Welcome to Dawn’s Reading Nook, Addie J. King, Please let my cabana boys get you a drink and make yourself at home. Comfortable? Great…now let’s get down to business.
Q: So tell us about yourself. What got you interested in writing? Who are your publisher(s)?
I’ve been writing fiction pretty much since I was a kid, but I stopped writing in college and law school. When I got out of law school, I realized that I missed it, so I got serious about writing. My novel, THE GRIMM LEGACY, just came out in ebook from Musa Publishing.
Q: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Conflict and quirks. If there is no conflict to the story, there is really is no story, and characters without quirks are kinda boring. I try to think of a challenging time for a quirky character and then twist it…to add more conflict.
Q: Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
I think of a scenario first, and then I start writing a scene or two to get a feel for what it is. Sometimes I can get a character to take over and just burst out on its own. Rarely, I have to write more of the story to figure out what fits.
My favorite has to be Bert the talking frog! I love Bert. He just kind of takes over any scene he hops into, drops all kinds of snarky comments, and then a piece of wisdom, and it’s so easy to see him as just a sidekick, but he’s got all kinds of depth.
I’d say that the main character in the novel I’m currently working on has been the hardest to write…but I’d say that of any novel I’m in the middle of.
Q: What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
I am addicted to home improvement shows and cooking shows. I need to be in a twelve step program to stop watching them! If someone can pull me away from those kinds of shows, I’ll read a book, play videogames, or crochet and watch a movie.
Q: What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?
Oh, there’s so many! Probably 1910s-1930s…but that’s probably also because I’ve got a writing project tucked away somewhere that I keep fiddling with that’s set in that time period. I can’t seem to completely walk away from it, but I also can’t seem to figure out some plot issues with it. It’s my tinkering project. Maybe someday I’ll get it where I want it and send it out into the world.
Q: What is one historical figure you would love to chat with and why?
Only one? I totally want Bill and Ted’s phone booth, so I can go chat with all of them!
I always had a secret desire to be Annie Oakley. I always thought she was pretty cool. Then again, I’m a big klutz. Me and guns; maybe not such a good idea. And I always wanted to be Amelia Earhart and fly planes all over the place. Then again…maybe not such a good idea, either. Unless I could warn her in advance what could happen to her…hrm…(scribbling)…that’s a good story idea!
Q: Please tell us about your latest release. What inspired it?
I can remember my parents reading me stories from Grimm’s Fairy Tales when I was a kid, and I loved them. With all the modern day fantasy out there, I wanted to see them come to life in today’s world, and see what works today and what doesn’t. I had fun trying to mix the more well known tales with a few of the more obscure ones. Add in the fact that the Grimm Brothers studied law before turning to folk tales, and I (the former law student and current lawyer) was hooked.
Q: Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
It’s always the book that my head’s in the middle of at the moment. I finished this book a year ago, and I’m in the middle of another one. I loved writing THE GRIMM LEGACY. I’m awful proud of it, but now I’m really happy with the one that’s clawing its way out of my brain. That sounds more painful than it is, really.
Q: What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
Truthfully, the main character in THE GRIMM LEGACY is a lot like me in that we share some (not all) similar experiences… like law school. We react similarly to things that happen around us…it’s very likely for me to have the uber-practical side come out first and the emotional reaction hit later, just like Janie Grimm. But there’s some portion of me in just about every character I write. Even Bert the frog has parts of me.
Q: The editing process is a very important process in an author’s life. How do you define the editing process for any of your books? Is there a routine you follow when in editing mode?
Write. Take to readers/critique group/beta readers/editors. Get home. Rail at how “they just don’t understand.” Put it away for a couple of days. Read it again and realize they were right. Make changes. Put it away. Write something else. Go back and reread the first project, realize it doesn’t completely suck. Revise it as a whole, and have someone else read it. Edit again. Check for typos. Submit.
Q: What is your process to writing? Do you fly by the seat of your pants and just write? Do you outline your story/characters first then sit and write? Do you use mood music, candles or anything?
I’m sort of an outline writer. I don’t have an annotated list and spreadsheet with Roman numerals and everything, but I break it down into a three act play, figure out a general beginning, middle, and end, and then I break down the beginning into a chapter outline. Once I get the first third of the book written, and have an idea where I’m headed, I feel like I can see where it’s going. I won’t need a chapter outline once I get to that point.
Writing without a plan feels like writing without a net to me. It doesn’t have to be a perfect net, but I do like feeling like I’ve got something under me to keep me from panicking about not knowing where I’m supposed to go, especially at the beginning of the book.
Q: What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, mystery, biography, romance, historical fiction, thrillers, horror, nonfiction, and well, just about everything.
Q: What do you hope readers take with them, after reading one of your stories? What do you hope they feel, or learn?
