Interview (& Giveaway): Kylie Griffin, author of Vengeance Born

I’m so happy to have Kylie Griffin on the blog today! Kylie is the author of the brand new fantasy/romance, Vengeance Born, and was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Also, Kylie is offering a copy of Vengeance Born to one lucky reader (and it’s INTERNATIONAL, to wherever The Book Depository ships), so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!

Please welcome Kylie to the blog!

Kylie, your brand new fantasy, Vengeance Born, just came out, and you’re already the recipient of quite a few writing awards! Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I’m very excited to see VENGEANCE BORN finally on the shelf! It’s been a long time coming.
I started writing when I was about 12 years old, so I suppose you could say I wanted to be a writer from a young age. I don’t think I’d have stuck at it for all that long though without the support of two wonderful English teachers. They encouraged my fledgling attempts during the years I was at high school and I’ll be forever grateful to them.
From there I continued writing through my twenties, submitted work to publishers but made every mistake in the book – generic query letters, no synopsis, wrong target publisher etc. It wasn’t until I discovered the Romance Writers of Australia that I realised just how much more learning about the industry and refining of my crafting skills I needed to do.

I attended conferences, entered MANY contests, learned heaps from the feedback, began reaching the finals and eventually placing and winning.

In the contest year of 2009/10, there must have been a huge celestial aligning of the planets (*grin*) because I won the RWAustralia Valerie Parv Award, the RWNZ Clendon Award, placed second, third and fourth in the RWAustralia Emerald:Single Title, won an RWA Golden Heart in the Paranormal section, and placed first in both the paranormal section of the West Houston RWA 2010 Emily contest & the Best of the Best section (which placed my work in front of Leis Pederson, who is now my editor). 

And the year wasn’t even over! In October 2010, I was in the middle of finding an agent, literally juggling half a dozen offers of representation, when an email from Leis Pederson arrived in my inbox.
She wanted to buy VENGEANCE BORN and two other books in the Light Blade series for the Berkley Sensation line. I quickly found and signed with my agent, Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency, and the rest is history.
That 12 months was bit of an exciting roller coaster ride. 🙂

What do you like most about writing fantasy/romance?
The world building! Nothing beats the excitement of creating a new world or culture and then fleshing it out – the characters, their cultures, politics, military, traditions, religions, clothing, technology, weapons, geography – everything.

Being able to make it so real that readers suspend their disbelief and live alongside your characters as their story unfolds. If they end up with the same sense of wonder as I did when I first imagined it, then my job as an author is done…at least until the next book!

What was one of your favorite things about writing Vengeance Born?
Definitely the romance between Kalan and Annika. The relationship is very Shakespearean – they come from warring races and have to overcome prejudice, mistrust and each other’s preconceptions.

A favorite scene of mine is one of the first times Kalan threatens to kill Annika. Their fragile alliance is threatened by her being Na’Chi (half human, half demon).

As a Light Blade warrior, Kalan has seen the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves. Annika doesn’t trust him but has no choice but to share information about herself with him.

“Hungry?” Kalan halted by a thick tree trunk, the shadowed darkness beyond it less daunting than the fear that skittered along his spine. “For what?”
“For blood.”
His scalp crawled, shock and anger twisting within him. Lady’s Breath! Hadn’t he been trained never to let his guard down? A half-demon, even a pretty one, was still a demon. With a curse, he jerked away from her, reaching for a sword no longer belted around his waist. “You drink blood?”
Adrenaline raced through him when he realized he was unarmed. Unarmed against a woman powerful enough to kill with a touch. He fisted his hands.
“That’s why you helped me escape? Why you need me with you?” The image of her latched on to him, feeding, flashed through his mind. “I’m a convenient food source?”
How many Light Blade warriors had he seen fall in battle? How many had he heard scream in agony as demon teeth ripped into their throats or wrists so they could be drained?
Nausea choked him. Too many.
Kalan dropped into a crouch, teeth bared. “Come one step closer and I will kill you.”

