Hey hello hi, yes I haven’t been around for quite a while on here, but! I’m back! And I’ve had the opportunity to interview M.K. England, author of one of my favourite books this year, The Disasters, and of course the upcoming Spellhacker (which is only one of my most anticipated releases of ever).
I have the good fortune to be a part of the launch crew for Spellhacker, and so today I’ve had the chance to interview M.K. England as part of the mini blog tour for the preorder campaign.
But first – the preorder details:
ALL PREORDERS WILL RECEIVE:
★ A bookmark
★ TWO stickers!
★ A signed bookplate (If you preorder from Fountain Bookstore, your book will also be hand-signed)
★ A postcard
★ An emailed PDF with a printable SPELLHACKER-themed card to give along with the preorder goodies as a gift to someone.
★ A Disasters short story, to be delivered by email on December 17 when the Disasters paperback releases
THREE GRAND PRIZE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE:
★ All of the above
★ A 30-minute Skype conversation to get writing/industry/librarian coaching or to discuss SPELLHACKER
★ A small piece of art by me
★ A handwritten letter
★ Annotations and secrets about SPELLHACKER
Please email the following info:
★ Valid mailing address where you can receive a package
★ Proof of purchase or library purchase request
…to mkenglandbooks [at] gmail [dot] com. Please double check your address before you hit send!
If you pre-order multiple copies and would like multiple sets of swag, please say so in your email and include proof of purchase for each. Proof of purchase can be an attachment, pasted in the email, or a forwarded email confirmation from the retailer, photo of the library request form, etc. Everyone should get an automatic confirmation email with a link to download the holiday card PDF. Please ask your library’s permission first if you choose to add the bookplate to a library book instead of keeping it for yourself.
Last day to submit is 1/27/2020 at 11:59pm EST, end of the first week of publication. Submissions made before the USPS holiday mailing deadlines will be sent out in time for Christmas in case you want to give it as a gift. If you’re trying to get the preorder goods in time for another holiday or birthday, let me know and I’ll do my best!
Open internationally except to countries currently sanctioned by the US, listed here, and countries in which this type of giveaway is illegal.
(Full details HERE)
About M.K. England:
M.K. England is an author and YA librarian who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls rural Virginia home. When they’re not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, digging in the garden, or feeding their video game addiction. They love Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in their presence. You’ll regret it.
M.K. is the author of THE DISASTERS (2018) and SPELLHACKER (2020), both from Harper Teen. Follow them at www.mkengland.com.
In Kyrkarta, magic—better known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever. But when their plan (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world. No pressure.
(also speaking from personal experience – I was able to read the first five chapters and this book is really fucking good y’all. I’m already so attached to all the characters, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a full copy when this book releases in January)
And now, the interview:
To start us off: how would you describe each of your books in five words or less?
The Disasters: Space academy rejects save the galaxy (‘the’ totally doesn’t count as a word)
Spellhacker: Found family futuristic magic heist
And for both of them, I think the Kirkus review for Spellhacker said it best: “joyfully queer!”
What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a panster?
Definitely a plotter. I have to write a full synopsis of a book before I can write it! Here’s roughly how it goes:
- Have an idea
- Add the idea to my Idea File google doc and let it sit for a long time until it collides with another idea
- Question the crap out of the idea until the worldbuilding and central conflict start to develop. (What if this? What if that? Well then, if this, then what?)
- Find the emotional beat I want to end on, the final frame of the movie
- Find the “necessaries”—what must necessarily happen in order for the ending to come about. Make a list.
- Vomit any small bits of dialogue or description that come to me during this process and throw them in a document
- Pace around and talk the idea out with someone who will indulge me and not ask too many irrelevant questions
- Make a full list of scenes to be written
- It’s time to start writing when I can hear voices in my head (and by that I mean, the characters’ dialogue comes easily and naturally in their own voices)
Which books inspire you as a writer?
It’s funny, I think the books that inspire me are the ones that are nothing like the books I write. I love The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, lots of books about science and technology, etc. I also take big inspiration from roleplay game handbooks, which might sound funny, but they really help me. I keep the D&D Player’s Handbook, the Serenity Role Playing Game, the Starfinder Core Rulebook, and the Star Wars RPG Rulebook on my writing desk!
In Spellhacker, there are a bunch of different strains of maz – if you lived in the world of Spellhacker, which would be your favourite strain of maz to work with?
Oooooh, what a great question, I’m kinda torn! Terraz and vitaz, because I love the idea of that protective strength, vitality, and health. But I’m also a former musician, so I wish I’d gotten a chance to explore the musical uses for songaz. The idea of twining instruments and vocals with threads of magic is fascinating to me. What kinds of amazing sounds and musical effects could be created? Now I want to write about that…