We’re so pleased to be joined by author Kelly Haworth and the Read My Mind blog tour, book one in the Under the Empire series. She’s talking a bit about the crafting of the story, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
Creating Fiction Within Your Fiction
Media within the bounds of a fictional world is like entertainment inception. And I was on a mission to go one level deeper with Read My Mind. Because not only did I think up some fun franchises of movies, comics and action figures, but I based them on the world’s religion, which I also made up. *inception BWAAAH noise*
I really like when authors create media within their books. It creates culture, it shows character, it’s just plain fun.
Though I do think you need to balance it well. In Read My Mind, the media is pretty integral to the plot, so I talk about it a lot. But I try to give it context, to make it interesting. I tell its stories, and it influences characters’ backstories. Where would we be without our catch phrases from our favorite movies, TV shows, books? Shouldn’t an alternate world, especially one in a modern setting, be able to pull from their media in such ways too?
So my characters occasionally quote from media that the reader isn’t going to know, which is a ton of fun to write! And hopefully my readers will appreciate it.
In Read My Mind, Nick is a figurine collector. The figurines he’s got are all based on comic books that the rest of the characters all know more from their movie and video game remakes than from the original comics, though Nick’s read the originals. This was my way of poking fun at the DC and Marvel universes, with their collections of comics, figurines, TV shows, movies and games.
But Scott is the one who is able to take this one step deeper and show Nick that all of these comics are based on the stories in their religion. So looking at the god of technology, Gnomon, Scott and Nick could see the new Chronicles of Gnomon movie coming out next summer, or check out Nick’s figurines of Gnomon’s tinker brigade, read the comics depicting the dozens of adventures his brigade goes on, or they could go to the local church and hear a sermon about Gnomon’s teachings and values.
With ten different gods and dozens of demigods and angels, hopefully there’s a little something for everyone.
About the Book
Scott Kensington lives happily without magic; prayer is all he needs to worship the gods. Then he starts his studies at the University of Frannesburg, and not only is he suddenly surrounded by eccentrics—those gifted with magic—but his own latent ability begins to surface, with consequences that could tear his soul and family apart.
Nick Barns is grieving for his lost mother and desperate for distraction—usually in the form of limited-edition action figures. As a telekinetic, he’s no stranger to magic, so he offers to help Scott adjust to his new powers. They quickly learn how their magics interact, their shared passions soon growing beyond superheroes and immortals. But Nick’s not taking his studies seriously, and his father threatens to pull him from the university. Overwhelmed by his own crumbling family, Scott’s convinced he can’t handle a relationship, but he doesn’t want to let Nick go.
With grief, guilt, and magic complicating everything between Nick and Scott, it seems that not even the gods—or a new comic book—can save their relationship now.
Sometimes, even reading someone’s mind won’t help you understand what they want.
About the Author
Kelly Haworth grew up in San Francisco and has been reading science fiction and fantasy classics since she was a kid. She has way too active an imagination, thus she channels it into writing. Kelly is genderfluid and pansexual, and loves to write LGBTQIA characters into her work. In fact, she doesn’t know if she’s ever going to be able to write an allo-cishet couple again. Kelly has degrees in both genetics and psychology, and works as a project manager at a genetics lab. When not working or writing, she can be found wrangling her two toddlers, working on cosplay, or curled up on the couch with a good TV show or book.
To celebrate the release of Read My Mind, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 7, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!