In this author interview, you will meet the young, successful Australian, multi-genre author Kia Carrington-Russell.
Kia wrote her first book when she was 15 years old, and has since published 12 books including award-winning books and a bestselling Paranormal Romance series Token Huntress.

Discover what inspires Kia to write her books and learn how she got started in her writing career.

About the Author Kia Carrington-Russell

Author Kia Carrington-Russell

Kia grew up in the Darling Downs Region in Queensland, Australia. Graduating High School, she pursued a career in freelance journalism. In 2014, having always had a passion for writing fiction, she decided to follow her dream of becoming an author.

Kia has attended numerous events as a guest speaker, as well as book signing events at Dymocks bookstores and Angus and Robinson. She is an animal lover and organizes different events each mid-year to donate towards the RSCPA in Australia.

Kia enjoys dancing, cooking, reading, painting, photography and spending time with her family and friends.

‘Kia is a Token, no, she is THE Token of Vampire & Paranormal books.’ ~ 5 STAR Reviewer.

Kia’s writing ranges from young adult, paranormal, romance, erotica, fantasy and dystopian; starting with her Best Selling series, Token Huntress
Her first series, The Three Immortal Blades has captivated both young readers and old, with her rich blend of fast paced action, romance and adventure and has won numerous awards already, including; ‘Best Fantasy Series of 2014’, ‘Best Book bad Guy of 2014’, and ‘Best Cliffhanger of 2014’.

She has won numerous awards on her contemporary romance series, My Escort and erotica/ humour series, Aroused: Taming Himself Series. The series and unique storylines have captivated hearts globally and created a few book boyfriends along the way with Damon’s charm and Hayden’s cockiness.

Kia intends to make her books globally known and is already creating a name for herself amongst social media, fans, readers and spectators.

Now setting her sites and moving to the USA, Kia has a can do attitude, a strong will and the touch of kindness that makes it hard not to fall in love with her. Announced ‘The Best New Author of 2015’ by AusRomToday, she has no intentions of stopping. Kia Carrington-Russell is definitely the new author to be looking out for.

You can learn more about Kia on her website, Goodreads, Instagram, follow on her Facebook, and buy her books on Amazon.

What is your latest book “Token Huntress” about?

The sun’s light dimmed many centuries before; now in the year of 2,341 rampant vampires now stalk their victims in a half-lit world. Humanity has been overtaken by a new society: one comprised of vampires, the supernatural beings that hunt them, and the remaining humans they fight over. The laws and rules that once bound our world have long since been lost. Now, the Hunter Guild struggle to stay one step ahead of the Vampire Council.

Esmore, Token Huntress, has exceeded all expectations at only 18 years of age. She is fearless leader to her team, and she is relentless in her pursuit of the enemy. There is only one problem: Esmore is struggling to repress the growing darkness that seduces her from within. Esmore takes another step into the darkness when she encounters a teasing, tantalizing — utterly unignorable — vampire.

Token Huntress by Author Kia Carrington-Russell

The lines between right and wrong are blurred further as Esmore gives into her temptation, and her reality becomes deliciously tainted both with evil and with lust.

Interview with Author Kia Carrington-Russell

Q: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of “Token Huntress”?

Originally I started writing Young Adult/ Fantasy and funnily enough I said that I would never write a vampire series after the release of Twilight and all the millions of vampire books that came out thereafter. Well I ate my own words. Like most of my book series, I dream of a small scene and will daydream for a week or so, creating the world, plot, concept and characters and viola I’m ready to write my next series. This happened with Token Huntress as well. I was really nervous to release it because I felt it was a completely different concept to the vampire books which readers already knew and loved. They would either hate it or love it. But with that said, I had to tell Esmore and Chase’s story and well as it turns out it’s my best seller and Token Wolf, the third book in the series is the most anticipated release yet. For those who have read the book, the scene which I dreamt was when Esmore woke in Chases room to the eerie scene of all his bobble head’s rattling and his cocky smile, from that I created the world and life of the Hunter Guild, Vampire structure and gifts.

Q: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I wanted to create an original concept in the overrun book world of vampires. I didn’t want to just focus on the vampire aspect however, I wanted to create a dystopian world with vampires involved as part of the hierarchy and structure which had numerous species. I wanted it to be eerie and dark and continue that in depth spiral and change through my main character, Esmore as the series continues. I think I’ve achieved that and readers are enjoying the development and intense background of all my characters. No person has been untouched or poisoned by some form of trauma and pain. I wanted readers to be able to connect with at least one of my characters because everyone has experienced some kind of pain, no matter how great or small. I enjoy showcasing what happened to them and how after all these years they’ve learned to deal with it, even if they are vampire, everyone deals with it in their own way. Some in an ugly way.

