Kylie Griffin’s Superhero Alliance!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 6 2012, 12:02 am
by Anna Campbell
I’m delighted to welcome back my very talented Aussie pal, Kylie Griffin. Kylie’s first book VENGEANCE BORN received great buzz in Romancelandia and her second book ALLIANCE FORGED looks like it’s going to continue the magic (pun intended). To give you an example, RT Book Reviews said of ALLIANCE FORGED that, “Griffin does a stellar job envisioning her world and its compelling protagonists. Well worth your time!”
You can read an excerpt of ALLIANCE FORGED here: http://kyliegriffin.com/AF_Excerpt.html
Kylie, welcome back to the lair! Congratulations on the success of VENGEANCE BORN, the first book of your Light Blade series. Now the second book ALLIANCE FORGED has been released. Can you tell us about this story?
Anna, it’s wonderful to be back in the lair. I received such a warm welcome last time from everyone that I’m really looking forward to this visit!
Thanks for the congrats on VENGEANCE BORN, it’s been such an amazing ride so far (hard to believe that was back in February) and it’s all due to the readers who have been so supportive! And here we are, on my second bog tour, celebrating the release of ALLIANCE FORGED, and I’m so excited to be sharing more about the story with your readers.
Let’s start with the blurb.
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…
Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.
Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.
When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.
ALLIANCE FORGED picks up just a few short months after VENGEANCE BORN finishes. The humans and Na’Chi (half-bloods) have formed a tentative alliance but there’s still a lot of uncertainty from both sides as to whether this partnership will work.
Prejudice and acceptance of those with differences were themes explored in VENGEANCE BORN, and they weave their way through ALLIANCE FORGED, but the theme of journeys and the significant lessons they teach us is also explored.
Kymora’s spent most of her life committed to the Temple in the service of her deity. From acolyte to high priestess and spiritual leader of her people, it’s a role she expects to spend her life fulfilling.
Varian, the warrior-leader of the Na’Chi, a half-human half-demon race, fights to protect his people from those who consider them abominations because of their mixed blood heritage. He seeks a safe haven for them.
As you can see both Varian and Kymora start on very distinct paths, ones well defined, but it isn’t long before they discover how quickly events can change and their journeys twist in a direction they least expect.
Whether Varian and Kymora end up at the same destination…well, that’s something readers will have to discover for themselves!
Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?
Much of my fantasy writing up until the Light Blade series were stories based around human characters, human relationships, human conflicts and I wanted to try something that involved a non-human element.
At the time I was writing VENGEANCE BORN vampires, werewolves, and shifters dominated the market, and the stories were set in a contemporary world or very urban fantasy based. Creating a fantasy world with different races (al la LORD OF THE RINGS style) really appealed to me. It’s as simple as that.
But why demons? No idea. All I can tell you is they’re not styled or based on any familiar mythology. In the Light Blade world my demons are known as the Na’Reish and they’re all-powerful, dominating the humans physically as well as in numbers. They’re taller, built larger, have enhanced senses and strength and the balance of power lies in their favor.
In VENGEANCE BORN, it’s revealed that humans and demons once coexisted peacefully and that with the pairings of human and demon couples hybrid children could be produced. The revelation that anyone who possessed a Gift (as these special abilities are known) – Na’Chi or human – came from a mixed bloodline, something that shocked and appalled many.
Annika, the heroine from VENGEANCE BORN, has remarkable healing abilities that can also be used to kill. In ALLIANCE FORGED readers will get to see some of the different abilities of the Na’Chi (the hero Varian), as well as those humans who possess Gifts (the heroine Kymora).
I notice that book 3 in the series, ALLEGIANCE SWORN, is available next April. Can you give us any hints about this story and where it takes the series?
I’d love to share the blurb for ALLEGIANCE SWORN but it contains information that will spoil a secondary plot twist from ALLIANCE FORGED, so I won’t post it here. All I can say is that one of the characters in this story has already appeared in VENGEANCE BORN and ALLIANCE FORGED. The hero and heroine are an unlikely pairing, and one of them must overcome a tormented past in order to move forward. Readers will see the plot move from human territory to deep within Na’Riesh territory. They’ll learn more about the demon’s caste-based lifestyle and brutal culture of slavery. And the war between the humans and Na’Reish concludes in ALLEGIANCE SWORN and finishes off an over-arcing storyline that I began in VENGEANCE BORN.
As I said, I won’t include the blurb here, but if readers are interested, it’s up on my website.
Your first book VENGEANCE BORN came out in February, 2012. What have your first few months as a published author been like? Any surprises?
Phew, where to start! A little background would probably be helpful before summing up the last few months in one word.
