12:55 PM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

KALLYSTEN

CONTEST: Kally has two contests to offer today.

FIRST CONTEST:
Prize: A paperback copy of the winner’s choice of CheckMate or the Men in Space anthology.
How to enter: Comment on this interview or ask a question (make sure you leave your e-mail or a link you can be reached through your profile in case you win).
Deadline: March 16th

SECOND CONTEST:
Prize: Winners’ choice of one of Kally's $0.99 reads – She has 20 short stories to choose from!
How to enter: Become Kally's friend on Facebook. That’s it. Here’s the fun part: there will be one winner for every 5 participants. So if 5 people become her friends, there will be one winner. If 10 do, 2 winners. 50 friends, 10 winners and so forth. If you already are her friend there, enter the contest by making a post linking to this interview.
Deadline: March 20th

AL: Hi Kallysten! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.
 
Kallysten: I’m excited to be here! Thank you so much for having me!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Kallysten: My big project right now is to get ready for spring planting. We are lucky enough to have a small vegetable garden, and this year will be the second time we grow our own veggies. The hubby will prepare the soil once it unfreezes (!) but before that I’ll start all my plants from seed. Last year I started some plants too late and didn’t get to harvest some things; this year I’m trying to learn from my mistakes! On my list so far are cherry tomatoes, green beans, peas, broccoli, carrots, kale, eggplant, cauliflower… and anything else I can fit in my small square of earth!

AL: Would you like to tell us about a current or upcoming release?

Kallysten: My latest release a couple of weeks ago was Fangs and Lullabies. I’ll admit I was more nervous than usual about this story because it’s not a traditional plot as it follows a very extraordinary little boy and his two vampire fathers other the course of seventeen years. The response from readers has been overwhelmingly positive though so I’m glad I stretched my writing wings a little with this one.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Kallysten: Do you want an alphabetical list? *GRIN* I’ve got a dozen projects in my WIP folder, most to be released by the end of the year. The story that takes most of my time right now is Living Out of the Box, a sequel to my Out of the Box series. I’m deep into edits and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m also preparing for the release of Seventh Vision of Destiny at the end of the month; the series this belongs to is fun to write, because each installment contains an independent short story within a longer story that spans all ten books. One other thing I’m working on is a freebie I post in monthly installments on my site. The title is Losing His Wings and it mixes vampires, angels and demons.

AL: What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?

Kallysten: I think it’s got to be a NASA picture of a galaxy, with beautiful colors. I use those as background on my computer and one of them just looked like magic to me. I started daydreaming about what kind of magic might make such a show, and that’s how I’ll Be Home For Christmas came to be.

AL: What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know?

Kallysten: Writing ‘the end’ on the page is actually only the beginning. Then start the edits, the submissions, the promo and so forth… Being an author is about more than writing, it’s a lesson I’m still learning.

AL: Do you have a mentor or critique partner that you work with consistently?

Kallysten: I do, and I am lucky enough to have found someone who doesn’t let our friendship prevent her from being ruthless! She has no problem hitting me over the head when I need it – or murdering my darlings – and I thank her as often as I can for that.

AL: It’s time to get personal! Where would you like to travel if you had the chance?

Kallysten: I’m dreaming of a sandy beach and deep blue lagoon. Hawaii, or maybe Tahiti? Then again, I might just be tired of all the snow we had this winter!

AL: What were you like as a kid?

Kallysten: Shy, always either reading or scribbling stories… wait… that sounds like me today… I guess I am still the same!

AL: What decadent delight must you have no matter what?

Kallysten: Thick bubbles in my bath. A hubby in there is pretty nice, too.

AL: Can you share some of your plans for 2011 and beyond?

Kallysten: My plans this year involve finishing two of my series, the Visions of Destiny and the Blurred Trilogy. I also plan to add to each of my other series, The Pacts, On The Edge, Special Enforcers and The Demons Age. I also hope I can finish my monthly freebie within the year. And then there’s this YA idea that has been tickling my muse for a while already…

AL: You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for. 1 - What’s the movie about? 2 - Who’s your character? 3 - And who’s your leading man?

