Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saige's Stage - Interview with Kimber An

Saige: This week I’d like to welcome Kimber An, the author of Sugar Rush (The Ophelia Dawson Chronicles). I just have a few questions for her today.

Does your love of children influence the way you write, in a content sort of way?

K: Yes, absolutely, in every imaginable way. Children are the most basic and most beautiful of humanity. Knowing and loving children provides insight into human nature. Regardless of the characters’ species, they must be human enough for readers to relate to and enjoy. One of my most human characters is Brandon who is an Oldblood. In my fictional universe, the Oldbloods founded the vampire myth while the Newbloods are recent arrivals who are trying to exterminate them and usurp the myth. Brandon was turned against his will and at too young of an age and by his insane father after a very isolated childhood. Although he’s sixteen and a vampire, he’s very childlike. I’ve received the most reader feedback on him, all positive so far. I think a lot of us were kicked out the door into a cold, cruel world, at least emotionally, as young people and we can relate to Brandon’s pain, as a result.

S: Have you always wanted to be solely a YA author or do you think that you would ever branch out into another genre?

K: When I first started out, I had no idea what my writing was best suited for. It was my critique partners who nudged me towards Young Adult because of my storytelling ‘voice.’ Right now, I’m very much preferring romantic tension, first love, and exploring the many different kinds of strengths.

S: YA is actually my genre of choice as a reader and I’m hoping to produce a couple books in that genre as well. For me, it feels so close to how I am still living. I’m twenty-six and although quite mature, I can still remember being a teenager and the hard times related to that, so I can feel that connection and understand it, as I haven’t found my true adult love yet.

Next, what is your favorite aspect of creating a character?

K: Watching him or her come to life and grow. Oftentimes, a character will just pop out of my head fully grown and armed for battle like Athena out of the head of Zeus. Sometimes, I need a certain kind of character and I’ll start him, but then he’ll take off. Like Brandon. I threw him into Sugar Rush because, thanks to Stephanie Meyer, I didn’t think I’d achieve publication if I didn’t have a blood-sucking dead guy in my story. Well, he was just kind of a placeholder and it did not make sense to me, as a former childcare professional, that a person could go from average human to super-intelligent and sophisticated vampire overnight just because he got bit. It seemed to me there must be some sort of childhood vampires go through, and adolescence. In my fictional universe, vampires are just another humanoid species. There’s no magic and evil is not defined by one’s physiology. It’s defined by choices and actions. So, I gave Brandon a childhood and he just took off and blossomed into this real, multi-dimensional person in a way which felt quite independent of my efforts.

S: Do you use names that are important to you or do you just pick them out on your own?

All the names are carefully chosen because each comes with previous meanings and connotations. Brandon, for example, is a very boyish sounding name and my Brandon is very much a ‘little boy’ character. Ophelia was a Shakespeare heroine who was undone by family deaths and romantic heartbreak. My Ophelia goes through similar tragedies, but digs down deep, learns her strengths, fights back, and wins.

S: Lastly, what is your advice for aspiring authors?

K: Write! Also, being a blogging book reviewer has taught me an enormous amount of stuff I’ve found extremely helpful. First of all, an aspiring author needs to read constantly in his or her genre/subgenre in order to learn the form and what’s hot. Book reviewers get sent most of their books for free! Reviewing has brought me into contact with agents, editors, publicity people, and authors. A lot of those authors have been extremely generous with their advice. For example, I stumbled onto Susan Grant’s blog early on, because of my love of her book The Star King. She gave me great advice, but she also led me to Linnea Sinclair whose novel, The Down Home Zombie Blues, is one of my favorites too. Linnea provided tons of wonderful tips, but she also led me to Jacqueline Lichtenberg who helped save the original Star Trek and who has a huge backlist of published novels, including ones with scientific vampires in them. And Jacqueline provided me with the most enormous advice of all! On top of that, when it was time to upgrade my web presence in preparation for my first novel releasing, I easily snagged lots of guest bloggers from among the authors I’ve reviewed for over the years. So, my advice is to go with your strengths. If you enjoy blogging, go for it! If don’t enjoy it though, it won’t work for you. Try something else. I have a Writers’ Resources page on my main site where I list everything that’s helped me the most.

Click Book Cover to Go to Purchase Page

Running and screaming will have to wait. A blood-sucking dead guy may be a vampire to you, but he’s an alien/human hybrid to Ophelia and she really must examine his olfactory nerve under a microscope first.

Ophelia longs to be free, free of diabetes, free of her ex-boyfriend, free to live. Something transformed Martin and made her his drug. If he has his way, she’ll never achieve the freedom to learn his true nature and origin.

Adrian’s the new guy in school. He faked his identity to get close to Ophelia, knowing the monsters who took his diabetic sister would try to take Ophelia, too. Then, he’d have them. But, he knew better than to get too close.

Oh, yeah, he did. Seriously.


***Comment to enter the drawing for a free copy of Sugar Rush!***


  1. Thank you so much, Saige, for interviewing me! Your questions really let me talk about my characters, which I love to do. If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to pop back in and answer. In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

  2. I'm next up on the interview list, Kimber An, so we're sort of neighbours.
    It's been ages since I first saw and read your posts on "Alien Romance" and Jacqueline Lichtenberg's "Editing Blog". In those days I commented under the nickname ozambersand.
    It's was great to catch up on all your news.

  3. Hey, A.B.! Good to 'see' you. Yeah, it's been a long haul and I know I still have much to learn.