Happy New Year’s – What a Year to Remember 2013!

I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year’s! 

It’s been an amazing year for me in terms of reaching out, meeting lots of you in person at book signings, speeches, events, and online.

Kailin Gow Signs Book at Asian Heritage Week Signing Wearing Snowflake Necklace  Kailin Gow with Blogger Fans at Vegas Signing

I even called a few of my diehard fans with surprise calls and just a get-to-know-you chat!

I met several of my street teamers in person, as well as at signings and get togethers, and I met several fellow authors whom I talked to and admire.

Rockin' the Holidays Indie Readers Bash Banner Updated

I’ve even had some amazing meetings that I was honored and privileged to have.

Kailin Gow at Amazon Headquarters in Seattle for Lunch

It’s been a Bittersweet Year of Endings and New Beginnings –

Where series were completed, and new ones many of you have asked for, including spin-offs, began.

Here are some Completed Some Series even though I Had a Hard Time Letting Go:

Bitter Frost

Bitter Frost (Book 1 of the Frost Series)

FADE

FADE by Kailin Gow

Never Knights

Never Say Never by Kailin Gow

Master Chefs

Devour Me (Master Chefs Series) by Kailin Gow

Wicked Woods Series

9781597486316

The Wolf Fey

wolf_fey_d

You & Me Trilogy

Saving You Saving Me (You & Me Trilogy)

Coming Soon to Completion in 2014 for Now:

PULSE

PULSE

The Protege

The Protege (The Protege Series #1) by Kailin Gow

Beautiful Beings

Beautiful Beings by Kailin Gow

Fire Wars

The Fire Wars by Kailin Gow

DESIRE

Desire by Kailin Gow

The Phantom Diaries

9781597489126

Stoker Sisters

9781597489478

There are spin-offs of some of the most beloved series, due to demand, and also a lot more fun and exciting things coming in 2014.

Some will surprise you, while hopefully some will speak to your heart and soul.

It’s been a privilege bringing you these stories and characters.  THANK YOU for joining me along this journey.

So Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous, and joyous New Year!!!!

As my Cantonese-speaking friends and relatives would say:

Gong Cha Fa Choi!!!

 

 

Writing not as an “Author” and not as “Author Kailin Gow” but as a Concerned Parent and Citizen

Just recently, someone accused me of not being a large publisher (I represent a large publisher that publishes over 75 to 100 books a year at least) because I conversed and even stood up to a cyberbully on the internet.  I admit, I’m not one of the established old Big 6 publishers, but by volume of publication, I’m finding out from distributors and from vendors we work with, that we’re among the top 10% in volume.  And in fact, theEDGEbooks.com is in a category almost new to many in publishing. We act and work like an indie (we’re earthy and get down to the nitty gritty like an indie), yet we have big publisher volume and even have the same marketing/advertising/pr resources.  I guess that confuses a lot of people in the publishing and book world. And authors like me tend to be very interactive at the ground level just because we like people.  We’re not told to stop interacting with people, even when we become a “name” in the book industry.

And believe me, many people who are my readers or are bloggers, are just like me, and have aspiring dreams to become an author one day, like I did.  So, when I converse with people, it’s not so much, I’m an “author” and you are “blogger, reader _____ (fill in the blanks), but you and I are both people with daily concerns.

Well, everyone who has been following me know I am a big advocate of anti-bullying. I’ve written a book on it for teens and their parents, Shy Girls Social Club Handbook for Dealing with Bullies and Other Meanies.  I’m also touring on national radio about this, as well as making some video-related media about this. I’m running a workshop for girls about self-esteem issues and are facing bullying issues, too, this summer.  In other words, it’s a topic near and dear to me, and when I speak about it… it’s not about me being an “author” but me being a person – a peer, a parent, a person who want people to know that it takes just 1 person to stand up to bullying in a peer atmosphere to help the person being bullied stand up, too.

So, speaking from the heart, I stepped out of my “author” role and began speaking out against a cyberbully who has been harassing and bullying blogger and author friends of mine for months, even graphically threatening them with violence. Yes, I was also a target of these attacks.  But a brave blogger stepped out and said she wasn’t going to stand for this cyberbully (who was and still is using a fake name and blog on the internet) bashing her friends and accusing authors of false accusations.  I recently stood up with her, and yes, I did get some heat, and even been accused of not being a real author because why would I get involved in something so petty like this.

The thing is… it is not petty to me, when a friend is being bullied.  It is not petty to me, as a parent and a responsible adult when a minor, who is a blogger, is bullied on cyberspace in front of a large book industry audience.

