Friday, March 1, 2013

Interview with K.L. Kerr

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I've always had something of a mild obsession with vampires, ever since I watched "The Lost Boys" as a girl. It had this great, fresh feel to it, branching away from the traditional view of the vampire and bringing it into the 20th Century.

What inspired you to write this book?
All the vampire books and films I'd seen before writing "The Genesis" were either from (a) a human's perspective, or (b) a vampire who regrets being a vampire's perspective. There didn't seem to be anything that covered vampires just "getting by", those who accepted what they were and whose conflicts came from the humans who hunted them. It's something of a challenge to make something that survives on drinking blood likeable, but I wanted to try!

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?
I get some of my character names from strange places. Catrina, for example, was actually the name of a German exchange student from high school. I can't even tell you where Fox's name came from, because it's too embarrassing. Most of the others follow a more traditional route: I have baby name books (which has freaked out a few dates in the past!), and I keep a vast collection of CDs and DVDs to check out the credits for any names that pop out at me. I don't attribute meanings to names, but I do have an image for a character immediately based on their name, and I can feel when a character's name is wrong. The book I'm working on at the minute has a character whose name I've changed no less than five times before I settled on one that fit.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
I had to take particular care writing Fox's character. Because he is the "dark and brooding" type, it would've been easy for him to have become stereotypical, and--as one of my beta readers so lovingly put it--"a complete d*ck". What I did in the end to combat this wasn't so much to change his character, because "a complete d*ck" is essentially what Fox is, but rather have the other characters acknowledge his behaviour as a flaw instead of admire it in any way.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
I would probably say Aisen. He's just got this great charisma and flamboyancy, despite being quite intimidating. I don't really know why, but I'd just love to have him around for a dinner party. I imagine he'd be the type to throw plates at the wall if the meal wasn't to his taste.

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?
At the moment, I use a brilliant article from Squidoo called "101 Character Development Questions", which covers the basics of a character, but also goes deeper into their background, tastes, morals, and so on. Using this helps to create nice, rounded characters. I definitely like to have at least a general idea of a character's attributes before writing, as otherwise I'd struggle to grasp what their reactions would be to situations.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
There are a number of scenes in "The Genesis" where characters end up in the Clan's Infirmary, but there's one in particular around half way in that I particularly like, because you really get to see the other sides of quite a few characters: the vulnerability of some and the darker side of others.

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
Nothing particularly world-changing, but I get to learn a lot about guns, so that was quite exciting.

Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
I am also a complete d*ck. Kidding. I suppose there's a lot of me in Catrina. I am stubborn, can anger easily, and I can sometimes do things without really thinking them through (mainly eBay impulse buys, but it's along the same lines, I guess).

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I used to, mostly just due to lack of motivation (which I suppose is just another way of saying "laziness"), but these days I have a more strict, "power through" routine. It's amazing how much you can get done when you force it. Wow, that sounds terrible, doesn't it? It's not as bad as it sounds, I do enjoy it! Anyway, I use two pieces of software to get my writing down, Dr Wicked's Write or Die and the PomodoroApp, both of which really help visualise the fact that time is always moving, and if you're not working with it, you're wasting it.

Do you write in different genres?
Not often, although in 2004, I took a break from the urban fantasy genre to write a comedy novella based (very vaguely) on my life experiences in my late teens and early twenties. It was picked up by an amateur drama company, made into a play and performed in 2005. I've yet to finish the book itself.

When did you consider yourself a writer?
It was actually with that play. Having actors come up to me and ask what their motivation for this and that character was, not to mention the performance itself, where they delivered lines I'd written while the audience laughed was one of the best moments of my life.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?
I'm a sucker for both romantic and teen comedies, so long as they're competently written. "Mean Girls" remains one of my favourite movies of all time.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
I play the MMORPG, World of Warcraft. I'm something of an "altoholic", close to the limit for number of characters per account (the limit is 50). I just love the stories and the lore.

What was the last amazing book you read?
After being blown away by the TV series, I was given the set of Song of Ice and Fire books by George R R Martin for Christmas. I am currently working through them; Martin's ability to tell the same story from such a variety of perspectives absolutely astounds me.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
Recently, I've taken to the rather risky business of reading my Kindle in the bath. Once you get past the fear of dropping and ruining a fairly expensive gadget, it's actually quite a relaxing experience.

What can readers expect next from you?
I've just finished the first draft of The Vampires Son, which is the second book in the Blood of Ages series and a prequel of sorts. After taking a brief break, I'll be working on that again. I hope to release it in September 2013.