Q: What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Actually, this book was very easy for me to write it simply flowed. With that said the hardest part about writing any book is trying to make it as realistic and logical as well even if it is Fantasy. Readers have to be able to relate to something realistic in the book that will ground them and make them feel that it is real and possibly something that could happen. I do find that while writing Token Wolf I struggled with it a little more because of how complex the series has become. Everyone has their own agenda and incorporating that all in is sometimes exhausting. A lot is happening.

Q: What did you enjoy most about writing the book “Token Huntress”?

I find it interesting to write the main character as one who has near to no emotion. It’s fun to focus on more primal instincts like possessiveness, survival, hierarchy and lust. I also love writing the different characters because they all have such strong characteristics and personalities. And of course, I love Chase. He’s so quirky and funny.

Q: What’s the strangest, funniest, or weirdest thing you’ve had to research for one of your books?

Haha Ahh looks to the ground. . . For my erotica books. Need I say anymore?

Q: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I love animals and wanted to be a Zoologist. When I was a teenager I did some work experience at the local vets. That’s when I discovered I was maybe a bit too sensitive to not being able to save all the animals and also that I have a very sensitive nose. The smell of both blood and alcohol (the cleanliness of the surgery rooms) make me extremely nauseous. So gave up on that dream but that’s okay, there are other ways to look after and aid animals.

Q: At what age did you start writing stories or books?

I started writing my first book, Possession Of My Soul: The Three Immortal Blades when I was fifteen. It was a form of escapism for me while going through the hormonal turmoil of being a teenager. Prior to that I enjoyed writing poetry. Again damn that teenage angst haha.

Aroused Humor Novel by Kia Carrington-Russell
My Escort Contemporary Novel by Kia Carrington-Russell

Q: What was your first writing experience like?

Writing Possession Of My Soul I really enjoyed. Again it was like a form of release and escapism for me as a teenager and I could really explore my imagination. It was also probably the first serious goal I created for myself and I never pictured it would eventuate to where I am now as an international author. When I look back at it now I find it interesting how life plays out and you always stumble into where you are meant to be or who you are meant to be. It’s definitely shaped me as a woman and the future I’ve set my sights on.

Q: How did you launch your career?

I published my first book in 2014 when I was nineteen. It was a hurtle but it was something I wanted to do seriously and say I had achieved. Again, I never thought it would become what it is today. I originally thought I wanted to get into journalism. When I realized that kind of writing wasn’t for me I went back over manuscripts and started researching on how to self-publish and such. It was one of the most difficult things I had ever done because I didn’t really know anyone in the industry and plus, I was young. Three years later that has definitely changed. I didn’t really consider it as a career until 2015 when I built more confidence and started creating a solid fan base. Since then I’ve always worked one or two jobs at a time as well as my author career treating it with full time work hours to financially support the dream. I’ve invested a lot of money into my books and career, including singings and my international USA tour last year; which was initially what forced me to consider moving here, and one year later, Viola here I am. If you want it, you really have to go for it no matter how much it takes you out of your comfort zone.

Q: What was the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Confidence in myself and books. It’s such a personal thing to write a book and put it out there. It’s even more difficult to initially market yourself and tell readers that they’ll love it oh so much. I think that comes with time and readers honest reviews. Both good and bad it will affect you. Everything needs to be taken as constructive criticism. Remember, you always learn from every little change or feedback. Don’t let anything deter you or you won’t progress.

My Expectation Romantic Comedy by Kia Carrington-Russell
Phantom Wolf Novel by Kia Carrington-Russell

Q: What was the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Confidence in myself and books. It’s such a personal thing to write a book and put it out there. It’s even more difficult to initially market yourself and tell readers that they’ll love it oh so much. I think that comes with time and readers honest reviews. Both good and bad it will affect you. Everything needs to be taken as constructive criticism. Remember, you always learn from every little change or feedback. Don’t let anything deter you or you won’t progress.

Q: What kept you going..?

By nature I’m a workaholic which helps me continuously be on the go. Writing is my passion and I am very business minded so becoming an independent author suited me because I am completely in control of the how much work and effort goes in and the outcome. The biggest thing that kept me going was my desire to share my stories with people globally and connect with readers of all different backgrounds and experiences. Nothing is more magical then a reader taking message and being impacted by your words.

Q: How has your environment, family, and upbringing influenced your writing?

My upbringing, beliefs, people who surround me, open-mindedness and experiences have definitely influenced not only who I am but my understanding of human emotion and in a sense an understanding of different personalities and characters. I have a particular interest in how people’s minds work so I absolutely love creating and building on characters and in every way that has been impacted by all the people I have met in my life. I’ve also had certain events in my life that one might say could be traumatic but I am grateful for those lessons and it gives me a better understanding and how to connect with readers from some of my more traumatized characters.

Q: Are you a full-time or part-time writer?

Currently I am writing and doing less then what I used to only because I am focusing on my move to the USA. I have always treated it as a full time job but also worked full time, sometimes part time jobs on the side as well. My previous job I was a State Transport Manager and was what I did prior to moving to the USA where I now am looking for a new exciting role and career. Once I set up and settle in, no longer travelling as much, I will be able to do those hours again.

Q: How many books have you written so far?

I currently have twelve books published. Three books in the works and another forty to write and publish thus far. That’s not just a number, those are actual plots that I have laid out and are waiting to be written ranging from all sorts of genres including ones I have not yet published.

Q: What genres do you write in?

So far I have published Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary Romance, Dystopian, Fantasy, Erotica, Action and Adventure. I have yet to write and publish children’s books, thriller, horror and sci-fi.

Q: What inspires you to write?

Usually my dreams and then I just daydream and plot away. That’s basically it. The only book I’ve ever been influenced by something else is my erotica series, Taming Himself which was influenced by the Mambo No 5 song.

Q: What are the titles of your other books?

Token Huntress series: Token Huntress and Token Vampire

The Three Immortal Blades series: Possession Of My Soul,
Possession Of My Heart and Possession Of My Fate.

Phantom Wolf series: Phantom Wolf and Sia

My Escort series: My Escort, My Exception and My Expectation.

Taming Himself series: Aroused and Taste.

Q: What makes your writing special?

My writing style is different, people either like it or hate it. I also try to make my characters reach out and connect as much as possible to readers. I think moving and making the reader feel is one of the most powerful things about words. So I definitely want to have you crying and laughing. I think sometimes, that not all authors can do that.

Possession Of My Soul Romance Novel by Kia Carrington-Russell

Q: What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

There have been many highlights. Being awarded ‘Best New Author of 2015’ by AusRomToday was awesome and being featured in two newspapers also has been pretty cool. Oh oh oh and receiving five star reviews from Readers Favorite. Besides those, the opportunities and discovering myself through this adventure has been really awesome and simply feeling like I am doing well and something special in life for me and others.

Q: What are your current projects?

Token Wolf, book three of Token Huntress series.
Binary Witch series, Book One.
Phantom Eye, Book Three in the Phantom Wolf series.

Q: Do you ever suffer a writers-block? If so, how do you overcome it?

I think every author suffers from this. I do if my characters aren’t talking to me. I always sit and try to write, even if it’s one hundred words or ten thousand, as long as I am trying and sitting down in front of the laptop, maybe something will flow. But it’s like any other creative task or field, you can’t force it. But there is a difference between having some time out and procrastination.

Q: What is your process of writing a story?

I usually day dream for a week or so envisioning it like a movie and then I will play it out as I write.

Q: What’s your favorite environment for creativity and productivity?

My office during the day and my bed during the night.

Q: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My previous schedule used to be me waking up at 1-2am in the morning to market and write. I would then start my Transport Management job at 5am and complete a 10-12 hour day. I would come back home and write then sleep between 4-6 hours and redo. So when I incorporate my writing with my work life, yea I’m a workaholic. Don’t forget to add that I survive off coffee, frozen meals and wine.

Q: Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

I do actually. If a character isn’t talking to me or I can think of the most accurate word I usually click my fingers repetitively until it comes through. I also drink a lot of coffee and eat heaps of snack food. When I write I am far from healthy.

Q: Where do you sell your books?

A few Dymock and Barnes & Noble stores in Australia. I used to sell my ebooks on all sites until today actually where I have gone exclusive to Amazon to trial out and discover what results that might bring. The only two books of mine that you can get everywhere is Possession Of My Soul and My Escort which are always free.

Q: Do you have an agent/publisher or do you self-publish?

I self-publish

Sia by Kia Carrington-Russell

Q: Tell us about your self-publishing experience…

The hardest part about being independently published I personally think is the expense of marketing and promotion. Time is also a major factor. Your success is built purely on your own resources and motivation. It takes time and experience to know what marketing is best and works for you. Every author and book is different and so should the marketing. There is no secret formula but if traditionally published you certainly have a massive helping hand. I prefer to be independently published because I am constantly learning about the industry and have knowledge of what and why I do certain things for my books. I wouldn’t object to my books being contracted with a traditional publisher but I would certainly remain hands on like I am today. In my personal belief- a woman’s success can only be measured by the amount of effort and pride she puts in her own work.

