AuThursday – Kayelle Allen

FFIF by KA banner

kayelle-allen-author-blurb-450Please Welcome Kayelle Allen to the Clog Blog!   Kayelle – What excites you most about your book, Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire?

Right now, it’s that I’ve finally finished it. I’ve worked on this book for a long time. It’s the second in the Bringer of Chaos series and I can’t wait to start on book three, Watch Your Six. One of the main characters is named Six, and this book is going to feature a lot of scenes with him.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

I’m a graphic designer, so I usually do my own covers, but for this book, I just couldn’t get it right. I changed it multiple times but was not satisfied with it. I searched for a different artist, somehow who knew how to capture an aetheric quality that I was missing. I found it in Brumae. She’s wonderful and so easy to work with. I love the version she created.

You’ve written so many series, what are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I have a one off. It’s a contemporary holiday very sweet romance and it sells bazillions of copies. But it is that — a one off. I hope to write a sequel to it, but my focus is on my science fiction series, which has sub-series within it.

What are your current projects?

I’m writing Bringer of Chaos: Watch Your Six, plus a sequel to Surrender Love called Surrender Trust. I’m also working on a new book set in the Tarthian Empire that I won’t describe yet. It’s hush hush for now.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?

Oh definitely an Introvert. I get my energy by being alone. Crowds exhaust me. I’m a closet extravert in the sense that I love speaking to groups and doing public presentations. But afterward, I need my alone space. On the Myers Briggs system, I’m an INFJ. We’re rather rare, but we are mighty. LOL

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write in the early morning and then set aside time after I’ve finished my social media time in mid-morning. I write again at night. I set aside Sunday as a full day to devote to writing. Writing is what I do. I make it a priority.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

I’m not submitting to traditional publications. I have had a couple, and they were disappointing, but I see it this way. If they don’t “get” what I’m doing, why would I want to work with them? But again… not something I even get anymore. All my books are published by Romance Lives Forever Books, which I own. I publish no one else. This is a private enterprise.

What tools/books do you recommend for writers?

I’m currently reading Creating Character Arcs by KM Weiland and I just got a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. I read constantly and always look for new craft ideas. I highly recommend the writing course Empowering Characters’ Emotions by Margie Lawson. I learned an incredible amount of material from that study.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I am nowhere near the amateur I was when I started but I am not where I want to be. I think that goal will always be unobtainable. I strive for perfection, which we all know is always a bit out of reach. But I try!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?kayelle-allen-logo

I’m all over, but here’s where I spend the most time.

Blog/Website (I call this my homeworld) https://kayelleallen.com
Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook http://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
G+ https://plus.google.com/+KayelleAllen/
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kayelleallen/
Instagram https://instagram.com/kayelleallen/
Anyone interested in sampling my work can try my reading group. I give away a set of four books to members as soon as they join. https://kayelleallen.com/bro/

 

 

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AuThursday – Kayelle Allen

Kayelle-Heroes-banner468x130Welcome back one of my co-authors from Liquid Silver Books, Kayelle Allen!   It’s a challenge finding new questions but it’s a great opportunity to learn more about this wonderful author.

Q:  Where are you from?

I was born in Idaho, but my parents moved to New Mexico when I was a few months old. Since then, I’ve lived in almost every state and parts of Central America. However, from 7th grade up, we lived in Henderson, Nevada, right outside Las Vegas. So I consider Vegas my home town.

I love Vegas.  My favorite town.  Q: How long have you been writing?

Since I could hold a pencil! I wrote a Science Fiction book at eighteen, filed it away and got it back out a few years later and created a map of the galaxy as it would be in the story. I put it away to attend college. You don’t make the dean’s list while raising three kids under the age of six unless you really knuckle down, and I did. Once all my kids were in school, I got the book out again, but the editor I sent it to made so many suggestions about changes that I got cold feet and tucked it back in the closet for a few years. In the meantime, I submitted a short story to Writer’s Digest Magazine for their annual “Short-Short Story Contest” and was one of the Honorable Mentions. I started working on a book of rules and laws, a compendium of races and background info for the universe I’d created. Finally, all my kids were in high school, and I thought, when is it finally going to be time for me? I realized no one would give it to me, and I wouldn’t “find” it. I had to make it for myself. That December I joined a critique group online, submitted my first chapter, and by April, I had a finished book and a contract. I haven’t slowed down since.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?

It was one I never got published because the hero and heroine absolutely refused to cooperate with me. I’m not kidding! I rewrote it completely three times in one year, using different plots, trying to get them together. However, the hero’s younger cousin kept flirting with the heroine, and she kept flirting back. What was I going to do? Finally it dawned on me like a smack to the head that the cousin was her hero, and until I got them together that story wasn’t happening. Trouble is, I write on a timeline for an overall series that this book fell into, and the young cousin was too young for an erotica. He might be old enough to flirt, but not be the hero. Their story would have to wait a few storybook years. So that one is out in the future and it’s tentatively called Rebel Son. It will be an older woman younger man story, but he will teach her more than she ever thought she could learn. From that one “failed” book, I got the ideas for five more, three of which have now been written and published. So not a total loss!

