Who is Kristi Charish?
Kristi is the author of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Jan 13th, 2015, Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), an urban fantasy about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. The second installment, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Jan 2016. Her second urban fantasy series, KINCAID STRANGE (Random House Canada), about a voodoo practioner living in Seattle, is scheduled for release mid 2016.
Kristi is also a scientist with a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.
Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.
Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.
Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides
My Epic Interview
- Obviously, there are many points of inspiration that brought you to this story. What are they?
KC: I’d been struggling with third person narrative for a while and really wanted to try writing in first person. I had just finished a writing prompt exercise (where the prompt was ‘When death’s clowns came for me’) and also just finished reading a mystery novel called ‘The Water Rat of Wanchai’ by Ian Hamilton (Ava Lee series). It was the first mystery I’d read in a while and I thought ‘wouldn’t it be great to write something like that!’ Prompt and mystery novel idea in hand, I started writing about an antiquities thief…
With absolutely no monsters, this was going to be a normal book, a break from fantasy…
That lasted all of twenty pages when I realized I’d accidentally written a dragon into the novel.
After that the list of influences are topped by 80’s style adventure movies. Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and Big Trouble in Little China are all up there.
- What made you choose the name Owl?
KC: I’d actually been playing Dragon Age 2 where the main character was named Hawke. I thought what a great way to name a character! When I came to naming Alix, Owl was the first thing that popped into mind and I liked the imagery that went with it- especially for an unconventional thief.
There’s also a double play on Owl as in Japanese mythology/culture Owls symbolize luck and offer protection against suffering…something Alix needs and kind of what this whole thieving career is helping her escape.
- Any connection between the Dragon, Mr. Kurosawa, and the legendary Japanese filmmaker of the same name?
KC: No, but that’s a good one! I actually picked Kurosawa for the loose translation of ‘black swamp’ as I thought it fitting for a dragon.
- A vampire-eating dragon? Very creative. Who is your favorite dragon, and if you could have she/he eat any well-known vampire, who would it be?
KC: I’m staying away from the obvious choice here…Is there anyway we can flip it around and make Edward kill Barney?? That I’d pay to see, only for the comedic value of watching Edward cry…no wait, Barney is a dinosaur…We can make an exception just this once though? Right?
Seriously though my favorite Dragon is Draco from Dragonheart. And as for Vampires? Lestat’s time has come. He’s had a good run but it’s time to fade;-)
- Who is your favorite fantasy author?
KC: Only one? This is going hurt…
Kelley Armstrong. And for book I’ll go with Haunted (hard to pick one out of the Women of the Otherworld Series but I adore Eve)
Other authors who’s work I devour: Kim Harrison, Cherie Priest, Diana Rowland (White Trash Zombie), Patricia Briggs, Anne McCaffery, Jim Butcher, Diana Rowland, Richelle Meade (Succubus Blues), and Carrie Vaughn.
- If you could pick any film director to make Owl and the Japanese Circus into a film, who would it be?
KC: Easy. Guillermo del Toro. The Hell Boy Goblin Market and Pan’s Labyrinth all the way. Next questionJ
- Which actress would you want for your heroine?
KC: Hmmmm….since this is fantasy-casting land here, let’s go with a toss up between Jennifer Lawrence and Ellen Page. I’m convinced both/either of them could slug back beer, play video games, and dungeon crawl with the best of them.
- If you could read only one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?
KC: …Shoot me now? Man, I’m tempted to say James Clavell but I’ve read all his stuff multiple times so no go there…
Nope can’t do it. Can’t take just one. You’ll have to pry my kindle out of my cold, dead hands 😉
- What can we expect for the future of Owl?
The second book in the OWL series, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS is handed in and set for release Jan 2016 (last time I checked). Unfortunately I can’t say too much about the plot for OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS (yet) except it sees Owl settling into her new job as a contract thief for Vegas mogul Mr. Kurosawa (with mixed results) when he sets his sights on a trio of artifacts sitting in a Los Angeles recluse’s private collection. Owl is sent to fetch them and finds out that the City of Angels is anything but.
- Which musical artist would compose and perform the soundtrack of Owl’s epic life?
KC: Ha! Oh man, that’s putting me on the spot. I’m all about choices so I’ll list the top three that come to mind!
- Asteroids Galaxy Tour
- Fall Out Boy
- Imagine Dragons