Fresh Find: Feathers and Fae(permalink)
Crystal Kirkham's book, Feathers and Fae, comes out 11th October and, knowing what its publisher looks for when signing authors, I’m looking forward to an exciting read.
Crystal did me the honour of an interview. Here’s a bit about her, her book, and what reading and writing look like for her today...
JL: Tell us a bit about yourself.
CRYSTAL L. KIRKHAM: There isn’t too much to know about me. I’ve lived in western Canada my entire life and have travelled extensively throughout North America. I’m a big outdoors person, I love cooking (and eating!)—which are things that often show through in my writing. I also breed standard poodles and I compete with my dogs in show and obedience rings. Since I work full time on top of my hobbies and writing, I tend to be a little on the busy side.
JL: Tell us a bit about your upcoming book, Feathers and Fae. What inspired it?
CRYSTAL: Feathers and Fae was a story I didn’t know I was going to write. I have a whole blog post about this, but it started as a challenge. I was given three random, unrelated prompts 12 hrs before we had to start writing and I had to incorporate all three things into my story. After that, the story developed on its own with no idea what I was writing most of the time until it was written.
What I ended up writing was a story I didn’t know I needed to read. One that was not only a fantastic adventure through a beautiful world, but a story about loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice—and what that means to each of the characters involved.
JL: Tell us a bit about the friendship vs romantic chemistry between the main characters, Emmett and Kami.
CRYSTAL: These are two people who have a long, complicated history which really colours everything in their relationship—whether interpreted as friendship or romance. It’s hard to get in-depth on this topic without giving spoilers, but this is one of those things in that the chemistry between them sits at a very delicate balance throughout the entire book. Something that is only slowly revealed as you read.
This is also a relationship that I leave up to the interpretation of the reader for many reasons. One of the reasons is that not every intimate relationship is romantic in the traditional sense. So, I think it would be safe to say, that in this case there is no way to define the difference between romantic chemistry and friendship as I kept the lines intentionally blurry.
JL: Obviously, the friendship dynamic plays a big part in this story. How big a role do you feel friendships play in romantic relationships? (or any relationship for that matter)
CRYSTAL: For me, friendship is a huge part of almost any type of relationship. I think it’s important to not only love but to like the person you’re with because at the end of the day, sometimes what you need the most is a good friend who loves and respects you as much as you love and respect them.
JL: You’ve been putting work out in the wild for a long time. What are your other books like? Are there certain themes or topics you particularly enjoy writing about?
CRYSTAL: My other work is generally darker than Feathers and Fae. In my Saints and Sinners series, none of the current or planned stories have a ‘happy ever after’ or even a ‘happy for now’ ending. While the endings aren’t tragedies, they do not always end happily for the characters involved. Hints of this style do come through on Feathers and Fae, but I tried to keep it a little lighter.
One thing that I do love exploring—whether friendship, love or reluctant allies—is the relationship dynamic between people. I love exploring the different ways that people can relate to each other. I also tend to explore the consequences of the decisions and choices that people make in their lives.
JL: Do you feel bound to any particular responsibilities as a writer in this age of chaotic media?
CRYSTAL: It’s a fine line to walk being a writer in modern times. As an author, I am officially a public figure. People can look me up, see the things that I’ve been saying—things for years ago can suddenly become an issue. I feel a strong responsibility to set a good example, not only of how to be professional but of how to be a decent and kind person.
I also feel as though I need to be accessible to my readers. I’m not the kind of person who wants to be put on a pedestal of any sort. I try really hard to be not only real with those that I have interactions with, but to be encouraging and supportive of others as well. Not sure I always get that right, but I try.
JL: What sort of stuff do you like to read?
CRYSTAL: My bookshelf is extremely eclectic. What I enjoy the most is a strong, character-driven plotline. I have a lot of contemporary and historical fiction that I absolutely adore. Science fiction has long been a favourite, but I am a little pickier about my fantasy. There are not many genres that I give an absolute hard pass on. Good writing, strong plot, great characters? Yeah, I’ll read that.
JL: What are you currently reading?
CRYSTAL: Next on my reading list is Forgotten Storm by A.R. Vagnetti. Followed by several advanced reading copies that I have to review. I seriously wish I had more time for reading than I do.
JL: Any parting words for readers?
CRYSTAL: I really do love connecting with readers, so don’t hesitate to say hello to me or ask me questions about my books through any of my social media accounts. I promise I don’t usually bite.
Learn more about Crystal L. Kirkham at her website.