Soup Of The Day: With Mythpunk Author Amy Kuivalainen

The Curious Adventures Of Messrs Smith And Skarry

Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!

Helping me this morning is author Amy Kuivalainen! Good morning Amy, thank you so much for coming to help me in my soup kitchen today! Can I take your parasol?

Absolutely, but do be careful…it bites. Lovely to be here with you today.

Oh! My goodness, what a disturbingly sentient promenadial accessory – although I imagine it comes in extremely useful! How was your journey here from your own dimension? I hope you were not waylaid by any skywaymen…

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Rise of the Firebird – The Last One

FirebirdFinal-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500You would have seen every where that Rise of the Firebird is the last book in The Firebird Fairytales. I want to reassure you, this isn’t one of those random ‘I’m tired of writing the series’ things. It’s a ‘I had finished the writing the whole trilogy two years ago’ thing. It’s always been one complete story with each book starting directly after the last. It’s why Book 1 feels a bit like a prologue, Book 2 a Middling and now Book 3 be prepared for an Ending.

To give you a bit of history the third book was a bitch to write. I originally had a whole different book planned out, I had nearly 40k words written. Then I rewrote book 1 &2 and scrapped 35k of book 3. It didn’t want to work. At the end of 2012 I was a wreck. I had gone through a really bad break up, was made redundant, moved states and was in a job I couldn’t make work for love or money.

Mentally, physically and spiritually I hit the wall so fucking hard I had to spend the subsequent 6 months scraping my shit back together to make an Amy shaped person again.

For the first time in my life I couldn’t write.

Not to put a too fine a point on it but have you met a writer when they can’t write? It’s frustration and madness personified. It’s a wailing shit bag chaos incarnate monster face.

In other words, I didn’t ever think Book 3 was going to be finished…like ever.

In June 2013 things started to change. I changed jobs, met my Future Partner (Hi honey) and met Anna (yeah, that Anna). She was really great at harassing me until I started writing again. We brainstormed a lot at the local Swedish café over huge coffees, waffles and Karelia Pirrika. Asgeirr released an album and he and Sibelius provided the soundtrack to finish writing Rise of the Firebird. For those that wonder, no – my character Asgeirr was already written by the time the musician arrived in my life although I took it as a sign that I was on the right track.

I finished writing The End on a plane somewhere between Cairns and Melbourne the following June. When I landed Future Partner had a bottle of Finlandia waiting – can you see why I fell in love with him?

I went to Finland in late August and gathered mountainous notes to add an extra layer of awesome to Rise and ended up with enough for a completely other story (I’m about 30k words into that one). Yep. I want to go back to Finland.

Back to the actual story. People who’ve read the second book know that things have not been left well for our fearless warriors and many have been cross (sorry Fox) about the casualties’ of war.

Rise is a big book (100 pages more on the others) and there is much that goes down. You will hopefully get all the answers you have been scratching your head over and muttering ‘why have you created a massive plot hole here woman!’ (spoilers-plot device, not plot hole)  and little pieces will suddenly start falling into place. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway. You will meet some new and mythological faces, a pack of volk krovi, two gods, two wizards…and the list continues. I’ve added an updated character list in the back but be careful not to give yourself spoilers. I’ve tried to make sure you all get a bit of clarity and closure by the end (DON’T EVEN THINK OF READING THE LAST PAGE *squints*), there are a lot of character arcs so I’ve done my best. Some I’ve left intentionally hazy as yes, I do have spin off books planned even though they will not be Firebird Fairytales.

There is going to be a digital box set :

FIREBIRDFAIRYTALES

(Damn…Don’t they look so pretty together? you can order it here)

The good news is I’ve also transferred the paperbacks to new publishers so they can be printed in a lot more countries (they have a house in Melbourne Aussie Readers) which means that shipping won’t cost more than the book due to exchange rates.

I’ve also got a thing going on with Kylie Chan and Queenie Chan’s BentoNet site that I will give you an update on when things are up and running. Keep your eye out, it’s going to be awesome.

Once Rise has been out for a month and people have read it I’ll put a blog up about some of the mythologies and folk tales I refer to in it. There’s a lot more Finnish shenanigans going on so I need to nerd out about that.

It’s going to be out this weekend to coincide with my 30th birthday. 3 is my lucky number and being book 3 I couldn’t help myself. Also it’s like a present to me (it makes sense in writer logic).

