Monday, September 13, 2010

Author Interview ~ Kayelle Allen

It's Monday, and today we have with us very good friend to The Menagerie, Kayelle Allen! Let's all make her feel welcome (the Cabana Boys are already on it, I promise).

Kayell, we're so glad you could join us today. Megan
and I just love it when you come play with us! Mysti and Jenny too, but they let us play on Mondays... and then wonder why the Cabana Boys are dehydrated. :::shrugs:::

Let's go ahead and get started. Why don't you tell us your latest news?

The last time we spoke, I had two books that would be out the next week. At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and The Last Vhalgenn. I also have a June 1st release planned for my book For Women Only. Surrender Trust was in edits and should have a release date soon, likely late summer. This has been a good year so far. I won an EPIC (aka EPPIE pre-2010) for Surrender Love in the Science Fiction Erotic category. The beautiful trophy is sitting to the left and behind my computer, on a shelf of its own. I hope to add to my trophy shelf by writing more books with the theme, “Unstoppable heroes, Uncompromising love, Unforgettable passion.”

I remember when you won that EPPIE! I was so excited for you. What an awesome achievement! And I'm always amazed at your writing schedule.

Busy, busy girl. And a trophy! Nice. Do you have a specific writing style?

I have one story out (The Last Vhalgenn) that is told in first person. All my others are third person (he, she, they). I work at creating sentences that have the most powerful words at the end, such as this line from the upcoming Surrender Trust: “Luc broke their kiss only to swoop in for more, and Rah yielded as fully as he had during the night, arching his neck, tilting his head, offering his mouth for more untamed kisses.” The words preceding “untamed kisses” describe how they are received, and the end is what is given. The descriptive words make the ending stronger. Readers remember the last few words, so I want them to take the correct image with them. I’m also known for cliffhanger chapters and twists in the plot. One of my readers wrote, “Think you know what'll happen next? No way. It's by Kayelle.” I take that as a huge compliment. A Romance Junkies reviewer wrote, “There were lots of surprises in this book and not everything is as it seems. I enjoyed turning each page to find my assumptions were wrong, and watching the story go a different way. The ending held an interesting twist, leaving room for Ms. Allen to wow us all with her sequel.”

Speaking as a fan, I can say that's a very good way of describing your work. Not just kind words :-D

Even though, we love kind words. Speaking of kind words, if you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Barbara Karmazin took me under her wing and taught me about deep POV, which I use to this day. Janet Elizabeth Jones and Jodi Lynn Copeland each had powerful and personal influences on my early writing. I’m grateful to all of them.

You have to love it when you have people who take such an interest in your writing, and people that you can look up to. If you could, name one entity that you feel supported you - outside of family members.

My Yahoo critique groups para-rom-crit-2, and group para-rom-crit-3. Without the members there, I would never have published my first book. I now use beta readers, and Jean, Rhyss, and Jalane are all blessings.

We love our Cp’s too. Even the best self editing needs another pair of eyes.

Amen, Sistah! How awesome, Kayelle, that you have such great people to help you make your beautiful stories even better. Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. I treat my writing like a business and put in regular hours, plus plenty of overtime. I have a marketing plan, goals, and a mission statement. What is it? “To give readers a great roller coaster ride of a story that brings excitement, fun, and takes them in directions they didn’t expect.” I also have a promise to my readers. “I promise to give you a complex plot that immerses you in an erotic tale and provides plenty of unexpected action, in settings so real you'll swear you've been there.”

Great, I feel like a slacker now. :-D

You’re intense, Kayelle. Love it! Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’d love to. Here’s an excerpt.

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

She steals one kiss and her pheromones addict him. How can he return to his master now that she has him at the mercy of her pleasure?

Senth holds a lofty position in the elite Thieves' Guild. Drugged since puberty to suppress his feral half-feline side, nothing suppresses his daredevil, risk-loving human half. His master offers him a deal. Work with a Better, an enhanced woman with addictive, pleasure-laced pheromones, and he'll buy and free Senth's cruelly enslaved older brother. The job? Grab-and-go. The condition? Remain a virgin. The drug he takes ensures it, no matter how tempting the woman or her pheromones. The problem? Nothing goes right. The job outlasts the drug's effect. All Senth wants is one touch, one kiss, one oh-so-tempting lick of her perfect, lush skin. The downside? With his brother's freedom at stake, how can he risk putting himself at the mercy of her pleasure?

Setting up the scene: NarrAy Jorlan has hired professional thief Senth Antonello to steal back an heirloom confiscated by the despotic empress. In itself, the item has only sentimental value, but in it, NarrAy's parents hid a code to finishing the secret technology they were developing before they were murdered. After meeting Senth in person, NarrAy returns to her ship. But their meeting keeps playing in her imagination, with a completely different ending...

