Friday, April 13, 2007

A Kayelle Allen Interview!!

Happy Friday!
Today a faublous author is with us today Kayelle Allen! Her books are edgy and exciting and she was gracious enought to answer a few of my question! Enjoy!


Dahlia: Good morning Kayelle! Thanks for being here! First off Tell us how you started on this road to writing?

Oh, boy. I think I was born with a pen in my hand, which must have been awful for my mother. *_* I've always loved writing and had a love affair with words. "How do you spell that?" was my catch phrase growing up. I wanted to know word origins, how they were used, that sort of thing. I was the champion at spelling bees. LOL - but my late mother always wanted to be a published author, and had several rejections -- I think her love passed on to me and inspired me.

2: Dahlia: The Chosen “Alitus” is one of my favorites. Where did the idea behind the book come from?
Oh, thank you! I'm glad to know Alitus has a friend out there. :) His character started out as a walk-on part. I needed an assistant for the Empress in a scene, and soon realized I couldn't keep saying "her assistant". I knew - Destoiya being the hunk-lover she is - that she would have a male secretary she could chase around the desk. One who would make sure she always caught him. When I realized he had to have a name I got worried, because I have this odd ability to completely capture a character once I name them and they tend to take over when that happens. In fact, it's impossible for me to write an un-named character. I don't know how others do it. So - once I came up with the first name Alitus (which came from the sound of "elite") the last name Vivaldi was simple. It's the name of the composer of the Four Seasons - which is beautiful classical music. I'd had a dickens of a time remembering the name Vivaldi and decided that if I named a character after him, the name would stick. Boy did it. :)

Not long after I came up with the character, 9/11 struck. We were suddenly hearing about women in Afghanistan being forced to veil. I've always believed that if a woman chooses to veil, it is to her own honor to do so. Being forced to comply with other's wishes is not. I decided that one day I'd write about a veiled character. Now, those who know me understand that I never take a story where you think it's going. I delight in twisting it to make sure that what you think will happen rarely does. So of course, my veiled character is a man. Why he is veiled, and how, is the true basis of Alitus. He is not your typical alpha hero - Alitus does not sweep a sweet little woman off her feet. Empress Destoiya is anything but that. Alitus stands beside the ruler of an empire as her equal, while remaining her devoted lover and steadfast follower.


3: Dahlia: What current releases do you have for the readers?

I have four books out. Alitus, the most current, takes place five years after the book Wulf. Both are in the Tales of the Chosen series. Chronologically, the books are Wulf, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only, and Alitus. I didn't write them in that order though. Mercy was first, featuring Senth Antonello, who was trying to rescue his brother Khyff. Then I wrote Khyff's book, For Women Only - in which he has to do some saving of his own on Senth's behalf. Both of them were pawns of the Empress in a plot that involved Luc Saint-Cyr, aka the Harbinger, one of the most feared men in the empire. When I started to write my current book in progress, I realized I needed to step back in time and tell the story of how Saint-Cyr and Wulf became lovers. This was fun, because their book takes place when Senth was a teenager, so I got to write the hero of Mercy as a "PITA" kid. What fun that was! Then to complete the story in Women, Alitus needed to have his story told. So now, I have two books to go in the Chosen series, and one more to round out the Antonello brothers before I start on a new set of escapades in the Tarthian Empire. All my books are currently available at http://lsbooks.com I also have a short story available in print in A Time To... the Best of the Lorelei Signal Vol 1, 2006
http://www.lulu.com/content/476194


4: Dahlia: Do you have any upcoming books the readers should look for?

Do I! The next Chosen series book is Jawk, about a Kin hero who is an Alpha among Alphas. You will never forget him. Up to now, Luc Saint-Cyr has been my only Alpha, which he says is because there is only room in any pack for one. Jawk will give literally give him a run for his money. Then comes When I Breathe, which brings back the Antonello boys in a reunion story, and the after that is Bold, the next Chosen book. That one is itching to be told. It's about a synesthete - a person who can hear color and see sound; yeah - read that again - it's exactly what I meant.

I also have two anthologies in the works, and one more being planned. Shayla Kersten, Sienna Black, and I have formed SKS Productions in order to devote our time to an anthology about a forgotten people group in the United States. Imagine being born into a family whose gift is the ability to see, experience, and influence the dreams of others. As this ability increases over the generations, your clan is cast out, forced to shield its powers, to guard its members, and eventually to hide its very existence... We hope to develop this into an anthology, and possibly a series.

5: Dahlia: Your reviews are excellent for your books Kayelle. How did it feel when you got your very first review?

I appreciate you saying that. You're right -- I have had gracious reviews from some excellent sources, and that is extremely gratifying. A friend sent me the link to my first review and told me it was amazing. When I read what they had to say it was like getting a warm hug from a friend. The best part was that I could tell that they grasped the concept of the story and saw the bigger picture I was trying to show. It was a vindication of all the time I spent creating the history, background of the empire, language of the Kin, tradestandard laws... It all came together in my first book, and the readers and reviewers loved it. I couldn't wait to write more.

