Friday, October 10, 2014

Interview with author Iain Reading - The Kitty Hawk YA Series

Please welcome author Iain Reading to the blog. He's here talking about his YA Adventure series staring the curious and courageous, teenaged pilot/adventurer/crime solver Kitty Hawk.
Iain says these novels are ageless and will interest readers of all walks of life and all ages.

Series Blurb:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4). Each book can be read as a standalone.

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

Excerpt From- Kitty Hawk and the Curse of theYukon Gold :

Back Where The Entire Adventure Began:
As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble. Up until then, I had somehow managed to convince myself that there was just something wrong with the fuel gauges. After all, how could I possibly have burnt through my remaining fuel as quickly as the gauges seemed to indicate? It simply wasn't possible. But with the engine choking and gasping, clinging to life on the last fumes of aviation fuel, it was clear that when the fuel gauges read, "Empty," they weren't kidding around.
The lightning strike that took out my radio and direction-finding gear hadn't worried me all that much. (Okay, I admit it worried me a little bit.) It wasn't the first time that this had happened to me, and besides, I still had my compasses to direct me to where I was going. But I did get a little bit concerned when I found nothing but open ocean as far my eyes could see at precisely the location where I fully expected to find tiny Howland Island—and its supply of fuel for the next leg of my journey—waiting for me. The rapidly descending needles on my fuel gauges made me even more nervous as I continued to scout for the island, but only when the engine began to die did I realize that I really had a serious problem on my hands.
The mystery of the disappearing fuel.
The enigma of the missing island.
The conundrum of what do I do now?
"Exactly," the little voice inside my head said to me in one of those annoying 'I-told-you-so' kind of voices. "What do you do now?"
"First, I am going to stay calm," I replied. "And think this through."
"You'd better think fast," the little voice said, and I could almost hear it tapping on the face of a tiny wristwatch somewhere up there in my psyche. "If you want to make it to your twentieth birthday, that is.  Don't forget that you're almost out of fuel."
"Thanks a lot," I replied. "You're a big help."
Easing forward with the control wheel I pushed my trusty De Havilland Beaver into a nosedive. Residual fuel from the custom-made fuel tanks at the back of the passenger cabin dutifully followed the laws of gravity and spilled forward, accumulating at the front and allowing the fuel pumps to transfer the last remaining drops of fuel into the main forward belly tank. This maneuver breathed life back into the engine and bought me a few more precious minutes to ponder my situation.
"Mayday, mayday, mayday," I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. "This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over."
I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.
It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I'd had, the friends I'd made, the beauty I'd experienced, the differences and similarities I'd discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.
Or I should say, "my epic flight almost around the entire world," in light of my current situation.
And the irony of it was absolutely incredible. Three-quarters of a century earlier the most famous female pilot of them all had disappeared over this exact same endless patch of Pacific Ocean on her own quest to circle the globe. And she had disappeared while searching for precisely the same island that was also eluding me as I scanned the horizon with increasing desperation.
"Okay," I thought to myself. "Just be cool and take this one step at a time to think the situation through." I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, slowing it down and reining in the impulse to panic. Inside my head, I quickly and methodically replayed every flight that I'd ever flown. Every emergency I'd ever faced. Every grain of experience that I had accumulated along the long road that had led me to this very moment. Somewhere in there was a detail that was the solution to my current predicament. I was sure of it. And all I had to do was find it.
Maybe the answer to my current situation lay somewhere among the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia? Or in the steamy jungles of east Africa? Or inside the towering pyramids of Giza? Or among the soaring minarets of Sarajevo? Or on the emerald rolling hills and cliffs of western Ireland? Or on the harsh and rocky lava fields of Iceland?
Wherever the answer was, it was going to have to materialize quickly, or another female pilot (me) would run the risk of being as well-known throughout the world as Amelia Earhart. And for exactly the same reason.
"It's been a good run at least," the little voice inside my head observed, turning oddly philosophical as the fuel supplies ran critically low. "You've had more experiences on this journey around the world than some people do in their entire lifetime."
"That's it!" I thought.
Maybe the answer to all this lies even further back in time? All the way back to the summer that had inspired me to undertake this epic journey in the first place. All the way back to where North America meets the Pacific Ocean—the islands and glaciers and whales of Alaska.
All the way back to where this entire adventure began. 

Iain welcome to The Reading Frenzy please tell my readers about your Kitty Hawk series
 The Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency is a super cool series of books with my favourite heroine, Kitty Hawk, who is a teenaged pilot with her own seaplane and she's decided that she's going to see the world.  That's a pretty common ambition for a lot of people, but she's decided to do it her own way in style by flying around the world herself in her own plane.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for Kitty, she also has a pretty insatiable curiosity and tends to find herself in some interesting and challenging and mysterious situations as she travels from place to place.  Each new stop brings new cultures, experiences, and a mystery to solve.

What aged reader would best enjoy these books?
 Basically readers of all ages.  I've heard of kids as young as 8 reading them and enjoying them, and because the books are filled with all sorts of interesting history and puzzles they also are great for adult readers as well.

There are four books in the series available now.
Are there a certain number in the series or is it open right now?
 My goal right now is to have the series be 13 books long.  I have just finished the 5th book and can see ahead to where the next 8 books will take Kitty Hawk.  But who knows?  Maybe after that she just keeps going?  Depends how much people love them.

Iain, I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember the old TV series Sky King but that’s the first thing I thought of when I read about this series except that plane was a Cessna.
What kind of plane does Kitty fly?
 I'm not familiar with that show, but I have heard of it.  But Kitty Hawk doesn't fly a Cessna.  As a good Canadian girl she flies a good old Canadian De Havilland Beaver seaplane.  This is the PLANE OF CHOICE of bush pilots in western Canada and Alaska.  They are rugged little planes that can get in and out of just about anywhere.

Where did the story idea come from?
 Each new book in the series has the story come from the location in which Kitty finds herself.  Every place on this amazing planet of ours has its own stories and history and mysteries.  The trick for me, as a writer, is finding one of those that fits and feels right.

Iain tell us about your other series of books about The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire.
 This new series tells the story of a group of teenaged wizards who have special powers to control the elements – Earth, Air, Fire, Water –and are able to use them to wield a kind of elemental magic.  I love this series (which will have five books eventually) because I love exploring the mysterious world of the ancient elemental wizarding guilds.  The first book concentrates on the Waterfire guild, but each successive book will explore the other fundamental guilds as well.

Iain, are you a reader?
Fiction or non-fiction?
 Almost always non-fiction, however I am reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman right at the moment.  Otherwise I like reading history and science books.

Iain, what do you like to do when you’re not writing?
 It's probably not a surprise, based on Kitty Hawk's adventures, that one of my passions in life is traveling.  There's a big world out there and I am trying my best to see it.

Thank you so much for answering these questions. Good luck with the both series and all your future endeavors.

Will there be any signing/author events coming up?
 Not yet, but my publicist is trying to coordinate some, so hopefully soon! 

Connect with Iain on Website - Twitter - Goodreads.

About the Author:
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. Iain is currently working on the 5th book in the Kitty Hawk series. For more information on the series, go to  

Iain is also the author of The Wizards of Waterfire Series. The first book in the series The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire was published in April 2014.

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The Family and Kids collection
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  1. Kitty Hawk sounds like my kind of heroine!
    This sounds like really fun and adventurous reads!

  2. This sounds like a fantastic MG series, and I love the adventures!

  3. Aw those sound fun! I'll keep these in mind for the next time I'm asked for some recs for this age range :) Thanks Debbie!