All People's Liberation Army Ship Jalane
Officers' Quarters

NarrAy brought Senth's image to mind, picturing him as he'd looked at the Ghost, minus his overbearing master and the audience of her aides.

"Mmm, hell-loh, Senth." Naked before him, she slid one hand up the front of his shirt. "Can I interest you in a sugar-cookie snack?"

He leaned forward, bending down to kiss her, his dark, curly hair a cloak around them. The hesitant brush of his lips against hers made her press up against him, capturing his kiss.

She pulled back enough to speak. "Hold me. Please, Senth, hold me. No one ever touches me. I'm so alone."

Senth drew her fully into his arms and embraced her, fitting the entire length of his body against hers. "I'll touch you anywhere you want, NarrAy. Everywhere you want." He slid his fingers through her hair, his smile revealing fangs. "Let me kiss you again."

NarrAy gripped his jacket with both hands and drew him down.

The wet heat of his mouth against hers brought a crest of pheromones.

Senth slid one hand down her body, cupped one of her breasts, and then bent to suckle her. His rough, catlike tongue against her sensitive skin triggered a line of heat straight to her core. Moisture seeped onto her thighs.

Senth inhaled. "Mmm. You smell so good." He slid his hand down the front of her body and pressed his palm against her outer lips. He slipped one finger between them. "You're wet." He lifted his hand to inhale her fragrance, then licked his finger. "Sweet." He went to his knees before her, his pale blue gaze lifting to hers. "May I taste you?"

She shook her head no, but her mouth said "yes." She leaned back against the wall of her cabin and widened her legs. "Please." NarrAy caressed his face. "Senth, I want your touch."

Antonello Brothers 1: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure (a Tarthian Empire Book)
Available at Loose Id
Format: eBook in multiple formats
Genre: Erotic Science Fiction Romance, Action Adventure
Heat level: R=explicit sex
Warnings: explicit content, kidnapping and rescue, violence, reference to former abuse and male rape, pheromone-induced seduction
Author website:
Author email: kayelle @ kayelleallen .com

Senth is Kin right? :::shiver::: I love your Kin. Where are those Cabana Boys and my palm fronds? It's hot in here...

I so need a fan right now, too. Whew and these are just snippets. Now to even hotter things, the covers. Who designed the covers?

My covers at Liquid Silver Books (The Tales of the Chosen trilogy) are all by Laura Givens. Kat Haeske did one cover at Shadowfire Press, and Janet Elizabeth Jones did the other. My books at Loose Id are by Anne Cain. Surrender Love (Anne’s work) won Best Cover 2009 from the Love Romances Cafe group, and was a runner up for cover in the Preditor’s and Editor’s Poll. Anne also designed the cover for At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. That was a challenge, because one of the main characters was Luc Saint-Cyr, and the cover shows Senth trying to decide whether to follow NarrAy, or obey Luc and return to him. Since Luc is Senth’s Sen’dai (mentor) and owner, as well as his adoptive father, the images of the three had to be positioned carefully to avoid the appearance of a menage. Anne did an amazing job.

I would have to agree. I love those covers!

They are indeed beautiful. Do you have any advice for other writers?

You will not fail until you give up. The difference between a published author and an unpublished one is often no more than the published one sent out one more manuscript. Begin each endeavor with the end in mind. Picture yourself receiving the acceptance letter. No one sets out to write a flop, so don’t allow negative self-talk. Each rejection brings you one step closer to success.

Wow, you’re making me up my game. And I’m not even sure I have an A game.

LOL, sure you do. So do I, we just may not have found it yet, but we'll get there. :-D Kayelle, what would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write straight through the book, from chapter one to the end. I don’t depart from it. At points, I may realize I need to go back and add a scene to explain some detail I’ve created, but otherwise, I’m a very literal point A to B type of writer. I’m highly creative and inventive, but when it comes to writing, I’m methodical. I also depend on notes and if I get a “great idea” I jot it down in the book’s idea document. I keep one for each story (or series). Once I record it there, I can go back later and use it when needed, but often, a scene ends up being altered and used in a completely different book. It was a good idea, but it didn’t work where I thought it would. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and always record ideas. Otherwise, I’d start writing myself down a rabbit hole and end up with an entirely different book.

