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The Dragonrider books by Anne McCaffrey series reading order and synopsis

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Karen Simpson Nikakis

answers the Usual Questions

Photograph Karen Simpson Nikakis (K.S. Nikakis); 220x273

Karen Simpson Nikakis

K. S. (Karen Simpson) Nikakis lectures in Business Communications at Deakin University. She holds a M.Ed in young adult literature and a Ph.D in fantasy fiction.

She says that she 'discovered and fell in love with Lord of the Rings, and developed my own mental fan fiction version where Eowyn and Aragorn went off on adventures together". This finally gestated into The Kira Chronicles.

Karen names as the highlights of her career to date "Having the Kira Chronicles (The Whisper of Leaves; The Song of the Silvercades; The Cry of the Marwing) published by Allen and Unwin was a big thrill, as was being taken on by Curtis Brown literary agency on the basis of my fourth book (Hunter). I also have an M.Ed in the purposes of dragons in narratives (shortly to be released bye Heidelberg Press as Dragon Tales) and a Ph.D in Joseph Campbell's mythic structure applied to a female hero - both degrees undertaken while juggling work, kids and creative output.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

No, not in that I change what I do. Having people say they love the books/characters remains an enormous thrill. I've also had a couple say negative things too, but that doesn't affect me either. Once you send your child (book) out into the world, it becomes the readers', to do with as they will.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

No, but having given people some enjoyment is a powerful motivator when I despair at my lack of skill.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

The Lord of the Rings has been a major influence as has Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hill, The Last Enchantment). Both writers show the potential beauty of language as a tool to tell a story, as well as the means to tell a story. When I'm stuck, I relax my brain in The Crystal Cave. It's like nourishment.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

James Cameron who is looking for another glorious world (like Allogrenia, Sarnia and Kessom from my trilogy) to turn into a movie (preferably 3 movies).

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

A literary editor who thinks fantasy is rubbish and refuses to review it. Yes I know this means I am passing up an opportunity to change their minds, but I would rather spend my remaining years writing.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Sleeping tablets. I'm scared of heights.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

It's not fashionable to say this, but I would like to be rich and famous. J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer would be good. To show I'm not shallow, I would use some of the money to buy land for habitat preserval.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

When it comes together, when a sentence works, or I nail an emotional scene that moves me too. Ah, if only there were more of these moments.

K. S. Nikakis; 200x63

submitted by K. S. Nikakis

26 February, 2010

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: I was born in 1955 in London and carried as a babe to Australia. This state of affairs has turned out well for my kids who now have EU passports. It gave me some teenage angst about who I really was, but my first visit to the UK confirmed my Australianness. Yet, there's something about a stone circle in a lonely field on a grey day in Scotland that really stirs the heart.
Resides: Western edge of Melbourne on 12 hectares of rabbits, rocks and thistles. I can see moon and sunrise and hear frogs in the creek. Not a bad spot and only 30 minutes from the bright lights of the CBD.
Bibliography/Awards: Kira Chronicles (The Whisper of Leaves; The Song of the Silvercades; The Cry of the Marwing; Hunter)

Web site:
I've had a go at two blog sites which people can find by googling KSNikakis, but I never follow through. I just get caught up in my creative writing, and I work full time. I know I'm missing out on great marketing opportunities. I also regret not communicating with readers of my books, because when I have, I love the interaction. I run a Writing and Publishing degree at NMIT in Melbourne so I do get to talk to a lot of young and not so young aspiring writers which is terrific. Anyone reading this who wants to get in contact can email:


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