What is it about the paranormal, in particular aliens, that fascinates you so much?
Space and the idea of people living somewhere out there can easily consume anyone who gives it deep thought. We only know of a tiny fraction of what's out there. In my opinion, it would be silly to think that it's impossible for anything or anyone else to be living somewhere other than Earth. I guess it's just the unknown in general that fascinates me and the possibilities within.
What inspired you to write this book?
Abstrus wasn't really something I came up with on my own. It kinda found me in the form of a dream, and for the longest time it only lived as blue sharpie written on the back of sheet of paper that I had beside my bed. The funny thing is, at the time, I was in the middle of writing a completely different book. But when I dreamt of Abstrusand Lexi, the protagonist, I couldn't rest until I told her story.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
Lexi was the most difficult for me to write, which is strange because the story is about her. But, in the beginning, she was so reserved and timid that I had a challenging time getting to know her so that my readers could come to know her too.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
I almost feel bad for admitting this, like a parent choosing a favorite child, but I adore Gem. She is tough, mysterious, and somewhat unpredictable and I really have fun when she's a part of a scene.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
There are alien colonies on Earth that are hidden away from alien hunters. There is a pretty intense scene between the two Abstrian girls, Lexi and Gem and the Sionian girl, Liza. I can't say too much more without giving it away, but I will say that it was one of my favorite scenes to write.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
In the Planet Abstrus Series, Earth is just as it is in real life, or at least it seems that way. The naïve humans go about life as usual in the series as we do with no knowledge of the existence of other life forms and the governing systems in place for those other worlds that endanger them all.
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Not often, but there are those rare occasions when the words just won't come. I deal with it like a normal person; I flip over tables, break things, and there's a lot of yelling. But seriously, if I take a break from writing and do something else for a while, I usually can come back to it with a renewed outlook on things and write with no problems.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I didn't regularly refer to myself as a writer until after Abstrus had been published for a while and Sion was close to being finished. Some days I still forget that I'm allowed to call myself that.
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I'm a pretty crafty girl, or at least I'd like to think I am. I love to do pretty much any craft I come in contact with. A ton of my free time is spent in Hobby Lobby.
What was the last amazing book you read?
Half-Blood Jennifer L. Armentrout was wonderful. I'm impatiently awaiting Pure, the next book. The Hunger Games series has also become an obsession of mine.
Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
My favorite place to read is… well, everywhere. I rarely am able to read at home, because I'm usually writing there, so whenever I'm out and I'm sitting still for more than 5 minutes, I'm probably reading.
What can readers expect next from you?
I'm planning four books total in the Planet Abstrus series. I'm currently working on book #3 which is called Galaos. I hope to have the entire series completed this year.
Where can readers find you on the web?
They can find me at:
tkrayford.com, facebook.com/tkrayford, twitter.com/tkrayford, goodreads.com/author/show/5222212.TK_Rayford
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Absolutely! Here is an excerpt from Abstrus:
I could barely make out their shapes in the dark and without the weak glint of a light hanging on the side of one of the buildings; I probably would have walked right by them without ever noticing that they had stopped. I could make out two of them kneeling in front of something, their heads hung low in concentration, while the other, which I could tell was Ferdinand because of his big frame, stood behind them as if he was protecting them. But what would he be protecting them from—me? I felt a shiver slither its way from the nape of my neck and rest in the bottom of my spine. I was convinced that the hairs on the back of my neck would have been standing on end were they not slicked to my skin by the rain. Nervously, I shifted my weight from one foot to the other while I tried to gather my wits. I stood and watched Farah and Liza kneeling and Ferdinand standing over them like a mother hawk protecting her young for what seemed like forever. There was no real reason for me to be frightened except for maybe the lack of light in the alley way between the buildings, but I couldn’t shake the quiet terror that was building in my throat and threatened to explode in a scream. It would have been an irrational scream. Wouldn’t it?