Q:   Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes. I do things editors tell you not to do. *grin* I use fragments, change the pacing in the middle of scenes, and tend to use ellipses and dashes at the ends of sentences. Why? Because my characters sometimes forget what they’re talking about (like I do) or interrupt each other. Their thoughts ramble. They get so riled up at the idea of making love to the one they love that they can’t speak in full sentences. Especially the males. I do not head hop, however. I hate it when we’re seeing through Mary’s eyes and suddenly we’re John and then Mary again. Arrggh! I always make sure that changes in point of view are clear between characters. Another aspect of my style is to show, not tell, so I use narrative only where absolutely necessary. I also refuse to use the word “said” unless it’s in a sentence such as, “She said you’d take the kids today.” Instead, I use gestures and action. One of my favorite authors, Susan Johnson, used to write dialogue tags like “She lightly said,” and so on. She doesn’t write that way now, but her earlier books were full of such examples. If you think about it, it’s simply describing how someone speaks, and “lightly” is not a precise description. However, if your heroine lifts her head, tosses her curls, and gives the hero a shy smile before speaking, you not only know she is speaking lightly, you see her doing it. The main thing I’m known for, though, is that I lead readers down a path where they think they know what’s coming, and then I pull the rug out from under them and send them in another direction. I get comments all the time about plot twists and how riveting my stories are, which delights me no end. I love it when people email me to ask a question about a twist or a change I made that they didn’t expect. One reader wrote, “Think you know what’ll happen next? No way, it’s by Kayelle.”

Q:  How did you come up with your titles?

My first book title came from something the hero’s master warned him to avoid. The young hero would be working with an older woman whose genetic enhancements could addict him to her. His master warned, “If she subjects you to her passion, you’ll be at the mercy of her pleasure forever.” At the Mercy of Her Pleasure received multiple four and five star reviews, as well as being named as a “recommended read” and was awarded the Most Memorable Paranormal Romance of the Year. Everyone loved the title, and the moment I told people what it was, their eyes would light up. Each book’s title tells its own story about the hero. For Women Only had a line explaining to a man that the hero was like the company he worked for: For Women Only. I have two short stories, The Last Vhalgenn (from an EPPIE Finalist anthology) and A Romance for Christmas (in the anthology Naughty is Nice). Vhalgenn is a title for the king’s (or queen’s) companion of the opposite sex who learns everything they learn. How to rule, how to fight, how to judge. Why this Vhalgenn is the last one is the crux of the story. It was nominated for a Tiptree Award, which is for challenging traditional gender roles. A Romance for Christmas is literally that, in all senses of the word. My three Tales of the Chosen books revealed stories about three Chosen — the servants of immortals called the Sempervians. Wulf, Alitus, and Jawk all related relationships of the three to one or more of the immortals. Surrender Love is the first of a trilogy which will include the titles Surrender Trust and Surrender Will. It’s about one couple who must go through three stages before they are completely bonded to one another. First comes love, then the ability to trust, followed by the surrender of will to the other person in total trust. Each aspect goes both ways.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

Interesting question! I would say as a child it was reading The Languages of Pao by Jack Vance, then as a teen, The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, as well as many of his short stories. Later, I read the Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh, and Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. I also attended a Bible college for three years, studying to become an adult teacher. Learning the King James version as well as others helped me learn the beauty of words in rhythm and balance. I understood the King James easily, because I had a strong background in English literature. Not only did the book have an impact on my spiritual life, it also gave me a deeper understanding of symbolism, which I’ve always found fascinating. When readers learn that I attended a Bible college and write gay Romance, they sometimes think these oppose one another. That’s not true. If God is love, then He should certainly want His children to know love and experience it fully. I don’t use my books to preach religion. In fact, most of my characters are far from religious, but the symbols are there if you search for them. And later, I will have a character whose spiritual beliefs lead her into war. That should create some talk!

Q:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Wow. I have so many! I really listen to other authors. However, I’d say Barbara Karmazin was the first. I truly love this woman. When I’d email her a reply, my spell checker always wanted to change her last name to Amazing. That would certainly fit! A lot of folks call her Chainsaw for her critique techniques ^_^ but I’ve come to know her as BK. Her first critique sent me reeling for three days. I was angry, upset, and confused all at the same time. I thought briefly of giving up, but I’d come too far for that, and I finally realized that if I couldn’t take a critique from someone who wanted to help me, how could I take reviews? I made her suggested changes, tried to learn how to watch for those mistakes in the future, and resubmitted the manuscript. When Barbara saw that I was serious, she took me under her wing. It was through her recommendation that I received my first contract. I owe her a great debt.

