Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I’ve always loved fantasy, ever since my brother encouraged me to read Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”. Until then, all I wanted to read was horse stories. After I read “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Silmarillion”, I started reading books by other fantasy authors like Katherine Kurtz and Anne McCaffrey. I also expanded my literary horizons into such works by Stephen King and Dick Francis.
What inspired you to write this book?
I started daydreaming about a wizard finding and healing a dying young man. From there, I wrote “In a Wolf’s Eyes’” predecessor, and tried publishing it. Good thing I didn’t – it sucked. Now I have the second of the series, “Catch a Wolf” published.
Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?
Actually, no. I sort of made them up as I went along. With the book I’m writing now, I bought a book on Gaelic and Irish names that I use. But – I still also make them up as I go along.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
Honestly, Brutal turned out to be the challenge. I wanted him psychotic, and at first wrote him in as too psychotic for intelligence. The hard part was changing his stupidity for high intelligence and melding them together. So now I have a very clever and far-sighted sexual sadist chasing my kids.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
No, I truly enjoyed them all. I loved giving them personal foibles, attributes – developing them as people, not card-board cut-outs.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?
Being a seat of the pants writer, I let my characters develop as I write the story. As the story becomes a story, they become more real and I get attached to them. Once I get attached, I make them more complex. I try to weave in certain attributes – Ly’Tana’s sense of humor, Raine’s rage, Rygel’s arrogance, Kel’Ratan’s sharp inquisitiveness, Witraz’s failure to be respectful and Alun or Rannon smacking him upside the head for it.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
Ok, here’s a real writer’s confession. One of my favorite scenes is the one where the injured she-wolf brings her pup to Raine and lays him in his lap before she dies. I bawled as I wrote the bloody thing. I also wrote this section in one long day of writing, and I was exhausted. My head didn’t hurt – my brain hurt. I’ll paste a small section here:
The shadow limped closer.
From edge of the trees, it circled, just out of the firelight. Left and Right sat in obedience to my harsh command, yet twisted around on their haunches to keep it in sight. It moved behind Kel’Ratan, still indistinct, green eyes glowing like twin evil lamps. He turned to watch it, his sword pointed toward it.
It moved forward again, slowly, now behind Witraz. As it came toward him on his blind side, he spun and knelt in the dirt, facing it, keeping his weapon close.
I was next. The shape paused, eyes glowed that eerie, strange green. Something fanned the air behind it. I half-noted a faint shadow blurring, moving back and forth, before the low throaty whine reached my ears.
“Lady have mercy,” Ly’Tana whispered.
She spoke for me, for I was incapable of speech.
The huge, shaggy, silver-grey wolf limped closer, into the firelight. She ignored the insignificant humans who sat in thrall. She paid little heed to the armed warriors who might rise up and kill her out of hand.
Her eyes, calm, amber-brown, no longer glowing green fire, rested on me. Her right front leg couldn’t hold her weight. Thus she limped forward on her remaining three limbs. Her wagging tail still fanned the night behind her massive shoulders. Something dangled from her mouth. With the darkness and shadows moving as though alive from the dancing fire, I couldn’t tell what it was. A dark ball, it hung, curled, from the she-wolf’s jaws.
She crept closer.
Another low plea emerged from the grievously injured wolf.
Suddenly, with no warning, tears choked my throat. A wedge of raw emotion seized me in its merciless grip. I wanted to howl. The urge to howl, to throw back my head and howl to the moon, to run on four legs, my pack behind me -
I did none of these things.
I sat, frozen, unable to breathe, as the she-wolf laid her pup in my lap.
How does this world differ from our normal world?
It doesn’t, not really. I pulled from my knowledge of history, the feudal system of medieval Europe and the Roman Empire. Just so I don’t follow too closely on historical heels, I made enough changes that perhaps keep my readers believing this is all of my own making. The Kel’Hallans have a King, but aren’t a true medieval society – more like a very large clan. Khalid has a gladiatorial arena and gladiators, but have medieval feudal elements that the Empire didn’t have.
With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of?
Can these books be read as stand alones?
Yes, the book is the second book of my “Saga of the Black Wolf” series. And no – lol – unless readers enjoy a stand alone where they’re left hanging, none of my books are stand alones. If folks aren’t familiar, “In a Wolf’s Eyes” is the first book of the series, “Catch a Wolf” is book two.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
Only our shared love of horses. I have a passion for horses that I instill into my characters. But Raine, Ly’Tana and all the rest certainly ride better than I. I love swords and have a small collection, but I can’t wield them as my kids do.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
All the time. Sometimes rereading several chapters of what I’m working on helps. Then I can carry on as though nothing halted me. As my day job doesn’t require much mental activity, I’m free to ponder plot problems, sort out character issues and create subplots. None of those has helped this last block – I couldn’t think of how to continue this important battle scene. Until last night. As I unwound before going to bed, I thought: what if Flynn messed with Malik’s head? I pondered that question today and – wow! Got that damn scene worked out.
