Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Author Interview - C. A. Kunz

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! I’m so excited to be bringing you another unofficial UtopYA Con author interview. If you missed any of the past interviews, please go catch up here. I know we’re all hoping to have a ton of people visit us at the con. So, if you don’t have tickets yet, you can get them here. Get on it before the spaces are all full! Let’s get this party started! Everyone grab something to make noise with and welcome authors Carol and Adam Kunz, part of the writing duo C. A. Kunz, to the fun!

Jo: Hey, hey! Welcome to the blog, Carol and Adam. It’s a pleasure to have you both here. Since there are two of you, I’m gonna ask a few questions of you both, then break off and ask you questions individually. I do a lot of digging around, and I hope you aren’t too scared of what’s coming. My readers like the juicy stuff, and I try to feed them on a regular basis. *wink* Ready?
C&A: We’re sooooo ready! Oh, and also super excited to be here. Thanks for having us!

Jo: Yup. That's what they all say (at first). *evil laugh* I’ve read that you guys are in need of a virtual assistant to help you keep up with everything social media wise. Have you thought any more about that? Who have you looked into (and have you considered just making a schedule)?
C&A: Yeah, we could definitely use an assistant with social media. We’re getting a little better at organizing ourselves, but not as much as we’d like to be, hahaha! We’d love to have someone to just help us keep all our ‘selves’ straight. But seriously, we spend so much time on social media. Keeping up with four Facebook Pages (Adam Kunz, C.A. Kunz, Amanda Jason, and our street team), two Twitter accounts (C.A. Kunz and Amanda Jason), three E-mail Accounts (two gmail accounts and one AOL account), a Blog (which we kind of avoid like the plague now), and a website (soon to be two, one for Amanda Jason and one for Adam Kunz). We have trouble keeping track of everything to say the least. Plus, we have to find time to write on top of all this. We feel there are people out there that think we ignore them, but that’s not the case at all. Adam has a full-time job outside of writing (which keeps him busy) and I take care of my parents (which is also a time investment) so it would be awesome to have an assistant so we wouldn’t miss anyone, because everyone is important to us. We have taken a step toward getting help though. We hired a publicist who helps A LOT with promoting our books and he comes up with unique ideas of how to pimp our books and ourselves. Rick Miles from Red Coat PR is an AWESOME publicist, and though not an assistant, he’s the next best thing, seriously!

Jo: I hear a street team can help with your Facebook pages sometimes. You just ask a fan to run the page for you or just keep up with posts and marketing stuff. *shrugs* I dunno. I know of Rick and Red Coat PR. They pop up everywhere! Glad you found some help. Moving on! I poked around and read a lot of your blog entries (as you can probably tell). But your blog went quiet around July 2013. Care to share with my readers why?
C&A: We have Blog? Adam must have forgotten to tell me. Okay so we know we have a blog, but all it has in it are crickets and cobwebs. At first it was a novelty for us to have one, but we found traffic to our blog was spotty at best no matter how we advertised it. Not to mention, keeping up with a blog while writing and doing social media just seemed like too much for us. So, we spent more time on Twitter and Facebook in order to push our brand. When people ask us to post on our blog (like cover reveals or release day posts for them) we tell them the truth, that if they want exposure, our Blog is not the place to post.

Jo: Kudos to you for being honest. It takes a long time to build a following and sometimes it's really not the thing you need. I know you guys live in Florida, and are friends with some of my most favorite people in the world. Would you mind sharing the details of a public event you do with authors from your area (and who they are)?
C&A: OMG, yes, we have so much fun with our author friends here! We love going to schools, local book fairs, and signing events as a group. We hope we don’t leave anyone out, but here’s our list of AWESOME author friends we do things with here in Florida: Raine Thomas, Sarah Ross-Abernathy, Tiffany King, Michelle Madow, Heather Dencker, Tawdra Kandle, Kristina Circelli, Toni Sinns, Rachael Wade, Heather Allen, and Kaitlyn Ballenger. We’re always open to others joining, because the more the merrier.

Jo: I've interviewed a couple of those ladies. They're so awesome (and knowledgeable!). How many conferences do you guys attend in a year and which ones are they?
C&A: This year we’re attending a lot more conventions than we have in the last three years. In January we were in Daytona Beach, FL for Coastal Magic Con and in March we went to Wicked Book Weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • May: We’re going to the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans.
  • June: We’re going to UtopYA (of course) in Nashville.
  • August: We’re going to the Indie Book Fest in Orlando.
  • August: We’re going to the Believe, Hope, and Live Con in Maine.
  • September: We’re going to Penned Con in St Louis.
  • September: We’re going to the Chapter by Chapter con in New York.
  • October: We’re going to the Queen’s City Author con in Cincinnati, but only as fans.
Jo: Wow. You guys are busy! UtopYA will be fun. I have a very good friend, Tia Bach, who wrote a book with her mother (and survived… with battle scars). What’s your writing process like? Does it ever cause arguments between the two of you?
C&A: Our first book was tough, but we worked though the trials and tribulations and were finally able to finish up The Childe in about nine months. Our 2nd and 3rd books were easier since we had learned so much from working on the first and were able to avoid making the same mistakes. Before we begin writing a book, we have to make a very strong and detailed outline. Then Adam typically tackles the first two chapters, me the next two, and so on until we have the first rough draft. Then we spend hours in my office editing until we feel it’s ready to go out to beta readers.

