Meet Fantasy Author @KamVerdee #Fantasy #YA

I love finding new authors, especially when they write YA fantasy which is my favourite genre. Imagine my delight when I discovered YA author, Kam Verdee, and then found out she was a fellow Birmingham lass.

Kam Virdee Publicity Photo

After a small amount of stalking (on my part!) I managed to convince Kam to join me on my blog for a chat about her writing, love of fantasy dramas, and her latest book, Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King. Over to Kam.

The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

Yes, I’m a fellow Brummie! I’ve lived in Great Barr, Birmingham all my life, and in the same house would you believe for the past thirty four years, and I have no plans as yet to move out of the city.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be many things to be honest. For the most part in secondary school, I had my heart set out on manufacturing and designing my own cosmetic brand. I used to call it being a Make-up Scientist (of course that profession doesn’t exist) but I was going to show all my friends what a great Make-up brand I would be able to create. Funny enough, when we were given work experience placements from school for a day, I was sent to HSBC bank, and I didn’t like it one bit. BUT, little did I know, I’d end up building a career in the banking industry years later. It’s funny how things can work out.

List three words to describe yourself.

Ambitious, Loyal, Hardworking

Who would play you in a film about your life?

I’d love Helena Bonham Carter to play me because not only is she a talented actress, but she’s different, and there’s something very dark and mystical in the way she acts in movies. When she played Bellatrix in the Harry Potter franchise, I was probably the only one rooting for her! (Nope, I was a secret Bellatrix fan too, Kam!) 😉

What’s your favourite snack food when writing?

I don’t tend to snack when I’m writing, but I am rarely seen without a big mug of either coffee or lemon green tea.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

I’d love to have the ability to travel anywhere in the world just by thinking of a particular destination. When I want a bit of me time, I’d think of a deserted, tropical island, and with a click of the fingers… tada… I’d be there.

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The Sensible Side:

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing?  What do you do when you’re not writing?)

I began to write as a way of escape really when things weren’t going so well in my life. I suffered with depression for a long time, and I knew I had to divert my mind somewhere else. I’d go up to bed early and put pen to paper and began to write about a young girl who had to face her own challenges, and the more I wrote about the girl, who ultimately would become Heera, the better I was coping with keeping my anxiety at bay.

When I’m not writing, I’m always either watching some sort of American fantasy drama or film or spending time with my family and friends. I also love to listen to music, and I pick the genre depending on my mood so it varies from Rock, RNB to Hip Hop. If I didn’t have any of these things in my life, I wouldn’t know what to do.

Where did the inspiration for Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King come from?

I’d have to say from the Harry Potter books. When I found myself feeling low, the Harry Potter books transported me to a magical world, where Kam’s problems simply vanished for a short space of time. And when things became really bad, I wanted to relive that magic again but from my own perspective, so I created a character, gave her a name, and described how she feels, where she lives and what challenges she must face. Like the Harry Potter books, I wanted to write a book which helped me to escape to another world and fall in love with all of the different characters you meet along the way… even the baddies too.

What do you like the most about writing young adult fantasy?

I love the fact that there is no limit to your imagination when writing about the different types of creatures, characters or plots in this genre. I also like to highlight issues of what young adults are facing at the moment such as bullying, low self-esteem and the constant pressure to fit in with the ‘in’ crowd, and just because it’s a fantasy book, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about these topics.

Just like me, you’re a fan of fantasy dramas. Which one is your favourite? Do you draw inspiration from these kind of shows?

As you probably know by now I love all things fantasy and supernatural, and my favourite TV series is called, wait for it… Supernatural, where you can see two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (they’re very easy on the eye so that helps) hunt monsters, ghouls and other mystical creatures. I do find inspiration from these types of shows because the writers and producers also bring humour, love, family dynamics and romance into the episodes, keeping the viewers on their toes, and this is something I bring into my writing as well. In that way, there is a little bit of something for everyone in my book, and the reader won’t want to put the book down as the plot twists are revealed from chapter to chapter.

 

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DEFINITELY easy on the eye, Kam!!

 

Heera is a great protagonist. Where did your character inspiration come from?

I feel there is a lot of pressure on youngsters these days to look, dress and act in certain ways, especially when it comes to following celebrities on social media like Facebook and Instagram. I use both these platforms, and images of celebrities looking flawless are constantly put on display and it’s hard to ignore this. With Heera, I wanted a character who was faced with this type of pressure to look and act a certain way, but she doesn’t follow the crowd. She just wants to be herself, and in saying that, I wanted Heera to be a bit like me. Being a British Asian woman, you are expected to have certain beliefs, act a certain way, but I have never conformed to pressure and I refuse to let anyone change who I am. Heera is like any normal teenager, and when she knows what she can achieve, she becomes strong, independent and a great role model for young adults.

Can you give us a brief excerpt from Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King?