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
No, not really. I can’t seem to write during the day, sometimes, as I usually write in my evenings. My inspiration is mush during the day. My evening wine always loosens my muse – does that count?
Do you write in different genres?
Technically, I reckon I do. I also write erotica, though none of that has been published yet. I want to someday write historical fiction, though.
Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?
Nah. I find it hard to write short stories though (outside of my erotica). Can’t seem to shorten plot lines, for some reason.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
The day my first novel, “In a Wolf’s Eyes” was published. Until then, I was a writer wannabee.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Diet coke, wine, beer, action movies, wine, “Criminal Minds”, diet coke, wine
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
Horses. My biggest (and most expensive) passion. I love learning about, talking about, caring about, and breathing about – horses. I love to teach (not train) my horses, and learn from them. They have been my best teachers. And cat rescuing. This city in South Texas I live near and work in is terrible about their homeless animal situation. Thus I rescue cats and kittens, and is the main reason why I have too many. Need a cat? Let me know.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
No – just the couch. I can’t seem to lie down and read these days, so I sit on my sofa with my diet coke or wine to hand, a cat (or two) on my lap. But being the workaholic that I am, I generally only read for a few hours before getting too restless and get up to do something. Annoys the cats to no end, too.
What can readers expect next from you?
“Prince Wolf”, the third book of the Saga of the Black Wolf. Should be out by spring of 2014. And “The Unforgiven”. A stand-alone fantasy novel I’m working on now. Hopefully, that will be published around the same time.
Where can readers find you on the web? www.akatierose.com and my blog at www.akatierose.me. I’m easy to find.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Sure. How’s this?
He brightened suddenly. “Think of it this way, my love. Once I kill you, you’ll no longer be suffering.” He tittered.
Gesturing toward the Raine and Arianne, he grinned. “They will wish I had killed them, but I’ll keep at least my promise to them. They’ll live for many long years. As for the traitor Cephas –“
His dead eyes lit with fury and hate. “Cephas.” He spat the name as though tasting poison. “If he survives my troops, I’ll hang him. Slowly. He will dangle at the end of my rope for hours.”
“You really should have known better,” Raine said.
I wasn’t the only one who jerked in surprise. Brutal’s jaw dropped, as though the rock behind him had suddenly grown voice and chanted prayers. Ja’Teel’s pale face flushed first red then darkened in anger. His lips thinned, his eyes narrowed. The royal Sins stiffened their backs, their dark eyes not on me any longer, but on him.
Raine no longer slouched in a half-conscious daze. He stood erect, his hands bound and chained behind his back. Chains looped over and around his chest and shoulders. They might not have been there at all if one looked at his eyes.
His eyes were alive, alert and seriously pissed off. Weirdly grey and ringed in black, but Raine’s no longer. These were flat, inhuman, and deathly, deadly cold. The eyes I met in Lionel’s royal court in what seemed a lifetime ago. A gladiator’s eyes. A killer’s eyes. His eyes were a wolf’s eyes. His eyes were the still, chilling eyes of a born predator.
The warm, humorous, loving Raine disappeared. The bloody Wolf returned.
While Brutal and I conversed like civilized people, the beast rose from the shadows and darkness.
In the distance, the wolves howled.
“What are you talking about, Wolf?” Brutal asked, once more playing the polite.
Raine nodded toward Ja’Teel. “He’s well aware of ehlu’braud’s nature.”
Ja’Teel snorted. “So you can feel one another, so what? Rygel can’t find you, even if he’s still alive.”
“Oh, he’s alive, all right,” Raine replied. “He’s on his way as we speak.”
Brutal and his pet exchanged glances. Of course, Brutal shrugged. What else would he do? “Even if he’s alive, he cannot possibly get here before I marry her. We’re leagues from where we, er, picked you up.” He tittered. “And we’ll be on our way to Connacht shortly after the ceremony.”
“Connacht?” I asked, confused.
“Yes,” Brutal said brightly. “I have ten thousand troops in the surrounding areas. I plan to restore the rightful King of Connacht.” Laughing, he offered a half-bow to Raine. “Always glad to help a friend.”
“You can’t invade with a mere ten thousand,” I scoffed.
“Oh, there’ll be more joining us, I assure you.” His dead, yet very much alive eyes, rested on me. “The Kel’Hallans.”
