FICTION Press Room
This page provides an overview of various interviews with Ian Kingsley and offers a summary of the questions asked.
See also my: NON-FICTION Press Room
Click any heading for full interview.
Launch Date: 22nd July 2013
PUT YOUR MIND TO THE ULTIMATE QUEST
An intriguing new quest novel, ‘Flying a Kite’, dispels traditional conflicts between science and religion. Uniquely, it supports the findings of its fictional characters through end notes and corroborative links on the author’s website.
Man’s ultimate quest must surely be to discover how the world came about. To understand the seat of his own consciousness—the mind—and whether it survives physical death. To determine whether there really is a God and, if so, how this can be ratified by science. Tricky stuff, yet all this is just grist to the mill in Ian Kingsley’s latest book: Flying a Kite. Remarkably, despite its potential for mind-boggling dissertation, everything is neatly bound within the confines of a readable, humorous and multi-faceted novel.
When asked why he chose to tackle such challenging subjects in a novel, Kingsley explained it was to ensure the book was light, accessible and entertaining. ‘It’s a bit like the approach used in popular-science TV programmes,’ he explained. ‘Plenty of people are interested in the subject but they don’t want to get bogged down by things they don’t understand. Who wouldn’t like to know whether it’s logical or realistic to hope for an afterlife? So I created a challenging plot that initiates a quest pursued by several interesting and eccentric characters. They represent different persuasions, so any reader can identify with a particular point-of-view. I keep things simple by dealing with all the “deep stuff” through light-hearted banter.’
Satisfactorily melding fact and fiction is hard trick to pull-off, but various author endorsements confirm Kingsley achieves this. Elijah Iwuji notes how, ‘characters come alive through captivating dialogue.’ Heikki Hietala feels the pace, ‘allowed the reader to think about important concepts by himself.’ Richard Pierce says its ‘convincing’ and ‘riveting’ treatment of the God versus science debate is ‘much better than Dan Brown’s in Angels and Demons,’ and Gillian McDade observes the novel fits into the same niche as The Shack and is ‘fluid, smooth and flows at a lovely pace’. Kingsley’s technical writing skills, honed over the years to simplify complex technical material, have come to the fore in making potentially mind-boggling topics easy to understand through this ingenious approach.
The story revolves around Aldo Galliano, a multi-millionaire faced with imminent death. Should he trust in faith and an afterlife or pay to have his body cryogenically frozen in the hope of later revival and cure? To aid his decision he offers a one million pound prize to the person offering the most convincing argument ‘for’ or ‘against’ the existence of God. Enter drop-out theology graduate, Bruce Kramer, who takes on mankind’s ultimate challenge, but there are dangerous rivals who will stop at nothing to ensure Bruce fails in his quest. Amazing ideas and convincing evidence are gently meted out through this unusual storyline.
Combining the rich characterisation and gentle humour of Peter Carey,
and the spiritual probing and discernment of C. S. Lewis, this work resolves
many apparent conflicts between creation and evolution, offers convincing
explanations for some traditional biblical mysteries, demonstrates how
science can actually substantiate the creation story within Genesis, and
draws a clear distinction between the physical brain and a non-physical
mind. And that’s just some of the food offered for thought.
When asked where he got his deep ideas from, Kingsley said: ‘Three decades of metaphysical pondering, lots of research and more than a little inspiration. The enigma I discovered was the hidden knowledge we seek is deep within us.’ And why did he write such an unusual work? ‘To convince people they are wrong if they think science obviates the need for a creative intelligence. Something was responsible for the Big Bang. And to help unburden believers who, while accepting both the Bible and science, have to compartmentalize their minds in order to isolate apparent conflicts between the two. That’s not good for faith. Given over half the world’s population believe in a single God, and at least that number believe in science, the obvious approach was to look for evidence proving each was merely a different view of the same picture. I believe I finally achieved this and I wanted to share my vision. I include End Notes to prove the deeper ideas are not pure fiction. These lead interested readers directly to evidence supporting everything my characters propose. My author website duplicates this with direct links to supporting material. That’s the novel’s Unique Selling Point and where fiction meets fact. Firstly readers get to read a hopefully entertaining novel embracing some stimulating but light-hearted debate, and afterwards they can set out on their own adventure of discovery.’ Added value indeed.
By now it should be clear this novel works at two levels. Its blurb puts it this way: ‘Like one of Galliano’s favourites lattes, while it might appear frothy on the surface, a high caffeine brew lurks deep below that may keep you awake at night… thinking.’ This is a novel with substance.
Flying a Kite is published on 25th July 2013. It is set in Bath, Rome, Lake Garda, Tenerife, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and the author’s comprehensive website includes information about the real locations used in these places. The book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, and can be ordered from all good bookshops. More information, including a video trailer, can be found on the author’s website: iankingsley.com. You can follow him daily on Twitter as @authorkingsley.
