Reverse Author Interview: Jay Kristoff

April 26, 2013 Stormdancer 0


I’m participating in the Reverse Author Interviews meme sponsored by Book Munchies. It’s the authors’ turn to put us on the spot!  Over the next month, a series of authors will pose questions for participating bloggers to answer.  

Photo by Christopher Tovo,

Today’s author is Jay Kristoff, author of last year’s Stormdancer, the first book in the Lotus War trilogy.  An experience RPG player, Jay has an Arts degree and worked in advertising for ten years, selling, as he says, “petrol guzzling monstrosities to sexually inadequate men, salty condiments to schoolchildren, and toilet paper to anyone with a bottom.”  He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and Jack Russell terrier. 

Welcome to The Bookwyrm’s Hoard, Jay!  
JAY KRISTOFF: How do you hear about the books you want to read? Friends? Blogs? Goodreads? Telepathic powers? 

LARK: Telepathic powers would be fun!  But the real answer is that it depends, and it has changed over time.  I used to find books through browsing bookstores, used bookstores, and libraries, and sometimes from through recommendations or gifts from family and friends.  I also haunted Amazon, checking for forthcoming books from my favorite authors.
Now that I’m a blogger, I read more blogs, so I’m finding more titles through other bloggers.  I also keep a close eye on NetGalley; even if I don’t request or don’t get approved for a title, I may put it on my to-read list.  And I recently found out about Edelweiss, an online source for publisher catalogs.  That may prove my undoing!   I already put four or five books on my TBR list for every book I read from the list. 
JK: How do you acquire most of your books? Amazon? Local store? Library? At gunpoint? 
LARK: You left out cat burglary!  There’s an idea for a short story: blogger sneaks into other bloggers’ houses at night to steal their ARCs. 
Seriously, though, I get books from different places.   I’m on a limited budget, so I don’t buy as many as I would like to.  I’ve become extremely good friends with the library in the nearest small city; I can search for books online, put in a hold request, and then pick up several titles at once.
Amazon, yes – despite my wariness of Amazon’s growing power, I do buy books there, particularly books for homeschooling, and new hardcovers.  Amazon’s prices are hard to beat, and since we live a half-hour drive from any bookstores, the convenience is a factor, too.  But I pick up the occasional paperback romance from Walmart, and sometimes browse in the new Barnes & Noble that moved in to the abandoned Borders building.  I also buy lots of wonderful used books at our library’s biennial book sales and some of the used bookstores in the same city.   
As for ebooks, I have an ePub reader, so I buy ebooks (and download a few free books) at Kobo and occasionally Sony’s Reader Store.  (I used to use BooksOnBoard, too, before they stopped selling books.) 
Oh, I also read review copies, usually from NetGalley but sometimes directly from an author or publisher.
I often end up buying books I first read as library books or ARCs.  If it’s a book I love and will want to read again, I usually pick up a copy as soon as I can squeeze it into the budget – or put it on my wish list and let someone in the family give it to me! 
JK:Do you prefer first person PoV stories (I did this) or third person (she/he did this)? 
LARK:  It very much depends on the book.  Some books work really well in first person; they even demand it.  Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are good examples.  They wouldn’t be nearly as good if they weren’t told in Kvothe’s voice – and his unreliability as a narrator is important.  Other books don’t work at all in third person.  Can you imagine The Lord of the Rings told from Frodo’s point of view?  It would leave too much out.  I don’t think it would work even if Tolkien had used multiple PoV characters, the way George R. Martin does. 
One thing I don’t usually like is the use of present tense.  It’s a personal preference, really. I’ve seen present tense used really well, but I often find it jarring.  If it works at all for me, it has to be in first person.  Third-person present tense just feels wrong to me.
Thank you, Jay, for participating in the Reverse Author interviews.  And good luck with the next installment of the Lotus War trilogy, Kinslayer, due out in the U.S. on September 17, 2013!

The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Read the reviews at Goodreads.

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