Today I’m very excited to have an interview with author Kelsey Quick. A Violet Fire, her first book, drops tomorrow, and I couldn’t be happier for her! I got to know Kelsey earlier this year when I requested an ARC of A Violet Fire on NetGalley. We were both indie authors in the throes of the insane run-up to a first book release, so it was a pretty natural start to a friendship.
I can’t overstate how hard I know Kelsey has worked on this release. I’m pretty sure the word “grueling” is appropriate–and all that hard work really seems to be paying off for her in spades. So I am over-the-moon happy for her that release is tomorrow, so she can sit back for a well-deserved break. (And work on writing the next book in the series, ha ha!) My review of A Violet Fire is coming in a few days, by the way. But for now, let’s put the blathering aside and get into the interview. 😉
1. A Violet Fire is releasing tomorrow–congratulations! What was your inspiration for writing the book?
Thanks, Katie! It feels so surreal, honestly. My inspiration for writing AVF came to me in chunks over the last thirteen years. The original skeleton of the story was conceived when I was a freshman in high school and I was waist-deep in anime pop culture. After reading Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino (a deeply dark, yet romantic vampire manga), I had this idea about a dystopia featuring dark and sinister, yet sensuous vampires.
2. What’s your writing process? Are you a plotter, pantser, or plantser?
Ooh, I have never heard of a plantser before, but I think that’s exactly what I am. If I plot too heavily my writing becomes cut, dry, and lacking passion. However, if I go into my book with no foreseeable outcome, I’m all over the place.
3. You’ve taken such a dedicated and unique approach to indie publishing–I’ve never seen an indie author bring their first book to market in a way that so rivals a traditional publishing house. What’s been your experience with the publishing process?
Oh, wow. Well first, thank you so much. My experience with the publishing process has been exhilarating, aggravating, and sometimes down-right maddening. I like to tell people that if I had to do it over again knowing how much work it took to get there, I might run in the opposite direction.
I spent countless hours on researching what traditional publishers do versus self-publishers and I made it a point to dip into every single one that my “self-publishing status” allowed me. The beautiful part about publishing being a business-to-consumer industry, is that—as a reader—I am able to see where they are spending their marketing budget. About a month ago I saw ads for Brittney Morris’ Slay and Marie Lu’s Rebel on Book Riot and I immediately took a mental note of that for future advertising endeavors. Same with NetGalley, I was first exposed to NG when Amelie Wen Zhao mentioned Blood Heir’s listing on her Twitter one day.
I do think some of my efforts are in vain… but I’m proud of myself for trying as hard as I did and I don’t think I’ll have any regrets. A Violet Fire is the book of my heart, and I don’t want to wish that I would have done more for it down the road.
4. I’m a big vampire fan myself, so it was sad when vampires were absent from the YA scene for the longest time. With the release of A Violet Fire and The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh it seems like they’re finally back! What are your vampire book recommendations, and what are your predictions for the next YA trend?
Hey, me too! Ha ha, I’m actually reading The Beautiful right now and I’m in love with Ahdieh’s prose. I would definitely have to recommend Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino (it’s a manga, but you won’t regret it!), as well as The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (dystopian human slaves, like mine!). My prediction for the next YA trend would probably have to be graphic novels, fantasy and contemporary alike.
5. Is there a sequel to A Violet Fire in the works? What’s next for you as an author?
Yes, there is! I’m only about 20k words in, but I’m planning on having the first draft done by the end of February (one can hope right?). As an author, I plan to finish this series (number of books yet to be determined), and then who knows! But I want to keep writing.
6. What’s your advice for writers who are just starting out? And for those who have finished their first book and are thinking about indie publishing, do you have any tips?
My advice for new writers would have to be this: as brilliant as you think you are, assume that you’re not. This industry is harder than it looks and your expectations need to be minimal to protect yourself. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst—and never give up.
My tips for anyone thinking about indie-publishing is:
- Save your money and research the best ways to spend it on exposure. If it’s your first book, then your goal should not be making money. Most indie authors don’t start making money until they are several books in and they’ve built a following (that will most-likely be my case, as well).
- Research, research, research. Far and wide, find what works and what doesn’t, and beware of indie traps. There are so many places trying to get you to spend money on things that do not work. Seek out reviews for services before buying into false promises.
In the Vampire Stratocracy of Cain, human blood is scarce. For centuries, councils have sought to assuage the blood shortage by enslaving and breeding humans, turning them into profitable supply units for the rich and the abled.
Today, eighteen-year-old Wavorly Sterling is officially a supply unit, bound to serve her blood willingly to her master for the rest of her life. One of only few humans that was not bred in Cain, Wavorly knows freedom better than anyone, and she is determined to escape the clutches of her oppressors—despite the allure of forbidden love.
Nitty Gritty, Social, Buy Links
A Violet Fire
On Sale: 12/09/2019
Hardcover: $28.99 USD
Paperback: $15.99 USD
Ebook: $3.99 USD
Kelsey Quick is a novelist, artist, and businesswoman who loves her husband, huskies, and video games. Since the age of two, Kelsey has been bound and determined to create. From traditional impressionist paintings, to digital comic creation; from fanfiction to full-length novels… her desire for crisp and prime escapism is never-ending. A Violet Fire is her debut novel, harboring the idea she’s had and held dear to her heart for over a decade.
And that’s a wrap on my interview and book blitz for Kelsey Quick! Review to come for A Violet Fire in a couple days. Definitely give her book a go if you’re at all a vampire fan, and have a great rest of your weekend! ❤