Ken Floro III author of The Rising Wind an #Interview – @SouthsideKen
First published on Cabin Goddess LITE this morningmn since my server is having an attitude problem, at least here she is on Cabin Goddess! For all the rest of my readers pleasure…. I bring you KEN FLORO III with one of the most amazing interviews YET! Even Herbert the Squirrel enjoyed and played a part in it! And, of course, BACON! Welcome Ken!
OH AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEN!!
Hey Ken!! Thank you for taking the time to interview with me. Your book grabbed my attention when Novel Publicity nudged me and asked if I was interested so of course I said “YES!!” hope you enjoy answering these, as they can be quite fun if you want them to be! I tried to create something that fit with my blog and readers and also allowing you to express yourself and your book in a non-traditional way, if you choose to go that route. In other words, my blog is fun, so have fun yourself!!
Ken – Hi, and thanks! I’m looking forward to a little fun.
Kriss – You sure? Heh… things can get pretty wild here!
Ken – I write fantasy, bring it on Cabin Goddess!
Tweet the book: You are challenged to tweet a synopsis of the book to include your tweet handle, GO!
KF – Join a crew of reluctant heroes as their ship is hijacked to a place where myths & legends still walk the world! @SouthsideKen
CG – Introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (As in tell us something NOT in your bio, give us a dirty little secret not having or having to do with your writing)
KF – Alright, the secret ingredient in my kickass hash browns is chili powder. Even though I’m a fantasy writer, I hate the Lord of the Rings books and movies. I scowl a lot in traffic, not because I necessarily want to drive faster than everybody else, but mainly because I hate having my speed dictated to me by lackadaisical slowpokes who won’t get out of my way. I think cilantro tastes like soap (because it totally does!). I’m almost certain I’ve spent more hours playing Star Wars: Battlefront II than I spent attending classes in college. I prefer reading history over fiction. And I do my best to write the kinds of stories I’ve always wanted to read.
CG – Wait, you are a hater of THE ONE TRUE RING and yet you pick a hobbit for your dream cast.. hmmm… *hands you half of my second breakfast* chili powder is da bomb in anything.. and garlic.. and bacon *takes the bacon back* you don’t like LOTR no bacon for you! But Fredrick doesn’t like Cilantro either… me? I looooooooove it, I know odd huh? *handing bacon back* But you play Star Wars: Battlefront II… one of my favorite games to play with my twins.. you are doing well so far.
CG – Fantasy is a very hard genre to write in. What types of preparation did you do to develop your world build and character tree? You are not a pantser I am sure!
KF – Fantasy has always been the favorite playground for my imagination. The infatuation started when my dad brought home a copy of the original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set when I was five. The worlds and adventures portrayed in the illustrations fascinated me (and I still have that boxed set!). Since then I’ve read a lot of fantasy, but in order to make my own setting as credible and tangible as possible, I’ve also studied a lot of history.
And I hate to disappoint you, but I’m much more of a pantser than a plotter. I worked for decades to build the world of Avorath and its history. After that, I collected a cast of characters and simply turned them loose in my creation. I have premonitions about the overall plot of their odyssey, but from scene-to-scene, I usually have idea what’s going to happen next. The characters decide that for themselves, and I just enjoy a front-row seat to record their deeds for posterity.
CG – No seriously? You are a pantser? Wow that takes a lot of guts with fantasy… WTG! *hands you a Pecan Chocolate Bacon Cookie*
CG – If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?
KF – Hmm, this is something I’ve actually never thought about before. Since I’m on the spot, how about this cast list:
Marcavius – a young Matt Damon
Montefax – Zachary Quinto
Adrianna – Katee Sackhoff
Din – Dominic Monaghan
Garvorax – voiced by Adam Baldwin
The Gray Fox – Ron Perlman
Balthazar – Gary Oldman
CG – Write one line you would love for him/her/them to say from your book.
“Lord Thunder grins!”
CG – *adjusting my She-Ra costume and feeding my unicorn glitter* Oops you caught me… Nice cast, I can get down with that!! *hands you another cookie and a piece of bacon dipped in Nutella*
CG – If you had to choose three books to take with you when you went to space (assuming you are on the first ship out of here when the aliens come to take over the planet –I swear I am not mentally ill, just festive) what would they be? Why?
KF – Under those circumstances, I guess my first choice would be Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. Since his book evaluates the circumstances leading to clashes between cultures that possess radically imbalanced levels of technology, I suppose I could add a final chapter about the downfall of Earth to the alien invaders.
And as long as I’m fleeing an alien invasion, I reckon Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End would be appropriate.
KF – Finally, I’d bring a copy of the fantasy tale I reread most often growing up, and the one to which The Rising Wind series owes a huge debt of inspiration: C. S. Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
CG – Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing (as in what candy / snack food / drink / 80’s hair band you break out in song too when you just cannot figure out the next line to write and your muse seems to have wandered off with the mail man?)
