It's time for another Author Spotlight! This week, I am interviewing an award winning author. I'm so excited to have had the chance to ask questions!
K.J. Simmill is an award winning British author with books released in both the fantasy and non-fiction genres.
She is a qualified Project Manager, Herbal Practitioner, and Usui Reiki master, with certifications in various fields of holistic therapy.
When she is not writing, she is an avid reader and a passionate gamer. All of her books donate a percent age of royalties to the DMWS
Darrienia is book one in The Forgotten Legacies Series.
It is said that the past always returns to haunt you. Yet some forgotten pasts have whispered names and a debt for collection. Dangerous curiosities stir a hidden darkness, one that patiently waits to seize control.
Within the layers of a divine game the boundaries of reality change. Ancient creatures once again resurface from their slumber, and beings which should dwell only within Darrienia threaten to pierce the veil to the waking world.
Darkness has a way of masking that which would otherwise be seen, and the god, Night, orchestrator of this peril, is a master of such distortion. Nothing is ever as it seems, especially when every action is gently influenced to unlock an unimaginable terror as he guides those chosen to his true ambition. Their actions rousing something far older, and more dangerous, than the threat they first perceived. Its awakening would herald the end and beginning of all.
Will they discover the truth in time? Or will those who should be heroes, become nothing more than the pawns of evil?
K.J. Simmill was nice enough to provide an excerpt from her book:
“Tell me, what do you see?” Night questioned as Seiken blinked several times. When finally his eyes adjusted he realised they were incredibly high. Despite the vision of what lay before him, he did not answer. He merely looked out on a world which was nothing like his own, a world man had destroyed to create a life for themselves. Unlike his own world, the damage caused here was permanent. “Can’t you see it? The deceit, the treachery, the greed. That is the way of the world now. It’s not only the corruption, it is the disregard for Gaea as they slowly sentence her to death with their selfishness. People need to learn their place, they have become too arrogant. Everything is not theirs to take as they wish.” Night’s voice was calm, yet undertones of outrage and disgust lined his words.
“So, you want to destroy them?” Seiken wasn’t sure he quite understood the situation. If Night wanted to destroy them he clearly possessed the power to do so. It made him wonder why all this was necessary. What was there to gain by this method when just a wave of his hand could see all he despised, destroyed?
“Not all of them, but a majority, yes.” Night did not want to eradicate all of humanity, just those unworthy, after all, originally even Zeus himself did not want man upon this world’s surface. He had wanted them to die out having never evolved, yet he seemed fond of them now, but still Night couldn’t help but think by destroying them he would win the favour of someone who he was intent on destroying. “But once my plan is complete, the world will not tremble to man, but man to the world as it was millennia ago.
“The world’s magic has all but been extinguished, although we can thank the Hoi Hepta Sophoi for their role in this, even they cannot take the brunt of the blame. It is down to them,” he gestured through the window in disgust, a burning hatred reflected in his eyes. “Things need to change, those people exploiting the poor to line their pockets with gold, those who take yet never return, the predators and persecutors of this so called society, I call for their eradication. An end to the arrogance even in blatant stupidity, the moral righteousness amongst the worst sinners, the apathy in the face of absolute manipulation, the unfulfilled promises, the sheer lack of will for the betterment of self and others. Out there they are nothing more than self-serving hypocrites and those who would do good, those who would sacrifice to bring others joy, are those mocked the most.
“Those remaining will serve the earth once more, it will be Gaea who is their mistress. I shall simply take back that which was taken from me so long ago. The goddess has waited long enough for the final sign of the prophecy, and now it is upon us, I shall fulfil it.”
“But then, are you not showing them the same persecution you just spoke of.” Seiken was unsure how much he could say, but for the moment he knew there was something Night wanted from him, some reason why he was summoned to his presence. He knew, true to his word, Night would not harm him, or his people, at least not yet. It was a truth he planned to exploit whenever possible, especially if it could give him some information which could be used to their advantage.
“When the world was born, like animals, humans too would hunt and were hunted. It was a world where to survive was to live, and failure cost the ultimate price. Magic ran rampant across the earth and none could tame it. It moulded things in the way they should have stayed, but eventually, they were permitted a way to seal it. Since then, they have grown arrogant, self-absorbed, but soon they shall be re-educated. They shall learn their place upon this world, or be torn from it as things revert back to the natural order.”
If you are like me, that was enough information to grab the book off Amazon. Just in case you want to, here is the link:
That brings us to my favourite part ~ the questions. I have to admit I was impressed with the answers. Some of these weren't easy. I love the tagline!
Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?
Answer: Epic fantasy
Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?
Answer: Not for the first two books in the series
Question: Do you have any upcoming events?
Answer: Book three is due to be released Autumn this year
Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?
Answer: I am currently editing the third book in The Forgotten Legacies Series, book four in draft, as is a series prequel, There is also another series in the works to be released a few years down the line. (I like to write a series in draft before the first is released) I am also studying towards my editor/proofreading qualifications.
Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc...)
Answer: I would love to mention my alpha reader, but they wish to remain anonymous. But I will say a big thanks to other authors out there, such as Stephen Drake and Richard Crofton who have spent time to give me helpful feedback whilst working in their own brilliant books. I would also like to briefly acknowledge the DMWS (Defence Medical Welfare Service) all of my books donate a percent of royalties to this wonderful charity. I may write fantasy, but I also support the real heroes. The men and women out there who put everything on the line for us. The DMWS is a wonderful charity supporting army, navy, and air force, and the work they do, the support they give, is vital, as is the support of people like us. As I final mention I want to thank you, for hosting me.
Question: What was your favourite book when you were growing up?
Answer: My favourite book growing up, hmm, a tough one. I will opt for The Keys to Paradise by Richard Vardeman
Question: If you could meet any character from any book, who would it be? Why?
Answer: I think I would like to meet Medea, from Euripides' Medea. I read this as part of a study course some time ago. I have great respect for her wisdom, her endurance, and yes, it is a tale of tragedy, jealousy, and revenge, but she is one character I would enjoy learning more about.
Question: When did you realize you were meant to be a writer?
Answer: I've always had a draw to writing. The first time I remember was as a child, I was so passionate about writing stories my nan purchased a typewriter for me. My parents say I wrote stories from a young age, but I have no real recollection of this. I will be completely honest, until my final years at high schools I had no real grasp of writing. My grammar and spelling was truly awful. One day, thanks to a great English teacher, things started to click. I can't imagine ever not writing, no matter what the future may hold.
Question: If your life was a book, what would be the tag line?
Answer: Invest in reality, but don't forget to kiss the dreamer.
Question: What advice would you give new writers?
Answer: Since we've just discussed taglines I'll quote a popular one "Just do it!"
Sit down, forget grammar and spelling, and pour your story, your soul, on to paper. Details can come later, but the most important thing to do is start. You have a story you want to tell, so tell it. No one else can do it for you.
Question: What has been the worst mistake you have made in your writing career?
Answer: Before my book was published I was taken on by an 'agent'. This agency was a long running scam, they charged authors for 'admin' costs. At first I didn't suspect anything. I was getting fortnightly updates about who my book had been submitted to, and after a while I as receiving feedback in the form of rejections and manuscript requests. The cruelest thing they did was raise my hopes. I apparently had two publishing companies interested in my work, one which had apparently stated they would run it in paperback, and a consideration from another who wanted to look hardbacks as well as other mediums. This agency was setting up a video conference with the second house to discuss terms, contract, and then get back to me. They sent me the date, the schedule, etc. I remember barely being able to concentrate at work that day, constantly checking my emails. But as the day dragged on I began to get an uneasy feeling. Eventually I checked their website, to find out they had simply vanished. Their site had been removed, their number disconnected. I was heartbroken. I later contacted the two publishing companies who had shown interest, only to discover they had never received any submissions, and they'd had an influx of letters, emails, and phone calls form other authors, like myself, who had been scammed in the same manner. I guess my biggest mistake was not following up on their listed authors to confirm they were genuine. I spent just over a year with them, placing my dream in their hands, and they exploited it. I was naive, but now, because of this experience I constantly second-guess people's motives.
Question: What is the best moment you have had with a fan?
Answer: The best moment with a fan, I struggle socially, if you meet me in a street and started talking the last thing I do is try to sell my work. Likewise I feel awkward discussing the topic and tend to redirect focus elsewhere. So there are few to choose. I think my greatest moments was with my second book. My alpha reader, also a big fan of mine, handed me back a chapter and said, 'You're better than this, this is lazy. It is good, but compared to how you can write it's lazy. Do it again.' I rewrote it, sat on pins as it was read. They are a person of many words. But they handed it back to me and simply said one, 'Wow.' Everything about that moment, their face, the room, the pure honesty and awe in their voice, is forever burned into my mind.
Thank you K.J. Simmill for taking the time to chat!
Hope you'll join me next week for another Author Spotlight!