This is the sixth post of a brand new blog series, as I dip my toes into the mysterious waters of author interviews.
Having watched so many fantastic interviewers (Tricia Drammeh and her Authors to Watch, AFE Smith (see below), Katrina Jack and her New Authors section and Susan Finlay’s Meet the Author to name a few of the best – please check out their wonderful blogs), I’ve always been a little reluctant to throw my hat into the ring…but here goes!
One of my all-time favourite worldbuilding PC games, is Sid Meier’s ‘Alpha Centauri’. So, in homage to that (and a shameless rip off of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ and AFE Smith’s brilliant blog series Barren Island Books), here is my own author interview series – Distant Worlds.
To kick off the Distant Worlds strand, over the next few weeks I will be focusing on fellow fantasy and sci-fi authors from ultra-cool UK publishing house, Grimbold Books and their imprints, Kristell Ink and Tenebris Books – a bunch of uber talented and whacky characters who I am also proud to call friends.
Grimbold Books were also doing a fabulous ‘Summer Promotion’ from 31st July – 4th August, where ALL of its wonderful titles were priced at only 99p/99c across Amazon platforms. Now, although the promotion is now over, check out their titles to still grab a great bargain before the prices go back to normal! Awesome fiction at awesome prices!!!!
Right, now to our sixth author interview…the cosmically awesome and talented…
Katie, YOU find yourself cast adrift in deep space, your colony pod’s life support is failing, your only chance of survival is a distant habitable world…
What 5 essentials would you choose to help you survive?
A hunting rifle, although I probably wouldn’t hit anything with it. A lighter, a must for lighting fires to cook the beasts caught with the rifle. A homing beacon, how else will I eventually get rescued? An axe, to chop down trees and make a shelter/ fence to keep away any savage alien beasts. Rope, to tie the shelter together. We’ve all learnt from poor Eeyore that just piling logs together never ends well.
What 5 personal items would you salvage from your crashed ship before it explodes?
My chocolate stash – It would probably feed me for a month. My laptop – Can’t live without that. A solar powered charger for said laptop, otherwise it wouldn’t last long. My phone, I have a number of unread e books on it which should keep my entertained until rescue. My teddy bear, because I’ve had her since I was born and would hate for her to go up in flames. Plus, should I be attacked by a savage alien beast I could use her as bait, sneak around behind said beast and blast its head off.
Would you seek life-forms for help or go it alone?
Depends how attractive they are. A little eye candy would make being marooned more bearable.
What 5 fantasy/sci-fi books would you have to keep with you and why?
- The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Oh, damn it! I forgot my towel.The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkozski. I’ve got no interesting excuse for this one.
- The thickest Twilight book, because I’ll be needing something to light the fire with.
- One of the Disc World novels. I can’t choose a favourite that would damn my soul forever. I’d grab whichever one is closest to hand.
- The Day of the Triffids, because after rereading that book my situation wouldn’t seem so bad.
What 5 songs or albums could you not live without?
- Queen’s Greatest Hits, so I can rock out the new world.
- The Heart of Everything by Within Temptation
- Cult by Apocalyptica
- Dark Passion Play by Nightwish
- The Macarena, because it would be fun to teach the dance to the native inhabitants and then upload the video to you tube when I get back, because let’s face it, aliens dancing the Macarena is sure to go viral.
You are all alone on a distant world with little chance of being rescued…do you choose water, vodka or coca-cola to drown your sorrows?
Coco-cola because caffeine is a necessity for a writer. I couldn’t possibly live without it.
Random comet question: Bella or Katniss?
Who is Bella and Katniss? Are they going to eat me for not knowing?
You have 30 seconds (max 100 words) to tell the alien approaching you about your latest book. Remember this is more pressurised than an elevator pitch – screw up and he’ll eat your brains! Go!
It’s a tale of two great powers in time: Atlantis with their academics and time conservation teams and the Norse, a new rising power. The Norse’s emergence sends technological ripples out through the time steam, disturbing its peaceful waters and diverting the flow through some of the most pivotal moments in history. After decades of quiet time watching, the Atlanteans are caught off guard by the violent changes surging down the time stream, threatening to destroy all known civilisations, even that of Atlantis itself. The Atlanteans soon find themselves battling not just to save the world but also its history. Yes, I was sad enough to make it exactly 100 words…
What 5 things would you miss most about Earth?