I may not be the conventional, traditional-type author, and I don’t aim to be, if it doesn’t allow for me to be vocal against bullies and people who aid them.  Authors are thought-provokers, they are on the forefront of change and ideas.  To me, it is only natural that authors have strong opinions and thoughts about bullying as well.

And for that blogger who claimed I must not be a real author or even represent a large publisher because I spent some time conversing with her over the internet, this is what I have to say about why I do take the time to touch base with as many people as I can who contacted me:

The 5 REASONS WHY  I Talk to People Personally

Although I have a publicist or two, and even a financial and legal adviser, I get asked this all the time, why do you interact with your readers so much?

1) The answer is simply because I see many of my readers as friends.

They have read my books, understood the story, and have come to love the characters in these stories as much as I do.

I know many of my readers, I share their pain when they lose a loved ones, congratulate them on victories, go through their birthdays and dramas at home and work, and even lend a supporting hand when they’re trying to build their blogs or FB pages. So you see, in other words, a lot of my readers have become friends of mine. They read my books, and they understand me like a friend understands their friend.

People have said I should hire a personal assistant and a secretary to keep track of emails and people’s names. (I get about 100 to 1000 emails a day), and I try to respond to each and every one of them.   I tell these people it’s because most of these emails are from people whom I have already established a kind of relationship with – through reading and sharing a love of common interests.  I figure if you love my books, that’s already a big shared interest.

2) My readers are pretty darn interesting people

I know I may complain about being overwhelmingly busy (I am), but I know my readers are, too.  Many of us are juggling jobs, school, parenting, and more. I feel what you feel and know sometimes that stress can get to any of us, which is why I write the type of books that I do – fun, sometimes crazy, swept-off-your-feet romantic fantasy fiction. They’re the kinds of books I would read for escapism.  That being said, I do appreciate that you’ve spent your time reading my book (although it was a quick read lol) when you could be doing something else.

3) I know how reading can be time-consuming (I’m a reader, too) so I am pretty happy when a reader Facebook me and tells me she just read this or that book and she knows she’ll be one of my biggest fans.  I can’t tell you how incredibly touched I am when someone tells me this. It literally brings tears to my eyes.

Not only does this feel incredible, and I am honored, but I want my readers to know from the bottom of my heart, this:

4) You Make Me, an Author, feel Warm and Fuzzy, too!

When you enjoy my books and even reach out to me to let me know or even write a review about it, it really makes my day.  It makes me feel good about what I’m working hard for, and it makes my editors, graphic designer, and pr/marketing people, happy too.

5) My Readers are Not Only Interesting, but they are Fun, Smart, and Great to Hang Out with!

So, please don’t be a stranger. Come on by and say “Hi”, show up at one of the parties or contests I hold virtually once in a while, usually in celebration of a book release.  And become a Facebook friend of mine and vice versa. I really do want to find out more about you, and consider it a great honor that you’re a reader of mine.

THANK YOU!

Grateful for Everything! Getting Real…

Hi everyone.  I’m still on Cloud 9 for having an amazing soul-searching breakthrough week. I was honored as a guest on a new talk show to be aired in June on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox affiliates for a highly-respected host (will reveal soon), who has coached leaders around the world, leaders of non-profits and the top corporations. And now he has a new show that gets into the purpose of why we do what we do.

For me, in a heartfelt genuine conversation I had with the host, all captured on television, my purpose and passion for writing and working non-stop to bring about books and stories (through books, television, and film even) is my desire to help girls and women with issues I’ve personally gone through, with issues I’ve experienced.

I’m so grateful that hundreds of thousands of girls and women have discovered my books, and that I’m in the position where producers are excited about bringing my books, me, and my passion to the screen.

In May, I begin taping the first season for my new television talk show EDGEWISE with KAILIN GOW where I will be bringing viewers heartfelt topics, go into the lives of some of my readers, go into the lives of some of the girls/women that I mentor, and more, along with random fun stuff. You will see a side of me you haven’t seen. You will get to know me as someone more than just someone who write young adult fiction. You will see that I am comfortable in my own skin (for the most part) and happy to be who I am.  If I am not, I’ll let you know it.

I have never been so excited about this time in my life (other than the biggest moments in anyone’s life – getting married, having my first child…)

Here is what producers have been saying to me…

“You have so many built-in Oprah moments.”

“Kailin, you are real, you are genuine. You are a woman who has experienced it all!”