Kallysten: Oh it has to be some superhero flick with a romance to die for. I’m the superhero(ine) (*GRIN*) and I do have a cape (it looks pretty when I fly) but definitely no spandex costume. The leading man, for a change, is totally normal, no superpower of his own except for the ability to make me melt. And since the hubby can’t act, I’ll have to settle for Hugh Jackman or Robert Downer Jr…

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Kallysten: “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will." (Stephen King)

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with us, Kallysten.

Kallysten: My pleasure! It was fun!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Kallysten please visit:

http://original.kallysten.net
http://www.facebook.com/kallysten.author

FEATURED TITLE: FANGS AND LULLABIES

Blurb:

A child’s birth. His first teeth and first steps. School friends and bullies, recess, school plays and science projects. A girl, a crush and a broken heart. These childhood experiences are shared by countless little boys from different horizons.

And yet… Jacob is anything but average. For as long as he has been able to understand, a secret has shaped his life, kept even from his closest friends: his father, Andrew, is a vampire. And so is his other father, Nicholas.

In a strange era when demons are beginning to appear all over the world and threaten humans and vampires alike, the three of them form quite an extraordinary family. And yet, at the same time, they could hardly be more normal.

Two fathers raising a son neither of them ever thought he would have. A Sire and Childe resuming their relationship after years of estrangement. Through snapshots covering Jacob’s life from birth to adulthood, discover this unusual family, and how, in the end, all it takes is love.

Excerpt:

And there they go again.

It was all Andrew could do not to repeatedly bang his forehead against his desk. Just outside his office, Craig and Nicholas were arguing. Again. Something about crossbows, personal property, grabby hands, and oversensitive Special Enforcers. Any second now, Craig would make some threat involving stakes and ashes, and Nicholas would reply with a flippant comment that would only escalate things and Andrew was tired of Nicholas goading Craig at any occasion that presented itself and tired of Craig falling for it every time. Andrew had been hoping for the past month that they’d start acting like grown-ups, but apparently that was expecting too much.

“Nicholas!” Andrew shouted. “Get in here!”

Through the open door, Andrew could see both Nicholas and Craig become very still, both of them suddenly silent as they looked into the office. If Craig had said even a word, mocked Nicholas somehow, Andrew would have called Craig in as well, and chastised them both. But of the two of them, Craig must have had at least a little more sense, and he turned away while Nicholas came into the office.

“Close the door,” Andrew demanded, glaring.

Nicholas did so, then turned to Andrew, an eyebrow raised questioningly, as though Nicholas hadn’t known exactly why he had been called in.

Andrew waited for a few seconds before he asked, “Do we need new rules?”

“New rules?” Nicholas scoffed and pushed his hands deep inside his jean pockets. “Like what? Let the humans walk all over me? How about I give you rules for a change?”

Andrew stared, thoroughly unimpressed. “Rules for me, Childe? I think you might want to reword that.”

As much as Nicholas enjoyed teasing everyone, he did know there were things his Sire would not tolerate. The slip seemed accidental, judging by how quickly Nicholas amended his words. “Maybe not rules,” he said as he slinked into the chair on the other side of Andrew’s desk. “Just… requests.”

“Requests,” Andrew repeated, rolling the word in his mouth. “I like that much better than rules.” Leaning back in his chair, he placed his elbows on the armrests and steepled his fingers in front of him, considering Nicholas over them. “Go ahead, I’m listening.”

A look of calculation fluttered over Nicholas’ face, and after a few seconds he leaned back in his chair as well, observing Andrew very closely. “First, I need money,” Nicholas said, determination filling his words.

It wasn’t anything Andrew had expected. Swallowing a laugh, he tried to keep a straight face as he asked, “How is that a rule?”

Nicholas shrugged. “You just said they’re not rules.”

Inclining his head, Andrew granted that much, but he still wasn’t convinced. “I’m already paying for your food and lodging,” he pointed out. “Why should I give you my hard earned money on top of that?”

“I’m taking care of the baby,” Nicholas said, so quickly it sounded like he had prepared his arguments for just such an opportunity. “And helping with chores and things. That deserves a reward.”

