Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O is for Open - Interview with Author, Kia Zi Shiru, Black Sheep 3 Blog Tour

Sometimes I think readers of my blog get bored with just my opinions and thoughts on stuff, so I open my blog to guest posts :). Today, I am pleased to be opening the doors to Kia Zi Shiru, a talented writer of Young Adult (YA) fiction, who is on a blog tour to promote the third book in her Black Sheep Trilogy, Fighting for a Future. More about the book later, but first, I asked Kia a few questions...

First, some sensible background questions:

How long have you been writing?

I started seriously writing when I was around 20, I had been working on Black Sheep for 2 or 3 years by then and decided that if I was ever going to be an author I should seriously finish it. Before that, I’ve got some things from back when I was 8 or 9 and then my huge epic SciFi story that I worked on during most of my early and mid teens. Although I outgrew the story and life got in the way. Though a lot of subjects that were visible in that story are also explored in Black Sheep and some of my other stories.

But seriously thinking about writing, being an author and publishing started when I was 20/21, about 4 years ago now.

What made you start writing YA?
I was in the age group for it. I was 17 or 18 when I started Black Sheep, basically because I was the same age as my characters. Also, most the stories I read on FictionPress were of that same age group and that was what I was used to.

How long did it take you to develop the ideas for The Black Sheep Trilogy?
Most of the ideas for the story came in just a few days/weeks though some things have changed over time and some only came to me as I was writing them (like why Vic was so withdrawn towards Jack in some places at the beginning of the story). Over all most of the ideas stayed the way they were from the start.

Is there one scene in any of the three books that you are particularly proud of?
Ehhhhmmmm, there is a scene in the second book where Vic is off his medication and you get a glimpse into his mind. It both scares me when I read it and it makes me feel so proud that I was able to grasp depression and mental illusions in a way that it is accessible.

But most of all, it scares me.

Now a few less formal questions ;):

Do your characters talk to you?
Yes, even though I haven’t been writing Black Sheep for over a year now they still pop up and I would go along with them when they explain something more about themselves.

Though these days I’m spending most my time with Evan and Thomas and a bit with Jacob and Joey, all characters of my new story.

If yes, do you talk back? ;P
I usually let another character talk back to them. I guide the other character as to ask certain questions even though it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I impose a question on the character and it will fight. It won’t ask the question I want, usually either because it would be out of character for them to do so or because the character doesn’t want to ask it (often when it’s a really emotional question).

And this happens any moment that I’m not busy using my brain for other stuff, so, you know, this is what is going on in my brain most of the day.

Do you have any odd writing habits?
I softly talk during writing. I usually try not to but I will move my mouth to pronounce all the things going on, especially dialogue.

This has been a habit since I was really young since my mother can remember me walking on my own (back from school or something) and I would talk to myself (without making a sound) but I would do arm movements, head movements and all the other things you do when talking.

It seems that people think it’s interesting to watch me walk on my own since this habit hasn’t stopped just yet.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

If someone offered to employ you to write them a story to their specifications, would you do it and why?
I would be interested, I like a challenge. I think it would be interesting to see what I would be able to do with a world that wasn’t mine since I haven’t written fanfiction even though I read a lot of it.

Writer's block - in your opinion, is it real?
Yeah, though it mostly has to do with either doing something wrong in the work you’re doing or you really need a mental break. Sometimes your brain can have a cramp, you’ve gotta relax it before you can go on.

If you could invite one writer to tea, who would it be?
Only one? Okay, I think I would choose Edward van de Vendel.

He is a Dutch author and has written The Days of Bluegrass Love, a gay teen book that has immensely inspired my own writing. It was one of the few teen books that I read when I was a teen (aka between 12 and 17/18)  and I still re-read it almost each year.

Well, many thanks to Kia for giving a little insight into her mind :).

Author Info:

Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK.

Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often than not all at the same time).

You can find Kia:

And if you want to keep up to date with Kia's activities you can sign up for my newsletter here:

Black Sheep #3: Fighting for a Future

Jack is dead, Adam is back in the hospital in the worst condition he's ever been and Vic believes it's all his fault. That he's the reason everyone's hurting and that there's only one way to end it - to end his own life.

Then the doctor bears bad news, Vic’s own condition has worsened and his days are numbered.

This is the wake-up call Vic needs. Maybe he can, for once, make people happy before he hurts them in the worst way possible. He hides his condition from everyone, not wanting anyone to worry while he's trying to make them happy.

But time is running out. Will Vic see his wish fulfilled before the end comes?

Buy links:



Black Sheep Trilogy (Collection)

Black Sheep follows Vic, his sister Anne, his best friend Adam and his new boyfriend Jack as they are
learning to deal with Vic’s past and illness while at the same time dealing with their own lives.

Black Sheep: Letting go of the Past
Vic is struggling to begin a relationship with Jack while at the same time he is is trying to overcome the trauma of the year before. Jack knows something is wrong but can’t get Vic to open up about what happened, no matter how hard he tries.

Black Sheep: Loving in the Present
Vic seems to be overcoming another bout of depression but as he seems to be getting better the lives of the people around him are turning worse. After a clash with Adam Vic seeks help in a place he shouldn’t, unknowingly putting Jack at risk.

Black Sheep: Fighting for a Future
Vic’s bad streak doesn’t seem to be ending soon and everybody has to deal with losses of their own. Until the doctor gives Vic the worst news of all, he is dying. This finally jars Vic into action, he wants to make all his loved ones happy before that happens.

But time is running out quickly and he isn’t sure he will be able to reach his goal.

Buy links:




P.S. Check out other folk doing the A to Z April Challenge.

And if you want to see my other posts:


  1. Great introduction to Kia :)
    It is so interesting to read about how other writers get inspired!

    1. Kia was a very interesting interviewee :) And yes, I agree with you, I love talking to other authors about their creative process.

    2. Thanks for your kind reply Emilie, I loved doing this review, were some interesting questions :)


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