I never take anything or anyone for granted. Everything is for a purpose, and I am grateful for it.  So without much adieu, I am always practicing Thanksgiving (minus the Turkey and heavy sleep-inducing stuffing) with my husband, my family, my friends, and readers (why do I give away a lot of giveaways and time?)

So I’m wishing everyone happiness, good health, and love always 😀

 

On Writing with a Passion and on Writing Fast

Recently I was asked to teach a class on time management for a writer’s conference. It’s a topic I’m very familiar with and am constantly researching ways to be more productive.

I’m unconventional, I have to admit. I don’t just sit down and write, I multitask all the time so I get a lot of writing done, as well as manage everyday life tasks. I like using the latest technology and gadgets to become more productive. I’ll highlight some of the gadgets I use.

But writing is a PASSION of mine. I probably write 18 hours a day (no kidding!) and 7 days a week – but I don’t keep track. I just do it, and feel a need to. It’s not a job, it’s not because an editor is telling me to do it, it’s not because I’m competing against anyone or any author out there (I’m only competing against myself, if I’m competing against anyone).  It’s because I live and breath writing.

My family and friends are very understanding of this all-consuming passion I have, which I’ve had for years. For years I’ve stored stories up, filed them away, and either began writing them or filed them for another day.  For years I’ve written half a book, and left it at that, waiting to finish them when the time is right. I have about 10 of these books waiting to get finished.  They sit stored away, waiting for me to finish them. It is precisely that – those unfinished books, that prompt me to write as fast as I can…so they don’t become unfinished and forgotten. It’s about getting them done. If you write as fast as you can, the further along in the book you get, and the more likely it will be finished.  Like I said, I’m unconventional. If you give me plenty of time to write a book, I will procrastinate – do anything but write that book, because I would think – Oh, I have the time. I’ll get to it another day.

Writing Fast and Keeping Focus

I try to write fast. In my most productive days, I write between 10,000 to 15,000 words a day. I’m like a zombie in zone. I write everywhere…take notes, come up with dialogue, and even new ideas for series wherever I go. Writing is a process which includes taking notes, coming up with names, plots, characters…everything including the actual sitting down to write. So, that being said…you need something to take notes with when the inspiration hits you.  I personally use this trusty do-it-all-device:

My Blackberry

I take notes on it, I answer emails, I schedule events, I take pictures, I facebook and twitter. I even use it as a timer.

Most productive invention ever invented for a multitasker.

As far as getting my exercise in, while writing…this laptop shelf is very handy, and it works!

A laptop shelf that sits on my treadmill and exercise bike.  It looks funny, but I get a lot done this way, and get my marathon training/running in at the same time.

Now this one is just for fun!

The Apple iPad

It helps me read books when I can, take notes, surf the web, share presentations at meetings, and best of all – entertain my daughter with video games, streaming movies, and children’s books.

So we are blessed to have a lot more ways to be productive as a writer today than when I first started – 10 years ago.  I still wrote a book about every two to three weeks back then when I was in writing mode, but think how more productive I could’ve been if I had all these devices …

There is no mystery to writers who can write many books in a year. It takes organization, it takes endless amount of sleepless nights (I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a day), and it takes passion.

Good luck writers and aspiring writers. That’s how I do it, and that’s how some of the most productive people in the world (Trump, Steve Jobs, and Oprah) do it – they do it with PASSION!

2011 News – Upcoming Events – More than Just Books! It’s about Giving Back to the Community

A few Things Coming Up this Year!

There will be some exciting things on the horizon:

1) I’ll be attending the Romantic Times BookLover Convention this year along with authors like Richelle Mead, Melissa de la Cruz, Alyson Noel, and Kami Garcia. I’ll be signing books.  If you’re in Los Angeles, stop by and say “hi”.

2) I’ll be attending Comic Con this year, and will have characters from my books there.  Fun Fun Fun!

3) I’m booked for appearances on Radio and Television. First stop is NBC television, then CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox.

4) I’m starting up my radio show Women Who Write with a slew of interviews with well… women who write – authors, screenwriters, singer/songwriters, publicists, television writers (I live near Los Angeles…the Capital of moviemaking…what do you expect?), actresses, and a lot more women who write.  If you want to know the nitty gritty of writing, hear how these successful women earn a living doing what they love… writing, learn about some of the challenges they have faced, get some real advice; then tune in.