Andrew refrained from asking what chores exactly they were talking about, because Andrew’s own workload certainly didn’t seem to have lessened since Nicholas’ arrival. Nicholas was, for the most part, cleaning up after himself, but he had yet to offer to do anything more—not that Andrew had expected anything different. Andrew didn’t point that out, however, and instead, he said, a faint smile tugging at his lips, “So what you’re saying is, you want to be treated like nothing more than a servant. Is that it?”

Nicholas’ reaction was exactly as expected. He sat up in his chair, sputtering in indignation. He had grown up in the house of wealthy merchants, as close to nobility as the American nation had known, but not as a favored heir destined to inherit riches. Instead, he had been the son of domestics, trained into service before his tenth birthday, and while he had never said as much, Andrew knew Nicholas had hated it and wanted more from his life. Maybe that was why he had asked Andrew to turn him, although Andrew liked to think it had been about more than that.

“I’m not a servant,” Nicholas protested. “I’m your Childe, and I deserve—”

Knowing full well that Nicholas could spend hours listing all the things he thought he deserved if only given the chance, Andrew waved his hand. “Fine. Money. Sure. You need new clothes anyway.”

Nicholas looked vaguely affronted. He glanced down at himself, a hand running over the skull and bones printed on his t-shirt, then frowned up at Andrew. “What’s wrong with my clothes?” Nicholas asked. “This t-shirt’s vintage!”

Vintage would have not been Andrew’s first choice to describe that particular piece of clothing, but he managed to hold back his laugh. “I’m tired of the black-on-black look. You used to dress much better than that. You’re like a caricature of a vampire.”

“Fine.” Nicholas snickered and passed a hand through his jet-black hair. “I’ll dye my hair blue. Will that be colorful enough for you?”

“Can’t wait to see that,” Andrew deadpanned. “Is money all you want?”

“I want…” Nicholas was quick to catch himself and flashed Andrew a grin. “That is, I would like you to tell Craig to stop looking at me like he’s about to stake me.”

Andrew shrugged. “He’s a Special Enforcer. It’s his job to be wary of vampires.”

“Is it?” For all that Nicholas tried to appear nonchalant, there was a glint in his eyes, a little something that spoke of suspicions and jealousy. “Then why does he look at you like you’re the second coming? If he wasn’t making eyes at Julie, I’d start thinking he wants to get in your bed.”

“Craig is making eyes at Julie?” Andrew repeated, certain he must have misunderstood.

Nicholas looked at Andrew as though he had sprouted a second head. “Of course he is,” Nicholas scoffed. “What are you, blind?”

Frowning and very aware that Julie was in the room next door, Andrew lowered his voice. “Really? And is she making eyes in return?”

Now, Nicholas snickered. “You are blind. How could you miss that? It’s happening right under your nose.”

Still a little confused, Andrew thought back about the past few months. Before making his own decision, Craig had waited for Julie to decide whether she would leave town and follow Andrew. Also, a few months earlier, Julie had been so upset when a vampire had hurt Craig that she hadn’t been able to perform magic to help heal him. It was all starting to make sense.

“Huh. Okay.”

“So you’ll tell him?” Nicholas asked. “Because if I tell him, I’m going to make my point with my fists, and I don’t think that’d convince him all that much.”

Andrew let out a deep sigh. Craig and Nicholas were just as stubborn, and just as unlikely to admit they were wrong. “I’ll tell him I trust you. Again. But I can’t force him to like you.”

Nicholas’ fingers linked behind his head, and he affected indifference, but he didn’t fool Andrew. If Craig’s attitude, just a shade shy of openly hostile, hadn’t bothered Nicholas, he wouldn’t have mentioned it in the first place.

“I don’t care if he likes me. I just don’t want to feel threatened in my own home.”

“My home. And maybe if you stopped badgering him—” Pinching the bridge of his nose, Andrew let out a deep sigh. “He wouldn’t touch you. Not unless he caught you red-fanged. Same as me. Anything else?”

Nicholas shifted slightly in his chair; at any other time, the movement might have been meaningless. With the scent that wafted from him, however, full of wariness and expectation, that same movement felt like nervous fidgeting.