The revelation that she drinks blood, just like his Na’Reish enemies, endangers the thin thread of trust they’ve established during their escape from her father’s fortress. It seems an insurmountable hurdle but it was a hoot devising a way for them to overcome that problem and strengthen their confidence in one another and from there take it to the next level – developing it into a relationship.

What are your biggest literary influences?
I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy – books, TV shows, movies – you name it, I read or watched it. When other kids preferred playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians, I invented galactic and empiric wars, turning trees into fortresses and spaceships. 🙂

During my teens I read and loved authors like Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, Rowena Corey Daniells, and David Eddings.

But of all of these authors, Anne McCaffrey was a huge influence on me as a writer. Her stories fired my imagination and inspired me to write my own. I loved how well she combined all the elements of good fantasy/SF and never shied away from including a romance in the story. The best of all worlds!

What are you reading now?
I’m on a reading binge of two authors – Ellen Connor and her New Age Dawning series (which I’ve just finished), and Sarah McCarthy’s Hells Eight erotic western series. I love the grittiness of both series, the world-building is fantastic and the characters are solid and compelling.

If you could read one book again for the first time, which one would it be?
DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey – I can still remember the sense of wonder and amazement of discovering dragons that could speak, imagining F’lar’s knife fight with Lord Fax, of standing in Lessa’s place on the hatching grounds when she first Impressed Ramoth and going Between with the dragonriders of Pern.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing unusual, but I do have a bit of a routine when I’m writing. After getting up in the morning and having breakfast I clear out the emails, put on the answering machine, light up some incense then spent a few hours writing.

It’s all new content in the morning. After work (teaching), I edit what I wrote in the morning and complete any other writing business like blogging, promotion, etc., and then spend some time social networking.
Rinse and repeat. And that’s what I usually do until I complete a book. Then I go on a catch up reading binge! And a housework binge! And a go-out-and-socialise binge!

When you’re not busy writing, I read that you’re a volunteer firefighter! Can you tell us more about that?
I live in a quite a small, isolated rural community (I’m about eight hours north west of Sydney in the region that is called north-western New South Wales). We’re an hour from any sort of emergency service.
In Australia we have many community volunteer organizations, and one of them is the Rural Fire Service, of which I’ve been a member for about eight years now. There are six of us and we attend emergency call outs in and around the local area.
We train once a month, practising with the hoses & various equipment from the truck. I’ve learned to drive the truck (although I’m not licensed as such), just in case. (fire truck jpeg attached)
What I love about the role is the mateship with other members. You get to know the others in the team pretty well, and it’s a good thing we all get on well together because when you’re out on a call out you rely on everyone looking out for or helping each other.
The myriad of skills I’ve learned has been a great change of pace from my day job – I’m a primary school teacher – more physical and hands on.
I also get a great deal of satisfaction from helping people in my community too!

If someone were to visit you in New South Wales for the first time, where would you take them?
Oh, there are so many places worth visiting! I suppose if it were to be a place out here near where I live I’d take you a bit farther west to the Warrumbungles National Park. Many of the hills around here are the remnants of lava flows from a super-volcano that originated in the Warrumbungles. (hills jpeg attached)
There are some great bushwalks in the park, some easy, and some, like the Grand High Tops and the Breadknife graded as strenuous.

During the walks you’d get to see a lot of our natural wildlife – kangaroos, wallabies, poteroos, emus, maybe a wombat or koala, cockatoos, rosellas, galahs, kookaburras, frill neck lizards, goannas.
Sounds like a guided animal tour around a zoo but honestly, I do see the majority of these animals, on a daily basis, out here where I live.

To finish off, we could have a barbie (BBQ) along with stubby or two (beer) for lunch. 

In your bio it says that two of your fave vacation spots are New Zealand and Scotland. If you could pick a destination that you haven’t traveled to, and go tomorrow, where would you go?

Definitely Egypt (I think I might have been an archeologist in a former life).

I’ve always had a fascination for ancient Egypt and its history ever since studying a bit about the culture during a history topic on Ancient Rome (looking at their empire when it expanded across the Mediterranean). I’d love to explore the ancient sites and experience travelling along the Nile.

