Author Spotlight: SJ Kincaid

by S.J. Kincaid
Also by this author: The Diabolic

Happy New Year to all of you. I hope you have had a graceful transition into the new year. I wish you the most prosperous New Year.

Now to business.

The first time i saw the work of Kincaid, i literarily fell off my chair. So imagine my shock when she agreed to do an interview for SB Reads. Usually, i would rand for a bit about who she is but i will let you read it for yourself. Check it out.

1.) BE: Hi! Welcome to Read With Ekpo. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

SJK: Thanks, Benson. I’m the author of the INSIGNIA trilogy and THE DIABOLIC!

2) BE: What got you into writing?

SJK: I started writing when I was very young because my sister loved writing, and I wanted to be just like her. Fortunately, I kept writing! After having a few pretty awful jobs out of college, I threw myself into trying to get my writing published. It was a job I could actually envision loving– and I do.

3.) BE: What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

SJK: My first idea was a YA take on an old BBC series called I, CLAUDIUS, focusing upon a man who survives his murderous royal family by playing a fool. I gave several shots to writing this story, starting with a fantasy version of Rome, then a comedic take, then a serious space take that wasn’t working, then I abandoned the idea and focused upon this intriguing character named Nemesis… Then I realized she was going to be the main character of my YA I, CLAUDIUS, and the rest were going to be a background to her.

4.) BE: Among your characters, who’s your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

SJK: I would have to say Cygna. I absolutely love diabolical villains, and she is my ‘Livia’ character (I, CLAUDIUS reference). Scheming old grandmothers are great fun to write.

5.) BE: What’s your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

SJK: My favorite has to be a big moment when Nemesis makes a decision to begin pursuing a different sort of life than she’s ever lived before. It’s a big turning point for the narrative and for her, and it just came to me so smoothly.

6.) BE: What’s your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

SJK: I love first-drafts. They are so much fun for me, and it’s only in rewriting that I agonize at all. I love envisioning the scenes ahead of time and then materializing them on paper. It’s a real joy.

7.) BE: How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

SJK: I took my time with THE DIABOLIC and wrote here and there as I was inspired, so it took about six months. I’ve taken as long as two years, and as little time as nineteen days… Though my nineteen-day books are generally not so good. Taking my time allows ideas to percolate in my brain longer, but often I’m just really into what I’m writing and want to charge through it.

8.) BE: What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

SJK: You’re writing about characters in their formative years, when they are becoming the adult they will be, rather than needing to focus upon someone already rigidly formed. You’re also writing about people with a thirst for autonomy but a lack of it, and I find that contrast so interesting.

10.) BE: Are there any books or writers that have had a particular influence on you?

SJK: LEGACY by Susan Kay. That book changed my life.

11.) BE: Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

SJK: Yes, my original big bad (evil Emperor) was not really catching my interest, and I found myself stoking a secondary big bad (my evil grandma) that I enjoyed so much more… So I went with that. And I loved it. Those parts that surprise you are a joy of the writing process that as a plotter, I think I’ve come to appreciate much more.

Thanks, Benson!

That’s it, guys. SJ is such an amazing person. Let me know what you think of her down below in the comment section.

Thank you for reading

– Benson Ekpo.

About S.J. Kincaid

S J Kincaid headshot

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer.

Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic was released in the fall 2016.

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