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

The most important is never to quit. You won’t fail until you quit. The winner keeps going back no matter how long it takes. Sherrilyn Kenyon had multiple rejections for her books and used the last stamp she had to send out a query to someone she had heard was now an editor. Imagine if she had quit. If she hadn’t sent out that one more query. We’d have a world without the Dark Hunters, Dream Hunters, without Acheron or Simi. What a terrible loss! Never ever quit.

 
Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

That it’s porn. Porn is a sex scene with no concept or plot. It’s sex for the sake of titillation (what a great word to describe porn!) and excitement. Erotic Romance is the developing relationship of lovers revealed with — and often by — their sexual relationship. In this type of story, the sexual aspect of the characters’ lives is as important as all the others. For me, writing erotic romance was like getting a box of thirty-two crayons after having only eight before. Gay Romance gave me a box of sixty-four. I could never go back to eight and be satisfied with the end result.

 

Q:  What is on tap for the rest of 2009?

I’m completing Surrender Trust and hopefully starting into edits for an early release in 2010. I’ll be doing various interviews on the net and continuing to guide Marketing for Romance Writers. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/  I created this group for the purpose of helping others learn how to successfully market their work and create a name for themselves. Our motto is “Seek, teach, share, learn, succeed.” It’s open to authors (published and not yet), literary agents, editors, publishers, author promo services, and artists. With well over 700 members and a staff of four volunteers to help me, we manage to accomplish a monthly newsletter and bulletin as well as annual excerpt books for various heat levels and genres. Helping others is my passion. I’m also holding a character chat on my yahoo group, Romance Lives Forever, and will be blogging and twittering away.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I’m all over. Here are my most used links.

kayelle@kayelleallen.com     Email

http://kayelleallen.com      Homepage

http://kayelleallen.com/Books.html      Booklist

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romancelivesforever      Romance Lives Forever

http://myspace.com/romancelivesforever      Romance Lives Forever – MySpace

http://romancelivesforever.blogspot.com/      Romance Lives Forever – Blog

http://twitter.com/kayelleallen     Twitter

http://trsblue.blogspot.com/      The Romance Studio – Blog

http://coffeetimeromance.com/board/      Kayelle’s Coffee Corner

http://manloveromance.com      Manloveromance

Saturday Sexcerpt – Surrender Love

Today Kayelle shares with us an excerpt from her story Surrender Love.  The cover is by Anne Cain and she did an incredible job. Kayelle has  had T-shirts made like Izzorah’s on the cover. Her son Jamin did the artwork for the shirt.  Well,  on to the Sexcerpt!

Surrender Love by Kayelle Allen

Note: “kosset” is a term of endearment in Luc’s original tongue that means “my ultimate treasure.” In this scene, Izzorah Ceeow has pledged himself to being Luc Saint-Cyr’s lover, and Luc has wined and dined him all evening. They share a few shots of Luc’s favorite whiskey, and Luc decides his playful, younger lover will relax even more in a bubble bath. While on their knees beside the tub, they kiss, and the bath is momentarily forgotten as Luc leans Izzorah back onto the heated tile floor…

 

=======

“Rah. Love.” Luc set a knuckle beneath his chin and angled Izzorah’s face toward his. “You’re bound to be afraid. It’s ok. Everyone is their first time. Would it help if I told you what we’re going to do?”

He swallowed again, nodded.

“Good. You lie right there, and I’ll go over all the details. You don’t have to worry about a thing.” Luc bent to kiss him. “First, I’m going to unbutton your shirt. Like this.” He undid the top one. “See? Is that ok?”

“Uh huh.” Izzorah nodded.

“And then I’ll work my way down. Slowly. Like this. See?” He lifted his hand. “One button at a time. I’ll kiss you as I bare each little bit of skin. Not too fast. Like this.” His lips felt warm against the center of Izzorah’s chest.

Closing his eyes because of the heat behind them, Izzorah sighed his pleasure.

Luc pushed aside his shirt, cupped a hand behind Izzorah and tilted him toward his mouth. He used his smooth tongue on one nipple.

What would a human tongue feel like on my cock? He giggled. Guess I’m going to find out.

“See, Izzorah? Gentle, easy. No hurry. No force. It’s called making love because it’s supposed to show the other person how much you love them.”

“How can you love me, Luc? You don’t know me at all.”

He moved back up to Izzorah’s face. “The moment I saw you, my heart did a somersault. I couldn’t even talk straight. I’ve never been affected like that by anyone, love. You were right.” He slid a fingertip down Izzorah’s nose. “You do make me happy. You said you would love me, remember?”

He nodded. “I meant that. I wasn’t drunk.”

“I know, kosset. I will love you, too, Izzorah. I want to prove it by making love to you.”