I also read that you’re a primary school teacher. Do your students know that they have a future bestselling writer for a teacher?
LOL – thank you for the best-selling writer compliment!
Yes, my students know I write and so do their parents. I’ve always told them I had a dream of being a published author. They understand I write adult books but they’ve always asked me to write books for kids – “like Harry Potter, Miss!” Only they want one on cats because I’m always sharing stories with them about my cats (I own three).
The wonderful thing is about living in a small close knit community is that the families and staff have been very supportive of my goals. (cats jpeg attached)

Is there any other news of upcoming projects (teasers of future books always welcome) or events that you’d like to share with us?
ALLIANCE FORGED, the second book in this series is out July 3rd. I’m so pleased Berkley decided to release two books this year.

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.

And, all going well, Book #3 (untitled) is scheduled for an early 2013 release. Both books feature characters introduced in VENGEANCE BORN.
On the new manuscript/writing front, if I get time I’ll finish off a sci-fi/space opera romance that I started just before I received ‘the call’ from Berkley back in late 2010…unless, of course, I’m contracted for more in the Light Blade series!

Thanks so much for having me as your guest – I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions and would welcome any from your readers.

Keep up with Kylie: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
**You can also find all of Kylie’s blog tour stops listed here, so be sure to go give these blogs, and Kylie, some more love!

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin to 1 winner
3. Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
4. Must include a valid email address
5. You must enter on or before 3/1/12
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.
7. Book kindly provided by the author.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hey, Ms Kylie!! Im finally here, LOL. HUGE congrats on VB’s release. I know I’ve said it befoe, but you can never say it too many times! May it be the beginning of a long and stellar career.

    Michelle 🙂

  2. Lovely interview, lovely author and lovely book 😉

    thanks for the giveaway, so excited 😉

    • Eli, thank you for being a follower during this book tour, I really do appreciate your support and fingers crossed for the draw! 😀

  3. Great interview. Thanks for sharing your writer’s journey and congrats on the release! Both covers are stunning!

    • ML-This is from Kylie:)

      Hi, ML, Gene Mollica is the cover artist for both my books, and he did a wonderful job conceptualising the elements eg. Annika is just how I imagined her to be. I hope he’s commissioned to work on the cover for the third book in the series.
      Late last year I had the pleasure of interviewing him for my blog. If you’d like to read about how he created VENGEANCE BORN’s cover, here’s the link –
      He’s also done quite a few other author’s covers in the UF/PR/FR/SFR genres. His website –


  4. Hi, Ms Kylie! Congrats on VB’s release. I love cover Vengeance Born. I want to know, how many book for this series. Thanks for giveaway 🙂

    • Hi Filia, thanks for the congrats. Good question – at the moment I’m contracted for 3 books in this series but I do have at least another four secondary characters demanding their own story. I’m hoping I get a chance to write and publish them. And after that who knows… 🙂

  5. Looking forward to being able to dig into this book.

  6. I’m so pleased to be able to say I LOVED IT…VB rocks 🙂

    Cant wait for AF

  7. ML, I’m having technical difficulties posting a reply to your comment but will persevere!

  8. Wow, it’s so cool you are a volunteer firefighter and that you even learned to drive the truck. I agree, it sounds like there are many skills to pick up and inspire your stories.

    • If you ever get the chance to learn a skill like fire fighting or driving a truck, take it! Particularly if it’s not something you’ve usually do in your day-job (part of the reason why I enjoy volunteering with community services like the Rural Fire Service or State Emergency Service).

      And yes, lots of inspiration for books amidst the call outs I attend!

  9. Cannot wait to read this. It looks absolutely fantastic.

  10. Congratulations on the release! I enjoyed your interview and look forward to reading both books!

    • I’m an avid reader of fantasy and fantasy romance so I’m glad to be on the flipside publishing books and sharing my love for the genre with readers, Carol.

  11. Hi! Your book sounds wonderful! Great interview. Your cover is awesome by the way. 🙂 Cant wait to read your story! Thanks for sharing!

  12. A very intriging book. I was wondering if teaching has influenced your writing in any way?

    • Stella, you posed a great question, and my answer would be that teaching has probably influenced my writing in many ways.

