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MERGE BlogTour: Interview with Kit Iwasaki + Giveaway!

June 4, 2012

Kit Iwasaki was midway through premed when she realized she loved the heart, but hated blood. It took her a few more years to figure out what to do with her freewheeling life, most of which is not fit to print in a bio. She decided to get back to what she was always doing anyway, and had been as long as she could remember: telling stories. Now she furiously scribbles out books for the Vampire General series, as well as other projects that will jump out at you when you least expect it.

So without further adieu, let us welcome the lovely Kit Iwasaki!

1. Hi Kit! I have to say I loved your stories for MERGE, 5 Days at a Time and Gentle Cruelty. Recently on Attack of the Book, MCM accused you of playing a major role in the conception of the series itself. What’s your side of that story? How’d you go from talking ooze to the inter-connecting multi-author series that is MERGE? And how did that lend itself to Beth and Sam’s story?

I was an innocent victim his plot. He came to me with this crazy idea about ooze, but it fit neatly into my idea about a society dealing with transhumanism, on a personal level. Most stories focus on the “ooh ahh” of werewolves, but not many look at on a macro level that doesn’t involve epic wars or secret societies. I wanted to write about a woman who was dealing with the gut-wrenching realities of being the caretaker for a transhuman who also happened to be suffering from Alzheimer’s. The fact that three other authors would be filling out the world and laying the groundwork for a kick-ass finale, that was just icing on the cake!

2.  You describe your brand as “Medical Thrillers with a Paranormal twist!” I like the blend of gritty realism this lends to your MERGE stories. I imagine your background in Premed  largely influences your stories, especially your Vampire General Series? Where did you get the idea for it?

From my brain! Or was it from the recycling bin?

In all seriousness, I have a friend who’s really allergic to garlic, so we make fun of him by calling him a vampire. Then my wannabe-doctor side fired up one day and got me wondering: what if vampirism was just a medical condition? If there was a medical reason behind the garlic allergy, blood lust, sensitivity to sunlight, etc? How would you treat such a condition? How would you cure it?

Once my mind wandered down that path, it never came back. The possibilities are endless.

3.   Awesome! What’s your process like? Are you a panster, plotter or a bit of both?

A plotter, through and through. I have all 9 books in the Vampire General series in various stages of planning, and I already know how the series will end. I plan everything, even down to individual books. First I write a general outline, then I break it into chapters, then I flesh out where needed and make sure all the different threads weave together well—you need to make sure to mix up the plot threads well, to give them equal weight and to keep readers reading! Only when all the chapter outline are in place do I start writing.

It takes time to outline things, sure, but then when it comes to actually writing a novel, as soon as the outline is in place everything just flows.

4.  Who inspires you? Be they author, musician, artist or director!

It’ll be tacky to say, but Joss Whedon is a god to me. He takes truly epic situations, and boils them down to complex characters and quiet moments of dialogue. I watch and read everything he does, just so I can absorb as much witty banter as I can, so maybe my own characters are a bit more alive when I write them.

5.  I don’t think that’s tack at all. I love most of Whedon’s work! Do you intend to be faithful to your brand or are there stories in other genres you’d be tempted to write?

I like to think that I’ve found my niche with the paranormal/medical crossover… and it certainly helps that it’s just how I think. When I sit down to write, I start off thinking about love stories and betrayals and dramas, and inevitably my mind turns to medical dramas because they are amongst the most powerful.

But who knows? I never say no to anything.

6.  Do you have any other creative endeavors outside of writing?

Everyone is creative, whether they realize it or not. Those who know me say I’m very creative when avoiding work. I also color-code my wardrobe, does that count?

7.  Hah! My sister would say so. Do you have favorite words? Most of mine tend to be censored on Television and the rest make me question my sanity.

Apricot. Hate the fruit, love the word. Pneumothorax, too. But never together.

8. If you were to write an autobiography what would the title be?

“Epidural, Please.” And I don’t have kids. It just makes me sound badass.

9. Oooh, I like that, nice! What would your ultimate writing environment be like? Mine would include Cat-hair free furniture, a decent laptop that doesn’t lag (ever), a view of the ocean, art supplies, a bottle of Sprite, and a chocolate fountain or two. Just sayin’…

As silly as it sounds, just a laptop and a comfy chair, some soft music playing in the background, and gentle lighting. Oh, and seventeen tanks of coffee, because the rest of that environment would put me to sleep SO FAST it’s not funny.

10. What’s next on the Agenda? Can you tell us a little about the next Vampire General book?

Coming up next is Slash and Burn, the second in the Vampire General series. It picks up right where book one left off, which ended on a killer cliff-hanger.

Slash and Burn covers main character Aline Harman’s second shift at the transhuman hospital Grace General. With an elf in critical care and a werewolf to control, Aline has her hands full. But she’s also in even MORE danger from her colleagues, who are on the verge of discovering her secret….

How long can she handle the pressure until the cracks start to appear?

You can purchase two of Kit Iwasaki’s MERGE titles 5 Days At A Time and Gentle Cruelty, as well as the first book in the Vampire General series, Intern With The Vampire, at 1889 Labs.

Then come back here and tell me how you would spend your after life in the event you’d been unfortunate enough to contract Vampirism. Or just toss your name into the hat. I’ll draw one name and the winner will be awarded any 1889 Labs book of their choosing. Giveaway ends Friday, June 20th, 2012 at Midnight EST.

