I am excited to help reveal the cover for Kai Kiriyama's Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Knight Surgeon. Kai is a first time author and Blaze Tuesday sounds like such a fun way to break into print! In addition to revealing the cover, I had the opportunity to ask Kai a few questions about the story and her writing career. You can check it out below! But first....
The cover reveal! :)
BLAZE TUESDAY AND THE CASE OF THE KNIGHT SURGEON is a pulpy noir set in a futuristic New York. The oil and technology market crashed in the mid-2000′s and the world has developed into a technologically advanced form of SteamPunk. Body modification has become commonplace with rebellious teenagers, but this time, it’s literal. Clockwork body parts are touted as a medical miracle by the companies who make them, and high fashion by the stars who sport them, and a lot of kids go through illegal surgeries. The sub-culture of Gearheads is full of kids with robotic body parts from poorly done surgery in less-than-sanitary conditions, and these are surgeries that don’t always take.
Blaze Tuesday is New York's most accomplished private investigator. A former police officer with a bone to pick with the corruption in the city, he's earned a name for himself as a guy who gets results, and who is willing to uphold the moral values so many others have forgotten, even if he has to break a few faces to do it.
Blaze is hired by Wayside Firms, one of the medical firms that produces the Clockwork, when a charity doctor who worked specifically with less-fortunate kids who have had botched illegal, is found murdered. As Blaze investigates the unfortunate death, he discovers a conspiracy that stretches from the lowest gutters in Hell’s Kitchen, to the highest corporate fat cats at the medical firms who create the Clockwork body parts.
Can Blaze get justice for the dead doctor, and bring some hope back to the kids in Hell's Kitchen who were counting on the Doctor's help? Or will he get caught up in the underworld of body modification and the big money it brings in?
BLAZE TUESDAY AND THE CASE OF THE KNIGHT SURGEON will be released on August 5, 2014 and download and purchase links will be posted primarily on Kai's website, theraggedyauthor.com
Please tell us about yourself in fifty words or less.
I'm Canadian, with a diploma in palmistry, tea leaf reading and crystal divination and am scarily accurate, if I may say so. I have a pet snake named Ragamuffin. I love Shakespeare, Monster High, and Pokemon. I like to walk the fine line between girly and badass Valkyrie warrior woman... I write too much.
What can readers expect from Blaze Tuesday and the Case of the Knight Surgeon?
Can I resort to the joking, trope of saying 'it's an action-packed adrenaline-filled thrill-ride'? Ha ha, actually, readers can expect intrigue, mystery, and lots of dark humour and sarcasm as they find themselves immersed in my fictional futuristic New York. Think Repo! The Genetic Opera meets Agatha Christie but with more SteamPunk elements and a lot less singing.
What's the story behind the story? Where did the idea for Blaze Tuesday come from?
Blaze came about because I wanted to try my hand at noir crime fiction, but give it a bit of my own twist. I'm a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, and I wanted to incorporate those elements into my story without taking the Desden files route, so I had to figure out something other than wizards to play with! I started looking at the rebel culture throughout history. I personally have rainbow-coloured hair (it's currently orange and pink, and that'll change in a few weeks!) and a mohawk, and my younger sister had gauged ears and facial piercings before deciding that she needed to look more 'professional' for her career path. I thought, maybe one day tattoos and piercings will become normal, and something new will have to take their place in the ranks of rebellious teenagers and disenchanted college-age kids, so I started thinking about what that would possibly look like. And voila, Clockwork body modifications were born.
What's been the single most empowering piece of advice you've gotten when it comes to writing?
Just write, and worry about all that other crap (age rating, genre, publishing, agents, salability etc.) later. You can't edit, polish or submit things that aren't written.
What's been your most challenging writing moment to date?
Picking myself back up and continuing to write and query after getting rejections has definitely been a challenge. It always hurts to have someone else say no, this isn't good enough or isn't their 'taste' after you've just spent innumerable hours writing and polishing something that you love. I've done it, though. And have five books written and in various stages of polish, not counting Blaze, and am (currently) finishing up 2 more. I kind of see rejection as a thing to push me further and harder, and make me up my game and keep pushing to overcome the challenge of rejection.
What's the worst thing you've ever written? The best?
Ha ha, oh man. I don't have a lot of my old stuff, I lost my drafts when my computer and external hard drive blew up within a week of each other. Despite that, I know the worst thing ever is this script I wrote when I was 14 and just starting out. I still have a hard copy in an envelope and I'm considering burning it. It's probably not salvageable and I don't wanna talk about it! The best thing is a harder question. I've come so far since I first drafted Blaze (I wrote him originally in 2012, and up until recently, I'd have said he was the best!) and I've come even farther in the past 6 months. You could ask me this question every month and I'd have a different answer because I'm always growing and always learning. I think the thing I'm most proud of, aside from Blaze is my Urban Fantasy, modern day King Arthur retelling called Arthur 13. But if you ask me that question next month, I'm sure I'll have a different answer!
Do you share any traits or characteristics with your protagonist?
Aside from being roguishly handsome? Ha! I'm pretty sarcastic, and a lot of that makes it into Blaze's vernacular. I like to think that I'd do the same things as Blaze does if I were put in these situations, but I've never been in these kinds of situations! I'd probably cry and freeze up, I don't think I'm anywhere near as quick on my feet or cool and collected as Blaze can be!
In high school you were most likely to ….
I wasn't voted most likely to anything. If I had, I would probably have been most likely to
Read the Entire Class Library... which I actually did in sixth grade.
You're stuck on an island... what 3 books would you kill to have with you?
How to Survive on a Deserted Island for Dummies (and if that doesn't exist, it should!), How to Build a Boat, and Interview With the Vampire.
What one book has had the biggest impact on you?
That's a tough question to answer. I read as widely and as often as I can. I don't think that any one book has had a distinct impact on me as a writer. I had a major attitude shift when I decided to read Fight Club, Trainspotting and Memnoch the Devil back to back to back in two days, and I don't recommend that course of action if you don't wanna be cynical about EVERYTHING FOREVER. If I had to pick something that stuck with me and kind of made me want to up my game, so to speak, it would have to be Stephen King's Dark Tower series. The last book in particular, because it was just perfect when it ended, it made me both happy, sad, brought me to tears and made me throw the book in rage. I STILL think about Roland and his Ka-tet regularly, and I only hope that my writing and characters will one day be as influential to other people as I feel that story and those characters have been to me. On the other hand, Interview With the Vampire is my happy-making, I'm-stressed-out-I-need-read-to-feel-better book so I suppose that one has made a huge impact on me, mentally, too.
About the Author:
A writer of many things and many genres, Kai is currently working on a novel (you can pretty much always assume that she's writing something!) that involves murder, mayhem and probably a ghost or some other form of otherworldly creature. She is also working on some non-fiction but she's not entirely sure why.
Kai has been writing for far too long and she's convinced that both her "to be read" and "to be written" lists will never be completed before she dies. She has a diploma in palmistry and can read hands with an accuracy that scares even her sometimes. She is also accomplished at tea leaf reading and crystal divination, both of which she has also achieved a diploma for and scares herself with the accuracy of the things she has predicted.
A time-travelling, demon hunting, Asgardian geek, with an affinity for Pokemon and Shakespeare, you can be sure that there will be general insanity and dubious wisdom dispensed no matter where you chat with her. As always, she requests that you "be excellent to each other" while she's away.
Kai currently lives in Canada, but if she told you where, you'd have about fifteen seconds to assume the party position before the special ops team arrives.
She can be reached by email at email@example.com
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kai!
FALL– The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.