As always, I hope you enjoy it and feel free to ask me questions on Twitter or Facebook about it.

 

Writing Catch Ups and What Nots

Hi Everyone

Long time no chat. I have had a crazy couple of weeks so I thought I’d drop in and debrief on all the stuff thats going on.

I feel bad for not being around so much but the good news is things are going to calm down (are listening Universe??).

I’ve wrapped up final assignments for the two university units that I’ve been working on for the last twelve weeks. Me trying to get this Bachelor done really cracks me up sometimes. I’ve really done my education ass about face so now I’m still trying to get a degree in Creative Writing finished when I have three books out and I’ve held a steady freelance writing job. I know all education is worth it but sometimes I fight and flail against the education system with frustration at it all. I’m studying an Ancient History unit next semester (only the one) so I’m hoping there will be less me shouting at the computer screen about how assigned books for a Romance genre are actually Literature and the how whoever wrote the lectures is extremely dismissive of genre fiction. Admittedly it was much worse when they tried to teach me about Speculative Fiction but sometimes I need to just shut the fuck up, play the game and try and get through it. The good news is I’ve only got three units left in my Major writing stream and the rest of my degree can be electives and I’ll find more interesting units to do. I really hate school sometimes.

Okay, next!

My partner spent a week in Hong Kong for work so I spent my week doing a writing challenge. I find ‘Middles’ of books can drag about if I don’t watch what I’m doing. After a full re-structure of my current work in progress, BLAISE, I was floundering a bit so a writing challenge was in order. I aimed to do 1000 words/ day for a week and my total ended up being over 11,000. I’m 900 words away for having my middling out of the way which is great news. Writing challenges help me push out all the voices saying ‘this is stupid no one is going to read this’ and ‘this makes no sense even to you’ and ‘you really should eat the rest of that chocolate in the fridge cos you ain’t no writer’ and just focus on the words. I know writing challenges are some peoples form of hell but every couple of months I need it and so does my writing. I’m happy with the way it’s pulling together and fingers crossed I don’t hate it by the end of it.

Next!

As a few Twitter posts have suggested (I do a lot more on Twitter than Facebook so make sure you come say hi @AmyKuivalainen) I have been working on final copy edits and covers and publishing what nots for the third Firebird Fairytales book – Rise of the Firebird. This is the final book in the trilogy, it’s massive but it’s also my favourite. I will make announcements when the process is a little bit further on and make you aware of release dates and all that jazz  *spirit fingers*

Next!

I’m in the process of changing publishers to Ingram. Amazon have been great but Ingram are published here in Melbourne and so shipping costs and product are much cheaper to produce. They have publishing houses all over the world so it should end up being cheaper for anyone chasing paperbacks. Their distribution is wider and even though its more work for me once its done I’m going to be stoked and you, the readers, will be better off.

Next!

I’ve got two series that I could launch after the Firebird Fairytales is wrapped up. One is an epic fantasy YA/New Adult series that I originally finished when I was 19 and have recently pulled to pieces and rebuilt to make it a real book, well two books because together its 180k words. There is a third spin off book that I will work on in the future.

The other series is a gothic fantasy romance series that I began in September last year. BLAISE is the second book of that series and it does feature a character we meet in the Firebird Fairytales. It isn’t a spin off series but it does happen after the events of Rise of the Firebird. It ties in a lot of Celtic history and mythology and could be read totally independently from Firebird.

Why am I telling you this? WELL. I’m struggling to decide where to go next because I’m still writing/ working on both. I had the Firebird Fairytales completely wrapped up before I launched book 1 and in doing that I could tie and foreshadow like crazy. I’m ultra conscious of continuity issues within other writers books (looking at YOU Sookie Stackhouse)  so I want to make sure that I make the right decisions.

I have this feeling when the time comes it will be a roll of a dice or Duke the Shepherd will decide for me.

Next!

I haven’t had a Free Stories for a while, the next one is over 8k words to make up for the time between drinks. It will be out soon but I’ll write another blog announcing it.

Next!

I started a new day job in March. It’s been really challenging and rewarding but new jobs always take it out of me so I’ve been a bit fatigued  but making my way back to where I need to be.

In conclusion with everything else going on the poor blog has been neglected but I’ve scaled back uni and pushed out some dead lines on other things so expect to see more of me.

Duke the Shepherd says Hi.

Amy xoFullSizeRender