Book Nerd Interview
HK lives in the frozen hinterlands of the far North. The long, cold months provide ample opportunity to hunker down with her computer and create adventures far more enticing than scraping ice and getting frostbite.
Between books (she writes under two names), HK reads voraciously. Anything with a good plot and compelling characters are her broad parameters. One is as likely to catch her with a copy of Don Quixote as with the latest in Gail Carriger’s steampunk series.
HK practices martial arts, rides her horse, gardens and plays with her family every chance she gets. Next winter she intends to brush up on her Spanish and escape the cold for somewhere more tropical.
First I wanted to be a jockey, then a soldier, eventually I decided something that let me travel. Writing, it turns out, lets me do all of those things without getting shot (my husband appreciates that).
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I can't carry a tune.
What does your family think of your writing?
They're very supportive and my husband recently told me that I'm not allowed to stop because I keep getting better. No, I didn't pay him to say that.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Under the name HK? The Empath Trilogy (obviously three there), Life Blood, The Path have been released as of March 2012. In the hopper I still have two more complete manuscripts and I write under a different name which I've been contracted for 5 years to write a series (paranormal romance of an adult nature). My favorite would have to be the trilogy because it was the first and I had the longest to get to know my characters.
What was your inspiration for The Path?
My husband and I were talking about a hole in the genre right now. Witchcraft for adults that treats it as a spirituality and not necessarily the magic of Harry Potter (not that there's anything wrong with that). Recently I've seen another new one come out called A Discovery of Witches that treats it similarly and I'm very excited to read that.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Cassie?
That Cassie had to be flawed but feel real to enable readers to relate to her. Given the alternate reality I think that helps to bring people along with her when we need them to suspend their belief of what is real.
If you could introduce Drew to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Well, I have two books that could launch a series and yes The Path is one. Now that I'm getting feedback from readers, that is cementing my commitment to a series for this one. It's hard to justify writing if no one cares (although it's still fun).
Do you have a book trailer?
No, I honestly have no idea how to do one.
What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
Are the hours and heartache worth it. The answer is of course, yes.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
The Path. Veritas is charged with educating magick users and punishing abusers. Cassie, one of their agents and a mixed blood witch is on a mission. Her last chance to prove herself, to untangle her magick before her employer cuts her loose. Cults, dark magick, family loyalties and love will either tear her apart or bring her the life she wants.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Well, my family is of course a lot of fun to hang with and we live on a lake so swimming often happens in the summer and walks in the winter. When I'm on my own I'm practicing karate, in which I've recently earned my First Degree Black Belt or riding my horse.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Listen to every constructive bit of advice but keep the soul of your project. It's yours, right? And never mind the bitter ones or anyone who posts an anonymous review.
Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
Yeah, Staccato's new people are Jay Mims (The Five Santas, Sept 2011 and The Cult of Koo Kway Fall 2012) and Donna Milward (Thoeba, June 2012). Then there's Kendall Grey (Inhale, out now), Penelope King (Demon Made Me Do It) and Rachael Wade (Amaranth). I'm in love with indie authors right now. There hasn't been anything commercially popular that's really grabbed me but I admit it might be the titles I've been reading.
What is your favorite food?
A good steak or hot plate of pasta
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Toast and tea
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Friends with Benefits.
Where can readers stalk you?
Other than in my hometown? Facebook is probably best, I have an author page under HK Savage or I'm listed on Goodreads and folks put their reviews up on my books there. I don't usually post much there other than titles though. I had to stop blogging though. It got to be too much and, I'm afraid, not very interesting.
Family, obligation and love... sometimes the choice is made for us. Cassie Porter's family has always pushed her to be an agent for Veritas, the agency responsible for policing nearly all aspects of life for witches living side by side with "regulars." It promised her the better life her parents wanted for her. A life off the Reservation.Unfortunately, Cassie's magick is not so decided on her life's course. Mixed magick, a result of her mixed blood, leaves Cassie's power volatile and her agent status in question.Julia Decartes, a matronly Vodou practitioner and Quan Long, an elemental witch from the headwaters of the Yangtze are entrusted with breaking Cassie in in the field while attempting to keep her from killing anyone including herself in the process. Investigating a cult leader in Florida, they discover misuse of power, manipulation of vulnerable women and a trail of bodies. Drew Carter, new to the magickal world, teams up with Cassie when his brother goes missing. It's only by standing on her own that Cassie untangles her power, and Drew finds the world where he really belongs.
In The Path by H.K. Savage, a witch named Cassie is an agent-in-training at Veritas (a police force for witches). With the guidance of Julia and Quan, highly trained officers at Veritas, they set off on a mission to investigate reports of magic being used in a nightclub. At the nightclub, they meet Drew who appears to have untamed magic that he is oblivious of. They discover that he is not the origin of the illicit magic but Drew’s brother Brandon and another man named Terry are the ones practicing the menacing magic in the nightclub.
While Julia and Quan investigate the brother and Terry, Cassie finds herself protecting Drew. Together, Cassie learns more about her magic and becomes more mature with her witchcraft and it’s evident that Cassie and Drew have desirability to each other. Meanwhile, Terry believes that his abuse of using people is positive and it’s for a good cause. His delusional mind doesn’t realize that the magic being used is dangerous.
I felt that the first chapter of the book was a bit slow-paced. It quickly picks up after that and it’s all in-your-face action. The witch world that Savage has created is truly remarkable and I believe that this would make for a great series. Her writing is easy to follow and screams excellence.
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