Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome Augusta Li today

Please give a warm welcome to author Augusta Li today who sat down to answer a few questions...

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?

Quite a few things at the moment. My first contemporary novel, On Tinsel Wings, just came out on July 5th. It was a much different experience than writing fantasy, but a good one. I hope readers will like seeing something a little lighter (and less bloody) from me.

Also, I just finished my final round of edits of Iron and Ether, Book Three of the Blessed Epoch. For anyone familiar with the series, this is primarily Sasha’s book and addresses him reconciling his training and calling as an assassin with the new life he’s built with Duncan and Yarrow. Of course, lots of other things are going on in the world in the meantime. A rift is forming among the two kingdoms, and they will have to stay united to face an outside threat. Lots of longstanding questions will be answered in this installment, but as always, more will arise. It’s the longest of the series at 151K, and Sasha is my favorite, so I hope it will be well received. Look for that one in September of October from Dreamspinner Press.

My story “Spindle and Bell” was accepted for the Dreamspinner Press steampunk anthology Steamed Up. I love steampunk and am really looking forward to reading the rest of the stories in that anthology. And check out that cover art!

 If we asked your muse to describe you using five words, what do you think they would say?

Caffeine addict
Cat lover

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

I don’t know if there is one. I’m pretty open about most everything, and I think most people even know what I look like in real life. I have shared pics of my tattoos online, even—ALL of them.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I don’t really like to stay in one place, so settling down anywhere and staying there would be hard for me. All places have their charms, and I really love going where my whims tell me to go. I guess if I have to live there, though, I’d probably pick Southeast Asia, because I love the heat, the people are friendly, and it’s possible to live on a writer’s salary. Also, I love the beaches.

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?

I depends what they like. If you like fantasy with a long story arc and lots of interwoven plots, and you don’t mind violence and very flawed “heroes” then I’d say read the books in the Blessed Epoch series.

Only slightly lighter are the books I co-wrote with Eon de Beaumont in the Steamcraft and Sorcery universe. If you like a combination of technology and magic with a Victorian aesthetic and very quirky characters, you may like those.

On Tinsel Wings is a fairly light contemporary about drag queens and the Renaissance Faire.

If you’re really brave, you can read The Ballad of the Burning Year, which is still one of my favorites. Please read the warnings first!

Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?

Inspiration can come from real life things, like traveling and meeting people, or from art. I consider many things art—paintings, photography, literature, cinema, anime, comics and manga, and video games. Really it’s just a sum of all my experiences and bits of things I have loved and enjoyed stirred around in my head and rearranged.

Are your characters able to love or do they need to be taught?

It depends. They run the full spectrum from Sasha, who has been taught from birth that any kind of love or attachment is a weakness, to Frolic, who is innocent, optimistic, and trusting, almost unable to comprehend cruelty. Usually my characters do learn to love, though they rarely undergo a complete moral overhaul, and sometimes their ideals get chipped away as well. In many of my stories, a big part of the journey for all the characters is learning to love themselves and others in spite of their flaws.

Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?

Iron and Ether, particularly toward the end, was pretty hard. I don’t mean difficult, but emotionally hard to write. I even got a little weepy while doing my edits.

Is it hard coming up with titles or characters names?

No, in fact I really like it. The characters usually “tell” me their names when I first “meet” them. As for titles, I either know instantly or I struggle.

Is there any books coming that you are itching to read (either electronic or print)from your favorite authors?

Merman by K.Z. Snow. She’s an amazing author and sort of a professional hero of mine. I love the characters from her first book in this series, Mongrel. Man, I need to get around to making her some fan art.

Goblins by Melanie Tushmore. I know she’s going to rock this subject and the characters.

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer. She had me at the blurb.

If you were to replenish your cabinets with one junk food, what would it be?

I like salty junk foods like corn chips and salt and vinegar chips. Never had much of a sweet tooth. If I had to choose just one, it guess it would have to be Sweet and Spicy Chili Doritos.

What is coming up from you in 2013? Anything you want to tease us with?

Aside from what I mentioned earlier, there will be a sequel to On Tinsel Wings, a fourth (and probably more, though I don’t know when) book of the Blessed Epoch, a spin-off set in that universe that deals with the problems of “ordinary” people called Wine and Roses, and I don’t plan to abandon my Querry, Reg, and Frolic.

Anything else you would like to add? 

My Books from Dreamspinner Press:

From Silver Publishing:

From Storm Moon Press

I have guests and giveaways often, so sign up! Thanks for hanging with me, and enjoy the weekend, everyone!

On Tinsel Wings
Dreamspinner Press
Contemporary, Coming of Age M/M
Buy at Publisher

Patrick Harford sees hope as magical and beautiful, too delicate to hold—and everything in his life has proved him right. An unhealthy home leaves him hiding in the shadows as he tries to come to terms with his sexuality. 

Patrick finds solace among the performers at the Allegaheny Mountains Renaissance Faire, where he discovers a love of performing and costumes. As he starts to come out of his shell, he meets Yu Elion, an apprentice blacksmith. Yu gives Patrick a glimpse of fairy-tale love. 

But just when hope starts to blossom, it withers. Cynical after a past filled with failed relationships, Yu keeps Patrick at a distance. Working two jobs has disastrous consequences. And an obsessed fan takes things a step too far. After seeing all he’s built start to crumble, Patrick doesn’t know if he has what it takes to try again on his own, and Yu might not have the strength to be the one Patrick needs.

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