Great Interview with Katie Salidas, Author of: A Taste of Your Own Magic: Agents of A.S.S.E.T. Book Two: Everything You Know about Magic is Wrong! **Summary and Trailer**
Agents of A.S.S.E.T.
Genre: Urban Fantasy – humorous
Publisher: Rising Sign Books
Date of Publication: 7/17/18
Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 78k
Cover Artist: Molly Phipps
We Got You Covered.
Just when newly minted ASSET agent Sage Cynwrig thought she was getting the hang of this whole magic thing, a smooth-talking Djinn moves in next door. And he's got more on his mind than making her wishes come true.
He'll have to take a number. Between her sharp-tongued, machete wielding partner Grey, and Zack the flirtatious vampire-for-hire, Sage has enough magical men making her life hell.
And then there's the new job. It's all hands on deck at ASSET. Magical creatures are disappearing from the Las Vegas Strip. Rumor has it, the missing creatures are ingredients in a forbidden magical recipe. Someone's attempting to recreate the lost Amulet of Emmuri, and gain power to rival the gods.
Because of course Sage's first official assignment as an agent would require her to, you know, save the world!
To accomplish that, however, she'll have to cross enemy lines and break the very magical laws she just swore to uphold.
An Interview with Katie Salidas
Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Hiya!!! I’m Katie Salidas, mother, wife, and author… not always in that order. So happy to be here today!
Tell us about your newest book.
Have you ever wished that the games you played were real? Or that magic was real? What if you found out it was?
Sage was a D&D gamer guru, playing at casting spells and healing her team as they fought their way toward dragons and black mages. Then, one terrible day that fantasy merged into a frightening new reality.
Sage’s mother was murdered protecting a Weapon of Magical Destruction. The moment her spirit departed, Sage inherited a legacy that lifted the veil between the magical and mundane realms.
Sage must now become the very thing she’s always pretended to be. In the real world, those who protect magic work for ASSET. The Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce.
It’s a sharp learning curve, but Sage is determined to make her mother proud, or die trying.
Welcome to the Agents of A.S.S.E.T.
Book 1 – A Weapon of Magical Destruction
Book 2 – A Taste of Your Own Magic
Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing your newest book?
When dealing with magic, you really have to develop your rules, and then stick to them. Readers are savvy. If you don’t follow the rules you’ve given your world, they’re going to spot it. And they are not shy about letting you know.
In book one of the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series I spent a lot of time developing the mythology and setting down the rules. By the time I got to book two I had lofty ideas of where I wanted Sage’s character to go. By that point she was familiar with, but still learning about the magical world. The problem I ran into was that some of my initial ideas broke the rules I’d established. I spent a lot of time re-writing chapters and correcting those mistakes.
Book two took nearly twice as long, to write, as book one because of that. I went through a lot of re-writes and backpedaling to make sure that everything lined up. Even after I thought I had caught all the mistakes, my beta readers (awesome eagle eyes that they are) found a few more. So there went another round of final revisions.
In the end, the story is so much stronger for it, and I’m glad of that.
Tell us a little bit about your writing career.
I have always loved to tell stories and entertain. The first novel I wrote, at age 14, was lost when my family decided to move from Texas to Nevada. It nearly destroyed me. All those words; all that work… gone. I didn’t pick up the pen, formally, until around 2004. After my first child was born I found inspiration again. It took me five years to finish what would then become book one in my Immortalis series.
Between being a single mom and working like crazy, I had very little time for writing. I can admit it now, because the company I worked for no longer exists, but there were more than a few long lunch breaks spent typing away. In 2009 I was laid off when the company was sold. With plenty of time on my hands I decided to bite the bullet and look to publishing.
Almost ten years later, a marriage, two more children, and over twenty published works (including my pen name), I write nearly every day.
When I’m not writing, I host a weekly author interview show on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/c/spillinginkshow
I’m a huge supporter of Indie Authors, and help coach and speak on topics related to publishing.
They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?
It’s okay to write a bad first draft.
First drafts are supposed to suck! Go ahead and word spew all over the page. Do whatever it takes to get the story out of your head. Then, and only then, can you go back and start to work on making it readable.
A lot of first time writers have trouble with this because they expect to have the first thing they write be perfect. They will spend ages on a chapter rather than moving on and because of this, they burn out and give up.
Getting the story finished is the priority. Whether or not it is good is moot on the first round. You cannot revise what is not written.