I hope they had fun. I hope they got a break from their own day-to-day life, got to laugh a bit, and just feel like they’re in a better mood.
Q: If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Practical. Funny. Creative.
Wow, that’s pretty hard to do!
Q: What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
Walking around an outdoor/hunting store and looking at all the camouflage attire and hunting gear flipped on the writer crazy gears like mad.
One day I will write the redneck zombie deer hunter story that came to mind. I really will.
Q: If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
Writer crazy is kinda like the circus. There are at least three different rings under the big top, sideshow events outside, and insane music spinning around and through all of it, with barkers and carnies, and not-quite-safe-looking rides and midway prizes and junk food vender trucks. The ideas are all over the place…you just have to see what sticks with you.
You pour in all your experiences and observations, shake, add a stick of cotton candy and a big bag of popcorn, and see what comes out in the end.
Q: So a bit of naughty truth, do you ever do a little real life research to make your books spicy or do you just have a great imagination? (If you write erotic stories-please disregard if you don’t)
I don’t write erotica. I don’t have anything against it, it’s just not what I write.
Q: What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?
I did write a story involving a werewolf who couldn’t figure out how to deal with fleas when she shifts back and forth…it would have been funny to see her try to figure out how to put that stuff between her own shoulder blades…
Q: Want to tell us about any projects you are working on?
I’m in the middle of two novels. The first is the sequel to The Grimm Legacy. Right now, the working title is The Andersen Ancestry.
The second one is based on a short story I wrote a couple of years ago…I’ve been saying it’s like Angel meets Ghostbusters as demon exterminators try to banish demons in the form of the seven deadly sins. I’m maybe a third to halfway through the first draft right now.
Q: What authors do you enjoy reading? Who is on your bookcase/e-reader?
I’m a big fan of Christopher Moore, and have read most of his work. I enjoy Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon. I loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, and I’m a fan of just about anything that will make me laugh, take me to another world, or just flat distract me from everyday life!
Q: Anything else you want to add?
I wouldn’t know what else to say other than thank you to everyone at Musa Publishing…go check out some of the other awesome authors over at their website!
The Grimm Legacy by Addie J. King
Being a descendent of the Grimm Brothers doesn’t make life a fairy tale… it’s a curse.
Once upon a time Janie Grimm thought she led a normal life, but within the first week of law school she’s started losing her mind. Her father just died, her stepmother Evangeline is evil, her professors already hate her, and a frog named Bert keeps talking to her. Then there’s her growing attraction to the accident-prone Aiden, who tries to explain magic murdered her father and it was trying to kill her, too.
Janie learns her father’s death was due to a fairy trying to restore the magic bound by Janie’s ancestors, the Brothers Grimm. Now the target of this fairy’s bid to regain power, Janie has only the protection of the mysterious Holder of the Legacy, the members of the F.A.B.L.E.S. organization, and the promises Evangeline made to Janie’s father before his death… but will it be enough?
I didn’t have the time to deal with being crazy. I had fifty pages of case law to read for tomorrow, and I didn’t understand any of it. “Will you kindly shut the hell up?”
He blinked at me slowly and kept singing, “Hey there Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are lookin’ good…” It took me a minute to place it as “Li’l Red Riding Hood” from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, a band Dad used to listen to on the oldies station when I was a kid.
I saw my neighbor, Chris, as he pulled up in his Chevy extended-cab truck. The frog winked at me, slowly turning to face Chris as he came up the sidewalk. Rather than risk Chris thinking me ready for the funny farm (hey, he was cute and had impressive chest muscles that he showed off in tight t-shirts), I scooped up the frog and ran inside, barely swallowing the “Ew, ew, ew” that came to my lips when I touched him. I’m not big on slimy things, so sue me.
I got back inside, closed the drain on the kitchen sink, and placed the frog in the sink. Before I got back to the door, he was already talking again.
“Boy, are you paranoid, Janie Grimm. Makes me think they’ve already got to you or something. Got a beer in this place?”
“A beer?” I settled one hip against the counter and crossed my arms over my chest. “You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re a talking frog, you know my name, you showed up out of nowhere, but the only thing you can say is ‘you got a beer in this place’?”
The frog belched, long and loud. Great. Not only did I have a talking frog in my apartment, he was also an obnoxious pig. Er, frog.
“Are you done?” he asked.
“Who the hell are you and what the hell do you want?”
“That’s the first intelligent thing you’ve said today, Janie, and believe me, I should know. That was pretty embarrassing this morning in Contracts class when you didn’t have a clue. Though that professor of yours did seem to know what he was talking about.”
I gritted my teeth. I could add know-it-all to the rapidly growing list of things I didn’t like about this frog. “You still didn’t answer my question.”
“I guess I didn’t, did I? Well, tenaciousness will serve you well in trial, future counselor. You can call me Bert.”