Monday, September 17, 2018

Interview with Mary Karlik, MAGIC HARVEST


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Magic Harvest is book 1 of the Fairy Trafficking Series. Here is the back cover blurb.

Young fae girls are disappearing.
Layla has never belonged to the fairy realm – at least, half of her hasn’t. She’s never known anyone with human blood, not even her father. When she was three, the dragon Fauth attacked the fairy festival, murdering her fae mum & stepfather. Frankly, some fairies think she should’ve been eaten too. 

As she grew, despite being called names like “fuman” for being a half-blood, she’s discovered that being half-human isn’t terrible. She may lack magic, but she is immune to iron sickness, and she can wield a sword with elven skill.  

Magic in the human world is disastrous.
Sixteen years later, when Layla’s half-sister is kidnapped and taken through a portal to the forbidden human realm, Layla rushes to the rescue. She’s older and stronger, and she’s not about to let her last living family member be taken from her without a fight. 

Only someone who belongs to both worlds can find the truth.
The portal spits her out in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but neither her sister or the kidnapper are anywhere to be found. Stuck in a world she only knows from school books, Layla forges unlikely alliances to find her sister. As she becomes tangled in the dark world of fairy trafficking, magic harvesting, and murder, Layla will have to find the strength within if she is to survive and save her sister.

Do you have a favorite character?
Layla my heroine is my favorite character. She is tough but caring. I love her character growth in this book.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes. I queried, entered contest, attended pitch appointments—the whole nine yards. I snagged an agent on about my 3rd completed manuscript. Unfortunately, it was not a match made in heaven. She quit the business a year after I signed and I snagged a wonderful agent. We worked together extremely well but could not sell my Hickville High series. We got close and had a couple of bad offers. She suggested I go indie with those books and I did. I haven’t been agented since but I still have the upmost regard for my former agent.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
I have self-published four YAs and I’m under a traditional contract for my fantasy series with a small press called Ink Monster.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Until recently I had a critique group. Of my original critique group of 6, only one other person besides me is still actively writing. But, we are still best friends. Now I critique with my son-in-law, who is a brilliant writer, on an as needed basis. Mostly, I need help plotting. He keeps me grounded and on track. If it doesn’t make sense, he’ll tell me.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I listen to music. I have a set list for every book. If I’m writing fantasy it’s Gaelic traditional music.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I have a vague idea of the beginning and ending. I will often complete a Hero’s Journey outline—ish but then when I write I let the book take me where it will. I do a lot of re-writes. But it’s what works for me.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Holy Cow, Yes! Even before I was with a traditional publisher I had it edited. I don’t believe anybody should edit their own work!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Yes! I am learning Gaelic. I’m studying at Sabhal Mor Ostaig (part of the University of Highlands) on the Isle of Skye. I’m about to enter the 3rd level. I’m also taking an online course. Part of this is so I can delve deeper into my other passion of finding obscure Celtic folklore. I also love to snow ski and hike.

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. I don’t really eat sweets but I love hot chocolate. Coffee. Talk. Day.

What’s next for you?
I know this is my 11th question but I’ll answer it. Next is Magic Heist. The second book of the series due to come out in April. I love this series and I hope the readers do as well.

Les gach deagh-dhùrachd. (Best regards—in Gaelic)
Màiri (Mary)



Magic Harvest
Mary Karlik
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Young fae girls are disappearing.
Layla has never belonged to the fairy realm – at least, half of her hasn’t. She’s never known anyone with human blood, not even her father. When she was three, the dragon Fauth attacked the fairy festival, murdering her fae mum & stepfather. Frankly, some fairies think she should’ve been eaten too.
As she grew, despite being called names like “fuman” for being a half-blood, she’s discovered that being half-human isn’t terrible. She may lack magic, but she is immune to iron sickness, and she can wield a sword with elven skill.
Magic in the human world is disastrous.
Sixteen years later, when Layla’s half-sister is kidnapped and taken through a portal to the forbidden human realm, Layla rushes to the rescue. She’s older and stronger, and she’s not about to let her last living family member be taken from her without a fight.
Only someone who belongs to both worlds can find the truth.
The portal spits her out in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but neither her sister or the kidnapper are anywhere to be found. Stuck in a world she only knows from school books, Layla forges unlikely alliances to find her sister. As she becomes tangled in the dark world of fairy trafficking, magic harvesting, and murder, Layla will have to find the strength within if she is to survive and save her sister.




Author Bio:
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”
She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.


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