Hey, lovelies! Today I’m here with the lovely KB Elijah, author of The Empty Sky. Great to have you, KB!
Hey Sasha! Great to be here (virtually)! Man, these written interviews are great. You can show up in your pyjamas on your sofa.
Haha, they are, aren’t they! I won’t lie, I’m in my pyjamas on my bed. So, KB, for those who’ve never heard of it, what can you tell my readers about your novel, The Empty Sky?
There are people who have never heard of it? What’s next, you’ll tell me that they haven’t heard of Mikael Appelgren! (He’s a table-tennis player who won the World Cup in 1983. I had to Wikipedia it: I had never heard of him either.)
So yes, on the assumption that there are millions of readers who have not yet come across The Empty Sky, here’s what (I think) you need to know:
- It contains eight short-medium length stories in the fantasy and science fiction genre;
- There is an almost equal mix of characters in terms of age, gender, race, sexuality and general levels of sarcasm;
- Each story contains a twist (or two) which hopefully you won’t see coming!
- No hardcore stories with pages of historical world-building, or characters with apostrophes in their names here. These stories are (mostly) set in our world or one similar, with a touch of a magical “what if?” floating through them;
- Of potential interest may be the fact that these stories contain serial killers, genies, monsters, demons, sorceresses and time-travellers with too many scarves. Aw, is that too boring?
- I loved writing The Empty Sky. To my surprise, people loved reading it! I’ve only received positive feedback so far, so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not because everyone wants to stay on my Christmas card list;
- A pretty sweet cover. I can say that and not sound conceited because it had nothing to do with me (to my regret). I just said “do something with a dandelion” and voilà!
It’s quite appalling, eh? We should ALL know about The Empty Sky because from that, it sounds quite amazing! What was your favourite part about writing it?
My favourite part about writing has always been the creation of the ideas. I write to communicate them, but for me, the real spark of excitement comes the moment before I put pen to paper (or more accurately for me, fingertip to phone keyboard). Rehearsing the dialogue, plotting the twists, working out a key connection that explains an event in the story or a character’s personality trait: it’s all just so exciting!
I have been known to pull out my phone in the middle of work meetings and start drafting a story concept that had just struck me. There’s nothing more annoying than forgetting a brilliant idea…except maybe realising that your brilliant idea wasn’t so amazing after all. I’m talking to YOU, 3am inspiration.
Just keep going. Even if it feels terrible. Even if you think you’ve taken it in the wrong direction, or your characters suck, or you’re actually pushing the wrong message. Just get to the end, one word at a time, because when you’re there it will be much easier to go back and tweak things. Oh, and always have your mum as a proofreader (hey mum!).
Several. In particular, there were two stories (both from the second volume) where I declared that I hated the characters and that they’d ruined everything (of course, it was naturally their fault). But I kept going, mostly because I loathe the idea of putting energy into something that goes to waste, and my beta readers were more than happy with how both stories turned out. Neither would ever make my list of favourites, but reading them again a few months later, I didn’t feel nearly as dissatisfied as when I was writing them. Who knows – maybe in 100 years I’ll actually like them!
How about the promise of dragons, cursed pirate captains and sentient book characters? We see the return of a couple of favourite characters from the first volume in addition to some new ones, including immortal deities, determined humans, and a gender-neutral robot called 83. And lots of plot twists, of course! Interested?
Damn right I’m interested! What can you tell us about the inspiration for your stories?