      The first, most obvious impact would be in my grasp of grammar and punctuation. When I went to primary school (elementary) “whole language” was very much the teaching trend.

      The belief behind the practice was that a child would absorb what they needed to know about language through immersion rather than explicit teaching of the fundamental elements ie.word building, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation. As a result I grew up knowing or understand little about the conventions.

      When I trained to be a teacher then graduated and took my first posting I had to learn very quickly the conventions. Luckily, I had a Kinder/Grade 1 &2 class and as I taught them about language, I learned along with them.

      Now, some 20 (mumble, mumble) years on I love playing with language and seeing how I can manipulate words and make the text I write the best it can be. (Same goes for helping children learn how to use it).

      Another side effect of teaching (I suppose you could call it that), and I never realised this until a crit partner pointed it out, is that most of my stories have young children in them.

      Funnily enough, some of the contest judges have commented on this as well, and mentioned that I portray them “appropriately” in actions & dialogue. That must come from being around them most of the day! 🙂

      And here, I’ll stop – never realised I’d written so much in answer to your question!

  13. These sound awesome! Congrats on the books and I’m looking forward to reading them. P.S. I’ve worked with elementary students, and they are cute, but glad you decided to write for adults.

    • Hello fellow chalkie, Laurie! LOL – my students would definitely disagree with you on your comment!!!

      The cool part of being a teacher and an author is that over the years a handful of past students have professed a desire to also become authors. Most are in high school now but they’ve continued to follow their passion which is gratifying to see. I certainly hope they make their dream come true.

      In the acknowledgement section of VENGEANCE BORN I credited two wonderful high school English teachers for encouraging and supporting my fledgling efforts all the way through. And it was an absolutely pleasure to post copies of VENGEANCE BORN to them this year in thanks. 🙂

  14. I really enjoyed the interview, I sure would love a tour of your area, it sounds fantastic! One day maybe I’ll make it to Australia and New Zealand both, they’re such wonderful countries that I’d love to visit.

    • Hi, Barbara, you’ll love Australia & NZ if you make it down here – there’s so much to see and we’re not so different in cultures that it’s hard to get around (just remember we drive on the left hand side of the road :-D).

      Meeting the people is why I love travelling – the places are great but it’s the local flavours and conversations that make it fantastic.

  15. It’s been a long time since I visited the Warrumbungles. I live near a National Park in QLD & it is amazing what you can see. I love the smell of the bush.

    I would love to read VENGEANCE BORN thank you.

    • Ahh, Mary, hello! It’s great to meet someone who knows my area. 🙂 National Parks in Australia are such wonderful places, aren’t they? I think I prefer them to the city sights, and yes, nothing beats the smell of the bush. Good luck in the draw.

  16. Hi Kylie congratulations on your release and thank you for sharing with us today I realy enjoyed your post .I love the covers and cant wait to read this series it sounds great .Have a fantastic week

    • G’day, Wanda, thank you, it’s been a hoot visiting My Bookish Ways. If you’re keen to check out the other interviews (as I tried to make sure no two answers contained the same information or snippets from VENGEANCE BORN), Kristin has place a link to my blog tour at the very bottom of this post.

      From memory, there’s a first kiss scene, a scene of Kalan and Annika at Sacred Lake, a snippet where Kalan theatens to kill Annika and one from inside the dungeon when Annika rescues Kalan. 🙂

      • Ohh, I also forgot to mention the hot spring scene – it’s in a post on Romance Book Paradise. The post is called “A Recipe for Fantasy Romance…” and it’s styled as a recipe. A lot of fun to write.

  17. thanks for the interview and congrats on your release! i love the cover of vengeance born and it sounds like it’s a really good book : ) i can’t wait to read it!

  18. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  19. Great interview! I look forward to reading the series!

  20. kylie..

    this is a great interview..i love this cover…very excotic,,i cant wait to read VB..

    thanks for the giveaway..^^

    • G’day Dian! I wish I had a dollar for every compliment paid the cover! LOL

      Here’s a fascinating fact for anyone that’s interested – the amulet Annika is wearing was actually crafted by a friend of Gene Mollica (the cover artist) for this cover. I was floored that Gene went to such lengths and detail to achieve his concept for it. So glad he did though!

