Today is FRIDAY, and as I have done for the past few Fridays, I am hosting another author here today. DS Kenn! Who is DS Kenn, you may ask…. Answer is, I am only just finding out myself. That is part of the fun here on Friday is that YOU get to meet new authors and so do I. Authors are in the business together and I know from observing authors and readers that READERS can READ way more books and at a much faster rate than authors can write them. That is why this is not a competition. It can't be. Unless I can write, produce, and publish ONE BOOK A DAY, then I can not keep up with the demand of readers. (And some readers can consume MORE than one book a day!) And even if I could, I think readers would get bored with me. I can only be so creative. The artist world out there needs the variety that authors as a united whole can provide.
I generally write contemporary romance. What does DS Kenn write? Well, let us see…….
I asked basically the same interview questions I have in previous FRIEND FRIDAY posts. I think interviews can be informative and fun. So here we go.
WK- What inspires your writing?
DS Kenn: My characters are a combination of someone I have known, have loved, someone I have wanted to be or used to be or would someday like to become. Once I have their personality down a bit, I let the story tell itself. It’s very hard to try to make the story go in one direction or another, even when I want to. The characters tend to have strong personalities and what they would say or do is pretty clear in my head.
WK: Makes sense to me!
WK- When did you start writing m/m romance?
DS Kenn: Two and a half years ago. I hadn’t read it before I started writing it, now if I have a chance to read, it’s my preference. I also write M/F but again, M/M is my preference.
WK- Are you a full time author?
DS Kenn: No. I have a career I enjoy and find fulfilling in nearly every aspect, therefore, I am able to write simply for the love of writing. I would love for my books to be a success and for people to get to know and love the characters. I’ve found some of that success on Facebook, to a certain degree, when I posted my writing there in my group. It’s a great feeling, to have something you created bring someone joy, or cause them to think, to cry, to care.
WK: I agree.
WK- Who is your favorite author?
DS Kenn: Too many to list.
WK- How many books have you written so far?
DS Kenn: I have one book out now, but the entire series is pretty well planned out, as far as the major characters that are already created. Parts of each book are already written. I have book two underway.
WK- Tell us a little about your novel, Set Adrift.
DS Kenn: Set Adrift is the first book in the Immortal Isle series. This book is an introduction to the series and to the world I created. The series is set in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In book one, we meet some of the major characters that will be getting their own books down the road. Terric and Jordyn are the main characters. They are both a bit broken, a bit lost. They find strength in each other and in their relationship. Each takes away what they need, but there is something missing and both are fully aware. Jordyn has been through hell and back, and Terric gives her strength until she is ready to stand on her own. They love each other, but know that they won’t a true bond to each other. This is the story of how they ended up, looking for a way to become whole and the courage to go after what they want. The entire book is M/F, save for a small scene toward the end. But we can see where it leads into book two and that is where Terric’s story takes off. There will be more main characters introduced in that one and we will learn a bit more about some we caught glimpses of in book one. There is Tristan, the sad bartender that craves death. His dimpled grin hides pain and rejection behind the facade of a bored, rich hybrid. He lays down on the bar and lets beautiful women touch him, drink shots off his body, but his eyes never meet theirs and he doesn’t think about them when he is alone, reliving every moment of a past he can’t escape. Adam is the immortal human lighthouse keeper, he had no choice in what he became and had no guidance to help him navigate his changed reality. Chris is the monster who lurks and feeds off the blood of those naive and unwary enough to be caught in his sights. He’s twisted and evil and his soul is blackened nearly beyond redemption. Nearly. He isn’t to blame for what he became, and despite his size and intelligence, he’s like a child. His mind never matured past that of an impetuous youth, an abused and tortured one at that. These are just a few of the characters we met in book one, we will continue to learn more about them as the series progresses, until we get through each of their books.
WK: Hey, Matt, if you read this it is a book set in Massachusetts!! And Gregory Payne likes M/F romance novels :)
WK- How long did it take you to complete it?
DS Kenn: It took about two years. I started it, and then had to set it aside for a year because of an opportunity that came up in my career. The series is of utmost importance to me, but so is taking care of my family. Sometimes, you have to adjust so you can balance it all. I am shocked it took that long, but now that I have that one out, I am hopeful that the others will move quicker. There was a lot of learning curve in there as well.
