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K.Z. Snow
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message 1: by Dreamspinner (new)

Dreamspinner Press (dreamspinnerpress) | 2637 comments Mod
Chat with K.Z. Snow, author of Xylophone, today at 3PM EST.


message 2: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Greetings from the tundra! I'm unfashionably early. So if you have any questions to ask or opinions to air, let 'em rip!


message 3: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments Hello :D


message 4: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments As it's 9:45 PM for me, I'm 15 minutes earlier myself However, that's a bit irrelevant. In all honesty I'm a hardcore critic when it comes to my reads and your books, even if some develop all-too-well-known plots, aren't cliche and manage to keep my interest up.


message 5: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Hello, Marta! Now there are two of us. :) Are you somewhere in Europe?

It does get difficult after a point (and I think this genre has reached that point) to avoid repetition of certain plot elements and character types. I'm glad my stories have held your interest. Thanks for letting me know!


message 6: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments Yes, Bulgaria, Eastern Europe.

I'm a newbie author myself (have the ideas and psychology down but still need to work on the expression and style I use) so I know all about avoiding repetitions. I think I have it in my profile here - "Far away from Clichéland is where I want to be."


message 7: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Hello K.Z, I brought my keyboard to work today for the sole purpose of being able to chat with you for a bit on my lunch hour today. I just read Xylophone, and it was incredible. At first I was hesitant to read it due to the subject matter, but you handled it so well. A million ways to do a story like that all wrong and you avoided all of them. I absolutely loved Dare and Jonah.


message 8: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments Hello! How are you today, KZ?


message 9: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments Hi sorry a little late to the party, I too just read Xylophone.
I admit to being nervous about how the whole past abuse issue would be handled. I tend not to read abuse stories for personal reasons. But I felt you did a fair job of cover the fact that the MC were abuse survivors trying to get a grasp on how to move forward.
I felt you covered the subject gently and tactfully expressing the characters feelings without over expressing their individual trauma.
I liked the way the 'family' of the band played out.
I felt touch by the friendship and slow build up of the romance with the MC was written.
I even appreciated the brother/brother relationship.
I have to say I cried a bit at the end.
Over all I felt Xylophone was a treasure to read.


message 10: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 12:11PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Marta wrote: "Yes, Bulgaria, Eastern Europe.

I'm a newbie author myself (have the ideas and psychology down but still need to work on the expression and style I use) so I know all about avoiding repetitions. I..."


Wow, I believe you're the first Bulgarian reader I've met! I find it humbling to have so many overseas readers who have such a marvelous command of English.

What it takes to steer clear of cliches, I believe, are natural, wide-ranging curiosity, a rich imagination, and a lot of reading. Best of luck with your writing efforts! If you're composing in English, you seem to have an excellent start. :)


message 11: by Pickles (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) Hi, KZ! Looking forward to reading Xylophone. Much success with the new release. <3


message 12: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I also loved Fugly. Just saying.


message 13: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments Awww, thank you for the advice :) And I do agree that a rich imagination and the ability to put yourself in your character's shoes (including their back-story) are what helps avoid cliches :D

...

Tammy @: Hey and thanks for the many book recommendations.


message 14: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 12:42PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Debbie wrote: "Hello K.Z, I brought my keyboard to work today for the sole purpose of being able to chat with you for a bit on my lunch hour today. I just read Xylophone, and it was incredible. At first I was h..."

Hi, Debbie! Gosh, I'm flattered you toted something extra to work just to chat with me! Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'll admit the release of Xylophone made me a little nervous. I was tempted to post messages everywhere saying, "Trust me; this story isn't unrelentingly depressing!" But that would NOT have been cool. :)

I'm really pleased you liked it. A certain measure of emotional pain was necessary -- the story wouldn't have seemed realistic without it -- but I always try to avoid "angst overload."


message 15: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments How did you get the idea to write Xylophone?


message 16: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments I'll most likely be catching up with your books the following months. I usually relax by reading and such brakes inspire me to be more productive in whatever I do...most of which is some form of art.

