Today I am interviewing K.B. Wagers, author of the new science-fiction novel, There Before the Chaos, first book in the Farian War trilogy.
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DJ: Hi K.B.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
K.B. Wagers: Thanks for having me, DJ! I’m a science fiction author living in Colorado. My first trilogy the Indranan War came out in 2016-2017. I’ve got four very strange cats, a house that’s way too big for just my partner and me, and more books than I know what to do with even after downsizing them. I’m a minimalist and photographer who loves macro photography especially.
DJ: What is There Before the Chaos about?
K.B.: There Before the Chaos is about gunrunner turned empress Hail Bristol’s attempt to stop a pair of technologically advanced alien races from going to war with each other in humanity’s backyard. She’s fresh off a victory in a civil war that threatened her empire, has just signed a peace treaty with a neighboring government, and is settling into her new role as empress when things go sideways. The aliens specifically request her help with the negotiations, which is a tall order, but if anyone’s up to the challenge, it’s our recently crowned empress.
DJ: What were some of your influences There Before the Chaos and the series?
K.B.: Anything and everything? *laughs* I do a lot of binge watching/reading between books because I don’t tend to take in a lot of outside media while I’m working, so honestly stuff blurs together so much it’s hard to remember what, if anything, has directly influenced a book.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
K.B.: So for those not familiar with Hail from the first trilogy (which takes place before the Farian War but isn’t required reading to keep up with the events in There Before the Chaos), she was born a princess but left home in search of her father’s killer when she was 18 and spent the better part of 20 years out in the black as a gunrunner. It gives her a nice mix of ruthlessness with just enough royal breeding to be able to handle the task of being empress–when she bothers acting “royal” that is! She’s a fan of chai and whiskey. She’s claustrophobic, and some events at the end of the previous trilogy have made that trauma even more present in the story. Her BodyGuards and companions are a mix of Indranan military personnel, gunrunner friends, and as the story progresses some renegade aliens. It’s a lively bunch with a lot of snark, but an equal amount of love.
DJ: What is the world and setting of the Farian War trilogy like?
K.B.: The book starts out on Pashati, which is the home planet for the Indranan Empire. Indrana is a primarily Indian-based culture: The ancestors who settled the area were from India and other parts of southeast Asia. The government and culture is matriarchal, and the whole area is settling back into peace after a violent civil war/attempted coup. Hail and company will travel to several other planets in the empire as well as Earth by the story’s end.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing There Before the Chaos?
K.B.: Honestly? *laughs* I don’t have one. This was a challenging book to write and it was written during some pretty challenging personal events. There are some pieces I love about the book, but I was exhausted by the time it was done and glad to be able to step away from it.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
K.B.: Oh, the ending’s a bit explosive. I’m reasonably sure that’s going to have most people talking, especially those who’ve read the first trilogy. (Though again, it’s not necessary, it just gives those folks a bit of extra attachment to some of the characters.)
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began the Farian War trilogy? There Before the Chaos is only the first book, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
K.B.: You know, I didn’t, but as the story morphed and some other things in my life were happening I realized I really wanted to write a hopeful story. The narrative for There Before the Chaos had already been set so I had to work with it from there. People may be giving me the side-eye about the idea that this trilogy is about hope, but trust me everything will work out by the time it’s over.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from There Before the Chaos that you can share with us?
K.B.: I love quotes too, my bathroom mirror gets plastered with them yearly. (I start in January and then tear the whole thing down in December and start over.) But… *laughs and sighs* I never can think of them when I’m asked this question. I’m sure there are bits and pieces I’m especially proud of writing. It’s always more interesting to me what the readers are particularly touched by because it’s not often the same as what I would pick.
DJ: Now that There Before the Chaos is released, what is next for you?
K.B.: I am almost finished with a rough draft of book two, Down Among the Dead, which will then go off to beta readers. I’ll polish it up before sending it off in December. I’ve also got another project in development I can’t quite talk about yet that I’m really excited to work on.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about There Before the Chaos the Farian War trilogy that we haven’t talked about yet?
K.B.: Read the excerpt for Down Among the Dead that’s included at the end! I know some people (myself included) don’t usually read those, but this time you’re gonna want to.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
K.B.: Thanks for having me!
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*** There Before the Chaos is published by Orbit and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo
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The battle for the throne is over. The war for the galaxy is just beginning.
Hail Bristol, former gunrunner and newly-crowned Empress of Indrana, looks forward to retiring her gun and rebuilding her Empire in peace. After a bloody civil war laced with regicide, betrayal, and foreign plots, Hail and her people are braced for years of necessary reconstruction and reform.
But when Indrana’s closest ally asks Hail to intervene in an interstellar military crisis, she must instead embark on the highest stakes diplomatic mission the Empire has ever faced. Caught between two alien civilizations at each other’s throats, she must uncover each side’s true intentions before all of humanity becomes collateral damage in a full-blown galactic war.
About the Author:
K.B. Wagers lives and runs in the shadow of Pikes Peak. She loves flipping tires and lifting heavy things. She’s especially proud of her second-degree black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and her three Tough Mudder completions. When not writing she can be found wrangling cats with her husband, or trying to keep up with her teenage son.