  21. I have read two of your interviews now and feel that your book would be one that I would enjoy reading. Strong heroines are one of my favorites too!

    • Hello, Dee, wonderful to hear this series might just be up your alley.

      The heroines of my stories are definitely no timid misses – it may sound corny but I loved it when TV shows like Xena & Buffy appeared on the screen. It was great to see strong female lead characters rather than female characters that accompanied the male heroes.

      And if we go back in time a bit – Ripley from the Alien franchise, Sarah Connor from the Terminator series, Areyn from Farscape, and Zoey/Inara/Kaylee/River from Firefly.

      These are the sorts of women I like to include in my stories.

  22. I love the covers for Vengeance Born and Alliance Born. I so enjoy reading a great fantasy story. Kylie, how did you come up with the idea for these books? How many books will there be in the series? Thanks for the chance to win.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

    • Another great question, Julieann. I suppose, in a nutshell, Annika was the genesis of the Light Blade series. I get ideas from a host of things – photos, song lyrics, music, daydreaming etc.

      Back when I wrote VENGEANCE BORN I’d just finished writing two science fiction romance books one after the other. So I wanted a break from SFR and I had wanted to try writing a fantasy romance involving magic, demons and warring races.

      All very vague but as I thought more about it Annika came to me in a daydream. I saw her exactly as I wrote her in the opening scene of VENGEANCE BORN – descending into her father’s dungeon to free Kalan.

      I knew she was a half-breed and I knew she wanted to escape her father and the world she’d grown up in. What I didn’t know was why.

      So, I played a game many writers call “What if…”. You ask yourself a number of questions about the character, their motives, their background etc. and over time the answers emerge from your subconscious and these facts help create the character, their history, and the plot.

      And that’s how VENGEANCE BORN came about.

      As for how many books in the series, well, at the moment I’m contracted to Berkley for three. VENGEANCE BORN, ALLIANCE FORGED and an untitled Bk#3. The heroes & heroines are mostly drawn from characters you read about in VB.

      As I’ve written these books though, there have been several secondary characters that have begun to take shape and to date I have four more who are demanding I write their stories.

      If things go well with these first three books, I’m hoping my editor will be keen to see more in this series. 🙂

  23. The male protagonists sounds like a character from a MMO called Dungeon Fighter. He’s a swordsman who has to struggle with his internal demons who lives in his right arm 😮

    • MMO, LeDerpyReader? Not sure what that acronym stands for, sorry.

      But I agree, the premise of struggling with inner demons – real ones or personal – make a story so much more interesting.

  24. How cute they want you to write them a Harry Potter type book! And your fave vacation destination spots sound wonderful, actually any vacation sounds wonderful about now. Guess I will have to settle for reading as my escape =)

    • Hey, Lexi, great to see you here! 😀

      The children in my class still insist I should change careers and be a children’s author. They’ve all assured me they’d buy my books – don’t you love kids? LOL

      And you’re spot on when you say a good book IS just like a vacation. You may not physically go anywhere but the mind can have all sorts of adventure with the flick of a page! This is the magic of books.

      • Hahaha, well if you ever do decide to change the age range of your books you already have a great audience! Although I may be a little selfish and hope you just continue to write more books for the Light Blade series. =)

  25. Just wondered how you come up with the names of your characters and ‘tribes’

    • Deanna, wow, you’ve asked a tough question. I haven’t really been asked this yet.

      Most of the names of my characters are made up. I trawl through baby name books and take bits and pieces from names I like and combine them into new ones or I change the letters from one name to come up with a different visual name.

      For example, Kalan came from Callum (which is a name I like the sound of) but because it’s too “modern” for a fantasy romance, I had to alter it. So I played around with the letters a bit and ended up with Kalum, Kallen, Callan, Kallan, Kalen, and then finally, Kalan.

      Annika’s name has rather boring origins, LOL. One of Australia’s Next Top Model’s was named Anika. I just added the extra ‘n’ to make it different. And again, I liked the sound of it when you said it out loud.

