Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we interviewed A. R Kingston, who has recently released her second installment in the Dark World series, Dark World: Oblivion. She enjoys blending the traditional fantasy genre she grew up reading with modern literature the readers can easily relate to.
A.R Kingston is an indie fantasy author with a small independent press. Her book Dark World: Genesis has earned praise from Self-Publishing reviews who gave it four stars. She enjoys blending the traditional fantasy genre she grew up reading with modern literature the readers can easily relate to.
Kingston holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is passionate about helping people. When she is not working on her books, you can find her reading a book, playing video games, or enjoying a hot cup of tea.
She lives in Colorado Springs with her family, which includes two potbelly pigs who she considers her second children.
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope they will at least pause to think about how they view the world and other people. I know its human nature to get stuck in your ideals and think anyone who views the world different is bad, or less of a human being in some way. This was the major reason I did not include a defined political or religious structure in the Alex and Jay arc, I wanted people to see things from a neutral standpoint and realize there is good and bad on all sides. At the very least, I hope that people can at least try to be better human beings after reading the books.
How do you come up with names for your characters?
I don’t actually come up with them, my characters tend to name themselves, or one of the other characters in the book does. For example, in my second book, The Metamorphosis of Twilight, Kyle went without a name for a good 50 pages before Melody finally named him. Same thing happened with Bastian from Dark World: Oblivion. He was just “the god of chance” for the longest time until one of the other characters referred to him as Bastian and it just stuck.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
More than I care to admit. Currently I have a paranormal romance, a horror book, a young adult, and a kids’ book that I am chipping away at as the inspiration strikes. But there are at least half a dozen books and short stories sitting in my digital graveyard that will probably never see the light of day.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t give it up, no matter how stupid it seems. I’m still a bit ashamed to admit this, but I started writing fan fiction and silly stories in High School when websites for such things were just getting big. I had a lot of fans too, but after I graduated, I just gave it up, and I still regret it to this day. Who knows what those stupid stories could have turned into if I just kept on posting them, I might have been as big as EL James by now.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Start to finish, about a year before I’m happy enough with it to publish it. I know many writers who can crank out five to six books in the same amount of time, and my hat goes off to them. Unfortunately, I am too much of a perfectionist to ever be able to pull it off. I will keep tweaking the book until I can read it from beginning to end with satisfaction, and sometimes that takes several rewrites of certain chapters.
How often you read?
Every day. I love reading. Ever since I was a little girl, the one thing I always enjoyed was a good book. I used to stay up at night for hours while I devoured book after book and it continued on into my adulthood. Books have never failed me, and they have always provided me with a pleasant escape from reality, and my horrible childhood.
Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?
The whole series started off as my mental escape from the world when I was about thirteen, and it all started with Alex and Jay. As I mentioned, my childhood was anything but good, and I created Alex and Jay to help me get away and deal with the things that were happening to me. Over the years more characters where added and a whole new world was created. Once I grew up, that world sort of went dormant for a while, at least until it wanted to be free to live on its own. That was when I started writing again. I figured if I could share my darkness with the world, maybe some other unfortunate soul could connect with it and feel better.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
My first book, Toska, is… well it’s something. I’m not going to say it’s bad, because I know there are many books far worse, but I am not entirely happy with it, and I will rework it at some point. It did teach me a lot though, like where to spend my money and what people like. It also taught me how to better edit and rewrite my books, and I think every book after it has been a tremendous improvement because of how bad I stumbled with it.
Are any of your characters based on real people you know?
Quite a few actually, I’d guess about half are. For example, Alex and Jay are very much so real, but they have never actually met in real life. Both Richard and George are based of real people, although rather loosely. Gladys is actually based of a good former coworker of mine. And of course, Cosmo, the pigrie, is based on my two pet pigs.
What are your favorite books?
Way too many actually. But I’m a huge fan of The Hobbit, Lord of The Rings, The Witcher Series, Dracula, Moby Dick, The Three Musketeers Series, and most books by Dan Brown. I could probably go on forever with the books I have loved over the years, but these are the ones that jump right out.
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