I can totally see how that would happen. I do the idea document too, but usually when I'm going through with minor edits, when I figure out what isn't working and so on. Nice to know I'm not the only one. LOL

I got plenty of notebooks of ideas. I’d never keep them straight otherwise. Great idea. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have two at Loose Id (with two more scheduled this year), three at Liquid Silver Books, two at Shadowfire Press, and one at Wolfsinger Publications. I also have one audiobook at Favorite book? It always seems to be the one I’m working on at the moment. They’re like children. I love them all the same, but each in a different way.

LOL, I think I find each one is my favorite as I write it... then the next one comes along and that one is my favorite. But I love them all equally in the end, lol. I think that's how it's supposed to be, unless a story you write is intensely personal for you for whatever reason, they're all going to hold a certain part of your heart.

Can’t knock loving your work. Makes you more proud. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I often hear from them. One of the most common questions I get is when will (fill in the blank) get a story? I love these, because it shows me where the interest is, and I can focus on filling that need. After the first versions of At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only came out, all I heard was “When does Luc Saint-Cyr get a story?” He garnered the next three as either a main or a secondary character, and I’m currently writing the third book in a trilogy devoted to him. So you see, I do listen and try to make readers happy. I’ve also had a lot of requests for more in-depth information on the role-playing game the immortal Sempervians use, called Peril. In For Women Only, they will get their wish. I included a scene that gives more detail about Peril and how it’s played. They’ll also see a very in-depth scene in Surrender Will, due out either very late 2010 or early 2011.

I will say, that I love your universe and no matter how many of your stories you write I can go to your site and take a tour of the Empire and revisit certain places (yes, I'm plugging your site... I love it). But I do love that you talk to your fans and hang out with us. So, it doesn't surprise me that you listen and try to give us what we want. :-D

We’ve gotten the work questions out of the way, now for the fun questions, the "absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing" questions: What were you doing at midnight last night?

I was online, reading blogs and posting comments. I like to do that before heading for bed. I take care of emails in the morning, and pop on after lunch. If I can, I stay offline until I’ve finished writing, at about five p.m. After dinner, I check email again, and then sometimes write or hang out on line at various Yahoo groups or forums. At midnight, most nights, you’ll find me online.

LOL, the life of a busy author... playing around online. LOL, seriously, I know just what you mean. :-D What is your favorite pizza?

First, let me say I don’t eat it often, because my lifestyle is to eat fresh, healthy foods, and I’ve reduced my weight by about eighty pounds over the last three-plus years by eating that way. That said, I like pepperoni, lots and lots of pepperoni! I admit that I use a napkin to absorb some of the grease because it’s just yucky otherwise. I really do not like sausage, but if I get to have any toppings I want, I’ll have double pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, black olives, and extra cheese. The weird part? I usually eat only the top part and leave the crust. However… if it’s Papa John’s and they include garlic dipping sauce, all bets are off on that. LOL

OMG, I am SO glad to know I'm not the only one who soaks up the grease with a paper towel. Can you please do a movie of it so I can prove this to my own family? Please?

Hee hee. Gotta have those quirks. Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

Pitch dark. Your pineal gland is stimulated by light, and keeps your body in a wakeful state when there is even a glow. When it’s dark, the gland releases melatonin which helps you sleep. (hubby is studying medical assisting … oh the trivia I have learned.) So, if you have trouble sleeping, put a small flashlight near the bed so you can see if you have to get up, and then make the room as dark as possible.

Um Kealie, I guess that means no more nightlight...nah. You can have an industrial flashlight instead.

Oh, you can bite me, well... you can send one of your boys my way to bite me... anyway, I'm not losin' my nightlight. You don't want terrified Kealie wandering through a pitchblack house with a flashlight and stiletto boot as a weapon... and you KNOW I'll use it too! Why are you messin' with me? >_<

Anyway, now that we've freaked Kealie out... Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

Absolutely can tell the difference. I have never liked Coke or Pepsi, even as a kid. I never drank Coke until Tab came out (showing my age there). Then Diet Pepsi came along, and I liked it too. The diet versions of both are wonderful. I drink the caffeine free, diet versions. Just don’t offer me anything that has the name Zero in it. Gross! >..< I like to add a sugar-free vanilla syrup or a cherry syrup. My all-time-ever-in-the-world favorite soft drink isn’t made any more. *sniff* I loved Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper. *sigh* It was heavenly.

My dad about had a hissy fit (and if you know my dad, that's a hilarious picture for you) when they stopped making Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper. He and my husband acted like... someone had just outlawed Godiva. I told him that he could no longer pick on me about my food/drink addictions. :-D

Um, never tried that one. Although, I’ll take your word for it sounding yummy. Do you like thunderstorms?

