Interview with Young Adult Author Kailin Gow: 'Rise of the Fire Tamer'

Kailin Gow is the author of over 30 books for all generations, but her specialty is the young adult/teen genre. Her books have been recommended by PBS Kids, the PTA, homeschooling organizations, and on the Best Teens Books list. She is a mentor for young women, has founded 3A for Autism (Actors, Artists, and Authors for Autism), and runs a publishing and production company known as Sparklesoup, a mid-size publisher and production company.

Her latest young adult fiction novel is Rise of the Fire Tamer.

You can visit her website at or join her Facebook Author page at:

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kailin. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Rise of the Fire Tamer (The Wordwick Games)?

Hi! I’ve been writing professionally for almost 20 years when I began writing news articles for newspapers, advertising copy for marketing and advertising companies, newsletters and press releases for corporate marketing and public relations departments, short stories for teen and women’s magazines, scripts for television broadcast, and speeches.

I’ve also been publishing for a long time. It began in college where I helped established two newspapers and one literary journal. After college, I published a career and employment newsletter for college students part-time while I worked my day job at some major Fortune 500 corporations.

Rise of the Fire Tamer (The Wordwick Games, #1) came about after about nine years writing novels professionally. Rise of the Fire Tamer (The Wordwick Games, #1) is the first type of book where it not only provides a compelling epic fantasy story filled with action, adventure, and romance, but it is educational – meant to help with SAT word study. This first book contains over 100 SAT words. The next book The Ascension (The Wordwick Games, #2) contains over 500 SAT words.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

Rise of the Fire Tamer has a lot to do with who will eventually win the game – the character/gamer who is able to tame the fire.

The title for The Wordwick Games came about because it is a game/book about the power of words. Words are powerful, magical, and the key to winning.

On a personal side, I love words. I love reading, and I wrote The Wordwick Games series to encourage that.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Through the characters in the book, lessons of leadership, loyalty, and friendship is introduced in a manner that readers, especially reluctant readers, would pick up. This series provides educational (SAT prep and vocabulary-building) opportunities that are presented in a compelling story which readers age 13 and up will enjoy.

Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, The EDGE, have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?

The cover is a collaboration between the publisher, cover artist, and me. The girl on the cover is Gem and the background is a real castle, The Warwick Castle, which I based my idea of a castle on – I’ve visited Warwick Castle in England a number of times and know that castle very well. Yes, I’m quite happy with the cover since it matches the kind of fantasy, science fiction covers that are available today.

Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?

To start off, the book is going through a blog tour through Dorothy at Pump Up Your Books Tours. Then there will be public relations, conferences, and appearances lined up in the fall and winter. The characters from The Wordwick Games book series will be making appearances at next year’s Comic Con and other conferences. The book trailer is also being distributed, including a run at a movie theater this year, along with the opening month of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Eclipse movie.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

Rise of the Fire Tamer (The Wordwick Games, #1) can be compared to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Sinbad, and even The Maximum Ride books by James Patterson.

It is different in that it incorporates the world of words into the games so that The Wordwick Games series is also educational and an SAT prep book (but don’t tell teenagers that!)

Parents and teachers will love this aspect of the book, but at the same time, the story is fast-paced and compelling so that readers will keep on reading.

Yes, this book series is packed with a myriad of reasons it should be on your must-read list –

1) The Wordwick Games is the kind of popular fiction series you find on the bestseller list, but is educational at the same time. Your teen and young adult would not only read the kind of book they love reading, but will be absorbing SAT words at the same time.

2) Lessons on relationships, leadership, and good sportsmanship.
Groups like the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, and Leadership Training Workshops would find the book full of examples (played out in the plots and subplots of this book) portraying circumstances where these issues are brought up and examined.

3) Read it and see if you’re not drawn into the story at least. The pacing, the characters, and the plot will help readers, even reluctant readers, to keep reading.

4) Although there is a lot of romance in this book series (clean though), this series will appeal to girls and boys, age 13 and up.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

P. 128 – “Every archway held human sized figures, some little more than bleached bone, some mummified and wrapped in bandages, while a few looked perfectly preserved. Every figure wore armor of some sort. It was battered and rusted, but Gem was willing to bet that it would still work. So would the weapons, probably, and there were plenty of them.”

Gem and the players including the young wizard Goolrick and his men have just entered a cave inside the mountain where their next obstacle in the game resided: the three-headed dragon.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, The Ascension, Book 2 is in the editing/print process and will be out October 2010. The Return, Book 3 is already outlined and slated for a 2011 release.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Kailin. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

My pleasure. You can find me on Facebook. Add me as a friend and join my YA Books page there.

Believe it or not, I couldn’t get the domain name under my own name because someone else has it already? So I have an official web page now called, Official Kailin Gow. Http://
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