quiet, but charismatic… however, given his chosen career he has to be. Outside of that, he’s quiet, likes to tinker with things and likes spending time in the outdoors. He’s not a jock (your basic football player could probably snap him in half), but he likes to watch it. His sense of humour runs to the teasing side of it and he loves to yank people’s chains… and he’s good at it. His favourite target always takes him at his literal word, so the interplay usually involves him teasing her, and then she takes him at face value and he has to run behind her to explain that he was only joking before she does what he jokingly suggested she do. It’s harmless (because he’d never hurt anyone), but it could be embarrassing. But he’s also laser focussed. The joking and the quiet falls to the wayside if it becomes painfully obvious people are depending on him to figure things out. At that point, what he might say is probably ruthlessly silenced… he’ll think it, but he won’t say it.
Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?
Answer: I have a few.
Some of the interplay between he and his wife, Marissa:
“Are you talking about me again?” asked Derek.
“I’d never,” answered Marissa.
“You absolutely would,” Derek retorted, sticking out his tongue as he took his own mug of tea. With a sigh of relief, he noted, “I see the rain finally stopped.”
Part of his “situational” humour he doesn’t always voice:
He could feel the stares, and as he stared as his own hand he saw why. He was coated with cement dust so thick that he appeared to be stone.
I’m a moving statue, he giggled, but tamped down the impending hysterics.
More of that interplay between Marissa and Derek:
Marissa pulled the blankets back up over his shoulders, and patted his arm. “I swear if you ever do this to me again, I’ll tie you to the bed posts by your damn ties,” she threatened, but smiled knowing he could not hear her anyway. She leaned close. “Your most expensive ones, too.”
“Promise?” came his whispered reply.
Marissa pinched her nose and groaned.
Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?
Answer: Speculative Fiction. Even though it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, it’s more realistic than, say, zombies. It’s not quite far enough into the future and doesn’t quite have the same elements as say hard-core sci-fi either. It’s hard science fiction because it’s grounded in science fact, and how things work is grounded in real science fact, and it’s set in the near future… the very near future. But because there’s no zombies, no virus gone rampant, the weather, while greatly affected the way it is now by climate change, isn’t any wilder… or less… and there’s no aliens or psychics, or magic. Civilization fell, and now the characters have to deal with it.
Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?
Answer: Well, there is some swearing and a lot of violence. Unfortunately, rebuilding what’s left and surviving everything else means that there are people out there that don’t see eye to eye with the main characters and some are even violently opposed. Sometimes it’s even the other way around. But violence is a major part of the story. The whole series is about a war being fought to bring back some semblance of civilization, and those who would rather see everything vanish. It’s not pretty. Other than that, there is some innuendo between Derek and Marissa, because they are married and definitely not dead… but that’s as far as I spell it out in the book.
Question: Do you have any upcoming events?
Answer: Other than this book blog tour? Not really, although on August 26th I do have a radio interview on the Speculative Fiction Cantina radio show. I’ll have that on my Facebook page, Twitter and on my GoodReads events.
Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?
Answer: A few things. The first is finishing the series, which will happen in Book Four, so we’re still editing that for release next year. I’m also still working on the book I’d still like published and was supposed to be instead of this series…. I also have, under the penname “Eve Morrison” a cozy mystery on Wattpad that I’m working on. I also am working to open a physical bookstore in Sudbury, Ontario… and we’re well on our way to do that.
Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc...)
Answer: Absolutely. The team, which is actually a collective of indie authors, at KCEditions, as well as my editor and the fantastic cover artist who did the artwork for After Oil, Jeannette Mathews.
Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc...
Answer: I could not even name a specific place anyway. Someplace quiet, with plenty of books. I like warmth in a room… not so much as heat, although that’s nice on a cold day… but warmth in decorating. Cool palettes don’t really do it for me. I love the warmer spectrum.
I would love to see the really old part of Britain and Europe. I love history so to soak all that up would be great, and then to finish that tour in an old (but quietly updated) Manor in the French Countryside with a great glass of wine while I look over rolling fields and the grapes.
Question: If the character from above were in that place what would they be doing?
Answer: Probably reading a book while doing the same thing.
Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she say?
Answer: I… I don’t even know, honestly. I think I’ve pointed out before that the character (and the person who inspired it) tends to do what they want, when they want. I think he’d hide and not say anything, but at the same time I can almost picture a certain look of pure mischief right before he teases the first reader, or he’d be polite. That depends on the reader, really, and how well he feels he knows them.
Question: If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?
Answer: Oh, probably something to do with conservation. The character (like who he was based off) both like the outdoors, so if meant keeping it healthy he’d support that.