Friday, 22 July 2011

Author Interview - C.A. Kunz

The wonderful duo that is Carol and Adam (C.A. Kunz) kindly agreed to answer some questions for me...

So here goes. 

1. Did you write your own blurb?

Carol and Adam: Yes, we did indeed write our own blurb. After many days of trying to figure out how to sum up our entire novel into three short paragraphs (no easy task mind you), we finally settled on what you see on the back cover. We went through several edits, and too be honest we’re still not 100% satisfied with how the blurb turned out, but we are about 95%, haha!

2. What made you chose to write about a heroine opposed to a hero?

Carol and Adam: Well, to be honest, we don’t really think we were the ones who chose. Cat Colvin really just came to life as we began hammering out the details for The Childe. We had this great idea for a story, and it just so happened that our protagonist turned out to be a female. I (Adam) will say one thing though, we might have been influenced by the strong female leads in shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Dark Angel (which were some of our favorite shows to watch together back in the day). I (Adam) think we could have easily written this story with a hero, but to be honest, I don’t think it would have been as effective. Also, I (Adam) think writing for a character of the opposite sex is a lot of fun, because you get to tap into, and connect with a part of yourself that you might not normally get to.

3. What was the first book that truly made an impact on you?

Carol:  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I’ve read the whole series so many times that I have lost count.  My original copies, which are over 45 years old, look absolutely ancient now. Because my dad was in the military, I moved around constantly with my family and this entire series definitely helped with the transition. They felt like old friends, and it’s what I needed to cope with my constant upheaval. J

Adam: Well, growing up I used to love reading anything about things that go bump in the night. I was a huge fan of the Goosebumps series and also the Fear Street series by R.L Stine. But if you really want to know what book had a huge impact me, I would have to say Harry Potter (I know it’s a stereotypical answer). This series single-handedly got me back into reading. For a while I put off books for school work, but once J.K. Rowling introduced Harry to the world, I was hooked, and school work took a back seat! Also, being picked to help decorate the entire Wizarding World Of Harry Potter park at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, only further cemented my love for this series, and the impact it has had on my life and writing!  

4. Was writing as a duo a sudden decision or something you fell in to?

Carol and Adam: Writing as a mother and son duo was definitely something we planned from the get-go. When Adam called me up one day and said that we’re going to write a book, he was very adamant (no pun intended). He said there was going to be no discussion about if we were going to or not going to, we just were. I giggled at how unyielding he was being. That is, until I heard the idea he had. To say the least, I (Carol) was totally sold. This idea was right up our alley in terms of genre we both loved to read/write/watch. Writing a book was something he knew I have always dreamed of doing, and because of him, my dream has come true. What a wonderful son, I am truly blessed. J

5. What were your emotions when you first held the completed, printed and bound book in your hand?

Carol: I was speechless, and in a state of awe. I walked around the house repeating, ‘we wrote a book, we wrote a book.’  I also slept with my proof copy beside my pillow for many nights. I still look at our book and can’t believe it, and the fact that we’ve almost finished the second, is even more of an awesome feeling! J

Adam: The proof copy of the book arrived at my house first, and was waiting at my front door step for me after work. I immediately tore through the box it was delivered in, and proceeded to marvel at the sight before me. I don’t think I have ever felt that excited about something before in my life, and it was truly a great feeling! I called my mom shortly after and we both squealed together on the phone. It was kind of funny really. I joked with her that I was going to wait until the weekend (it was a Wednesday) to bring it over to her, since I live 45 minutes away, and I had to work the next day. She was so mad at me (jokingly of course), because I got to hold it first. I surprised her by taking the book to her that very night, and we jumped up and down together singing, we have a book, we have a book. To say the least it was quite an emotional experience, and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

6. Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?

Carol: I’d say for the first half of my life I was an introvert, shy and quiet unless around family and friends. During the second half, I have definitely turned into more of an extrovert, even more so after my accident 16 years ago, when I broke my neck and had two major surgeries. I died on the table during the second surgery, and since then I am not scared of dying, in fact I’m not really scared of anything anymore. I love to interact with everyone I meet. Making people smile by giving them smiley face pennies makes my day, and hopefully theirs as well.  J

Adam: For most of my life I have been loud and outspoken. There are times though where I can definitely be an introvert, but I live most of my life as an extrovert. I love mingling with people, and most of the time I can even easily talk in front of crowds (though I do still get a tad nervous from time to time).

7. I loved how Cat is so close to all of her friends, what made you decide to have her surrounded by such a quirky group of characters?

Carol: I think we all would love to have friends like Cat’s. I know I would have while I was growing up. As I mentioned earlier, I moved so much during my childhood, and always wished I had friends that I could’ve grown up with. Cat’s friends have so many differences, but they seem to click perfectly to me. J

Adam: We wanted Cat to be surrounded by love, and not heartbreak and sadness (like so many YA novels do these days). We wanted her story to be a tad different, and start her out with a solid foundation of friends and family, so that when things got tough, she would have people to support her and be there for her. Mom and I both hold friendship in high regard, especially since we both moved a lot as kids and had to make new friends a lot. It wasn’t until high school and college until I met my core group of friends that I keep in constant contact with. Actually, Cat’s friends are a combination of many of my closest friend’s personalities, which made writing their parts all that more fun to do. I could envision how they would interact with a character like Cat, and this made these scenes resonate highly with me, and made me feel a part of their group.

8. Did your ideas and visions for the book clash over specific sections of the book?

Carol and Adam: Of course, especially during the first book because it was all so new, and we were creating this whole world from scratch. We would list specific scenes that we clashed on here, but we don’t want to ruin them for possible readers because they are some of the bigger scenes in the first book. But we will say that we did indeed have different ideas on how things should play out during certain scenes, and how certain chapters should end, but we worked out the differences, and we believe it made our book better. When we do have disagreements though, we take a time-out, and then resume with clear heads. Most clashes are taken care of very quickly because we have such a great rapport with one another, and we actually talk it out. Fortunately for us, we didn’t disagree on the whole book, because if we had, we’d probably still be working on it haha!

9. Any ideas for a future series?

Carol and Adam: Well, we have four more books planned for The Childe series (five total), with the second one almost finished. We do, however, have a few ideas for other books that we intend to pursue after wrapping up Cat’s adventure. They will all be geared toward the YA crowd, since we have so much fun writing for this age group! Unfortunately, these titles are way too early in development to actually give any details about them.

10. If you could walk in one of your characters shoes for a day who would it be?

Carol: Cat, definitely. I was the complete opposite to her when I was in high school. I absolutely love her confidence, and how strong she is.J

Adam: I would have to say Jewels (weird, I know!). The reason being is because who doesn’t want to experience the world through an animal’s eyes at least once in their lifetime. I think it would be great to be a Cat that can come and go as they please, nap whenever, and get taken care of! Not to mention all the things Cats can do. I’m just saying it would be neat to be a Cat for at least a day.

Thank you Carol and Adam for taking the time to answer some of my more random questions :).

I can't wait to continue reading Cat's story in books 2!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a terrific interview. As a struggling writer, it is always a joy when I get a peek into the lives and minds of writers. Carol is a saint. I love her idea of giving away smiley pennies. What an inspiration! When I first realized they were a mother and son duo, I gasped. That is so unusual. I can't imagine how that could possibly work, except that Carol is such a rare woman.


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