Erec Rex, a fantasy series for young readers written by Kaza Kingsley, is going to be published internationally. In celebration of the forthcoming Philippine release of Erec Rex, Kaza Kingsley is my guest blogger!
Hi Tarie! Thanks for hosting me at Into the Wardrobe. I'm so glad to be here, and hopefully get to meet a few of your readers!
Below you will see a kid picture of me. If you follow the posts on this tour you can see me "grow up" online! I'd like to take this opportunity to send a message to my potential/future readers there in the Philippines. I am so excited that the Erec Rex books will be available there soon! I really hope you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed writing them.
I want to open up a relationship with all of you who read the Erec Rex books. Because of the magic of cyberspace, I can be as available to you there as to fans in my own country now! Even though here I tour and meet people, I'm spending more and more time with fans online than in person now. So the problems of distance are vanishing.
When I meet readers here, in person, I let them know that I am interested in their comments and questions. In my website there is a way to contact me, and I try to respond to everyone. I want you to know that, even though I am really hoping to come to your country, in the meantime I am still here for you!
It had been really important to me to make my series a global story. Our world is so small now. Ten years ago there is no way I would have been able to introduce myself to you like this!
So, even though Erec Rex, the main character, starts his journey in New York, USA, he quickly travels overseas. Characters appear in France in the beginning of Book Two, and will be all over the world (in mystical places!) in Book Three.
This was important to me, not just because I knew there would be readers around the globe interested in the series. But also because in our world, today, we are all so entwined. What happens to one affects the other. What good is a villain who wants to conquer just a small section of the world? Internet hackers do more than that every day!
Anyway, I want to thank all my potential and future readers in the Philippines (as well as the rest of the world) for your interest in going on this adventure with me. I hope it's an unforgettable one!
Author of the Erec Rex series
I also got to interview Kaza! :)
Tarie: Why the Philippines? Did you get to choose where your books will be released? Or was it your publisher that determined there is a good market for Erec Rex in the Philippines?
Kaza: Well, on one hand, it was more a case of the Philippines picking me than me picking the Philippines! The Erec Rex series is coming out in Japan, Thailand, France, Denmark, Poland, Israel, Brazil and Vietnam so far, too!
It was a publisher in the Philippines, Philmont, that got the ball rolling. I have an agent that works out all the details, and she's been great. I'm so excited that Erec will be available there soon!
But the Philippines are also special to me because I have several great friends from there! One is Rocel, a bookseller in Los Angeles. (There are pictures of him on my blog.) I have a doctor friend in LA and a friend in Chicago who are also from the Philippines.
Tarie: Fantasy isn't a very strong genre in the Philippines. (Unlike countries like the UK and the US where fantasy is such an established genre.) But there are great Filipino writers and so many great Filipino folk tales. And Filipinos love fantasy! Do you have any suggestions for how Filipino writers can solidify Philippine fantasy as a genre?
Kaza: I think that writers that have a special cultural history in them have a fantastic advantage. Folk tales are such a rich source to draw from. And I'm sure the folk tales of the Philippines have their own, unique messages and characters.
I think it would be great if a Filipino writer took a few of those stories and let their imagination go wild. Not only would the stories be popular in the Philippines, but everywhere!
Beyond that, even just the amazing setting you have there might be inspiration for some wonderful stories. Fantasy is just imagination gone wild, in a sense, then putting all kinds of rules on it. Writers interested in that genre should just jump in and give it a try! Reading a lot of fantasy helps give a groundwork for what is out there, that can help, too.
Tarie: Do you write every day, and keep a certain schedule?
Kaza: I really wish I did! But because I've been on tour so much I just can't. And also I can get so caught up in planning school visits, etc., that a day will be gone before I realize I haven't written.
I'm more of an all-or-nothing person when it comes to my writing, lately. When I really sink into a book I'll write for eight or ten hours a day, and do almost nothing else. That really works better for me, because I need really few distractions then. And other times I might go weeks without writing at all. But I don't like that. I really feel best when I'm writing.
Tarie: What do you think of your new website?
Kaza: I love it, so much! An amazing artist, Matthew Liam Brady, did the castle art for it. He's so talented! And I just can't get over all that is in it. The quiz is fun - "have you figured out which Erec Rex character you are?" And there is a constantly regenerating maze, too...
There is a brand new forum that is not even fully set up yet, but some people have already made posts. It's just too cool.
Tarie: If and when you visit the Philippines, will you a) visit white sand beaches and underground caves, go sailing, go snorkeling and scuba diving, etc.; or b) check out the natural wonders above ground, like the Taal Volcano, the Banaue Rice Terraces, and the Chocolate Hills. And why? :o)
Kaza: Ohhhh, do I have to pick? Because I'd really want to do it all! I guess if I had to pick I'd go with option B. Although the white sand beaches and underground caves sound spectacular (I'm sooo jealous!) the on-land sights are so unique to the Philippines that I wouldn't want to leave without seeing those. Rice terraces - I've never seen anything like that before! It conjures up such a beautiful image in my mind. I need to get out there soon and experience all this! And Tarie - you better let me see the beaches, too, when I'm there!
Thank you so much Kaza, for stopping by and for answering my questions! Gosh, it's great having guests over. :D I hope Erec Rex becomes a huge hit in the Philippines! If you have any questions or messages for Kaza, please leave them in the comments section below. She will be happy to reply to all notes left for her. :D