Love them. I sleep best during thunderstorms, and have never been afraid of them. The sound of deep thunder rolling across the sky has a majestic power. I have a CD that plays the sounds of rain and thunder, and I put it on a continuous loop. It’s thirty minutes of sound, from a light trickle to a downpour. As I sit here, we’ve just come through a thunderstorm. The house shook, lightning flashed beyond the curtains, and the patter of rain changed to a torrential beating. We sat in the center of house away from direct windows, and listened as the wind howled. The sound of trees whipping in the wind mixed with the pelting rain, and the occasional tink of pinecones against the house. Hmm, now that I think about it, this could be a great description for a scene I’ll be writing in an upcoming book. If you read this and then happen upon a similar sounding part in one of my future books, don’t be surprised. Inspiration comes in many disguises. The trick is learning which bits of inspiration to use. =^_^=

I love those inspirations. I love when an environment you're in gives life to a scene yet to come. Good luck with all your writing and upcoming releases, Kayelle. I'm just so excited for you. Thank you again, for hanging out on the couch with us today. It was great fun having you here with us, and great fun getting to know you better. I hope you can come back and hang out on our couch with us soon. I know how busy you are.

So, that's the end of our review. Thanks everyone for dropping in and hanging out with us today. We greatly greatly appreciate it, and hope you continue to come back to see how we're all doin'. Have a lovely Monday (don't shoot me, I really DO want you do have a lovely Monday).

Kayelle Allen is a multipublished romance author whose worldbuilding skills include a broad sweep of ten-thousand years of future history, a feline language, and tradestandard 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. You can keep up with Kayelle at the following contacts (click on the word and it will take you to that like:


Email - kayelle @ kayelleallen .com

Homepage; Booklist; The Edge of Peril - Inside the Sempervian World; Romance Lives Forever - Group; Romance Lives Forever - MySpace; Romance Lives Forever - Blog; Romance Roll Call; Twitter; Facebook; Marketing for Romance Writers

At The Mercy of Her Pleasure by Kayelle Allen

At eighteen, Senth Antonello already holds a lofty position in the elite Thieves' Guild. Drugged since puberty to suppress his feral half-feline side, nothing suppresses his other half, a daredevil who lives for risk. Before his master hires him out to a Better, an enhanced woman with addictive, pleasure-laced pheromones, the man offers him a deal too good to pass up. Finish the job successfully and he will buy Senth's older brother and free him. The job? Grab-and-go. The downside? Senth must remain a virgin, no matter how beautiful or tempting the woman.

Captain NarrAy Jorlan is twenty-five, a career officer, and determined to regain the technology stolen from her murdered parents. She hires a pro to steal it back. Unlike most Betters, NarrAy masters her powerful sex pheromones that addict her partners to her. Yet every moment with this sexually inexperienced young thief makes her wetter, hungrier, and more eager to taste and touch every part of his body. Surely she can steal a kiss or two from a thief without losing control. Can't she give in just a little, without risking him being at the mercy of her pleasure?

Publisher's Note: This book is a substantially re-edited, revised edition previously released by another publisher, and contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play, dubious consent, ménage (m/f/m), reference to rape offscreen.


Kayelle Allen said...

This was a fun interview, and I love the banter between the various authors.

Kealie, Stiletto weapons huh? I won't be doing sleepovers at your house anytime soon. LOL!

BTW - release dates have changed. Mercy and For Women Only are both out, Surrender Trust and Surrender Will are due out 2011, and I'm working on some other things as well. Right now, those others are only in the plotting stage. I work on one thing at a time. Can't focus otherwise.

I'll check back during the day to see what's up, so any questions, fire away. (phasers on stun tho) =^_^=

Sapphire Phelan said...

Great interview, Kayelle!

Kealie Shay said...

I'm so glad you could hang out with us today, Kayelle! Megan and I had a blast doing your interview. I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as we did. :-D

Kayelle Allen said...

It was fun! I need to get the entire Menagerie to do an interview on my blog and see how differently you all answer questions. What do you think? Are you up for it?

Kealie Shay said...

LOL, I know I would be. So would Megan and Mysti. We'd most likely have to physically hunt Jenny down, lol. It would definitely be fun. :-D

hotcha12 said...


Nina Pierce said...

Wonderful interview ladies. I'm so happy for you Kayelle, that this great series has been expanded and re-released. Loose-Id has created some very sexy covers for your books. Congrats!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Kayelle,

The Menagerie gals' questions are absolutely the best I've seen anywhere. I had an interview with them a few months ago, and I couldn't stop laughing when they actually posted it --even though I _knew_ how I'd answered!

I'm a point A to point B person too, by the way. AND I love pepperoni (and remember Tab...!)

Congratulations on your continued success.