Friday, September 29, 2017

Interview with K. Ferrin, ACROSS THE DARKLING SEA


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the five book Magicfall series. The series follows the trials and terrors of Ling, a young woman who discovers she’s actually a changeling. In Across the Darkling Sea she sets off on a journey to find the warlock that cursed her family and convince him to break the curse. But she soon discovers there is much more going on that she ever could have imagined, and in book two (A Dying Land) she finds herself embroiled in a centuries long war. Her adventures continue in the third book, The Poison of Woedenwoud, which will be available in November of this year.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I use music when I’m trying to elicit a certain emotion. I may write with the same song on a loop, playing over and over again, to help me stay in that particular emotional state while I write a scene. Outside of that, I generally prefer to write in silence, or with the vague background noise of a coffee shop.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
The first book I tried to write ended up being about 180,000 words long at the point I abandoned it. Most full length novels these days run about 80,000 - 100,000 words. And if you were to ask me what it was about, I wouldn’t be able to answer. It was a meandering hot mess that will never, ever, see the light of day!

Up front work is essential for me. Before I write the first word of the novel I’ve spent considerable time thinking about what this story is really about, who my characters are, what they want, and what forces are at play that are preventing them from getting it. I don’t need to have every detail planned out, but I need to know the start, the end, and a general knowledge of the arc of the story between those two points.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I have always been a very business minded person, so when it came time to decide how to publish there was no question I wanted to take the indie route. I love owning the entire process of creating, publishing, and selling my books. I hire artists whose work I love and admire, I work with the most amazing creative people every day, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
It’s not easy. It takes an incredible amount of dedication and focus to see this thing through to the end, and in the beginning, each step seems harder than the one before it.

Typing The End on a novel is such an emotional high. The amount of work that occurred between page one and The End is hard to explain to someone who has never done it before, and you feel as if you’ve hit the top of Everest. But then comes editing, an emotional whirlwind of delight and absolute suffering that you’re sure you won’t survive, until suddenly you do. When you finally get a book out in the world you feel like you’ve made it, that you are real writer, and now you can sit back and wait for the accolades to roll in. But then you realize that 288 other people published their book on Amazon the same day you did, and that over 100,000 books have been published on Amazon in the last 12 months or so, and that you have no idea how to help people find yours.

I think the most valuable thing I have learned after going through this process four times now, is to respect the process. It’s easy to get really down through all of this, but don’t. Just take each step as it comes to you, breathe deeply, make sure you’re replenishing yourself as you go, and just keep moving forward.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes, most definitely. For me, I decided I wouldn’t do any paid marketing until I had three books on the market. The reason for this is something called acquisition costs. To put it simply, when you only have one book, the most you can sell from your advertising money is the sale of one book. But when you have two books, or five books, or twenty five books, that same amount of advertising money can land you two or five or twenty five sales. So in the beginning I focused almost exclusively on writing more books.
I still focus primarily on book creation to this day, but I do make sure I’ve got at least one promotion going on somewhere every month.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
This is one of the real delights in being an indie author... you are completely involved in this process, and have approval or veto power every step of the way. I was able to hire an artist who’s work I loved and who I felt I got along with very well. I typically give her a couple of ideas of what I’m thinking for a cover, and she weighs in with an artists eye. Once we’ve settled on the image she creates a draft of it and sends it my way, giving me the opportunity to tweak/change as I see fit. It’s really a collaboration, and I love that process.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Why yes I do. I love to travel and I do it often. I’m a garden geek, I love eating fresh fruit and veggies straight from my garden. I am a beekeeper as well. I’ve got two hives in my urban backyard.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Dogs, for sure. Dark chocolate. Tea - hot or iced is fine by me. Text. (I am a writer after-all!). While I love the cool light of a looming moon and the liquid puddles of light street lamps leave on black pavement, I’ve got to go with day. The soft kiss of sunlight on my face is one of the best things ever.

What’s next for you?
More writing of course! I’m planning on releasing Book Four of the Magicfall series around June of 2018, and Book Five early in 2019. We are also planning our next big adventure - a few weeks visiting Prague, Krakow, and Berlin next summer.



Across the Darkling Sea
K. Ferrin
Publication date: November 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the new serial fantasy series Magicfall, by K. Ferrin!
Magic is forbidden in Brielle, but that never stopped Evelyn. Until Now. Because Evelyn has discovered she is magic, and now she is running for her life.
Her only hope is on an island cloaked in shadow, an island of dark magic and even darker beasts. An island warlocks call home.
Evelyn’s friends have turned against her, her own mother tried to kill her, and the place she calls home has banished her. Hidden away in the belly of a riverboat, a stowaway, her journey begins.

Across the Darkling Sea is book one in a serial series. Each book is roughly 50,000 words or about 150 pages. To emphasize, this is a serial series, meaning it’s one story that stretches across multiple books.


Author Bio:
K. Ferrin spends her days surrounded by engineers, technology, and humming machinery, but her evenings are steeped in magic, myth, and adventure. She writes fantasy, loves gardening, and eats way too much pie. She lives at the foot of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two pooches.

Her novels include the stand alone YA fantasy novel Magicless, as well as Across the Darkling Sea, and A Dying Land, the first two books of a series. You can find her online at www.kferrin.com.


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