Thursday, August 9, 2012

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Kallysten


Kallysten is a prolific author, always working to keep the imagination active. Many of her series interconnect, making for a complex and fascinating tale woven through many characters.

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the latest in her On the Edge series, Before the Edge, and it was a sexy and compelling story about your average bar owner and a strong, secretive vampire. Learn more about her, the series, and her other works below. Happy reading!


What inspired the On the Edge series?
In my very first novel, CheckMate, the hero and heroine visit a dancing club they refer to as “The Edge” where vampires and humans meet. When I wrote that scene, I threw in a line about the owner and his two vampire lovers. I hadn’t meant to do anything with it, but that one line kept nagging me until I had to figure out who these people were, and that’s how the first book in the series took life.

How does the series flow? I believe Before the Edge was not the first written, but it is the first chronologically. Plus there are several other stories with different type titles (such as Out of the Box).
The first story I wrote was On The Edge, which is a short erotica story about a couple, Brett and his vampire lover Lisa, inviting an old friend of hers, Leo, to join them for a night.

As soon as I wrote this one, I just had to know what happened the morning after, why Leo had come back after all these years, and whether the three of them could make it work or whether it was just a one-time thing. That’s how the novella Over The Edge came to be.

In parallel to this, I was writing the series Out of the Box, which takes place in a large part at the club. In the sixth installment, the couple of that series, Anando and Virginia, want to experiment with another partner, and ask Leo to join them. Or rather, they ask Brett if Leo can join them, and it turns out that Brett and Leo have an agreement: Leo can take lovers, but only with Brett’s okay.

Of course, once I finished that one, I had to know how Brett and Leo came to this agreement! That is how Walking The Edge took form, a short story that’s centered mostly on Brett and Leo, with Lisa urging them onward.

Again, my favorite trio peeked in another series, the Visions of Destiny. In the fifth installment, Brett receives a vision of his future, in which he sees himself giving rings to his lovers and learning more about Lisa’s past.

I had so much fun writing Leo in the Out of the Box storyline that I decided to do it again. Virginia and Anando played with Leo again in Living Out of the Box, and this time Lisa and Brett watched, and later joined in. For all the characters involved, this adventure was about fulfilling a fantasy (or a few fantasies…) . Both the couple and ménage come out of it as strong as ever, if not stronger.

One remark I had heard from a couple readers was that Lisa was their least favorite member of the trio because she was so secretive about herself. I decided to give her more ‘screen’ time, and going back to the origins of her relationship with Brett seemed only natural. I did so in the prequel Before The Edge, and showed how they started the club together.

And finally… After Living Out of the Box, I started wondering if Brett, Lisa and Leo ever played with Anando and Virginia after that one time… That’s how the idea of Beyond The Edge popped into my mind. I’m in the process of writing this one, and hope to see it released at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2013. In this novel, the characters celebrate Brett’s birthday by getting together again, but the biggest surprise comes a few weeks later when they are all reminded that birth control might not be needed when your partners are vampires, but it’s different when humans are intimate…

So in case I thoroughly confused you, the chronological order is Before The Edge, On The Edge, Over The Edge, Walking The Edge, Fifth Vision of Destiny, Out of the Box 6, Living Out of the Box, Beyond The Edge.

Do you plan out your books or are you a pantster?
Both. For most of my books, I know where I’m going as well as a few big events along the way before I start writing the first sentence. It doesn’t mean that I always follow my outline. For example, I recently finished writing a novel (which had started out as a novella) and apart from the beginning and ending, and maybe one or two major scenes, the characters led me through paths I had not expected or planned. It can be confusing when it happens, but I think the story is always stronger for it.

The one time when I am a full pantster is when I write my monthly freebie. For these – and I’m on my fourth one right now – I start with a vague idea of what I want the story to be about, and write each chapter as it comes. It’s a fun exercise, but a tricky one, too, because I can’t go back and ‘fix’ a previous chapter to fit ideas that come later on; I’m bound by what I’ve already written, and it helps get the ‘creative juices’ flowing.

What do you have planned next, either in the On the Edge series or any other?
Well I already mentioned Beyond The Edge, the next installment to the On The Edge series, and probably the last one too.

With this series coming to an end, I have started a new one, titled The QuickSilver Codex. It melds supernatural and fantasy, with vampires, magic, a parallel universe, and a princess in hiding who has to reclaim her heritage after being raised as a normal human, with twin guards sworn to protect her from her enemies. The first installment, Bodyguards, is scheduled for this fall and I can’t wait to share it with readers!

