Interview – Ginger Lee Malacko, Author of the KINDLED series
1. Give us a brief description of your series.
KINDLED is a two-part series that follows thirteen year old Nathan Coville on his journey from spoiled town champion to heroic angel warrior. Nathan falls to his death in a suspicious accident and is thrust into an invisible world of guardian angels. Through magic and mayhem, and with the help of a few unlikely friends, a demon plot is discovered, an evil army challenged, and a legend saved as Nathan fights to change his fate and protect the little brother he left behind.
2. Where did the idea come from?
It actually started with the idea for a single scene that was playing in my head like a movie. I’ve always known that I wanted to write about courage and so I imagined a character brave enough to walk into an enemy stronghold, alone and unarmed, which Nathan does about two thirds of the way through SPARK. Most of my ideas spring from a feeling I want my characters to experience and my readers to share. All the people and places and situations in the book grow from those feelings and then it just becomes fun. Let’s make them fly. Let’s make them throw fire. Let’s put angel headquarters under a mountain. I also love a book based on the real, regular old world that we know, rather than a completely made up world. Reality with a little magic thrown in. That’s what I love to write. It makes me believe that magical things can and do happen even if we don’t always get to see them.
3. Do you only write Young Adult/Children's books?
Well, I’ve been writing books for a while now and I can honestly say I have never once had the desire to write for “grownups”. I love writing for middle grade because I find kids of that age (8-14) are eager for darker stories, more complex characters, more serious dilemmas, and yet they still love magic and wonder and they’re hungry to learn. I love books that teach and inspire, even if they’re also fun and exciting. I would like to write a tale or two more specifically geared for young adults at some point, but middle grade is really where my heart is.
4. Who are your favorite authors ?
I love anyone who can make me LOVE their characters. Some of my favourites include Lois Lowry, Eoin Colfer, Ellen Potter, Margaret Haddix, Kenneth Oppel, Claire Legrand, Natalie Loyd…there are actually quite a lot of them. There are also a lot of authors out there I’m sure would be on my list if given the chance. I live in a very small town with a very small library and there are so many books on my radar I haven’t had the pleasure of reading quite yet.
5. Do you have more books planned in the future?
So many. I’m working on a spy novel right now featuring a girl who gets mixed up with up the CIA and a global terrorist ring – and gets to travel to a few places in the world that I have been to myself. I’m super excited about it because it won’t be a book about a kid who somehow miraculously karate chops fully grown men or pilots a helicopter without lessons. Everything she does will be something a real kid could actually do. So there won’t be any magic in this one, but plenty of adventure and some cool spy tricks. I’m also very excited about the fact that my main character is painfully shy, as I was too, once upon a time. I want to tell my readers that you don’t have to be loud and bold to be brave and heroic.
6. What advice would you give a writer who is just starting out?
a) Create your own brand. Writing the book is only part of the story. What most people don’t realize is that even if you’re lucky enough to get a contract with a traditional publisher, they really only promote best sellers. So while you’re working on the plot and swapping out adjectives, constantly be learning how to use social media, tap into online resources, get involved in the local book trade. Learn to be your own best advocate.
b) Edit, edit, edit! And then edit again. I have seen many good stories and characters get zero attention because the manuscript is so poorly edited. Don’t just look for spelling errors or sloppy grammar. Concentrate on consistency, flow, clarity, resolution. A writer jumps around his or her manuscript so much it can end up feeling choppy and then good writing can look like poor writing. Whether you’re self publishing or trying to catch the eye of an agent, you need good editing like you need the air you breathe.
c) Write what you love. Because no matter how great a concept you come up with or how well you think it fits in today’s market, you will not have the drive to finish it or promote it unless it’s precious to you. Writing and publishing is a whole lot of work and it’s not easy to keep the faith. Write for yourself first and the market second.
Check out: http://gingermalacko.com/
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”