Skip to main content

Monday's Mixed Ink: Interview With Space Opera Author K.J. Blaine


Hi everyone, Jess here :)  I’ll be posting more often now that the A-to-Z Challenge is over.

Today, I have the pleasure of posting an interview I did with new Space Opera Science Fiction writer, K.J. Blaine! In a series that started with the release of Gynocracy (although it’s not the first book, chronologically), Blaine pulled readers through an epic space opera series with heart wrenching moments, terrifying villains and nonstop, adrenaline-pumping action. More of a fantasy fan? Don’t worry! Blaine also has a fantasy trilogy published under the name Caprice Hokstad, which can be found here.
Telepaths & Traitors, available on Amazon.com.

The year is 2042 and mankind has colonized the solar system. The International Space Alliance has emerged in response to the lawlessness teeming in the new frontier. The ISA's most advanced ship, the Phoenix, has a mission of both peacekeeping and scientific research. The Phoenix's power is unmatched by any other vessel, but can her crew withstand the threat of mind control and betrayal from within?



Thank you for the chance to interview you!

1. What made you decide to make the move from fanfiction to original fiction with The Phoenix Chronicles?
Audience. I think the stories are better as fanfiction. The plot twists were more organic. The characters and settings were much more alluring. However, as SeaQuest has been off the air for nearly 20 years, there's just not much fanbase there to have interest. Worse, the rights are in Hollywood and by all accounts the executive director thought the TV series was a flop. It's doubtful he would ever let anyone, let alone a no-name author, ever have authorized novel rights that would put his "failure" back in the public eye again.
The only way I could see my stories getting any readership at all was to publish them myself, and to do that, I was forced to take the seaQuest elements out. It hurt to do that. I know people think I'm just being dramatic, but even the act of changing Nathan Bridger to Jason Armstrong makes me cringe inside. Murdering bigger darlings like the beautiful trimaran in "Hard Time" and the cool Panama Canal gambit in "Not on my Watch" were hard too. I did it to try to gain some readers and maybe--well, I had hoped--a little cash. I happen to think all of my novels are worth at least the cost of a movie ticket. However, it's not really making much money.
2. There seems to be a sense of taboo surrounding authors making the move from fanfiction to original fiction. Why do you think that is?
A lot of people consider it cheating or plagiarism. I don't agree, but that's a long explanation. E.L. James wrote erotica and because she's the most famous example of doing this, others also assume that anyone who does it is also changing something well-loved and familiar into kinky sex. They'd probably not like any kind of erotica, whether it came from fanfic or not. People may also think it's selling out, because fanfic is purely for love. If I could eat electrons and make house payments with Facebook "likes" then maybe I wouldn't have to trade my writing for cash. Sorry, but I need money just like everyone else. I put in a LOT of time and effort, and yes, I put out a hat for pennies. You don't like that, don't throw a penny in.
3. Did you have any nay-sayers when you made the move?
A lot of people didn't know because I kept the whole project a secret. When I did tell, the most common reaction was indifference. A few of my fanfic fans wrote me off as a sell-out and stopped talking to me. No one ever said anything mean in private or in public, so I guess that's good.
4. Regardless of genre or background, do you have any advice for writers who want to try self-publishing?
Get at least two sets of eyes besides your own to read and give honest critique. LISTEN to them. Paying a professional editor would be even better, but I know people tend to ignore that advice because of cost. If you want a career in writing, you've got to invest in that career. A good editor is an investment.
5. Do you prefer one method of publishing over the other?
By method, do you mean self vs. small press vs. large publisher, or do you mean paper vs ebook vs audio? I would prefer a Big Six house with a huge advance and a marketing budget and shelf space in B&N and Wal-Mart. While I'm dreaming, maybe I should ask for the ability to spin dog poop into gold too. You do what you can with the cards you're dealt. I sell more ebooks than paperbacks--like on the order of 500:1, so yes, I love Kindle publishing. I haven't tried audio yet, but I may one day.
6. What are you currently working on?
I'm trying to start a "regular" business, something completely outside of publishing. I'm also working on another children's book, because they seem to do the best for me, money-wise. If I can ever get to the point that I'm not worrying about money so much, maybe I can start writing novels again.
7. Lastly, if there was one piece of writing or publishing advice you wish someone had told you, what would it be?
Writing ability isn't nearly as important as storytelling. Readers will put up with a lot if they love your characters or your stories. That said, don't neglect the writing, just realize it's not as important as story.