WK- I can relate. You aren't alone. Everything I do takes forever and time disappears.
WK- Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
DS Kenn: They are all beloved by me. Terric is my favorite, in that he is the one I know the best. I have spent a long time in his head. He is partly based on someone I love very much, one of the people I connect with most in the world.
WK- How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?
DS Kenn: He is a combination of myself and someone I love. The rational side, the side that can be diplomatic and can examine a problem from different angles and do what needs to be done is the person I love. The temper, the protectiveness of those he loves, and some of the insecurities come from me. But then, this person and I, we are a lot alike, so that could describe him as well.
WK- When someone reads Set Adrift, what do you hope they gain from reading it?
DS Kenn: I hope they see that family is who you choose it to be. We can make our family from those who care about us, watch over us, care about us. It’s great when it’s blood that binds you, but that isn’t the only family you will know. Family is about who you think of when you think of going home at the end of a journey, or a tough day, or when you are hurting and you have grown exhausted at pretending and need to lay your head down and rest, be yourself and know that you are safe in dropping the mask we all wear.
WK- Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?
1. Don’t put added pressure on yourself by committing to something before you are 100% ready. Don’t commit to a release date, a convention, anything, until your book is not only out and available, but you are satisfied with all the editing. Have your swag in hand, and your print books ready to go if that is what you are doing. Things will hit a snag and no one is as motivated to get things done as you are. You will get frustrated and it is very hard to maintain a professional attitude when you are feeling pressured.
2. Only select a few beta readers, and make sure there is clear communication between you and them as to what is expected on both ends. Sending out numerous copies of your book to people who never get back to you is a waste of time and puts you at risk for pirating down the road. Also, keep in mind how helpful their feedback was, it will help you decide whether to use them again or not.
3. Have several editors. I used two, and plan to use at least that many on the next book. But, know that they may not have an opening when you are ready to be edited. Editing is a process. It takes time and it’s not fun. But don’t skip it or skimp on it. It’s vital, especially if you want to be taken seriously. Your readers deserve a well edited book, and your good name, your reputation, is on the line.
4. If you don’t “connect” with someone, if your personalities don’t mesh, politely move on. Creative differences, whatever it is, happen. Sometimes people don’t hit it off or communicate well together. It’s nothing personal, and doesn’t mean that either person isn’t great and amazing and wonderful. It means you aren’t right for each other, not a good fit.
WK- all good points :)
WK- How do you keep your creative "spark" alive?
DS Kenn: I continue the stories in my head, when I’m not writing. It’s frustrating, because my memory sucks, and I know I will forget much of what I have written in my mind, but still. Some of it remains, and will be used. I listen to music when I write, and it matches the tone of whatever scene I am writing.
WK- What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?
DS Kenn: Be cautious in who you trust, especially people you meet online. Very few are what they seem. Find your circle and keep those bonds close. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of other writers, most are very open and willing to help. It’s a competitive field, and there are some people that are cutthroat and unscrupulous. That reveals itself fairly quickly. Avoid them and that will leave room for the many wonderful authors out there that want to see new writers succeed. If you see someone get involved in mudslinging or drama stirring, remember that it could easily be you as the target of all that unwanted attention. Remember that, and conduct future dealings with them accordingly. Don’t let that kind of negativity take the focus away from your writing and from getting to know people who are truly good to have in your life. Write what brings you joy, and don’t write with the idea that you will have a bestseller raking in millions the second it hits Amazon. It may happen for some, but I hate to think how rare it is.
WK: I think many out there can relate to what you say and understand where you are coming from with that.
WK- Where we can find you on the Internet?
DS Kenn: I’m on FB. Feel free to friend me there.
I also have an app that’s in development. It’s available on Googleplay at the moment, for those who have an android device. Search Immortal Isle.
My links are as follows:
Drop her a message on Facebook and let her know what you think of the book. There are sneak peeks and extra scenes to be found if you look close enough.
WK- Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Set Adrift with us?
