I’ve known this author for years and she has an impressive list of books. Kallysten turns up the heat in most of her stories and writes vampires like no ones business! She’s here today to share a bit about them, her writing process, and to offer a few words of advice for aspiring authors out there.
Welcome Kallysten! I’m thrilled to have you as my first ever Author Interview! Can you tell us a bit about when and why you began writing?
For as long as I can remember, I told myself stories. I would play them out with dolls when I was younger, then later I would lie in bed at night and make up little movies in my head as I fell asleep. Then when I was… twelve, maybe? I was given a planner to use in school to write my homework and such. It had a (faux) leather cover, and a ribbon for bookmark… it was much to nice to write homework in, I decided. I took it to school, but I didn’t write in it. Then one day during a free period I was bored. I had too many stories in my head, friends to share them with and a blank book to write them in… I picked up a pencil and wrote my first outline, summarizing each chapter in bullet points before I started writing. I think I still have the book somewhere in my closet, with my friends’ comments scribbled at the end.
Let’s see… I just released the latest installment of my Visions of Destiny series. In this one – number seven – we get to see the decisive instant in Rachel’s romantic life, a woman who is torn between her ‘public’ persona and who she is inside: a BDSM submissive. This series is a blast to write, because coming up with those special decisions that transform a person’s life has made me think a lot. Sometimes it’s really a small thing that changes everything – and sometimes a decision that feels momentous doesn’t change much, in the end, except for how we look at ourselves.
On the ‘almost there’ front, I have started the first edits on a story that was long in coming. Ever since I finished my series ‘Out of the Box’, readers have asked me if I would write more about Anando and Virginia… although for some reason they seem more interested in Anando 😉 I wrote a couple of short freebies, but finally let myself be tempted and ended up with a full novel. I expect the release to be this coming August.
And on the ‘full speed ahead’ front, I’m deep into writing the first draft of Blurred Memories, the final part of my Blurred Trilogy. As of this interview, I’m about 1/3rd through, and hoping to see the story released by the end of the year.
Writing-wise, I seem to be working on a lot of sequels and series at the moment – the Visions of Destiny has three more books after this new release, I mentioned the Out of the Box sequel and the Blurred Trilogy installment. I’m also working on a sequel to my novel Fangs & Lullabies which I’m very excited about. And oh, there’s also “Losing His Wings“, the freebie I post in monthly installments on my site.
I’m also developping a freebies website, where readers will be able to download samples, either complete short stories or long excerpts, in their favorite format to read on any platform. I’m still trying to recruit more authors to join me since it won’t be much fun if I’m alone on there!
When I’m not writing, I am finishing to record my novel Baby Steps as a free podcast. It’s been a lot of work because it’s such a long story, but I hope to finish podcasting it soon.
And the last of my current projects is to work on the release of my stories as paperbacks. I’ve written a lot of short stories, so combining them into more sizeable books is taking some work – but it’s also a lot of fun!
I can do that… There’s an excerpt for my new release seventh Vision of Destiny on my website, so how about something just for you – a sneak peek of “Living Out of the Box” and what Anando and Virginia are up to? (As I said, this book is in edits, so please forgive any oddity that may appear here.)
—Anando and Virginia are throwing a party for their friends… and trying to decide on their next game…—
His question continued to bounce through my mind… and apparently through his as well, since he finally asked, “How about Lisa?”
I needed a moment to get my bearings. I didn’t know Lisa all that well. She had watched us at the club, when Anando had drawn me onto his lap, when he had made me ride him, made me come right there, with customers and waitresses passing by — and with Lisa observing us like her own personal show. I had only formally met her some time later, when Anando had suggested we invite Leo to join us. I still didn’t quite understand the relationship that she, Leo and Brett shared, but it wasn’t any of my business.
Neither was the question that was now rising to my lips, but I didn’t even try to top it. “Have you slept with her before?”
Anando’s face remained smooth and inscrutable. “Does it matter?” he asked.
This time, I replied without thinking. “Yes. It does.”
I wasn’t jealous. I knew, I had known since the very first night I had slept with him, that Anando had had many lovers, probably many more than I could even conceive. I didn’t want to think about them, not when he was with me, now. But if I was to consider this — before I could even consider it — I had to know what his relationship with Lisa was. I had asked her, and she had said they were only friends, but she hadn’t actually denied having slept with him.
“I have,” he replied, simply, coolly, unashamed. “We’ve known each other for a long time. But we’re friends, that’s all.”
