We are honored to have two very special authors with us today. A mother and son writing team – Wendy and Charles Siefken!! Thanks you two for stopping by and taking time out to visit with us today. We are looking forward to finding out all about you both. How cool that you are a mother and son team. Let’s get started.
First off, where are you each from?
We are from Laurel, IA.
Please share a little about yourself. Charlie, you go first.
Charles: I work at a local business as a tech. I will be attending college this fall to become a certified mechanic. I love to read fantasy books but Christopher Paolini is my all time favourite author. I’m always coming up with new ideas for new stories. My mom says that I’m always stretching our imaginations and flexing our writing muscles.
Wendy: We have to look up and do research on a good portion of his ideas but it’s always interesting and love to learn!
Ok, about me. I work in a local call centre taking inbound calls. I love working on the stories and hashing out ideas with Charlie. We enjoy talking about the story lines anywhere we are. Stores, restaurants, or the mall. We will talk about ideas, characters and the environment they live in.
We both think that’s great. Makes for a close relationship too. Ok, tell us your latest news?
Our latest news is that we have published our book under MKSP titled; Kai’s Journey and released two shorts called, “Curse of the Red Eyed Witch” and also “Hiding in Plain Sight. “
We have also been asked to sit on a panel of authors at a local writer’s conference!
That is so exciting! I know our readers will want to know when and why you began writing?
Charlie has loved writing ever since he read Eragon. He would write stories in school in his journals instead of doing the homework.
I have always loved to write as well, ever since I discovered books. I would write in my diary. I would write poems, tell stories and use my imagination.
That’s great. It seems Charlies got his love of writing and story telling from you Wendy. So, when did you first consider yourself a writer?
We didn’t consider ourselves a writer until the day at school when the principal and the teachers looked at us and said, “You did it, you really did it.” The principal had given us the challenge of writing and publishing a book for credit to graduate. We did it.
That’s wonderful! It’s great how things work out. From a school assignment to a profession!! Do you two have a specific writing style?
We write young-adult with a theme of hope.
That’s wonderful. We can use all the hope we can get now a days. How did you come up with the title?
We couldn’t come up with one and just were having no luck at any ideas. The main character was named Kai, and I thought well it’s basically his journey so let’s call it “Kai’s Journey” until we can come up with a better name. For a long time it was simply called “Charlie’s zombie story.”
LOL! That’s great. We understand the title part. It has to come to you, and sometimes that takes time. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, ours is that no matter how bad things can seem or get in life there is always hope for a better life and a better future. You have to get that future though. It won’t come knocking on your door, usually.
This is one of our favorite questions. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination?
The hero is based loosely on Charlie’s brother James. He is a quiet strong type who isn’t an outgoing personality. He is a good guy who has a likeable personality. Otherwise it’s all a figment of our imaginations!
What imaginations you both have! We both really loved the book and where it took us. What books would you say have influenced your life the most?
The Eragon series, The Shannara series, and far too many other books to mention.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
For Charlie, it would be Christopher Paolini and for me it would be either Terry Brooks or Rick Riordan.
Nice choices. What book(s) are you reading now?
Charlie is reading the Red Wall series and I am reading the edits on our second book. I just don’t have time to read any more between work and writing new stories and editing Kai’s Journey book 2.
We understand that. We are working on edits of book two ourselves and all I (T.L.) have time for are research books. Oh, well, it’s still great!! We know you know a lot of authors. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are quite a few. Most of the authors on MasterKoda and even a few who aren’t on it yet but I feel should be!
Master Koda rocks with some very awesome authors!! Such a great pool of talent. So, tell us, what are your current projects?
We have several at the moment. My story that I told the kids when they were little where they are the main characters called Lost. A book about a spaceship with an A.I. in it that becomes very human-like called Fallen Angel. A story about a Minotaur and an Anubite and how they meet titled Korudon, a story about a new breed of creatures that were created to be slaves called the Chimera Effect. We have quite a few others that have been put on the back burner for now.
Wow! That is quite a plateful!! If you would, name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Mike Donahey a reporter for the Marshalltown Times Republican and also Kim Mutch Emerson and the whole MasterKoda crew. (Sorry that’s two) and there are many others who have helped as well.
That’s fine. You can name as many as you want. You can never have too many supporters in this line of work!! If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?
Nicholas Hoult from Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer.
We can so see him as Kai!! If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope, not a thing, we love it the way it is.
Our readers love getting a preview. Wendy and Charles, would you share a little of your current work with us?
“I will NOT forget!” she said as she aimed the practice laser at the wall. Carefully she aimed the gun making sure to fire it precisely as she moved it across the wall. The silence of the ship made the laser gun firing sound even louder than normal.
They were all gone, the crew, the enemies, the workers and even the cleaners. She alone remained.
All her concentration was on her task as the ship floated through the vast darkness of space. The burn marks on the hull of the ship told the story as well as the guns that had been blasted off in the fight. The lights of the ship flickered out one by one as the ship shut down until only she remained in the small practice room with the laser gun. “I will not forget!” she said one last time before all the lights went out and the ship fell silent.
Oooooh, sounds interesting. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finishing what we start and being sure to do our research to make it at least partially believable.
As a writing duo ourselves, we know that it can be challenging to carve out time to write. Do you and Charles have a particular writing quirk?
We like to write when the time grabs us. Anymore both of us carry around a notebook and pen/pencil to write down ideas. Nothing else I have been known to put notes in my phone.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, my husband is a truck driver and he has seen most of where we have our characters going. We do take some creative liberties with parts of it but he is our eyes for the most part.
We have to ask, who designed the cover(s)?
Dan Peyton and Rebbekah White, we love what they have done and look forward to continuing to working with them!
He did such a wonderful job too. What was you two say is the hardest part of writing your book?
Oh, we can identify with that!! Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned so much from this first one that it’s hard to know where to start. We didn’t know anything about writing, publishing, promoting or anything about the process. We are still learning but have learned a lot. I think the biggest thing I have learned is the balancing act of keeping Charlie’s voice for his stories as well as pleasing the editor.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never ever give up!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you have a dream, no matter how far out of reach it seems, go for it! Find a way to reach for it and make it real!
Wendy and Charles, we want to thank you both so much for joining us today and sharing about yourselves. We wish you all the best in the world and can’t wait for the next book to come out.
Here is where you can connect with Wendy and Charles:
Website – http://siefkenpublications.info/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/WendyandCharles
Here’s where you can purchase this awesome YA read from Amazon:
Well, thanks for joining us today and we hope you will check out Kai’s Journey for yourself. It is truly a wonderful book.
K.R. and T.L.