      As for the Na’Reish and Na’Chi (and all the other language words) they’re made up. You can blame my teen years for this invention. A lot of the books I read then were straight fantasy and so lots of Tolkein-like languages abound in them. I’d spend hours as a young writer inventing my own worlds and making up this sort of thing.

      Authors invented their own names, tribes, clans, labels etc. for things. I just did the same in my world-building and constructing the histories behind the races.

  26. Wow! New book for me. Thanks for the interview, excuse me while I dash off to add to my wishlist.

    • Lisa, I’m so glad you read the interview and I hope you get to add VENGEANCE BORN to your “read” pile very soon! 🙂

  27. Great interview! This book sounds very good.

    • Hello, bn100 – a familiar name from past blog visits! Thanks for following along. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts so far.

  28. oh man i would love to see the roos and creatures.. that would be amazing.. for me seeing a moose was a big dealy-o today..
    cant wait to read this book! have been eying it for awhile

    • Hi Alaina, the wildlife here is pretty cool, although most Aussies take them for granted. I just love that most of the ones I mentioned come into my backyard or I see them around the village I live in during quiet times.

      When I travelled to the USA (been three times now to various parts) – I loved seeing the squirrels, ones you guys consider pests. They were so cute! And my first sighting of a bald eagle and buffalo was pretty special (couldn’t get over how big the buffalo were). No bears or mountain lions though.

  29. It’s about 3pm here in Australia, while I’m guessing anyone in the northern hemisphere (aka USA) might be heading off to bed.

    Just wanted to say thank you to those who’ve already dropped in and commented – you’ve made me feel so welcome and some of you have asked some great questions. I don’t mind answering any sort of question, writing orientated or not.

    I’ll see you in your morning! 🙂

  30. Wow, you are a teacher, a volunteer fire fighter and an author and you live in a beautiful country! I am so jealous! How do you do it all??

    • Hi, Kelly, I guess when you love certain things then you make the time to pursue them.

      I live in an isolated rural village, we only have a couple of hundred people here and we’re an hour or so from the next largish towns (pop.2000 & 9000 respectively). A lot of essential services aren’t provided so much of the emergency service work I do is in response to meet that need, a stop gap until the paid professionals can get to us.

      I joined the Rural Fire Service only 8 years ago. Before that I signed up with the State Emergency Service (been a member for 15 years) – it’s a volunteer organisation in Australia that primarily help in storms & floods but can also train for search & rescue, first aid and road crash rescue (our unit qualifies in all these areas due to our geographic location). We’ve also trained as volunteer ambulance officers (again due to isolation) as it can take anywhere up to an hour for an ambulance to come from a nearby town.

      I’m also an active member of our Progress Association – we fund raise money for local projects around the village and for other causes, and I’m a volunteer library helper at our small library and I drive for the Community Transport service to help local clients get to medical or other appointments and deliver Meals on Wheels to elderly clients.

  31. wow, would love to read this!

  32. Hi
    It sounds like an interesting book. The scene shared by Kylie makes me want to read the book. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Great interview and has really interested me in reading the books.

    Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Carol T

    • It’s my pleasure opening the contest worldwide, Carol. And I LOVE The Book Depository! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

      • Oops, forgot to add that while the book is going to arrive at the winner’s house from The Book Depository, if the winner is interested, I’m happy to send a signed bookplate to go into it. 🙂

  34. I was also wondering how you came up with your characters names because they are so unusual. Thank you for the answer above. I like the little blurbs – looks very good. Thank you.


    • No worries, Viki. Something else I like to do is drag out an atlas every so often and trawl maps for town names. There are some unique names for places on them that can also be tweaked to fit your world-building. I also like variety of accompanying geographic features with names – creek, knob, forest, river, lake, ridge, butte, fork, hole, bend, wash, valley etc.etc.