I fought back the panic and the urge to turn and get out of the alley as fast as I could. I squeezed the fabric of my jacket between my fists and worked up the courage to find my voice. It wasn’t enough courage to take a step forward though.
“Guys,” I almost whispered.
Liza lifted her head, which was the only indication they gave that they had even heard me speak. It seemed as if they had completely forgotten that I was following them from the theater. They were frozen in place like statues and I felt the unease creeping back. I began to pick my foot up to step back—but then Ferdinand was there. I had not seen him move but there he was, standing directly in front of me. And in the same way, his hand materialized on my shoulder, preventing me from moving backward at all.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Farah and Liza to even look at Ferdinand. He probably would think that I hadn’t noticed his ability to materialize at my side without taking a step. Liza glanced over at Farah, who gave a short nod of her head that I would have missed had I not been completely engrossed by the pair. She rose to her feet, as if Farah had just given her permission to do so, and much in the same way that Ferdinand did, appeared at my side. She didn’t do it as effortlessly as he had and that was only apparent in the fact that a tendril of her strawberry blonde hair fluttered in the breeze that her movement had created. Unlike Ferdinand she didn’t touch me, didn’t attempt to make eye contact or even assist him in restraining me… not that he wasn’t doing a good job of it himself. His grasp on my shoulder wasn’t hard or tight. He didn’t seem to be holding me in place with any sort of super-human strength at all. It was more as if his hand was a huge magnet and not just to my shoulder. But the very fiber of my being had all of a sudden become the magnet with the opposite pole. He held me in place not by forcing me to stand there but by making my will bend to his. I stood there because I all of a sudden wanted to. Taking that step backward had become the furthest thing from my mind.
But there was something else there too. It seemed that somewhere in me there was a strange curiosity quickly arising and that hadn’t come from Ferdinand. That was mine alone. I wanted to know what was happening around me more than I wanted to be able to break free of Ferdinand’s hold and flee the way I had come. Even more so, I wanted to know what would happen next, and I couldn’t even logically explain why.
Liza stood in front of me, eyes closed. Strange sounds began to emanate from her. It sounded like humming from a bird, but as if the bird was speaking in a foreign language. Her mouth never moved at all. It became clear that I was hearing a conversation in a strange language when the same humming, but a deeper baritone version, began to bubble up from Ferdinand. It lasted only a few seconds before silence once again fell in the little alley way. We stood in this way, Ferdinand with his hand on my shoulder and Liza eyes closed in front of me, for what seemed to be hours rather than minutes. Ferdinand’s hold on me didn’t lessen with the passing time. I was stuck in that spot as if my feet had been cemented to the wet pavement. The rain had all but stopped by now but I was beginning to experience a feeling that chilled me and not just because my jacket and jeans had finally soaked completely through. Ferdinand’s control over my want to flee and my budding curiosity had no effect on the fear that was simmering in my throat and chest and threatening to strangle me. I could feel my body struggle between my instinct to flee and the complete mesmerizing effect that he and the situation had over me.
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My Bookish Fairy Tale
By TK Rayford
When 17 year old Lexi Lee's mother disappeared six months ago, her world was turned upside down. Just when she is coming to terms with her new, motherless life, she meets Farah, Ferdinand, and Liza, a strange group of teenagers. She quickly finds out that they are not at all what they seem.
Lexi finds that although she is human, that is only one part of what she is and people are after her for it. She has to figure out who she can trust... and fast. She learns that her mother has known the truth all along, but disappeared before she could explain things to her. She believes that she has no hope of survival if she doesn't find her mother, and trusting the wrong person to help her could prove fatal.
Book trailer: hhttp://youtu.be/l9gz0lNKV1A
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TK Rayford was born in Chicago, IL with her four siblings. She later moved to Memphis, TN. She fell in love with writing in the second grade and has been writing ever since. Her teachers would always say that she would become a great writer, but she would insist that she would be a neurosurgeon. She proved herself wrong and her teachers right when she decided to pursue her passion, which has always been writing.
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