BR Kingsolver combines adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction to craft imaginative worlds (currently eighteen published novels across five series). The author’s latest release is Knights Magica (2020), the fifth book in the Rosie O’Grady’s Paranormal Bar and Grill series. Find all the author’s books on BRKingsolver.com and Amazon, and connect on Facebook and Twitter.
What is your elevator pitch for Knights Magica?
The exciting conclusion of the best-selling five book Rosie O’Grady’s Paranormal Bar and Grill series. Find out why these books have been at the top of Amazon’s Supernatural Thriller lists for more than a year.
Who is your main character, and why will readers connect with her?
The main character is Erin McLane, a former assassin for the Illuminati who discovered the secret order was working for their own dark ends instead of for the good of mankind. It’s a redemption story, and people seem to connect with a hard, capable, but naïve woman trying to find her way in the world. She knows a hundred ways to kill someone, but has never encountered a coin-operated washing machine before. Readers also seem to like all the quirky characters at the bar, from the pink-haired half-elven astrophysicist, to the aeromancer waitress, to the pyromancer chef.
What was the most difficult aspect of world building for this series?
I constructed a city in a place where there isn’t one on the Oregon coast, and making sure the details remained consistent throughout all the books in the series was a bit of a challenge. That and describing the Fae village that lies between the Underworld and the city of Westport.
Tell us how the book came together.
I actually bought three pre-made book covers from another author. I didn’t have a story idea, or a character in mind. At the time, I was working on a book for another series, and then I wrote a book for still another series. When those books didn’t sell as well as I hoped, I started working on the first book in the Shadow Hunter series with only a series title and a vague idea of a girl/woman running from something. I really intended the series to be more lighthearted, and there are moments of that and of humor, but parts are much darker than I originally intended.
I wrote the first six chapters—in first person—trying to hide who the protagonist was and what she was running from, but it became increasingly difficult. I could have done it easier in third person, but most urban fantasies currently are written in first. So, I went back and wrote a prologue to give her back story, which turned out to be problematic. A lot of people don’t like prologues. I wrote the book in about six weeks, then turned it over to my editor and she loved it.
I’ve been working with the same editor my entire writing career. She does it all—comments on story, characters, sentence structure, spelling, grammar, the whole works. We usually do three passes with revisions, then I format the final manuscript and publish it. I released Shadow Hunter on April 17, 2019 and had my best month ever. The response was far beyond anything I expected. The book hit #1 in at least five sub-categories on Amazon. When I released the second book, Night Stalker, six weeks later, everything just took off. Dark Dancer is the third book—and the last cover that I originally bought. It released in August of 2019. Three best sellers in a row. I didn’t expect such an incredible response to the books.
Is there a scene in Knights Magica that you’d love to see play out in a movie?
Perhaps the part where Erin is taken underground, into the land of faery. But the scene I think would truly be fun is the costume party New Year’s scene at the bar from Night Stalker. The aeromancer juggling three witches would be incredible to stage.
What was your favorite part of putting this project together?
This was the first series I started with a story idea designed for a trilogy. That goes back to buying those three book covers. I was pleased with the way that worked out. The second trilogy with the same characters didn’t work out so well, and ended up only being two books.
In the past year you’ve published five books in the Rosie O’Grady’s Paranormal Bar and Grill series. What’s your secret to releasing so many books in such a short amount of time?
Sometimes a story just flows. I wrote the first three books in less than six months. The last two in the series took ten months to write. But I had few distractions with the first three books. I had recently retired and was sitting alone in Baltimore waiting for my house to sell. I really didn’t have much else to do except write.
Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you started your writing career today?
Start a mailing list and engage my readers. Be more active on social media. I’m an introvert, and all that is difficult, but if you don’t have a large publisher spending large sums to promote you, then you have to do it yourself.
What typically comes first for you: a character? A scene? A story idea?
A character. For one of my books, I had a character in mind for years, but then I had a story idea that was right for her, so I wrote it. Scenes are often adaptable to many different characters or stories.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m a pantser. I might have an idea of how I want a story to end, but very rarely do I know how I’m going to get there. That’s part of the excitement of writing.
What writing projects are you working on now?
My current book is called Magitek. It’s set about 200 years in the future after a series of pandemics and wars ended with an act that broke the world and opened a rift into other dimensions. In the aftermath of all that, most of the world is dominated by a magiocracy. (Magitek is currently on pre-order through Amazon, with a release date of August 30.)
Anything else you’d like readers to know?
I have four series of urban fantasy novels published. The ebooks are available from Amazon and print books from almost all online bookstores, such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc. Two of my series, Dark Streets and Rosie O’Grady’s Paranormal Bar and Grill, are available as audiobooks, published by Tantor. Audio production of my Chameleon Assassin series is scheduled to start in August 2020. The audio books are widely available almost everywhere on line.
KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.