An Interview with Andi Katsina of Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures #1

Today I have an interview with writer Andi Katsina, author of Rick and Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures; I will post the review within the next few days. But right now, what you have to do is check out this fabulous interview – just three questions, which tell you a lot about the author and give a pretty accurate idea about the awesomeness of the book.

A little about the author:

I’m English, of rich Irish, African descent. Born in the
sound of bow bells, an orphan, I grew up in Manchester, England. Quite a bit
more than forty, I‘m a vegan, though occasionally lapse into vegetarianism.
Throughout my school years I was a champion athlete and
swimmer, going on to become an athletics coach, swimming teacher and youth
leader. After which time I was trained as a Chartered Accountant. Interrupting
my training, I branched out, working freelance as a troubleshooter in the field
of accountancy. Six years of adding and subtracting, was followed by two years
of trading as an international commodities broker. This led me to the sedentary
position of ‘trader in antique, oriental carpets’. It was at this juncture that
I became completely inspired to become a writer.
As a ‘school kid’ I very much enjoyed writing plays in
English, Latin and French. Fortunately for me, writing came naturally. I so, so
like writing stories that give people, especially young people, and people
young at heart, the chance to exercise their own imagination.
I love taking my readers on fantastic journeys. The
enjoyment and taste of adventure my stories give to my readers, warms me

1. There are so many
books out there that promise a wonderful ride into a new world. What makes the
world in your book unique? How would you convince people to read your book?

What makes the world in my book unique? My fantasy world was
created by unbridled imagination, driven by love, determination and endurance.
My fantasy world is real! You can feel it, visit it, travel around in it, touch
it with your mind. Priya, you’ve read my book, so I’m sure you can identify
with this! You can meet my characters, take a journey with them. It’s a world
into which you can happily retreat. It’s also a world that allows you to
unleash your own imagination, a place where you can choose to journey either in
complete safety, or at the mercy of your own exploratory desires. Some of the
people and creatures within my world, if you so wish, can be your protectors.
As magnificent a fantasy kingdom this world is, and I describe it to you in
full colour detail over the course of three books, there are also dark areas,
wicked creatures and nasty people, spawned from evil, areas from which my
readers are normally protected, but areas that the great, great fantasy epics
must provide. I don’t necessarily promise a wonderful ride; I ride motorbikes
and sometimes you can fall off, or they can break down. But I do assure you, my
dear reader, a long lasting experience and unforgettable great journey.
Why should you buy my book? I love the fact that the more my
book becomes known, the more people want to read it. Right now it’s on target
to becoming a bestseller, my first bestseller : ) And it’s already being
translated in Japan. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a writer is to
see your readers grow in number. Still though, I just can’t bring myself to
urge you to buy my book. Instead I would ask that you get to know me, get to
know my work, talk to people who have read the book, and through this I’m sure
you’ll feel that you really want to read my book too: Rick & Wylie’s
Fantastical, Magical Adventures book 1 [Journey to the kingdom]. I care about
my readers, and always appreciate your feedback.

2. They say you
should never ask a horror novelist if he believes in ghosts. I’m going to take
my chances and ask you if you believe in magic. Why did you choose to write

Yes Priya, I absolutely believe in magic! Though I would
like to differentiate the type of magic I believe in with what is commonly
called magic, that being the pretend art of magic, for instance what we see
modern day magicians practicing, clever tricks with a distinct lack of real
magic. Now real magic, the employment of super natural powers, that is
something to behold, and though exceptionally rare, I wholeheartedly believe
it exists. And providing we are sympathetic to Nature, in tune with our
environment, it may be possible to one day witness a feat of magic. I travel a
lot and have come across many cultures and belief systems. I am currently in
Central America, a place where certain indigenous tribes believe that people
can, under certain circumstances take on the guise of an animal. As a child I
spent time in Ireland, and you’d be amazed at how many people claimed to have
seen a Leprechaun or fairy. In China, Nepal, Korea, Taiwan, India and Japan, to
name a few, the list of magical happenings is endless. The people in these
countries also have traditional, religious and or cultural beliefs that some
may say are fanciful, but such overwhelming belief in magic can not be so
easily dismissed. In documents pertaining to Native American peoples, there are
recorded occurrences that seem out and out magical, but occurrences non-the
less. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are founded on a hot bed of belief
in real magic, a simple example, the Druids. In Hawaii, where my story is
based, there’s been claims of what we consider magic for at least the past
seven hundred years. I myself have stood inside a rainbow, more than once, and
although it felt magical, being scientifically minded I know there is a rational
explanation. Point being, there are claims by people from all walks of life,
religious beliefs and educational standing, that magic exists, on a global
scale, we can’t all be wrong! Woooohhooooo : )
Why did I choose to write fantasy? Thanks for asking, Priya.
All my life I’ve been surrounded by elements of fantasy. As a child I read
books, the majority of them where made up fanciful stories. I sometimes watched
television, the vast majority of the programmes; made up storylines greatly
departing from reality. One of the major forms of entertainment in our
societies consists of made up stories. Fantasy takes it a few steps further,
for the most part leaving behind the seeming similarity to normal life, opening
the door to mystical, magical, improbable situations. I’ve been blessed with an
exceptionally active imagination, and an understanding of the value of fantasy
in being able to offer people a retreat in which they can exercise their own
imaginations. I love being able to create whole worlds in which we can be
ourselves, but can also experience, explore or observe wondrous  amazing
activities, surrounded by people and creatures that are governed by none of the
restrictions and limitations we are faced with. Other writers may agree with
this, I hope, but I can say with all certainty that for me, having the
wonderful ability to create the most fantastic, amazing worlds and universes
that other people, my readers, can share, is such a beautiful feeling!! I truly
hope you enjoy my stories….

