A Reading with Kirsten Imani Kasai

On Sunday, August 21, 2011, I went to a wonderful little store down in South Park called The Grove, a quaint bookstore and craft store rolled into one. My reason for going wasn’t to check out their supply of fabrics or their selection of book titles, though that was an added bonus. No, I went to attend the Official Book Party for Tattoo by the wonderful Kirsten Imani Kasai, local San Diego, Ca resident and author of the dark fantasy novels, Ice Song and Tattoo. The event was a blast! Roughly 30 people showed up making it standing room only.

Kirsten arrived bearing delectable treats and prizes for lucky fans. Amongst the offerings, Kirsten included both Chocolate “Milk” and Strawberry “Milk”, two tasty treasures that were brought over into our world from The Sigue in Plein Eire. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, might I suggest you read the novels?

The event began with introductions from both the store owner and from a close friend of the author. Then Kirsten read Tattoo’s prologue, a beautiful creation myth that tells how the race of Octameroon came into being. The audience was literally hanging on her every word as Kirsten has a fantastic reading voice. I don’t know about the rest of the folk in the room, but when she was done I had to fight the urge to ask her to keep reading.

Next came the prize drawing. The prizes up for grabs: A signed copy of Ice Song, the first book of her series, along with an audio copy of Kirsten’s Flesh Hell and a bath gel in the shape of an octopus; 7 gourmet chocolate bars and an offer for wedding ministerial services; and finally a party pack of fancy largers and ales (for the older fans).

After the prizes, Kirsten read another short snippet from Tattoo and then proceeded to sign books and pose for photos with fans. I wish that the felines could have been there to be included in the photo with us, but unfortunately this was a human’s only event.

I will admit to being nervous upon meeting Kirsten and I fear that I had one of those moments where my mouth ran away from me. It seems to be the bane of every fan when they meet an author they love, that inability to clearly express themselves because they are too overcome with joy and wonder. Still, I left the event with signed copies of Ice Song and Tattoo in hand, a smile on my face, and the anxious desire to get home so I could start reading. The day was a success! Here’s hoping that Kirsten throws another book party at The Grove when her next novel comes out. I know I will attend. Will you?

Ice Song Book Description

There are secrets beneath her skin.

Sorykah Minuit is a scholar, an engineer, and the sole woman aboard an ice-drilling submarine in the frozen land of the Sigue. What no one knows is that she is also a Trader: one who can switch genders suddenly, a rare corporeal deviance universally met with fascination and superstition and all too often punished by harassment or death.

Sorykah’s infant twins, Leander and Ayeda, have inherited their mother’s Trader genes. When a wealthy, reclusive madman known as the Collector abducts the babies to use in his dreadful experiments, Sorykah and her male alter-ego, Soryk, must cross icy wastes and a primeval forest to get them back. Complicating the dangerous journey is the fact that Sorykah and Soryk do not share memories: Each disorienting transformation is like awakening with a jolt from a deep and dreamless sleep.

The world through which the alternating lives of Sorykah and Soryk travel is both familiar and surreal. Environmental degradation and genetic mutation run amok; humans have been distorted into animals and animal bodies cloak a wild humanity. But it is also a world of unexpected beauty and wonder, where kindness and love endure amid the ruins. Alluring, intense, and gorgeously rendered, Ice Song is a remarkable debut by a fiercely original new writer.

Tattoo Book Description

Her fate is in her flesh.
In an environmentally fragile world where human and animal genes combine, the rarest mutation of all–the Trader–can instantly switch genders. One such Trader–female Sorykah–is battling her male alter, Soryk, for dominance and the right to live a full life.

Sorykah has rescued her infant twins from mad Matuk the Collector. Her children are safe. Her journey, she believes, is over, but Matuk’s death has unleashed darker, more evil forces. Those forces–led by the Collector’s son–cast nets that stretch from the glittering capital of Neubonne to the murky depths below the frozen Sigue, where the ink of octameroons is harvested to make addictive, aphrodisiac tattoos. Bitter enemies trapped within a single skin, Sorykah and Soryk are soon drawn into a sinister web of death and deceit.entally fragile world where human and animal genes combine, the rarest mutation of all–the Trader–can instantly switch genders. One such Trader–female Sorykah–is battling her male alter, Soryk, for dominance and the right to live a full life. Sorykah has rescued her infant twins from mad Matuk the Collector. Her children are safe. Her journey, she believes, is over, but Matuk’s death has unleashed darker, more evil forces. Those forces–led by the Collector’s son–cast nets that stretch from the glittering capital of Neubonne to the murky depths below the frozen Sigue, where the ink of octameroons is harvested to make addictive, aphrodisiac tattoos. Bitter enemies trapped within a single skin, Sorykah and Soryk are soon drawn into a sinister web of death and deceit.

Future signings for Kirsten:

10/15  TBA  LitQuake, San Francisco, CA
10/21-23 TBA  MileHi Con, Denver, CO

Awards:

Ice Song was listed as “Best of 2009” by the School Library Journal as an adult books for high school students and “Best of 2009” for science fiction/fantasy book clubs by Barnes & Noble.

Ice Song also won Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy in the Published Fiction category at the San Diego Book Awards.

Advertisements

Posted on August 27, 2011, in Authors. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for a great post.