Those words kindled a hot joy inside him. He curled the tips of his claws into Luc’s short hair and drew him down for a kiss. When it ended, he skimmed his fingers across Luc’s shoulders and down the front of his chest. “Your chest is naked. No pelt.”

“No.” Luc pressed his hand against Izzorah’s, trapping it against his skin. “Humans have hair. Some, more than others. May I play with your pelt?”

“Do you want to? You don’t think it’s ugly?”

“Ugly!” Luc’s eyes widened. “God, no. It’s one of the sexiest things there is about Kin males. Who dared tell you, of all people, that you were ugly? I’ll break his stupid neck.”

Izzorah laughed. His ears were buzzing, and that, combined with Luc’s handling, left him light-headed. He twisted around a little. “No one. You can let your hackles down. Uh– I guess.” He grinned. “You sound as ferocious as a Kin, even if you’re not one.”

“Thank you.” Luc slid aside Izzorah’s shirt and looked down at his chest. “I knew your pelt would be golden, even though you have black hair.”

“It’s a Ceeow thing. Our clan has golden pelts.” Izzorah pulled his shirt all the way open. “It’s like the Fasra ear tufts, you know? All of ’em have it. Called a trait in Felis.”

“That’s our word for it, too.” Luc stroked his fingers through the thick mat of Izzorah’s pelt. It covered his upper body from the center of his chest up to the top of his pecs, leaving his nipples bare. “Yours is beautiful. Like a lion’s mane, only on your chest.”

The warmth of the room made him drowsy. “What’s a lion?”

“I’ll show you pictures later. Right now, I need to tell you what else we’re going to do. You want to know, don’t you?”

Izzorah nodded.

“These pants you’re wearing–they’re great for our time together.”

Feeling woozy, Izzorah flattened his free hand on the floor. “They are?”

“Mmm. No belt.” He opened the top. “I’m going to slide down the fastener, like this, and ease one hand inside. Oh, Izzorah.” With an open palm, Luc caressed his shaft. “You’re beautiful. Look at this gorgeous cock.”

Embarrassment scalded his cheeks, but the feeling of Luc’s hand on him soon channeled the heat other places. He fanned his face. “Hot in here.”

“It’s you, love. You’re what’s hot.” Luc bent to kiss him. “I love your cock. It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.” He wrapped a fist around it. “Big enough around to fill my fist. So long I can’t hold it all.” Luc made a low humming sound. “This is the best part. This is where I kiss your cock the first time.” He bent toward Izzorah’s shaft, and moved to lie between Izzorah’s thighs. With one movement, he captured the head inside his mouth.

Izzorah arched his back and sucked in air over his teeth. He’d dreamed of this moment. Having a lover who’d cherish him, kiss him, take him into his mouth. Nothing had prepared him for the reality of it. The yearning that poured over him, the devastating heat of a real mouth capturing him.

Luc licked down the outside of his shaft. “I’m going to make love to every part of you, Izzorah.” He curled a finger beneath his balls and lifted them. “Suck these beauties into my mouth one at a time and drive you wild.”

Izzorah cried out, claws scraping against the tile floor as Luc did what he’d promised. The wet heat of Luc’s mouth wrung a cry from Izzorah’s throat. He shut his eyes, head tilted back.

“And now, I want to lavish more attention on this lovely cock.” Luc set both hands beneath the small of Izzorah’s back and tilted him upward, took all of him into his mouth and sucked.

Legs spread, captive within Luc’s mouth, Izzorah panted, all the while making little pleasure sounds he seemed helpless to stop. He stuffed a knuckle into his mouth and bit down, but he couldn’t hold back his cries. The hot wet slide of Luc’s mouth on his shaft, the swirling heat of his tongue, drove coherent thought far from him. Eyes shut tight, hands clenched, Izzorah whimpered.

=====

 

It’s not rebound, loneliness, or great sex, and it’s beyond love. It’s surrender.

Izzorah — A little feral, a little innocent, all male. Fleeing a world that denies him basic rights, forced into a society blind to his needs, his music keeps him alive. When a freak accident throws him into the care of the most powerful man in the empire, the attention he receives is beyond anything he’d ever dreamed. But is the attraction he feels toward his rescuer gratitude, lust, or a deeper, abiding call to yield all that he is?

Luc — the prestige of his power, wealth, and influence directs an empire scattered across the stars. His word shapes the foundations of business and his financial prowess is of mythic proportions. Yet beneath the myths beats the heart of a man who craves what he has never given and is certain he will always be denied — steadfast, faithful love.

Will their different worlds and private secrets tear them apart, or will they learn the meaning of trust, faithfulness, and surrender…

 

Available now from Loose Id. This is book one of the Surrender series; Love, Trust, and Will.