Are there things that help you write or stay inspired, such as music or something?
Hmm I can’t think of anything. What matters most to me is how much I care about my characters, which is why a lot of my stories have sequels that weren’t originally planned. I have this thing about falling in love with my heroes – which is good as far as helping me write their stories is concerned, but not so good when I can’t let go of them! ;)

When was it that you got that feeling of achievement and success? When you hit publish, or maybe when you got your first review?
I think it must have been the first time a reader I’d never heard from before sent me an email to say how much they had enjoyed a book (it was one of the Out of the Box installments) and said they were excited to read the next one. I think that’s when it finally struck me that my stories were doing exactly what I had set out to do: entertain readers. I can only hope to keep doing it for a long time.

There’s always the debate about whether authors should read reviews of their books or not. Which end of the spectrum do you fall into?
The scared witless end? ;)

I don’t submit my books to review very often, mostly because I’m terrible at ‘marketing’ myself. I’ve always been told tooting my own horn was bad form, and even though I know it’s a necessity in my line of work, I still have trouble with it. When I do submit books to a particular reviewer, I make a point of reading the review, and I link to it from my site. I try not to do more than thank the reviewer for their time, because I don’t believe authors ought to comment on reviews. I do appreciate all the work that goes into writing those reviews, though.

Unsolicited reviews, like the ones on Goodreads or ebook stores, are trickier for me. I’m a doubter by nature. I’m always questioning what I do, and whether it’s good enough by my own standards, let alone other people’s. When I’m in a ‘doubting phase,’ I stay far, far away from reviews because in that state of mind I can never see the good, only the bad, and it cripples my muse. When I feel more secure, I sometimes look at reviews, but I have yet to figure out if it’s okay for me to ‘like’ a review on Goodreads for example. It seems a bit weird. Ah, the mysteries of netiquette!

What's your favorite part about being an author?
My favorite part is that ‘the end’ are only words, and they do not bind me. As a reader, I hate it when I get to the end of a favorite book or series and I know that this is it, I’ll never know what happens next to these characters I have come to love. As a writer, I don’t have that problem. I can always go back and give my characters another story, whether it’s a short story, a full novel, or a piece of flash fiction. I still write flash fiction about the couple from my first novel… seven years after writing ‘the end’!

Can you share a couple tid bits about yourself completely unrelated to your work?
A couple things about me… Let me think…

Well, the thing people I meet in ‘real life’ ask me most often is, where are you from? I’ve lived in the US for eleven years, but I’ll always have the accent of my native south of France. I came here to be with my husband and I now call Northeast Ohio home. People who dream of going to France sometimes ask why I’d ever want to leave it, and I have the best answer for that: love!

Something else about me… I love quilting. I discovered the art on my first visit to the US, and I’ve been fascinated by it ever since. If you want to see some of my quilts, I blogged about it here: http://original.kallysten.net/2011/writing-a-patchwork-quilt-sewing-stories/

Thank you so much for having me, this was fun!



Kallysten's most exciting accomplishment to date was to cross a few thousand miles and an ocean to pursue (and catch!) the love of her life. She has been writing for fifteen years, and always enjoyed sharing her stories and listening to the readers' reactions. After playing with science fiction, short stories and poetry, she is now trying her hand, heart and words at paranormal romance stories.

Find out more about her and her work here.


Before the Edge Now Available!

For Lisa, The Cliff was just one more bar to visit, one more competitor to gauge on her way to opening her own club. The verbal abuse unleashed on her by a patron is unexpected, but not entirely unusual: as a vampire, she has been called worse than ‘killer’ or ‘thing’ before. What is new, on the other hand, is the intervention of the bar’s owner. Lisa isn’t used to humans trying to protect her, and she finds Brett strangely endearing.

For his part, Brett isn’t all that comfortable being around a vampire, but now that he has thrown out the lout who was insulting Lisa, he can hardly ask her to leave. After getting to know her a little, however, he starts seeing the woman beyond the fangs, and when she returns the next night he’s ready to share a dance with her… or even a little more…


***Interested in beginning the On the Edge series? Kallysten's offering up a copy of Before the Edge to 1 lucky winner (US/INT), plus swag packs for 3 other winners (US only)! Enter via the Rafflecopter below!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the whole interview. I love how the author can tell us a bit about themselves and the background on how they write their stories and characters. Thank you for the great interview and for the giveaway

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  2. Great interview. I liked hearing the history of how one of my favortie trios came to be. thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. That was great kally...hope you had as much fun doing it as i did reading it...thank you ladies

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  4. I love that she does a monthly freebie totally as a panster. carin

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  5. Thanks for the great interview! I haven't read any of the On the Edge so my favorite part was where she talks about the flow of the series. Now I know what order to read the books in.
    suz2(at)cox(dot)net

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  6. I liked learning a little background about the Edge Series.

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  7. Nice interview. I liked finding out what the author has planned next.

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