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Monday 25 February 2019

ℚ♫ Kindred: Akasha [2] - Indie Gantz

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Kindred (, Cromulent Press, 341 pages), a Sci-Fantasy, book two in the Akasha series.

"Amazing fantasy series for any age 
I’m a hardcore fantasy nerd and typically I can see things coming before they happen when I’m reading. So I take notice when a story line surprises me.

The first two books in this series had twists and turns that I definitely didn’t see coming. On top of that, the character development is incredible. The characters have an incredible spectrum of personalities that ebb and flow beautifully in these stories as the characters attempt to accept and resist change.

Do yourself a favor and get these books early so you can be the book snob in your group that read them now when they start to become popular." ~ review by Joel, verified Amazon purchase

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Nikki D. (i.e. Indie) Gantz; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Kindred , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Here is a playlist for Kindred, as well as the link to the music on my website for both Kindred and the first book, Passage."
What was the inspiration for Kindred?
"Kindred is the second book in my Sci-Fantasy Akasha series. The series was inspired by my desire to write something entertaining and compelling, but also challenging for the genre.

A lot of times, genre fiction (especially YA genre fiction), sacrifices some of it’s literary agency. For this series, my goal was to engage with readers in a genre-typical plot, while inserting diverse characters and storylines that would add a fresh take to the genre.

Most specifically, I really wanted to create a pair of protagonists that felt authentic to me, and did not fall into classic protagonist cliches, and I wanted to write a story that subverted popular genre tropes."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I don’t think any writer can get away with writing completely outside of themselves. There are aspects of my personality in every character, but no character serves as an ‘Author Insert’. The series as a whole is character-driven, and it’s extremely important for me that my readers connect with the characters living the story.

The pieces of myself that are reflected in the series, would include my love for diversity, my commitment to strong and healthy relationships, and my distaste for the status quo."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Kindred - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover for Kindred was done by Extended Imagery. I based the cover off of the series’ first book cover. Passage’s cover (the first book in the Akasha series) was designed by me and then executed by JD&D designs.

I wanted the covers to represent where the twins were on their journey, and I wanted to reflect the importance of the tree being presented with them.

In the first cover we find Charlie and Tirigan (the sister and brother twin protagonists) facing the reader, meeting them head on together. In Kindred, we find the twins facing away from both the reader and each other. This implies their desire to hide from not only each other, but from the readers as well."
Why should we read Kindred and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"I talked a little about this before, but I can expand on it.

This series is packed with themes that are meant to culminate in a lifetime of lessons for the twin protagonists. I think the Akasha series is unique in its commitment to authenticity in regards to it’s characters. I’ve developed these characters so thoroughly, my hope is that readers will know how each character would respond in any given moment by the end of the second book.

A character-focused series allows for the most growth and attachment. It also allows the writer to delve deeper into the character’s psyches, pulling out pieces that readers can then take with them. That doesn’t mean the plot isn’t incredibly rich with adventure and intrigue, it just means the plot is woven delicately into the character’s lives, and not hammered to death."
Can you tell us something quirky about Kindred, its story and characters?
"One of the main character’s names came from my three-year-old son. We were walking to the pool one day, talking about nature and superheroes simultaneously. He told me he wanted to fly; he wanted to feel the wind up in the sky. I asked him what his superhero name would be, and he told me, ‘Avias’.

I don’t know where he got the name, he probably heard it somewhere or combined it with avian, which is a word he’d learned recently. I had already started writing Charlie and Tirigan’s story, and instantly knew Avias would have to take a role.

Unsurprisingly, Avias Rallidae has become one of my favorite characters! After I shaped him, figured out his personality and motivations, he came alive all on his own. I rarely have to think when writing for Avias, because he has become just as real to me as a close friend."
Who would you recommend Kindred to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This book is for an adventurous reader who enjoys science, literature, and diversity. There are people of all races and sexual orientations.

Tirigan, the brother twin, would be placed on the Autism spectrum were he in our world. The third book will introduce a physically disabled character, and there will be people of all gender expressions throughout the series. None of these things are the point of the series, as my hope is that diversity is woven incidentally into the series, and not (once again) hammered to death.

The series will also grow darker and deal with more adult themes as the books continue, but retain their good humor whenever possible."
If you could / wished to turn Kindred and the Akasha series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Well, I do have this mapped out on my website, which I can link you to, but I also think it’s important for people to cast their own actors when reading a story.

The most important aspect of my series that I want readers to get right, is that Charlie and Tirigan are biracial, with a very dark skinned father and a red-headed white mother. They are brown, not white.

For everyone else, I’d encourage readers to think diversely, but take their physical descriptions and run with them!"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"This is a very good question! The idea that popular authors mostly stick to one genre is so strange to me. It makes sense for publicity, but I honestly don’t know what I’d do if someone said you can only write in one genre!

My series is genre-bending, blending aspects of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Literary Fiction, and Adventure. I am currently revising a Literary Fiction novel that I hope to pitch soon.

For me, writing is an expression of my interests and potential talent, and I’d hate to limit either of those!"
What is your writing process?
"Typically, I will force myself to sit down every morning I am able and either write or edit something. That isn’t always possible.

Music and mood plays a big part in what I’ll do that day. I try to get full scenes done rather than concentrate on word count."
What is in store next?
"In Salvage, the third installment of The Akasha Series, Charlie and Tirigan, along with their new friends, are confronted with mysteries both inside and outside the Dynami faction’s compound.

Kidnapped Tessera, vanishing towns, the murder of one of their own, and Calla’s ever-present absence… It’s enough to overwhelm Charlie even if her reoccurring nightmare wasn’t trying to burn her alive every night. And then there’s Neva, the sinister thorn in Charlie’s side. Can they put their differences aside to work together? Charlie doubts it.

As for Tirigan, his focus is still on Calla and bringing his family back together. However, with a little push, Tirigan starts to realize he can’t ignore his feelings forever, eventually coming to the conclusion that something must be done about them.

Enemies & Lovers. Truth & Consequences.
The Damuzi twin’s story continues.
Coming 2020

Also Look For

Captive: An Akasha Series Character Profile
Challenge your perceptions, beliefs, and everything you think you know about The Akasha Series thus far, through the eyes of Finn.

A quirky train station employee?
Think again
Coming Fall 2019
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?
"I don’t have a pet yet, but we will hopefully change that by the end of the year! My son is terrified of dogs, and we’re hoping to combat that by getting a little toy poodle. He’s hesitant, but excited! Instead, I can share a picture of me after my very first Author’s reading. What you’re seeing here is a relieved and slightly giddy woman who is incredibly grateful to be done with the day! I am an outgoing introvert, which means I do just fine in social settings but need a good long rest afterwards!"
Love it! Thank you for sharing :-)

Friendship. Trust. Dependency. Lies.
The Damuzi twin’s story continues.

Available NOW!

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Dale Wilken said...

Sounds really great.

Marisela Zuniga said...

Thanks for sharing the interview, this sounds great