Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween. Go HERE to get today's question and links.
Today's guest for the Crossroads Tour is author Karen Kincy. Her debut novel, Other, was released in July 2010.
What was your favorite paranormal/horror/fantasy story as a child/teen? And why did you like it so much?
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. I have frequently sung this book’s praises online, so I’ll just say that the combination of a strong, sexy werewolf girl with deliciously descriptive prose makes me howl with happiness.
Where did you get the idea for your story? Did you use a real life situation and put a twist on it?
Other came into being when I wondered what it would be like if paranormal people (Others) existed, and everybody knew it. Surely our culture would be different, from the laws on down to the commercials. And surely many humans wouldn’ t be too happy about Others living among them, so there would be prejudices and hatred. I looked to real-life discrimination for the alternate America in Other. On a lighter note, I had great fun inventing products and ads with Others, like tuna caught in “ mermaid-safe nets” or frost spirits modeling diamond jewelry on TV.
Especially in Y.A., there seems to be a big emphasis on paranormal romance? Do you consider the romance part when you are writing your story or do you consider writing your story and see where the romance fits in?
I consider all the elements of the story—including romance—at the same time. I don’t consider Other a paranormal romance novel, but rather a murder mystery with romantic elements. Because while Gwen would love to spend more time kissing a sexy guy, she’s got a serial killer on the loose to contend with.
What helps you to create characters that people will feel passionate about either in liking them or disliking them?
I think about all the real people that I’ve passionately liked or disliked, then try to capture the reasons why in fictional form. If I don't care, why should the reader?
What characteristics were critical to you in creating your characters?
My characters have to be capable of doing things that I never would—or could—in real life. Be it that perfect snappy comment, or the amazing stunt, or the endurance to get through terrible times without ruffling a feather. Larger-than-life characters make fiction a delightful escape for both the reader and the writer.
What kind of research did you do for your story and did you run into anything weird while you were doing research?
Mostly, I pored over encyclopedias of mythological creatures, mining these thick tomes for interesting creatures. I did discover a few oddities, like the belief that Japanese fox-spirits—kitsune—adore tofu, and offerings of tofu are still left at shrines for foxes. And of course the kitsune in Other loves tofu, too.
If you could be a shape-shifter, what animal would you want to shift into?
I know the obvious answer is hawk or falcon, to experience soaring on thermals and diving at insane speeds, but I'd also love to be a fish. If I’m lazy, a big koi sunbathing in a pond. If I’m more adventurous, a shark capable of exploring ocean depths.
To find Karen Kincy on Twitter: @karenkincy