 

Cover Art by Anne Cain

Editor Heather Hollis

Surrender Love by Kayelle Allen

Unstoppable heroes, Uncompromising love, Unforgettable passion
Book one of a scorching M/M Sci-Fi Romance trilogy – Surrender Love

 

The above link is actually this one from Loose Id:

http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Surrender__Love-887.aspx

 

Buy link:  http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Surrender__Love-887.aspx
Genre:  Erotic M/M Science Fiction Romance GLBT Multicultural/Interspecies Science Fiction/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-59632-874-7
Warnings:  male/male sex, explicit content, anal sex
Heat Level:  R=graphic sex
Format:  ebook in multiple formats
Author website: 
http://kayelleallen.com
Author email: 
sempervians@yahoo.com

Surrender Love

Surrender Love

AuThursday – Kayelle Allen

Kayell Allen joins us to day and she is such a talented author.  She seems to world build effortlessly and what a world it is.

Q: You’ve built quite a fan base around your Tarthian Empire. Why do you think it’s been so successful?

Thank you Tina! That’s kind of you to say. My books appeal on several levels and there is something for everyone. Each book can be read alone, although once readers meet the characters and learn they appear in other books, they often pick up one of those to learn more. In addition:

1) they’re hot romances with plenty of good character development, steamy sex, and people who care about one another. They don’t meet and instantly jump into bed, with one exception. Khyff Antonello in For Women Only is being paid to seduce an ambassador, and she walks up to him at a party, gives him the once over and within two minutes she’s asking him why they’re still there. Their first love scene lasts three chapters. He earned the nickname “The Machine” for a reason. Losing his heart was never supposed to be part of the mission.

2) There is a secondary layer to each story. Readers who follow all the books (five at Liquid Silver Books and now the first of a trilogy at Loose Id) know the background characters have ulterior motives; there are secret societies, layers of conspiracies, and hidden backgrounds. Nothing is as it seems, and searching the deeper meanings and covert aspects of the overall series fascinates some readers. It fascinates me to write them, because I have a twenty-year arc of books planned, and we are only in year five in the current book.

3) I recently began a yahoo group only for those who have read all six of the books so far. Those following the background stories, clandestine games, and hinted-at alliances can discuss them without spoiling the stories for more casual readers on my regular group. The new group itself is secret, and unlisted in the Yahoo directory. Membership is only by recommendation or invitation. If you’re one of those readers who’s fascinated by the deeper meanings and workings of these books and have read all of them, email me and I’ll send you a personal invitation. Here are the books to have read (the first five can be found at Liquid Silver Books: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only, and the Tales of the Chosen trilogy: Wulf, Alitus, and Jawk, and the newest book from a new trilogy at Loose Id — Surrender Love. My books page has links to all my books, including two short stories at Shadowfire Press. http://kayelleallen.com/Books.html

As to why it’s been so successful — I think it’s because I keep my promise to my readers: to give them a complex plot that immerses them in an erotic tale and provides plenty of unexpected action, in settings so real they’ll swear they’ve been there.

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?

When I first started writing, it was Khyff Antonello. He was a tortured hero and the first two books either featured or were about him. Now, it’s moved to Luc Saint-Cyr. Luc is immortal, powerful, has a financial empire and a staff any real-life executive would give eye-teeth to have; he’s six feet five inches of glorious muscle and chocolate-colored skin, and is the most mysterious, enigmatic man in the Tarthian Empire. He wears solid-black contact lenses that cover every part of his eyes, the reason for which has been revealed (so far) only in Wulf, Tales of the Chosen. It will be revealed again in the next book in my Loose Id trilogy, Surrender Trust, out later this year. But the thing that captures my heart about Luc is that he uses his power, wealth, and influence to help the helpless. He’s spent thousands of years alone, always searching for the ultimate love and faithful heart. I described him this way in the blurb about Surrender Love. “…beneath the myths beats the heart of a man who craves what he has never given and is certain he will always be denied — steadfast, faithful love.”

Q: What’s coming up on your schedule, book-wise, in the next year?

I have several projects in the fire. I’m working hard to finish the Surrender trilogy, plus I’m writing an M/M shape shifter anthology with the prolific and award-winning Kiernan Kelly that we’ll be shopping around to publishers soon. Among other things coming up are personal appearances as a guest at Outlantacon in Atlanta, Georgia the first weekend in May, I’ll be a vendor at Gay Days in Orlando in early June with Kiernan and author Vincent Diamond, and then over the Labor Day weekend I’ll be moderating the first GLBT-writing panel at DragonCon in Atlanta, titled “Exploring the Final Taboo: Authors of same-sex and ménage romance answer reader and writers’ questions about the genre.” Authors include Jolie du Pre, Sascha Illyvich, Morgan Hawke, Ally Blue, and of course, the matchless Kiernan Kelly. She and I take turns being sidekick and leader, and have become good friends over the last three years. This makes the third DragonCon we’ve attended together.