“Never,” I hissed. “They won’t follow you.”
“They’ll obey the King.”
“You aren’t going anywhere.” Raine’s wolfish growl tore my attention from Brutal.
“You’re tiresome,” Brutal said impatiently. “Silence, or I’ll have you gagged.”
“Your pet forgot something,” Raine went on, implacable.
“What might that be?” Ja’Teel snapped.
“I carry his blood.”
“What does that mean, his blood? Whose blood?”
Ja’Teel’s eyes widened in sudden comprehension and dawning horror. He understood very well, very well indeed.
“What’s he talking about?” Brutal demanded.
“I have magic in my fists.”
In a wild attempt at bravado, Ja’Teel sneered. “So? You don’t know how to use it.”
With a flat cracking sound, the chains suddenly broke and fell from Raine’s huge arms, his immense shoulders. They dropped in a steely slither to land at his feet. As though in relief from their obnoxious weight, Raine’s huge arms rose and stretched languidly over his head.
Catch a Wolf
Saga of the Black Wolf
A. Katie Rose
A. Katie Rose
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
Raine, Ly’Tana and the others escape Brutal’s trap, but with dire consequences. Kel’Ratan has been grievously injured, and Rygel must take him to safety to save his life. Yet, they are not out of danger. A monstrous storm called the Wrath of Usa’a’mah has halted their flight from Khalid and they must seek shelter within a remote monastery or die under the storm’s power.
But High King Brutal has allied himself with the deadly assassins, the Shekinah Tongu. The secretive clan has sworn out a Blood Oath against Rygel in retaliation for his leaving their brothers in the forest to die. With their hellish hounds and Brutal’s dark wizard, Ja’Teel, they track Raine and Ly’Tana through the devastation left by the storm. Raine leads them into the west, toward Ly’Tana’s home of Kel’Halla, with Brutal’s menace confronting them at every turn.
As he finds himself falling in love with the exotic Ly’Tana, Raine is plagued by a mysterious voice in his head. Is he going crazy? In Raine, Ly’Tana discovers the one man she cannot live without. However, an evil entity has targeted Ly’Tana, bent on her destruction. How can Raine, Rygel, Kel’Ratan and her griffin bodyguard, Bar, keep her safe from its vast, unseen power?
Hunted by Brutal and his evil allies, Raine, Ly’Tana and their friends discover a new, and very strange, force dogging their trail – a pack of enormous, cunning wolves. Mysterious wolves who call to Raine in the night, and bring alive the secret he’s kept hidden, even from himself. Taunted by nightmarish visions, Raine is forced to confront his own dark demon – the beast within himself.
Who will catch Raine and Ly’Tana first? Brutal and his pets – or the wolves?
Thus begins the second novel of the Saga of the Black Wolf series.
In a Wolf’s Eyes
Saga of the Black Wolf
A. Katie Rose
A. Katie Rose
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
Date of Publication: April, 27, 2012
Number of pages: 497 (approx.)
Word Count: 155,000
Cover Artist: Ginny Glass
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/kSNgnzUIsTU
Raine is a slave, a gladiator. Known as the Bloody Wolf, he is the champion of all champions in the Empire of Khalid. Ly’Tana is a warrior princess of Kel’Halla and is set to wed the heir to Khalid’s throne, Crown Prince Broughton. When Raine and his new wizard pal, Rygel, accidentally murder the High King, they set in motion events rapidly spiraling out of control. Ly’Tana discovers the true, and violent, nature of her betrothed, a man nicknamed Prince Brutal for his vicious nature, and escapes her marriage.
But Brutal will stop at nothing to have her for his wife. To entice his runaway bride into a trap, he brings down and captures her griffin bodyguard, Bar. Ly’Tana vows to have Bar back or die trying. She seeks the help of Raine and Rygel, and frees Bar from Brutal’s clutches. Yet, in doing so, Raine and Ly’Tana are forced to flee for their lives, hunted by Brutal’s secretive assassins.
Can they escape the hunters and their silent, evil hounds? Can Ly’Tana evade Brutal’s hungry need to marry her and seize her beloved country? Can Raine keep Ly’Tana alive and still save himself from capture and torture? Can they stop themselves from falling in love?
Thus begins the first novel of The Saga of the Black Wolf series.
About the Author:
A. Katie Rose is a Colorado native, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. She enjoys riding, teaching and learning from horses, likes camping, reading novels, watching movies and, of course, lives to write fantasy books. She currently works as a photographer in San Antonio, Texas, and is a slave to her six cats and four horses. “In a Wolf’s Eyes” is her first novel.
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