6: Dahlia: There are many roles we play in this world. Was writing your first love and did you continuously pursue it?

I decided at age 18 that I wanted to be a writer. Then I joined the Navy to see the world. (Um, it's mostly made of water, btw. Especially if you're in the Navy. LOL) Got married. Had 3 kids. Did the homemaker thing till they were in school, then went back to work. The kids grew up, moved out. Suddenly I had time on my hands again. That's when I decided to go back to my first love and started writing again. People are surprised when they find out I have adult children. I've been told I write like I'm in my 20s. Which is kind of neat, because I don't think I've ever really outgrown my childhood. ^_^

7: Dahlia: Are there any scenes in your books you find are difficult to write? Why?

For me, the only difficult ones are the ones I haven't written yet. I have to give myself permission to write badly sometimes, so that I can finish a story. I tell myself I'm just going to get the words on the page and then I can had them over to my critique group and let my crit buddies pick away. What surprises me is they often suggest only a word or two here and there and tell me it doesn't need much changed. Sometimes, if we get our inner editor out of the way we can write more -- fluidly. Does that make sense?


8: Dahlia: What are the things that relax you the most or would help you through those excruciating writers’ blocks?

I have a steadfast rule that I never break, and that is that I must write every single day. Something. If I have to, I get out something I've written before (even a published book) and rewrite a scene from a different pov. In Alitus, I have a scene in which Alitus and Wulf are in a car together. It's in Alitus' pov. In Jawk, which features Wulf (confused yet?), I take the reader back into that scene in a brief flashback, this time from Wulf's pov. What was Wulf seeing when Alitus was seeing Wulf? That change of pov can often springboard an idea that will get me writing again. It's a great tool. If there was one word to describe me that I would pick for myself and know that others would agree with, it would be "dedicated."

9: Dahlia: Behind the scenes Kayelle when the computer is off and your writing is done for the day. What would we find you doing?

Sleeping! My son emailed me a cartoon the other day. When I opened it - there was a dialog box that said: "You have been online for one year. Would you like to log off and get a life?" The options were "Yes" and "Remind me next year."

When I do take time off, I really enjoy the outdoors - but I'm not the sporty type. I like to just bask in the sun and explore around waterfalls, creeks, and rivers. Bubbly water sounds relax me. Canoe - no. Riverbank - yes. :)

10: Dahlia: Out of all of your books which one was your favorite to write and who is your favorite characters? Tell us why?

Oh, gosh. I love them all. Because I'm writing two series that interweave with each other, I deal with the same characters in varying roles. Luc Saint-Cyr is in every book. He's the mastermind behind so much that happens. Empress Rheyn Destoiya is also at least mentioned in all of them. So is Senth. But I have to say that I really adore Khyff. He was abused as a child, sold into terrible slavery, and yet the story of his redemption in For Women Only still makes me cry when I read it. And I wrote the book! Mehfawni Ruh, his heroine, is an incredible person. When I'm writing a new book, I always read back through the previous books to ensure I haven't forgotten details or characters. When I was beginning Jawk, I read through FWO one more time. I still cried at the end, not from sadness but because Khyff's story makes you so glad. It is the best book I've written.


11: Dahlia: As writers we are always trying to grow. Are there any new frontiers in writing that you want to try?

Yes. I want to write non-fiction. A how to on marketing for writers. I created a Yahoo! Group called Marketing for Romance Writers. Not that I'm an expert, but I've done a lot of things and had moderate success, so other writers ask me how I do things. When I realized I was getting a lot of email like that, I figured the best thing to do is tell everyone at once by starting a group. We have free workshops every month on topics like organizing your writing so you can manage chats and author days, how to promo effectively, creating a website, how to manage a blog... you name it. Anyone who is interested should come by and request to be added. I keep it on approval only to prevent spam. The link is
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/

I'd also like to do an historical, a time travel, and a contemporary. And maybe a pure science fiction story as well.

12: Dahlia: If you could have one hot guy for a day to do your bidding who would it be and what will he be doing?

What a fun question! (Is my husband reading this? LOL) Oh, my my my. The empress has a harem of male pleasure slaves so she can just crook one finger and have any of them she wants. She's like me; she doesn't go for wimps, but wants a man who respects not only her, but also her abilities. You know, as I think about it, that pretty much describes my husband. He's always there for me, supports me 200% and treats me like a queen. As to what he'd be doing... well, that would be giving away secrets.

13: Dahlia: Who are some of your favorite writers? Do you find it hard to get personal time for reading in between writing and building your story line?

I see reading as part of my job as an author. Running out of books to read is like running out of ink in the printer. It's not something I can afford to do. The best writers are good readers. You must read to keep up with your genre, your friends, and your competition.

One of my favorite magazines is Popular Mechanics because it has practical info and lots of futuristic info and trends. I also read Discovery and National Geographic. I have too many favorite writers to name them all, but must say my most recent personal discoveries are Michael Barnette and Denise Rossetti. Both are incredibly gifted.

