Monday, January 30, 2017

Interview with middle grade author Alex C Vick

Middle grade author Alex C Vick helps me kick off a new week by chatting with me about her fantasy novel Stealing Magic.

During her virtual book tour, Alex will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Also: Stealing Magic will be $0.99 during the tour.
Bio:
Alex writes contemporary fantasy books for a middle grade audience and older. There are three (self-contained) stories in the Legacy of Androva series so far, with a fourth on the way. You can contact Alex, and find more information about Androva, including a character interview, at http://www.alexcvick.com.

Alex lives in the South of England with her husband and two daughters. When she's not working, or writing about magic, she also loves reading and photography.

Welcome, Alex. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Stealing Magic is the first book in the Legacy of Androva series. It follows three main characters, Jax and Darius who are underage magicians from Androva, and Shannon who is an ordinary teenager from our world. They must try to understand and then prevent the terrible consequences that follow when an ancient treaty between their two worlds is broken.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love reading stories about magic. When I was younger I could never understand why I hadn’t encountered any magic myself! I found the idea of it so believable. It was probably inevitable that I would one day imagine a story that explained why magic was so hard to find.

Stealing Magic began as a short story, which I wrote to settle an argument with my daughters. I was encouraging them to enter a 500-word story competition, and they were telling me that it was too difficult.

Once I had written that first scene, it was impossible to stop. Jax and Darius, magic-takers from Androva, appeared through a forbidden portal, and as a result, Shannon might have become the first magician on our world for centuries... there were so many questions to answer about what happened next!


Excerpt from Stealing Magic:
This excerpt is the moment when Jax first realizes that Androva could be in danger, even though he doesn’t know about the treaty yet. He is being visited by Revus, his father, and Marcus, another member of the Androvan Council.

Marcus looked around the room with a rather disdainful look on his face, pausing when he noticed the ceiling, and the colorful mists swirling there.

“You give the boy far too much freedom Revus,” he declared. “He is a danger to everything, with his disrespect for the Code, and his experimenting.”

Revus sighed. He knew Marcus was correct, but he still hoped that Jax would conform of his own accord without him having to impose the punishment that Marcus wanted. There was also the matter of the Harvest Quota. Jax was the single best magic-taker on Androva, and they could not afford to lose him, especially now.

“We need to speak to you Jax,” began Revus, his expression even more solemn than usual. “You must increase the quantity of your trips to Terra in the next two nights. The Quota… there is a problem with some of the other harvests.”
Jax was surprised. This was a significant confession for the Council to make. The Quota was part of Androvan life, always protected, always secure.

“Of course,” he replied. “I will do whatever the Council requires.” Marcus stepped suddenly forwards, staring into Jax’s face with an intensity that would have made Jax move backwards, had he not already been seated with his shoulders against the window.

“You will indeed do whatever we require,” he said menacingly. “You will follow the rules of the Code, and you will accept the consequences if you do not.” Jax turned his gaze towards his father.

“Oh yes,” Marcus continued, with a small, rather nasty smile. “Your father agrees that the time for tolerance is past. I will be watching you very closely from now on.”


What exciting story are you working on next?
I recently released the fourth book in the series, Controlling Magic. Like the other three books, it’s a self-contained story, as I can’t seem to stop writing on a cliffhanger! In the Androva/Terra universe, it’s been a year since the events of Stealing Magic, and the adventures haven’t stopped. The last story involved another world called Imbera, and I’m exploring the history of that a bit more in the fifth book.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been describing myself as an aspiring writer since my school days. Even as I grew older, underneath the career history on my resume, I’ve always put writing as one of my interests!

I don’t know when I’ll be ready to drop the ‘aspiring’ part, because I still have so much to learn. But I can’t wait to find out where my writing takes me next, and I know that I’ll never stop.

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?
Unfortunately I can’t write full-time, but thanks to a very supportive family, I manage to fit in quite a lot of writing around my day job. My writing timetable is irregular, because there are weekends when I don’t feel like writing at all, and other weekends when I do nothing but write. Sometimes I just have to take a vacation day in order to keep writing, because I’m so into the story that it would be almost painful to stop!

It would all be much easier if I could plan my books, but I can’t seem to write that way. I don’t know exactly where the story is going to go until I sit down to write it, and I never know when or how it’s going to end until I get there.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to give a reader of one of the previous books the chance to name a character in the upcoming book. I’ve done this with all of them so far, and I’m about to request contributions for the fifth book. Because Androva, and now Imbera, are quite different worlds, you can be very creative with the names, and they could be made up entirely!

Also, I use brackets too much. (I could probably use them on every page if I didn’t stop myself!). Beta readers often point this out to me.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to write. I created stories in my head and on paper all the time. When I was growing up, my heroes were all authors. I thought it was like a superpower, being able to generate these amazing alternate realities out of only words. Even though I ended up with much more of a business career, I didn’t stop dreaming about one day writing a book. I was never brave enough to try it though.

When I had the idea for Stealing Magic, I just had to start writing. I don’t know why it was different this time, but I’m incredibly grateful.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has read my books. I love to hear from readers, and I also love answering questions about the stories and characters, so please let me know if you have any!

Links:

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

Thank you so much Lisa, I really enjoyed answering your questions!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


25 comments:

Alex Vick said...

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for featuring my book today!

Ally Swanson said...

Ahh you beat me here Alex lol! As always, congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour! See you again soon :)

Alex Vick said...

Thanks Ally! I was awake at a ridiculous hour here in the UK, thanks to my cat demanding an early breakfast :)
I really appreciate your continued support of the tour!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Lisa Brown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Andra Lyn said...

Hi Alex!

What was your motivation for this story!?

Alex Vick said...

Thanks Lisa! Good luck with the giveaway:)

Alex Vick said...

Hi Andra, thanks for the question!
My motivation started with a short story about magic-taking for my daughters. I wanted to invent a new explanation for why magic was so hard to find, and once I'd started, I had to carry on to find out what happened!

Victoria Alexander said...

I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing :)

Alex Vick said...

Thanks Victoria! I'm really glad you stopped by :)

Ally Swanson said...

Wow! Excellent interview!

Alex Vick said...

Thanks Ally! I think Lisa asked me some really interesting questions :)

Ally Swanson said...

I really enjoyed reading the excerpt! Looking forward to checking this book out!

Alex Vick said...

Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it!

Nikolina said...

The book sounds very intriguing, thank you for the reveal!

Anonymous said...

Informative interview!

--Trix

Ally Swanson said...

Hope you having a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

Alex Vick said...

Thanks Ally, my weekend has been great so far! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend too!
Thank you to everyone who has read the interview, I'm really glad you enjoyed it :)

Nikolina said...

Shared on G+ to help spread the word, have a great day! :)

Alex Vick said...

Thank you Nikolina, that's so kind of you, I really appreciate it!
Have a great day too :)

Blogger said...

You might be qualified to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

Emily Endrizzi said...

What an amazing cover! Love it!

Emily Endrizzi said...

This sounds like such a great book. Thanks for hosting. 

Emily Endrizzi said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt. Stealing Magic sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Emily Endrizzi said...

I stopped by to share the post. Have a good week!