Follow K.J. Blaine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKJBlaine

Comments

  1. Thanks, Jessica! As a special treat to your readers, Book 4 is free today and tomorrow! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00925R3AE Enjoy risk-free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow thanks! I still think #4 is one of the best, in both versions :)

      In fact... I think I'm going to reread it right now. Legit. The boys dressed up is too funny an image to resist hahaha.

      Delete
  2. I've read your books and enjoyed them all. Come on readers of Ink in Book. Take the time to thank this awesome author for visiting today. Then go try her free book, Gynocracy. You'll be buying the other four in no time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa wait. Were you the one who won the giveaway way back when?

      Delete
  3. Although I love wonderful writing and will be put off by a book that ignores the skills, I agree a good story is paramount and will cover a multitude of "sins". Best to you on your endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, even good stories can't really show the true potential if the craft is terrible. Even with lovely characters. It think the craft is just as important as the story and character.

      Delete
  4. Paying attention to your readers is essential, filtering their comments through your concept of the piece and choosing how to handle the suggestions is equally essential. I really do agree with your last comment about storytelling. The story should come first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! Both are pretty important, but the characters have to have a story-playground to run around in first.

      Delete
  5. I loved K.J.'s voice here. Very witty. I'm not usually into a fiction or space operas, but her voice alone makes me want to read these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She would be excited to know that! I wasn't for sure about space opera either, but my mind changed after these:)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Writer In Motion CP feedback

Hey beautiful guys and dolls! Here it is! My CP feedback edited story. Had a hard time with this, but I hope it makes sense. I've got a post I'm working on I plan to put up after Thanksgiving. Here ya go. Enjoy... Every morning I wake to carnival day.  Today, though, I have my key. If I don’t use it before midnight, my way of escape will gone. It’s a silver key with a twisted metal handle, a sapphire stone half moon and engraved stars. There’s a tiny inscription on the moon, but it’s so small, I’ve never been able to read it.I’ve always kept mine in my jewelry box, but today, I string it on a ribbon and tie it around my neck. My two best friends will be wearing theirs, too, and I wonder how they will escape this carnival of dreams. “What’s it for?” Cress asks as we stand in line for the swings. I run my fingertips over the entire silver surface. “I don’t know. It belonged to my grandmother,” I say. “Whatever.” She shrugs her shoulder in a dismissive way. “Have

Operation Agent Ink

UPDATE: PLEASE FILL OUT THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AFTER YOU SIGN UP. Have you ever wondered what agents were dying to find in their inbox/slush pile? There have been many times I entered a contest and not even received a comment, not even from one of the agents. Or maybe the agent was kind enough to leave a comment that simply said, "Sorry, this just isn't what I'm looking for, but I love the premise and your voice." I always walk away feeling unsatisfied. If I had known exactly what the agent wanted beyond, "YA" or "Fantasy" I might not have even entered a contest I knew I wouldn't win! Even more, I wasted a very busy agents time! Well, your time of guessing is up! OPERATION AGENT INK to the rescue! That's right! This workshop will help aspiring authors get on the list of an agent's WISH LIST! When the workshop is over, your manuscript will be ready to view by a group of AMAZING agents who are dying to see what you've wri

EVER Blog Hop!!!!!

I joined a blog hop flash writing contest with/for Jessa Russo. It's in honor of her first EVER book release. I met Jessa during the Curiosity Quills Blog hop. I have never read a ghost story, but after reading Jessa's query and first few pages and then learning more about her ghost Frankie, I was so inspired, I fell in love -with Frankie. I was so inspired, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and write a story I had never written before and never thought I would write. Or even want to write. But I did, and I did. My piece for the contest is a small part of my bigger manuscript I wrote. I had to modify and change a few things so the story would make sense, but I think it works. At least, I hope it does:) How to vote: Comment at the end of the end of this post. You must have the word "VOTE" in your comment for it to be considered valid. VOTING IS OPEN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30TH!!!! Ready? Well, lets go! --> The Man With the Black Hood knocked