Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Interview with Mary Karlik, MAGIC HEIST


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Magic Heist is the second book of the Fairy Trafficking Series. This book picks up after Layla, a powerful fairy, rescues over 100 fairies who had been kidnapped and brought to the human world. Now they can’t find their way back and they’re slowly dying.  Layla learns about a silver wand that could open a portal to the magic world. The trouble is she has to find it and steal it. To be successful, she knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.

Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around. The problem is, the dragon-spirit inside Ian would like nothing more than to feed its appetite with all those fairies starting with Layla.

Do you have a favorite character?
Layla. The female protagonist in Magic Harvest and Magic Heist. She grew up on the fringes of fey society. She was an outcast—teased, taunted, and bullied. She is kind, brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight. And when she had an opportunity to save her people, she didn’t hesitate.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I started writing in 1996. It took me 17 years to get published. A lot of life happened during that time and for the first few years, I didn’t write every day. I would go months without writing. A friend, who is a NYT bestselling author, told me if I really wanted this, I had to make it my job. So, I did. I started writing every day. I worked full time, had kids, a husband with a demanding job. So, I wrote from 4:30 – 6:00 every day. I queried, entered contest, went to conferences, pitched— all the things. I landed my first agent in 2010 but it wasn’t a match made in heaven. We parted ways in 2011 and I signed with another agent. I adored her. We worked well together. We were pitching my Hickville High series set in small town Texas. We were offered a few really bad contracts but never found the one. Self-publishing was starting to take off and she suggested I self-publish the books. So I did. It was, and has been, a learning experience. In 2016 I was offered the contract with Ink Monster Publishing for my Fairy Trafficking series. I have taken the long route to publishing. Most people get published between their 4th and 6th books. I follow that statistic but it took me forever to write those first books.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I no longer belong to a critique group. I write too fast to make it work. But, I do have a content editor. He keeps me in line. Since he’s also my son-in-law, if I’m stuck I can run things past him and we always come up with a solution.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I have a very particular process. I write very early in the morning. I have a playlist for each book I’m working on and listen to music while I write. I also keep track of how many words I write every day. So before my fingers hit the keys, I look at the previous day’s word count and set an intention to beat it. I “fast draft” the first draft. I try to take a break every hour. I have a short attention span so sometimes I break more frequently.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I usually know the major turning points but that’s about it. I write the first draft messy and fast. I love discovering where the muse will take me.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I have a content editor and a copy editor. I don’t know how writers could possibly edit their own work. My eyes skip right over those mistakes.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Most of my promotion is via Facebook, Instagram, and twitter. I also have a once a month newsletter.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes. I’m getting better. I have an author assistant who helps a ton! She got me on this amazing app called todoist. Between Lola and the app, I think I’ll do a better job. Fingers crossed.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena? 
Have a solid marketing strategy. Hire a blog tour company like Xpresso Tours. Learn as much as you can before you jump out there. Nicholas Erik wrote the Ultimate Guide book to Book Promotion. It has helped a ton.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Oh yes. My family of course. I just moved to Texas from New Mexico. I love to run, hike, and ski. I was a ski instructor in Taos, New Mexico before returning to my home state. I also love Scotland. My grandfather was from Glasgow. I am currently studying Scotish Gaelic at Sabhol Mòr Ostaig. A Gaelic Univeristy on the Isle of Skye. I’m taking a distance learning course and attend short courses for immersive Gaelic for a couple of weeks each summer.

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, Coffee, Depends—with my kids and close friends—talk otherwise text. Day for sure.

What’s next for you?
At least one more Fairy Trafficking book. I am also working on a rom com series set in Scotland that I’m super excited about. It’s early days yet but in each book the “cute-meet” will be on a solo’s tour in Scotland. I’ll get to feature the culture, history, and beauty of the country while falling in love. 



Magic Heist
Mary Karlik
(Fairy Trafficking #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: July 9th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.
Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm.
With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.
To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.
Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.
But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.
With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.
“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.”I Am the Bookworm


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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