Friday, May 30, 2014

Interview with urban fantasy author K.S. Augustin

Today’s special guest is KS “Kaz” Augustin. She’s touring her book The Complete Check Your Luck Agency with Goddess Fish Promotions. The book explores the myths and legends of the melting-pot that is south-east Asia. Come for the food, stay for the monsters! (Ghosts included at no extra charge.)

Kaz will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during her tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and comment there, too.

Bio:
Kaz Augustin is a Malaysian-born author of SF, fantasy, romance and combinations thereof! She has worked on three continents and is currently based in the steamy tropics, one degree north of the Equator. She is also Chief Editor of the online magazine, Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, which is full of release information, opinions and an original fiction piece, all geared towards the genre of SF romance.

Welcome, Kaz. Please tell us about your current release.
The Complete Check Your Luck Agency is actually five books in one! It's an omnibus that follows the adventures of Ursula Formosa, paranormal investigator. Now Ursula is a bit of a stubborn character. Although she has psychic abilities, they scare her, and she pretends that they don't exist until, that is, she's forced to confront reality.

What inspired you to write this book?
As much as I like urban fantasy, I found it very much geared to Celtic mythology. Coming back to live in Malaysia after years away, I was surrounded by such different beliefs that I knew I had to attempt to get some of it down in a book. To be honest, I think I only scratched the surface, but I hope that readers like what I managed to include.

Excerpt from The Complete Check Your Luck Agency:
“Did you have any difficulty finding the house?” Evelyn Long asked as she led me up a short flight of concrete steps.

“Well, the taxi driver wasn’t too keen to drive down the lane.”

Evelyn nodded her head. “The ignorant fear what they don’t understand,” she said.

I made a noise that might have indicated I agreed with her sentiment, and left it at that.

“I’m afraid Alfred is still meditating,” she began.

“I’m sorry,” I cut in, a shade too quickly, “I knew I shouldn’t have come. Perhaps I could pay him another visit some other time?”

I turned as if to leave and Evelyn Long grabbed me by the arm. No, “grabbed” was too gentle a term for it. Although her movement was smooth and she appeared to hold me lightly, I knew I would not be able to wrench free of her grasp without breaking flesh or limbs, or both, all of them mine. I looked up at her, startled, but saw nothing beyond polite interest. There wasn’t an ounce of strain on her face, nothing to show that she had me manacled with her slim, delicate-looking fingers.

Who – or what – was Evelyn Long?

“He won’t be much longer,” she said, as if commenting on the weather. “He’s been waiting to see you for more than a month now. We’re both glad you visited.”

And I suddenly realised that nobody knew where I was. Long and his supernaturally strong wife could do whatever they wanted with me, dispose of my dead body no doubt in the acres of primeval jungle behind their house and nobody would be the wiser. A wave of energy suddenly thrummed beneath my feet, a surge so strong I was sure that Long’s wife was able to feel it pulse through my body and travel to hers at our menacing point of contact.

“Why don’t I get you something to drink? You can relax while I fetch Alfred.”


What exciting story are you working on next?
I've got a couple of SF projects on the go at the moment; they're ongoing books in two series, both of them space operas. But I'm also plotting out a new fantasy series involving a thief, a dragon and a curse, although the first book won't be out till mid-2015. I like to plan ahead! :)

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I was eleven years old when a story I wrote was chosen to be included in our school annual. It's been a love/hate affair ever since! LOL

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Oh how I wish I could write full-time! No, in between writing, I also homeschool my two teenage children and run Sandal Press (http://www.SandalPressOnline.com), a micro-press that my husband and I own. I set aside several afternoons a week and late nights to do my writing and find that having a writing plan really helps keep me focused, so I don't waste too much time on distractions. (You know what kind of distractions I mean, I'm sure.)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write a full synopsis of a book, and have it critiqued by one of my wonderful editors, before I even sit down and type “Chapter One”!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh, that's easy, a palaeontologist! I love teh dinosaurz!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
There are no guns in this book! It's all down to brains, skill and friendships.

My website is at http://www.KSAugustin.com and a list of my books can also be found at http://www.SandalPressOnline.com. I occasionally tweet as @SandalPress.

The Complete Check Your Luck Agency is available from:


Thanks so much, Kaz! 


10 comments:

Mary Preston said...

I kind of like the fact that there are no guns. Using ones wits.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Kaz Augustin said...

Thanks for the invitation to blog here, Lisa. I've had a lot of fun!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Book Passion for Life said...

I love that Check Your Luck Agency is five books in one! It's not often you find this, so it's something I would definitely purchase. I do really like the sound of the book. Great book!
rushtond123@hotmail.co.uk

Rita said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Catherine Lee said...

Malaysian-born? How interesting. Do you still live there?
capefearlibn at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

The inspiration's interesting

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Kaz Augustin said...

Thanks to all for commenting.

@Catherine Lee: That's an interesting question. We're back here now, after years of travelling, but I don't think it'll be too long before the travel bug hits us again. In the meantime, we're just happy having the kids soak up a different culture and different experiences.

http://harpsromancebookreview.com said...

Awesome interview.

Katherine Ivan said...

Questions for the author: During your childhood years, which authors did you find inspiring? Whose work do you find inspiring today?