K.J Simmill is the very talented author of Darrienia (The Forgotten Legacies series, book 1), and is donating 10% author royalties to the UHNM charity for the neonatal department (NICU).
She has also released an accompaniment book called Herbal Lore that covers a wide range of herbs and their uses in both medicinal and magical practices, including sections detailing extraction and application. It also provides comprehensive step-by-step instructions on making a wide range of items encompassing creams, herbal bags, incense, salves, tinctures, and poultices. Presented in an easy to understand format, with an added definition of terms, making it an asset to anyone wishing to utilise the beneficial properties of herbs.
This is what K.J had to say...
Why did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
Writing has always been a constant in my life, something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. Whether it was to blow off steam, or to create something magical from an idea. I never really decided to become a writer, it’s just a passion that seemed to follow me through my many changing ideas of what I wanted to be.
What was the thing that drove you the most to do so?
I had only ever written short stories before Darrienia, but when I saw that this idea had become a book, or a series even, I knew that I needed to do something more with it than leave it in a drawer. It was with the support of my husband that we decided I should publish the work, and the response of the beta readers only encouraged me further.
Why did you pick the genre/s that you have?
I have always been a lover of fantasy. Anything I can imagine could become a reality in the world I create, and inventing lore and methods to make these ideas possible only adds to the enjoyment. As for my non-fiction side, Herbal Lore stemmed from almost two decades of personal research and study. I never initially considered compiling it into a book, until I was using it as a reference for my fictional works.
Who is your favourite character, and why?
Now that is a difficult question, each of my characters are individuals with their own personalities and flaws, to choose one above the others is near impossible. Surprisingly though, I don’t think I’d pick one of my main characters, don’t get me wrong, I love each one of them, but I think I would have to choose Elder Robert. As for the reasoning, there is so much more to him than meets the eye. He’s the elder of Daniel’s hometown of Crowley, yet he has seen more of the world and knows more of its secrets than any would believe. He is considered a storyteller, yet there is more truth to his fables than any would ever realise.
Do you have any particular quirks when writing?
Not really, although when I am writing, the rest of the world may as well fade to black, all I see before me are the visions of the words I’m writing as they guide my hand.
What does your family think of your work?
My nan and husband, all my family in fact, are so proud of me. My husband has read my book almost as many times as I have, and my father has also read it multiple times. So far, the response from my family, as well as my readers, has been fantastic, so much so that they are already asking when they can see the next one.
How do you deal with writer's block?
At this moment in time, for me, writer’s block is my characters’ way of telling me they aren’t happy with something. It strikes at the beginning of where their discontent occurs and no matter how hard I try, I can’t force my way through, my attention wanders and I have trouble even reading the words. When I realise this is what it is, if I go back and rewrite, be it a section, or a chapter. As soon as the decision is made and I begin I often find myself back on track, and so much happier with the story.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
Time. At the moment I find myself editing the remaining three books in The Forgotten Legacies Series so they are ready for release. However, in addition to these I have what could be classed as a prequel, which needs to be edited, the story for my next series, and an entirely unrelated series, all wanting to be written. Unfortunately the time I have to write is limited.
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
No, the characters came naturally as part of the story, although I did use the name of my son’s Godfather, Eiji. Although character wise there is no connection, the name itself was a perfect fit for the Elementalist.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
When I am not writing, I am either reading or gaming. Generally however, I spend most of my spare time reading and reviewing books, especially those written by indie authors.
What do you like to read?
Although I prefer fiction my tastes in books aren’t genre specific. I will read anything that I feel has a good plot and interesting characters. If I were to choose my two favoured genres though, it would have to be fantasy and horror.
Who is your favourite author?
At this moment in time my favourite author is Terry Goodkind, although there are a number of indie authors whose work I will, and have, pre-ordered.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Some of my inspiration comes to me through dreams, some through personal experience which I hope allows me to see things from multiple perspectives and can assist me in adding depth to both worlds and characters, the rest just seems to be character driven as I am writing. Things and events happen which I never expected to, simply because of the characters and their responses to situations guiding the book in that direction. The best example I can give is the ending of Darrienia, it was by no means the one I had planned. Even now I remember looking at what I had written and thinking ‘how the hell did that happen?’
Where are your books available?
My books are available in paperback or Kindle through Amazon, as well as Barnes and Noble and over seventy other online bookstores and over 39,000 retailers and libraries.
Although Herbal Lore is only available as paperback or Kindle, Darrienia is available on other e-book mediums including Kobo, Apple ibooks and Nook.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am editing The Severaine, which is the second book in The Forgotten Legacies Series, once polished I will edit the remaining books before starting work on either the Prequel or the next series.
Here is how you can find K.J Simmill
Amazon: K.J Simmill books
I'd like to take this last second to thank K.J for the time she took to answer my questions. It's been and honour, and a priviledge, to see inside the head of this up and coming new Indie author, and I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did. Now why not join me in following K.J, and maybe popping into Amazon and picking up her books.
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I live in Wales in the U.K.
Sallyann Phillips is an IASD member.
Check out their website for a wonderful choice of Indie authors for you to chose from.