Q: How hard is it to keep sex/love scenes fresh and interesting?

I do a lot of research. Before you start snickering, one detail about my research that I’m not able to experience personally is the sexual aspect of physical relations between two men. I make no attempt to hide the fact that I’m a woman writing Romance between two men, and some would say I “lack the necessary plumbing.” My response to that is, “Hogwash!”

 

Ever since mankind started telling stories, and especially once they became mass marketed, men have written books that have sex scenes between a man and a woman. Obviously, they haven’t experienced sex from a female’s perspective. They (if they’re good writers) ask women how sex feels, what an orgasm is like, and what pleases her sexually. If a male writer can write acceptable female characters, what is the difference between that and a female writing male characters? Believe me, I do plenty of research, and have — shall we say — “well experienced” beta readers who let me know immediately if I get it wrong. While writing Surrender Love, one of my betas wrote back things like, “You know men don’t really talk to each other like this, don’t you? It’s too girly. Punch it up and take out the emotion. Add physicality. Guys don’t bare their hearts this easily.” Another time it was, “You’re writing this guy like he’s a girl with a dick. Go back and reread the end of the chapter and take a look at how he acts. You have to make him more masculine. Have him stand up for himself and argue back.” I love valid criticism — not the negative “you suck at this” type.

 

I’m no diva. My goal is to be realistic, make my guys hunks, and when they are at their most vulnerable (as all men are at some point in their lives), to portray him as that without emasculating him. Is it hard? Hoo boy. This is probably where I spend most of my time rewriting. By the time it gets to my editor, all I need are corrections to meet house style, or correct a new way of handling serial commas, for instance. Here’s part of my bio and I think it describes the way I write perfectly. These were various comments taken from readers that I combined into one paragraph and edited for continuity, and I’m really proud to be thought of so highly.

“Kayelle Allen is a multipublished author whose world building skills include a broad sweep of ten-thousand years of future history, a feline language, and trade standard laws for the empire where her books take place. Her writing lures you inside each hero’s head and seduces you with what he feels and thinks. She thrusts you into the hero’s heart and mind, teases and satisfies you with his sexuality and sensual joys, and drags you onto the roller coaster with him when it plunges into the darkness of things-gone-wrong. When you and the hero get off the ride at the end, it’s Kayelle’s hope you’ll be back in line when the next ride starts.”

 

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?

 

I’d say it’s always the book I’m writing now, whichever one that may be. Each has its moments of panic where I doubt the plot, the character, the point of view (POV), the inclusion of certain aspects, you name it. Sometimes, when I get stuck, I find that I’m writing the scene from the wrong POV. Generally, I look at a scene and decide who has the biggest emotional wallop and go with the story from their viewpoint. I’ve learned, however, that we sometimes learn more about a character by seeing him/her go through a trial from another character’s POV, like a filter.

 

In Surrender Love, featuring Luc Saint-Cyr and Izzorah “Rah” Ceeow, I had one scene where Rah discovers the “dungeon” that Luc and Wulf had used for sex games. I was going to show Rah’s impressions of the various items (he was a virgin at the time) and let us see how it made him feel to think the man he was learning to love and trust got a kick out of hurting his lovers. Instead, I let Luc’s butler reveal that Rah had been inside the dungeon and was now missing. Luc’s guilt and regret at having ever built the room to accommodate Wulf’s desires tore Luc apart. He was terrified Rah would never trust him again, even though he’d planned to have everything torn out and refurbished as a place for Rah to practice with his band. He believed the way to his younger lover’s heart would not include pain. However, Luc hadn’t yet discovered (and won’t until the next book) that Rah has always secretly desired to be dominated. In Surrender Trust, Rah will learn to put himself into Luc’s experienced and capable hands, and Luc, whose break-up with Wulf over the dungeon and its use, will have to learn to re-trust himself and his own decisions. He must re-learn how to be a master. To do that, there are so many levels to deal with that the book is giving me fits. Honestly, the books that give me the most grief turn out to be the most lauded and the best sellers. Surrender Love has had five star reviews, and I expect Surrender Trust to be no less excellent, thanks to my amazing betas and Heather Hollis, my Loose Id editor.

 

Q: On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

 

It took me a year to write one, but only 2-4 months for most of them. I wrote Wulf and Alitus both within five months, but due to a packed release schedule, they were released five months apart.

 

Q: What influenced you to get e-published? How long did it take for your first book to get published?

