Wednesday 11 November 2015

Children of Lightning by Annie K Wong Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Hi guys, welcome to my stop on the Children of Lightning blog tour! Isn't the cover awesome!!!! There are all sorts of stops on the tour so please take a minute to check the full schedule HERE.

Children of Lightning by Annie K. Wong Publication date: September 27th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy


Secrets beget secrets. The curse that befell the Hollows clan has left them incapable of producing male offspring. To extend their bloodline, they have formed a covenant with the serpentine Ophidians, who give them children. In return, the Hollows must keep these monstrous creatures well fed, though the details of the procurement are so abominable that the truth is never revealed to the other clans. In their homeland of Matikki, they live like outcasts.Through a series of chance discoveries, the secrets of the ancient curse unfold before a warrior named Writhren Hollow. Is her purely female clan the result of a lapse of divine providence, or are the Hollows themselves victims of an enslavement scheme?If Writhren frees her clan from the covenant, she risks the wrath of the Ophidians and the future of her bloodline. If she keeps the truth of the curse to herself, she is a traitor to her own kind. Either way, she will suffer for what she must do.This is not a story of redemption, but regret. This is Writhren’s story.


Author Interview:

Where do your ideas come from?
They come from life experiences, observing the world around me, and trying my best to be a good listener.

How do you develop your writing ideas?
I would compare the story developing process to cooking a dish, and the ingredients come from life experiences.  When I have enough ingredients to make a dish, I start cooking.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
My characters are my children, so they all carry some parts of me in their blueprint.  Beyond that, everyone who has left an impression in me is raw material for my imagination.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In my mid-thirties, I came up with an idea for a book.  I did not want to write it because I knew enough about writing to know that it wasn’t for the faint of heart.  I wasn’t sure if I could handle the challenges of a writing life.  Still, that idea kept beckoning.  After a year of hesitation, I gave in and put my fingers to the keyboard.  I have never looked back since.

What makes you unique as a writer?
I start my fantasy book series NOT with the story of a hero, but that of a villain.  Children of Lightning details the journey of Writhren Hollow who, in the process of saving her clan from extinction, becomes the villain in the book series.  
People often overlook the importance of the villain in a story, especially in the fantasy genre.  Without the villain initiating the attack, there will be no reason for defense, for heroic deeds.  For this reason, the villain gives birth to the hero, and a well-rounded villain is more interesting, more challenging.   The more we know about a monster, the less monstrous s/he becomes, and yet, because of who she is, she continues to be threatening.  The hero’s battle against this evil force will be more complex and in the end, more rewarding.
Starting a book series with an origin story of the villain was not part of the plan when I developed the plot for the book series a couple years ago.  Now that I have done it, I am happy to see the result of this new way of storytelling.

What writers inspire/d you?
My favourite writers include John Irving, Iris Murdoch, Julian Barnes, Karen Russell, China Mieville and Garth Nix.  

How has your writing career changed since you started?
About ten years ago, when I was struggling to figure out my ability and identity as a writer, I ended up having a bizarre late night conversation with my friend Amanda and became very emotional.
I wailed in my car and told her how I would never make it as a literary writer, that I hadn’t read enough books, didn’t have the academic qualifications to write anything intelligent or relevant.
Amanda said, “But why do you want to be a literary writer?  You don’t even like literary fiction that much.”
I said, “But what other kind of writer could I be?”
“I think you should be a genre writer.  All your story ideas involve some kind of time travel or magical transformation, and these are the common themes in fantasy stories.  You are not a literary writer, Annie.  You are a fantasy writer.”
I heaved until I stopped crying.  From that night on, I have been a fantasy writer.

What does your writing process look like?
Writing satisfies my wanderlust by allowing me to journey into imaginary worlds, and I plan my story like I plan a trip.  The plot summary is the equivalent of a trip itinerary and I prefer it to be as detailed as possible.  When I create a world from thin air, it is important to gather as much info as possible.  The knowledge gives me confidence to “roam” once I start exploring this foreign storyland as I write.  The fun comes from all the minute and exciting features about a location or a character that I uncover while fleshing out each scene.  It’s like discovering an interesting corner store while visiting a foreign country. When the whole story is drafted, the revision process begins.  Like parenting a child, it can go on forever.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I find windows too distracting, and I prefer to face a (white) wall.  It makes the perfect blank screen on which I project my dreams.
What are your writing goals for the next year?
I hope to have the time to write the next book following Children of Lightning.

Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.
Windows (the ones you find in a room, not a computer)

What character would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with?
Marko from Saga (comic book) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
As mentioned before, my book Children of Lightning details the journey of Writhren Hollow as she struggles to save her clan from extinction, and in the process of doing so, she ends up becoming the villain in the book series.
Those who like Children of Lightning enjoy the world-building part of the story.  The mythical land of Matikki where the story takes place is rich with exotic cultures, creatures and characters.  The protagonists and her peers are not human.  Readers find the characters well developed.

Some Get to know me Questions

What’s the best vacation you ever had?
During my first year in college, I went to visit my best friend who was studying in Malibu, California at the time.  We were inseparable in high school, but she left Hong Kong to study in the US a few years prior.  In Malibu, I stayed in her dormitory apartment for something like three weeks, during which she took me to all the famous tourist spots, such as Universal Studio and the Griffith Observatory.  She and her friends got lost looking for Disneyland without a map, and it took us 8 hours to get there with Tarzan Boy blasting in the radio at least once every hour.  Check out that song if you don’t know it.
It was also during this trip that I had my first taste of sushi.  One bite of the scallop hand roll, and I was ready to offer my soul for the rest of it.  I was very happy to have reunited with my best friend.  The trip remains one of the best experiences in my life.

What’s your favourite rainy day movie?
Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen.  The movie looks so good, it’s a visual narcotic.

If you could be any age again for a week, which would you choose and why?
I would give anything to be a kid again, so something like when I was eight and during Chinese New Year would be perfect.  To celebrate the festive season, my grandmother made these sticky fried dumplings the size of baseballs, deliciously filled with red bean paste.  I haven’t had these homemade dumplings since she passed away more than twenty five years ago.

If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would it be?
I’d like to find out if an asteroid really wiped out the dinosaurs. 
What's your favourite place to read?
On my living room couch all by myself.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often.

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
Probably the New Releases.  It is quite difficult not to notice them when you enter a book store.

If you had a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I would be happy to get my hands on these genuine props if they are for sale:

- a pair of Edward’s scissorhands
- the TARDIS
- one of those spiky vehicles from Mad Max Fury Road
- a custom-made set of Sabriel’s bells and bandolier.

Annie K. Wong was born in Hong Kong and lives in Canada, in the west coast city of Vancouver, BC. She has a BA in Business Administration and Creative Writing from Houghton College as well as a Diploma in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia. Although she explored careers in advertising, television and office administration, the desire to write overtook her at the turn of the new millennium. In 2003 she earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and has been crafting stories ever since.
Her current project is a fantasy series, the prequel of which is Children of Lightning.
Connect with her and receive freebies and updates about her book and other upcoming projects.

Author links:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Children of Lightning is the origin story of Writhen Hollow, the villain in an upcoming book series.  In celebration of great villains in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, Annie K. Wong is offering for the tour giveaway gift, The Hyperion Cantos (ebook or print - winner's choice). 
  • 1x $50 gift card
  • 1x $100 gift card
More on the giveaway:
An award-winning series from Dan Simmons, The Hyperion Cantos features one of the greatest villains ever written and a storyline spanning hundreds of years across distant galaxies. In this epic space opera, humans are threatened by their own creations, including biologically engineered post-humans, artificial intelligence supercomputers, and their constant internal wars.  Amidst the violence and chaos, the protagonists search for life’s meaning through religion, poetry, romance, not to mention strife and battle.

As of June 2015, Syfy Channel is developing the first book, Hyperion, into a 
TV series, with one of executive producers being Bradley Cooper.

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  1. Great interview! I think it's really intriguing that the main character is a villain! This sounds like an exciting read and I can't wait to check it out, along with you tv series on Syfy - sounds awesome!!!

    1. So glad you liked it!! She had some awesome answers :)

  2. Great interview! I think it's really intriguing that the main character is a villain! This sounds like an exciting read and I can't wait to check it out, along with you tv series on Syfy - sounds awesome!!!

  3. Thanks for hosting today, Natalie! Great interview! :)