The Wednesday Spotlight
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves.
There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series available for sale on Amazon:
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold: http://www.amazon.com/Kitty-Flying-Detective-Agency-Series-ebook/dp/B00AGY6WWK/
Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost: http://www.amazon.com/Hemingways-Flying-Detective-Agency-Series-ebook/dp/B00F4A6WXA/
Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue: http://www.amazon.com/Icelandic-Intrigue-Flying-Detective-Agency-ebook/dp/B00CGS8862/
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic: http://www.amazon.com/Tragedy-Titanic-Flying-Detective-Agency-ebook/dp/B00IIY8V1U
About Iain Reading
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. He has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/
Hi Iain and welcome to my blog
Firstly can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Iain and as many people apparently know already, I am quite fond of Root Beer. (And thank you to everyone who brings me Root Beer related things when I'm off peddling my books at ComicCons and stuff.)
Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
Right now I am nearing the end of writing the fifth book (of thirteen) in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series. Following that I plan to start work on the second book (of five) in my other series, which is a sort of Young Adult Urban Fantasy series about some teenaged wizards with the ability to manipulate the elements into an energy that they can use to create magic. That series is called The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire and from there I plan to alternate back and forth between the two series until they are each finished.
Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?
Not that I am any kind of expert or anything, but the two pieces of advice I generally give to any aspiring authors who happen to ask me for advice are:
First off... You're not an "aspiring author". You are an author. Just be one.
Secondly.... Don't try to write a book that you are incapable of writing. Just write the book you can write and write it the best that you can. I'd love to write some wonderful timeless masterpiece of literature, but since I can't do that I can either frustrate myself to death trying to or I can just write the books I am capable of and being happy with that.
What is/are your all-time favourite novel/s?
The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux and Contact by Carl Sagan. To me these are everything a book should be. Wonderful worlds created somewhere just at the edges of our own world.
Do you have a favourite quote, if so what is it?
The quote inscribed on the inside of my jacket probably sums everything up for me:
"Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." (Goethe)
I also have another one, if I may be so bold as to include it as well. Some may know this one already since it tends to pop up in my writing and music sometimes. It's from Romeo and Juliet, quoted by Bobby Kennedy:
"And when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun." (William Shakespeare)
How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?
I just kind of think about them. Ha ha. Unfortunately it's not always that easy. Thus far with five books under my belt I can say that at least two or three of those were reasonably obvious titles staring back at me from the pages of the book. But just between you and me? The fifth Kitty Hawk book that I am working on right now (and which I will release within the next couple months) is really giving me trouble. I have no idea what to call it. Kitty Hawk and... something about something? I have no idea! Ahhhh!
Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?
The title is most definitely decided later on, once I know what the story is and (more important) what the elements in that story are going to be.
What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
Somewhere in-between the two. I tend to have a vague idea of the direction and scope of the entire book from the start of it, but that isn't to say I have any idea how the plot is going to play out. But I always have a really clear idea of where things are going in the next few chapters before I write them, as well as a good idea of where they eventually will lead. I think without that it would be very difficult to write coherently.
Are there any little tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters better?
One thing I always do is picture each character in the books by finding some picture or something out on the Internet that is the basis of what any particular character will look like. Sometimes I have an idea that a certain character will bear some resemblance to (for example) some celebrity or another and I will download a few suitable pictures of that person and use that as reference.
Ironically, the only character I do NOT have a clear picture of what she looks like is the main character herself from the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series. I know what she looks like from the covers of the books, of course. But as I am going along and writing I actually find myself not being able to really picture her all that well. I have no idea why not.
Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?
I almost always write while listening to music and I think that each book has its own particular playlist associated with it - whatever is my favourite music at the time, of course. But here's the secret.... for me it's really important to choose music that is creates the least possible distraction to me as I am working. And that means that whatever is playing on my headphones has to be something that is familiar to me as the back of my hand, often just a short playlist repeated over and over. Sometimes even just one single song repeated over and over again like a mantra.
If you were stranded on a faraway island:- which of your characters would you like to be marooned with and why?
That's an easy one. I'd want to be marooned with Kitty Hawk. That way I could sit back and let her figure out how we're going to be saved. She's good at that kind of stuff.
Which type of book do you prefer to read?
Shame on me! I've been an eBook convert for many years now.
Do you have any input in the Cover design of your novel?
I have always had artists do my covers for me, but going into each one I always have an idea generally how I want them to look and what elements they have to include. That said, however, I try to keep it as general as possible because one of the great joys of working with such immensely talented people like that is not to impose my own restrictive ideas on them and to just let them do what they do best, which is to stun me with their amazing perspectives and ideas.
What is the very best thing about writing for you?
I love the process of creating worlds so real that I could almost pick myself up and go live in them for a while, which I suppose is exactly what all of us does every time we pick up a book and read it.
Apart from writing, do you have any other hobbies that you’d like to share with us?
I always wanted to be a musician. Never really turned out though, but if you're interested in hearing some of the music I write and record, you can check it out on www.secretworldonline.com.
How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?
Thus far the shortest time was about three weeks (plus a month or two of thinking it over ahead of time). Since that they've generally taken about four to six weeks actual writing time, often interrupted and spread out because of day job responsibilities, holidays and life in general.
Are you a:
a. Laptop Writer
b. Desktop Writer
c. iPad Writer
d. Pen and Paper Writer
Definitely a desktop computer writer.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Every time I write a book and find myself setting it in some exotic part of the world where I've been before, I always find myself yearning hopelessly to actually get up and go visit those places again. Sometimes I've been able to actually do it, but sometimes not. So I guess if I could go anywhere in the world it would be wherever it is that my next book will be set, and to go there at the exact most convenient moment for me (IE right when I am just getting into writing the book). Too bad it's a bit difficult to predict all of that and then somehow squeeze it into life's schedules.
Who would be your dream cast if your novel was made into a movie?
(Touch wood) If my Kitty Hawk books were ever made into movies, I would love to see who would play the lead character of Kitty Hawk. Do I have someone in mind? Not really. But somewhere out there is some unknown actress who is perfect for it.
If you had a choice – a dream come true - which would be your preference: Your books serialised - a weekly show or made into movies?
Movies. Definitely movies.