 

I was researching publishers to see where I might fit, spending a lot of time online and at the library. I wrote Sci-Fi and was determined to be published within the next two years. (This was in early 2003.) I quickly discovered that the manuscript acceptance rate for Sci-Fi was only about 2%, not too encouraging. Romance, however, was much higher, and accounted for 38% of all paperback book sales in the US. I wanted a piece of that pie! So I changed my Sci-Fi to Sci-Fi Romance, set the series back in time about twenty years, and started writing in that “story year” in order to create the extensive background I would need for where I wanted the story to end up. In December 2003 I joined an online critique group, submitted chapters and critiqued others, absolutely believing it was only a matter of finding the right publisher and having good contacts. Barbara Karmazin, an amazing erotic author and the supreme specialist on alien sex, was also in that critique group. Bless her, she took me under her wing and introduced me to Liquid Silver. The timeline for being published was fairly short. I sorted through various storylines I’d started in the past, chose one, changed around the characters a bit, and ended up with At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, completed by February. I polished it, submitted it in March, and had a contract in April. It was released in July. So from absolute start when I picked up the notes and decided this one would be a good place to start to the release date was about eight months. I released my second book, For Women Only in December the same year. A note on my personal tribute to Barbara – Luc Saint-Cyr lives in the Nizamrak Building which is Karmazin spelled backward. It’s mentioned in every book.

 

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

 

That Erotic Romance books aren’t for “ladies.” Hello? This is the 21st century! I grew up in an era where women were burning bras and fighting for equal pay for equal work. When my own mother was born, women hadn’t been allowed to vote yet. She was two before that law passed. The very phrase “allowed to vote” offended me. Why would I even have to be “allowed” to have the same rights as a man? Why was there ever a thought that we weren’t equal to men? Yet when I married, it was the first year that banks had to stop asking about what type of birth control I used before I could apply for a checking account or credit card, and I no longer had to have my husband’s permission to gain an account. How degrading was that! I joined the Navy the year before, and it was the first year that women didn’t need a parent’s permission to join the service; men weren’t required to ask. Translate those same grievances and multiply them exponentially to blacks in America. I remember the Freedom Marches and riots in Watts. Now we have a black American president. The newest target for prejudice (other than racial profiling) is sexuality. Brokeback Mountain was a perfect example of the intolerance of alternate sexuality. In the end, the brutal slaying of one of the lovers is discussed as if it was a mere accident, and not one his family lifts a finger to right the wrong, even though they are perfectly aware of what happened. They act as if he deserved it simply because he was different. His lover withdraws from life itself, with only a denim jacket as a remembrance of the man he loved. Erotic writing has the power to make alternate sexuality and preferences become less “strange” and more commonplace, opening doors for acceptance. I’m proud to be part of that trend.

 

Q: What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong? Can you describe them to us? What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?

 

A vulnerable yet strong character is my favorite type to write. I relate most to them, no matter what their vulnerability or strength. To use the characters in Surrender Love — Luc Saint-Cyr’s strength is his immortality. No matter what happens, he will survive. That is also his greatest vulnerability. He’s doomed to suffer through century upon century of loneliness and loss. With his great heart, he falls in love every lifetime, and his stamina is legendary. He is no longer affected by alcohol, so he can down several bottles of Kelthian whiskey (his favorite) and it has no more effect than tea. That means he can’t even drown his sorrows with a good drunk. Sexually, few humans rarely satisfy him because his metabolism enables a nearly constant erection, so he makes no attempt to be faithful to a human lover — they could be physically injured if he took them until he was sated. In almost every case, a character’s vulnerability is a coin, the reverse of which is their strength. For Rah, the other hero in Surrender Love, his determination not to be dominated in a matriarchal society where once he had been married off he would have zero rights and no freedom drove him to find a clever means of escape off world. That same determination plunged him into a life on the streets once he reached Tarth City. His strength overshadowed his weakness, however, and he used his ability to play drums to find work as a fill-in drummer until he auditioned for a permanent gig with Kumwhatmay. Through it all, he kept three huge secrets, and only his closest cousins knew the truth. When Rah meets Luc, the walls each of them has built around himself start crumbling, and as each chinks away at the mortar holding up the bricks, more and more of their true selves are revealed. But how far are they willing to go? How much are they willing to trust? We’ll discover that in the next book.

 

To me, nothing’s worse than when characters stop talking to me. What do I do when that happens? I remember what my mother always said. “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” LOL And of course I don’t do that! I suffer for days sometime, weeks even, always with the story on the “back burner” of my mind, simmering away, waiting for the right tenderness of the meat, the infusion of the vegetables in the broth. I edit something else. I rewrite the scene from another POV. I work on the outline, which usually starts a sketchy one page “Part A Boy meets Boy, Part B, Boy loses Boy and Part C Boys get back together.” It’s never that simplistic, because I have conspiracies to develop and political upheaval to plot on my world, so I will often work on perfecting more of the timeline. One time, I spent so much time piddling with a list of the Empress’s Stable (her male harem of men referred to as her Jades) that I wrote out the names, birth years, home planets, hair, eyes, skin tones, species (like a feline Kin or a Satyr-like Tyran, a completely androgynous Chiasmii, or a good old human) what their political background was (were they gifts from visiting “governors?” Did she obtain them herself in some interesting way? Why did she invite him into her harem? In my current books she has about twelve Jades, but I have a list of around one hundred-fifty men that she will add over the next fifteen years, including a few who end up heroes of their own books (such as Khyff). I’d really like to do a book of short stories explaining how she obtained a few of them, and what his sexual expertise is. Like Luc Saint-Cyr, the Empress is an immortal and has the same stamina. She however, was created with a sex drive that’s off the scale and having sex five or six times a day barely takes away the flame of her desire. No wonder she has so many Jades. Each of them has a back-story, family, and personal desires. Not all came to her unwillingly, and she has many whom she protects for various reasons. A few, revealed in a later book, are never involved with her sexually.