Tristan started to laugh and then quickly hid it. Drunk off
his ass or not, the demon was not one to fuck with. Finally, he
gave up and simply reached down into Terric’s pants pocket.
He fished around for a moment, finally dragging out the keys.
Terric’s head whipped toward him and he drunkenly stumbled
back, anger marring his features. Tristan held the keys up to
show Terric what he had been doing, trying to explain as
quickly as possible. “Dude, just needed your keys, swear.
Don’t freak on me, okay? You seemed a bit out of it and we
need to take you home. Just wanted to grab the keys, I didn’t
touch nothing else, wasn’t trying to. Fuck, man. You think
that of me?”
Terric sneered, his words slurred and defensive. “You
think that of me? Is that what you’re trying to say? You think
I’m some sort of pervert, that I want you to touch me? Or
that I’m hitting on you? Don’t flatter yourself. Vampires don’t
do it for me. Neither do pretty boys with dimples. Or people
who let little girls die on their watch. Fuck you, Carraig.
Nothing about you interests me.”
Tristan froze. Rage filled his handsome face, and he
stepped back, letting the keys fall on the floor. His hands
bunched into fists and he felt his heart rate accelerate. His
head began to pound and all he could do was stare. He could see the scene play out, reflected in the apathy staring back at
him in the demon’s eyes. This was how he could finish all of it
in that exact moment. Terric was showing him how it would
end, if he pushed any further. Question was, did he want to?
And yeah, he did. Not out of anger at the comments that
fell drunkenly from Terric’s lips. More for the possibility of
escaping the relentless fucking pain. He took a step forward,
the images vividly real in his mind. His death would be
fucking beautiful and it would be permanent. He nodded; his
eyes shining with unshed tears. “God, yes. Please, Terric. I
don’t care how or why, just make it fucking end.”
Terric nodded, his eyes glowing red and he took a step
forward, knowing he would pay for this nearly as much as
Tristan. More, actually, he would genuinely wish for death
when called to answer for killing a sentient being that didn’t
deserve to die. He raised his hand, focus etched into the
planes of his face, tension changing his posture. Before he
could strike, however, the path was blocked.
Emmett stood in Tristan’s place. His hand wrapped
around Terric’s throat, rapidly cutting off his air. Terric’s eyes
went flat, then the red deepened, and the two began to
struggle. Tristan had been shoved to the side and stood
silently, watching the pair. He knew far more was going on
beyond what he could see or sense. The struggle was nearly
palpable, muscles were straining, he could see the tendons in
Emmett’s neck stand out as he strained to maintain his grip
on Terric, and Terric’s face was red from the exertion of
trying to drag air into his lungs. That was nothing compared
to the waves of psychic energy bouncing back and forth
between the two, however. It gave Tristan a headache, so he
could only imagine what it felt like to those two.
Emmett clamped down on his anger, keeping the task at
hand impersonal. Well, as much as he could. It pissed him off
to see Terric wasting his gifts, and even though time was an
unlimited resource for the likes of them, he hated that the
shifter demon was wasting time pretending to be something
he wasn’t. ©DS Kenn, Immortal Isle (Set Adrift).
The book is available on Smashwords, Amazon, B&N and Createspace Direct (for print).
DS Kenn is offering to do an eBook giveaway, randomly selected, so please leave a comment below! :)
Previously I have hosted Sue Brown, Jeff Adams, Gregory Payne, Chris Shirley, and Tammy Middleton.
Names Can Never Hurt Me from Dreamspinner Press is currently #9 on their Best Seller List.
If you are going to GRL, you can PRE-ORDER paperbacks of any of my books and I will bring them to you in Chicago to sign :) I have an updated the form HERE, but it only tells me what to bring not who ordered it. Sending a payment through Paypal with a note works best. I will message you back to let you know I got the payment and I know what to bring. Thanks to Jason and Lauren for sending me a note attached :) PAYPAL: email@example.com cost is $14.50 for any paperback of mine. See you in Chicago!
I am on Multitasking Momma's blog today and the rest of my tour concludes next week:
August 25 - Rainbow Gold Reviews
August 26 - Tammmy Middleton's blog
August 27 - back at Joyfully Jay