Q: Tell us about your publishing experience…

I don’t have an agent or publisher. I am independent.

Q: Do you only work with your agent/publisher or do you also self-publish other books?

I self-publish however, My Escort ibook is contracted to VaskoBooks for a year. I own all other copyrights. I did this to experiment and see what difference or increase it might bring me in readership and sales.

Q: Do you have different agents/publishers for different books you write?

I self-publish however, My Escort ibook is contracted to VaskoBooks for a year. I own all other copyrights. I did this to experiment and see what difference or increase it might bring me in readership and sales.

Q: Have you been published/featured in any magazines or newspapers?

Yes. I’ve been featured in three editions of Glamour UK Magazine and two newspapers. One in Dallas, Texas featuring when I was signing at a local bookstore on my international tour and another I was mentioned for the Sydney book signing event, Books Under The Bridge.

Q: Have you received any editorial reviews from noteworthy sources?

I have received a lot of reviews from various blogs but the top one is probably my five star reviews from Readers Favorite.

Q: Have you won any book awards or writing contests?

I’ve won numerous awards over the years the biggest probably being, ‘Best New Author of 2015’ by AusRomToday. That was a pretty awesome achievement and I’m super grateful to all those who voted.

Q: How has being featured in magazines/winning awards/having editorial reviews helped you?

So far I haven’t found a long lasting increase of book sales, it aids in extra exposure at the time and I’ve obtained a few new readers from that but nothing life changing as of yet.

Sia - Phantom Wolf by Kia Carrington-Russell
Vampire Chronicles by Kia Carrington-Russell

Q: How do you promote and market your books?

I do a lot on social medias and book blogs. Currently I’ve been offering a few freebie days on my books which put me in the top fifty on two or so subcategories which always helps and continues to increase my exposure, reviews and ratings and author rank. Right now I am focusing on the exposure of my books being seen. That way even if they haven’t yet bought or read my work at some point or another they would’ve seen my covers and with that done I’m making a repetitive impression.

Q: What is your advice to aspiring authors?

It’s hard work. Don’t go into it thinking that it’s easy or other people will sell your books. I mean I guess for the right price they might be able to but for most indie authors we are struggling in the artist act and don’t have the finances to support such consistent services. Don’t give up and trust me there are days you want to but every little step all adds up. Research A LOT! Don’t put yourself in a box and assume you know, the same formula won’t work every time because the industry is always changing. And last but not least, take yourself out of your comfort zone, although uncomfortable it’s the best way to think out of the box and really get yourself and books out there. There is no better representative for your books then you yourself- the author.

Q: What are you really good at and love doing asides from writing?

I’m really good at working. Haha Again the workaholic thing. I’m very good at communication, I love people and helping them. I’m really good at giving advice and helping friends, family and sometimes even strangers. Sometimes people just need to be heard and know that someone cares in a time when they think they might be alone. I like helping people. I am also very good at working in high paced and stressful environments, what can I say, I like to be on the go and problem solving. I also love dancing, drawing, painting and reading. I don’t know if I’m exactly good at them but I certainly try.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a bit of a nerd so I like Manga and Anime. I love reading, walking, pole fitness and aerial hoop as well.

Q: What are your favorite books? What authors do you admire?

I absolutely love Sarah J Mass, Kristen Cashore and Nalini Singh.

Q: What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

Oh gosh. That is a really hard one. Umm I would probably be an artist or photographer. I always dreamed of living in Japan living the manga artist dream although I’m nowhere near par with that skillset, however I suppose if I weren’t writing I probably would’ve spent time investing in that. Or a CEO of sorts for some company, if not my own. I’m a business woman through and through.

Q: What are your big dreams and goals?

Becoming one of the most recognized and influential authors of my time. I love writing but it is a stepping stone for what I want to do in the next chapter of my life which will be motivational speaking and helping people. I want to build a voice and presence in the world where I can influence and help others and be remembered for making a difference.

Q: What do you love best about an author’s lifestyle and being an author?

Touching people’s hearts as corny as it sounds. There is nothing more beautiful then receiving a message from a reader hearing as to what message they took from my books and how it helped them deal with personal emotions. That is what I love about writing. My main message throughout all my books is to keep open-minded- anything is possible.

Thank you, Kia Carrington-Russell, for taking part in this interview!