Today I have Kenya Wright, author of Fire Baptized visiting The Life and Lies!
Since the 1970’s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend Meshach and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.
While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?
1) Why and when did you begin writing?
I have always enjoyed writing. When I was a kid I would write poems. Later as a teenager, I considered myself a poet and rapper. I named myself Queen Kobra. I wrote several rap songs that discussed The Movement. Till this day, I have no idea what movement I was talking about.
Additionally, writing has always been an outlet for me. Anytime I became depressed or fell in love, I wrote a song or poem about the experience. I have hundreds of my old journals or notebooks that I browse once in a while, and laugh at.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
My ten year old step-son inspired me. One day we were walking around Barnes and Noble. I was telling him that I wished there were more urban fantasy novels with different ethnicities. He looked up at me and said, “You should write one. You’re smart.” I laughed and told him, thanks. However, that idea remained in my mind the rest of the week. By the next week, I’d bought several books on writing a novel.
3) How did you come up with the title?
I wanted a title that incorporated my main character’s fire power, but also played on the religious theme that you see throughout the book. I loved the term Fire Baptized because it refers to a soldier’s first experience in battle. I definitely believe my character experienced her first battle in this book.
4) What books or people influenced your writing? Was it positive influence, or negative?
My favourite authors are Laini Taylor, Ilona Andrews, and Kim Harrison. They were positive influences on how I should present my world.
5) How do you go about researching for your books?
The creation process of world building can be exhaustive and exciting. I did a lot of research on world building and real societies. I studied how actual countries worked. Things like import/export systems, government, and the things that are necessary to help the place function. Once I gathered all of that data, I imagined how these functions would be different if supernaturals existed. For example, supernatural blood products are a major export in my world.
6) Did you base any of your characters on real people?
No. All of my characters are crazy supernaturals that dance around in my head.
7) What’s the most exciting part about being a published author? What is the hardest part?
The moment I see my book cover up and even the first couple of reviews that trickle in, I float on this natural high! It’s such a rewarding experience to know that a project that you’ve spent months working on is entertaining to others.
8) Do you have any other books planned in the future?
I just published an erotic paranormal romance called Incubus Hunter. In March, I am publishing a book of short story collections from Fire Baptized’s world called Habitat .5. I am currently revising a one called Chameleon which is a YA paranormal romance from Fire Baptized’s world, and has completely different characters. Additionally, the sequel to Fire Baptized which is The Burning Bush will be published in May 2012.
9) Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
My favorite character by far is MeShack. He’s a tall, muscular Were-cheetah that purrs when he enjoys something. He’s half Black and Iranian, the leader singer of the supernatural band Mahogany Groove, and a big softy.
10) What advice can you give to young writers who want to publish their books?
I have two things to say to aspiring authors. First, critique groups are your friends. Join a website like www.critiquecircle.com to have your first drafts reviewed for content and grammar. I received a lot of valuable assistance. Second, read a lot of different genres. My favourite genres are fantasy and romance, but I always read other genres at least twice of month. It will definitely improve your writing.
Just for fun:
Husband, three kids, Harry Potter, Vampire Diaries, Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones, chocolate covered cheesecake, Pinot Noir, For Gras, alternative music, and foot massages.
2) What do you do when you’re not writing?
Watch movies with my husband.
3) Do you have any pets?
I have three cats that run around my house, causing chaos.
4) What are your favorite (and least favorite) foods?
Favorite- foie gras
Least favorite- asparagus
5) Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
I have a desk that I spray painted as a piano! I love it! Granted, it’s next to a litter box, but I still love my little office… until a cat goes to the bathroom of course.
6) Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
7) If you could go anywhere in the whole world, either for a vacation or to live there, where would you go?
Hands down, Paris, France. I would love to sample cheeses, foie gras, and wine; and then bike around the countryside.
8) What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?
9) What book are you reading right now?
I am reading A Perfect Blood by my idol Kim Harrison.
10) Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I online stalk Jason Momoa in my spare time. (Boy, he’s sizzling HOT!)
Kenya Wright always knew she would be famous since the ripe old age of six when she sung the Michael Jackson thriller song in her bathroom mirror. She has tried her hand at many things from enlisting in the Navy for six years as a Persian-Farsi linguist to being a nude model at an art university.
However, writing has been the only constant love in her life.
Now Kenya is publishing her first book, Fire Baptized, the urban fantasy novel she always wanted to read. This novel is the first book in a series.
Will she succeed? Of course.
For she has been coined The Urban Fantasy Queen, the Super Iconic Writer of this Age, The Lyrical Genius of Our Generation. Granted, these are all terms coined by her, within the private walls of her bathroom as she still sings the Michael Jackson thriller song.
Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night.
Book Video: http://youtu.be/a28T5HzpGJ4
Kenya will be giving away a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host whose post receives the most comments. Remember, the more comments you leave here and on the other tour stops, the higher your chance of winning!