Sunday, 9 October 2011

Author Interview: Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner has written The Magi.
1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Kevin Turner.  I got real creative when choosing a pen name and added my middle initial:  Kevin M. Turner.  No one will ever know!  I currently live in Southern California.
2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
The Magi.  (Pronounced Maj-Eye.  For some reason this is mispronounced quite frequently)
Summary:  On a quest to solve his parents’ murder, Elijah Hawk stumbles upon a hidden world with an ancient secret.
3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
The Magi is the first book of a five-book series.  I am currently in the middle of the second book.
4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I have been writing for my own entertainment ever since I could hold a pen.  Many people consider it relaxing to sit outside on their porch during a storm with a steaming cup of coffee and watch the sheets of rain come down.  I enjoy sitting outside on my porch with my laptop or a legal pad jotting down new ideas and creating new worlds.
As far as writing The Magi, it all started out in the classroom.  I am a junior high English teacher.  Last year, I found that after many of my students finished reading the Harry Potter series, they felt like there wasn’t anything else they would enjoy.  After trying to guide them to other great books that are out there and finding little success, I had them take a survey which asked them, in a nutshell, what the perfect book would be.  The purpose was to pinpoint some of their interests so I could point them in the right direction toward a book they would enjoy.  Instead, I ended up taking their answers and writing a book that met their criteria:  The Magi.
5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
I would be happy to as long as I can afford it.  I am, after all, an indie writer with a budget as tight as our economy.  However, I’m working on an e-book edition that will make it easier to gift.
6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
Like everything else about my book, I did it myself.  I like simplicity.  The candle is a reminder of a simpler time and also fuels fire, a common motif throughout the book, in a gentle way.
7. How did you come up with the title for your book?
I have to be honest, the title was the most daunting task of the writing process.  I agonized for months over what to call the book, even after it was finished, but eventually it just clicked.
Historically, the name Magi comes up in the Christmas story.  There is a slight connection there (I don’t want to give anything away from the book), but mostly, I thought it was a perfect name and representation for the world that I created.
8. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Does it make me sound too arrogant if I say no?  There are probably phrases and small word choices that I could have made clearer, but other than that, I think the plot is solid.  The good news for me is that I’m only planning on releasing this electronically for the time being, so I have the ability to change small things.  I’m sure that if I look back on it years from now I will be able to answer this question much easier, but I honestly love my book.
9. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I love the feel of a hardcover, and I have a special place in my heart for printed books.  It also gives me a small amount of satisfaction when I flip through the pages of a long book that I don’t get with an e-book.  However, I just got my Kindle the other day and I have to admit, it’s pretty snazzy.  I may be caving.
10. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes.  I’d love to have a major publishing house pick up my book, but I’m afraid that a lot about publishing has nothing to do with the story.  It has to do with timing.  Thankfully, I live in a time where self-publishing is possible and I can put my story out there without a major publisher picking it up.  But eventually, I would enjoy only worrying about the writing and not having to stress about every detail.  I hope to be able to at least have a small following that love the book as much as I do.
11. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Because I’m an English teacher, I read many books many times.  Thankfully, I love classic literature like The Outsiders and Tom Sawyer and Hatchet (books the kids I teach read every year).  I’m a sucker for adventure stories!  Also, I think this counts as re-reading, I am currently working on the original British version of the Harry Potter series.  It took me years to piece together that version of the series from different bookstores I’ve traveled to (and one fantastic gift from my sister living in New Zealand—thanks Mandy!) and now I’ve finally decided to compare it to the version in the States.  That’s been a lot of fun.
12. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m actually getting through three at once.  As I mentioned above, I’m working on    Harry Potter again.  I also am reading The Hunger Games on my Kindle (don’t laugh, but it’s the only story I have on there, and my wife was appalled that I hadn’t read it yet and still called myself a young adult author, so she bought it for me).  Thirdly, I am working on an adult mystery book called The Last Detective by Robert Crais.  Both Harry Potter and The Last Detective are paperback.
13. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Write what you love and love what you write.
14. Where can your readers follow you?

Twitter:  themagiseries

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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