AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: AMBER KALLYN
Check out the fiery cover on Amber Kallyn latest story and spend a few minutes with the chocoholic and the bunnies:
Tell us a little about Blazed, what inspired you to write it?
The Dragos series began with the question. “What would happen if a dragon shifter fell in love with a fireman?” As I figured out my dragon shifter, I realized she has a huge family. So it was natural to tell the stories of her siblings. Blazed is about Ty Dragos, a bounty hunter who finds love with a fire nymph.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I’m a hybrid of plotter and panster. I like to have a chapter outline, with a few brief notes about what will happen in each chapter. Because Dragos is a series with a bad guy that pops up in each book, I also had a skimpy outline about how he would be defeated at the end. Once I start writing, though, my characters come into their own and tell me where to go — which sometimes is the complete opposite of what I outlined. I think when that happens, the story becomes more interesting.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I’ve always loved the supernatural. I read a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, so when I started writing, it was natural for me to write fantastical people and elements. Dragons are my favorite creature. Put them together… J
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Calla Dragos from book 1, Burned, has a special place in my heart. So does Bree from Blazed. They’re different women, but both are fiercely independent and don’t take any crap.
Do you have a character that you look back on now and don’t like?
I tend to like and enjoy all my characters. I’m glad though, I’d hate to write about someone then end up disliking them.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I’ve heard that all authors put a little of themselves in every character. Considering I’m known as a smart ass — yeah, my females tend to be on the snarky side.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Right now, since I’m working on a new story, it would be brainstorming, LOL. I don’t know. Each step of the writing process has its own ups and downs — and the hardest part is always, for me, different from book to book.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I blush when talking about sex, LOL. Seriously, though, for some reason, I can write it, but put me with people and actually try to talk about it? Beet red face.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
My favorite thing to do is draw a hot (very hot) bath, sit back without interruptions from the kids — almost impossible, but one can always hope, right — and relax. Sometimes I have a book to read, a glass of wine and chocolate, sometimes I take my little recorder with me and talk out issues or plot.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I need some sort of roadmap. I envy those who have an idea and then sit down and start writing. If I can’t see at least little pieces of the whole story, I kind of freeze up a little.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
From what I hear, I’m a minority. I don’t listen to music when I write. If I put on good songs, I end up not writing and instead, sing along. If it’s just music, I tune it out and can’t even hear it.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Hmm, Bree would have to be a red-headed Kirsten Dunst (from Spiderman) and Ty would be Ryan Reynolds. I have #RomanceTradingCards as well with photos of what they look like. http://amberkallyn.wordpress.com/romancetradingcards/
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home actually. I’d submitted a few weeks earlier, and was in the middle of doing homework when my email popped up. All I saw was a tidbit of the subject line. ‘Contract Offered’. After hyperventilating for a few minutes, I got up the nerve to actually click on it. Had to re-read it a few times to actually believe what I was seeing. Then, I cried and called my hubby. He’s gotten used to this. Rather than panicking and asking what was wrong, why was I crying, he asked ‘Is it good news or bad?’.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Hmm. Good question. I’ve always been an avid reader. I’d say probably around 10 or so. My bookshelves have always been eclectic, with books of ranging genres.
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
I’m extremely lucky to not work outside the home. I’m a mom, and a full time student though, which keeps me pretty busy.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I just finished Dragos 4, out on May 20th. Next up is a new paranormal romance about immortals and witches.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
Ha! Gee, I’ve never heard any of those… I’ve found the best response is, “My books are even better than romance, I write erotic.” I usually get a couple fast eye-blinks, a little smile, then they nod and turn away. It’s hard. No matter what someone writes, it takes an unbelievable amount of time and effort to get the darn thing done and spit-shined. IMO, people with that attitude need a good smack upside the head.
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Silly? This is the serious part. Oh, man. You mean I have to pick one? Okay, let’s see… Well, I guess it’d have to be milk chocolate, since that’s what I eat the most (every day). Dark and white I kind of save for special occasions. Those are the nibbling kind.