GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Q&A with Sci-fi Author Kayelle Allen + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Friday, March 20, 2020

Q&A with Sci-fi Author Kayelle Allen + giveaway

What inspired you to write this book?
I fell in love with the character "Six" when I wrote the first Bringer of Chaos story, Origin of Pietas. When I wrote the second book, Forged in Fire, I discovered all sorts of things about him. I plan to write more stories in that series because it's so full of material and the story of Pietas begs to be told. But Six is a favorite of my critique group and readers, and I admit readily, one of mine, so I thought I'd create a background for him. When Craig Martelle announced he was doing a space opera anthology, I decided to give writing Six's story a shot. Lights Out was accepted right away and is found in the Expanding Universe anthology. The Kindle version, when it was available, rose to number one status on Amazon.

You can still get the anthology in print
Lights Out by itself is free to members of my reading groups.

Do you have any "side stories" about the characters?
That's like asking if fish swim. I have more than I could ever tell. For this book, I put together a booklet with a quick excerpt, a bit about each major character (with images) and even included my research. Download your copy here. Like the story, this booklet has the exclusive members cover showing Six's dragon tattoo. There are drawings of the weapons used by the Ghost Corps, specially commissioned from the artist Nano-Core.
Take a good look at the Ghost Corps symbol (page 5). Can you see the secret image?

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Lights Out?
The main character is Tornahdo -- not his real name. I won't tell you what it is -- it's not going to be revealed until a future book in the Bringer of Chaos series, where's he's referred to as Six. This character has a Hispanic background and speaks several languages, but his native tongue is Spanish.

Secondary characters include the well-named Ravenstongue and a general in the Ghost Corps.

The adversary Tornahdo worries about is Pietas, the immortal king of a race called the Ultras. Pietas and his twin sister are the only Ultras ever physically born as children. The rest were created. Pietas was enhanced by his father continuously before and after birth. He's formidable, and because he believes the only good human is a dead human, he is the number one target of the Ghost Corps.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Tornahdo got his name (the Spanish pronunciation of tornado) because of the way he fights. In Lights Out, that's what he's called, but in the Bringer of Chaos series, he's always referred to as Six. You'll find out why in the first book, Origin of Pietas.

I always loved the statue called the Pieta, by Michelangelo. I've actually had the pleasure of seeing it in person in Rome. It's breathtaking and magnificent. I had this character who was death personified, and one of the most powerful beings ever created, and I thought, what better name than after something of tragic beauty? It was many years later that I learned that pietas is the Greek virtue of familial love and respect for fathers. How ironic that Pietas loathes and detests his father. One reviewer said their family made the Kardashians look like the Cleavers. Too true.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Have you seen the Hobbit films? Lee Pace played the elven king Thranduil. He would be magnificent as Pietas. Only problem is, Pietas is frequently reborn as a younger version of himself. He can age like a human, but death "resets" him to about 17-20 in appearance. Now, if you want to see what he looks like, go look at the images on my website. Nik Nitsvetov cosplayed him for me twice, and you could not ask for a more accurate portrayal. Nik IS Pietas in these images. He's Russian, and though he speaks English, he might not comfortable acting in a film. But for my money, there's no one who looks more like Pietas than Nik.

As for Tornahdo -- I would love recommendations. I don't have an actor in mind for him. Someone with a Hispanic background who knows martial arts. Any suggestions?

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story?
What reins? I'm laughing just thinking about that. I plot and lay out the story, and then they do whatever they want anyway. It can be frustrating, but I usually end up with a better story. Although, there are times I have to tell them, sorry guys, gotta be this way because to tell the real story won't work. If you've ever written a story, you know what I mean. If you haven't, well... trust me. You are not always in control.

Lights Out (Bringer of Chaos: How Six Became Six)
by Kayelle Allen
November 1st 2019
Genre: Science Fiction
Join the Ghost Corps, they said. You'll live forever, they said. You'll save mankind, they said. They didn't say that to do it, first he had to die.

When Tornahdo signs on the dotted line, he puts his life into the steady hands of the mighty Ghost Corps. Three grisly deaths and three agonizing resurrections later, he's assigned duty on the space station Enderium Six.

He's facing his most dangerous mission yet, the very reason the corps exists.

Do they expect him to win? Fat chance. Tornahdo and his team are already dead and this mission is codenamed "Lights Out." No, there's more to this than he can see.

To discover the truth, he must face an unbeatable, unkillable enemy, and this time--somehow--find a way to keep himself alive...

