Thursday, September 10, 2015

Author Interview with David Powers King & Book Giveaway

Years ago, David Powers King and I first connected through some writers bloghop. Since then, David scored a sweet publishing deal for WOVEN (Scholastic), a YA novel he wrote with co-author Michael Jensen. The story is about a peasant boy named Nels who is murdered. Only the snobby Princess Tyra can see his ghost. To save Nels, the two embark on an adventure to locate a magic needle. I particularly enjoyed the mystical ideas presented here about sewing, including the suggestion that we’re all threads being worked on by self-weaving looms creating various big picture tapestries.   

David and Michael generously offered to give away a book with this interview. So if you’re interested in receiving WOVEN, please follow my blog if you aren’t doing so already AND leave a comment on this post by the end of Wednesday, Sept. 16. The winner will be announced here on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Here’s David’s interview:

Tell me where you were born and raised.  What did you study in college? Did this subject influence your writing?
I was born in Burbank, California. Being near so many movie studios gave me mad respect for stories, and so I decided to give writing a shot when I was young. After studying behavioral science in college, I had plenty of tools for creating dynamic and engaging characters. Michael also lived in California for a time, but lived in Utah most of his life. He has a good eye for great stories, studied musical theater and has written a few musicals. 

How did you come up with the plot and world building behind WOVEN?
The story originated with a dream that Michael had over a decade ago, about a princess and a ghost in search of a magic needle. Shortly after Michael and I became friends and he told me about this concept, I fell in love with it right away. We had to make a story about this! So when thinking of a setting that would accommodate a princess and a magic system involving a needle, we built up a sewing-based magic system in a medieval setting. The more we brainstormed, the more natural everything fell into place. We’re very pleased with it.

I really liked the character Jilia. Her spunk and her attentiveness to Nels’s mother during a difficult time made her stand out. I wonder if there might be potential for a spin-off story featuring her, or if there’s any possibility of a romance between her and Nels in a different story, say a pre-WOVEN story?Jilia is one of our favorite characters as well, and her personality is, in large part, based on a cousin of mine. We’ve discussed the possibility of writing companion novels rather than direct sequels, which can give us room to write Jilia (and other characters) their own story in the WOVEN world. Our options are open at this point.

What's your advice for authors who want to collaborate to write a book? Collaborating on a book can be an enriching experience that helps strengthen your writing. So long as you are both committed to the goal and the story. Know early on what each other’s role is going to be. Stick to it. And be there for your collaborator when life strikes. A collaboration is not a “you” or “me” thing. It’s an “us” thing.

What authors/books did you like when you were a kid? 
So many to choose from! I would say my biggest writing influences and inspiration has come from the works of Lois Lowry, R.L. Stein, Orson Scott Card, Michael Crichton, James Dashner and Shannon Hale. Michael’s are Elizabeth George Spear’s CALICO CAPTIVE and THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C.S. Lewis, CRICKET IN TIME by George Seldon and KIDNAPPED by Robert Lewis Stevenson.

What are you working on now? Any future projects we should look out for? 
In addition to drafting a sequel/companion novel to WOVEN with Michael, I currently have a YA zombie novel on submission, and we both have many more individual story ideas that can't wait to leap onto the page. For more updates, feel free to check our website at or my blog at


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd like to try writing a story with someone else. Especially if it was their idea, as I suck at coming up with those.

Pat Hatt said...

Writing a story as a pair must be interesting. Never thought of collaborating. The ideas sure do flow though.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey, I know these guys :)

I've said it before, working as a team has to be so very interesting - on many different levels - and I'm so impressed David and Michael were able to do what many of us couldn't!

Thanks, Cynthia, for featuring the guys on your blog. Woven is a great book, and I'm really hoping for a Book Two ... and Three :)

Shelley Sly said...

I've heard so many good things about WOVEN. It's on my list to buy when I'm able to. It's neat to learn how they came up with the idea and how they work together.

Tammy Theriault said...

Dreams can be the start of the most amazing plots! So true in this case. Good luck boys!!

Stephanie Faris said...

Scholastic--very impressive! Sounds like he's on his way to a great career.

S.P. Bowers said...

Put me in the drawing. I can't wait to read this book but have been unable to buy it yet.

Michael, I like your taste in books. Those were all books that influenced me.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I wish I could cash in on my wild dreams. Even though I wake up remembering their frightful intrusion, the detailed memories don't last long.

Writing with someone else would be fun.

Anonymous said...

The Witch of Blackbird Pond really made my imagination take off when I was young. I'd love to write a book based on a dream. I might even collaborate with another writer one day. Great interview. I've been reading amazing things about Woven.

Skippy Bo Bippy said...

Free copy you say..? Sign up you say..? OK says I.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I already own the book, so I'll just wait to run into David and Michael and remember to bring a pen.

I don't think I ever read the Witch of Blackbird Pond. I did read Black Beauty and still love that story!

Romance Reader said...

Sounds like great idea to write in collaboration. Congrats on the release!

Brandon Ax said...

I was too late for the giveaway but I did join the blog anyway. Great interview.

Claire Annette said...

Interesting interview - I love the list of books and authors that inspired him. Woven is now on my "to read" list.

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