Don’t forget there are other prizes to be won (Recap below!) by commenting here and on all the other wonderful sponsor’s posts, subscribing to the MERGE mailinglist, pointing fellow book junkies towards 1889 Labs’ facebook page, and tweeting with the hashtag #merge1889.

First place: brand new iPad + ecopy of entire MERGE anthology
Second place: ecopy of entire MERGE anthology + $10 amazon/iTunes voucher
Third place: ecopy of 4 MERGE stories of choice  + $10 amazon/iTunes voucher

Winners will be announced on June 20th, which is 1889 Labs’ 6th birthday. On the same day we will release the full MERGE anthology.

Readers can enter to win by:
– Subscribing to merge mailing list =5 entries
– Like 1889 labs Facebook page = 2 entries
– Tweet using #merge1889 = 1 entry, once per day
– Comment on a blog tour stop = 1 entry.  – The MERGE Press Release

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2012 10:11 am

    If I contracted vampirism, I would stay indoors all day and write stories and post them on the internet.

    Wait a second, that’s my life right now!

    Okay, I’d do all the above, but I’d be sparkly, too.

    • Soleil Noir permalink*
      June 5, 2012 12:18 pm

      MCM,

      *wry grin* Good one. I’d elect not to be sparkly though. Not very good for being stealthy, that.

  2. June 4, 2012 11:42 am

    I would prowl the streets at night and frighten people… and be a general nuisance!

  3. Sabita R permalink
    June 4, 2012 1:38 pm

    I like viewing vampirism and lycanthropy as a disease that can be contracted and cured, it makes vampires and werewolves more relatable, I was a bit like Kit , wanted to be a doctor but all the dissection in school turned me off…

  4. Na S. permalink
    June 4, 2012 1:42 pm

    I figured if I had to contract a paranormal trait, vampirism would be it. They are my favorite paranormal creatures and I understand them enough. I’d definitely be wary of my surroundings and stay inside (away from the sun) and away from strangers. I’d hope I’ll be able to tolerate the sun but to be safe not take that chance. I’d also change my lifestyle and fortify my home. Since I’ll be inside a lot I’ll need to really make it comfortable and hopefully find a “friend” who can help me understand these new changes.

  5. Craig permalink
    June 4, 2012 3:21 pm

    I hate the word “slacks”.

  6. June 4, 2012 6:17 pm

    I loved the idea they developed in Daybreakers [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/] where once the virus causing vampirism was discovered, the desirable traits – immortality, halting aging effects, rapid healing – were all chosen by the majority of the world’s wealthiest populations. Once everyone had elected to be changed, though, they need to find a way to feed. So, yeah. I’d be a controlled immortal vampire, but I’d have my own farm of fresh humans to nibble on. Stands to reason.
    Lxx

  7. June 5, 2012 6:13 am

    I have a friend who’s really allergic to garlic, so we make fun of him by calling him a vampire.
    That’s exactly what I do to my dad who is allergic to garlic!
    Loving the sound of this book! 🙂

  8. June 5, 2012 7:11 am

    I followed on facebook I was like number 167 🙂

  9. Sastun permalink
    June 5, 2012 11:01 pm

    As someone who is allergic to the sun, and is teased relentlessly by his friends I have complete sympathy for the friend.

  10. June 6, 2012 9:50 am

    if i’d contract vampirism, i’d prolly go insane if i can’t go out. i’d wear long trench coats and weird looking fedora hats (what am i thinking?!) so i can go outside by day (i hope Mr. Sun won’t tear me into bits) and people would think im just this uncool girl with weird fashion sense :)) i’d hang out with count dracula if i’d be able to fly to transylvania! 😉

  11. Artemis permalink
    June 6, 2012 1:38 pm

    Very beautiful interview! I really like the idea, vampirism to be just a medical condition. Vampire General series seems very interesting.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  12. Evie permalink
    June 6, 2012 10:38 pm

    If I contracted vampirism I know for sure that I’d not be happy at all. But it’d be nice to have to spend time indoors.

  13. June 7, 2012 4:16 am

    Keeping up with the blog tour… It’s an interesting question, that one. It’s made me think in a different direction, what with all the current economy crisis and unemployment. Just think: you become a vampire, but you are a -very- working class one, so all that’s ahead of you is an eternity of hard labour. Not so glamourous!

    I’ve enjoyed the interview itself. I like these insightful looks at authors and the way they work.

  14. Astri Nasthasia Videlia permalink
    June 7, 2012 4:49 am

    aahh.. Nice Interview… I love this question by the way.. —> What’s your side of that story.. and the answer is.. a Victim.. so many people will answer he or she is a Hero of heroine.. but this… a victim?? hmm.. Interesting… How do you feel as a Victim?? 😀

  15. June 7, 2012 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the interview! I can’t wait for Slash and Burn 🙂

  16. June 9, 2012 12:13 pm

    She is really funny 😀 Apricot.

  17. Elizabeth permalink
    June 9, 2012 5:30 pm

    It sounds very intense, but also fascinating. So many great writers have come from a medical background…

  18. Bing permalink
    June 10, 2012 2:04 am

    Great interview! It’s always fun know the story behind THE story.

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