Tell us a little about yourself and the book(s) you've written...
I'm a happily married woman of thirteen years and a very blessed mom. I have two wonderful boys and two dogs. In April 2011 I released my debut book Elements The Beginning, a YA fiction. At the request of my oldest son, I began to write a short story to read to them at night. My writing began to last a little longer and take on a life of it's own until it grew into a novel. I based the book on the interests my two sons hold near and dear to them such as heriocs, action, adventure, and unique abilities.
Describe your main characters. If they were real people, would you be friends with them?
My two main characters are Gage and Talon Thorn, fraternal twins born with extraordinary powers from an ancient prophecy. They have entirely different personalities from one another and at times seem to be like oil and water. I have an eclectic group of people surrounding the brothers as they grow older and learn to control their special gifts including a biwildering mentor named Maui and a sharp tongued nanny name Leia. When creating the characters I fashioned the twins after each of my children including their physical appearance as well as their individual personalities. The rest of the characters are a mix of personality traits I admire, traits I desire, and traits I despise. It's without question that if Gage and Talon were magically turned into real people, I would then have four children instead of two since they are almost an exact replica of my real life sons and I would most definitely be shopping at Costco a lot more frequently than I do now!
How do you choose the names for your characters?
When choosing a name, I tend to veer toward the unique and different. I very rarely choose standard names and often resort to a mixture of two names into one if I am stumped. I am drawn to what the meaning of a name is and like to research names from different cultures and backgrounds from my own. Since writing my first book, I have received increasing pressure from my extended family to incorporate their names into the next series of installments. I have yet to confirm these requests, and vow to take an oath of silence upon further questioning. They will have to wait until the sequel to see if they made the cut!
What is the one thing you'd like your readers to take away from your book(s)?
When I am reading a good book, I find myself thinking about the story throughout the day and anxious to find the time to begin reading it again. I know I have stumbled upon a good read when I am finished with the book and continue to think about it for days after, trying to imagine a "mini-movie" inside my head and going through various scenerios of different endings. I would want my readers to experience the same thing, chomping at the bit to get a hold of the next book. Imigination and creativity are unique attributes that must be constantly used in order to grow, I desire those elements for any reader, and not just the ones that read my books.
How much control did you have over the cover design of your book? Do you like it?
I am quite lucky to be able to have complete creative control over my book. I chose the cover picture myself and worked closely with a design team to add a eery, misty border around the original picture to add depth and a slight creepy feel. I was looking for a cover that could draw attention from afar, look captivating in a small print such as a Kindle or Nook version, and add intrigue so that the reader was curious enough to learn more about the story behind the picture. The cover has a double meaning; the light breaking through the dark and evil coming from beyond. I am quite pleased with the end result and now have to find a cover for my next book even more eye catching and visually appealing.
Do you have a book crush? Who is it?
Shamefully, yes. If I was twenty years younger, single, and living in literary utopia my book crush would have his work cut out for him. I am quite taken back by Jace from Mortal Instruments. Thank you Cassy Clare!
You are invited to a masquerade/halloween party, who (or what) do you dress as?
I have always wanted to attend a masquerade party like the one in Count of Monte Cristo or Van Helsing. I would wear this obnoxiously red renaissance dress, gorgeous high heel shoes (in a platform style), and a gold mask covering my eyes. Of course my mask would be adorned with diamonds and one red feather...too bad there aren't parties like that, well not where I live anyway. A girl can dream can't she? I do have my halloween costume for this year, but unfortunately it is top secret and I cannot disclose any details for fear that someone will upstage me at the party. Not gonna happen!
If you were to write non-fiction, what subject would you write about? Why does it interest you?
I thoroughly enjoy meeting other people from different cultures and places around the world. It is fascinating to ponder and learn about the differences we have and compare the similarities as well. I work during the week in a global reach ministry department and have the opportunity to speak to various people around the globe but would love to be able to write about varying backgrounds throughout our vast planet and how we can find a common thread in order to be a peaceful human race. I know that sounds like a "beauty pageant" answer, but it is the truth. I just haven't found a corporate financial investor to fund the research and development phase of the peace tour. Open to suggestions from anyone who has a rich uncle needing to spend money for a tax right off.
Would you prefer to be a dragon rider, a dragon slayer, or the dragon itself?
If you haven't guessed by now, I have a bit of an imagination so it should not be a shock to know I would prefer to be the dragon itself. Who wants to be an average human when the enticing aspect of a dragon is slapping you in the face. As long as I can have an array of variant colors for my skin and sharp white teeth, I am good to go. Oh, and I want to be able to fly, breath fire, have immortality, smell like vanilla, and have iridescent talons that can change to match my scales.
What advice would you give your teen readers about life?
Be yourself regardless if you differ from the norm. Don't follow after others, but create your own path and take pride in your individuality. I think we were all made different for a reason, how boring would this world be if we were all the same. Stay true to yourself and your integrity will shine through for others to see.
Kate Fuentes is the author of the fantasy book Elements: The Beginning
Destiny brought them into this world to save mankind and malevolent forces will stop at nothing in order to annihilate them. Born with extraordinary powers, fraternal twins Gage and Talon Thorn learn how to control their mystical abilities. Tragedy strikes the family and their ordinary father Gable is forced to raise them on his own. Pain and loss encompass the Thorns as they persevere to live a normal life in a place determined to destroy their happiness. Soon their incredible gifts need proper nurturing and Gable recruits a special group of people to help in their upbringing. A sassy, tenacious nanny named Leia and an eccentric unorthodox warrior named Maui complete the dream team of mentors to aid in the complexity of their lives. The brothers are determined to protect the family that has sacrificed so much for their sake. Evil, wicked forces lurk in the shadows and the boys are in danger if they don't learn how to control their unique talents. Humanity rests in the hands of the young brothers as they embark on an epic adventure to save mankind from the dark Emperor.
Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, The Book Depository, and more.
Find Kate Fuentes on Twitter (@fuentes_kate1) and on her website (www.katefuentes.com).