‘NO! That’s not Mrs Mead… something’s wrong with her. Look at her eyes!’ How could he not see the scarlet eyes transfixed on me? I tried to pull away from him so I could run out of the office, and it was only then I saw his eyes flash red. ‘You’re quite right, Heera. Mrs Mead is not really here, and I am not actually Mr Powers… he is somewhat indisposed,’ he grinned. He grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let me go, while his other hand was placed firmly over my mouth. I could feel him pushing me towards Mrs Mead, who was now leering at me.

Within seconds, I felt a cold rush of air surrounding me, and in the next moment, I dropped to the floor with the sheer force of something hitting me. I slid away from Mr Powers, who lay knocked out cold on the office floor. Lena and Kal were standing over him. Lena was holding a wand. It was dark brown, carved and appeared to be smooth, and the tip, although blunt, was drawing smoke. Could it have been a spell that hit me? It couldn’t be… I mean what was I thinking?

Kal helped me up. I blinked several times trying to fathom out what was going on because I had only seen wands in movies and read about them in books, and I knew what I was seeing couldn’t be real. I had to be dreaming.

What can we expect from you in the future? 

I am currently writing my second book in the series. Heera Watson will definitely have to face more challenges, and I’ll let readers know when it’s due for release. I have many other book ideas I’d like to pursue as well, but my main focus is writing this second book before I can think of another project to delve into.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KamVerdee/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KamVerdee/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33551593-heera-watson-and-the-rise-of-the-dark-king/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/miss.kammy/

BUY a copy of Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King today –

Amazon UK

Waterstones

Amazon US

KAm - HW book and phone

Blurb:

Heera Watson is like any ordinary fifteen-year-old girl…not! Torn between the British way of life and her Indian heritage, she’s the target of catty comments at school in Birmingham from Laura Foster, the ‘It’ girl at St Claire’s, and her gang. Heera is constantly pressured at school to look and dress in certain ways, but all she has ever wanted is to be herself. Her journey to becoming the person she really wants to be starts when she finds three sacred crystals in a safe at home. This discovery puts thousands of lives in danger, and catapults Heera into a mind-blowing quest through the magical kingdom of Fallowmere. There, forging new friendships with people and creatures she never imagined could exist, Heera bravely confronts deadly challenges to save her loved ones from the devious Dark King, who will stop at nothing to carry out his evil schemes. Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King is a wonderfully imaginative tale of courage, friendship, battle and what it means to face your true destiny.

Author Bio:

Kam Verdee was born in 1983 and currently works and lives in Birmingham with her family. Kam has always had a passion to write, and after establishing a successful career in banking, Kam began to write her debut novel, Heera Watson and the Rise of the Dark King, which she worked on for three years. Besides writing, Kam’s life revolves around her family, listening to music, and enjoying British and American fantasy TV dramas.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

#FilmReview King Arthur: Legend of the Sword #Myth #Legend

Film Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – 4*

King Arthur Legend of the Sword

As a huge fan of fantasy, myth, and legend it was inevitable that I’d be drawn to a film with sorcery, knights, and mythical swords.

Legend has it that King Arthur was the head of Camelot where he ruled with his Knights of the Round Table. Whether he truly existed is still open to discussion, but as I am a believer, I will sign myself up for any book, TV show or movie which feeds my fantasy.

Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur is pretty good. There is a man called Arthur, a brief mention of Merlin and Camelot plus a sparkly sword set in stone. That’s about as deep as the myth and legends go. However, if you do love fabulous special effects, plenty of sword swinging action, and Ritchie’s well known punchy humour then you’ll enjoy this movie.

It’s got Guy Ritchie written all over it, but I think he’s pretty cool, so it was a win-win for me. There’s a cameo appearance from the man himself as well as a well-known ex-footballer whose acting might be slightly questionable, but for eye-candy purposes, I’ll let it slide.

I’m a big fan of Jude Law, and he plays a marvellous part as Vortigern, the ruthless, power crazy King. He is joined by an impressive line-up of stars including Djimon Hounsou (Furious 7, Tarzan), Eric Bana (Star Trek, Deliver us from Evil), Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones, Maze Runner), and Annabelle Wallis (The Tudors, The Mummy). The mage sent by Merlin is played by actress, Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).

As I’ve never (or haven’t got around to it yet) watched Sons of Anarchy, I’m relatively new to the charms of Charlie Hunnam, after watching him in action as Arthur I can say he’s won me over! He’s a perfect fit for Guy Ritchie’s unique way of filmmaking and delivers his one-liners with grace.

There’s that typical Ritchie laddish thread of camaraderie running throughout the film which is tied up nicely at the end. The cinematography is great with fast action interspersed with that thing filmmakers do when time slows down to create an impact (I’m pretty sure there’s a specific word for it, but I haven’t got a clue what it is – answers in the comments please).

We see Arthur mature from a child to a man through a series of fast snippets of film. At the same time, we watch the kingdom slip deeper into darkness as Vortigern’s power increases. In a way, it was a huge info dump in a short space of time, but it worked.

