Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Interview with historical novelist Vickey Kall

Welcome to almost mid-November. I'd like to introduce you to historical novelist Vickey Kall. She's here to tell us a bit about her novel, Death Speaker.

You can read the first 5 chapters of Death Speaker for free. Here's the purchase link for a print copy from CreateSpace, and any format of e-book from Smashwords.

Vickey Kall is a freelance writer with a passion for history. In fact, a few years ago she went back to college to get a masters degree in history from Arizona State University. From ancient Gaul to Vaudeville or even Baby Boomers and Pet Rocks, she finds it all fascinating.

Welcome, Vickey. Please tell us about your current release.
Death Speaker tells the story of Emyn, a Celtic peasant who hears ghosts. Emyn lives at a dangerous time: Julius Caesar has begun an invasion of her homeland, present-day France. Emyn’s spirits whisper that Caesar will destroy everything she loves.

But ghosts do not always tell the truth. As Emyn travels to warn druids and kings about the Roman threat, she savors love and endures betrayal, relying on her gods and her own stubborn strength to see her through the dark days ahead.

What inspired you to write this book?
I intended to write something quite different, but could not get the dramatic coastline of Brittany and the stories I’d heard out of my head. I finally plunged in, and the character took over. Once I delved into the ancient history of the area, everything I read gave me ideas.

Emyn cried out, but could not hear her own voice—only the long scream of other-worldly beasts. She had never seen war horns before; they rose from the bushes, their slender trunks like saplings, taller than men.
The horns screamed for battle, and from all sides, men responded.
Horses reared, throwing centurions off their backs. The few Romans who managed to hold onto their mounts crouched and raced away like scared dogs, their red cloaks flailing behind them.  
Shrieking to match the horns, tribal warriors burst from the bushes to give chase. The gentle slope in front of the bushes changed from green to speckled brown, alive with men leaping down as if it were a disrupted anthill. Emyn tucked in her arms and turned away, overwhelmed.
The war horns blared again. She stood in a river that seemed shallow and still as death for a moment. Then the warriors ran past her, holding their swords and axes high. One man tripped over tree roots and fell. Before she could jump out of his way, others ran straight at her, screaming in triumph. Emyn threw her hands over her face as river water splashed up and soaked her.
The screams and horns stopped; a crowded murmur filled the silence. She shuddered and felt dry ground beneath her feet.
“Tell me what you saw,” the druid said.
Emyn shook. “A battle begins.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
The next one is exciting in a different way—I’ve been collecting trivia and stories for a book on Baby Boomers’ Christmas memories—aluminum trees, Slinkies and Frisbees, food, songs, TV specials—everything. This is will be non-fiction, of course.

I’m also working on a novel of the Gold Rush era in California, built around the craziness and greed that overtook men and a few women back then. In fact, the working title is Greed.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Does second grade count? That’s when I tried writing my own version of Peter Pan. . . I guess today that would be called fan fiction.

But once I got my history degree, nine years ago, and went looking for writing gigs rather than a real job—THAT’s when I realized I truly was a full-time writer.

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?
I do write full time, and it’s hard to pick a typical day. When I was writing Death Speaker I often worked on that for 14, 15 hours a day, every day, then I’d take a break for a week and do some paying work for magazines.

Now I’m working on two books, two blogs, odd jobs and a technical writing gig, as well as promoting Death Speaker, so my days are very different. Most successful writers I’ve met—meaning financially successful—have a dozen different projects going at once, so I feel like I’m moving in the right direction.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm…gotta be that I love the research as well as the writing. Most folks hate the research part, but for me it’s fun, like doing puzzles all day.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer was in there—but also a ballerina, ice skater, astronomer, and actress. And a nun, a fashion designer, and princess.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d like to invite your readers to enjoy the first five chapters for free at DeathSpeaker.com. My guess is that you’ll want the rest of the book, and there are links right there to allow you to buy it.

Thanks for stopping by, Vickey and sharing a bit about your writing and this novel with us!


Daniel W said...

I've read Ms. Kall's novel, "Death Speaker" and it is magnificent! A beautiful and impressive journey! I highly recommend picking up a copy. It will captivate your attention from the beginning to the end!

Vickey Kall said...

Thank you, Daniel!