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Friday, April 21, 2017
Interview with author Brenda (BJ) Kurtz
1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? Artemis Survived is the third book in my Atlantis series. The series began in world history when my teacher declared one day that we would find Atlantis is 7 years. Interestingly enough, about that many years later explorers discovered ruins they believed to be Atlantis. When I first wrote the story, I wasn’t thinking about a series. Everyone does a series. And I was 14 and did not “believe” in series in much the uninformed way know-it-all teenagers do. But, my characters demanded attention. They had more to say. When it came to writing Artemis Survived, I wanted to explore a tribal country most of my characters feared. However, I also wanted to showcase how my two characters could overcome their dark pasts. My main character carries a lot of baggage from the first book. The newest character, a boy from Artemis, must overcome what he sees as his own failures. Ultimately, I wanted to show how regret can destroy our futures, but coming to accept our history is the only way to move on and achieve something great. In fact, in all of my work, I really want to show how characters can achieve the unexpected when facing unimaginable obstacles. I want to show strength in a world that tries to tear us down.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe us your targeted reader? Artemis has always been a country of darkness and unexplored land. Their pirated war ships plagued any sea travel and their reputation for human sacrifices discouraged even the bravest explorers. But, when the missing son of the Imperial Chief is found in Atlantis, an opportunity for peace presents itself. Pandora—a rising star amongst the Atlantis ambassadors—is assigned to escort him back to Artemis and negotiate a treaty. To be successful, Pandora must juggle the wishes of her own General and Senate, discover the hidden agenda of Artemis, and come to protect a boy with his own secret dangers. As Pandora travels deeper into Artemis territory and culture, she learns success is not as important as survival in a mission that seems doomed from the start. After all, the Artemis reputation does not compare to their deadly reality.
My targeted readers are fantasy-loving young adults trying to find their place in the world of adulthood. Or, anyone who enjoys a little bit of magic and mystery.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? I always want readers to come away from my novels wanting more. I want them to fall in love with the characters as much as I have. But, ultimately, I want them to feel inspired. We all have greatness inside of us, whether or not we can shift into a wolf or move things with our mind.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Don’t like the world take away your dreams. The pursuit of goals is challenging and the world does not always reward the most deserving. It’s easy to give up and accept failure. But, ultimately, you should pursue your dream not for the glory but because it makes you happy. I can’t imagine life without creation. So, keep writing and keep inspiring. Because that’s the only thing that divides those who succeed from those who don’t.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? My hometown just lost the last bookstore. It was a sad day for me, but it also marks a trend, I feel, in the book industry. Online stores are overtaking the physical location. But, with bookstores closing, I also feel it is a time for books to find a place within the world. Not to be separated in its own location, but to push its way into the spotlight. Books can stand at local Café’s and coffee shops or be accepted amongst artists of all different forms. I think it is a time for writers to be creative in presenting their work and letting the world know life is too boring without stories.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? Time. The older I get, the less time I feel I have. Life is demanding. Bills seek financial stability. Families grow. Time is precious and a real struggle to capture. So, I have been pushing myself to choose my time wisely, but also to be more realistic in my expectations. There is a balance, and I am slowly starting to find it.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? This is not just the average story of a shape-shifter. My stories truly examine the depth of character. People will come away not only feeling entertained by the plot, but also captivated by the emotion of the journey.
BJ Kurtz knew she wanted to create worlds ever since the sixth grade when a teacher asked her to participate in "writer's workshop." It started with imitating beloved country songs and soon developed into creating an alternate world where Atlantis still thrives. BJ is a graduate of the Odyssey Charitable Trust online classes, a member of Sisters in Crime and a member of the Huachuca Arts Association. She spends her days instructing students, where she recently was awarded AFA Cochise Chapter teacher of the year and University of Arizona top 9 outstanding high school faculty. She is also pursuing her dream of sharing fantasy worlds with others, speaking about literature and achieving dreams. For more info, please see: www.bjkurtz.com.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blog