I’m so excited to welcome K.C. Neal back to Once Upon A Time! I loved her first novel, Pyxis, and have been chomping at the bit to get a hold of book two in the series. Today I have a Q&A with K.C. Neal for you guys as well as the tour’s grand prize giveaway at the end.
K.C. Neal writes YA books, works in publishing, and is co-founder of StoneHouse University, an educational resource for authors.
Most of K.C.’s days are filled with some combination of writing, reading, gardening, working, and watching stuff on Netflix with her husband and their maltipoo, Oscar. She has an irrational fixation with L.A., and during occasional trips there she pretends her life is more glamorous than it really is (“Entourage” is her guilty pleasure). She likes to surf and hang out on sandy beaches.
When Corinne learns who the second Guardian is, she must find a way to make peace with the last person in the world she wants to deal with. As she struggles, her nemesis unleashes an otherworldly evil, and a mysterious illness strikes Corinne’s friends. Faltering under the weight of her destiny, Corinne escapes to the dream world. There, she meets Zane, an Australian guy with a hot accent and a revelation that binds them together and alters the path of Corinne’s life. She throws herself into fighting for everything she loves, but just as she s certain she will prevail, she’s robbed of the two people she needs most.
Hi Kate! Long time no see. Really excited to have you back on the blog!
Thanks, Hannah, I’m so excited to be back!! Your review of Pyxis remains one of my faves – so insightful – and I’m always happy to see you on Twitter and elsewhere around the web. : )
So Pyxis was amazing. What might Alight have instore for us readers?
So glad you enjoyed Pyxis! Alight picks up where Pyxis left off. Corinne has a lot going on, to say the least. She finds out who the other Guardian is, and it’s the LAST person she wants to deal with. And Harriet is more than just a creepy nuisance in Alight – she’s a false Pyxis, and she’s becoming more powerful by the day. Corinne has to pull her pyramidal union together fast because there’s a new prophesy: if her union isn’t read to defend Tapestry by the Summer Solstice, her convergence and town will fall. Many questions raised in Pyxis get answered in Alight, Corinne has to confront some of her deepest and oldest fears, and there’s a big showdown where she’s really tested.
It’s been almost a year! What differences in your writing process did you meet while writing Alight?
Between Pyxis and Alight, I feel like I learned a lot as a writer. I approached story structure differently with Alight because I had a much better grasp of it. And (THANK GOODNESS) writing and revising Alight was a much more smooth process. With Pyxis, I ended up rewriting about 80% of the book, but I didn’t have to do such a drastic revision with Alight. Writing a series is much more challenging than I expected, though. There’s a lot to keep track of! But I’m really proud of Alight – I think it’s a great story, and I hope it shows my improvement as a writer.
What made you decide to go for such a major change in cover design style?
It really boiled down to a marketing decision. The original Pyxis cover is stunning, but my publisher and I realized later that it wasn’t quite the right packaging for the book. The model was a bit too young-looking, and the overall feel was a bit too fantasy and needed to be more contemporary. The old cover is beautiful, but I have to say I really love the new look!
How crucial to you has blogger interaction and feedback been in your writing?
It’s hard to overstate the role bloggers have played for me. When Pyxis was released, bloggers were the first ones to tell me they liked the story, which was amazing. That encouragement was just invaluable early on. And the reviews they’ve written me have taught me more about who I am as a writer than probably anything else. They showed me where my weaknesses were, as well as the unique things I had to offer. And, so many of them have given me such tremendoussupport – I get a little overwhelmed whenever I think of it – and become some of my favorite online friends. The book blogging world has been very good to me, and I am very, very grateful!
Will we ever find out what happened to Ashley?!
Haha! I love that you ask about this – the Zombie Queen saga is just so awesome. And I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the stars of the story (hee hee)! I will definitely look into getting another installment. Maybe I’ll have to write the next one! ; )
Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m so excited to finally start reading Alight. Good luck with book three!!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, and especially for reading and reviewing Pyxis and Alight! <3
Also by K.C. Neal
Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Things take a strange turn when she uses her late grandmother’s food dyes for a bake sale, and her customers suddenly find her irresistibly alluring. Then she discovers she and Mason are haunted by the same dreams of a dark force that consumes everything in its path.
Pursued by shadowy figures and a crazy woman with secrets from the past, Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she learns she is destined to protect this world–and the dark world of her dreams. She races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.
This giveaway is for the chance to win a $35 Amazon giftcard. Good luck!