Mitchell Geathers approaches his love interest with the same zeal he does his career, but isn’t as successful. Her heart belongs to Drew Royce, a bad boy from the same streets he wants to forget. When Drew is executed for patricide, Mitchell sees an opportunity to connect with her, fueling unexpected retaliation from a much more powerful – and undead – Drew. After receiving an eerie message, Mitchell is made to bear witness to a disturbing attack on his youngest sister by a ferocious “wind beast.”
When Mitchell learns the source of her resulting “infection” is a group of invincible, shape shifting Windstalkers, no measure of protection, logic or reason is enough to keep her from slipping further into an inhuman fate. Blind and vulnerable to their attacks, Mitchell must put his own life on the line to track the creatures and discover a weakness – or lose his sister forever. Fueled by a familiar fear, Mitchell is running out of time in an unending nightmare – one in which he ultimately becomes the hunted.
Kisa Baginski is the author of the fantastic ‘Windstalker’ book series. We spoke to Kisa to find out more about her writing experiences as well as ‘Awareness’, which is the most recent publication of the series from February. Make sure you read until the end to find out about Kisa’s fascinating inspiration for the book!
PUBLISHING PUSH: What made you decide to write this book?
KISA: I had a moment seven years ago, just after the birth of my first child, when I needed to re-evaluate my profession to suit what I enjoyed. Just having had a child I was totally in love with, I needed to leave the kind of job I held to simply pay the bills for one that fueled my passion. I also wanted my newborn to have a happy parent, not a disgruntled shell. So I pursued writing as a wonderful hobby. I read classic novels in the genres the Windstalker story would fall under, then wrote and revised for four years afterward.
PUBLISHING PUSH: What is the most unique topic in the book that people might not know about/benefit most from?
KISA: There are undercurrents that examine the kind of growth that come from loss. The loss of a friend, parent, sense of control, and feeling for our preconceived notions that shape what life should be. The idea that what we consider successful from a societal view may not be accurate or fulfilling. And what’s more, the variables of circumstance that dictate how much control we may really have over certain areas of our lives. I think each person can point to an instance in his/her life during which they thought “I’ve planned, done everything right. Why isn’t this enough to get what I wanted?” or “What went wrong and why couldn’t I control the outcome?”. That’s a very vague example of a life interrupted by chance/coincidence or just the existence of some other dominant factor in each of our lives. I went through at least a decade of that feeling myself.
PUBLISHING PUSH: Does your personal experience and background influence the novel?
KISA: Yes, as I mentioned briefly when discussing unique themes earlier, I had at least of decade of experiences that left me feeling like I hadn’t been able to move forward in a way I previously planned. Those experiences felt almost like I wasn’t allowed to move forward. I’m a spiritual person so I do think there are times the Big Guy doesn’t feel I’ve learned as much as I think I have in a situation; so it seemed everything I did to move forward would be blocked for a time – driving me crazy. But I’ve had to consider that maybe since I’m only one person on the planet, sometimes I need to learn from the others. Or pay attention to my place among others in order to become considerate of the part that others have to play in the world.
I’m a teacher, currently, and I have juggled teaching and writing the last few years. Teaching can become a tough grind at different times in the school year and I’ve often felt drained to the point where I don’t have enough energy for my family at the end of a day. But then I think the children I teach have a future I am somehow shaping for the time being. That’s something the Big Guy intended to be a plan bigger than mine at the moment. It refocuses me on something bigger than just me, or my desires.
PUBLISHING PUSH: What has been the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
KISA: Waiting on a decision from agents and publishers. I think waiting for an answer, any answer, has been the most challenging aspect of the process.
PUBLISHING PUSH: What has been the most rewarding aspect of the writing process?
KISA: Completing the novel. Since Windstalker: Awareness was my first novel, I celebrate the idea of its completion and availability to the reading public.
PUBLISHING PUSH: Can you summarize what the book aims to achieve e.g. sending a message?
KISA: Enlightenment would be great. I hope people read this and relate to the main characters’ awareness of themselves as parts in a much larger machine – with many unseen variables.
PUBLISHING PUSH: Can you describe one key part of the book that may interest the reader e.g. something surprising/unknown?
KISA: Everett Langan, the priest whose backstory is revealed in the prologue, is one of the only surviving witnesses of a Windstalker attack. The key to understanding his survival is found in the death of another character mentioned in the first chapter. All of the characters are important parts that help us understand the unseen creature’s existence in this installment.
PUBLISHING PUSH: What inspired you to write the book?
KISA: Windstalker came about because as a teen I dreamt, rather vividly, and from the perspective of, a pair of creatures that hovered in an abandoned lot next to a building. The creatures were disguised as swirling wind but could also morph into men, so human beings did not notice them at all. The building was isolated on a dark corner of the street and only significant because of a woman who lived there. She was a sweet, gentle single mother of an infant. Though she was not a particularly noteworthy citizen, one of the two creatures stalked her. And you have to remember the dream was seen from the perspective of the creature. The woman reminded him of a life he had previously, when human, to which he desperately wanted to return. He didn’t say as much to his formless partner as he knew the partner didn’t want to be alone. The longing creature led a sort of tug-of-war between the three as he searched for and tested ways to permanently revert back to human form. Almost ten years later, I hadn’t forgotten the intensity of that dream. So I thought it would be a great start for a novel-writing future. I have many stories that began that way, waiting to surface.
PUBLISHING PUSH: Finally, can you tell us a bit more about yourself, your background and your journey to writing a book?
KISA: I’m currently a middle school science teacher; also a biologist, parent, spouse, and hard worker in all that I do. Putnam County, New York is where I currently reside but spent part of my childhood in Philadelphia, PA and the other in Brooklyn, NY. Windstalker also takes place in Brooklyn. I appreciate all forms of art (dance, film, music, sketch, literary), which led me to writing. The decision to write a book came from years of my own financial and emotional support given for the love of sci-fi, horror, drama, romance, crime and mystery films and television series (independent and popular).
I couldn’t be a spectator any longer. I’m so thrilled to contribute and hope to keep doing so.