Thursday, July 30, 2009

Q&A with KIRSTEN IMANI KASAI!!!


Kirsten Imani Kasai is the author of Ice Song and you can find more about how to purchase your copy by visiting her website: http://icesong.com/index.html

1. Tell us about your newest release.

Ice Song is very much a “down the rabbit hole” fantasy adventure, wherein a single event cracks the facade of a hidden world. In the course of that journey, Sorykah begins to accept the darker and unwanted aspects of herself. This lonely single mother wants love and acceptance, but first she has to learn to love and accept who she really is."Sorykah Minuit has just two jobs aboard an ice-drilling submarine: meeting her quota and keeping her identity a secret. It’s no easy trick because when Sorykah’s frightened, she changes into a man—parts and all. Even worse, she suffers from a memory disorder that leaves her clueless about the activities of her other half.When a wealthy madman abducts her children to use in his dreadful experiments, timid Sorykah and her male alter ego, Soryk, must cross icy wastes and a primeval forest to reclaim them and extract her revenge.The world through which Soryk/ah travels is both familiar and surreal. Environmental degradation and genetic mutation run amok; humans have become distorted into animals, and animal bodies mask a wild humanity. But it is also a world of unexpected beauty and wonder, where kindness and love endure amidst the ruins."

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always written and illustrated stories. When I was little, I created very elaborate storylines with my toys and dolls. I had a cassette recorder and would recreate books that I read, complete with sound effects and character voices. As I got older, I created hand-drawn magazines. During my sophomore year of high school, my teacher, Mr. Hicken, gave us a short story assignment. I ended up requesting an extension because my story was so long, and that was the first time I began to think of writing as something real and meaningful, rather than my own personal form of play. At 18, a friend asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I had a very clear vision of myself as a career author. That's what sealed the deal for me, and I've been working toward that goal ever since.

3. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

I get most of my ideas from the news, especially research in the fields of science, nature and medicine. I might have only one idea, scene or aspect of a character or story, but once I open myself up to the storytelling process, it's like turning on a TV or radio and tapping into this channel where my characters exist and are already living their own lives.


4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Wow, I wish I had one just for this question! I used to have a whole preparation routine in the early days, but I taught myself to access my storytelling headspace in any environment or situation. The muse is fickle. She has to be trained and leashed if she's to be cooperative. I do prefer to work at night when my schedule allows, and I've been listening to the same few ambient music albums for nearly 20 years.

5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The most surprising thing has been the whole journey and experience of publishing, from agent acceptance, to a publishing offer to seeing the book on shelves. It can be very surreal. I've been tremendously appreciative of how easily readers accept the idea of a Trader, someone who can completely change genders, and the complications such an ability brings.

6. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

I have a quirky list of influences. Anais Nin, Marguerite Duras, George Sand, Mary Shelley, Angela Carter, Marilyn French. I love all folk and fairy tales, and I was an avid reader of Peanuts and Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics when I was young.

7. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

They are all tremendously excited for me and incredibly supportive and proud of my accomplishments.

8. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?

The sequel, Tattoo, picks up right where Ice Song ends as Soryk/ah's relationships with her various lovers develop and deepen. Tattoo will be published in 2010. Now I'm writing the third and final book about Sorykah and her children called Saudade, which is a Portuguese word that means a nostalgic longing for something or someone that is gone and cannot be recovered. I'm also putting together an anthology of erotic horror short stories. http://icesong.com/Spectral_Sensations.html

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