Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Karin Biggs here to share about her YA fantasy. It sounds like a fantastic story that combines science and fantasy. It’s gotten great reviews, and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Piper Parish, princess of the loveless, STEM-only kingdom of Capalon, is a disappointment to her citizens and to her older sister, the queen. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death in effort to prove once and for all that she's not just the queen's defective little sister. With the companionship of Chip, a piece of tech embedded in her wrist, Piper flees Capalon and enters a world where love and emotional expression are unrestricted.

Posing as a singer for the enemy king’s court of performers, the King’s 100, Piper risks death if she is revealed to be the Capalon princess, but discovers that living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.

The King’s 100 is a glittering and mysterious love story woven among the camaraderie singers, drummers and magicians in a future world by debut author, Karin Biggs.

Hi Karin! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Thank you for having me! I’ve always had a vivid imagination and could be classified as a ‘professional daydreamer’ in school. Writing has always been a strong suit of mine, but I chose a career in hospitality and event planning. During my career, I would have a dream or get an idea for a story and write a snippet of it on my computer. It wasn’t until I left the events industry (8 years after graduating college) to become a stay at home mom, that I put the pedal to the metal and finished my first manuscript.

2. That's great that you wrote down your ideas. Where did you get the idea for THE KING’S 100?

It all started with a dream! (Sounds very Stephanie Meyer, eh?) In this dream, I saw a girl in a silver sequin gown, who was about to go on stage to perform for a king. That morning, I came up with the title The King’s 100 before I even knew what the story was about. Blending my love for romance, life experiences in performance groups and adoration for ‘fish out of water’ stories, I spent just over one year writing my first draft of The King’s 100.

3. Titles are hard, so it's awesome you came up with yours so easily. It really fits your story. One thing that sounds really interesting about your story is that the world Piper lives in is scientifically advanced. What made you decide to incorporate science as part of your world building? What was your world building process like?

Great question! I struggled at first with the world Piper would be leaving to have her ‘fish out of water’ experience. I knew that I wanted the ‘new world’ to be a stark contrast with music and emotional expression, so the idea for a very strict, emotionless, scientific kingdom felt like a good fit. The world building for the book had a complete make-over in draft two, changing from one kingdom with a class system to two feuding kingdoms with extremely different lifestyles and beliefs.

4. This sounds like a real page-turner. What were your strategies for keeping readers wanting to read on?

One great piece of advice I received when I started revising for draft two was to dissect the
books you love and pinpoint WHY you love them so much. One of my favorite books is Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I stayed up almost all night reading her book because I couldn’t put it down! After re-reading Caraval multiple times, I realized that what kept me going was her blend of romantic tension, familial interactions and the big kicker - mystery. My first draft had NO mystery whatsoever and very little romance, so I amped those two areas up and also changed the familial conflict from mother-daughter to sister-sister.

5. I've been meaning to read her book. Now I have to. Romance also plays a big role in your story. It’s not always easy for fantasy writers focused on a quest or adventure plot to write. Was this aspect hard for you and what tips do you have for other writers?

I was surprised to get the feedback from my critique partners from the first draft review that they felt like there was not enough romance! I realized that I had been saving a ton of romantic scenes for book two, which pushed the romance to the background instead of the foreground which is where I intended for it to be. In draft two, I made the romantic plot the focal point, using their feuding kingdoms as the driving conflict.

6. Your publisher is Immortal Works Press. What was your road to publication like?

I queried maybe 10 or so agents with my first draft and I’m SO glad I put a pause on querying until after my second draft was completed and reviewed. Once the second draft was ready to go, I queried over 100 agents and about 20 or so small presses. I received two offers from small press, ultimately accepting the offer from Immortal Works. I think writers overlook small press, assuming they won’t have the resources to get them in the hands of readers, but I have been so happy with my publishing experience! I don’t feel any different from the agented, traditionally published authors and am so excited to see how the world reacts when The King’s 100 finally goes on sale in July!

7. That's a great piece of advice about smaller publishers. How are you planning to promote your book during the pandemic? How has it changed your marketing plans?

Honestly, my marketing plans have not changed at all! My plans were always to use social media as my main form of promotion, so it doesn’t feel like I’m losing anything. Also, I might be a special case because I wasn’t planning on an immediate in-person release event or tour because I am due with my second baby at the end of June! I’m hoping to start some (socially distant!) signings and book events this fall.

