Interview with Kacper Zagadka

When did you first start writing?
During my last year at Wroclaw University, I suppose. I sat in a cafe once and wrote my first children's book.
Describe your desk
It's white, simple and clean. There's a small green lamp at one side, exactly the same as I used to see in most library's reading rooms, and a MacBook as my "all-in-one" tool. I keep some tall plants by the terrace door nearby. Usually enveloped in the darkness of the night.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Poland. Warsaw. I'm cursed to love both. I have lived mainly in the city, but also a small village, where my grandparents used to live. Then Wrocław, where I spent 5 years at university - classical studies are important for me. Hitch-hiking across Europe a few times was also important. Seeiing different worlds around in the mid 90s. Summer school in Ancient Greek in Dorset was a window to another world.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Little King has a long story of changes. Contemporary political fiction for adults is so short-lived so it was transformed finally into a children's book. Now it's a lot more universal.
What are you working on next?
Quite a few different stories: first, a novel about a usual boy who meets a movie star and... accidentally breaks her nose. So, a romantic story about love and a crime. The second one looks like a detective story on a small Greek island. The third one - a 19th century horror with a photographer as the main character, based in London. And a play about an Angel on Earth... None of these are children books, but three fairytales are already written. One is almost completely illustrated, so - another children's story will be published before Christmas, I suppose.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Stories which used to lay useless in a desk. And some experience in the publishing process in professional life which taught me. It is serious, but not difficult. And I had no time to look for a publishers, editors or translators etc. And finally my wife who read samples and said: This is good. I want more!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Story which develops itself in my head and I try just to put it down on "paper". And the readers I see in downloads. That means the stories are not useless in a desk any more.
What is your writing process?
An idea comes from nowhere... or is based on observation. Then a brief of the whole story with a piece of fiction added. And finally execution in final writing, another quite a lot of fiction... As soon as it's done - I force myself to forget about it for some time. If after a month or so, when I read it again and it's still "good enough" I do some additional writing and other changes. Last two stages repeat until it's final enough to show to someone for first reading, etc.
What do your fans mean to you?
Motivation. I published one or two short stories as "notes"on Facebook a few years ago. Comments from some friends made me continue... Every time someone says something positive about my writing - makes me positive towards next story!
Who are your favorite authors?
Difficult to say. It changes. I was a great fan of Michail Bulhakov in high school, then Catullus' Carmina, Aeschyl's and Aristofanes' plays during my studies. Later: Agatha Christie, Doyle, Dostoyevsky, Umberto Eco, Llosa, and Marek Krajewski. Lately - Jaume Cabre.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working in marketing primary. Writing is a way of spending my free time... But also I love movies. Some of them I have seen over 100 times (cinema only).
How do you approach cover design?
It's important, so I put a lot of time and attention into it. Sometimes it's simple and red. That's usually me. Sometimes it contains photography. It takes time to take a good cover shot. Or sometimes an illustrator prepares it at the end of the whole process.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Free e-books. Or alternatively making some books free for some time. I am not very experienced, but I think all was said in "The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success" by Mark Coker;-) This was the book which persuaded me to join Smashwords. I've published a picture book for children in iBookstore before and have recently experimented with Amazon Kindle as well. Experiments will continue, there are plenty more works to write...;-)
Published 2014-10-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Magiczne słowo
You set the price! Words: 2,590. Language: Polish. Published: November 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Legends, Myths, Fables / Other
Stu królewiczów mieszkało w tak szczęśliwym królestwie, że aż nudnym. Postanowili więc wyruszyć na poszukiwanie przygód. Najmłodszy wyjechał trochę później, ale spotkał królewnę, która mieszkała w Królestwie Stu Królewien. I co z tego wynikło? Zgodnie z prawem tego królestwa wtrącono go do lochu i mogło go uratować tylko Magiczne Słowo. Na szczęście pomogła mu Najmłodsza Królewna. Bajka o miłości.
O Małym Królu
You set the price! Words: 4,640. Language: Polish. Published: April 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Royalty, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
Chcieć być królem i zostać królem to nie wszystko. Mały Król nie wiedział, jak zostać dobrym władcą. Niestety wydawało mu się, że wie. Przez to stracił tron, ale i dzięki temu... poznał swoich poddanych i mądrą królewnę. Gdy ponownie trafił na tron, wiedział jedno - nie musi być wysoki i silny, żeby być dobrym królem. Trochę o Państwie, Władzy i Przeznaczeniu. Dla starszych dzieci i dla rodziców.
Smok Trygław i Przyjaciele
You set the price! Words: 1,580. Language: Polish. Published: October 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Monsters, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Miła bajka o małym smoku Trygławie, który lubi bawić się z leśmymi zwierzątkami. Nie podoba się to jego rodzicom, którzy chcą, by wyrósł na prawdziwego smoka. Dzień potem robi groźne miny, ale gdy złe wilki chcą zjeść jego przyjaciół, przegania je z łąki ziejąc ogniem po raz pierwszy w życiu. Obrona przyjaciół jest najważniejsza. 23-strony, w pełni ręcznie ilustrowana. Dla dzieci od 2 do 6 lat.
Torba na laptopa
You set the price! Words: 4,700. Language: Polish. Published: June 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Urban
Co się wydarzyło w bramce metra? Jakie konsekwencje ma wizyta u wróżki? Jakie fantazje ma strażniczka miejska i kto wreszcie da wolność? W czym plecak jest lepszy od damskiej torebki i wiele innych zasadniczych dylematów. Dialogi i scenki w krótkich miejskich historyjkach. Jakiego miasta? Czy to ważne? Każde „city” ma swój „mordor”, jak dodają sobie znaczenia niektórzy krawaciarze.