After taking a two-year sabbatical, I returned to teaching. The school term began just as VENGEANCE BORN was released, and I began my February blog tour. On top of that I was juggling line edits for ALLIANCE FORGED and writing the first draft of ALLEGIANCE SWORN.
So the term I’d use is manic. It’s been a lot of work, but honestly, I wouldn’t swap it for anything!
The biggest surprise has been the emails from readers. I’ve loved receiving them, and most have been so positive, with messages of how much they enjoyed reading VENGEANCE BORN.
The real kicker were the men who’ve read VENGEANCE BORN, enjoyed it, and let me know! One fellow said, and I quote, “You could have cut back on the mushy stuff but the rest was pretty good.” High praise considering I hadn’t expected a lot of men to read a fantasy romance!
I’ve always been so impressed that you’re not just a brilliant writer, but a superhero! Can you tell us about your work with the Rural Fire Service and the NSW State Emergency Service? I bet you’ve got some great stories!
I don’t know about the superhero bit, Anna! LOL
I enjoy volunteering and helping others, so joining the Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service was something I just did when I moved here. And I apologise in advance for the lengthy response but this is a huge part of my life and something I feel passionate about.
Our little rural village has a local pub, a one person police station, a one teacher school with 10 children, two churches, a general store that doubles as a post office and an agricultural supply business. Being so isolated where we are, it can take emergency services up to an hour to respond to emergency calls from the nearest towns. Our volunteer fire brigade consists of five members – I’m the deputy captain and only female in the unit and we respond to both bushfires and structural fires.
The SES unit helps out in floods and storms and because of our isolation, we’re also tasked with the responsibilities of search and rescue, road crash, and community first response (aka ambulance calls). With only six members (and two of us are in both organizations) I’ve been Controller, deputy controller and grunt in this organization.
Our RFS unit trains once a month and the SES unit trains once a week, while our CFR team (aka ambulance response team) has an extra night of training per month. The skills are part of what I love about the organizations – they’re so different from my day to day job (teaching). I’ve learned how to back-burn, black out (the perimeter of a fire). I’ve operated a chainsaw, communications equipment, cut up vehicles to free trapped casualties, monitored floods, helped people stranded by flood waters, been on line searches for the missing, and learned how to use a defibrillator, an oxy-viva machine, and administered drugs.
And yes, some of our call outs are quite memorable.
One of the most heartbreaking emergencies involved attending an incident with two infants. A team member and I had to perform CPR on both of them until the ambulance arrived. One child survived, the other was declared DOA at the hospital. In such a small community as ours, this had a devastating effect, not only on the family but many of the locals who knew them. Myself included because I taught their children.
A more light-hearted and amusing call out involved us heading out to assist a woman who’d gone into labor. She lived on a property in the middle of the bush and to get to their place we had to traverse a goat track, in torrential rain (which had been coming down for hours) which made driving the dirt track hazardous. There were three of us on the call out. When we got there we made the decision to evacuate the family of five as we knew we’d never make it back in there a second time. With two of us in the front of our 4WD vehicle, the pregnant woman and her family piled in the back seat and me in the canopied back sitting on top of all our medical supplies, we only just made it out of there.
Then we discovered the driver of the ambulance who had responded from the nearest town had managed to bog their vehicle twelve feet inside the front gate. So we transferred the family into the ambulance then used our road crash gear to pull the ambulance out of the bog and tow them back onto the tar road. We didn’t get to see the woman’s child born but then, I think the “rescue” of her and the ambulance was adventure enough for one night!
I’ve been to catastrophic bushfires, house-fires, motor vehicle fatalities, searches for missing people (whom we’ve found alive and deceased), ambulance call outs involving amputated limbs, heart attack casualties and emergencies where I’ve used CPR to sustain life.
Every call out gives me an adrenaline rush, but it’s the camaraderie of working within a tight knit team (members I trust with my life, and have done on some occasions) and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped someone that keeps me going back week after week to train and responding to my pager when it goes off. I wouldn’t swap that for anything.
Wow, Kylie, I’m not joking with the superhero moniker! Is there anything you’d like to ask the Banditas and Bandita Buddies?
Anna, thank you so much for hosting me here in the lair again. I’ve had a great time sharing a little bit about ALLIANCE FORGED (and a lot about my volunteer work! ).
I’d love to ask you readers if they have any interesting tales about emergencies they’ve experienced. Are there any fellow fire fighters or rescue workers out there? Or volunteers of any sort, who help out their communities? I’d enjoy hearing your stories.
Kylie has very generously offered a commenter today a copy of her latest book ALLIANCE FORGED (international giveaway). So get commenting people! Good luck!
Posted in Alliance Forged, Anna Campbell, Australian Author, Bandita Booty, interviews, Kylie Griffin, Light Blade Series, Paranormal elements, romantic fantasy, series, Vengeance Born, writing life