KF – My most common companions when writing are coffee and Budweiser (one or the other, depending on the time of day). I prefer waiting for inspiration to strike instead of forcing myself to write. That habit has tumbled me out of bed in the wee hours of the morning more times than I can remember, but it’s a happy sacrifice. I’ve been able to preserve the luxury of writing as a hobby, and I’d much rather do something I love because I want to, rather than feel like it’s a job I have to perform. My writing is all free-range, and never the result of any clock-punching obligation.
CG – So, you and Herbert the psycho killer squirrel and Budweiser . he thinks he is in charge, you write fantasy… both of you living in a fantasy world.. hmmmmm I see a scientific study coming on *hands you a Budweiser*
CG – What do you do when you’re not writing? (ie: What festive things do you do for fun? What things do you do when you make yourself have fun, and what is on the top of your list to do when you actually take two days for you (and family)
KF – There are a few TV shows my wife and I enjoy watching together (although since our daughter came along, most of our TV time has been surrendered to that furry, red, squeaky-voiced usurper, Elmo!). I used to love playing Civilization, but as a parent I just don’t have four or five hours in my day to commit to a video game any longer. Still, we manage to host a gathering of friends about once a month. Aside from that, most of my free-time is now devoted to parenting.
CG – Ya Kids will do that, and Budweiser.. and Elmo. I noticed you subscribe to Sesame Street on YouTube (yes I stalked you.. it’s my job as a blogger to stalk her authors. just be glad I did not post the dirty diaper video… enlightening 🙂 !).
CG – Who are your favorite fantasy writers? What do you consider fantasy classics?
KF – My favorite fantasy writers would have to be Robert E. Howard, C. S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Piers Anthony, Jack Vance, Michael Moorcock, and Gene Wolfe. These authors are responsible for Conan the Cimmerian, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Dying Earth, among many others. I know there are plenty of other fantasy luminaries, but I haven’t had a chance to read them all yet.
CG – Duuuuuuude you forgot the most epic emo anti-hero of all!! Elric of Melnibone! Hello! But I will let it slide! Oh and Piers, hell to the YA! OH heck all of them! Throw in some Eddings and gimme a Polgara STREAK in my hair and we are all set!
CG – If your book was a meal what would it be? Meat and potatoes? Vegetarian? A light nouveau cuisine? (I do a recipe with many of my authors this maybe an opportunity for you to share a recipe you think could go along with this? Or just describe the actual meal, this would be the whole thing not just one dish – believe me, this is fun!)
KF – Let’s say you trust me to take you out to breakfast one morning…
CG – Trust is something only given to those who give me bacon… breakfast usually means bacon… proceed.
We arrive at an old greasy diner that has been standing since diners were invented. This one even has that vintage 1950’s patina on the worn counters and black-and-white ceramic tiles. The vintage setting is important because I deliberately formed The Rising Wind in the mold of the past masters of the fantasy genre, and I worked to fill the world of Avorath with shadows of a vast, mythic history. Along with the passengers of the book’s eponymous ship, you’ll soon learn that those dim myths and legends have not entirely vanished into the past!
To begin our meal, we settle into a booth, just like the characters in The Rising Wind settled aboard that fateful ship. As with The Rising Wind’s odyssey, our meal commences with something ordinary, coffee and juice for us, and steady winds in a fair sky for them. However, both experience are destined to take a strange turn.
I order slingers. Mystery descends like the strange fog that suddenly surrounded The Rising Wind soon after her voyage commenced. What could this be? Fortify yourself with another slug of coffee. From here on, there will be no turning back. Our course has been irreversibly set on adventure!
At length the form and nature of that adventure takes shape when your slinger arrives. Upon a bed of hash browns
CG – *shoves a piece of bacon I brought from home into my mouth* I am assuming you had them add chili pepper??) before you rest two hamburger patties and two fried eggs, all smothered beneath a steaming blanket of chili, cheese, and onions. Yes, this seemingly impossible combination of foods is a real dish! (CG –keep going *digging into this amazing thing* mumble ..Good..*mumblemumble.. wiping chin* go on!
Perhaps you regard the concoction with the same skeptical apprehension as the passengers of The Rising Wind beheld the forgotten island on a haunted sea to which their eccentric navigator delivered them. Like the contents of your breakfast plate, much of what lurks on that island seems impossible. Yet to the brave, both the slinger and the island also carry a peculiar temptation: that innate human desire to explore the unknown, to peer into the shadows, to uncover secrets and unravel mysteries. Can this vision be real? What madman would ever crave such a thing? And, of course, . . . what will it be like to experience it?
CG – You my friend are the bomb *dabbing the chili off my shirt* I mean… it is art! Now ass a slinger and order this girl some bacon for dessert!!
Of course, you can only answer those questions by jumping into what lies before you! Perhaps, like me, you’ll find an exquisite delight in the slinger, despite any trepidation you might have felt upon hearing its description. Certainly the reluctant heroes of The Rising Wind discovered precious and unparalleled treasures to reward their valor on that lonely island.
