Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing the author of Black Sheep - Kia Zi Shiru. I've been a big fan for a very long time, both of the story and the author, so this is a real pleasure for me.
When you started writing BS did you know it was going to be an epic or did it grow as it went along?
Black Sheep started out as a three part to begin with. I don’t know why I chose 60 chapters when I decided to write Black Sheep but I did know I’d have three story arcs anyway. Some things have changed their place in the story and some have been omitted fully, but in the end the three parts seem to work best for Black Sheep.
I've got to ask you this although it's cheesy, but it gives me the opportunity of putting pics in the post and you know how much I like the visuals. If BS were to be made into a movie, which I sincerely hope it one day will, who would be your dream cast? For the sake of eye candy you don't have to choose actors/resses
I know people keep asking me this question and I have no clue. Honestly no clue. Sure, the guys playing Vic and Jack should have long hair and Adam should have weirdly brightly coloured hair. But overall, I don’t really know any actors that would fit the age range and have the right looks. Maybe I should watch more movies ;)
Were any of the characters based on people you know?
Yes and no. Some character elements I’ve used you can see in people I know but at the same time, they aren’t those people. All the characters are their own person, I didn’t copy someone over.
During the course of writing the series, including the research you did for them was there anything you learned, about your characters, the process of writing, yourself, that really surprised or shocked you?
I guess that at the start of writing Black Sheep I didn’t yet fully understand the cruelty of the world. As I was doing research and reading about people’s experiences more than once it shocked me how cruel people can be. I might have grown up pretty protected but more than once I cried during research. And then of course during writing. There are scenes that still make me tear up or that I have a hard time reading because they are so gruesome, most of those are in the second book that just came out.
A lot of writers, me included, speak of having the characters 'live' inside them while they're writing them. Characters 'talk' and lead us down unexpected routes in the story. If this is the case, which character shouted the loudest and what did they have to say.
Vic and Adam. They were both very vocal about how and what I should write. There are a lot of scenes that I wrote down but never used in the books for various reasons. But Vic and Adam were the two characters who I had the most ease writing because they felt so real and natural to me. And boy could they yell, they still try to get me to write more but I’m really done with the trilogy.
Is there anything you've taken from the experience of writing BS that will stay with you over time, anything that has affected you deeply or changed you in some way?
Maybe something that didn’t occur to me at the time that I started writing was that it can get better. No matter what happens it can really get better. It doesn’t always, but my life has really changed during writing Black Sheep and at the same time it gave me a lot of courage to write Black Sheep. Black Sheep is not just a story that I made up but some of the things that I wrote about were things that have in one form or another haunted me for years. Black Sheep was my way of dealing with that.
Are there any moments in BS that you associate with something in your own life, in that reading back over them makes you remember something about what was going on in your life when you wrote them.
One thing I remember is that I did quite a few of the rewrites of Letting go of the Past while I was drunk. I can still read chapter 5 (the Jack flashback chapter) and it still surprises me because I barely remember writing or rewriting it. Ahh well, it is still one of my favourite chapters maybe largely because I can’t remember much of it apart from the pure emotion in it.
Five years is a long time to have been writing a story. Will you miss writing BS and if so what will you miss most.
I think I’ll miss the comfort and the characters most. These characters have been with me for the past years and they were a big part of me while I was trying to find my own footing in the world. On the other hand, I don’t know if I’ll ever be as involved with any other characters as I was with these guys. Five years is a long time to basically live your characters in certain ways. I knew all their mannerisms that I could write about.
I’ll probably miss that comfort most. On the other hand writing new things is really fun and exciting.
What was the most rewarding thing about your experience of writing and publishing?
Fans. People who talk to me about their experiences and how my stories or books have influenced them or touched them in certain ways. That is one of the most magical things I’ve experienced since I started writing. I love how people seem to connect almost on the same level with the characters as I did while writing them.
Publishing brought me something else even. I’ve found a lot of people who like to write or read within the same genres as I do and I really savour all those new connections I made
That is the big question, isn’t it? What is next. More guys, slightly older this time, early to mid 20s. Vampires too, of all different types. Werewolves. Seers. Predictions. Sexy times. A lot of stuff will be going on during the rest of the year. I’ve got 2 series that I’ll be starting to publish in 2013 and I’m looking forward to showing a bit more diversity in my writing.
Thank you so much for these questions Nephy!
“So, here we are again.” Dr West sits down next to the bed. “Not talking again, I’ve been told.”
I stare away from him, silently confirming his statement. Memories of the last time I was here have started haunting me and even though I have only been here for a week it seems like the time between then and now has never happened, or at best has been a dream.
“They called me as soon as my holiday ended. They figured I knew how to deal with you. But I’m not so sure about it, Victor. You need to start talking. Everybody is getting really worried. Don’t start hiding inside your head again.”
I know he is staring at me, he is good at that, sitting still as a rock and just analysing my every move. My every blink and breath will be studied and he will write about it and talk to me about it and he will analyse my reaction to his first conclusions and everything will start over again. Until I start talking of course.
“Victor. Victor, look at me. Come on.” Dr West moves his chair so he is sitting at the foot of the bed.
I shake my head, trying to hide my face in my hair, but without my hands there is not much I can do when it comes to hiding. I sigh and close my eyes, not looking at him, not working with him. It’s not like it worked that well last time, I’m back for the same damn reason, aren’t I?
“Your sis told me that your boyfriend moved into your house. How is that, living with him?”
I still. What? When did that happen? How come Jack moved? Is it because of me?
“You didn’t know?”
See, there, he did it. Reading my moves, analysing what I do. Being all psych with me even if I don’t talk. But this time he won’t be able to get me to break. They won’t keep me here forever, they have to let me go at some point.
Where can you purchase this awesome book, and the first in the series?
For Sales Links and more information visit Kia in chaos http://www.5timeschaos.com/