Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Interview with K.S. Krueger, Author of 'Traegonia the Ember Rune'
Kim Krueger is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She is a writer, businesswoman, Reiki practitioner and spiritual person. She loves animals, nature and kids. Kim has lived in the Suburbs of Chicago all her life. She is creative and always tries to foster creativity in her own children as well as in others. Although her background has been in business, Kim has always loved to write. She has written poetry and several children’s stories originally for her eldest daughter. Kim enjoys the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of her imagination and finds herself submerged in the worlds she creates. Imagination has never been in short supply ever since she was a child.
About Traegonia the Ember Rune
Traegonia the Ember Rune, the second book in the Traegonia series, continues the adventures of a young boy and a community of, mystical creatures of the forest known as, Traegons. These sixteen inch tall forest dwelling creatures, that resemble a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon, are wise and inquisitive. Although, they may appear scary at first they are actually quite kind and civilized. When Dino is faced with leaving, Karia and Juna, his two young Traegon friends behind when his parents decide to go on vacation, he decides to smuggle them on board a plane to California. His family vacation turns into an adventure of a lifetime when they meet two young girls and a bold and a bit wild young Traegon named Fletch. This Northern California Mountain holds danger, mystery and a path of learning for each of these new friends. Faced with forces of nature, a rogue cougar and the evolution of their own journeys, the group of unlikely friends must believe in themselves and each other to uncover the meaning of the Ember Rune and get off the mountain safely. New friendships are made, old ones revealed and a new community of Traegons is introduced. Join Dino, Karia and Juna on this second exciting adventure and decide for yourself…. Do they exist?
Do you Believe?
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kim. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Traegonia the Ember Rune?
I have always loved to write. I had been working on the first book in this series for about a decade. It isn’t that it took me that long because I couldn’t think of something to write, but because life can determine what becomes priorities and as many of the things I was doing, such as, having children, raising them, building a business with my husband, moving twice and building a house, were and still are wonderful parts of my personal journey, so my dream took a bit longer to see through. The message in this is that no matter how long it takes, don’t ever give up. Show your children that it is important to dream, to try and to dare to be different, they will benefit from it. In 1998 a neighbor created a wonderful sculpture that set me, my husband and Dino to thinking, wondering and creating the idea for this book series. It has taken time to see it to where it is today, but I believe there is a time for everything and everything in time.
Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?
Well, the title of the series came from the name of the character species, Traegon. When my husband first saw them, the sculptures, he said they resembled the cross between a troll and a dragon, he called them Traegons and it just stuck. I then said that Traegons would of course live in Traegonia and that stuck as well. Now, as each book in the series partially takes place in the world of these creatures, each book is titled Traegonia…the subtitle for Traegonia the Ember Rune comes from an item that finds its way to Karia in the story, this item becomes a part of her learning and her journey as does the discovery of its purpose.
Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?
When we first kicked around the idea of a book to tell the story of who and what these creatures are, I am not sure we had in mind that it would come as far as it has. I began writing the first book in late 1998, and as life has a tendency to trump personal dreams, it took me until 2009 to finish it. Because it took me so long to complete the first book and we now had several of these wonderful sculptures, we decided to take a leap of faith and self-publish Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy. As I began to promote, market and sell many of the first book we developed a following, people loved the characters, the positive messages the books have and the idea that they just might be out there. We finally decided that we would continue it as a series and I began writing Traegonia the Ember Rune. The Ember Rune took me about two years to complete from start to publication. People were chomping at the bit and our release in August 2011 was wonderfully received. Although I do not have a huge Publishing company and marketing team working with me to promote the series, the children and adults who are our fans are wonderful and keep me always moving forward. It will just take us a little longer I suspect. I am looking for a literary agent, but that is between writing, marketing, promoting, doing shows, school and library visits, working a part time job and raising three daughters with my husband. Just a little busy, but it keeps me excited for the next moment I can step back into the World of Traegonia and just write.
Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Outskirts Press have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?
Dino C. Crisanti is the sculptor and illustrator and my partner in the Traegonia project. We are both creative and work really well developing ideas, ok, we have control issues. I knew what I wanted the Sunbow Prophecy cover to look like and I shared this with Dino. He threw in ideas as well and set out to put together the cover himself. We wanted the cover to be a piece of art and to contain elements of the story hidden within the front and back covers of the book, so since we knew we had the option to create it ourselves, without a second thought we chose that option. The book covers are similar but different; they do however all contain elements of the stories that lie within. We are very happy with our decision. It may not be “industry standard” but we are creative beings and tend to think outside the box. Besides we are having a great time and our fans love our covers.
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?
We have done all of the marketing ourselves, which is no small feat. Since the first book was published in June of 2009, my husband and I have done almost 60 art and craft shows and relevant festivals, along with school and library visits, book and author events, social networking, obtaining local newspaper interviews, and some small radio and podcast interviews. This I find to be the most difficult and many times the most rewarding thing about the whole process. It is when a mother tells me that her young son, who doesn’t like to read, wanted to read, or when a grandparent or parent reads together with a child and they both so enjoy the story and when a child loves the books or an adult is inspired to imagine and dream about possibilities, these are the things that feed the soul and make all the struggles worth it. As long as our fans still want more about Traegonia, I will write it.
Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?
Traegonia has been compared to Bridge to Terabithia, Spiderwick and Indian in the Cupboard. Traegonia rides a fine line between reality and fantasy. It weaves places we are all familiar with and other creatures that are protected and endangered in the areas where I am writing about, into a world that might truly exist just beyond the tree line of the next forest preserve you visit. Blended with similarities of the ways of the American Indian and metaphysical understandings this story brings with it messages of friendship, looking beyond outward appearances, and conservation and inspires every reader to dream and to believe in themselves and what they have power to accomplish. Each book will deal with new and different issues that will show readers that Traegons, although they are different in so many ways, are similar too, just as each of us are positively unique and different.
Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?
I just really love these questions. In the hardcover on page 99, Dino has just lost his backpack over the edge of a cliff, with something irreplaceable inside. Autumn and Jade Linder, who took Dino out on their horses, now have to instruct Dino on how to back his horse up on this narrow cliff-side path so he can find a way to retrieve his back pack. One by one the three of them precariously guide the horses backward in this very dangerous and nail-biting scene.
Q: Do you plan subsequent books?
Yes, we have plans for at least three more books in the series. We are currently working on the third book in the series which will take Dino, Karia and Juna to New York City, where they will find a community of Traegons living a much different existence than we have seen so far. When the city built up many, many years ago three small groups of Traegons did not move with the rest to what is now known as the Catskill Mountains. They chose to stay and adapt to the ever changing landscape of the world that stretches far above and below. I look forward to this next book and discovering more about who these new Traegons are.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Kim. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
Thank you for the opportunity and I do hope everyone will join us at our website at www.worldoftraegonia.com, there you will be able to view many of the character sculptures, as well as, see the book trailer for the first book. Teachers can download and print out a curriculum for both the first and second books if they would like to use them in the classroom. You can keep up to date on the events we will be attending and visit our marketplace for some of the other beautiful items we have available for sale. You can pick up a copy of either Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy or Traegonia the Ember Rune at our website or from Amazon.com, Barns and Noble.com or ask for it by name at your local bookseller. We also invite you to like us on Facebook at World Of Traegonia to be notified of future updates, new sculptures, contests, raffles and adventures. Thank you again for this opportunity.