Kaza Kingsley Blog Tour

Kaza Kingsley Blog Tour Day Four 

Kaza and Erec

 

I had a chance to ask Kaza Kingsley a few questions recently. I tried to cover the comparison of Erec Rex to Harry Potter, how she views her works and her interaction with her fans. Here are the questions I came up with. Some of her answers surprised me.

She’ll be checking in during her blog tour, so feel free to ask her your questions in the comments.

 

 

Living In Harry’s Shadow

 

2xKnight: Harry Potter is huge, any book that resembles it in any way is going to be compared to it. So I have to ask a couple of questions involving that series.

How do you think your books stack up against JKR’s?

 

Kaza Kingsley: Oh, that’s a wicked way to start … you bad boy! From my perspective, and I’m sure others would look at it in other ways, I can break down a few things between the two series.
HP: I love her voice. Love the Brit accent and humor.
ER: More action. Erec does a lot more on his own, gets no help from a Dumbledore-type character. No sitting through a year of school. Erec’s adventures take him into the wilds of Otherness, all alone (save a butler.)
HP: A great escape
ER: A great escape (I hope!)

There – you made me do something I hate to do! I really think they are two series, along with a lot of other fantasy series, that hopefully each stands on their own for their readers.

I’ve had a lot of kids tell me, in fan mails, and in person, that they like my series better than the Potter one. I am sure, however, theirs is not the only opinion. I love the Harry Potter series, myself.

 

 

2x: Who would win in a fight, Harry or Erec? Oh, and none of that “They’d be on the same side” stuff either, just assumed they were both tricked into thinking the other one was evil…

 

KK: This is a fun one! And a toughie.

For one, it would depend of weather Erec is wielding a scepter at the moment. In that case, there is no question. Erec’s power with the scepter far overshadows Harry’s wand abilities.

But, since Erec is not currently in possession of the scepter, and has no wand, I think he’d be toast. Erec has a remote control that could help him do magic, but he can barely do anything with it. The only thing he has learned is to move objects a bit – and he doesn’t do that well.

Now, when they reach full maturity, in the future, when Erec has learned to use his dragon eyes and has acquired the huge powers he’s gaining as he goes through the quests to be king, I think he’d win hands down.

 

 

2x: One last HP question then we can move on…
If there was one part of JKR’s success you wouldn’t want… What would it be?

 

KK: I really don’t know! I can tell you a lot of parts I would want! But I do wonder if that amount of fame might somehow disconnect you from who you really are. Maybe she can’t just go into a grocery store without getting bugged. That would get old.

 

 

2x: Ok, the 1 Billion Pound Gorilla has been acknowledged. (HA! English currency joke)

 

KK: :}

 

 

The World of Erec Rex

 

2x: In a lot of fantasy stories that contain magic there’s an entire system set up to explain it. Could you give us a brief overview of how magic works in Erec’s world? 

Jason, thank you so much for the interview! You asked some really fun questions. I’ll be checking the site and answer any reader questions that might come up! Also, below is a baby picture of me – each site I’m visiting has a different baby picture (I’ll be growing older as the blog tour progresses!)” — Kaza Kingsley

Baby Kaza

 

KK: One crucial theme is that magic existed everywhere in our world, until something happened in our past that made us “Losers” lose our memory of magic, and made it all reside in the Kingdoms of the Keepers, “Keepers” of the magic. Of course I know the specifics of this. Some has already been revealed. Thanatos Baskania has played a role in keeping us Losers away from the knowledge of magic – and he created the Kingdoms of the Keepers as well.

Magic is all around us – carried in channels called “Aitherplanes” via the “Substance.” Something has happened to the substance that is making it so that we can no longer see or do magic in Upper Earth. It’s skewed now, so that most of the substance is concentrated in the Kingdoms of the Keepers. But this problem in the substance is causing many other problems, especially in the Kingdoms. Nobody seems to know how to fix it, either.

 

So, in the Kingdoms of the Keepers, magic manifests in three main ways.

  1.     Bought magic. There are magical items that are made (often in Vulcan stores, founded by Heph Vulcan.)
  2.     Innate magic. Everyone is born with one special gift (or it can feel like a curse.) Erec’s gift is his precognition ability (in his “cloudy thoughts.”) Bethany’s is an amazing mathematical talent. Etc.
  3.     Learned magic. Only some people have the ability to learn magic in the Kingdoms of the Keepers. Using remote controls (to control one’s surroundings) is the easy way out, for the less powerful folk.
    There are also rules of magic for the powerful scepters, dragon eyes, and so much more! I could write pages and pages….

