Monday, December 8, 2014

Meet the #Author Monday - Kate Corcino

Please tell us a bit about yourself: I was raised as an “Army brat” and grew up moving every two to three years. I think that lifestyle had a huge impact on me, as the need to learn to adapt and to read people was learned very early. It also made me a bit of a nomad. Professionally, I moved around, too. I was a legal videographer, a middle and high school teacher, a cheerleading coach, a law student. Through it all, I wrote poetry as catharsis and started but never finished many stories. After I left school, I realized it was time to get serious about the one constant through it all, my writing. I did, and the results are Spark Rising and Ignition Point.

Tell us about Spark Rising: Spark Rising is a romantic, post-apocalyptic adventure set in the southwestern United States of the future. It’s the story of Magdalena Gracey, a young woman with the power to create and manipulate the only form of electricity left in the world, and Agent Alejandro Reyes, a man trained from childhood to be an elite soldier for the ruling government. He’s sent to investigate a report of an illegal Spark living in the desert. But Alex has his own agenda. And if the two of them can learn to work together instead of killing each other, they might have a chance at sparking a revolution…and love.

What inspired you to write this particular story?: I’d seen several images that fired my imagination—a photo set of what the skies over major cities would look like if there were no lights, pictures of desert sand overtaking an abandoned town. But I originally sat down to continue writing an old story, a fantasy. When I began, Lena and Alex started telling me their story instead. They were just there, fully formed and very vocal. I couldn’t very well tell them to shush!

Please share a favourite snippet from your book: One of my favorite scenes comes when Lena and Alex are finally alone, and he’s asked her to help him learn how to do some of the things with the Spark ability that he’s struggled to master. It’s the moment immediately before their first kiss.

She stood with her arms crossed, waiting.
He focused, grateful for the shift in mood. Instead of trying to affect the Dust inside the body, as she did in her attacks, he’d try for the Dust attracted to the outside of her. Perhaps the Dust living inside was simply too protective of their very strong host? He breathed out and reached with his mind.
Nothing happened, exactly like all the times before.
“Um.” She wrinkled her brow. “Did you start yet?”
Alex groaned in frustration. He dropped his gaze to the ground at her feet, not wanting to see her expression after the latest failure. Push, dammit!
A flash of light and heat arced out in jagged white light from the ground. It threw Lena off her feet, over the bench and to the ground.
He stared, slack-jawed for a bare second. In two long steps he crossed the clearing and hopped onto the bench looking down at her.
She wheezed in an attempt to reclaim her breath.
He jumped down to her side, hands moving over her head and neck, and then down her sides, to be sure she was otherwise okay. She projected such a huge persona he was shocked at how fragile she felt under his hands.
She batted at him weakly.
Once he’d reassured himself she wasn’t broken, he wrapped his hands around each of her thighs and pulled up her legs to inspect her feet.
The indignity of it helped her find her voice. “Get off of me!”
“Lay still! I could have hurt you!” He barked the words, guilt and dismay making his voice harsh.
“Reyes. Alex. I’m fine.”
He propped one elbow on his knee in front of him and rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. “Dust, Lena. I could have hurt you.”
“Yeah.” She agreed. “You could have.” Her voice changed, and he could hear the sly grin under her words. “You really could have.”
The mischief on her face was contagious.
“I did it.”
“You did something.” She wiggled a bit and then made a move to rise.
He jumped to his feet to help. His pull and her slight weight made her sail up into his side. He wrapped his arm around her to steady her.
She grinned up at him, mouth opened to make another wise-ass remark, no doubt.
He focused on her mouth just a beat too long.
She stared back up at him, her eyes wide and her body very still. Before Alex had a chance to process the movement or talk himself down, his body shifted, turning to fully face her. He slid his other hand up to cup the back of her head, lifting her face as he lowered his.
Just a taste. One taste. I have to know.

Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?: With these two, it seemed that they came to me ready to go. All three elements were there from the start. But if I had to choose one, it would have to be personality. They were very much alive, and they had attitudes.

Any tips for aspiring authors?: Everyone has a well of creativity inside of them. Figure out, as soon as you can, what it is that refills your well. I think that what we call “writer’s block” or the inability to finish is rooted in pulling too much up from that well without refilling it. We sit down and bang away and then when the well empties and the words and ideas stop flowing, we despair, thinking the story is broken—or we are. Instead, take a step back, go do whatever it is that feeds your soul—for me, it’s reading particular authors or driving aimlessly through the desert. Refill your well. Then come back and write.

Questions for fun:
What super-power would you choose?: The ability to heal others. Or flight.

Coffee, tea or wine?: Ooooh, tough one! I’d say coffee, chased by wine.

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!): Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey.

Favourite genre and why?: Speculative fiction. It keeps me most rooted in the magical childhood mindset that anything is possible, if we only believe. That’s why it goes so well with romance!

Favourite colour?: Red. Or purple. Or brilliant, lapis blue. Hmm, I’m not very good at narrowing things down to just one, am I?

Upcoming news and plans for the future?: Spark Rising releases on December 15, 2014, which is amazing and consuming! I’m currently working on its sequel, as well as another collection of related short stories, similar to Ignition Point, that take up the stories of secondary characters. The collection will release before the sequel.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

Thank YOU! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

In lieu of preorders for Spark Rising, through 12/14/14, I’d be delighted to offer a free review copy e-ARC of Spark Rising to those interested. Please contact me at with your preferred format. Thank you!
(psst, I gave this book a five star rating AND a review quote because it's THAT awesome! ~Pippa Jay)

Blurb for Spark Rising
All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising.
Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls—those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power—don’t exist. Not according to the Council.
Lena Gracey died as a child, mourned publicly by parents desperate to keep her from the Council. She was raised in hiding until she fled the relo-city for solitary freedom in the desert. Lena lives off the grid, selling her power on the black market.
Agent Alex Reyes was honed into a calculating weapon at the Ward School to do the Council’s dirty work. But Alex lives a double life. He’s leading the next generation of agents in a secret revolution to destroy those in power from within.
The life Lena built to escape her past ends the day Alex arrives looking for a renegade Spark.

Kate Corcino is a reformed shy girl who found her voice (and uses it...a lot). She believes in magic, coffee, Starburst candies, genre fiction, descriptive profanity, and cackling over wine with good friends. She’s been a legal videographer, a teacher, and a law student, and believes in chasing dreams. She also believes in the transformative power of screwing up and second chances. Cheers to works-in-progress of the literary and lifelong variety!

She is currently gearing up for the dual releases of Ignition Point and Spark Rising, the first books in the Progenitor Saga, a near future post-apocalyptic dystopian adventure series with romantic elements, science, magic, and plenty of action.
She lives in her beloved desert in the southwestern United States with her husband, several children, three dogs, two cats, and a fat, happy guinea pig.
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  1. Great interview, Kate. SPARK RISING sounds like a fabulous read. I'll have to grab a copy. Oh, and I'm a Dragonriders fan, too. :)

    1. Thank you, Laurie! I got to meet Anne McCaffrey when I was was an amazing experience for a young reader! She'll always be my favorite. Her words never get old, do they?


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