5) Shy Girls Social Club – my teen site and the teen girls’ group I personally mentor.  There will be more activity.  There will be a Workshop for girls on Self-esteem and opportunities for girls to get involve.  There will be a big project we can all work on that will be either published or aired/screened.  Stay tuned, Girls!  Oh, and scholarship opportunities.

6) 3As for Autism (Actors, Artists, and Authors for Autism) – the Autism Awareness and Action Group I founded with a bunch of actors and filmmakers.  We are going to start developing a film I wrote that will be filmed in Spring or Summer. Film title will be reveal later.

7) On the horizon…I hear that my fiction books are being used by the medical community in neurological and mental well-being.  I know the U.S. Mental Health Association has recommended my books, but now I’m hearing neurological experts are reading and using my YA fiction books for medical reasons.  Amazing.  I’m blown away and honored beyond belief.

So… the reason for this post is to say, it’s more than just books for me. Writing these books and using them to connect and get in touch with people is my way to give back to our community and our world.  Whether it is for self-esteem development, helping women who would like to write for a living learn about it through a radio show, awareness-building of Autism, or neurological research;  I’m glad these books and I are able to help.

Taking Time to Breathe…When Life Gets Too Hectic

Hi Everyone,

This is probably one of my more personal posts, but I think it’s time for me to be more personal and heartfelt about this.  I’ve recently come across the sad news of some bloggers, whom I’ve become close to, having to either discontinue their blogs or a part of their blogs due to too much happening in life.  I hold a lot of admiration for these bloggers because they have taken the time to keep their blogs going and to provide their readership with constant news.

But it’s understandable when life gets too busy to blog. It’s understandable when things take precedence over others.

Personally, I’ve had my delays in life, delays in opportunities. For instance, when I found out my mother had cancer…3 types of cancer, life became very stressful, and I delayed my young adult fictions that you see published today, especially Bitter Frost and Forever Frost from the Frost Series.  On top of that, not long after I had my baby girl, she was diagnosed with severe speech delay…which when she turned two, became a diagnosis of ASD.

I could not write, not under these life circumstances…yet I did because it was a way to cope by giving…it was a way for me to help people see others (who had differences, who had extraordinary circumstances in their lives) find hope and strength to rise above these circumstances.  That’s why I write about strong characters, mainly the strength from within, as well as from physical strength.

The delay in writing these YA fiction books took years, almost 4 years. While they have been planned and outlined years ago, they were published recently.

The timing couldn’t have been more right, despite the delay to publication. Four years ago, the YA paranormal craze would have been at its infancy.  I wrote my first paranormal series nearly 10 years ago, mainly about angels, and although this was a bestselling series, paranormal series were still new.

Now YA has gained so much more legitimacy and audience that bookstores have set aside special YA-only sections.

Personally, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. My mother recently was told she was cancer-free. And my daughter who was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum, is now one of the most talkative child in her class, with an advance vocabulary and the ability to read at the second grade level. She’s four and a half. Her circumstance is miraculous, and again, this is another story.

So…to all my friends and bloggers whom I know are taking time off from your blogging because of life, please know that everything has its own timing. Yet in the end…everything will work out better because of it 🙂

Raising a Reader

For Halloween, my little preschooler dressed up as Cinderella last year and ended up at her favorite place toward the end of the night…the bookstore.

She loves to read, as I did growing up and as I still do.  Now I write books.  Of course the first step in becoming a writer is to be an avid reader.  To encourage a lifelong passion for reading and books, it’s important to model being a reader for your child.  Children pick up a lot of habits from parents, and reading is one of them…so, if you want to raise a reader, you have to be a reader, too.  Happy Halloween!

Mothers and Daughters are Reading Bitter Frost, PULSE, and even The Phantom Diaries Together!

When I first set out to write edgy books for teens and young adults, the audience I had in mind for these books were age 14 and up.  I really didn’t anticipate my books to be read together by teen girls and their mothers.  I did intend for these books to open up discussion, sometimes on very sensitive topics like dating, sex, friendships, bullying, and stress for teens and even for young women in their 20s. 

In my own life, as someone who constantly gives advice to women of all ages about relationships, careers, and life choices; I find it natural for me to extend that into my fiction writing.   I don’t necessarily give the answers in my fiction books, but I do touch on them, and expect readers (who want to go further) to discuss the discussion questions with each other, to open a line of communication about some of these sensitive topics. 

