Today I am so excited to welcome K. C. Finn, Author of The Mind’s Eye to Morphys’ Book Blog. Kim has kindly agreed to an interview of which I really enjoyed, I hope you do too 🙂
Tell us a little about yourself…
The most important thing I could tell you about myself in relation to The Mind’s Eye is that Kit’s disability comes from a real place. I have suffered with the chronic condition M.E. since I was 13 years old which is a severely debilitating physical condition. It’s an irritating thing to live with because it strikes multiple body systems randomly and there’s very little successful treatment and no cure. In The Mind’s Eye, Kit suffers from Juvenile Arthritis which takes on a lot of the same physical hardships in her lower body that I personally have to deal with, the story is just as much about her personal journey with her condition as it is about her adventures in the war. The difference between her and me is that I gave her the chance to recover!
How did you get into writing?
I have always been a storyteller and been fascinated by characters and narratives. I was one of those kids in primary school who would rush to finish my work so I could have free time to sit and write stories and draw comics, which it turns out is actually a pretty good incentive to being a good academic too! I wrote thousands of words in my teenage years but could never actually finish a story, I lost a lot of confidence in my abilities during my university years which brought my writing to a standstill until the very end of 2012. It was then that I decided I was going to try writing again and make it a serious venture, finish a book, put it out there and see what I got back. It’s turned out to be the best decision I ever made!
What inspired you to write The Mind’s Eye?
This book was a total fluke, not at all something I envisaged writing! I did a lot of research into the Second World War for my time travel novel The Secret Star which was released in August 2013, so after that I had a lot of spare ideas floating around that didn’t get used in that book. That same summer I went on a trip to see the Norwegian fjords and ended up touring the WW2 Resistance Museum in Oslo. I hadn’t even realised at the time that Norway played such a huge part in the war and was so heavily occupied by the Nazis. So I really just had all this information circulating in my brain and at the end of September I woke up with the idea of a young woman in North Wales and a young man in occupied Oslo. I wanted a means for them to communicate, which became the psychic connection, and I wrote the first pre-emptive synopsis of the tale and sent it to a very good friend who told me to go for it. The story was born from there.
If made into a film what would be your dream cast?
My top choice for Kit is actress Georgie Henley who you may all know as Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia movies. The celebrity who most looks like Henri isn’t actually an actor, he’s a ballroom dancer by the name of Aljaz Skorjanec who I’ve seen recently on Strictly Come Dancing here in the UK. The cruel, cool and beautiful Blod Price would be played by Dominique Swain, famed for her childhood role in Lolita with Jeremy Irons. And my favourite principal character Doctor Bickerstaff would be played by Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, because he can do moody and handsome at the same time!
Who was your favourite character to write and why?
I had fun with the dialogue for all my Welsh characters the most. I am Welsh originally, though born in the south not the north, and I’ve never used my culture and heritage before in any of my books. The character of Idrys has my grandfather’s voice when I hear him speak in my head, a real Welsh boom with depth and warm, so I very much enjoyed translating that onto the page. Mam is an amalgamation of all the Welsh women in my life, my mother, my grandmother, my great Auntie Pat, they all have that hugely welcoming atmosphere that Mam has in her first scene where she meets Kit and her brother.
What are you working on now?
I currently have three series on the go so I have to split my time between planning and writing and promoting for all of them. I am just finishing up the final part of my sci-fi noir novella series Caecilius Rex which has been a very light-mooded, mysterious sort of journey, but at 140,000 words total I am glad it’s finally over! The second book in the Synsk series that follows on from The Mind’s Eye is already written and with my lovely publishers (that’s called Leighton’s Summer), so I will be writing the third instalment in that series this spring. I am also working on two novellas that are a follow up to my bestselling urban fantasy novel The Book Of Shade which just hit the shelves at Christmas time.
What is your favourite genre to write? As you’ve done a variety (YA, NA, post-apocalyptic, urban fantasy, time-travel, paranormal, historical).
Wow I have done a lot when you list them there like that! I am not a heavily historical writer but I do enjoy incorporating history into my books because it can be such an immersive thing. For example The Mind’s Eye being set against the backdrop of World War 2 really gave me the opportunity to explore lives lived under hardship but also illustrate that young people weren’t all that different in attitude to how they are now. I almost always write in the speculative genres and have something supernatural going on, that is my main wheelhouse as I love to create situations where anything is possible. The only exception to that is when I write horror stories, because I truly believe the most frightening things in this world are the ones that are real, not supernatural!
What is your poison of choice when writing? (Mine’s hot chocolate with whipped cream or Dr. Pepper).
I’m not going to lie, I read that as whipped cream AND Dr. Pepper at first! My poison is no poison curiously enough; I do not eat or drink at all while I’m writing much to the annoyance of my family and friends! I am an avid tea drinker as any true Brit should be, but to be honest if you put a cuppa down in front of me whilst I’m in the writing mood it will probably go cold. If you see me sipping tea while writing it’s a bad sign really!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t expect to just throw a book out there and have people flock to read it. You’re up against at least 3 million other people that are trying to do the same. This is a hard industry to crack and you have to be prepared to spend three times as many hours marketing your books every week as you do writing them. Be aware of other writers and form a community with them. Do favours for one another and be supportive. They are not your competition: the world out there is your competition. Television and movies and the internet are your competition. If you can create a world for readers to step into that’s more attractive than those prospects, then you’re doing something right!
What genres do you prefer to read?
I hate contemporary romance. I mean hate it with a fiery vengeance. In fact I am not that big on any story that only has romance as its main plot. There are some fabulously well written romances out there, but they’re just not for me I’m afraid. My reads of choice are urban fantasy, supernatural, noir, steampunk and classics like Conan-Doyle and Nabokov. Anything that DOESN’T have a generically handsome/pretty main character will catch my eye as will stories that are diverse in terms of ethnicity, disability and/or sexuality. I also really enjoy tales that immerse me in another culture.
Who is your favourite author and/or book?
I usually say ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov here (and that still stands), but right now I’d also love to mention the Lucifer Box trilogy by Mark Gatiss which is a historical spy series. Gatiss is famous for being one of the minds behind The League of Gentlemen and for BBC’s Sherlock TV series, but he is also a stunning novelist that matches up to the old masters any day. Read ‘The Vesuvius Club’ and come talk to me about it. If you love it then we will be friends for life!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m afraid I’m not someone who has terribly interesting hobbies. As a disabled person I don’t really have any physical hobbies and I don’t particularly enjoy going outside, so my pursuits are fairly ordinary things like reading, listening to music, laughing at good comedy and being amongst friends. Writing is my passion; it’s something I do every day. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, so other hobbies that get in the way of that are unacceptable!
If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?
An enigmatic cripple?
No I’m being harsh there, aren’t I? (It’s true though). How about: Wit, Wisdom and Wanderlust.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
To never have to go to sleep. I would love the power of constant physical energy and I would put it to use getting everything done and sorting out the problems of the world around me!
Thank you so much for joining us Kim, it was a pleasure!
About the Book
Title: The Mind’s Eye
Series: Synsk, book 1
Author: K. C. Finn
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal, Historical (with some Adventure and Romance)
Release Date: April 1, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Buy Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N
A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.
There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.
You can read my review HERE
Other K. C. Finn books