Today I have the great pleasure to be able to pull up a chair next to the Writing Horses cozy "writers' fire" with Kaylan Doyle, author of the new scifi adventure-thriller, Survivors' Dreams. Although Kaylan is from my neck of the woods, she writes about other worlds in a clear and compelling manner that simply absorbs the reader. She is easily one of the most imaginative authors I've encountered. Survivors' Dreams debuted at Dragon Con 2011 to overflowing praise, and is sure to be one of the hottest books of the year.
A Kra'aken warplane, severely damaged in an attack that may have
destroyed the home planet, carries its near-dead pilot through a strange
portal. Maintained in stasis for nearly 150 years by the ship's artificial
intelligence, Prince Helrazr is awakened in an alien galaxy. His mission: to
find Kra'aken srvivors or die…
Lady Rak'khiel, a toddler sent in a survival pod to escape
Kra'aken's destruction, also passes through the hidden portal only to
crash-land on the planet Olica, a primitive world ruled by Kra'aken's deadliest
enemies. Found by a childless woman who hides her from those who would kill
her, Rak'khiel grows to puberty ignorant of her heritage and the danger
The two meet as Rak'khiel is simultaneously fleeing for her life
and changing into a Kra'aken adult. Although she desperately needs his help,
and he requires her companionship to continue living, their alliance is fragile
-- complicated by differences that may turn them against each other and laden
with perils they may not survive.
Kaylan! I'm so happy you can be here. You have wonderful, creative ideas for
stories. What inspires you?
I’m always applying the “what if?” question to my life, my
interaction with people (friends and strangers) and with animals. I watch the
History Channel, the news, and I read in every genre. With each new thought or
bit of information - tragedies, natural disasters, scientific discoveries,
etc., I find I’m extrapolating a scene. These grow to be part of a larger structure.
What if she/he found herself in this
situation? What would she/he do? How would she/he survive? What tools would
they need? The answers create a story in my mind.
my way of thinking, that starts to create the structure for a story. Do you
carry that structure further? In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?
I try to be an organized plotter but no … I’m a pantser. I begin
with a mental picture of how the characters look, who they are and how they
will react. But the plot, the situations and the outcomes morph into unforseen
twists and turns. Almost without exception my finished manuscript is nothing
like my original idea or plot.
I think a good many of us writers could confess to that. Even when we try to
herd our characters back into a preconceived story line they'll insist on doing
what they want. I love that part of story-creation. There are times when I find
it difficult to get into my story-world. Does that ever happen to you? Do you
ever not feel like writing? If you do, what do you do to kick the muse back
into the chair and re-immerse yourself into the amazing worlds you create?
It is a rare occasion when I don’t want to write. But when
it does, I either go for a drive, wander through a bookstore, people-watch or
meet a friend for coffee or lunch. If the person I meet is a fellow writer, by
the time we finish our conversation, I’m ready to get home and go to work.
good advice -- go out and seek inspiration and haul it out from the rock it's
hiding under! What's your favorite part of writing?
The initial draft – the free-flowing rush of ideas and words.
Creating characters, seeing them come alive on the page,
developing their personalities – both good and bad – is a rush! There is so much
joy in taking my imagined worlds, and giving them form and substance so my
readers can experience them too. Sharing the fun, the what-ifs, is like a party
with your best friends.
like the kind of party I'd enjoy. Especially if your characters were in
attendance. Some of them would scare me but, I've got to tell you, I wouldn't
mind partying with Razr! Hunky guy -- even if he is dangerous and has well
…"unusual" food preferences. Speaking of "different," among
your unique characters are many who are non-human or partially human. Why choose
creatures as opposed to human sidekicks?
I love combining the best (or worst) of behaviors of both
human and non-humans. The possibilities are endless for creating physical
traits – extra strength or intelligence or other enhancements, plus also it gives
me opportunities to place constraints on such characters, making goal
attainment more difficult. Creatures add such interesting variety, in addition
to a cast of regular humans and animals. Plus I just love making them up.
heard that diabolical chuckle! Is there anything you don't enjoy? What is your
least favorite part of writing?
The fifth … or perhaps the eighth … revision. I love working
through the manuscript a second time, and the third is still enjoyable. But by
that time, a new story is bubbling in my mind, demanding my full attention and
the revision becomes a “To Do” task instead of a joy.
that "To Do" task ever extend to having to write something you don't
want to, like a bloody scene, a death, or sex? How do you work around the
Yes. There are scenes which I absolutely must write to
satisfy my reader and I’ll admit to “writing around” a scene which made me
uncomfortable. One of my test readers called me on it. He insisted it was
absolutely necessary, I had to include it or leave my reader feeling
shortchanged. I knew he was right. Although it made me uncomfortable, I wrote
the scene (as honestly as I could) and the result was a much better book.
should probably ask what those scenes were in Survivors' Dreams, but I'm not
going to. The whole story was so consuming and exciting I can't imagine any of
it being a chore to write! You had me on the edge of my seat and turning pages
so fast I thought they'd catch fire! Thanks so much for stopping by today,
Kaylan. We'll have to do this again. Can you let our reader know where they can
get your book, and how they can contact you? I'm betting there's more than one
reader who can wait to start chapter one!
You are much too kind but I appreciate both your comments
and the opportunity to chat with you on Writing
. I’d love to talk with you
again. In answer to your question, Survivors’ Dreams
by Kaylan Doyle is
available in print at Amazon.com
. The epub version can be found at Amazon
Barnes & Noble
, and very soon at Sony and iBookstore.
Kaylan Doyle has been reading and writing her
entire life. Years ago, a co-worker handed her Dune. Three pages and she was
hooked. After a second loan, Lord of the Rings, Kaylan set a goal - to someday
write her own novel. Survivors' Dreams, a Science Fiction action fantasy, is
the realization of that goal. Bijoux Magic, a Paranormal urban fantasy, will be
released November 2011. Sequels to both books are under construction, and will
be published in 2012.
Kaylan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her
husband and two extraordinary cats. She enjoys reading, knitting, Tarantino and
Coen Brothers movies, watching football and spending time with friends.