July 5, 2011
Author Interview: K.C. Hilton Author of The Magic of Finkleton
1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
I woke up in the middle of the night from a vivid dream. It was wonderful dream and I didn't want to wake from it, but I knew if I didn't force myself out of bed to write it down I would forget everything. So, I stumbled to the family room, turned on a small light and began to write. I wrote in my journal for nearly an hour, then when I was satisfied I went back to bed, dreaming of the adorable English village with horse drawn carriages.
2. How did you come up with the names for the characters?
Oh, that's an easy one! When I was in grade school I knew a girl and her last name was Finkle. I loved her last name and thought it was unique. It stuck with me all these years. I also had another childhood friend and her name was Elizabeth and preferred to be called Lizzy, and she also had blond wavy hair. Just like Lizzy Finkle!
I did a bit of research on last names and found out, that way back in the day, last names derived from a person's profession. Some people didn't have last names and they would be referred to as John the Taylor, then it was shortened to John Taylor.
So I wanted to use the same way of thinking when it came to Mr. Appleton, Mr. Parchetty, Mr. Cornerly, Mr. Beanly, Mr. Sweetly. I wanted all of the last names to be fun and easily remembered, by the reader. I felt it was important that the reader remember what each person grew or what they did for a living. So the farmer who grew apples would be named Mr. Appleton and the gentleman that made sweets would be named Mr. Sweetly.
3. How much are you and the characters alike?
I'd like to think my personality spills into my characters along with my husband's sense of humor. My children play an important role in all of my stories and I see them in the Finkle children. I remember the three of them bickering when they were young, and I laughed a lot. Most of their disagreements were funny, from my point of view. They're all grown up now, but I'll always remember the fun memories and remind my children every chance I get.
4. Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
Oh yes, I love to read. I would read all day long if I had the time. When I read a book, I get lost in that world and I love it. I imagine everything like a movie playing in my head. Sometimes, I laugh out loud. I read different genres, but mostly I like to read Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance and Young Adult. I just finished reading Shasta Summer by Teresa Geering. Next on my list is the third book in the Fallen series, Passion by Lauren Kate. I have a Nook and it has tons of books on it. My idea of a great vacation is sitting by the pool or on the beach with a great book. Needless to say, I can't wait to go on vacation this year! I have so much reading to do.
I must admit, I've never read any of the Harry Potter books. When my children found out, they bought me the entire set. I refuse to read any of them until I'm finished writing everything about Finkleton, because I don't want anything to spill over into my writing. I don't ever want it said that what I write is similar to another story. The world of Finkleton is charming, unique and one of a kind. When I've finished writing all I can write about Finkleton, then I'll sit down and read the Harry Potter books.
5. What made you decide to go Fantasy?
Fantasy, in my opinion, is easier to write. It's all made up in my mind and I only had to research a few things. All I have to do is describe what I see. It's like I'm watching a movie. Fantasy is a lot of fun, especially if I can make it believable.
6. How did the cover come about?
I knew how I wanted the cover to look and with certain items. I may be a photographer, but I'm not that great in Photoshop. So I found a cover designer, then emailed her some photos of what I wanted on the cover. I explained that I wanted the older antique feel and found a photo of some old parchment paper to use for the main background. I purchased the stock photos that worked and the designer put it all together. I also wanted the lettering on the cover to look like wood, to add to that old feeling. I wasn't sure if the designer could do it, but she did a great job!
\7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
I'm currently writing the sequel to The Magic of Finkleton... The plot thickens!
My next book was picked up by Night Publishing and is supposed to be released this month. It's a Contemporary Adult Fiction book with some Suspense. It took me nearly two years to write, with all the research.
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I wish I could write full time! That would be awesome! But my day job is helping my husband run the family business and on the weekends I'm a part-time photographer. In my spare time I read and write. I'll stay up reading until 4 or 5 am and I write the same way. I have many late nights but it's so much fun. I'm lucky that our family business doesn't open until 10 am.
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about people’s reactions to your books?
I've always kept journals of my dreams, but never knew what to do with them until I had a dream while we were on vacation in Florida. The dream stayed in my mind for months and wouldn't let go. I kept thinking about it and knew I had to do something about it. But what? So one night I started to write and 90 Miles to Freedom was born.
The Magic of Finkleton was actually my second book. I wrote 90 Miles to Freedom first, and when I found out about copyright laws pertaining to music, I took a break. Then I had the dream about Finkleton. I started writing and wouldn't stop until it was finished. While it was at the editor, I went back to 90 Miles to Freedom and finished it.
Yes, I was worried what people would think about my writing style. It's a part of me and I put it out there for the entire world to read. I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I kept myself grounded in reality. When the reviews started coming in, they were great! That's when I started doing my 'Happy Dance'.
10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
I'm a collector of memories. I've kept every photo I've ever taken since I was a little girl. I like to put them in photo books. I've kept all of my children's school papers, drawings, letters and cards. I take photos of every occasion throughout the year and at the end of the year I'll have a photo book made and give it to my husband on Valentine's Day. So we have a photo book of memories for an entire year.
A few years back I scanned all the photos of my children (we didn't have digital cameras back then) from when they were first born up to their current age (it took three months) and gave it to each of them on Christmas Day. My son Eric was actually on tour in Iraq that year and I mailed the photo book to him. He loved it. It brought a smile to his face and he said it was the best gift I could ever give him.