I looked at him closely, trying to read between the lines. It wasn’t all that hard. “Friends with benefits, you mean,” I said, and I was proud that my voice didn’t reflect any jealousy.
“You can call it that,” he replied, inclining his head. “But neither of us would.”
Semantics. I wasn’t all that interested in playing word games.
“You still didn’t tell me if you’d be interested,” Anando asked after a little while.
I considered his offer for a moment. Part of me wanted to agree, simply because Anando had suggested it, and I wanted to give him anything he cared to have. At the same time, though, Lisa was beautiful, and the two of them had a history — even if it was nothing more than a friendly history as he claimed — and I couldn’t bear to imagine them together, even if, or maybe especially if, I was there, too.
“I’m sorry,” I said in the end, looking at his chin rather than meeting his eyes. “I don’t think… I mean… with a woman. I’m not…”
I didn’t know how to finish. Thankfully, I didn’t have to.
“Hey, no apologies.” Sliding a finger beneath my chin, he tilted my head up and smiled. “I’m just making suggestions. You can say no any time you want.”
The trouble, although I didn’t say so, was that more and more often I had trouble finding reasons to say no. It was good to have another proof that Anando wouldn’t push, though.
A thought flashed through my mind, and I knew that if I didn’t voice it now, it would be weeks, maybe more before I worked up enough courage to raise up the topic of threesomes again. “Can I make a suggestion too?” I blurted out, keeping my voice low as I was all too aware of the vampires around us.
“Of course you can, sweet Virginia,” he purred. “You know it. Anything you want, it’s yours.”
I bit the inside of my cheek nervously, trying to figure out how to say it.
“What is it?” he asked, leaning close to whisper in my ear.
Not feeling his eyes on me helped, and I finally said, “When we played with Leo before… I … I liked that.”
A small part of me expected him to tease me, and I ducked my head so he wouldn’t see me blush, tucking it under his chin. He didn’t tease me, though. He continued to rock us to the sound of the music, ran his hand gently up and down my back, and finally asked after a few seconds, “Would you like me to ask him?”
No ‘best’ time for me. Any time works. It’s more of a frame of mind thing. I need to deal with anything that might preoccupy me first, and then writing come more easily.
As for having a schedule, I do. Not a daily one, actually, but a monthly one. At the beginning of each month I set goals for myself in terms of raw numbers of words I want to write for each of my WIPs, as well as what kind of edits I need to do. I then keep track each day of how many words I wrote for each story, and how much more I need to write to hold my deadlines. I find that it helps me stay motivated. My schedule for April is the heaviest so far this year. I assigned myself 50,000 words to write. Get back to me at the end of April to see how I fared!
What is one tip you want to share with an aspiring author?
Write every day. It doesn’t matter what you write, or how long it is, or even if you end up using a specific day’s writing in your final story. Just make it a point of sitting down and writing *something* every single day, no exception, no excuses. Don’t even count how many words you write each day for a few weeks, then when you are consistent in doing the every day thing, start giving yourself a daily minimum. Hold that for a few days or a couple of weeks, then raise it. And again. And before you know it, you’ll have a short story. Keep it going, and you’ll soon get to a full novel. The key is to be consistent.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just that I love writing for *them*. From the very first time I picked up that blank book and started writing in it, I wanted to share my stories with people. It’s still the same today. I wrote the Out of the Box sequel because readers asked for it. I included the On The Edge characters because readers asked that, too. Recently I’ve started (again) writing flash fiction pieces that I post on my website as glimpses into my characters’ lives. I often ask for readers’ suggestions or input about what to write next. The more they talk to me, the more I write for them!
Thank you Kallysten! It was a pleasure having you.
About the Author: Kallysten
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’s been writing for over fifteen years, and has always enjoyed sharing her stories and listening to the readers’ reactions.
Her first novels were published by Linden Bay Romance in 2005. The defunct Venus Press subsequently published a few short stories. Because so many of my stories are linked as series and part of the same universe, she decided it would make sense to have them all in the same place, which is why she decided to self-publish with Alinar. When she see calls for submissions that speak to her muse, she sometimes try for them, and was published this way by Samhain and Torquere.
When not writing – which isn’t all that often! – she devours books, work in her vegetables patch or at her real-life job, puts small quilts together for friends, and tries to exercise more.
If you’d like to find out more about Kallysten and her books, you can find her at the following locations!