I’ve received emails from readers saying how much these edgy teen books have helped bridge the gap between the generations, especially mother and daughter.  Mothers, Grandmothers even, who love Twilight, have written me to tell me how they enjoyed reading Bitter Frost and even The Phantom Diaries just like their 16 to 17-year-old daughters and granddaughters.   After reading Phantom Diaries (a younger young adult take on the classic Phantom of the Opera), young ladies are beginning to read the classic Phantom of the Opera.

Am I surprised by this?  Actually no, but it’s always interesting how things work out.  Being a mother of a daughter (who will be a teenager in a few years) myself, I do tend to write and structure my YA and even my tween books in a way so it will be a social learning tool, as well as an entertaining read.

So, here’s a great review of The Phantom Diaries from a young reader, whose mother recommended the book to her:

http://www.yousaytoo.com/review-of-the-phantom-diaries-by-kailin-gow/310947

If you’re a mother/grandmother-daughter book reading team with a great story about reading The Frost Series, PULSE, The Phantom Diaries, or any other book of mine, send an email with your story to:  theedgebooks(at)yahoo(dot)com.  We’d love to hear from you, and you will be entered to win a free autographed copy or ARC of the next book in the series. 

 

Jack Frost and Prince Caspian – Character Study for Prince Kian

I’ve been on several blog tours lately, especially for – Bitter Frost, the first of the Frost Series, and the question all authors get is:  what are your inspirations?  The Frost Series is a five-book series about human love being stronger than fairy magic, a story about a half-human, half-fairy girl who is intended to marry her enemy, the Winter Prince.  It’s a series about growing up, about relationships, falling in love for the first time, and rising up to the challenges of life and destiny.

It’s funny how inspirations come to people.  My muse came in the form of an actor and a children’s fairy tale and lore.   I know you may have a different actor in mind when it comes to Prince Kian, but when I first saw Ben Barnes in Chronicles of Narnia as Prince Caspian (the Chronicles of Narnia Disney film made in 2008), I wanted to write a series about fairies, strong fairies who flitted back and forth through our world (or as I call it The Land Beyond the Crystal River) and their magical world (Fairyland or Feyland).  And as those of you who follow me on Goodreads know, I’m a huge fan of C.S. Lewis, especially of his The Chronicles of Narnia series.

My Muse for Prince Kian - "Kian was pale, pale like snow. His eyes were icy blue, with just a hint of silver flecked around the irises; his hair was so black that ink itself would drown in it." - Bitter Frost

But because he’s a fairy prince, he has a stronger presence, muscular frame with broad shoulders and deadly arms that can wield a 50 pound sword, easily slicing through his opponents.

Another inspiration for The Frost Series is the legend of Jack Frost, the Winter Prince, himself.  From the Rankin-Bass animated version of Jack Frost, I loved the story of the immortal Winter Prince, Jack Frost, falling in love with a mortal woman, and wanting to become mortal to be with her.  Watching this animated version of Jack Frost in the late 1970s up to now when I show this video to my little 4-year-old, it was the first time I’ve come across an immortal being (one familiar to both children and adults around the world) who wanted to give up his immortality to be with a mortal woman.  It was the first time Jack had to fight his own elven/fairy magic to follow his heart’s desire.

Jack Frost - The Story of The Winter Prince falling in love with a Human Girl

Wonder Why Kian is the way he is…so arrogant, cool, and incredibly beautiful? – Look at his mother – The Snow Queen (or The Winter Queen in The Frost Series)

From Fairy Lore and Legend of Denmark:

The Snow Queen (aka The Winter Queen, aka Prince Kian’s mother) – according to fairy lore from Denmark, the Snow Queen is as dazzling and beautiful as snowflakes and ice crystals.  She lives in the Arctic and has the power to entice mortal men to follow her, but to be loved by her, to be kissed by her, would mean instant death.   Prince Kian, her son, has this same loveliness and attractiveness.  The kiss he shares with Breena can be fatal to her, as he is the Winter Queen’s son.

 

Will Breena survive Prince Kian’s kiss?

For more discussion questions on Bitter Frost, you can visit my publisher’s site and download the questions at:  theEDGEbooks.com or visit the Discussion Questions page here (it’s coming up, I swear.)

Until next time…happy dreams!

And for those of you who know me as the author of the Fairy Rose Chronicles (from 2003), written under another name, Feyland first originated in this tween book series that was briefly published.  Some of the characters from the Fairy Rose Chronicles make an appearance in the FROST Series. But this was before Prince Kian, Logan, and Breena’s story evolved. As there are many fairy references to Winter and Summer (as in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night), the Fairy Rose Chronicles also runs with the idea of Winter vs. Summer fey.