Of course you do want to write a good story. And revisions are part of the process, but only after the story has been written.
When you allow yourself to write that first draft completely creatively, without the self-editor looking over your shoulder, you’ll find that the words flow so much easier.
I write about 3 books a year. Sounds like a lot very fast, sure, because writing is (and should be) the easy part. I don’t always publish those 3 books a year, because revisions can take anywhere from 3-9 passes (with editing) before that book is ready to be read by the public.
What was your most difficult scene to write?
Without giving too much away, in book two Sage is confronted by magic that is unlike anything she has ever seen. A magic more powerful than her own innate abilities. Possibly even greater than the weapon she possesses.
The problem with writing that scene was working within the boundaries of the rules I had set for the world, and still allowing the weapon to do its job.
Because of Sage’s innate defenses, the magic attacking her could not be felt, though it was working. The weapon Sage employs against the magic attacking her worked in the opposite manner, making her feel its effects almost too intensely. As the author, I felt like I was writing blind. Everything worked as it should but what Sage was actually feeling was tricky to pull off. I don’t want to give away how it was done, but I got there in the end. Found the balance. I think the scene is brutally intense, and will have readers ripping through the pages to see what the final outcome of that magical attack is.
Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?
I don’t like to be heavy-handed with messages and morals, but there is always an underlying theme to all of my books. That is: What make a person good or evil is their deeds, not what kind of creature they are.
In my Immortalis series you’ll find vampires that are more human than the people around them.
In my Little Werewolf and the sister series The Olde Town Pack, you meet werewolves who work together with witches to create harmonious territories.
In my Chronicles of the Uprising series, it is the Humans who are often cruel and heartless. It takes a Vampire, who overcomes torture and abuse, to rise up and lead the supernatural races toward peace. Mira’s first act of defiance in the prisons of the Iron Gate is to incapacitate rather than kill the guards pursuing her.
Even in the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series, Sage is warned time and time again of which races are notoriously evil, but she uses her intuition before passing judgement. And her intuition is usually right.
What are you working on now?
Just started working on book three in the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series: Magic in Disguise.
Each title is not only a clue to the plot, it is also an idiom (replacing one word with Magic.) I am typically terrible at titles and they are usually no more than one word, maybe two, but for this series I decided to get a little creative and highlight the humor that keeps the story from going too dark.
Book three addresses the fallout of Sage’s battle and the consequences of using magic that was not hers to wield.
Is there a release date planned?
Book three is scheduled to be released in December 2018.
Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?
Favorite character of all time is Mira. She belongs to my Chronicles of the Uprising series. Writers often give main characters attributes of themselves. Sometimes they do it unconsciously. In this case, Mira is who I wish I was. She is so strong. She has an iron will and refuses to give up no matter what. I throw the world at her. Every horror possible, and not only does she remain strong, she never loses her good heart.
Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?
My love of reading came in my teenage years. I was a reluctant reader when I was young. Embarrassed really, because I was (and still am) a very slow reader. I used to be in the slow reading groups in the early grades. I was mocked, and would dread having to read aloud in class. Kids can be cruel.
When I was older, able to choose books for myself, and read silently and as slowly as I wanted without fear, I fell in love with vampires. I devoured The Vampire Diaries when I was in middle school (Yeah I’m that old). In my early teen years it was all about Anne Rice. Marius and Pandora being my favorite of her Vampire Chronicles. She inspired me to write creatures with humanity. To give them real lives, passions, and show the struggle to keep the beast inside, tame.
What are your plans for future projects?
The Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series is my current work in progress. I like to work on one series at a time. Not sure how many books it will run. I never like to assign a number. As long as Sage has a story to tell, I’ll keep working on her books.
I’d like to revisit some of my older series and write new stories for the secondary characters. But before I write what I want, I always check in with my readers. I run a private reader group called the Paranormal Posse on Facebook. If my readers want something, I will do my best to incorporate their requests. I always listen to my readers. Readers are the reason I am so inspired to keep writing.
You can connect with me personally on my Facebook Group if you want to be part of my sounding board and review squad. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParanormalPosse/
Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?
Great interview. I loved all the deep questions. Thank you so much for having me here today. Sending out great big hugs!!!
Good luck with your newest and upcoming releases, and thank you for spending time with us today.
About Katie Salidas
Katie Salidas is a best-selling author known for her unique genre-blending style.
Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.
Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.