Interview with Author K. Hanson
1) Tell us about the inspiration behind The Azrael Initiative.
I’ve always enjoyed the books of Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and other thriller writers. I love the idea of writing books that tackle modern issues, so I wanted to start a series of books that does just that. The Azrael Initiative is also about taking a normal person and turning her into someone who would willingly head into dangerous situations, such as being dropped into Syria to fight ISIS. As the series progresses, the events of this first book will prepare her for new dangers.
2) Why do you think it was important to tackle such a complex subject like terrorism and specifically the threat of ISIS?
I appreciate books that challenge me and make me want to learn more about a topic. I wanted to use The Azrael Initiative as an opportunity to challenge the reader to think about terrorism and ISIS from the perspective of someone who is on the ground and in the fight. I also wanted to highlight the fact that just as many Muslims are victims of their hateful acts as non-Muslims are. I hope that The Azrael Initiative inspires readers to pick up a nonfiction book or two on the topic of terrorism to learn more.
3) What made you want to get into the world of writing?
What got me into writing was actually me desire to make my own video games. For a long time, I’ve had story ideas for games floating around in my head. Unfortunately, to make those games the way that I want to, I would need to hire more people to help me, and that requires money. Eventually, I realized that while I couldn’t make games alone, I could write the stories myself. From the moment I made that realization, I studied some books on novel writing, outlined my first story, and got into hammering out the rough draft.
4) What social media sites have been the most helpful with developing your readership?
For me, I think Facebook has been the most helpful, though I’m still working improving my Twitter game and learning how to use Goodreads effectively.
5) What matters most to you when writing: developing plot or creating characters?
I actually give equal weight to developing an engaging plot and creating interesting characters. An exciting journey is important, but I also need someone memorable to go on that journey. There also needs to be an internal journey that matches the external events in the story. Story events should change characters and what they learn should be on display with how they act.
6) What are your future/upcoming plans? Any plans to continue with the Kayla Falk series?
Right now, I’m working on editing the first novel in a fantasy series. This book is titled Storm Raven and features a pirate captain who stumbles into magical abilities. Once I’m done editing that book and while I’m waiting for beta readers to get through Storm Raven, I plan on starting the second book in the Kayla Falk series, which will focus on the issue of human trafficking within the United States.