Interview with Author Iscah

The Girl with No Name

Welcome to my blog segment, Interview an Author.  Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to a creative writer and author, Iscah.

I recently read this author’s delightful book and would like to review it before I ask Iscah any questions.  This book is a fascinating fairy tale and folktale that takes this young girl through many travels to find herself.  Her mother did not give her a name before she died and her father was away at the time.  During this time no one but her parents was allowed to give her a name.  She meets and falls in love with a prince who cannot marry her, not only because she is too young, but also because she is a commoner.  She roams the countryside and encounters kindly strangers and also some others who mean her harm.  She has strange powers bestowed upon her by her mother and is learning how to use them to her benefit.  She can change her facial appearance (shaft shifter) to mimic others making her almost invisible to those around her.  She survives by working her craft with herbs and potions and calls herself Sorceress.  Will she ever find happiness with her prince or will she always be alone and without a name?  This is book one of a series.  This is an enjoyable adventure for YA readers.

Thank for coming today, Iscah.  It is a pleasure to have you here.  Can you answer some questions about your writing and your books so that my readers and I can get to know you better?

I would be happy to answer your questions, Janice.  I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.

1.  When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

Around twelve or thirteen.

 2.  When did you first become an author?

Around thirteen or fourteen.  Publication gets you paid, but I think dedication to the craft which produces a book makes you an author.  And I did have my first novel length work written by then.

3.  Please tell us the title of your books and a synopsis of each.

Most of my books are sitting in pieces in file drawers, so I’ll stick to the ones readers have access to or will soon.

My novella The Girl With No Name is the first in a four story set called Before the Fairytale that together act as a prelude (or prequel) to my upcoming fantasy novel Seventh Night.

About Seventh Night

“Once, a boy fell in love with a girl not long before a princess married a charming prince, and if the boy had been the prince or the girl had not been the princess, this might have been a simple fairy tale romance.

But he wasn’t, and she was.  So things were complicated.  And then there were the bandits and the poison and the kidnapping and the secrets and the betrayal and the monsters and the magic, the journey across the desert and the journey across the sea, and of course that tax issue.

In a land where unicorns are common place, life can start resembling a storybook.  Everyone wants a happily ever after, but it’s not about getting what you wantSometimes true love requires sacrifices…”

About The Girl With No Name

“Banished from her village, a young shape shifter sets out on a journey to find her place in the world…

The first of four Before the Fairytale stories, The Girl With No Name is told in a deceptively simple storybook style with the flavor of an original Grimm’s fable, but don’t expect your typical once upon a time scenario. This is a coming of age tale humorously interwoven with social commentary.

This story is recommended for older children to adult readers (9 & up) but may not be suitable for younger children.”

The next story in the set is called Horse Feathers, and it’s available online as a free serial that updates every Friday.

“Phillip is a young boy bored by his routine life at the unicorn stables. He longs for adventure and a pegasus, but for now, he must depend on passing travelers to tell him about the world. Until one day, his father makes an announcement that changes everything.”

4.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?

To quote my four year old nephew, “My brain told me.”  My mind is always moving too quickly for me to keep up with it.  I feed it on a steady diet of music, fantasy, classic literature, folklore, and all sorts of random bits of information that only appeal to those of us with a nerdy bent.  Occasionally I ask it “what if?”, and my brain churns out a story in response.

5.  Do you write stories of different genres?   If so, which genre is your favorite?

I love playing with genres.  The majority of what I write is some degree of fantasy, but that varies from pure surrealist allegory to action adventure.  My favorite stories blend elements from many genres.  I’ve written some very simple earthbound tales too.  I have a short story on Fictionpress about a little girl wanting a pet butterfly.

6.  What is the hardest part of your writing process?

Escaping my four year old nephew and the internet long enough to write.  They’re both very demanding, usually fun, and want my constant attention. 

7.  Please share your current project with us?

Horse Feathers is a free weekly serial that updates on Fictionpress every Friday. http://www.fictionpress.com/~kayiscah   It’s currently up to Chapter 16.

It’s fun and helpful hearing readers thoughts on individual chapters.  While I try to make each chapter as polished as possible before I post it, there’s still room for readers to add their two cents and help me refine the telling.  The Girl With No Name went through the same process, and you’ll find my most active commenters in the acknowledgements.

I’ve started a new project to try to piece together a fan reading of The Girl With No Name on YouTube.  More than one reviewer had mentioned that it seemed like a fun book to read out loud, so I thought it might make for a fun way to show reading as shared experience.  We write and read so much in isolation it can be easy to forget books are a form of interaction.  The prologue went up today, so I have no idea how well it will catch on.  But I hope people will get involved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX2sY6Xit18

 8.  Is there anything else you would like to tell about yourself and your books?

I try to write for a family audience with the idea of smart enough for adults and clean enough for kids.  This does not mean I write for children.  I think some people are a little confused by the folklore style in The Girl With No Name, and believe the book is intended for young children, even though I kill two people in the prologue.  The style is a metafiction element that I played with since the series revolves around fairy tale motifs.  The other stories in the set are less stylized, but the girl is sort of legendary figure.  It made sense to write her backstory like a legend.  A storybook for grownups.

I think older children will be fine with it, but I do a lot of work with preschoolers.  The death, bullying, sexism, and other themes that come up are probably too intense for them.  Kids mature at different rates, so nine is an arbitrary number, but the Seventh Night series is definitely PG and not G.

9.  What do you like to do in your spare time, when you have some?

I write, draw, and play with small children for a living.  Spare time is for the stuff I don’t like to do.  Good television is about storytelling, so I consider the handful of shows I watch to be work related research.

10.  Please list how we can get in touch with you and where we can buy your books?

You can buy The Girl With No Name on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D3RI4PK

More formats are coming soon, so expect to see it through other retailers in September.

I’m on number of places around the web.  I try to keep this list current: http://www.amoebaink.com/Iscah/online.htm

I also try to track everything creative I do on my blog: http://kayiscah.livejournal.com

Thank you, Iscah, for stopping by my blog.  It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your books.  I truly enjoyed interviewing you today.

Thank you readers for stopping by today to learn more about Iscah and her fascinating books.  I hope you will go to her site and check it out.

REMEMBER:  READING GIVES YOU WINGS TO FLY!

Thought for the day:   Remember to spread sunshine by calling those who are shut ins or who live alone.

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About jjspina

Janice is an award-winning author with eight children's books for PS-Gr 4, four middle-grade/preteen/young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and two novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her children's book, Lamby the Lonely Lamby, won a Silver Medal in the Mom's Choice Awards. Book 1, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Honorable Mention from Readers' Favorite Book Awards. Book 2, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and so did Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series. All her books are available on Amazon.com, Create Space, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working toward publishing one children's book, middle-grade/preteen book 5 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series. A mystery series for girls and a YA fantasy series will be coming next year. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews.
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8 Responses to Interview with Author Iscah

  1. Deanie Dunne says:

    Another very interesting interview! Great job. This is a really creative, innovative, author!

  2. Paul G Day says:

    That cover is so eye-catching and that title is very interesting.

  3. Janice Spina says:

    It means you are a team player and that you show leadership in all that you do. I will get the post out soon.

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