Jo: It must be lovely bonding time when editing. Time for the alien question of the interview! Do you ever think about the Bermuda Triangle and wonder if there might actually be something else “out there” for us to discover?
C&A: We both feel that there are so many things in this life that we can’t explain. Carol saw her first ghost at age 8, and has been curious about all aspects of the ‘paranormal’ since then. Adam has had some strange occurrences happen to him as well that he can’t explain. We most definitely don’t believe we’re the only ‘beings’ in this vast universe, and wouldn’t be shocked if proof was found. The Bermuda Triangle is one of Carol’s favorites and she’s read many books and watched many documentaries and believes there’s so much more to discover out there.

Jo: I couldn't agree more. I've always said you must believe in what you can't or haven't seen. Time to break away and ask you individual questions (don’t worry, the other won’t see your answers, so you can be open and honest). *giggles* I’ll start with Carol. I have to have an answer to this, because it cracked me up when I saw it. I read in one of your interviews that Adam was the best stomach flu you ever had. Care to explain that comment?
Carol: Before I knew I was pregnant with Adam, I was working in a neurologist’s office, and everyone in the office was coming down with the stomach flu. I thought when I became ill that I was just getting what was being passed around the office, but little did I know, I was pregnant. After being sick for a while (a lot longer than anyone in the office) my husband Bob decided that maybe it was time we should name my little stomach flu.

Jo: That's hilarious. I've had many bouts of the stomach flu (five kids). *grin* What do you feel was your biggest struggle in writing with your son?
Carol: Getting used to being writing peers, not just mom and son.

Jo: That would be hard. My mom is great, but I don't think I could see her as anything but my mom. Kudos to you guys for making it work! You were born across the pond in New Ferry, England. In your best writer-ly voice, share with us an experience there (and help us visualize where you’re from).
Carol: At the age of 8, I saw my first ghost outside my bedroom. We lived in a little village called Raunds in a house that was part of a new development. I was sitting in our living room with my best friend, Sandra, and we were having a tea party. My American dad, who was in the Air Force, was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper and my younger brother was playing outside. To make a long story short, the door to the living room kept opening by itself, the door handle would go down, then up and fly open. It did it three times. My dad said it was because I hadn’t shut it properly. Then when he left to pick up my English mum at the hairdressers, the door opened again by itself and Sandra and I climbed out the living room window, grabbed my brother, and ran to her house. Her brother laughed at us and led us back to the house. Sandra and my brother stayed outside, while her brother and I searched the house. My bedroom was the only room upstairs and we climbed up and when we turned the corner we saw it. A tall, broad shadowed shape coming our way. We half fell, half slid down the stairs, locked the front door, and ran back to their house. Of course, my parents didn’t believe me, which when I became an adult and heard my English, maternal great-grandmother was a spiritualist and used to chat with spirits constantly, baffled me. My mum now admits that I could have seen it.

Jo: Holy Moly, Batman! I would never have slept again. Super creep factor! Well told. Now, tell me about a book you’ve written alone, why you decided to write it, and how you came up with the idea for it.
Carol: Well, when I decided to write my own novel I wanted it to be a light New Adult romantic comedy that would make the reader smile and laugh while falling in love with the characters. It’s the story of Pandora Phillips and how she finds herself in a pickle with her current living arrangements and ends up reluctantly having to move in with three hot models. Of course my imagination went into overdrive because I never had such luck in real life … I mean experience. I went from my parent’s home to living with my husband. I had to use a pen name since I didn’t want my NA to be associated with our YA books. Amanda and Jason were my twins who only lived for a short while after being born, and I felt it was a perfect way to honor them by making my pen name Amanda Jason.

Jo: I've seen the Facebook buzz surrounding that book. I'm gonna be checking it out. For those readers that don't know about Amanda Jason's book, it's titled Lucky Number Four and is $4.99 on Amazon for Kindle. What an awesome way to honor your babies. I interviewed Ms. Kristina Circelli and asked her for a good interview question (I know, my deviousness knows no bounds!). She told me to ask you what you did with your very first paperback proof of The Childe. I’m seriously intrigued. Mind sharing? *grin*
Carol: Devious you are, my friend. I slept with the proof on my pillow the night I received it.

Jo: Oh my... Totally sounds like something I would do. Haha! I’m gonna move on to Adam now. I read that you’re a Harry Potter fan. Right on! Which book in the series is your favorite and why?
Adam: I’d have to say that my favorite book (and movie) from the series would have to be The Prisoner of Azkaban, simply because it A. had professor Lupin in it who was a werewolf (I love me some paranormal creatures) and B. this book introduced us to one of my favorite characters, Sirius Black. Plus, I just LOVED all the plot twists that J.K. Rowling threw into this one.