Nicholas took a deep breath and said very fast, “Speaking of red fangs… I want to visit blood bars to—”

Without waiting for Nicholas to finish, Andrew shook his head. All he said was, “No,” but every ounce of authority he possessed weighted that word.

“Wait, let me explain—”

Andrew interrupted Nicholas again. The faster Nicholas understood this was not up for discussion, the better. “There’s nothing you can say that will make me change my mind.”

“But it’s legal!” Nicholas snapped. “And the humans are willing, so—”

“No,” Andrew said again, just as sternly as before. His voice was even colder when he added, “That’s where you started killing. Maybe they weren’t called blood bars at the time, but that’s what those places were, and you know it.”

A wounded expression crossed Nicholas’ face, as though he had just been slapped without warning or cause. “You think I want to kill again?”

“No,” Andrew said immediately, truthfully. “I think accidents happen. I think they happen fast. You told me the first time you killed you didn’t mean to. I don’t want you to get in a situation where it could happen again.”

I don’t want to be in a situation where I would have to kill you, was what Andrew really meant, but he couldn’t say it. He didn’t want Nicholas to ask if Andrew could really kill him. Andrew didn’t know how he would answer that.

“Besides,” Andrew added after a moment, “I told you when you first moved in you’d have to keep a low profile. Blood bars aren’t exactly discreet.”

Nicholas gave Andrew a sullen look and all but growled, “I miss biting.”

A flash of surprise left Andrew momentarily speechless. He would never have imagined that this was why Nicholas wanted to go to a blood bar, not with his history. But now that Nicholas had laid it out in words, Andrew could understand it all too well. It didn’t even occur to him to question it.

“Come here,” Andrew demanded, the gentleness in his voice softening the order. When Nicholas didn’t immediately move, Andrew held out his hand toward him, wrist up, bare, offered.

Something flashed in Nicholas’ eyes, gold like lust and need. He took slow steps around the desk to Andrew’s side, but rather than taking Andrew’s wrist, Nicholas only looked at it, and traced the visible vein with a fingertip. His expression was one of hunger, so why wasn’t he biting already?

The flicker of Nicholas’ eyes clued Andrew in. It was so quick that Andrew could have missed it, but it was also unmistakably directed at his neck. Understanding, Andrew sighed. “You’re too greedy for your own good,” he muttered, and grabbed Nicholas’ hand.

Andrew tugged until Nicholas climbed onto his lap, knees wedged against the sides of the chair on either side of him. As Andrew tilted his head to one side, Nicholas started to lean forward, a glimpse of fangs just peeking through his parted lips. Nicholas stopped before his mouth touched skin, however, and he gave Andrew a questioning look.

“Go ahead,” Andrew whispered. “Neatly now, boy. Don’t stain my shirt.”

REMEMBER: Get in on the contests mentioned above.

28 comments:

genghischan said...

I'm the kind of person who always jumps at the opportunity to get free things, especially when the quality is as high as the excerpt above. Sign me up!

Madame D said...

Great Interview!! Thanx for doing that Kally, and don't forget who loves ya lass... your #1 stalker, I mean buddy ;)

Madame D said...

Oh, and I would love the chance to win a paperback copy of CheckMate... It's one of the books I have yet to read. Would it be rude of me to ask for an autograph on my copy... lmao!
*kiss*

Kallysten said...

@genghischan,thanks ever so!

@ Madame D, thanks and sure if you win I'll sign it for you!

starrynights24 said...

What a lovely interview Kally!! *squishes*

meggerfly said...

Man, Madame D. You asked that before I could LOL! I'd love to win Checkmate! Love your writing Kally.

rootml1@hotmail.com

meggerfly said...

Whoops! Forgot to tell you that I enjoyed the interview!

rootml1@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

super interview! thank you for sharing the excerpt. it was good. i needed a distraction this morning. please enter me in the contest. have a super day! :)
soubi1963@aol.com

desere_steenberg said...

Brilliant interview thank you so much for sharing it with us ! Your a new author to me but I must say your books sound stunning !!

Thanks for the cool contests !

desere_steenberg@yahoo.com

Savannah said...

