Author Spotlight: K.S. Marsden

I’m super psyched (and not just because she name dropped me!) to welcome K.S. Marsden to the blog today to tell us about her work. You can get in on the interviewing action here.

The Shadow Rises

Name
K.S. Marsden

Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans, bored housewives and teens that wear too much black, playing with candles and poems; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.
Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witch-hunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.
The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.

What was the inspiration for this story?
There’s a long-running family joke: that all the women in our family are witches, and if we didn’t behave as children our Nanna would turn us into toads…
Thanks to this, I picked up lots of witchy facts over the years, followed by dissertation-style research into the history of witch-hunting when I started writing my own work.
I actually started with the villain in this story. I wanted to know what if there were witches that broke every wiccan code; what if they were evil and power-hungry; and importantly, who would stop them? It all snowballed from there, and I got excited every time that I wanted the story to go in a direction, or I wanted to add a certain detail, and actual historical documents back up my theories!

Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
Oh, I’m terribly easy to distract. I try to start writing, but clean the house, or go on Twitter instead!
So to overcome my complete lack of discipline, I’ve gotten into the habit of using my dinner hour at work. Or when I write at home, I make sure I have coffee within reach, and I put on the radio. I don’t actually listen to the radio – I couldn’t tell you what on earth was playing, but having background noise helps me block other distractions out.

What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
Actually getting started is my worst problem, as mentioned above!
But otherwise, in terms of managing the story, the hardest thing is when characters take on a life of their own and refuse to behave!
It’s frustrating at times, but I actually enjoy the natural growth of the story and how it builds on itself. I generally know where I want to start, end, and a few key points; but there were times when (even in part three of the trilogy) a character would reveal a plot point or twist that would make me stop and have a complete “facepalm” moment.

Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
Just three?
Well, I definitely need to get into the Equilibria series! So “Wave Singers” is up there.
I’m still waiting on the release of the re-edited Silver Ninja book that Wilmar Luna has been working on.
Other than that, I have decided that 2015 is going the be the year of the sequel for me! I’ve read so many amazing debuts and series openers, but I’m so busy (and so easily distracted by the following wave of shiny books), that I’m behind on so many awesome series, like L.A. Starkey’s Soul Keeper. I’m definitely going to enjoy picking these stories back up again.

How important do you think a book’s cover is?
I think it’s incredibly important.
It might be superficial, but so many people judge a book by its cover. Besides, you want something that is going to catch the eye of a potential reader – after that initial pause, it’s up to your writing to keep their attention.
I’ve lost count of the number of flattering comments I’ve had about my cover, definitely more than the actual book has had! (I say this with all modesty, as I hired an amazing cover designer – www.sylermedia.co.uk ).
I think it’s especially important for Indie authors to present an all-round, professional package, so readers feel confident in taking a chance on an unknown and independently published author.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?
Oh wow, I would be absolutely terrified to collaborate with any author that I respect – I’d feel like I’d be marring their work with my shoddy prose!
But if I had to chose, it would have to be one Stephen Fry. I’d love to see how his brain works, and I’d probably just sit in awe, instead of contributing!

Follow on Twitter @KSMarsden or head to Amazon now to get the book!

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