Foxfire Giveaway & Interview with Karen Kincy!
Tavian Kimura has never forgotten his kitsune mother, a shape-shifting Japanese fox spirit who abandoned him as a baby. While visiting his adoptive grandparents in Japan, Tavian learns his mother is still alive and that a faceless ghost is haunting him at every turn. The ghost’s warning is clear: Leave now. It is almost too late.
After a pack of vicious dog spirits attacks him, Tavian discovers that his paranormal fox powers are failing, killing him at an accelerating pace. Desperate to find a cure, he must track down his kitsune mother in Tokyo’s dangerous underworld. She is Tavian’s last chance to survive not only the fatal illness, but also the dog spirits who hunt him relentlessly.
How is Foxfire different from your first two books?
Let’s imagine, for a moment, that each of my three novels is a kind of chocolate. (Without, of course, getting too distracted and meandering off to find candy in the kitchen.) Upon tasting each of these books, we would discover that Other is a bittersweet milk chocolate, Bloodborn is an intense dark chocolate, and Foxfire is chocolate with some surprising flavors mixed in. In all seriousness, I’d say Foxfire is my most ambitious novel of the three. It’s set in Japan, where the Others–paranormal people–live by totally different rules than those living in America. And the Others themselves are totally different as well. We’re talking faceless ghosts, vicious packs of dog-spirits, and fox-spirits like Tavian himself.
Do you have an authorial crush on the character Tavian?
Yes…! But how couldn’t I? (looks innocent) He’s a hot Japanese guy with the power to shapeshift into a fox, craft illusions, and sneak into dreams. He can sneak into my dreams any time. (cough) I do like to write about Tavian, crush or no crush. He has a great sense of humor, but he uses that to hide his true feelings a lot of the time. A coping mechanism, you might say, which we get to learn more about in Foxfire. Let’s just say his past isn’t so lighthearted.
Can you read Foxfire as a standalone?
Yes, definitely. Each of the three Other novels can be read as a standalone. Though since they are in chronological orders, there may be some moderate spoilers for the previous books–Other is a murder mystery, after all, so if you read Foxfire first you will know who survives the serial killer in Other. That sort of thing. I’d still recommend picking up Foxfire even if you haven’t read the other two! Personally, I love skipping around a series of standalone books, knowing there are more books to read.
What research did you do to make the setting feel real?
I spent a long time stalking the streets of Tokyo… in Google Maps. The street view feature was quite useful. If I wanted to know exactly what a certain alleyway looks like, I virtually checked it out and decided how my alternate Tokyo was going to look. I also haunted the enormous Central Library in Seattle to research the culture and folklore of Japan. I spent hours running up and down the staircase between the nonfiction floors, counting off the Dewey Decimal numbers on the stairs. I’m sure some people thought I was nuts. (I probably am.)
What’s your favorite scene and why?
This one where Tavian wakes from a dream and rides an elevator to the top floor of an apartment building, following a ghostly apparition that may or may not be an illusion…
I’m in a dark room, illuminated by a bare light bulb. Before me, snow falls on a steep staircase leading to the roof. The white flecks floating in the black look like the drifting of marine decay in the deep ocean, and for a moment, I feel like I’m sinking. I grab the railing of the stairs and drag myself upward, to the roof, where the whiteness of snow surrounds me.
She is there. Standing at the edge of the building, staring out on Tokyo.
And then… spoilers!
What are you working on next?
Super Secret Projects! Okay, okay, I won’t be such a tease. I finished a middle grade fantasy set in 1955 Missouri that I absolutely loved writing. I’m also drafting a Steampunk Book of Awesome with a co-author, Chelsea Campbell. And then there’s my Love Affair Book, which isn’t about love affairs–I sneak and write it when I’m cheating on my other books. But that’s really secret.
Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) lives among countless trees, some of which—her pet kumquats and oranges—have lovingly invaded her apartment. Unlike her characters, she has never been on the run from the law or bitten by a werewolf, though she has been known to howl at the moon. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College, and is studying toward a Master’s in Computational Linguistics.
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