Welcome to B.R. Kingsolver
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I’ve published four books so far, all set the world of the Telepathic Clans. I would classify them as urban fantasy, but I guess they could also be considered science fiction. The first three, The Succubus Gift, Succubus Rising, and Succubus Unleashed tell the story of a young woman who discovers her telepathic powers are the result of her heritage as a member of a secret telepathic society. The fourth book, Broken Dolls, is a mystery-thriller set in the same world but with a different main character. A recurring theme through all the books is that the bad guys are slave traders—people who kidnap telepathic women and sell them into the sex trade.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I do extensive research for my books. I created an entire classification system of telepathic Gifts, such as pyrokinesis, telekinesis, teleportation, and of course the succubus Gift. Detailed descriptions of the Gifts are in an appendix at the end of each book. My telepathic society is presented as the descendants of the Sidhe, the elves or the fairy folk, drawn from Celtic legends. I have researched that mythos in depth and attempted to wed it with actual history. I also travel a lot with my characters, and I make sure the settings in Ireland, France, Ecuador, or where ever they go are as accurate as possible.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? I write strong female lead characters who are the equal of men in almost every way. But they aren’t trying to be men. They’re very feminine. My characters also own their sexuality. I feel it’s important that women understand that while they are different from men, they can be as strong and independent. My female characters revel in their femininity, make no apologies, and take no prisoners.
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) My stories always start with a character or characters. Even a great story will be dull without characters that are more than cardboard cut outs. Next is a solid plot. People read for the story. Good world building can be important for some genres, but a romance about the boy next door doesn’t require any world building. The technical aspects readers expect. The only time readers notice technical issues is when they intrude on the story.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? My books are available from most eBook outlets and in print from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I self-edit multiple times. I also have several beta readers, two of whom are professional business or technical editors, and all my writing gets a final edit from a middle-school English teacher. I’ve spent most of my professional career writing and editing, though not writing fiction. I taught business writing at a major university and worked as a newspaper editor for five years. No one is qualified to edit their own work. You see what is supposed to be there, not what is there. If you used a word incorrectly, you’re not going to find it on edit. The major issue I see with independent authors is poor editing.
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently from traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Yes, I do. There are a number of reasons for this. Poor writing and lack of editing are common. Every indie book that is published with poor structure, incorrect word usage, or ungrammatical sentences is held up as proof that the author self-published because they weren’t good enough to make it in the “real” publishing world. The large publishing houses have a vested interest in pushing that point of view. I think there are excellent writers independently publishing, and some that have no clue as to what they’re doing. Unfortunately, we all get tarnished by the same brush.
Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes, I do. Quite a bit, actually. I do some editing for authors, and I read independent authors on my own. I’m a member of a writer’s group, and we critique each other and help each other. I’m reading a book now that has some issues. The story is good, and the writer shows promise, but it’s obvious that the author is inexperienced and that the book could use an edit.
What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? I occasionally review other authors, but only if I can give the book a very high rating. I know how badly poor reviews can hurt. They not only affect sales, but also promotions. Some promotional companies won’t even take your money unless you have a 4-star average on Amazon.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I read voraciously, both indie and trad published authors. I recently finished the Spectras Arise Trilogy by Tammy Salyer, a dystopian space opera that I enjoyed. Also the Baskerville Affair Series by Emma Jean Holloway, which is steampunk. I could go on and on. Two series I’m waiting on are the next books in Anne Bishop’s Others series and Nora Robert’s Dark Witch series.
As a writer of erotica have you encountered any prejudice? How have you dealt with it? Do you write under a pen name? I don’t write erotica, but my succubus books have erotic scenes. Some reviewers have been offended, especially since it’s usually the women who are the seducers. The idea of a woman as a sexual predator, using men for their pleasure and discarding them, seems to really bother some women. I’ve received some very nasty reviews that only commented on that particular idea. But those same reviewers swoon over bad boy characters that are abusive. I don’t get it.
Book links, website/blog and author links:
Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)
B. R. Kingsolver also has a story within Bellator