Tornahdo is facing his most dangerous mission, the very reason Ghost Corps exists. He must take out the king responsible for every war between humans and Ultras since the origin of the Ultra bloodline.

If he succeeds, the war is over.

If he doesn't, the Ultras will rule mankind for another thousand years...

In this scene, Tornahdo is having a quiet drink prior to leaving on a mission, when a member of Ghost Corps shows up.

Ravenstongue sauntered toward him. "Why you here?"

Tornahdo kicked back in his chair. After stretching out his legs, he crossed his ankles. "Why do you care?"

"Big ops tomorrow. Lights out in ten. Time for you to go home and go to bed."

Behind the bar, the keeper closed up shelves and battened down doors.

"Yeah?" Tornahdo flicked a hand toward the door. "I'll follow you out."

"I'm not leavin'. Didn't you hear? We passed inspection with the highest scores. Got a free night out." Ravenstongue jabbed a finger toward Tornahdo. "But you gotta go home like a good boy."

In no kingdom in the galaxy would that happen.

Ravenstongue lifted two fingers, signaling his cohorts.

The keeper ducked behind the bar while the goons flanked their wannabe boss, imbecilic grins in place.

A pair of demons usually sat on Tornahdo's shoulders. The bad demon laid out strategy while the good demon discouraged action. Tonight, the good demon flipped a middle finger toward Ravenstongue with a not-so-subtle suggestion to kick his ass.

Tornahdo took his time rising, slid his chair under the table. "What did you say?"

"I said, 'You gotta go home like a good boy.'"

Hanging his thumbs in his belt, Tornahdo gave him a slow smile. "Go back to the bar, finish your drink and we'll pretend we're all friends and leave together. This is your last chance for a peaceful end."

"Peaceful." With a scoff, Ravenstongue jerked his head toward Short Goon. "You hear that?"

"Yeah. Maybe we oughta do what--"

Ravenstongue jabbed him with an elbow.

"I mean, yeah! I heard that." He leaned closer to his boss. "We gonna?"

"No, you idiot. Shut your face and back me up."

How did these hotheads enlist? Ghost Corps must have been desperate for bodies. Literally. A fighter's corpse they could reanimate. Which was a sobering thought.

Was that what the corps thought of him?

About the Author:
 I’m Science Fiction author Kayelle Allen. I did a tour in the US Navy, where I climbed around airplanes fixing black boxes that helped pilots find their way home. I wrote my first novel at 18 but to this day, it’s hidden under my bed, where (trust me) it will remain. Gems from it, however, launched several series in my galaxy-wide universe of stories. From childhood, I was the victim of an overactive imagination and inherited the Irish gift of gab from my mother. From my father, I got a healthy respect for mechanical things. Small wonder I write Science Fiction and Fantasy peopled with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role-playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr.

I’m a member of RomVets, a group of military and former military women who write romance. In 2014, I was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the OutlantaCon Science Fiction Convention for support of the convention since its debut. I founded Marketing for Romance Writers (more about them below), and today it has over 7k members. I also lead a writer’s group in my community. Now that I’m retired, I stay busier than ever. I’ve been married so long I’m tenured.

I am a graphic artist as a hobby. Most of the art and banners on this site and in my social media were created by me, including my logo. I have a great design team that I also work with, commissioning special pieces. Check out their pages. Jamin (Volgraza) and Livius (Nano-Core) have huge amounts of talent. I am also privileged to work with a cosplayer who portrays my immortal king, Pietas. Take a moment to check out Nik Nitsvetov’s amazing work.

$10 Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Starbucks gift card, winner's choice 
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  1. Replies
    1. I'm not sure if you mean is it photoshopped onto the person. That's really the model's tattoo. It's not photoshopped. Quite impressive!

    2. I meant how they curved it when making the computer image of the man on the cover, yes. I didn't know there was a real model; it doesn't look like a real person.

    3. I have banners of Pietas that are 8 feet tall (he is 7 feet tall). I often get asked where I found the CG character. Pietas is portrayed by Nik Nitsvetov, a Russian cosplayer. He looks exactly like what I picture when I write the character. Nik has cosplayed Pietas twice. I have the images on my website. The guy on the cover of Lights Out is real too. I bought the image from :)

  2. Replies
    1. In the book, Origin of Pietas, the tattoo is revealed not long afer Pietas and Six have landed on the planet of exile. It's a powerful moment and one that changes everything. Each man recognizes the other as equal and worthy of respect. When I wrote the scene, I got goosebumps. :)

  3. This sounds intriguing. I love the tattoo.