Happy Valentine’s Day! There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than to talk books! I got to sit down with Kayelle Allen to talk writing, villains and her new release, Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
I grew up writing. My mother loved to write and I inherited the bug. It’s not my fault. I was born this way.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
Having someone in the audience realize I’d written a specific book and run up to the front to hug me for it. Made my life as a writer worthwhile.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
I went through pretty severe writer’s block. Finally realized it was because I was trying to write a book without knowing the motive of the villain. So I set out to write a “book” about the villain and figure him out. Turns out, he wasn’t a villain at all. He was putting on an act to pull in the real bad guy. Once I realized that I wrote like crazy.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
Usually, I use a program called Dramatica that allows me to set up motives and outcomes through a simple process of questions. I write the synopsis in as short a space as possible. Real “back of the book” style. Once I have that, I begin the book. For the Bringer of Chaos series, that went completely out the window. I’m writing it as I go. I already know a huge portion of the story, because it takes place in the distant past of my story universe. But the details… not so much. I’m enjoying it immensely.
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
Study the craft. Anyone can stick with it long enough to write a book. Good writers finish it and make sure it’s the best possible version. To do that, you need to study and hone your skills. Join a critique group. Get beta readers. Find someone who will help you by reading and responding.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
I have a basement office that’s quite large. The size of a small living room. No view, but that keeps me focused. I surround myself with pretties and gifts from readers and friends. I have a focus wall with images of characters. I use two big monitors for writing and the desktop has my hero, Pietas in life size. It’s quite inspiring to work here. I have coffee once or twice a day. I like it with sugar-free Italian Creamer. I’m doing Weight Watchers, so my snacks are healthy ones. Lots of fruit, fat-free plain yogurt with a squirt of Stevia and a few drops of sugar-free vanilla.
Of all of your own characters, who would you most want to date?
Oh lord. I know I’m supposed to say Pietas, but I’ll go with Six. He’s the wingman for Pietas and he doesn’t take life seriously. He is a lot of fun.
What project are you currently working on?
I’m working on book three of the Bringer of Chaos series, Watch Your Six.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to do more personal appearances over the next few years. I love getting out and attending conventions.
Kayelle Allen did a tour in the US Navy, where she climbed around airplanes (on the ground, thankfully) fixing black boxes that helped pilots find their way home.
She wrote her first science fiction novel at 18 and to this day, it’s hidden under the bed, where she vows it will remain. Gems from it, however, launched several series in her galaxy-wide universe of stories.
From childhood, Kayelle was the victim of an overactive imagination and inherited the Irish gift of gab from her mother. From her father, she got a healthy respect for mechanical things.
No wonder she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy peopled with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role-playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s been married so long she’s tenured.
Find her on Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Amazon – Instafreebie – Romance Lives Forever Reader’s Group and KayelleAllen.com!
About the Book!
Tell us a little about your new release: Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire!
I intended the first Bringer of Chaos book as a single novel. My hero had other ideas. I was informed by Pietas that he is immortal and therefore requires a great deal more than one book. Once I accepted that he began to reveal his story. You’ve heard how characters can rewrite the story you have planned for them? Pietas is the king of that. I’ve recently published book two and I’m working on three. I’ve been told I will write several more. *grin*
Where did your inspiration for the book come from?
Pietas is the “villain” I couldn’t write — who turned out not to be a villain at all. I can’t give away more about that aspect of him, but trust me it will be good. When I created my universe, I wrote a future history for it. What happened over the thousands of years leading up to it. Pietas was always a big part of that history.
How did your characters come to life?
I’d known Pietas for many years, but Six was a surprise. He was one of the soldiers who’d been sent to capture Pietas and was the only one who survived. When I saw the opportunity to put him on board the ship taking Pietas to his planet of exile, I thought maybe he’d have a bit more to say. Again, here is the character who takes over. Book three of the series is focused on him and how his friendship with Pietas changes everything in the future.
Did you do any cool or interesting research for this story? What did you learn?
I looked into cryostasis, freezing people for reanimation later. I also looked at genetic engineering. I learned we are super close to making the things I wrote about in this series come true. It’s actually a little scary.
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
The favorite was the banter between Pietas and Six, and Pietas and his mentor/lover relationship with Joss. She is his love interest and she’s hundreds of years older than he is. Since he’s a young 1,916, the age difference hardly matters. But her ability to soothe his mind and help him see his path — without influencing that path — was a challenge to write. He adores her yet he’s aware of her telepathy now in a way he never was before. Since he arrived on Sempervia, he’s been changing. But is it in a good way or bad?
What’s next for this series? When does the next book come out?
I’m not sure of a date. I’ve just written the blurb for the story. But I’m writing as fast as I can make my fingers fly across the keyboard.
This is one of my favorite scenes. Pietas has been playing with his partner, a huge, sentient panther he calls Tiklaus. The name means “Loyal Warrior.”
Tiklaus batted at him, knocked Pietas onto his back and then flipped itself down beside him. The panther wrapped its front legs around his arm and gnawed at it in gentle play while the hind feet kicked him without injury. Claws flashed, but did no harm.
Now I know how a chew toy feels. Pietas blew out a breath.
When the panther draped itself over his chest, Pietas struggled to slide out from under but could not get up. The animal weighed less than he did, but with no visible effort, it kept him from rising.
“I concede, my friend. You win.”
The panther ignored him.
The panther yawned, opening a huge maw. Fangs flashed.
Pietas tried a signal that worked with sparring partners and asked for release by double-tapping the panther’s side.
The cat stood at once and stepped over him. It shook from nose to tail, then sat and groomed itself.
He stood and brushed himself off. Standing beside Tiklaus, who reached him mid-thigh, he took pride in knowing this sweet, playful cat was also the snarling ball of animal rage that had nailed his father to the ground. The man had not seen it coming.
Pietas should have let the cat eat him when he had the chance.
He ensured no one was on the path in either direction before he knelt and scratched the cat’s ears. “Who’s a good kitty?”
The animal sneaked in a lick of his hand and face and flopped down on its back.
“My Tiklaus, that’s who. Tiklaus is a good kitty.” He rubbed the smooth belly. “Yes, you are! Such a good, big kitty. You’re my kitty, aren’t you? Good, good kitty.”
The panther accepted the attention, one paw twitching. After a moment, it stood and shook itself. A purring sound rumbled from its chest. It sat, licked one paw and added a lick of Pietas’s face as well.
“Thank you for the bath.” He hugged the panther’s neck. “You have as soft a heart as I do but you don’t show it either. Pact, my friend. I won’t tell if you won’t.” He kissed Tiklaus on the nose.
The panther bumped its head against Pietas, then bounded to a tree and up it.
Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire
When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that’s the problem. He’s not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped in their pods and it’s up to Pietas to rescue them. Before he can save his people, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he’s fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father. Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever…