Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Interview: Emily Pikkasso, Author of The Oak King's Daughter

Joining us today is author Emily Pikkasso. She lives on a farm that she shares with a multitude of creatures. Emily’s first poems and short stories were published while still in grade school. We’ll be talking about her writing today and about The Oak King’s Daughter, her recent release from MuseItUp Publishing.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Emily. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a proud Albertan and horsewoman. I live on a farm near Balzac, Alberta with three horses, one pony, twenty-four chickens, various dogs, cats and whatever else happens to wander into the yard. I enjoy writing poetry and stories, both long and short.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in southern Ontario in the suburbs of Toronto.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I remember the first time I rode a horse; it was at the Bowmanville Zoo. The horse was a bay and we rode around in a little circle, I was about three and surprisingly I can still see the horse’s ears and smell that lovely horsey smell.

When did you begin writing?

I honestly can’t answer that. I have been writing as long as I can remember, little stories and lines of poetry were always floating into my mind when I was a kid, not much has changed. The thoughts just have a bit more structure now.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write anytime, anywhere. I keep a journal with me when we drive to my son’s in Saskatchewan because my Muse always seems to be active when the wheels are rolling under me. I write best late at night when it is quiet and the world around me is sleeping.

What is this book about?

The Oak King’s Daughter is based loosely on the old Welsh myth about the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak king rules the six months of summer and the Holly King the six months of winter, so twice a year on the Solstices the two fight - generally over a woman who represents the Earth and sovereignty. Predictably, the Oak king wins at Winter Solstice because now the sun begins to strengthen and the days grow slowly longer, the Holly king wins at Summer Solstice since from that time until the next solstice the sun loses a little bit of strength each day. In my tale the Oak King has a daughter named Dara and the Holly King wishes to steal her away. How he works to accomplish that feat is quite innovative if I do say so myself.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to see if I could. I don’t write a lot of romance and there were so many romance publishing houses represented at the Muse OnLine Conference I thought perhaps I should give it go. I’m quite pleased with the result and I hope my readers will be too.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My writing partner Lynne in Surrey, B.C. and my BFF Carol.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

No, I don’t belong to a critique group, but Lynne and I exchange manuscripts for feedback all the time and another MuseItUp author and I exchange ideas with each other as well.

Who is your favorite author?

Charles de Lint, he’s Canadian and lives in Ottawa. He writes Urban Fantasy as well as Celtic Fantasy.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?


Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to getting the two books that are coming out this year was a bit bumpy but it all worked out for the best in the end.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have started to submit earlier and I would have told my younger self to believe in myself and the dream and not worry so much about what other people thought.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The Oak King’s Daughter is available from the MuseItUp Bookstore, Omnilit and Bookstrand at the moment.


Just go to the website and click on my award winning cover.



Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I have a website. http://www.emilypikkassoauthor.ca/.  I welcome feedback from my readers and can be contacted at emilypikkasso@gmail.com

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

I do! It is on youtube and is the magical creation of D.K. Renders.


What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I think the trailer, I love it. Although I have gotten a lot of mileage out of some promotional things I have ordered like full color postcards and magnets.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Write, write, write and submit. Believe in yourself.

What is up next for you?

I have had a story accepted for MuseItHot’s Lacey’s Lamp series which will be debuting in 2012. A whole year of spicy stories with a similar theme. The stories all take place in a bar called Lacey’s Lamp which is run by a genie who grants you one wish. After that, hold on to your hat because it’s all up to the individual author at that point. Mine is called "Choices" and is scheduled for March 2011. I can’t wait.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thanks for allowing me to be your guest, I hope I have entertained your followers and inspired them to start or keep writing, and of course to rush to their computers and scoop up a copy of The Oak King’s Daughter.


Michelle V said...

I loved the interview! I'll be sure to check out her website!

Anonymous said...

As with many myths spread from many cultures and societies this one rings very similar to that of the Greek tale of the goddess Demeter and her daughter, Persephone.

Zeus allows the God of the Underworld, Hades, to abduct Persephone. Demeter petitions Zeus to the point of getting him to tell Hades he must return her, so Hades tricks her. A deal is struck whereby Persephone spends six months with Hades, and six months with her mother. The six months she spends in the underworld are the same as winter, as Demeter—her mother and a strong Greek earth.agricultural goddess—refuses to make the soil fertile for those six months. When her daughter returns we get spring and summer.

Very interesting to see you take a Welsh myth and extrapolate a story from it :^)

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview! The book and its Celtic influence sounds fascinating.

apple blossom said...

thanks for the interview.

Ellen said...

Wow this sounds like a book I'd love to read. Thanks for sharing!

Pat McDermott said...

Very enjoyable interview! I love the idea of a Welsh-based story, a special page in the wealth of Celtic tales. Best of luck with the Oak King's Daughter and with all your writing, Emily!

BarbaraB said...

Thanks to both of you for an interesting interview. I am a great lover of folk lore and will read The Oak King's Daughter soon to see your twist. And I LOVE oak trees.
(As Emily knows, my upcoming book,WOUNDS, involves an ancient oak tree.)

April said...

Great interview, Ladies! The Oak King's Daughter sounds like a wonderful read. Also, Emily, what a beautiful picture!

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Everyone, thanks so much for dropping in and reading my interview. There is a sequel in the works as everyone has asked me what happens next. Should be ready in few months time, cross my fingers the publisher likes it too. LOL I love the old myths and am studying them, the stories leap off the page and I keep going "What if...." Dara's father the Oak King wants me to tell his tale as well. Keep tuned for more...
Thank you Cheryl for hosting me and all those who took the time to read my words. Saliente Emily

Marva Dasef said...

Nice to read more about Emily. I love anybody who loves horses anyway, but now I have more reasons to love Emily.

Admin said...

Great interview, girls! I got thrown off a pony back when I was a young'un and to this day I haven't gotten back on but my they are beautiful animals.