Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Immoral Beloved + Interview with Katie M. John

*WARNING* A long post full of awesomeness!

Katie M. John is the author of a YA series, The Knight Trilogy. First novel, The Forest Of Adventures has a 5 star rating on Amazon, and trust me, it is justified.
The sequel, Immortal Beloved, is coming out August 25, 2011.
I was very lucky and happy to receive and ARC of it from Katie. It is a e-copy of the book.

I read Immortal Beloved in one day. And it has a lot of pages. So imagine how good it is.

Goodreads blurb:

As Mina Singer tries to piece together her broken heart, Blake's adventure in Egypt places his in serious peril. 

As ancient and terrifying Egyptian rituals are ressurected by the sorceress Morgan Le Fay, Blake embarks on the most horrifying quest yet - one which no other mortal has ever survived. 

This time, the damsel must rescue her knight in a terrifying race against death. 

"Deeply moving, scary and thrilling, 'Immortal Beloved' is the compelling sequel to 'The Forest of Adventures."

Personal opinion:

This review will be a short one because I cannot give away spoilers and all, though I wish I could ;)
If TFOA was great, Immortal Beloved was fan-freaking-tastic!

The action, the characters, the exctiements and problems along the way, they all made a perfect book.

Even the cliffhanger is so good, you just need more. Now, about that cliffy, it may be huge, it may be a tiny one. I'm not telling. Don't throw anything at me, please :)

I loved the characters, their decisions and journeys.
I laughed, cried, giggled, aww-ed and screamed in frustration in this book. Not to mention my heart stopping once or twice.

What I want to focus on is Katie's writing. With such beautiful quotes, images and emotions, I actually cried once. Very beautiful, I must say.

So, without any further ado, because I can't give away too much, here's my rating.

5 stars. 6, actually, but I can't give them. Unfortunately.

ARC provided by author Katie M. John (Thanks again! :D)

And now, since it all clicked in the right time, here's my interview with Katie herself.

1. Why did you choose to become an author?
It kind of chose me! I still have some doubt about being called an author (Despite having had two novels published) It still feels like it might be something someone else would do. When I was a teenager I wrote a lot of poetry, something I continued into University. I suppose that is why there is quite a strong sense of poetry in my writing. I didn't start writing stories until about five years ago. Blake and Mina stepped into my life and wouldn't let me get away with out writing their story.

2. What motivates and inspires you?
One of things that motivates me the most is other writers' storytelling. I've always been a voracious reader. Art, films and music also inspire me. I've always had a very over active imagination (I'm an only child) and so I've never really been satisfied with the idea that there is a definite line between reality and fantasy.
I'm also motivated by the quest to create something beautiful, I find the idea of beauty completely captivating; especially the idea of dark beauty.
More recently, one of the motivations to write seems to have been the appearance (I think of it more of a kind of squatting situation) of a Muse. She's quite demanding and bosses me around a lot - I am aware that most of the above makes me sound like a complete loon! I promise you, I'm not as bonkers as all that sounds.

3. How do you deal with criticism?
It doesn't upset me, it strengthens my work. When I get criticism it makes me look at my work more objectively; pushes me to refine and improve. I won't deny it doesn't hurt a little bit - my stories are part of me. I'm mildly dyslexic and as a result, I have to work twice as hard at spelling and editing - when critics pick up on type-errors and assume it's down to sloppiness / carelessness, it is irriating but it's more an irritation at myself. The reader has a right to read a perfect story.
4. What would you say is the best and what is the worst part of being an author?
One of the best things about being an author is the making of characters. It's something incredibly satisfying to sketch out a character in planning stages and to see them grow. It's quite an intimate process, getting to know a character. Some of them really get under your skin.
The ability to escape into another world of your own making is also a very special and quite addictive pleasure.
The worst part about being an author - there isn't really one. Even the hard and boring bits are part of the overall creative process.

5. Are your characters based on real people & Do you put any of your personality traits in them?
Well that would be telling! According to the legal disclaimer, all likenesses to real characters are purely coincidental! However, as a writer everybody you ever meet has the potential to find bits of themselves ending up in one of your characters.
There are a lot of my own teenage experiences in the character and events of Mina but there is probably more of my actual personality in Delta. It's really important to check that characters' dialogue doesn't contain your own speech patterns and idiolects. Each has to have their own voice. It's interesting when characters are faced with a challenge, to think on how they might respond differently to you. It creates a richer, more independent set of characters.

6. Tell me something about your upcoming sequel to The Forest Of Adventures, Immortal Beloved?
I'm very excited about 'Immortal Beloved' - it's quite a different book to The Forest of Adventures but I think readers will really enjoy spending more time with some of the characters. Immortal Beloved answers a lot of questions raised in The Forest of Adventures. A large part of Immortal Beloved is set in Egypt and so the story is full of Egyptian mythology. It's provides a nice pairing with the Arthurian legends woven throughout the trilogy. Immortal Beloved is a much darker, more brooding book than The Forest of Adventures. Things aren't easy for Blake and Mina but then their love was never going to be.
I think readers will find this part of the story to be full of surprises and they may find themselves quite conflicted about some of the characters. There are some seriously special scenes which I'm really looking forward to sharing.

7. What's next for you; are you working on any new projects?
Kaspian Blackthorne is next. He is the protagonist of the YA Gothic Horror novel I'm about to start writing. It is called 'Beautiful Freaks' and is set in Victorian London. It's based around the investigation of a series of 'paranormal' murders in the city of London in 1899. As a result, Kaspian Blackthorne, apprentice to an infirm paranormal investigator, enters a dark, fantasy world full of characters he only thought existed in fairytales and folklore.
It's a story of love and desire as well as betrayal. It's aiming to have an element of Shakesperian tragedy about it. (I'm afraid it's going to be another heart wrencher.)

8. And last, could you give an advice or two to your fans, of whom many are aspiring writers?
Keep going. Make it happen and believe in yourself. The only limitations in life are those you put in place yourself. Invest in a beautiful notebook and promise to fill it with beautiful sentences, scenes, poems and little observations. - the official website for everything book related - Katie's blog with a HUGE giveaway! Go enter!!/KnightTrilogy - Katie's twitter - Katie's Goodreads page

Go follow, friend and subscribe :D You won't regret it.

*about the picture-no copyright intended, taken from Katie's website*

One more thing- TeamBlake <3

P.S. I don't know why the letters change their font. But I think they're trying to get on with some kind of revolution against me.

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