Blogger Book Fair Continues with Kimberly Gould, Fellow Martin Sisters Publishing Author
I was lucky enough to be one of the first readers of Kimberly’s debut novel, Cargon: Honour & Privilege, a Young Adult dystopian novel unlike any other out there. Cargon, a game where social status is gambled away like pennies, is the central feature of the book, but the real star is her heroine. She’s just released the follow-up Cargon: Duty & Sacrifice, and I can’t wait to see what happens to Eve.
Kimberly gamely answered my usual questions, so take a moment to meet and greet, and then enjoy the excerpt.
About Kimberly Gould
Oldest of three girls, raised in a small city surrounded by family, Kimberly was well acquainted with her imagination and started writing novellas in High School. She took a break while attending University, but returned to it soon after the birth of her daughter late in 2006. She has been married for 12 years, a mother for 5 and a published author for 1. She is looking forward to her future releases and new ideas.
As my husband always says, “What’s your book about?”
A servant turned princess who is enlightening a second age.
Was choosing to publish independently something you always wanted, or an option you hadn’t considered before?
I started out looking for an agent the traditional way. A writing friend suggested an indie publisher and they were my first yes.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I have an erotic penname and most of my WIP are part of her body. I am brewing a third Cargon book and have two other YA manuscripts in various states of completion.
Have you ever based a character on someone you know?
Not more than looks. George looks like my Dad, Adam looks like my cousin, things like that.
What color is your umbrella?
Who is your favorite character and why?
Bianca is probably my favourite character. She’s smart and fun at the same time. She’s a mother, but she doesn’t smother. She is a leader, but she’s willing to be proven wrong.
What was the last book you read?
A Memory of Light, the last Wheel of Time book.
Do you write about locations you’ve visited, or do you rely on research? Or do you make up entire settings in your head?
I like making places up, part of the reason I write fantasy. Other than that, I usually write about places I’ve never visited, but that I imagine as ‘cities’ and therefore, at the core, similar to where I live. They all have neighbourhoods and shopping districts, a downtown. If I need particulars, Google maps is usually all I need.
After the last word is written, then what? Do you have pre-readers and editors who take over? Do you begin query letters immediately?
The first book, I didn’t have pre-reader, and when the edits came back with very small suggestions, I thought that was good. Upon rereading my first manuscript, however, I wish I’d gotten more people to read it. Now I have everything read AT LEAST twice before submitting. Usually I can find 3-5 people to pre-read. So far, almost everything comes back with superficial edits.
What song would be on the soundtrack for your book?
Something orchestral, with a good bit of winds to give it a haunting feeling, like you can see the ghosts of the fall waiting to be rediscovered.
Where can people find your book?
Martin Sisters Publishing has links to all the different formats, so it is easiest to go there. There is a link to Honour and Privilege on that page as well. Here is the link for Thickness of Blood (not YA).
Can we read a little excerpt?
Her meeting with Vanto Albert was to discuss her plans to travel to Augustia and assist the neighbour with an internal conflict. Trade with Augustia had failed in recent months when the common class had risen up against their elite. The lapse in trade had disrupted Fontive although some goods were still coming through—only as much as the commoners allowed. The Ambassadorial Vanto continued to encourage her to make the trip.
“Suggesting raising commoners to the elite should come from a person of high standing, a Vanto at the least. Also, I believe you will be perfectly equipped to deal with any questions regarding cross-class relations, don’t you?”
Eve had to chuckle at her uncle, Bianca’s brother in law. As the first and only servant to be raised to the elite, it did make sense to send Eve. “I expect I am,” she agreed. By playing and winning Cargon, the game ranking elite in Fontive, Eve had made the unprecedented shift.
“Well, let’s prepare you for it then.” Albert scratched at his short brown beard for a moment. “Eric is High One in Augustia, with his wife, Rosa, as second.” He presented her with a list of the highest elite and their portfolios, which they reviewed together.
“Ducat and Ducati are called Ambo and Amba in Augustia,” Albert explained. “Clarence,” Fontive’s Ducat of Augustia, “will of course answer to both, but you would confuse others there.”
Eve nodded, thinking she would most likely confuse herself. She should be able to mingle with the Vanto and Vinca, avoiding any misnomers. She read the list over again but was interrupted when Albert began discussing some of the differences between the cultures of the two kingdoms. “They do not rank themselves by Cargon.”
“What?” Her voice seemed to squeak in her own over-sensitive ears, making her cringe. Cargon was rule, it was law, it was…
“They pass rank through heredity, as we do when no one wagers,” Albert explained, placing a hand on her shoulder. She must seem very disturbed for him to touch her. Physical contact was strictly proscribed among the elite in Fontive.
Albert pulled his hand back, using the action for another example. “They are also less reserved about contact. You may see open displays of affection.” He said it with distaste, but Eve merely nodded. Although she had seen none since being raised, servants showed affection quite often. It wasn’t something that bothered her as it would one born into the elite.
“That isn’t a problem for me,” she explained. “Servants show affection when they aren’t on duty.”
About Cargon: Duty & Sacrifice
In a post-apocalyptic world, Eve has discovered power of more than one nature. In Honour and Privilege, Eve became heir to the throne. In Duty and Sacrifice, she explores and defines the power of the elite. At the same time, electricity is being harnessed for the first time in centuries, providing the first glimpse into the ancient people who left the world as it exists. The horror of this revelation could shake their society as much or more than a servant becoming monarch.
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