Friday, March 28, 2014

Blinded by the Light Blog Tour: Author Interview

For this part of tour I was very excited when Ms. Kipling agreed to let me interview her for her book Blinded by the Light. To read my review of the book Click Here. After the interview I will provide the links to where you can purchase the book. 


 1.)  What four words would you use to describe “Blinded by the Light”?

A blindingly good read!

       2.)    What inspired you to write this story?

I grew up in the UK in the 80’s when we felt that there was a real threat of nuclear apocalypse. So I’ve always been a little bit obsessed by how the world might end and most of my writing focuses on this. My friends joke about the emergency supplies I keep under my bed . . .because, well you never know when the Zombie hoards might attack. Personally I feel that I’ll have the last laugh when I’m safely barricaded in my bedroom eating tins of cold beans while my friends become zombie food.

For a long time I’ve also been concerned about how much influence corporations have on the government and how they use this power to their advantage.  I started to think about what would happen if a corporation had the power to take control of the country and what the consequences would be. This really set the tone for writing the trilogy.

           3.) At the beginning we see how MaryAnn had everything that she could want and within a matter of time everything that she knew was taken from her. Throughout the story she had to go through changes and transition from what she knew to what she knows now. What kind of transitions did you go through while writing “Blinded by the Light?

I think the most important transition for me is that I went from someone who wrote in secret to a published author. When I first started writing I didn’t discuss it with anyone in case they asked to look at my work and it wasn’t very good. Finally I plucked up the courage to tell another writer friend and her enthusiasm just blew me away. It really gave me the encouragement I needed to continue.  Once I got over the nerve-wracking embarrassment of showing my writing to friends and family I had to face the prospect of publication and my book being read by complete strangers.

      4.)   What inspired or what  methods did you use to create the themes of the “Echos” “Deltas” and “Alphas”
In the UK we still talk about the class system and it’s something that has always seemed slightly ridiculous to me. I think that if we see ourselves as belonging to a specific ‘class’ it just creates greater divisions in society and gives people a reason to distrust each other.
I wanted the society in Blinded by the Light to reflect the class system, but to be even more divisive. The system I chose; Alpha, Bravo, Delta, Echo is based on the phonetic alphabet which is often used by the government, military and in business. In the Union Trilogy this is how the government classified people to determine who was eligible for the cure to the Sandman Virus. For example Alpha are the people who have enough wealth to pay for the cure.  Bravo was deemed as having the essential skills needed to help society to survive (Doctors, scientists, engineers, politicians).  Delta was the people who had natural immunity but were not wealthy or skilled, they were used to perform menial tasks. Echo was not deemed important and left to die.
      5.)    What was your favorite part about writing your story? (non spoiler J)

My favorite part of the story was actually the most annoying. I’d just finished my first draft of the book and was feeling incredibly pleased with myself. One evening I was driving home down the M1 after finishing work. It was dark and lashing down with rain so the conditions were pretty horrible.  Peter one of my characters, appeared in my head and sitting beside him was a cute looking dog that I’d never seen before. So I asked (mentally. . not out loud because that would have been plain weird), ‘where on earth did that dog come from?’ at which point Peter replied that he’d always been there. I’d just never seen him.

So, I continued my drive home feeling a little bit grumpy that I was going to have to rewrite part of the book to include a dog. Then the weirdest thing happened; when I read back through the draft copy there were holes in the story that Flash Gordon, the dog, fitted into perfectly. So he really had been there all along, I just hadn’t noticed that he was missing. He was my favourite character to write; but then who wouldn’t love writing about a dog that likes to wear dress up and is named after one of the greatest action hero’s ever? Now I can’t imagine the story without him.

     6.)   What should we expect from the next book in the trilogy?

In the next book we return to find that MaryAnn is living on the Outside. At the end of Book 1 she was left with a decision to make, and in Book 2 we explore this a little bit further. We’re also introduced to a new character, Charlotte Swift, who’s 13 and has lived on the Outside her whole life. Part of the book is written from her POV which was interesting, as by this point I’d grown used to having MaryAnn’s voice in my head and Charlotte is a very different character to write.

In brief, Book 2 features a road trip, (I love, love, love road trips: snack foods, good tunes, appalling map reading . . .its the best adventure in the world,) more doggy dress up, even more caves and secret hideouts, a scary re-education centre and much much more.

     7.)  What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 

You mention aspiring authors here, rather than writers, so I’m going to focus on people who want to get published rather than people who write for fun.  Potential authors need to be aware that the road to becoming a traditionally published author can be long and extremely challenging. Once you start to venture down this career path you realize how much competition there is and how many great books there are.

It’s really important that when you approach a publisher that you make sure you present the best work you possibly can. The world of publishing is changing rapidly, there are lots of small independent publishers out there and they operate on very small profit margins. Often they can only afford a small team of staff. This means they have limited time to shape and rework your book. Think of your book like a CV. You wouldn’t send a poorly written, badly formatted CV when applying for your dream job, so why would you send a roughly written draft of your book? It’s a bit like X Factor, when you stride across that stage the judges are looking for someone with the full package: looks, personality and a good voice . . . so make sure your book has all of these.

   You can also follow her on her Social Networks
  Twitter: @jkiplingauthor

  If you don't have the ebook and paperback already here are some buy links where you can purchase the book

Link to eBook:

Link to Paperback:

Click on the link to enter the giveaway of a signed copy of Blinded by the Light