 

 

2x: How did you decide on that system?

 

KK: Constant questioning. The more things I came up with, the more I had to ask, “Would this work in this situation,” and “What if this happened?” The rules have to be firm and consistent to work and be believable. That said, it is not all spilled out in Book One. Readers learn as Erec does.

One of the things that bothered me in the Harry Potter series (and I can’t believe I’m saying this, it’s hard saying anything negative about such great books) is that there were a few glitches. For one, there are rich and poor wizards. Yet, they have wands and can make or attain anything. So why can’t they create money or expensive items if they want them? The whole thing about rich and poor wizard families made no sense to me.

I’m sure someday someone will find glitches in Erec Rex. It’s probably unavoidable. But I’m working hard to keep it from happening.

 

 

2x: If a movie were made from your books, who would you
like cast in it?

 

KK: I’m not sure. One thing that I’d love, though, if it was possible, was if I could have a small walk-on role in each film. Kind of like Hitchcock did.

 

 

2x: Would you want the movie to be live-action, or animated?

 

KK: Live-action. Definitely. Animation can be great, but it makes viewers a little more removed, makes the story a little more childish.

 

 

2x: Would you agree to give up creative control on the movie for a giant pile of money?

 

KK: Um … yes! Maybe if I have more money in the future I’d change my mind about that. But, for now, the giant pile sounds really good…

 

 

2x: Would you do it for a Scooby Snack?

Sorry… wrong interview.

 

KK: Rhat repends on row big the Rooby Racks rare.

 

Jinkies

 

 

The Erec Rex Fandom

 

 

2x: What do you think of fan created works, such as fan fiction?

 

KK: I actually haven’t read a lot of fan fiction, but I’ve recently met people who have written some. I think anything that gets people writing is great.

I would be honored if people thought enough of Erec Rex to write fan fiction based on it. It would be fun to read, too. But I might have to wait until I’m done writing the series before I read it, to make sure nobody else’s ideas infiltrated my own with the story!

 

 

2x: If you could write a book in someone else’s world, which one would you choose? Beyond The Yellow Brick Road

  

KK: Oz. Hands down. I just loved that series so much. I’ve even thought about doing some kind of rewrite of it, making it more accessible to today’s youth. Because there’s a lot of great stuff in there.

 

2x: What author would you consider letting write a book in your world?

 

KK: Aside from fan fiction, I wouldn’t want another author to write in the Erec Rex series. I just have too clear of an idea where I want it to go. Maybe when it’s finished it would be fun to see side books by Tom Robbins or Steven King. What different takes they would have!

 

 

2x: If you could collaborate with any writer, who would you want to work with?

 

KK: Mann … collaborating would be so weird for me! It might be really fun, but I’m so used to making all the decisions in my fantasy world.

I think it would be really fun to collaborate in a pure comedy book. Something like silly lists, funny commentary. So, I guess, I’d go with Steve Martin He’s funny and smart, too.

 

 

2x: From looking at your blog, it seems like you’ve been doing a lot to promote your books and meet your fans. How has that gone?

 

KK: That has been one of the best parts of this journey for me. I love writing, but it’s a very solitary activity. I’m alone in my world a lot. But then, on book tours, I get immersed in the opposite experience, which is a very social one. I think an author’s life is kind of schizophrenic like that.

I love the contact with fans, and the email and letters I get from them. It really makes me feel like what I’m doing is worth while. When I can connect with a person like that it feels great. I just got a really sweet message tonight off my website. It really means a lot to me!

I am trying to do everything I can to help Erec get known, and it means a lot of traveling. It’s been fun, I’m glad to do it. I just wish I could look into one of my Inquizzles and find out how well the series will end up doing!

 

(An Inquizzle is a magic object that answers 1 question absolutely correctly, but it will only answer “Yes” or “No”. –2xKnight) 

 

 

2x: What’s your favorite part of interacting with your fans?

 

KK: I think one of the best things I’ve done is have an open discussion lunch at some local schools. It’s a really informal thing, where kids who are into the Erec Rex series sit around with me and shoot questions off the top of their heads. It really amazes me to hear some of the things they come up with!

 

 

2x: When you meet your fans, what makes you think “Oh God, not again!”?

  Oops

KK: You have to understand – I’m kind of in love with my fans. So it’s really hard for any of them to upset me. They love my work – I completely appreciate them! Maybe if one of them was always throwing up on my shoes…

  

 

2x: In all the interviews and discussions you’ve had about Erec and the books, what’s the one question you dread to hear?