I love hearing how writers get there inspiration. Your answer about the "NASA picture of a galaxy," gave me goose pimples...I know, I'm crazy, can't help it. Thanks for sharing!

Savannah said...

Darn it! I wish you could edit comments. I forgot contact info.
savannahfoxx1@yahoo.com

Dianne Duvall said...

Great interview! And great excerpt! The image on the cover, coupled with that title, instantly grabbed my attention and will no doubt lure in many readers! Congratulations on the release!

Susan said...

I enjoyed the interview very much. It let the reader know that there's so much more to writing a book than just picking up a pen or in the case nowadays, a computer :) Kally's favorite was inspiring!

Kallysten said...

@ Starrynights - Thank you much :)

@ Meggerfly - I'll definitely write a little note for the winner - good thing you gals thought of it because it wouldn't have occurred to me. silly me!

@ Soubi - oh, I do understand that need for distractions. Glad I could be yours :)

@ Desere - thank you so much :)

@ Savannah - thanks! Those NASA pictures often are stunning. They're very much like art!

@ Dianne - I've been told that using the picture of a newborn in a man's arms was a low blow because it would make women go 'awwww'... well, it made *me* go awww when I first saw it, so I guess that much was true LOL Thank you much :)

Kallysten said...

@ Susan Thank you :)

ilona said...

For the chance to win a free book I can think of a question *smell of burning as brain tries to think* grr - nope no questions that haven't already been answered elsewhere :(

Can I have my name put in the hat anyway please?

*sounds of clicking as she dashes of to friend Kally on facebook* ;)

Tabitha Shay said...

Love the excerpt...great interview, too...the title wowed me...Good luck...Tabs
tabshay@gmail.com

Naughty Nights Press (NNP); Mistress Journals said...

Excellent Interview Ann. Thank you for hosting it. As always I very much enjoyed learning more about Kally and her life.

Kally, sending you a facebook friend request for two reasons. One, because I know it enters me in the draw for an incredible opportunity to win one of your works and two, because I would like the opportunity to know more about you and stay up-to-date on your releases!

Fangs and Lullabies sounds absolutely riveting from the excerpt alone so you can bet I will be finding that one on my TBR shelf in the near future.

A paperback or e-book, I am not picky, I would just love to read more of your writing as now my dear you have just hooked me.
Thank you!

Yours,
Gina Kincade
ginakincade@mistressjournals.com

SiNn said...

wow i loveee that excerpt ur a new to me author is that the real cover for the book if so its adorable


now imgonna have to stalk u other places countme in please and ty

mortalsinn@yahoo.com

stacey said...

Sounds Great to Vampires Raising a Son and all that goes into that.So Now want to read it.
I Would pick Hugh Jackman two to be my Hero.
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

marybelle said...

The cover, the blurb - all say I must read. I enjoyed the interview. Always great to learn more about authors.

marypres@gmail.com

Kallysten said...

@ Ilona - your name is indeed in the hat :) Thanks!

@ Tabs - Thank you! I've got to say from the moment I had the idea I knew *this* was the title

@ Gina - Thank you so much :)

@ SiNn - Yes that it the actual cover :) thank you!

@ Stacey - thank you much!

@ Marybelle - thank you!

joder said...

The new book sounds very intriguing. A nice spin on all the usual vamp stories. What is it about vamps that keeps bringing us back to them? Do you see their popularity waning at some point, if it hasn't already?

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

bearaboo said...

I'm interested in the YA story. I am always looking for books for my daughter that aren't full of descriptive sex!

bearaboo said...

Great interview! I am interested in more details on the YA story for my child!

Kallysten said...

@ Joder - I took a writing class with a published author and several times was told 'paranormal romances are dead'. That was 4 or 5 years ago. Clearly, that wasn't true then, and I honestly doubt it'll be true any time soon!

@ Bearaboo - I'm still in the planning stages or the YA, so I really don't have much to share yet, sorry.

Kallysten said...

************AND THE WINNER IS ************

The paperback contest is over, and the winner is Savannah. I will contact you to see which book you prefer.

Congrats, and thank you to everyone who participated!

meggerfly said...

Congrats Savannah!