 

One book took me a solid year of rewrites before I realized I simply could not get the hero and heroine together because they weren’t right for each other. Once I got that through my head, I took apart the usable aspects of the story and actually came up with plots for five different books, including the Tales of the Chosen series. Writer’s block happens for many reasons. Sometimes, it takes putting it away and working on another project for a while so you can clear your mind.

 

Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories? Any advice for aspiring authors?

 

The most important aspect for all new authors … I would say take the time to develop your world, whether it’s a contemporary set in your home town, a Regency Romance, a tale set in the highlands of Scotland (oh, yum!), a cowboy story, mystery, faery world, vampire paranormal, or a gay romance. If there are rules your fey must follow, write them down and use them. Your readers will catch you if you say something’s one way in book one and another in book five. Keep notes! I have nearly a full language for the Kin, and I don’t create a word without putting it into my glossary first. That glossary goes with my ms when I submit it to my editor and proofers, and to my embarrassment, they have caught me using the wrong word in my own created language! Don’t assume no one will notice or that they won’t catch it. If readers love your work, they will. I just got an email from a reader who bought Surrender Love, then picked up my other five books and read them, then went back to Surrender Love and read if four more times. If there was a contradiction, do you think she’d find it? You betcha!

 

My favorite advice for aspiring authors in any genre is “Do not let anyone steal your dream. Not even you.” That means cut the negative self talk immediately. Never use the words “I’m only”. Imagine sending this letter as your query. “I know that you’re busy and will understand if you just set mine aside because I’m a new writer and don’t have the same polish as other writers in your publishing house. A lot of my friends say I have a way with words, so I thought I’d send it to you. I hope if you like it, you’ll let me know, or at least send me a bona fide rejection letter which I will reverently frame.” How interested is this publisher going to be in you after reading this? Yes, this is an extreme example, and not one most of us would be crazy enough to write. But never send a query without someone (think author, not your crafting buddy) read it first for clarity and interest. And for goodness sake – if you can’t take a critique from a friend who cares about you, how in the world will you ever survive reviews? Toughen up. Be friendly, care about others and help them as much as you can. The more you do for others the higher you are lifted yourself. Huge shameless plug here. Come over and join the group I created for authors (published and unpublished), literary agents, editors, author promotion services, publishers, and artists. Marketing for Romance Writers is open to every genre and you don’t have to be a Romance author. If I had it to do over, I’d have called it Marketing for Online Authors. My 20/20 hindsight kicking in. 🙂

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/

 

Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I’m in way too many yahoo groups to list them all, so I’ll give you a list of my major hangouts. I frequent all these groups plus a few that are invitation only, such as RomVets, which is for female Romance writers who served in the armed forces. If that describes you, contact me and I’ll put you in touch.

                                               

Romance Lives Forever                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romancelivesforever

Romance Lives Forever – MySpace     http://myspace.com/romancelivesforever

Romance Lives Forever – Blog             http://romancelivesforever.blogspot.com/

Marketing for Romance Writers           http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/

Kayelle’s Coffee Corner                      http://coffeetimeromance.com/board/

Loose Id Community                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LooseId_community/

Liquid Silver Readers                         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liquidsilverreaders/

Shadowfire Café                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shadowfire_cafe/

Immortal Heroes                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/immortal_heroes/

Whipped Cream 2                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/whippedcream2/

Promo Literary Nymphs                     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/promo_literarynymphs/

Gay Writers/Readers                         http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gaywritersreaders/

Brenda Williamson Romance Party     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BrendaWilliamsonRomanceParty/

 

Homepage                                        http://kayelleallen.com

Booklist                                            http://kayelleallen.com/Books.html

Wiki Romance – Kayelle (in process)   http://www.romancewiki.com/Kayelle_Allen

Linked In                                           http://www.linkedin.com/in/kayelleallen

Email    sempervians@yahoo.com

Wow!  Kayelle is sure busy.  Be sure to join me Saturday when we read a SEXcerpt from one of Kayelle’s books.  Yummy.