 

KK: “So, this book is just like Harry Potter, right?”

 

 

2x: What is the question you’d most like to answer?

 

KK: “How does it feel to have the most successful book series in the world?”
(Ya gotta have dreams…)

 

 

Conclusion

 

I’d like to thank Kaza Kingsley for being kind enough to answer my questions. I’d also like to encourage you to ask her your own questions. This is a great opportunity to satisfy your curiosity, but try to keep the spoilers to a minimum. Ok? :wink:

 

 

[tags]Fandoms, Books, Fantasy, Fun Stuff, Young Adult, Author, Kaza Kingsley, Blog Tour, Interview, Q and A, Q & A, Erec Rex, Magic, Fan Fiction, Fans, Harry Potter, JKR [/tags]

21 thoughts on “Kaza Kingsley Blog Tour

  1. Pingback: bloggingzoom.com

  2. Kaza Kingsley

    Okay, I left a more detailed answer above, but to summarize, give Erec a few years to learn how to use his dragon eye(s) and get whatever other goodies he’ll get from his quests … and he’ll kick Harry’s tush.

    But now, well, I’m afraid my poor Erec doesn’t know much magic and would be toast against a wand-bearing wizard like Harry Potter!

  3. Mia

    Hey,
    This was an exalent interveiw!!!!! Keep up the good work. And you don’t have to worry about me comparing your book with harry potter very much because I don’t read the books. The only thing I would compare is maybe the extent of the magic lol…

    Love
    Mia

  4. Pat

    I haven’t read the Erec Rex books yet. I’ve heard a bit about them. But after reading this interview, I’m intrigued enough about Erec and his world to buy the books. I probably would have dismissed them as HP knockoffs without it. Thanks!

  5. Kaza Kingsley

    Thanks, Mia! This was a fun interview.

    Pat – Glad you’re going to plunge into the Kingdoms of the Keepers! Can I ask why you would have assumed it was an HP knockoff? Is it the artwork?

  6. Pat

    Both the artwork and some reviews I’ve read that called Erec “the next Harry Potter”…and of course the parallel of wizardry. As an example (but certainly not the only one), see:

    http://foreword.texterity.com/foreword/200701/?pg=62

    While the first “Erec” book is reviewed favorably, there are 3 mentions of Harry Potter on the first page of the review. It continues on the 2nd page (column format) and only then do you get to see the real difference.

    Add reviews like that that to the cover art, and you can easily see why someone could think of your series as an HP clone.

    I think as your readership expands, and your series continues, the differences will become self evident. But it doesn’t hurt for you to take the Potter by the horns and give a few distinguishing remarks. You managed to do it here without sounding either defensive or derogatory about HP. In other words, just keep on doing what you are doing :-)

  7. Trey

    These interviews are great, a nice way to get into your head. (Not like with a chainsaw! Figuratively, of course!) I’m so excited to hear you’re working on The Search for Truth! I can’t wait until it comes out! I’ve been reccommending these books to everyone I know, and I was moved, surprised, and forced to laugh because of your writing. I’ve done some school projects (extensive) on mythology before, and it’s always fun to see a series that tips its hat to the original literary greats. It’s a pleasant surprise when I see some of the little references to mythology in the books (i.e. Queen Posey, King Piter, and King Pluto). So, when are you aiming at to finish your newest book?

  8. Kaza Kingsley

    These are great comments, guys! Thanks for the feedback.

    Amie – I am going to be finished with Book Three soon, and I’m so revved about it! It should be out in September.

    Pat – thanks for the feedback! I know about that review, and there are a lot of others that mention HP. Interestingly, it’s mostly the “professional” reviewers that do so – and I noticed they did it with a lot of other fantasy books, too. But when I see online reviews, by readers that are into fantasy, and kid readers, they don’t see Erec as similar.

    You mentioned a parallel of wizardry. I guess you haven’t read Erec Rex, but there are no wizards in the series! There is magic, but it’s different than in HP, for sure.

    I do worry about the art giving people a certain feel. My guess is most people aren’t reading the magazine reviews (they were nice, luckily!) but the art must have an influence one way or the other.

    I’d love to ask folks out there in general if they think the cover art helps or hurts the Erec Rex series!

    But, Pat, thanks for your kind comments and input! I have a request for you, now. If you read Erec Rex books, pop onto my website and send me a message after – I’d love to hear from you!