I love the beginning of precious_boy which is the first book of yours I picked to read.


message 17: by SusieQ (new)

SusieQ (susieq_too) | 43 comments Hi K.Z....have loved all your stuff! You are a wonderful storyteller!


message 18: by Tammy K. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 12:34PM) (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments In Xylophone you gentle cover the fact that both MC are still trying to work out their sexuality with Dare briefly wondering about the concept intersexuality + being an androgynous dancer and Jonah
stating that he was still working out his sexual identity at least in part due to the fact of their past abuse. I appreciate you adding that into your characters as it gives them of a depth in their recovery needs/efforts and is realistic.


@ Marta Hi back, you are welcome for the recs. I was just wondering if you had gotten them or not.


message 19: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 12:41PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Juliana wrote: "How did you get the idea to write Xylophone?"

Hi, Juliana! From what I can recall, I had three free-floating ideas that suddenly coalesced. The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State tripped a trigger that had been buried in me for years. Plus, I've been wanting for months to write a story featuring a polka band. Plus, I liked the title. Although I'm not sure exactly how or why, the elements all came together.


message 20: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments If only there was a like button to this reply :D

And I think the Penn State scandal affected each person who paid attention to it even a tiny bit in some way or another.


message 21: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Marta wrote: "I'll most likely be catching up with your books the following months. I usually relax by reading and such brakes inspire me to be more productive in whatever I do...most of which is some form of ar..."

Reading is the best inspiration for an author, whether aspiring or established.

Ah, so you've read Precious_boy, too. (Thank you again!) It sparked just a wee bit of controversy among readers, but I like that.


message 22: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments K.Z. wrote: "Juliana wrote: "How did you get the idea to write Xylophone?"

Hi, Juliana! From what I can recall, I had three free-floating ideas that suddenly coalesced. The child sex abuse scandal at Penn Stat..."


That makes sense, a few ideas coming together in one story. Thanks!


message 23: by SusieQ (new)

SusieQ (susieq_too) | 43 comments How do you get inspired, K.Z? Alot of your books are very different story lines than what is usually seen. (with excellent results!)


message 24: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments Age gaps and the "prostitution" topics usually do that but they are real enough to be written about and not ignored.

And I'm reading Precious_boy at the moment (reading 3-4 books at the same time, lol), need to get Xylophone :)


message 25: by Tammy K. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:03PM) (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments Marta wrote: "Age gaps and the "prostitution" topics usually do that but they are real enough to be written about and not ignored.

And I'm reading Precious_boy at the moment (reading 3-4 books at the same time..."


See I don't much care for age gaps in my stories kinda creeps me out too much, that's just my own thing but some of my favorite stories involve prostitute characters.. don't know why.. Blame Julia Roberts.

KZ you write both MM Romance and MF Romance, do you have a preference?

Edited to correct do to don't


message 26: by Susinok (new)

Susinok Hey K.Z. I hope you're staying warm today! I just got Xylophone and plan to read it sometime this weekend.

So far my three favorite of your books have been Precious_boy, A Hole in God's Pocket, and Mongrel - pretty much in that order.

Seems like we're all a bit early to the party today.


message 27: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Tammy K. wrote: "Hi sorry a little late to the party, I too just read Xylophone.
I admit to being nervous about how the whole past abuse issue would be handled. I tend not to read abuse stories for personal reason..."


Thanks for commenting, Tammy. I'm sure a lot of people have been nervous about reading the book, for exactly the reason you mention. Abuse, all abuse, is tragically common and all too often treated like a dirty secret. I wanted to strip it of shame.

My biggest concern was not sensationalizing these episodes or making them smarmy and exploitative. I tried to tread carefully.


message 28: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Debbie wrote: "I also loved Fugly. Just saying."

