Kim Falconer is a HarperVoyager Aus author writing epic science fantasy novels set in the worlds of Earth and Gaela. Her latest series is Quantum Encryption. Her novel writing is done every morning and the rest of the time she devotes to gardening, weight training, swimming and teaching her eclectic insights to anyone keen or curious. She also actively supports the respect and reverence of all life and habitats on Earth. Kim’s currently working on a novella, the final story in Quantum Encryption, as well as a new projected three book series. She lives on the far eastern point of Australia with two gorgeous black cats, three crows and a ridiculously magical garden.
1. The third book of the Quantum Encryption series is your most recent release, and has been recognized for a number of awards. Are you happy with how this series has been received?
The reception for the Quantum Encryption series has blown my mind! First Journey by Night is short listed for the ‘people’s choice’ David Gemmell Ravenheart Award, thenRoad to the Soul is short listed for the Norma K Hemming Award that marks excellent in works dealing with gender, race, disability, class and environmental issues, and finallyPath of the Stray was chosen by Ian Somerhalder to be the first feature work in his Ian Somerhalder Foundation Book Club. All in all, a very uplifting year for this Aussie Woman Writer!
2. How does the Quantum Encryption trilogy relate to your earlier series, Quantum Enchantment? Do you feel with the second series that you have finished this particular story?
The first two books in Quantum Encryption, Path of the Stray and Road to the Soul, are really a duet, a prequel to the first series, Quantum Enchantment. They answer a lot of questions, explain the origins of Jarrod and the Lupins, the loss of the Southern Continent and give readers ah ha moments if they’ve read in the published order. But many readers are starting with the second series and that’s working well too. (All roads lead to Rome with my books.) Journey by Night, the sixth book, is best read last though. It brings everything, and I mean everything, to a conclusion … almost. I am now doing the final edits on a novella that will clear up, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the link between Kreshkali and Nell. It will soon be released by HarperVoyager and mark the ‘final’ story. But . . . I had to write a tiny window on the last page, just in case I can return to Earth and Gaela. I think there is more to go here, though not until I’ve ventured to other places first.
3. You are currently at work on a new series set in a very different world, apparently based on a painting? What inspired this story?
Oh you mean Amassia! I am so excited about this series. It was inspired, in part, by a John Waterhouse painting called The Siren. The idea of Mar, a people of and in the sea, has been with me for a long time and that painting, which hangs in my bedroom, has been calling to me for years. Coming up with the ‘when’ of the story hit me one day while I was watching a YouTube video on how Earth’s continents would, in 250 million years, reform again as one land called Amassia. I saw the image of the single continent and got a huge YES. This is no high tech future world, I promise. Between now and then there will be more great extinctions, huge climate changes and adaptations in our DNA. I speculate that the human genome will travel down two divergent evolutionary paths, one on the land and one in the sea.
4. What Australian works have you loved recently?
Wizard Undercover by KE Mills (aka Karen Miller). I’m actually interviewing one of the characters in the story, Emmerabiblia Markham! Very fun! Angel of Ruin by Kim Wilkins, not new but new to me. I loved it! The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss. Fields of Gold, by Fiona McIntosh and if I can include our Kiwi neighbours, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox. Also Helen Lowe’s The Gathering of the Lost and Mary Victoria’s Oracle’s Fire. There are more. I could fill a whole page, there’s that much talent around.
5. Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?
The biggest change that comes immediately to mind is the recent passing of beloved author Sara Douglass. She was our spec fic pioneer and with her death I think every SFF writer in the country has paused to think of how far we have come and how much the efforts of single individuals can change the entire collective. We need to remember that and follow her example.
The changes in the industry (ie closing of bookshops, fluctuating economy, increase in electronic delivery, necessity of social media, book trailer craze etc) have touched readers, writers and publishers alike. We are all in flux. Do we go the trad publishing route or self-publish? Do we buy/write physical books or ebooks? And if we go with electronic delivery, how do we stop pirating. Should we stop it?
We write in a genre that is expanding in depth and breadth. Spec Fic is capturing the eye of the reading public, especially YA readers, and because of the growing popularity there is hope for greater opportunity and exposure for writers and increased diversity of works for readers. In a generally flagging industry, I see new types of bookshops (with a mix of electronic and physical offerings) sprouting up and readers, who are always looking for good stories, finding their way to the books they love. It has always been so, and will always be!
Thank you for inviting me back to SnapShot 2012!