Where can readers find you on the web? is my book's web site, which has all the usual goodies like sample chapters, character bios and so on. I'm also working on an appendix so readers can get more information on the Blood of Ages universe, which should be going live in the next few weeks. is my own blogging site, where I pour out my soul, or just ramble inananely.

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
The stairwell door screeched on rusted hinges as Fox pushed out onto the old building’s immensely large roof. The city bore a pleasant illusion from this vantage point, disguising the abhorrence only revealed upon closer inspection. He knew firsthand the nature of the streets, the stench of death that hung off everything in the city. The abstract serenity amazed him every time he ventured up here.
The city of Dayson rolled out beyond the desolate industrial wasteland their home perched on the edge of. The buildings in the distance seemed painted on a picture, the roads and alleyways leading to them dotted with hundreds of glowing streetlights.
He could still smell Catrina’s scent on him, though they’d parted ways over an hour ago. He’d never been so close and hadn’t prepared for its infesting effect. At least the night air swept most of it away.
Fox’s mentor, the dark-skinned man in a suit standing by the roof’s edge, often came here to think. He’d been doing that a lot lately, especially since Catrina had come into focus. Everyone’s attention seemed to be on her almost exclusively.
His mentor’s eyes had drifted skyward. Fox tried to share the older man’s awe, but the blanket of stars didn’t cast the same spell over him; he glanced at them only with slight disdain and focused on the matter at hand.
“I put the offer to her tonight,” he said, which earned no response, though he knew he’d been heard. “I know it’s earlier than we intended, but…well, it seemed like the right time.”
“If it seemed the right time,” his mentor echoed smoothly, a stark contrast to Fox’s harsh tones, “then surely it was.” He turned from the sky, gazing with treacle-coloured eyes that spoke of wisdom far beyond the years of his thirty-something body. “Did she accept?”
“Not yet.” Fox glanced down at his hands. “But she will.” He failed to mention the time restraint he’d added to the offer. After spending so long as her unseen shadow, the stipulation served as testament to his dwindling patience.
“Perhaps an act some would consider impetuous will prove wise,” his mentor said. “The more time we have to integrate her into our ways, the better prepared she will be.” With a warm smile, he added, “Time is not always on our side, is it? How ironic.”
When his mentor’s attention drifted to the stars once more, Fox allowed his own mind to wander. He knew Catrina would be there tomorrow night, waiting for him. He knew her well enough to see what she would see in the offer: the opportunity to escape.
“You realise it will not be the same, don’t you?” It wasn’t posed as much of a question, and even if he had a response, Fox wasn’t given the opportunity to give one. “She will no longer be merely a wonder to observe from a distance. She will be yours to teach, as well as to continue protecting. Are you sure you are ready?”
Fox had considered this role and its expectations tirelessly since the very beginning, when she had first become known to them. Now he stood on the cusp of this new world; he was more than ready. “Yes, sir.”

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The Genesis
Blood of Ages, Book One
K. L. Kerr

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Penrefe Publications

ISBN: 0955984556
ASIN: B00999FXZ0

Number of pages: 314
Word Count: 100,000

Cover Artist: K. L. Kerr

Book Description:

The vampires of Dayson city are preparing for war. Having lived in constant fear of the Archway Corporation for decades, desperation has forced them into action. Their solution is to bring the First vampire, Alistair, back from the dead, a warrior famed for eradicating entire armies in the name of his kind.

For fledgling vampire Catrina Malinka, the fabled return of some unknown deity falls low on her list of concerns. Between fending off strangers trying to kill her in her dreams and trying to rein in an uncontrollable power that no one else even understands let alone shares, Catrina is forced to fight her assumed role in the war against Archway, which threatens to send her down a path she doesn’t want to travel.

The first book in The Blood of Ages series, “The Genesis” is an urban fantasy about the inescapable nature of Fate and the corruption of power.

About the Author:

Born and raised close to North York Moors, initial setting of American Werewolf in London, one might be excused for thinking K. L. Kerr's interests might lie with those furry beasts. But she has always preferred monsters of the fanged variety, having written the very first draft of her novel, The Genesis, aged sixteen.
When not writing, Kerr can be found playing the MMORPG, World of Warcraft, or listening to music from video game soundtracks. She still lives in the North of England, close to The Moors (keeping to the roads, naturally), with two cats who--like all cats--think they're people.

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