Yay! That's getting to be an "oldie" now ;-) but I think it's still mighty relevant.


message 29: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Harper wrote: "Hi, KZ! Looking forward to reading Xylophone. Much success with the new release. <3"

Heya, Harper! Thanks for the good wishes, and Happy Holidays!


message 30: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments Tammy K. wrote: "Marta wrote: "Age gaps and the "prostitution" topics usually do that but they are real enough to be written about and not ignored.

And I'm reading Precious_boy at the moment (reading 3-4 books at..."


Age gaps are welcomed if one partner has been through shiz that has made them mature faster than needed and that's the impact - 10 years difference but same mentality/understandings/views on things.

However, I agree that it'd be a bit creepy if it was a 16 vs. 50 age gap. Or if it was an immature spoiled brat + a young matured man/woman or a serious adult in their mid or late 30s.


message 31: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments I have just started Mongrel. Its steampunk (of course you know that) but wow what a diversity you have with your craft.
The opening paragraphs transported me magically into the story's world. Loved this lines off page two.
"No, no, no. Can’t play. Must stay on task. Gods, look at
that man’s legs; they could bind a body better than tarred
rope! And then… no, must stay on task. But where to start?
Where, where, where?



message 32: by Issa (new)

Issa (goddess_issa) Oh, I'm so glad you said it's not overly depressing. I was a bit wary actually. Not so much now.


message 33: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:10PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Tammy K. wrote: "I have just started Mongrel. Its steampunk (of course you know that) but wow what a diversity you have with your craft.
The opening paragraphs transported me magically into the story's world. Love..."


I guess Mongrel is more properly called "fantasy steampunk" because of the paranormal characters. But, eh, I don't pay much attention to labels. ;-)

Yeah, I have a very restless imagination.

By the way, I'm currently working on Merman, a sequel to Mongrel.


message 34: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:15PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Susinok wrote: "Hey K.Z. I hope you're staying warm today! I just got Xylophone and plan to read it sometime this weekend.

So far my three favorite of your books have been Precious_boy, A Hole in God's Pocket, an..."


Hi, Susinok. Nice to see you here! Sounds like you maybe prefer contemporaries. Or am I wrong?

Yup, plenty warm today. The woodstove is doing what it's supposed to do. Every once in a while, I look out my office window and see snow cascading from the pines . . . and get a little stitch in my heart for the wild critters who don't have the benefit of heated homes.


message 35: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments Issa wrote: "Oh, I'm so glad you said it's not overly depressing. I was a bit wary actually. Not so much now."

If you haven't read Xylophone, I will say that it covers the abuse issues without focusing on the 'acts of abuse' but rather on the lasting after affects of abuse on the Main characters, their relationships, self identity and how the survivors move forward. But its not a heavy hand approach, more like this (issue) is here, this is what happened, this is where they are at now, and this is how they progress.

Side note: I really should have used spoilers in my post earlier sorry I did not think of that before. I am sorry guys/gals.


message 36: by Susinok (new)

Susinok I jump around. I read just about any genre. I even went on an almost 2 year paranormal binge... that might have been a bit much. But that being said, I read contemporaries more than the rest.


message 37: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments Mermen, that will be fun.


message 38: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Tammy K. wrote: "KZ you write both MM Romance and MF Romance, do you have a preference?"

I used to write m/f, Tammy. Once I slid over the line into m/m, there was no going back. :)


message 39: by Issa (new)

Issa (goddess_issa) Tammy K. wrote: "Issa wrote: "Oh, I'm so glad you said it's not overly depressing. I was a bit wary actually. Not so much now."

If you haven't read Xylophone, I will say that it covers the abuse issues without f..."


Thanks Tammy. I don't mind the use of abuse in stories, I just don't like too much verbatim flash back or sitting through it while it happens. Dealing with the after affects, especially if the MC can get beyond it in some way works.


message 40: by Marta (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments I'm definitely a contemporary/contemporary paranormal fan.


message 41: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:24PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments SusieQ wrote: "How do you get inspired, K.Z? Alot of your books are very different story lines than what is usually seen. (with excellent results!)"