  35. Hi Kylie,

    What a lovely interview, I loved reading about your writing journey. I am already a fan of Sarah’s, Hell’s Eight and Ellen’s, New Age Dawning series, and it sounds like your world building will be just as compelling. I can’t wait to read Vengence Born.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

    • Cathy M, I love that even though readers may be an ocean apart that we can find a shared love of authors and books in common. 😀

  36. You really make me feel like a layabout, Kylie!! Volunteer fireman? I’ve better get off my butt and start doing more! LOL Your books sound awesome and I would love to win a copy of Vengeance Born so I can get started on them! Thanks so much for the giveaway:)

    • Julie, I’m sure there are plenty of things that you do that I don’t that are just as interesting. While I might volunteer for a number of organisations sometimes what people consider the least “exciting” things are the ones that bring the greatest satisfaction or pleasure.

      For example, spending time with your family or socialising. I know when I’m knee-deep in writing a book or with a deadline looming everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!!! gets left, put off or not done – visiting friends, going out, washing, cleaning, mowing, grocery shopping (I’ve learned to live off toasted sandwiches), attending meetings, etc.

      So, once the book is done and I return to the real world and some semblance of normality the things I’ve been putting off hold a great deal of satisfaction or enjoyment. Does that sound weird?

  37. Fantasy/Romance – I’m in 🙂

  38. You seem to have been exceptionally blessed by the Cover Art Goddess… how did you manage that? Did you have any hand in it?

    • Cherry, after being told for many years that authors rarely got any input into their covers it came as a huge but pleasant surprise to receive an email from my editor asking for some ideas about the cover for VENGEANCE BORN (and subsequently ALLIANCE FORGED).

      I put together a mini-portfolio of character descriptions with accompanying like-photos showing hair style and lengths etc. of the hero and heroine. I included photos of landscapes and castles/fortresses etc. that I thought resembled what came from my imagination as well as some pivotal settings/turning points in the book.

      Leis (editor) took those ideas as well as her own to the cover conference with the Berkley art dept. and she and Lesley (art director) came up with the concept they thought best portrayed the book. They then sent a brief, along with some of my photos to Gene Mollica (cover artist) and he took it from there.

      So, it was a huge team effort and my hat goes off to Leis, Lesley & her art dept. for conveying such a great brief to Gene who then created the stunning cover (the man is a genius in my books, especially considering he hasn’t read the book!).

      The process was the same with ALLIANCE FORGED and I anticipate it will be the same for Bk#3. 🙂

      If you’d like to read the interview I did with Gene on how he created VENGEANCE BORN, here’s the link – – or if you’d like to see what other UF/PR/FR/SFR covers he’s done, try his website – (you may recognise the covers for L.A.Banks, Patricia Briggs, Richelle Mead, and C.E.Murphy, just to name a few).

    • Cherry, it’s interesting that you would ask this question. For may years as an unpubbed author I heard so many pubbed authors say not to expect much input into your book covers. That it was your editor, marketing and the art department that pretty much worked that side of it out.

      So, needless to say, I was surprised when Leis (editor) asked me for ideas for the cover of VENGEANCE BORN. 🙂

      I put together a portfolio of character descriptions, photographs of the hero and heroine as I thought they looked, landscape photos, descriptions of scenery from the book, weapons, clothing, jewellery/designs on it etc. Leis took all this to the cover conference meeting. Between my input, her ideas and Leslie (art director) they came up with a brief for Gene Mollica (cover artist).

      Gene read it, conceptualised what he thought would be the cover, hired the model, did the photo shoot then digitally shopped in the background and sent it back to the Berkley art dept. They then put in the title, cover quote, blurb etc.

      So, it was pretty much a team effort and I’m chuffed that so far both covers have been stunners. I’m in awe of Gene’s amazing work and the theme/colors he has running through his art work, and I love how well Leis, Leslie and I have come up with similar ideas.

      I can’t wait to see what will go on the cover of Bk #3. 😀

  39. I had not heard of this series but it really sounds good. I love both of the covers. Thanks for introducing me to the books. Always on the lookout for a new one.

    • G’day, Rachel! It’s interesting hearing people’s reactions to the covers. The guys (romance readers or not) obviously prefer VENGEANCE BORN, while most women like both VB & ALLIANCE FORGED. I’ve actually had some wishing they’d been present at the photo shoot for AF. LOL 😀

      I’m also excited to see what ends up on the cover of Bk #3 and if Gene will be commissioned for it.