Just remember, The Rising Wind is only breakfast! Make sure to save room for lunch, because the sequel, In Her Wake, is already waiting for you!
CG – So wait if that was for breakfast……. *handing you three and a half cookies, two pieces of bacon and a Budweiser* yep… winner!
CG – Let’s step it up a notch, how about create a drink (with or without booze) representing your book in name and ingredients!
KF – The appropriate drink for The Rising Wind is a shot of strong, barrel-aged, artisan whiskey – pure, undiluted, and unadorned. The catch is to pair that potent shot with every sudden peril faced by the heroes of this story. As their ship goes adrift in a mysterious fog, as they tread the depths of a haunted island, as monsters crawl from the shadows, as the floor of an ancient palace vanishes beneath their feet, keep throwing back shot after shot after shot! Soon you’ll feel exactly like the Company of the Rising Wind, exhausted, dizzy, no longer certain what’s real, and wondering if you’ll ever make it back from where The Rising Wind or the whiskey have taken you.
CG – FAST and FURIOUS – Don’t pause just answer what comes first to mind
On the Rocks, Blended or Bottle and a Shot Glass? Bottle and a shot glass
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Sword, Battle-ax or Magic? I’ll take a pair of swords and magic to accompany my devil-may-care grin and swashbuckling panache
Horse, feet or a dragon? Feet. Whatever happens, I prefer to rely on myself.
Roller Coaster or Ferris Wheel? Roller coaster
The Joker, Khan or Jafar
Learn battle techniques from a Knight &Wizard? Definitely both
Ebook or Paperback? Ebook
Chainsaw arm, shotgun leg or Bad-ass dragon? I’d trade all three for a pet storm that could swoop in with thunder and lightning to back me up whenever I needed it…
CG – You and those storms.. OK *hitching up my costume and riding into the sunset to go wrestle me some storms…* I still think a shotgun leg is pretty epic!
CG – Anything you would like to add… appearances, upcoming releases, where I can find someone to adjust the algorithms for my time machine?
KF – The brave and the curious are invited to visit my website, southsidecavaliers.com, to explore a collection of short fiction and true stories, and to find links to all of my available books. I’d also like to thank you at Cabin Goddess again for your time and attention. As for your time machine, I’ll forward you the name of a good quantum mechanic. Thanks!
CG – *Looks at her plate of crumbs and depleted bacon* OK I guess you are a pretty good guy! Even though you like Coke… and Budweiser.. and you left me the dragon…dragons are almost as cool as bow ties and badass unicorns!
About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!
The Rising Wind (it’s not just a book and an attitude… it’s a boat)
After graduating into the Imperial knighthood, Marcavius and his cousin book passage aboard a merchant ship, the Rising Wind, to visit their family estate before reporting to the legions. They know no ship dares tread the heart of the Mennaidran Sea, yet along their voyage a strange fog suddenly sets the Rising Wind adrift in those haunted waters. Fortunately another passenger offers his skill as a navigator to save the day, yet he insists that the ship first detour to a nearby island to replenish its supplies. There the ship’s unlucky passengers soon learn that the monsters and magic of legend are no mere myths! Friends, strangers, and even bitter enemies must work together in order to survive and escape. Yet some of the greatest dangers they’ll face are destined to come from one another.
“The same trick didn’t work a third time. When Marc stepped into the ring of firelight and shouted a challenge, his adversaries shrank into the shadows across from him – more cautious now than they had been earlier. Their broad limbs and hulking silhouettes prowled the darkness at the edge of the forest, disguising their numbers. Standing exposed, in the open clearing, Marc felt vulnerable, but he knew he couldn’t run. For an anxious moment, he just stood there, uncertain what to do next. The curse of inexperience was lack of foresight, and Marc hadn’t stopped to calculate an alternative in case his original plan failed. Now he had to think on the spot. Unfortunately the present circumstance was no place for contemplation. So, in that dangerous moment, he acted on instinct.”
Ken Floro III
He is pretty amazing huh? He is wonderfully creative, incredibly talented and look.. he is a complete sucker for that gorgeous baby! “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!” is right!
About the author: Ken Floro was born and raised in the Southside of Saint Louis. After earning a degree in World Literature, followed by a degree in Culinary Arts, Ken soon made the obvious career move and went to work in medicine. If you’re having any trouble guessing why, then you’ve probably never served time in the literary or culinary fields. A little taste of reality can suddenly turn a healthy paycheck, normal working hours, and long-term job security into sumptuous delicacies. Despite the sudden change in his employment trajectory, Ken never turned away from his dream of writing. He’d nurtured a lifelong creative ambition, which had gained direction when a funny true story he wrote for a high school English class became so popular with his classmates they traded copies of it in the hall and passed them up and down the bus. Ever since that catalytic moment, Ken has been writing as a hobby and a passion. Thus far, he’s published eight books, along with several other tidbits.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! How can you win???
About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of The Rising Wind! Here’s what you need to do…
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest
- Leave a comment on my blog.
That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here
. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Rising Wind tour page via Novel Publicity
. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway