Today I am very lucky to be interviewing the very talented Author of A Perpetual Mimicry, and The Fifth Empire Trilogy, (currently 2 books) K.P. Ambroziak! We discuss her very impressive background and her current and future projects.
Hello Paige, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little bit about your background.
First, let me say I am grateful for this opportunity to talk about my work on “A Well Read Woman,” April. I have been writing fiction for several years now, but have been studying literature for about a decade. I am almost finished my PhD in Comparative Literature, and have been fortunate enough to split my time between academic writing and fiction writing.
You have a very impressive background! It is evident in your writing. I really enjoyed the first book in The Fifth Empire trilogy, The Journal of Vincent du Maurier. It was fun that you wrote it in the format of a journal. What inspired you to write your novel this way?
Thank you for reading it, and reviewing it too. I am glad you enjoyed it. I suppose the journal format came naturally when I began the story. I had a strong sense of Vincent when I started writing and it felt right to tell his story this way. The journal entries, marked by the day-less and month-less dates, became fitting pauses in his recounting, as well as a way to show the meaninglessness of time in this newly apocalyptic world. There are pros and cons to using this format however. It is not always easy to constrain the story to one character’s, particularly one that is not human, limited view of the world.
I also enjoyed the cover for The Journal of Vincent du Maurier. It looked like a worn leather journal. Who designed your cover?
Thank you. I was going for the worn out journal look. My best friend, who is gifted in many things, knows graphic design. He put the cover together for me. In fact, he has done all my covers to date. He also designed and shot my book trailer. I am rather lucky to have such a talented best friend.
What genre do you write for and what draws you to this genre?
This is such a great question. I think I write literary fiction, despite the topic of my story or the genre or category it may fall into. I believe any character-driven fiction, as opposed to plot-driven fiction, is literary fiction. And I believe that a work about zombies, vampires or angels can still be a work of literary fiction. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Milton’s Paradise Lost or Bram Stoker’s Dracula are all great examples of literary fiction of this sort.
The second book in The Fifth Empire trilogy continues to tell Vincent’s story of his struggle to keep humanity alive. Is this novel also told in the format of a journal?
Yes, the second book does uphold the journal format, although the entries are much longer. I did not want to constrain myself too much in that way, and so I played around a little with his entries this time. Vincent looks less to his memories in the second book and writes more about the immediate present.
What can we expect in the last story of The Fifth Empire trilogy?
We will learn more about the mysterious characters from America, where they were living, and how they ended up on Vincent’s coast. The Empress will also have a larger role in the final book, and we will see some of her rise to power, how she commandeered the slave ship, and how she is connected to the Americans. And Vincent will finally meet his maker.
Sounds excellent! How did you come up with the title for your series?
The meaning of the fifth empire will be revealed in the third book. But the title, as it is written on the cover, is meant to evoke the Vampire as well as the V Empire.
Have you ever received a bad review? If so, how do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I have not received a bad review … yet. But I only have a handful of reviews as of now, so I suspect I will be receiving a bad one at some point? I hope I will be graceful about it. In a way, it should mean something that someone went to the trouble of writing an honest review at all. Whether your work disappoints a reader or thrills him, at the very least you know you have made an impact in some way if he writes a review. I like to think as a writer, and reader, that is sort of the point.
Do you do research for your novels?
Yes. I will often try to emulate or represent something as close to its reality, or myth, as possible. For me, this can only be done if I research it first.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write what you want to write about, even if it is considered passé or overdone or unpopular. And try to abandon your writing each day with a little bit of a mental cliffhanger, so that when you sit back down to the keyboard the next day you will know where you have to go and what you need to write. That works for me, and apparently Hemingway followed the same advice. I also believe this tidbit of brilliance: “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar” (E.B. White).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If just one person reads my words and finds pleasure in them, I have succeeded.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in this interview!
Thank you again for the chance to speak to your blog readers, April!