Friday, July 22, 2016

Author Interview: Jc Kang

Today I have a author named JC Kang.  JC Kang's unhealthy obsession with Fantasy and Sci-Fi began at an early age when his brother introduced him to the Chronicles of Narnia, the Hobbit, Star Trek and Star Wars.

 As an adult, he combines his geek roots with his professional experiences as a Chinese Medicine doctor, martial arts instructor, and technical writer to pen multicultural epic fantasy stories.

Q:  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Oh wow, this is a long answer for a short question. I started reading fantasy as a kid, and played Dungeons and Dragons in middle school. Around that time, the Dragonlance series came out, and I was enamored with the idea of writing in a Dungeons and Dragons world.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a unique idea in my head at the time, and I soon gave up.

Q:  But you obviously came back to it.

In my mid-thirties, my mom insisted that I move out—just kidding, she just asked me to clean some of my stuff out of a closet in her house—and I came across my old D&D materials.  I laughed at my 12-year old self’s lack of understanding of gravity, supply and demand, climate, etc.  However, there were some pretty cool underlying ideas, so I went about remaking the world.
On the seventh day, I rested.  In that moment, I realized I would never play D&D again, but I could revive my childhood dream of writing.

Q:  How long does it take you to write a book?

The first book took me three weeks to write—we were in the midst of a string of snowstorms that shut down everything.  As for revision… well, I’d worked as a technical writer, so even though that first work was grammatically sound, it read like Ikea furniture instructions with no words.  I had to get a better feel for Viewpoint, narrative distance, pacing, etc.  In the meantime, I wrote the prequel, the sequel, and then the prequel to the prequel. 

Q:  How long did those take?

The first draft of the last, which is chronologically first, I wrote in one month during the National Novel Writing Month.  It took another month to revise, then submit to my crit group. Over all, it took about six months.  That is my debut novel, The Dragon Scale Lute.

Book two took about six months; book 3, the one I started during the snowstorm, I just submitted to the editor last week, eight years after I finished the first draft.  Book 4 took about four months to write the first draft, because I was busy working on the others.

Q: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I’m lucky to run my own business—acupuncture and teaching martial arts—so when I’m inspired to write, I’ll make time.

Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I write with a multicultural cast of characters, so any news about ancient history or technology will give me ideas.  Also, I’m a big fan of political conspiracy, so espionage news might make it into my stories.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Cycling and playing with the dog.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact do they have on your writing?

The famous names include:  George RR Martin for his stupendous world building and plotting; Hickman and Weiss for the chemistry between their characters; Jacquelyn Carey for the way her characters grow and collect mementos. 

More important are the lesser known (for now) authors in my critique group:  JC Nelson (Urban Fantasy), who explained how to describe without weighing down the pace;  Kelly Walker (YA Fantasy and NA Romance), who always wanted to know what my characters were thinking and feeling; Victoria Van Tiem (Rom-Com), who taught me to layer actions, thoughts, and observations in the narrative; Ernie Laurence (Epic Fantasy), who basically schooled me in the nuts and bolts of fiction writing; and Pam Godwin (Dark Erotica), who creates sympathetic characters with compelling narrative voices (and kinky sex habits).

Q: What do you think makes a good story?

This will sound cliché, but I didn’t realize this until I started writing my fourth book:  A relatable character with a compelling narrative voice, faced with an interesting problem in a unique setting.

Thank you so much for sharing your writing process with us! Check out his book below. 

The Dragon Scale Lute : 
Princess Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.

Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see her as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her voice.

Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan-- Kaiya’s childhood friend Tian and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)-- discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.
Links: Goodreads // Amazon 

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