Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blog Tour: Interview with Kali Kucera, author of Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun

Title: Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun
Author: Kali Kucera
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 218
Genre: Mythical Realism

In a time when supernatural and industrial worlds are staged to collide, an Andean boy finds himself in the center of an epic struggle between the cosmos and the earth. Unawqi is born with both insurmountable power and a fate of certain death, both of which are challenged by his hunt of the emperor, Aakti, the Sun: the very force that desires to abandon the earth unless Unawqi can overcome him.

How easily we take the Sun for granted. We are conditioned to its rising and setting on time, and assume it enjoys doing so, or more likely is indifferent. Unawqi, Hunter of the Sun reveals a more perilous tale: the Sun, Aakti, is a being who is a reluctant player in providing light and warmth to our world, and even more has always desired to leave us to die if he didn’t have certain personal complications standing in his way. Aakti will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if that involves murder of his own kin or annihilation of an entire living planet. Ironically, what holds him back is the very life he is creating; the family from which he tries to but cannot wrest control, and among them a young intrepid boy emerges, a hunter who sets out on a journey, not to stop the Sun, but to overcome him with a force we also take for granted: our humanity.

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Enjoy this interview with author, Kali Kucera!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Kali: I have been every other kind of artist. I’ve been a professional musician, a dramatist, a dance instructor, a playwright, a visual artist, and a storyteller. Through all those experiences there was the common studio, and in that studio was the excitement of a new story to craft.   So the inspiration to be a writer was always there; it just took different forms, and I see writing words in a book as just a different session of writing a song or painting a canvas.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Kali: No one place or thing.  You might say that I try to restrict myself to the ancient practice of crafting mythological lore, so I take promptings from nature and symbols.  But I can be equally influenced by just hearing some great dialogue in a movie, or a philosophical conversation over coffee with a friend, or something I read in another book that left my mind thinking about what was not said.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Kali: I have a couple going on, but the most important is Witch Pricker, which is historical fiction based on the life (and afterlife) of Matthew Hopkins, the 17th century Puritan who, with local public support, took the lives of over three-hundred women in the course of three years he condemned as witches. But that’s just the backstory. The larger tale is where is where my imagination begins in what became of Hopkins; how his rage continued to manifest itself over the centuries in the form of human beings and institutions that lust for control over others, and the psychological trauma he (and we) cause in the guise of making evil look benign.  That should be out in full in another year, but I release chapters on my blog along the way.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Kali: I presume you mean in my own book.  Probably Naira, because she seems to be the most untapped, like she hasn’t yet come out of her shell, but is just on the verge.  I myself want to know Naira better.  She seems to be a revolutionary in waiting.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Kali: As the great Nina Simone sang it:
Well I wish I could be
Like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be
If I found I could fly
Oh I'd soar to the sun

And look down at the sea
Then I'd sing 'cause I know
how it feels to be free

About the author:

Kali Kucera is an American lorist and short story writer living in Quito, Ecuador, where he also rides and writes about bus and train travel. Since he was 9 years old he has been composing plays, operas, short stories, and multi-disciplinary experiences. He has been both a teacher and performer as well as an arts mobilizer, and founded the Tacoma Poet Laureate competition in 2008.

His latest book is the mythical realism novel, Unawai, Hunter of the Sun.


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