Kipjo K. Ewers Interview Published on: 10, Jan 2016

Short bio or SYNOPSIS here on writing as your passion.

I am a first generation Jamaican-American from Mount Vernon, New York. I attended Catholic school from elementary school through college. After college, I worked in New York City for about a year or two as a temp. I even worked for the Yankees at Yankee stadium as a security guard and was fortunate enough to shake Yogi Berra’s hand on opening day after he helped raise the flag. I have since worked for several Fortunes 100 and 500 companies, which ranged from the technology, pharmaceutical, and banking industry. I was blessed to grow up in an era of the most awesome cartoons that ever existed like G.I Joe, M.A.S.K, He-Man, Thundercats, Voltron, and Transformers just to name a few. I was a geek and a nerd before it was cool to be one, and I wasn’t ashamed of it one bit. I love anime, and watch it even to this day. I was also a practitioner of the martial arts studying Tao Kwon Do and Kōga-ryū Ninjutsu. I haven’t practiced in awhile, but I still know some of my forms. For me, putting your imagination on paper for the world to see, and seeing the reaction is what gets me passionate about writing. I remember when I finished my first novel, I sent it to a William Greenleaf to evaluate, and he told me in detail how much he liked it, and what he liked about it, I got real emotional while reading it because it validated that I should have worked on being a writer all along. The second rush was my first review from an actual reader and reading about how much they loved the book. Telling a story that resonates with readers and that they enjoy is the best thing to me about being a writer.

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to do it seriously?

I have been telling stories since I was seven, my second grade teacher Mrs. Green encouraged me to keep telling stories, and said I had the potential to become an author.I started actually writing in my late teens. The first story I wrote was titled “Armageddon Bioborg”, basically a story about a cyborg killer whale that goes on a rampage. I never finished that story. Later I helped write two comic books with my younger brother who is currently an artist just to see if we could do it. One was titled “Letterman” which was inspired by the rap song done by K-Solo, and the other I think was a martial arts comic called “Warriors of Jin”. The books were extremely detailed, nothing came of them, but they’re still at my parents’ house, and they still look pretty cool after all these years. After college, getting and maintaining a job became my priority in order to pay the bills. I would write as a hobby for wrestling e-feds, basically like fantasy football leagues but without the huge payout. I did win some actual championship belts as trophies which was cool. After getting back into comic books in mid 2011, and going to my first New York Comic Con in 2012, I started writing a profile and storyline which would evolve into my main character Sophia Dennison, and her origin story. I self-published my first book in 2013 titled “The First”, and I haven’t stopped writing since.

When choosing a name for your characters, what do you consider about them that determines what you finally call them?

There is not really a rhyme or reason to picking names when it comes to me. For my main character of my novel series, the name Dennison is my mother’s maiden name. Sophia was just the first name that popped into my head. Abe Rogers was a character I created from my old e-fed wrestling days; I just modified him a bit and pulled him into the story.

Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

I have to say yes because at the time I was writing both The First and EVO Uprising at the same time. I stopped working on EVO Uprising in order to focus and finish The First, so you could say that I had a collection in mind when I started writing.

How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

I have this process where I just write. It could be the ending, middle, or the first chapter; for about a year I’ll just write what comes to mind. And then when I feel I have written enough I will isolate a chapter and focus on it to fill in the blanks and finish. This can sometimes take a week and a half depending on the chapter. I do this with each chapter until it is completed and the book is finished.

Do you have a “reader” in mind when you write stories?

Aside from being a fan of adventure with an open mind I really don’t. For anyone who picks up my books, first and foremost, I hope they find the stories entertaining and it sparks the reader’s desire to want to see where I take the story. Aside from that, I hope my novels will inspire discussions. To make people think about the state of the world, society, and are we as the human race living up to our fullest potential based on that state. The running motto of the series in “Evolve or, Die”. I believe that even though we as a society are technologically advanced, as a species we have stopped evolving based on the way we treat our planet, and most importantly, how we treat each other. I feel that if we don’t get to a state of mind where we see one other as a part of one race, the human race, we’re in for darker days and a cliff that if we go off, we’re not likely to survive. This great divide where we constantly define ourselves based on country, religion, skin color, gender, age and wealth has proven to be more hurtful than helpful to us as a species. It is something I believe we need to desperately change in order to evolve and become better human beings as a whole. So, if my novels can open people’s eyes and start that conversation, let’s just say that’s better than any award or notoriety I can ever get.

What do you do to get book reviews? What is the best review you ever got?

I’ve submitted my novel to places like Readers’ Favorite, Kirkus, and Red City for a review. Good Reads is also a good place to get reviews as well as Amazon. My best review in my mind had to be from Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite. When he compared my work to the likes of Stephen King and Tom Clancy, I cried like a baby, because it validated that even though I started my passion late in life, that I was meant to be a writer. That is the best review in my mind to date.

What does the word “story” mean to you?

The word “story” means to me the ability through words to transport a reader out of their regular world and into the world that you created. To whole them captivated by both the characters in this world (whether good or bad) and the plot that is played out. If you are successful in taking a reader into your world, getting them to lose track of time in the present world as they explore this new world chapter by chapter, and then etch this world forever within their imagination even after they put your book down, then you have not only told a story, you have told an awesome story.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am working to finish the origin story of a character from my second novel EVO Uprising. It will be titled “Eye of Ra”, and will answer a lot of questions that the first two books did not answer. The second book I am working on is titled “Fred and Mary”, a supernatural romance comedy with a bit of a twist. I was writing both books at the same time in 2015, and now am going to focus on them one at a time to get them finished. So there’s a lot of writing for me in 2016!

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I still work a regular nine to five office job. So it’s up at six in the morning and home around the same time give or take how my commute goes. I usually get to write in between my lunch break, when I get home from work after spending time with the Mrs., or on the weekend. It’s a lot to do in between regular work, household duties, and now promoting the first two novels, but I have a lot of support from my wife, who is currently my business manager. We find a way to make it work.

How do you promote your work? How Quotesrain help you in your book promotions and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends?

I use regular social media channels to get my work out (Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, YouTube, Instagram, Pintrest, and Google). Sometime I hire independent help to promote my work. Fivrr is a great place to find people who can help with promotion. I love being on Quotesrain, it’s an awesome way to promote my work and reach a new audience; you guys always come up with new affordable features like the Twitter feed, which helps a ton because with all the work I do I find it difficult to have to tweet to promote every day. If I had other author friend, which I currently don’t (hint, hint) I would definitely recommend them to Quotesrain.

Would you like to share something with your readers and fan?

For all of you fans who are into audiobooks, the audiobook version of my first novel, The First, which was published by Tantor Media and narrated by the exceptionally talented Carla Mercer-Meyer, is on sale now. EVO Uprising which will also be produced by Tantor Media and narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer will be out on January 26th. You can get them on Tantor’s site, as well as, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. For those fans out there who would like to learn more about the characters in the EVO Universe, I will be doing a monthly animated blog called Lady Tech Files, which is on the EVO Universe site, featuring a character and their abilities straight out of the novel. This month we’re featuring Oliver Brandon a.k.a Blitz from the second novel EVO Uprising. Finally for you Tri-state fans, and fans that will be visiting New York near the end of May, the EVO Universe will be coming to BookCon 2016 on May 30th and May 31st at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. We will have books, audiobooks, and t-shirts that you can get signed by me the author, so please stop on by and say hello!

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