Jo: That one was my favorite, too. Though I hated the way they butchered the movie. *frowns* What’s your birthplace of Newport New, Virginia, like?
Adam: Well, considering we left when I was two or three, I don’t really remember what it was like. I haven’t even had a chance to go back and visit, but I do plan on it one day.

Jo: Here's hoping your experience is a great one when you do visit! I’m positive I could never write anything with my mother, so I totally commend those who can. Not that I don’t love my mom, but she has some pretty strong opinions. *grin* What was the hardest thing about working with your mom on a book?
Adam: I have to agree with my mom on her answer of having to remember that though we are Mom and Son, we’re also writing peers, and have to be able to take criticism as such instead of taking it personal.

Jo: *gasp!* You weren't supposed to read her answer! Kidding... Sort of. Moving on! I read somewhere that your book, The Childe, won a gold medal (First Place) in the 2011 Readers Favorite Award Contest - Young Adult Fantasy Category. When you got the news, how did it make you feel?
Adam: It pretty much floored both of to be honest. We were up against some stiff competition, and to see our little book do so well had both of us in tears on the phone with each other and squeeing like little school girls, hahaha!

Jo: Was it anything like the time you landed the four star book review from RT Book Reviews? What was different?
Adam: This actually happened a week or so after we found out that we won the gold medal from Reader’s Favorite, so we were still coming down off of that. It floored us as well, and we were shocked by the news since we had no idea that RT even reviewed independently published books. To say that these two things made out year is a huge understatement.

Jo: I can't imagine. Hurrah for you both! Tell me about a book you’ve written alone. Where did the idea come from, what’s the title, and how long did it take you to write it?
Adam: The first novel I wrote by myself was a crossover mature Young Adult/New Adult thriller entitled One Tiny Secret. I was inspired to write OTS by my love for horror/thriller films and R.L. Stine books. I was a huge fan of the Fear Street series and the Goosebumps series when I was younger, so I knew that my first novel would have to be a book like those. It took me about two and a half months to write the first draft of the novel, but then a month more after that to get all the edits and beta reader feedback incorporated.

Jo: Sounds very King-like. *grin* I adore a good thriller and will have to check that one out. For my readers, you can find it on Amazon for $0.99. It was lovely having you both on the blog. I can’t wait to meet y’all at UtopYA Con in June! It’s right around the corner now. Thanks so much for stopping by and putting up with my questioning. *grins*
C&A: Thank you so much for having us Jo, we can’t wait to meet you too. P.S. we’re HUGGERS, just a little warning :)

Jo: It should be a good time! That’s all the time we have for today. Read on to find out about C. A. Kunz’s featured book of the week!

Title: The Modified
Author: C. A. Kunz
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Length (print): 303 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $2.99  ~  B&N $2.99  ~  Kobo $2.99

Synopsis: What would you sacrifice to save the ones you love? To save the one who holds your heart? To save the world?

Kenley Grayson is all too familiar with these questions.

After Earth is thrust into its first intergalactic war with an unknown race called the Bringers, our military forces begin to suffer heavy losses. Desperate for a solution, the Allied Federation issues a worldwide draft for every able seventeen year old to enlist. As Kenley turns seventeen, she finds herself thrown into the very war that took her older brother's life.

This year's draft is a little different than in the past though. A new program, known as the Magnus Project, has been introduced, and only the best and brightest qualify. Kenley is amongst a select few whom are chosen to join this elite group of soldiers, and as a part of this project, undergoes a modification procedure that leaves her and her peers endowed with powers beyond their wildest dreams.

As Earth continues in its struggle against the Bringers, Kenley is transported to a high-tech training facility, the Magnus Academy, to prepare for the major battle that lies ahead. It's here that she meets the California heartthrob, and son of a legendary war hero, Landon Shaw. As unexpected feelings toward Landon begin to develop, Kenley wonders if this is the right time or place for romance to bloom, especially when those feelings start to interfere with her training.

With the weight of the world on her shoulders, Kenley is constantly reminded of how important she and the rest of the Magnus cadets are to the fate of humanity. She is one of the Modified, Earth's last line of defense against utter destruction.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give Mr. and Ms. Kunz a follow on social media?

Facebook: C.A. Kunz
Twitter: @AuthorCAKunz
Blog: C.A. Kunz

I hope you all enjoyed this interview.

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. Great interview! I love that they are a mother and son writing team! My son is only seven but we're planning to write a book together over the summer. I thought it would be a fun project and a way for him to learn about what Mom does besides sits in front of her computer all day. The authors' books sound wonderful =)

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    1. OMG! That sounds like an awesome idea, Heather! My daughter is gonna participate in a writing camp I'm giving her this summer. Hopefully, she'll come out on the other side a champ :) Thanks for the comment. Carol and Adam were champs :)

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