  40. I absolutely love the covers of both books (Gene Mollica always does seriously yummy covers) and looking forwaard to reading them winning or not! Thank you for a wonderful giveaway! 🙂

    • Hey, kara-karina! Good to see you at MBW! And no argument with you about Gene – he is awesome! Luck in the draw! 😀

  41. If the snippets don’t make you want to read either of these, then the covers will!!! Wonderful interview! Thank you for this giveaway!!!
    Sharon K

    • Sharon, that is a lovely compliment both ways, thank you! LOL 😀

      It makes the work/effort Berkley & I put into writing the cover blurbs/cover so worth it to hear comments like yours.

  42. You guys are amazing! Thanks so much for welcoming Kylie so warmly!!

    • Having done over a dozen blog visits with VENGEANCE BORN I can honestly say your readers have been fantastic at welcoming me, Kristin.

      Some great questions have been asked, and a hoot to answer. I’ve been overwhelmed again by the response to the covers of VB & AF. And I can honestly say, it’s my absolute pleasure to send a copy of VB to where ever the winner ends up living. 😀

  43. I just can’t wait to see what the cover for the 3rd book will be like!

  44. Your book looks great! I enjoyed the interview!

  45. Kylie,
    Can’t wait to read your book.
    Best of luck with all the series.

  46. rad interview, and lovely cover/lov the covr

    thanks for the giveaway, so excited

  47. Hi Roro, glad you enjoyed the interview and like the covers of my books – good luck in the draw! 🙂

  48. With so many comments made about the covers of VENGEANCE BORN & ALLIANCE FORGED, I’m curious – does the cover of a book influence your buying it? What factors contribute to the purchase of a book?

  49. Great interview! I love this cover. I believe that the cover influences the purchase indirectly. I will pick up a book by an author I have never read if I like the cover, then I read the jacket to see if I think I would like the book. So if the cover didn’t appeal, I wouldn’t have picked up the book. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, this sounds like a great read.

    • Beverly, thank you for sharing your thoughts – it’s an interesting topic, particularly among writers, as to how important a good cover is as a selling point to readers and I think you’ve highlighted a very important point – that if the author is unknown to a reader the cover can have a significant impact on them picking it up off the shelve and looking at it further. I appreciate your honesty. Good luck in the giveaway draw!

  50. OMG how can you do so many thing? Awesome! The cover is really beautiful and the books sounds great!

    • Hi, readingmind, I guess if you have a passion for something, or many things as the case is with me – 🙂 – then you find the time. Doesn’t mean you do it every day though! (unless it’s writing)

  51. The cover of your book is delicious. I think I want to read it because it is so beguilling. I expect the story inside reflects just that.


    • Hey, Margot, thank you for the compliment. I do hope if you end up reading VENGEANCE BORN that it lives up to its beguiling blurb! 🙂

  52. Loved the interview. New to me author, adding your books to my wishlist. Really enjoy the covers. The books sounds amazing.

    • Sariah, thank you for adding my books to your wishlist – it’s exciting to find a new author, isn’t it. The last one I discovered was Sarah McCarthy who writes erotic western romances – I love the gritty, compelling stories, and engaging characters.

  53. Kylie i love the book cover. It’s good to hear that you support your community by being a volunteer firefighter. I would love to visit your country. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway.

  54. Tiff, there are so many lovely places in Australia. Much like the USA (I’m hoping this is where you reside, if I’m wrong, pardon me).

    In the USA, I love the natural wonders I’ve seen (Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, incredible mountain ranges in Montana & the east & west coasts, the plains around Oklahoma city, the plateau’s of New Mexico & Arizona) through to the amazing history and architecture of the big cities (NY, LA, Washington DC, Baltimore, Albuquerque etc.)

    Volunteerism is a way of life in the small rural communities like where I live – everyone knows everyone and when disaster or something happens we tend to pull together, although I’ve noticed in recent years it’s getting harder & harder to encourage the younger generations to join community organisations. Sad but a sign of the times.

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