FAULT Focus: Kia Garriques, exciting new young adult novelist, discusses her creation – ‘Innovera Yakov’

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Pinstripe skirt designed by Derek Lawlor

Jamaican born Kia Garriques is currently proclaimed as the one to watch in the literary sphere. In February 2013, she released ‘Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes’, her first fantasy novel in the ‘Worlds’ series, after a string of short story success. Within its first few weeks, Innovera Yakov received free downloads of over 62K. Kia and Innovera Yakov have also developed a wide following on Twitter amongst various celebrities and other media personalities. Young people call Innovera Yakov “a world of captivation and intrigue beyond the everyday imaginings of our own…but one that we can connect with.”

This early success encouraged Kia, who also has German and French roots, to inspire more young people through her first mini-tour across London and the north of the UK. Within a few months, Kia spoke to over 600 students over the UK and this year, was contacted to speak to an entire school in London, in February. Her highlight of 2013 was selling out at the Waterstones branch in Croydon and other bookstores in the north, as a new author. In 2014, she plans to broaden her audience by presenting Innovera Yakov to further bookstores, Universities and colleges which will also include a tour of the Caribbean.

Critics are calling Innovera Yakov a cross between Avatar, because of its creative alien world, X Men for of its colourful super human characters, The Matrix due to its secret, symbolic messages, and Twilight as a result of its complex love triangle between three main characters.

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FAULT: Tell us about Innovera Yakov

Kia: Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that revolves under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set.  In this world, loss makes you powerful, love makes you weaker and death is seen as something regular. The characters have amazing powers; they can fly, communicate through ‘thought-words’ and their minds can travel to other worlds. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate, the forbidden forest of the Dimmer Zone swallows trespassers and at of the edge of Innovera Yakov is Verheer, a terrifying watery world that laughs in the face of hell. Fans have tried to decode what they call ‘the secret message of Innovera Yakov’ and all I can say is that this will be revealed soon.

Does the book stem from your Carribbean upbringing?

Innovera Yakov is loosely shaped around my childhood years in Montserrat in the West Indies, an island that I left after a volcanic eruption. As well as living in Monsterrat, I also lived in Jamaica, Anguilla and St Kits amongst others with my mother, who was a great explorer. This tour was inevitable as I want to go back to the place that shaped my view of the world and everything I have come to love.

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Who are the key characters in the book?

We have Ayana, a healer and lonely outcast with a scarred face; Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look; Krave and his powerful brother Skylar; Ryder with his crystal spear and the murderous Ice, who feeds on young Innoverans.

How exciting was it to get your first book signing appearance at Waterstones, as a new author?

Very, although, I thought no one would turn up! But, before I knew it, all the books available were sold out and additional orders were taken from customers. My favourite moment was meeting this 12 year old girl who burst out saying “I can’t believe I am meeting you. My sister loved you so much after reading your book.” This was very moving and made me want to inspire the young even more.

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What did you sacrificed for your dream?

Last year, I juggled full-time job with other work projects and activities. It was hectic and I kept thinking, “Gosh, if I am to do this, something has to give.” So, I saved like crazy before I sacrificed my job for my dream.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the next book?

I received a lot of angry reader emails when I killed Ryder off. So, in the second book he might come back.

What’s a secret wish for Kia Garriques?

To work with the Cohen brothers and Steven Spielberg very soon.

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Mohair dress designed by Velvet Johnstone
Stylist: Tasha Leslie-Badu from splash styling
Makeup: Magda Koriat
Photographer: Karl Lake from Set Photography
Hair: Ms Kee aka Keke Hamilton
Artwork by Kia Garriques based on the main character, Ayana, from her novel Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes