Hi, I’m Kiki. I’m addicted to writing. (and chocolate.) I love sunshine, flowers, seashells, dogs, magic, sparkly things and good stories.
Describe your debut novel, The Faerie Ring?
London 1871, pickpockets, stolen rings, faeries, romance, danger, mystery
16 year-old Tiki steals the Queen’s ring only to find that it holds a truce between the English royals and the realm of Faerie. Others want the ring – the royals, another pickpocket named Rieker, the fey – some will kill for it – and they threaten her and her family in an attempt to get the ring from her. She is unsure of who to trust or where to turn, when something terrible happens and she is forced to choose.
How did you come up with the idea for it?
I love Victorian London. It is a magical and mystical time in history with tremendous technological change but where people still believed in magic and mysticism. I also love stories about orphans and pickpockets. So – I wrote the story I wanted to read. I started with Tiki, a pickpocket, and after she stole the Queen’s ring I thought – what if somebody else wanted the ring. I typed as fast as I could because the story just poured out.
The Faerie Ring is the first in a series of four. Have you written all of them already?
I have written books two and three, but I’m the process of combining them right now. So there will be a new book three. I’ll have to see if the story is over at the end of that book or not, to know if there are more books in the series.
The ring is not based on a real ring – I made it up. But I can tell you this – it is an ancient ring, with a red stone, the color of blood – and a fire burns in its depths. (That’s why it glows on the cover.) The band is of burnished gold with an inscription on the inside. As you can imagine – it is a mesmerizing and mysterious ring.
Your main character's name is Tiki. That's very close to your name. Is she based on you? Can you tell us a little bit more about her?
LOL – I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me this. Well, the truth of the matter is this: I did not even realize the similarity until after I had written the book and started my website etc. Seriously!! Isn’t that crazy? (Something unconscious going on there probably but let’s not go there!!) Anyway, Tiki is a nickname. Her real name is Tara Kathleen.
I think every character draws a bit from the author, but Tiki is her own unique person. She is a young girl who has found herself in dire circumstances and is struggling to survive and to help those she loves to survive.
Why not set the story in present time? What was it about 1871 in London that made you choose it?
I love the mystery of Victorian London and the idea of pickpockets living this alternate lifestyle – sort of unseen within the City. It is a magical and mystical time in history with tremendous technological change but where people still believed in magic and mysticism. I picked the exact year of 1871 because that is the year that Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, was 18.
What do you like most about being a writer?
I love creating stories. I love creating characters and learning what they’re all about – their back stories, their worlds, how they handle trouble and unexpected events.
What are your favorite novels? Anything you've read recently that you'd like to recommend?
The HARRY POTTER series is my all-time favorite. I loved loved loved Harry Potter. I just read the ARC of THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Lisa Morgenstern and I loved that. It has magic and is set at the turn of the century. The pace was slow by YA standards (it is technically an adult book but could be read by any age) but the writing is truly beautiful and takes you to another place.
A typical day in your life would be…?
Well, I have a 15 year old daughter so I get up early and get her off to school then I come home and work the rest of the day. It’s a combination of email, Twitter, blogging, marketing, reading, writing, etc. rinse and repeat. In between I do laundry and cook the meals, mow the lawn, garden, walk the dog blah blah blah. It’s hard to find the time to just write.
Anything you'd like to add? Random or otherwise?
I love my trailer, so if you have time, take a look at that – it’s fun. ☺
And I have two contests going on for a chance to win a signed ARC of THE FAERIE RING here and at Goodreads, here.
When should we look out for an excerpt from The Faerie Ring?
Here’s an excerpt:
“I’ve done something,” Tiki said in a low voice.
“What is it this time?” Shamus asked. “Or should I ask who? Did you find another orphan to live with us?”
A year ago, she’d found Toots, thin as a rail, in Trafalgar Square. His mother had thrown him out of the house because she had too many other children to feed and care for. But even though he’d been starving, he’d offered to share half his apple with her. She’d brought him home to Charing Cross that day.
“It’s not a who this time.” Tiki lowered her voice. “I took something.”
“Oh.” Shamus perked up. “Something good?”
Tiki nodded at Shamus through the dim light. “Yes, it’s something completely brilliant if I don’t get caught.” She hesitated, then added, “This could be our way out of Charing Cross, Shamus. Into a real home.”
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