14: You write m/m stories as well Kayelle. Is it difficult to still give it that sensuality as in writing f/m scenes?

Sensuality is inherently involved in the senses - the ability to hear, feel, taste, touch, smell, and see. Whether it is two males, two females, one of each, or more - the ability to convey sensuality is the true art of the erotica writer. A long time ago, I read that an erotica writer should be as affected by what she is writing as her readers are. Writing a hot book should affect the writer too. Wow - Wulf did just that!

When I wrote Wulf it was in answer to a challenge from Liquid Silver Books. They were creating a new line called Molten Silver that would push boundaries. They asked all of their writers to submit material that was beyond what we would submit to their already lush and sensual erotica line. I'd been playing with the idea that my ultra alpha male in the series (Luc Saint-Cyr) would be bisexual. I wasn't sure whether readers would like finding out that he walked both sides of the fence. Turns out, Wulf is my best selling book, hands down. The adorable hunk Khyff is a closer runner up, but Wulf is well in the lead.

Part of that reason is that Luc is such a man's man. He melts into a puddle around Wulf, whom he absolutely adores, but even when he does he is still the big hot alpha. I've been honored to have Laura Givens do all my covers so far and she captured Luc perfectly on the cover of Wulf. He's a Kelthian, which means he has nearly black skin, and because he's 6'5" tall and built like a god of war, he's an imposing figure. She drew him on his knees with Wulf standing behind him, laughing as he reaches out to borrow Luc's towel in the gym. That picture absolutely captured both of them, frozen in a moment in time. Luc being all aloof and in-charge; Wulf a bundle of laughter and fun. The sensuality of the moment in the book is super-charged. In the book, they're facing one another and Wulf brushes the back of his hand across Luc's skin as he reaches for the towel on his shoulder. The current that arcs between them jolts the reader with its sensuality.

15: Dahlia: Tell us where we can find out more about you any contest or anything else we should know Kayelle?

You wrote "Romance lives forever in Kayelle Allen books" -- which is such a lovely thing to say. I appreciate that, Dahlia. Yes, I do have a contest going on right now. My fun-group, Romance Lives Forever, is growing quickly. We have guest authors frequently, and any author who's a member is welcome to post promos, contest info, and release updates. Once membership reaches certain levels, I'm giving away some great gifts. There are about five planned at different membership levels, including handmade afghans, custom designed organic soaps, gardening baskets and more. To join, go to
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/romancelivesforever

This summer, I'm launching a redesigned portion of my website, http://kayelleallen.com . Novel Vision Web Design is creating a custom interface that will mirror my books. When a character logs on to Imperinet in a book, readers will be able to go to the same page and do what the characters do. The Tarthian Empire will come to life. There will be a home page with the empire's tradestandard dates and weather reports, a character blog, cool places to login and read secret info, and my own chat room. I'm having a blast creating all this. Janet E Jones is the owner/designer, and she is a dream to work with. Any writer who is considering a website owes it to him or herself to give Novel Vision a look-see. Because they are all authors, they really understand an author's needs. http://www.novelvisionweb.com

One more fun thing to tell you about - I created a small group called I read Kayelle Allen. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ireadkayelleallen/ It's only for those who have read at least one of my books and want more detail. For example, I just posted the inside info on how I came up with the popsicle scene in For Women Only where Khyff uses one to... hmm. Maybe I better let readers discover *that* secret on their own. :)

Thank you for inviting me, Dahlia. I had a great time and hope to see you as a guest on Romance Lives Forever very soon.

Romance lives forever in Kayelle Allen books. Visit her in the world she creates and see what juicy fantasies she has in store for you!
Until next week luvvies
Smooches ~*~Dahlia Rose

2 comments:

Ali said...

Great questions Dahlia :)
Great interview, Kayelle :) Loved reading more about you and your books :) Alread a member of your group. Can't wait until your new website is up!

Kayelle said...

Hey, Ali! Thank you for the comment -- that new site is going to be such fun. Putting it together is a blast and I'm working hard to make it really fun for my readers.

Step Into My Erotic Paradise "All are welcome"

Dahlia Rose,

Author, mother, lover, friend she is a rainbow of openness never to be defined. Defining her would be like trying to block a bullet. But, if you tried and happen to stumble upon her in wikipedia, you would find that she has lived nine lives and has warmed a million hearts. She has done more than most and navigated everywhere loving freely and forever changing her hair. A light to this world who uses her being to unfold secrets and keys that lay beneath destinies and blessing. She worships the moon and tattoos her dreams in books. A lioness brought here to conquer the sun with a pen…no war…love as a weapon to win. With Love as her sweater constantly warming you and I with words.



A best selling author of contemporary and paranormal romance with a hint of Caribbean spice. She was born and raised on a Caribbean island and now currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her five kids who she affectionately nicknamed "The children of the corn” and her biggest supporter/long time love. She has a love of erotica, dark fantasy, Sci-fi and the things that go bump in the night. Books and writing are her biggest passion and she hopes to open your imagination to the unknown between the pages of her books