Monday, March 12, 2012

Author Spotlight - Cole Gibsen

Howdy!  Welcome to week 2 of my author spotlight.  This week, I'm happy to host Cole Gibsen, author of Katana from Flux.  I was lucky enough to meet Cole through my agent at the time.  She ended up signing to the same agency and I had the privilege of reading parts of this before it sold to Flux.  Even back then, I knew it was something special.  Getting to read the finished book was a treat.  Here's the description from the publisher:

Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai tale Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

Buffy AND Kill Bill?  Those are two of my favorites.  Katana had a lot to live up to, and I'm happy to say that it does.

It starts with a toaster and goes on from there.  Rileigh Martin is the kind of character you want to root for.  She's spunky and real, but put in these unreal situations.  Her normal life suddenly becomes anything but, and she finds herself fighting simply to stay alive.  Much like Buffy when it first came out, I think people might be inclined to dismiss Rileigh because she's not a philosophy spouting teen straight out of a John Green book, but they'd be foolish to do so because the character Cole has created is something really special.

And then there's Kim.  Her love interest.  I'm not usually a fan of books with such blatant romantic elements, but Cole handles this deftly, managing to make it all so believable and beautiful.  The fantastic thing about Cole's writing is that she manages to be snarky and witty and funny and lyrical in the same book, weaving all these disparate elements together.

The one thing a lot of books get wrong are the fight scenes.  Characters throw punches that could never, not in a million years, connect, but Cole's fight scenes are well thought out, masterfully choreographed, and I know for a fact that she actually ran through some of them before putting them in her book just to be sure she got the details correct.  And it shows.

Katana is a one-of-a-kind book.  Funny without being silly, romantic without being saccharin, action-packed without being shallow.  Rileigh Martin will win your heart and you'll root for until the last page, cursing the heavens that you have to wait until 2013 for the sequel.  

This book is a must buy!

Come back Wednesday for my interview with Cole.  I promise not to wear the mask this time.


  1. Funny is the hardest aspect of writing to get right. Sounds like Cole nailed it (with a shuriken).

  2. I love that line. And, yes, funny is hard. It's a total joy reading something like KATANA that is so effortlessly funny, but also brings the serious.

  3. Aw! Thank you so much for this, Shaun!! You are the best!!!


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.