Fast food outlets, I don’t think they deliver to deep space. Google Maps, very useful in avoiding getting lost. Steam Store, how am I supposed to buy new games without it? Computer repair shop, when I inevitable drop my laptop into viscous goo and realise there’s nowhere to get it fixed in deep space. The super market, because hunting beasts to live is hard work.
What 5 things would you NOT miss about Earth?
Cold callers – Haha! Can’t get me here! Party political broadcasts, if I want to indulge in a blatant work of fiction I’ll watch a film. Apple products – IPhones and IPads should all be shot into the nearest black hole. Frozen, because nearly every post on my facebook page mentions it and I don’t have children so I should be sheltered from it.
Time-traveller questions (for Dr. Who fans):What is the one thing you wish you could turn back time and change?
I would go back in time and tell myself to pick up my Magic the Gathering decks as well before jumping into the life pod.
If you had the chance again to go on this deep space adventure, would you take it?
Depends how attractive the aliens are really.
What 5 indie authors and books you would recommend to any carbon based lifeform – and why?
Well there are my favourite two Kristell Ink Books, In Search of Gods and Heroes By Sammy HK Smith and Darkspire Reaches by CN Lesley.
Terry K Simpson has written many fine books including his The Quintessence Cycle Series. How he manages to churn so many out, I’ve yet to discover.
Kat Hawthorne is a very talented writer and has had both novels and a number of short stories published. Her website also looks fantastic.
And last but not least, the latest Kristell Ink release Green Sky and Sparks by Kate Coe. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it’s fantastic.
What advice can you give to fellow space travellers (writers and readers) out there?
Just because everyone else has read a certain book, it doesn’t mean you have to read it too.
Before we leave you and blast into another parallel universe, please tell us about yourself, your inspirations and your publishers!
Katie Alford in her own words…
I write fantasy Sci-Fi and Steampunk and love playing computer games, strictly for inspirational purposes of course. I’m also a Digital Artist and create both 2D and 3D Computer Generated art. I even modelled and animated my own book trailer found here: Book Trailer
My publisher is Grimbold Books which have published many exceptionally good titles. You can browse them right here: Grimbold Books
Katie was born in London and raised in Bristol. After a number of years in Middlesbrough, where she gained three degrees in 3d modelling and digital art subjects, she moved back to London, where she currently resides.
She loves playing computer games, watching anime and art and writing. She is a member of both the Kingswood Writers Group and the Greenacre Writers Group, who run the annual Finchley Literary Festival. She is really good at starting novels but not so good at finishing them, with her in progress works now into double figures.
As a day job, she works as an admin assistant which gives her many boring hours to contemplate her evening’s writing. She has won a number of short story competitions but recently realised it was taking precious time away from her novel writing and so stopped entering them, but she does now sometimes judge them instead.
The current genres she has written works in include fantasy, sci fi, steampunk, dark fantasy, folklore and detective and she has recently dabbled a bit in poetry, she is not intending to take that any further, it just seemed a good idea at the time.
Latest Book Blurb:
For over a hundred years Atlantis, a culture of academics, has ruled the flow of time. It’s only travellers, they sought to conserve its flow and research and document the many cultures that span it. During that time, the only ripples threatening disturbance were the mischievous pranks of a few rebellious teenagers. In particular, those of a Hayden Edward Lywen whose constant pranks kept the Department of Time Conservation or DTC in high anxiety as their overworked operative Professor Lokyne was forced to run back and forth through time, restoring the timeline again and again.
Tired and rundown by the constant battle with his students, little did Lokyne know that he would soon be yearning the simplicity of dealing with rowdy teenagers. As a threat soon emerged far beyond those he’d dealt with before; a threat that would rewrite the whole of known history and plunge Atlantis into a war for which they were ill equipped and inexperienced. Can Atlantis find a way to fight back in time to stop their own culture being wiped from history, or is a new era dawning, as all cultures will eventually come to an end?
Oh look, is that a rescue ship I see? I hope it reaches me before that pack of vicious, alien wildlife catches up with me. I guess I ate too many of their friends.
Lol, thank you, Katie. Yes, congratulations, you are survivor! A passing medical frigate has honed in on your distress beacon, you’re going home!!!
Happy Horizons! 😀 xx