Interview: S. J. Kincaid

A little late for my Blogoversary this year, but that is okay, as this author was new to me and her novel The Diabolic was a great read. It melded together so many aspects that I enjoy in books, darkness, political power plays and a ruthless main character. I mean what is there not to love. Additionally, her second book in her Diabolic series, Empress, was just released this week so make sure you check that out as well. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

S.J. Kincaid

My Grandma was instrumental in me turning out to be a reader. Was there a book or person who first influenced you in to becoming an author?
My Sister was the number one influence in this. She was older than me by four years, and I wasnt to be just like her. I used to follow her around and annoy her when she was playing with her friends. When she decided as a third grader that she loved writing, I decided to start writing too. It became my primary hobby from then onward.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?

Actually, it would be an unpublished but extremely talented writer I've already co-written a novel with, on of my two best friends, Jamie. Thanks to her, I co-wrote the first ever manuscript I finished, and realized writing was a possible career for me. I've hoped ever since for a chance to write something with her one day. It was so much fun.


What appeals to you writing in the YA genre?
I don't have to write about mortgages or wrangling with taxes, for one. It's an interesting period of life when there's still so much possibility, so many decisions not yet made, and a teenager is simultaneously and adult in so many ways but lacking all the autonomy and power over fate an adult has.

Many adults have taken to reading novels that have been classified with the YA designation. Why do you think YA novels are appealing to adults more? Do you think that this may change some of the overall content of the YA genre? Hoave you seen changes within the genre since you started writing in it?
I think adults appreciate - as I do - the pacing of a typical YA novel. Although there are certainly exceptions, adult fiction often seems much more rumination or lingering than a YA novel, where the emphasis focuses upon driving the story forward.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?

I would say straight-up romance. My sister writes romance as Meredith Duran, and she's incredibly talented, but I don't think I could simultaneously keep to the pretty strict genre guileless and expectations and manage to produce something compelling and fascinating the way she does. I really am in awe of her.

The Diabolic was originally supposed to be a standalone novel; Why did you decide to make it into a series?
There were a variety of reasons, but mostly it was because there was just too much story left to tell! I really had this plot idea that nagged me so I felt compelled to write onward.

As The Diabolic wrapped up the story by the end of the book did you find it hard to create a new storyline and where these characters would go next?
Not in this case, mostly because it was the storyline for where it would go next that compelled me to write onward, rather than contract for three books from the start. I just had this idea and I couldn't resist pursuing it.


You wanted to make The Diabolic older and darker from your previous series, what appealed to you about writing the darker side of human nature; As Nemesis is cold, lacks empathy and is ruthless.
I felt like INSIGNIA began with a main character who was fourteen, and although some readers will grow older as Tom does, other will pick up all three books after they're out. To write for middle grade or the younger end of YA, one has to be respectful of not just the readers, but the parents and librarians who are sharing the book. I want people to know from the beginning of the first book just what they'll be exposing their kid or student to if they read this series, rather than surprise them with shocking or dark stuff they're not ready to read. For that reason, there's a lot of pretty dark stuff they're not ready to read. For that reason, there's a lot of pretty dark stuff in INSIGNIA, but it never goes too far , and yet I couldn't help but notice the parts that readers really connected with were some of the darker moments. With The Diabolic, I laid it out pretty explicitly in the first chapter of the first book just how dark the story could get, so if it doesn't work for a reader, then someone knows in the bookstore.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?

Yes! I should preface this and say I had the awesome and enormous par of The Diabolic wings made, so anyone who wants a selfie with them, come see me! These are my events:

November 4th, I'll be at the Colorado Teen BookCon with Scott Reinten, Veronica Rossi, Emily Suvada, Len Vlahos, and moderated by Scott Bergstorm.
November 6th: I'll be at Third Place Books in Seattle.
November 7th and 8th: I'll have two events with Tommy Wallach at Barnes and Noble and Chevalier's Books

November 18th: Miami Book Fair 

What is one book (Other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone)

The Gift of Fear. Not fiction, but honestly it'll save your life. That book has given me so many useful tips as a woman who travels alone often.

I want to thank Kincaid once again for taking the time to answer these questions. Honestly, if I was able to go to one of her upcoming events I would totally take a self with those wings, they sound amazing and I am really looking forward to reading Empress, the second book in her Diabolic series.