When I edited this book of the gorgeous K. A. Last, I fell in love. Immagica reminded me of finding Narnia for the first time, or of riding Falcor in The NeverEnding Story. There’s just a lot of magic in this book, and a whole lot of heart.
I am very excited to be participating in the book blitz for Immagica; I hope you get the chance to check it out.
And now, let’a find out more about K. A. Last …
Describe yourself in three words:
Crazy, pedantic, and passionate.
What are five things people may not know about you?
I’m half Italian.
I’d rather drive a 4WD than a sports car.
I received an Award of Excellence for my outstanding commitment to the Miss Australia Awards in 2000.
One of my legs is 1cm shorter than the other.
The first time I got my nose pierced it made me vomit.
What does writing mean to you?
Writing for me is a release, a way of getting my dreams and daydreams onto paper. It means I can stay sane in a world that often wants to test my sanity. When I write I get lost in the story and for a while nothing else can touch me. The worlds I create in my stories become my safe havens, and the characters become my friends. Writing is very much a part of who I am. Without it, I wouldn’t be me.
Who is the favourite character you’ve written so far?
That’s like asking me to choose a favourite between my two children. I love all my characters, but there are others that are more fun to write. In Fall For Me I really enjoyed writing Archer, Grace’s brother. He’s a bit cocky and has a pretty cool sense of humour. In Sacrifice, I loved getting into Michael’s head. Even though the book isn’t from his POV, he was an awesome character to write. He’ll be making an appearance in future books as well, so watch out. With Immagica, I enjoyed fleshing out Lex’s character. He is so much deeper than he might appear on the surface. At this stage Immagica is a standalone book, but there could be room for Lex to grow sometime in the future.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
When I first started writing I just let it all flow out as it would in any which way. I usually have a loose idea in my head of what I want to happen, but I don’t set anything in stone. I think I enjoy the process more when I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I love how my characters often surprise me. In saying that, I have plotted out the next instalment of The Tate Chronicles. I did this because I really needed to know where the story was going before I could continue with it. So, I guess you could say I’m a bit of both. I like to get my ideas down on paper, but I’m pretty flexible and don’t mind deviating from the path if I need to.
Where do your ideas come from?
Oh! They come from everywhere. I’ve always been a daydreamer, and I love to stare into space, thinking about all the ‘what ifs’. I also have a really cool story idea that came to me in a dream. I actually jumped out of bed at one am to write it all down. I haven’t got past the first chapter with it, but it’s a story I think about all the time. One day it will become a book. The other thing I love doing is people watching. It’s amazing how the smallest action or snippet of conversation can spark an idea.
How did the idea for Immagica come about?
One of my favourite books is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I also love Narnia, Oz and Alice. I love the concept of travelling to a different world in some way, especially through the pages of a book, but I wanted to put my own special twist on it. I asked myself what a world would be like where it could be made, governed and controlled by imagination. The idea for Immagica actually started with the amulet. One night I was sitting in my recliner and I started doodling. About half an hour later I had my first rough sketch of how the amulet looks now. I took the amulet and made it the centre of Immagica, and the Eye was born. Everything else pretty much stemmed from there. In essence, Immagica is a portal fantasy adventure with fairies and a unicorn.
What’s ahead for you in 2014?
Well, I want to try and finish The Tate Chronicles. I have another novella and the sequel in the works. I probably won’t get it all published, but I want to at least finish writing it and publish the novella. I’d also like to pull my 2011 NaNo novel out of the drawer and dust it off. It’s not finished, but I think I’m in a good place now to give it a go and see where it takes me. Then I have a swarm of other ideas that are trying to bust out of my brain. I’d like to tackle some of those, too.
Where anything is possible.
Enter at your own risk.
The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.
When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way, Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.
The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war, their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.
About the Author
K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, a rabbit named Twitch, and a guinea pig called Squeak.
The dragon roared again, and the deafening sound bounced off the surrounding hills. He’d changed, now he was pure evil. He was enormous, and it was not until the dragon lowered his snout, smoke billowing from his nostrils, that I understood just how big he really was. His hind legs stood firmly on the ground below, and his huge, spiked tail swung behind him. It pulverised what was left of the decaying bridge to the south tower.
Lex had to get back inside the Eye. Without him, it was in danger, even if the tower still stood in the north. If Lex died, the Eye would have no protection.
“Lex, go.” I pushed him away from me.
“No, I won’t leave you. Not to face that alone.”
“You have to get back inside the Eye. You have to.” He shook his head, but he knew I was right. “Go!” I said again.
Lex scrambled to his feet, and took off along the bridge. I’d never seen anyone run so fast. He turned to a streak of dull colour in the darkness, and caught up to Ira and the others in seconds.
They were still a fair way from the gate. I wanted them inside the Eye, where they would be safe. The longer they stayed out in the open, the worse their chances of making it through this became. Dad needed Lex’s medical supplies, but I couldn’t let myself think about it. If I did I’d fall apart.
The dragon swung his tail over his head, the three spikes splaying out, and brought it down fast. It swiped away a section of the gleaming bronze, and added it to the pile of rubble below. I scrambled backwards on my butt, but there was nowhere for me to go. I had no choice but to stop and face the beast.
I braced myself, and prepared for the worst. But this time his attack was not aimed at me. The dragon’s eyes lit up the darkness. Two red beams, like lasers, shot from them towards my friends. The beam struck Walter’s conscience in the back, and the force of the blow sent him tumbling to the ground. Dad managed to stay on Ira’s back, but Ira slipped, and they crashed down as well.
Another beam struck Brynn. She crashed to the ground, and lay motionless not far from the gate. Ira made several attempts to regain his footing before he succeeded, his hooves slipping on the bronze surface. Lex hauled Brynn inside the safely of the Eye.
The dragon sent another piercing beam from his eyes. Walter’s conscience staggered to his feet and threw himself over Dad. The beam hit Walter’s conscience in the side, leaving a gaping hole in his body. I clamped my hands over my ears to block out the screaming. The dragon fired at Walter’s conscience again, and this time the force of the blow sent him skidding across the bridge and over the edge. Silence fell into the night like a lead ball.
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