Welcome, SusieQ, and thank you! Man, beats me how I get ideas. Just by observing life, I guess. I've always been very curious about a lot of things. And I'm no spring chicken, either, so my head is pretty well packed with the residue of experience.


message 42: by Marta (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:27PM) (new)

Marta L. | 207 comments K.Z. wrote: "Tammy K. wrote: "KZ you write both MM Romance and MF Romance, do you have a preference?"

I used to write m/f, Tammy. Once I slid over the line into m/m, there was no going back. :)"


I find m/f, m/m and f/f all interesting to write on, mainly because you have the option to play with a lot more points of view and social roles/common expectations. I really like as topics the misconceptions on emancipation for example or the stereotypes that go on about what a m/m couple is "behind closed doors". I also like how any couple can mess up everything when there's no communication between them. However, m/m stories are addictive, f/f are either too serious or on the depressing/dramatic side and m/f stories can make your brow arch way too often, lol. That's all in my humble opinion, though.


message 43: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:27PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments SusieQ wrote: "Hi K.Z....have loved all your stuff! You are a wonderful storyteller!"

Oops, almost missed this, which would've been a shame because it made me go aww, gee. Thank you so much for the kind words, hon. <3


message 44: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments K.Z. wrote: "Tammy K. wrote: "KZ you write both MM Romance and MF Romance, do you have a preference?"

I used to write m/f, Tammy. Once I slid over the line into m/m, there was no going back. :)"


LOL I have heard that before, but I still read all romance coupling.
I have a good friend who can not stand to read MF any more after reading MM, Poor girl.
I read for the awe factor, for the emotional connection, and yes for the sexy scenes as well.
And this is when it always gets a bit awkward when you are speaking directly to an author. How does one tactfully say, 'Hey, you got skills with writing steamy erotic scenes. I really felt the ... release.. of the characters." ..without sounding a bit creepy? It's kinda like talking to your parents about sex, yeah that didn't go over well either!


message 45: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments Marta wrote: "However, m/m stories are addictive, f/f are either too serious or on the depressing/dramatic side and m/f stories can make your brow arch way too often, lol...."

Agreed, we really need to get those F/F authors to take a chill pill, lighten up those panties and have some fun flirty characters.. maybe we should encourage them to read MM and say write MM But then change the scenes.. relax not everything need be a murder, or a drama.
Sorry for the off topic comment.


message 46: by Jules (new)

Jules Lovesbooks (juleslovesbooks) | 206 comments KZ, do you have anything you are working on right now? You said Merman, anything else?


message 47: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Tammy K. wrote: "Mermen, that will be fun."

He's not a fairytale merman, Tammy. ;-)


message 48: by Tammy K. (new)

Tammy K. (rambles_of_a_reader) | 79 comments K.Z. wrote: "Tammy K. wrote: "Mermen, that will be fun."

He's not a fairytale merman, Tammy. ;-)"


Ok spill the beans.. tell us a little bit about your merman and well frankly does he have a man's anatomy?


message 49: by K.Z. (last edited Dec 22, 2012 01:38PM) (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Juliana wrote: "KZ, do you have anything you are working on right now? You said Merman, anything else?"

That's it for now, Juliana. I've had a lot of distractions lately (real life does that -- it tends to get in the way more at certain times than at others), so I'm trying to focus on that one project. When it's finished, who knows?


message 50: by K.Z. (new)

K.Z. Snow (kzsnow) | 260 comments Tammy K. wrote: "How does one tactfully say, 'Hey, you got skills with writing steamy erotic scenes. I really felt the ... release.. of the characters." ..without sounding a bit creepy? It's kinda like talking to your parents about sex, yeah that didn't go over well either!"

ROFL!


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