8. I can't believe that you are debuting just after becoming a new mom. What is something that surprised you about the process of getting published?

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of editors provided by my publisher. My editor, John Olsen, taught me so much through his edits and suggestions, taking The King’s 100 to a higher level quality product. If there’s one mega-important piece of advice for writers who are seeking a publisher, it’s to check their list of qualified editors. Editors make all the difference when it comes to sending your book baby out to the world!

9. What are you working on now?

Oh, I’m so happy you asked! I have completed a new manuscript about the Roswell incident of 1947. It’s a YA historical fiction romance and I like pitching it as ‘The Da Vinci Code meets Roswell.’ I have not yet queried it out to any agents or publishers.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Karin. You can find Karin at: 

 Karin has generously offered a hardback o the The King's 100 for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment by July 25th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is U.S.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, July 20th, I have an interview with Jess Redman and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Quintessence

Wednesday, July 22nd, Angela Ackerman of Writers Helping Writers will be here to celebrate the release of THE OCCUPATION THESAURUS written by Becca Puglisi and her with a big giveaway  

Monday, July 27th I have an interview with Olivia Wildenstein and a giveaway of her YA romance Not Another Love Song 

Hope to see you on Monday!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

More writers should try small presses.

Almost every story I've ever written or outlined came from a dream.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great interview Natalaie, I wish Karin every success with her book.


Jemi Fraser said...

This sounds great! Love the combination of SF And Fantasy - great world building and fish out of water stories are some of my faves!

Computer Tutor said...

Great interview and excellent advice--"dissect the
books you love and pinpoint WHY you love them so much." I tried it once. It's tedious but so worth it.

Brenda said...

This sounds wonderful and love the sound of the two different worlds, plus SF and Fantasy great combo.

Angela Brown said...

Great interview and The Kings 100 sounds like a wonderful mashup of science and fantasy!

Debra Branigan said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely interview. This story sounds like a wonderful read. Best wishes to the author on the new book.
Shared on twitter (https://twitter.com/BraniganDebra/status/1283015807115632643?s=20) dbranigan27(at)gmail(dot)com

Danielle H. said...

I'm adding this book to my TBR. Thanks for the interview! I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/623633780138196992/karin-biggs-interview-and-the-kings-100-giveaway

Sarah Meade said...

Congratulations on your book, Karin! Thanks for the interview.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I love the idea of this story. Congratulations. Now I have to read it. These hot summer days are good for reading. My best wishes to you. And my publisher is great.

tetewa said...

Congrats on the release, would love to get a copy! Sounds like my kind of read! tWarner419@aol.com

Jenni said...

Congrats to Karen! This book sounds amazing. I really like the idea of a technologically advanced girl coming into contact with a more emotion-driven society. And the cover reminds me of False Prince--it's beautiful! The journey to a small publisher was interesting to read about as well. Thanks for another great interview, Natalie!

Sara said...

I read an ARC of this book from NetGalley, and I absolutely loved it! I would love a copy for my personal library!

Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf said...

This book sounds excellent! It was neat to hear about how the world-building changed through the drafts. Also, it's great that the marketing plan for this book wasn't completely upended by the pandemic! I'll pass on the giveaway, but thanks for the great interview!

DMS said...

I completely agree with Karin- editors are amazing and do wonders in getting our books ready for the world. What a great interview. I enjoyed learning about where the idea for King's 100 came from. How interesting she had the title and her dream image before the storyline. Thanks for sharing. Wishing Karin all the best!

Jim said...

I love a good book. I hope i get to read it

Anonymous said...

Small press authors write some of the best books! SciFi and Fantasy are two of my favorite genres. It's so great to discover new authors

Unknown said...

that's great advice about the small presses. The book sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading it. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

This does sound lovely! Thank you for the giveaway.

Angie Quantrell said...

This sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing with us! Congrats!

I will tweet this. :)

Nancy P said...

Goodreads follower. Sounds like a fantastic book!

positive DOT ideas DOT 4you AT gmail DOT com

formerSoCal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty C said...

Following on Twitter - @willitara

Betty C said...

Goodreads follower

Betty C said...

Tweeted - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/1287124065111728129