King Arthur has received a bad rap from certain film critics, but I liked it. If you crave lots of sword fights, special effects worthy of a Harry Potter film, and the occasional laugh, then I’d recommend King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Film Blurb:

After the murder of his father, young Arthur’s power-hungry uncle Vortigern seizes control of the crown. Robbed of his birthright, he grows up the hard way in the back alleys of the city, not knowing who he truly is. When fate leads him to pull the Excalibur sword from stone, Arthur embraces his true destiny to become a legendary fighter and leader.

If you enjoyed this post then pop over and see my other film reviews – you can find them HERE.

#BookReview Hogwarts: A Cinematic Yearbook #Activity #HarryPotter #SundayBlogShare

Hogwarts: A Cinematic Yearbook: Imagine, Draw, Create

Scholastic Children’s Books

Category: Novelty/Activity Books

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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My Review:

Oh my! As an avid Harry Potter fan I couldn’t resist treating myself to this activity book (yes, I bought it for me, not my kids!). It’s a luscious hardback; very reminiscent of the annuals I used to get for Christmas when I was young. Continue reading “#BookReview Hogwarts: A Cinematic Yearbook #Activity #HarryPotter #SundayBlogShare”

#MondayMuse Influenced by the Magic of J.K.Rowling #MondayBlogs

Inspirational people surround us at every turn.  To celebrate some of the incredible women who continue to motivate me on my writing journey I look at the women/characters who are my artistic inspiration.

Monday Muse

Last time I honoured the fictional character of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. You can read that post HERE.  Today, I’m devoting the Monday Muse to a lady who celebrated her birthday recently, and who needs no introduction.

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On 31st July I watched my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feed fill up with images and quotes dedicated to Joanne Kathleen Rowling in celebration of her birthday. The world wanted to share their love for this incredible author who has had such a huge impact on the lives of young and old alike. Continue reading “#MondayMuse Influenced by the Magic of J.K.Rowling #MondayBlogs”

Author Interview – Meet @LisaShambrook #TuesdayBookBlog #YA

I’m delighted to be joined by my second guest of the day, fellow YA author, Lisa Shambrook, as we chat about chocolate, killing off characters, and her latest release.  Over to Lisa:

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The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

I live in the gorgeousness that is West Wales. I have the ocean in one direction, mountains in the other, and a landscape of lakes, forests and hills – beautiful!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

From a young age I wanted to be a writer and illustrator, the writing took over, though I still have to feed my creative urges with sketching, painting and making things.

List three words to describe yourself.

Dreamer, empath, introvert.

Who would play you in a film about your life? Continue reading “Author Interview – Meet @LisaShambrook #TuesdayBookBlog #YA”

The Good, The Bad & The Cover Reveal #TuesdayBookBlog #YA

Over the past week, I have read some amazing blog posts by my favourite bloggers highlighting the best bits of 2015.  From favourite books to fulfilling projects, these articles were fun and inspiring.

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For me, 2015 sucked!! Then I did my annual ‘closing down ceremony’ where I write down all the good points (family day trip to Harry Potter being top) and the lessons I learned from the bad points.  Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good, or so I thought.  When I began writing my LONG list of hospital visits, MRI scans and horrific tales of a lumbar puncture, I felt a huge weight lift – it was done, gone, over with.  In the flurry of blood tests, depression, and an unexplained illness, I had been forced to close my holistic business after seven years of hard work (a bad bit), but this allowed me time to self-heal and the freedom and space to write (a good bit).  I cried nearly every day last year (a bad bit), but I would pee less (a good bit!) 😉

Writing it all down was an enormous help, and I could shift my perspective to a more positive one.  Suddenly having spare time meant I was free to read more, and this was rewarded by joining Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.  When I hit my metaphorical brick wall, I would shut myself away with a notebook and lose myself in fantasy fiction; this enabled me to complete the third book in my young adult fantasy series. Continue reading “The Good, The Bad & The Cover Reveal #TuesdayBookBlog #YA”

Reader’s Spot – Meet Kristy, a fan of #Crime #Thriller and #HarryPotter

Here on the ‘Reader’s Spot’ I share the bookish love of our readers, from young adult to romance, chick-lit to murder mystery.  Whether you are a reader looking for new books, or a writer wondering what your readers want, I hope you find this series enjoyable.

Next up to the Reader’s Spot is Kristy, a fan of Crime, Thriller and Harry Potter.

Kristy Shaw

1. What genre do you enjoy reading?

I used only to read crime/thriller novels; but I like to branch out into anything now. I joined a book club called ’Poppy Loves Book Club’ and I run that through a social network here in London every month. I joined this to make me read novels I normally wouldn’t pick up and it has done just that and as a bonus I get to meet new people and have a girly chat about a book with a glass of wine. I haven’t always enjoyed the books but I have enjoyed being pushed out of my comfort zone as they have been very varied and stirred up some good discussions. I also LOVE my Harry Potter books, if I have nothing to read I pick them up again, I must have read them a million times but never fail to enjoy them. Continue reading “Reader’s Spot – Meet Kristy, a fan of #Crime #Thriller and #HarryPotter”