Media requests for REVIEW COPIES of Flying a Kite should be sent, with contact details, to: kite at synergise dot com.
Images for Flying a Kite are contained within the media section.
For general questions about the novel you can contact the author direct. He is pleased to respond to Q&A formats for book review blogs (example shown below). Just send your questions with details about intended use.
You've had a taster. Now check-out this 5-minute video trailer - with sound.
(Covering Flying a Kite, just prior to its release)
Congratulations on your novel: Flying a Kite. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
My 'drawing board' is too littered with Post-its to make much sense at the moment. Ideas are floating around. All I can say is that I love writing psychological thrillers because the distinct plot-line of a thriller gives you a golden thread - almost a lifeline - around which to weave your story. You can only keep ‘on track’ if you can make out there is a track! I wouldn't feel happy meandering around with a story without a known destination. (I’ve done that before and I don’t recommend it.) I like a story to be tighter than that to prevent rambling. I prefer psychological thrillers to plain thrillers because I believe 'character' is what makes a novel interesting to me, and rather than ploughing through the depths and complexities of a conventional thriller, I get to explore the characters involved more deeply and to allow the reader to see what they are all about. I like to identify and share a protagonist's problems when I read a novel, so that's what I try to offer when I write one. After reading a book, characters stay in the mind much better than plot details.
You have a great following on Twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How much has it changed your book launch process?
I was actually late to social media. I now love Twitter... and my Twitter followers. I am amazed at how many there are now. I do try to tweet a few times each weekday. Some soon leave if I don't. I have to admit that I used to think Twitter was lightweight before I got involved with it... but not anymore. It might sound obvious, but I think you need to write mainly interesting tweets to keep followers. (A lot of people don't.) It is a great vehicle for writers because who else could be better qualified to write interesting messages with the challenge of a 140 character limit? It helps hone my prose several times a day. I can fit in tweets when I just want a breather from serious writing, and it's great to be able to reach new people so easily and to respond directly to readers. I confess that my blog doesn't get as much attention because that takes too much time out. In consequence, I tweet when I have blogged. Also I don't really have the time to mess around with Facebook. Twitter sees far more 'time-effective', and a writer always needs to achieve effective time management these days. So I link my tweets through to Facebook to keep that on the move. 'How much has it changed my book launch process?' Well, Twitter is my principal social media outlet, so it has changed things. I make any announcements there. I tend to focus more on online marketing these days because of that 'time-effectiveness' factor.
Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
I am happy to do some signings that are not too distant from where I live on the south coast of England, but I'm not sure they are as time or cost-effective for authors like me - as opposed to a well-known celebrities. It's nice to meet readers, but I it's probably more effective to undertake local radio interviews. I'm always up for that. Because I always like to create a strong sense of place, I always write about real places in my fiction. So that always offers the chance of local interest. My debut novel, 'Sandman', was set in and around Hengistbury Head and Christchurch, near Bournemouth, where I live. My latest novel, 'Flying a Kite', is principally set in Bath, although I have also used quite a number of well-known locations in Europe and America. Arrangements are still being finalized for my latest launch so all I can say is watch my website and my tweets as' @authorkingsley'. I am, by the way, very happy to respond to book bloggers such as yourself.
Today there is a buzz in the industry about high rankings on retailer’s lists because of the use of on-line advertising sites. Have you ever promoted your books with paid advertising? What has been your experience?
I have never used paid advertising for my books and I don't have the advantage of a big publisher's budget to do this for me.
You have several book trailers. Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? They look very professional.
I do my own book trailers... and that's quite tricky. They can be found on my website: iankingsley.com. I don't know how much impact they have. I just know that it seems a great way to get a message across to a potential reader without them having to plough through many words. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a movie must be worth a few thousand... in my book! How do I do it? Laboriously. It takes several days. I use VideoPad to stitch together the various pictures and to add the soundtrack. I spend quite a lot of time these days on trying to synchronize the music to the visuals to give more impact. I had not got to that level when I did the 'Sandman' trailer. Maybe I should add sound, one day, but there are always more important things to be done.
What kinds of writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
I did belong to a professional writers' group (ie all members published) but, in the end, I thought it was not for me. It got a bit too formal with its critique and lecture format. I wanted more time to just chat informally. So now I rely more on peer author reviews to get feedback on my work.
How does your Reader’s circle work? Do you get a good response from that area of your marketing emphasis?
I am pleased to work on an email basis with any reading group, which is why I include some notes to help on my website. It's a good way to get feedback. I will correspond via email with groups who select my books and like to receive their collated response. I will also go to local reading groups after reading one of my books. It's a lovely way to meet and thank readers. 'Flying a Kite' should offer scope to expand this area for any groups who find it of interest.
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?
When I have a week at home I work what amounts to 9-5 office hours for 3-4 days a week. It's a separate building overlooking the garden. I can get peace and quiet there. I need to avoid audible distractions in order to hear my inner voice when writing or, more importantly, when editing! I could not contemplate writing in a coffee shop like some writers.