    And Trey – You stay away from me with that chainsaw!! lol. Thank you so much for the comment – it makes me feel so good! There are so many references that are hidden in there (to mythology) that you may not have picked up the first time. One Very Smart Dude (ahem, Jason, ahem) noticed that Erec’s mother’s name is June O’Hara … like Juno Hera. (Don’t worry – this is NOT a giveaway of any hidden secret such as who is Erec’s mother.) I loved that name…

    The new book should be done very, very soon! I hope you follow along with me on my blog tour!
    Kaza

  9. 2xKnight

    I tried to stay out of the way today. Kaza knows her way around a keyboard and can handle herself.

    I wanted to pop in and say thanks. I’m really glad that FanaticSpace is a part of the blog tour. This is the sort of thing I was hoping for when I started the site.

  10. Brian

    Hi Kaza! I read Erec Rex Book I, and I loved it! It was very entertaining and enjoyable to read. I also plan on reading books 2 & 3. Here are my questions. Have u ever come up with an idea for Erec Rex and then decided not to use it b/c you think people might compare it to something from Harry Potter? And, be honest, did u consciously (or subconsciously) decide to make Erec stronger than Harry (by the end of the series) to foreshadow (albeit it’s only a hope right now) that the Erec Rex series will eventually overtake the Harry Potter series in terms of popularity?

  11. Linda

    This was an interesting interview. As someone who has yet to read the Erec Rex books, I found it enlightening. I am a dyed in the wool Potter fan but I’m also a fan of other magic-based, fantasy type books. Your descriptions of the world of Erec Rex are intriguing and unique. Thanks for sharing with us. You’ve convinced me to check them out!

  12. Sue

    I enjoyed the interview very much. The line of questioning was well thought out and Kaza’s answers have intrigued me and I look forward to reading her series.

  13. Lee

    Thanks for the intro to what sounds like a very interesting read. I followed your link to the site and read the first two chapters of Dragon’s Eye. Would definitely be interested in reading more. Blog tour… great idea.

  14. Pat

    Kaza,
    Thanks for your candid observations. I’ll be sure to drop into your site when I’ve read the books! Again, I really enjoyed the interview.
    Thanks to Jason, too, for providing this great space.
    :-)

  15. Kaza Kingsley

    Hi everyone!
    2xKnight – thanks again for hosting me. It was fun – and enlightening too!

    Brian – You have some great questions! Yes, there are definitely things that pop into my head for my series that I throw out immediately, if they seem too close to Harry Potter. I know I’m not the only author with this concern. But, the problem is – when you line up the seven Harry Potter books side by side, there are a lot of pages there, with a humongous variety of topics covered! It’s really hard for there to be absolutely zero overlap between her series and other fantasy books!

    The way I’ve been looking at it is, if the feel is mine, it’s okay. For example, she has dragons in her series, but they are ferocious in character. My dragons have a completely different role, and are more like the Chinese Dragon concept, of highly intelligent, mystical animals. So, we both have dragons, but I don’t worry about that too much.

    The only part in my series to date that I’ve had to consciously, word-by-word make different than a Harry Potter book is in the middle of The Dragon’s Eye. Erec is involved in one of the contests to be king. It is an underwater contest. I worked ridiculously hard to make it different in every way from HP Book 4 – when Harry has to do an underwater trial. I have none of the same things happen, and none of the same elements under water (I have fish, sirens, and sea sprites as the only things interacting with Erec.)

    Honestly, if it wasn’t important to the series I wouldn’t have had an underwater part at all. But I wanted an introduction to Queen Posey’s world, Ashona, one of the three Kingdoms of the Keepers. Plus, each following book is based on one of those initial six contests – and (as you guessed) there will be a future book involving Queen Posey’s underwater kingdom. So I did it anyway.

    Usually I can just write with abandon and not think about it. But every now and then a little “Uh, oh. An HP book mentioned this once” alarm will go off and I will redirect.

    As far as making Erec in the end stronger than Harry Potter – no. I really never even compared them in my head until asked the excellent (and pretty funny!) question by 2xKnight. I prefer not to think of books from other characters when I write (unless I’m avoiding that little alarm, above.) But I like the concept – and I hope it happens!

    Linda, Sue, and Lee – great to meet you! If you have any questions or want to send me a message after you read Erec Rex you can do so through my website. I try and answer everyone!

    And Pat – that’s great. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Kaza

  16. Tarie

    LOL – these baby pictures of you along the blog tour are so cute! And I think you really should write a retelling of the Oz series!

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