3.  I sometimes write short stories, and I know
many people who write poetry. How different/ difficult is writing a novel in
comparison? What is your bottom-line advice to aspiring authors?

Priya, this is an excellent question! As a writer you
understand much of what’s involved in starting and finishing a written
piece. In reference to the 1st
part of your question, can I compare it to a track race? Writing poetry is
comparable to the 200 metre sprint, a short story, the 400 metre dash, a book,
more like the one mile race. But here’s the thing, to participate in any of
these races requires training, discipline, and dedication, and all of these
races produce champions.
The only differences I can think of at this time is that the
writing process continues a lot longer when writing a novel as opposed to
poetry or short stories, and the written content is much more involved,
complex, for the book. Short stories mirror the construction of a novel, but
fewer words are used to tell the tale. Poetry in no way resembles short, or
full length stories, as one does not need to rely on the context of the whole
to convey the expression of a collection of ideas. The difficulty encountered
in writing a novel, compared to a short story or poem, is that since the
writing process lasts a lot longer, there is more time for the writer to
encounter pitfalls before reaching the finish line; writers block, lack of
material, weak storyline. There is a myriad of factors that can play a part in
preventing one from finishing a novel, but this is exactly were dedication and
discipline will protect the writer from failure, and ensure that the novel is
Advice for aspiring authors, bottom-line; start as you mean
to go on. Let me clarify, if you start writing when you’re not ready, for a
fact you’re not going to finish the piece. And starting a writing project and
not finishing it, especially a first project, is the easiest and most
guaranteed way of bringing one’s writing career to a crashing halt. I should
add here that there’s nothing wrong with starting to work on a writing project
and finding that you can’t get very far forward with it. When this happens you
have to be kind to yourself and also you have to understand what it is that’s
actually happening, for instance, possibly writers block, (writers block can
present itself at any stage, whether you’re scribbling a handful of sentences
or writing a book, if it does happen to you recognise it for what it is),
possibly you don’t have enough information on the subject, (this is more
important to an aspiring writer because falling short of material can be
worrisome to the extent of actually putting you off writing), lots of
possibilities… but a probability is that it’s not enough to put you off
writing, providing you don’t blow it out of proportion, you must accept it for
what it is, a dry patch. If you do experience this, know that it’s all right to
change your project; you’re working on one piece, if the ideas aren’t flowing,
simply put it to one side and start on something else. Under no circumstances
should you let such a blockage be a determining factor. Never, ever, put your
pen down for the wrong reasons! It’s not uncommon for many writers to have more
than one project on the go at any one time. Newby, it really doesn’t have to be
tough : )
Another issue to be taken into full consideration; if you
can write straight off the bat, excellent, otherwise always try and work out in
your head, or on paper, voice recording etc, what it is you want to say. You
need to know your subject matter. If it’s a poem of course you need to know
what it is you want to express. If it’s a short story same thing, if it’s a
book for heavens sake you need to know what the storyline is, I’m not saying
you need to know it from start to finish, rarely is a writer so fortunate to
know the whole story, details an’all, it depends how your thinking process
operates in relation to the material you’re going to write about.
In closing I give to you one of my own mottos, a sentiment
shared by many, and a necessity you will become accustomed with if you do
become a writer, NEVER GIVE UP! Also, rather importantly, don’t ever let the
thought of not having any readers, or not being able to sell your books, short
stories, poems, interfere with becoming a writer. As I’ve said before on many
occasions, being a writer isn’t determined by selling your work, and it’s not
determined by lack of readership. You find your way, you write your story, your
poems, your prose, readers will come, they’re very generous and are always
willing to give you a chance, you write, your readers will come. Good Luck, and
always remember, never give up!
Priya, can I just mention that my motto, by the way, is
offered to everyone, not just aspiring writers. Friends, everybody, whatever in
do in life, sometimes it can be extremely tough, but please don’t be defeated,
and really, for each and everyone of you, NEVER GIVE UP : )
Priya, this is for anyone who really does want to write a
book but doesn’t know how to go about it, my post: How Do I Write A Book by Andi Katsina
Thanks for the great, really thought out responses, Andi. Wow, the last part has inspired me to just start writing, right now! Before I run off to do exactly that, check out the book’s magical website right here!

One thought on “An Interview with Andi Katsina of Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures #1”

  1. I have read many of Andi's wonderful books, all different in their own way. She has such a delightful way of structuring sentences and getting her points across, and she is always willing to share with others. I urge all of you to read whatever Andi writes. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Cheri


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