You have a great website. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
It is s struggle to get noticed as a new fiction author and that is why I like to offer a few tips via my tweets and articles on my author website. I also need to get noticed myself, as a relative newcomer to fiction and I think an author's website is the most important way towards achieving that aim. Readers - and potential readers - get to know more about you and how you tick via a website, whereas social media comments are more transient. While I have struggled to get fiction published over the years my professional experience of writing goes back far more years than I care to admit. So I have learned a few tricks that might be of use to others and being helpful on your website is one of them. A search engine bringing someone to the site for an article is, after all, a potential reader. Over the years I've also read just about every book on creative writing under the sun. My ultimate love is writing fiction, and it's great to now be doing that full time. My primary goal is to garner new readers. Hopefully, if they like what they read, they will tell others and I can build on that.
Ian Kingsley's previous novel...
SANDMAN: (published in 2010)
The generic questions answered by this interview template can be used as the basis for generating an e-Interview. Please contact directly for specific questions.
Bestselling author, Sophie King, said the novel Sandman is: ‘A gripping psychological read with characters that reach out and grab you. A real page-turner.’ Not only is it unusually character-rich for a thriller, it also puts the reader right there in the action or, as reviewer William Potter of Reader’s Choice Book Reviews put it, ‘The dialogue is authentic, and, along with the scene-painting narrative, you’ll feel like you’re on the beach witnessing the unfolding action.’ This reaction was confirmed by Amazon Top 500 Reviewer Norman Goldman who said: ‘What is intriguing about Sandman is that reading it made me think I was watching a movie focusing on several characters that all are subtly interwoven into the threads of each others' lives.’
The novel is set on Mudeford Sandbank, Hengistbury Head and Christchurch Harbour, a much-loved tourist location near Bournemouth in the UK. Author Ian Kingsley lives close by. ‘One day while walking there it occurred to me that writing a psychological thriller based in such a setting offered a great opportunity to place the turbulent emotions associated with murder in stark contrast to its tranquil surroundings. I believe real settings known to an author add an incredible dimension of reality to fiction and I aim to carry this through to future novels. My author website, iankingsley.com, contains a video trailer along with information about the setting, including pictures and suggestions for walks in the locality. It could be fun for readers to work out where some of the scenes took place.’
An incident between protagonist, Paul Vincent, and antagonist, Stevie Clarke—an unbalanced beachcomber known by some as 'The Sandman'—leads Paul to inform the police he believes Clarke is a murderer. This provokes frightening and prolonged reprisals against the family from Clarke. Matters deteriorate further when Leah, Paul’s teenage daughter, unwittingly reveals evidence to the police that implicates her own father.
‘I wanted the reader to experience the trauma of being the prime
suspect in such a horrendous crime, when the police clearly disbelieve
your certainty someone else is implicated. In this tale, the tension is
racked-up by placing the protagonist and antagonist in an escalating head-to-head
battle of wits.’
ISBN 13: 978-1907756757.
About the Author:
Ian Kingsley is a pseudonym of Ian Kampel. He published a number of books under his real name during his career in electronics, technology and technical publications, and then started to write fiction ‘in a name people could actually spell correctly’, as he put it. He was born in England and has two children, four grandchildren, and a dog ‘who thinks she is human’. (Maybe that is why this novel also features a highly intelligent dog.)
The following interview relates to the novel: Sandman...
Did you enjoy the writing process? How was it different from your typical format in writing non-fiction?
Did you know the end of Sandman at the beginning?
How did you develop the characters of Paul Vincent and Stevie Clarke?
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Sandman?
What was the most difficult part of writing Sandman?
Did you learn anything from writing Sandman and what was it?
What do you see as the influences on your writing?
Do you feel that writers, regardless of genre, owe something to readers?
Where can readers find out more about you and Sandman?
What is next for Ian Kingsley and is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?
The following interview relates to the novel: Sandman...
About your book:
What do you think readers will find most notable about Sandman?
Did researching and writing this book teach you anything or influence your thinking in any way?
What would you most like readers to tell others about this book?
Can you suggest one question readers might find interesting to discuss, concerning you, your writing in general, or this book?
How can readers help you promote this book?
Why do you write?
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
What quality do you most value in yourself?
In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Can you share some of your favourite Christmas holiday reads with us?
Which authors do you admire and what is it about their work that inspires you?
Which novel has made the biggest impact on you as a reader?
Do you have a favourite literary character?
What does your average day's writing routine look like?
Where do you do your writing?
What is your advice to aspiring writers concerning getting an agent? Should they bother before they have a manuscript to sell?
Do you have any pearls of wisdom to offer on the subject of marketing one's novel?
If you were stranded on a deserted island, which 3 things would you take with you?
What is your favourite dish on the Christmas dinner table?