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Wednesday 16 December 2015

ℚ♫ Henchgirl: Dakota Kekoa [1] - Rita Stradling

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Henchgirl (, Rita Stradling, 426 pages), a Young Adult Urban Fantasy, book one of Dakota Kekoa series.

Synopsis | Teaser | Trailer | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Rita Stradling; thank you for joining us today.

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Rita Stradling has shared with us her music playlist for Henchgirl - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Henchgirl?
"When I began writing Henchgirl I really wanted to challenge myself by creating a complex cast of characters with no purely ‘bad guys’ or ‘good guys’ in the novel at all, only a complicated web of love, families, betrayals, grudges, lies and friendships.

At that time, I was very interested in Hawaiian culture, mythologies and was on a quest to hike every trail on Maui (a quest I ultimately failed).  While I was inspired by all these aspects of the Hawaiian Islands, the world I wanted to create was much more harsh and politically divided than Hawaii and our world as a whole is.

Along with Hawaiian mythology, the book was inspired by various international dragon mythologies, all of which I intertwined with my own ideas to create what I hope is a unique magic system."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"In my work as a henchman... just kidding.  This novel, however, has elements that I used my personal experience to write.  While Dakota’s three sisters are not based on my sisters, I definitely used the way it feels to have a younger sister and older sister from my experience of living with mine (the good and the bad)."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Henchgirl - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I always do my own covers.  Drawing, painting and working with digital art programs like Photoshop are some of my favorite things to do and I just can’t give it over to someone else."
Why should we read Henchgirl and what sets it apart from the rest?
"Henchgirl is primarily a fantasy novel, but it also has a mystery, a crime family, court intrigue, and a romance.

Sixteen year old Dakota, the main character, has a long-held career within her family as an enforcer.  The cast of characters are diverse and have their own lives and stories that run parallel to and intertwine with those of the main character.

This book also has a love-hate, angst-filled romance that develops between Dakota and another main character."
Can you tell us something quirky about Henchgirl, its story and characters?
"My husband works in construction and often comes home with jokes from the job site or ones he’s invented.  While the jokes are hilarious (most of the time), they are also a little uncouth (to put it mildly) and at times gross.  With my husband’s permission, one of the more colorful characters used quite a few of his construction site original jokes in the book."
Who would you recommend Henchgirl to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to teens and adults who like young adult fantasy novels.  There is some moderate violence, mild swearing and a few mentions of teen drinking. "
If you could / wished to turn Henchgirl and the Dakota Kekoa series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"If Henchgirl was made into a movie, it would have to be filmed in Hawaii, directed by Joss Whedon and the dream cast for the starring roles would be:

Dakota would be played by Hailee Steinfeld;
Wyvern would be played by Alex Pettyfer;
Mele would be played by Vanessa Hudgens;
Honua would be played by Elle Fanning."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Thus far I have only written fantasy.  I have written middle grade and adult fantasy books, but I have only published young adult books.

I primarily read fantasy and the sub-genres of fantasy, however, once in a while I will read a good romance or mystery book."
What is your writing process?
"My writing process includes a lot of coffee, snacking, listening to music and hiking."
What is in store next?
"This book is part of a series and I am currently working on the next book, Rex.  In Rex, Dakota has a horde of vampires after her, the life of someone she loves on the line and absolutely no idea how to find the true culprit of the crime she’s being blamed for.  She will have to turn to the last person she wants to for help, knowing there will be a price to be paid."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"One last quirky thing, I have a dog who likes to sing.  We thought for a while that he didn’t like the music and he was whining, but turns out he does, he wags his tail and whines at the door if you put him outside.  His favorite things to sing along with are my husband’s guitar and my younger sister’s singing voice (she’s a good singer).  This is him on Halloween:"

Hello Stewie! That is a lovely smile!
Ahaha, I did spot a video of him singing.  So funny 
:-)  You are very lucky to have a singing dog!
Thank you for sharing Stewie with us and we hope you have a great tour!  I got my copy of Henchgirl from Netgalley and it is on my TBR pile!

Available for pre-order now!
Out on 12 January 2016!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US purchase from Smashwords

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