Paul’s Fantasy Writings has the privilege of an interview with author Kara S Weaver today. I first came across Kara on Instagram several months ago and read her utterly gripping fantasy novel, Crown of Conspiracy, which is Volume I of The Ilvannian Chronicles.
Afterwards, I got in touch with Kara and asked her if she would like an interview. Fortunately for us, she agreed and kindly answered the following questions:
Where do you come from and have you always lived there?
I hail from the Netherlands and live in a small village near Rotterdam. But I haven’t always lived there. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in a village near Amsterdam. I moved down here to live with my then boyfriend, now husband.
What made you come up with the plot for The Ilvannian Chronicles? Was it a personal event, a book you read, or a film you watched? Or something else?
Good question. It all started off with the prophecy about the MC (main character) and it kind of went from there. While writing, I try to take from things I know, or have seen, heard, or read. Yet, there’s nothing specific that I can think of that inspired the plot the way it is. I’d like to say my muse comes out to play and throws ideas at me.
This blogger: That is very interesting. It seems like you had a great lot of ideas swirling in your head, and you ingeniously put them together to make a wonderful and entertaining story. That is quite an achievement.
When you imagine the world in which your series is based in, which country springs to mind and in which particular time-period?
For Crown of Conspiracy, I think that would be Asia in the 17th/18th century. It’s not quite the Middle Ages anymore, but still close.
This blogger: Yes, I very much felt that while reading it. I felt your story was during the Early Modern period, and it’s great to know that I was on the right lines. This is testament to your skill as a writer, too.
In two of my blog pieces, I discuss how to create a compelling main character. You have created a very compelling main character in Shalitha. How did you decide her character?
I think in many ways Shalitha is based on me, or at least on who I would like to be. Her little insecurities, internal dialogue, her fears – those are mine. Perhaps her fighting spirit and persistence is too, but she’s so much more badass than I (think I) am. When I started writing, I knew she was a princess and that she loved fighting with swords and as the story developed, she did too.
This blogger: If you are anything like Shalitha, you must be very witty and a joy to be around at work and in social situations.
Which character is least like you? And why?
Elara I think. She’s much more outgoing and carefree than I could ever be. She does what she does when she wants it, rather than because somebody tells her to. Plus, she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
Have any of the characters in The Ilvannian Chronicles been influenced by historical or fictional figures?
Err… Not intentionally. But I’m sure if we’re going to have a look, some could be compared to either historical or fictional figures.
If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?
It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. Just write and enjoy the process. Fixing holes and elaborate words come later.
This blogger: This is excellent advice. Honestly, I think this is the right approach to writing a novel; particularly, for the first draft. Otherwise, you could spend months just going over and over parts of your first draft, only to change it later down the line anyway.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Using the wrong tenses. I teach English in secondary school and one of the things I teach a lot are tenses. It’s something I notice straight away when it’s off. Or when both past and present tense are used in the same sentence or paragraph. Please, just, don’t!
How has writing changed you?
I daresay it’s made me happier and feel more fulfilled. I’m finally doing something I’ve wanted to do for over fifteen years. Only, this time around, I’m not afraid of it anymore. I look forward to sitting down and writing. I love the creative flow when I’m really into it. It’s like a puzzle that needs solving, and I love doing that.
This blogger: That is wonderful to hear. Keep doing it then! You are a very talented writer, Kara, and I look forward to your next book. (As I hope many others do.)
Have your family and friends read Crown of Conspiracy? What do they think of it and how do you feel when they talk about it with you?
Some of my friends have. My family actually haven’t yet; although, they did buy the book to support me. My friends were amazed that I could write so well, and I think it was per their encouragement that I continued writing Crown of Conspiracy. Without them, I might not ever have considered getting it published.
This blogger: First, I am very happy that your friends did urge you to publish your book, for yourself and so that audiences around the world can enjoy your story. Second, your friends and family sound amazingly supportive. You deserve it. When your family reads your book(s), I have every faith that they will love your stories and nag you to write more. (*winks*.)
When people read Crown of Conspiracy, what would you like them to gain or learn from it?
Maybe not so much learn or gain from it. I haven’t written Crown of Conspiracy with a deeper meaning or secret message in mind. Not intentionally anyway.
However, what I do want for people is for them to connect with the characters, have them feel it could be them, and to live alongside them. I want readers to be immersed in the world of Crown of Conspiracy, root for the heroes, hate the bad guys, and keep guessing at what’s coming next. Because I’m absolutely not done yet with this world, or its characters. Above all, though, I want people to be able to sit down, enjoy it, and forget the real world for a while.
This blogger: Well, you definitely achieve that, Kara. Personally speaking, I was utterly gripped whilst reading your novel and found myself turning the pages constantly. When I closed my eyes, I was in the world you created and feeling the characters’ emotions. Again, that is testament to your skill as a writer and as a person.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
The amazingly talented Kara S Weaver, herself.
When I am not writing, I’m reading. I’ve fallen off the book bandwagon for years and am slowly getting myself back up. I am so behind on so many great series. I am trying to catch up, and I try to read as many indie books as I can too. There are some rare jewels out there.
Furthermore, if I’m not reading, I’m either watching Netflix, playing board games, or sleeping. I cannot be idle for very long. (*smiles*.)
End of Interview
That is the end of our interview with author Kara S Weaver. I would like to thank her for her time, and to say that it has been a pleasure getting to know her. I wish her all the best for her future writings, her teaching, her family, and her other ventures.
You can purchase Kara’s brilliant fantasy novel, Crown of Conspiracy, at Amazon and I cannot recommend it enough. Moreover, the prequel will be available later this month as it is going to be fascinating.
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