Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She lives in the metro Atlanta area where she leads a critique group for local writers. Kayelle is a collector of movies and loves scifi, drama, and anything with action and things blowing up. She attends scifi conventions and holds a lifetime honorary membership to OutlantaCon, a local event.
- When did you first discover your love for writing?
The minute I picked up a pencil. I wrote my first full 400-page book at age eighteen. As a whole unit, it has never seen the full light of day, but parts of it are in every book I write.
- Do you have a favourite place to write?
I have a basement office where I’m surrounded by things I love and the books I keep. I use a desktop computer that I customized myself. I make notes by hand, and also use a tablet. When an idea strikes, I will jot it down on a napkin using coffee and a straw to write with if necessary. I always try to record ideas. When I need one, it’s easy to flip through the list, and put this one and that one together. The truth is, I am never short on ideas. I record them all the time. I think the act of doing so encourages me to create more of them.
- Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
I lead a local critique group which requires submission of any material by Thursday each week. Knowing that keeps me on my toes. If I’m going to get my chapter in on time to get feedback by Tuesday, I have to stay on target.
- Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
I love reading good books. I’ve heard some people don’t read the genre they write to avoid accidental plagiarism. I love the genre I write far too much to ever give it up. I also don’t think we can avoid being influenced by what we read or see. I’ve been inspired many times while reading. If we are lifting scenes from another person’s book, we are plagiarizing. I would not do that. But am I inspired to create my own scenes based on ones that I’ve read. I think that’s what good writers do. We see something that appeals to us and that we get enjoyment from, and figure out a way to use something similar. Plagiarism is a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and presented as your own work. Keep in mind, there is nothing new under the sun. If I write a character getting a tattoo because I loved a scene in a JR Ward book of one of her hot Black Dagger Brotherhood guys getting a tattoo, that doesn’t mean I stole her work. My idea came from reading her scene. After that, the comparison ends. There is nothing wrong with that. If we have never read a book, how would we even know how to write one?
When I read Sinful Surrender, book one in the Psychic Ménage series by Houston Havens, I was astonished. Not only is Houston a gifted writer, but she creates books like I do. She has a huge over-arching theme and saga, but also writes individual books that stand alone. Like me, she can take you on a long journey through multiple books, giving you a big story that you can follow. At the same time, you can read just one book and enjoy it. JR Ward writes that way also. While one of her books ends with everything tied up neatly, you are left with the awareness that another character might be in a predicament and you want to read the next story to find out what happens. Am I copying either of them? Absolutely not. But their work inspires me. Inspiration is one of the best things about being a writer. I’m free to absorb ideas from everywhere, use them, change them, recreate them, and bend them to suit my will. I hope to always be inspired by other writers. I know how hard they work to be unique. So do I. That respect and knowledge makes me appreciate what they do far too much to ever give up reading them, but also far too much to ever violate their copyrights.
- What inspired you to write At the Mercy of Her Pleasure?
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure first came out in 2004. One of my favorite writers at the time was Mary Renault. Her story The Persian Boy, about Alexander the Great, is a classic. My book is science fiction romance, but my scifi was inspired by her historical novel. How did a story about a eunuch who loved Alexander the Great inspire a book about a young thief attracted to the genetically enhanced woman who hires him? That’s the beauty of inspiration. The stories are nothing alike. One of my characters is a futuristic version of a character I loved in The Persian Boy, and in my book, he is only four years old. I plan to write him into many books, and let him “grow up” in front of my readers.
- Can you tell us a little about your book?
The original version of At the Mercy of Her Pleasure was written as erotic, but the new, fully edited version available now is sweet romance. There is no on-page sex. It’s sensual, but doesn’t have graphic content or profanity. A simple plot carries the book, but the characters are far from ordinary. NarrAy is a by-the-book captain in the rebel army who hires a thief to take back a prototype the armada stole from her murdered parents. Senth is a professional thief who lives for risk and danger, and loves locking himself into things so he can practice getting himself out. NarrAy is a Better, an enhanced human with addictive pheromones. She is disciplined and rigid, and keeps herself out of danger by ensuring she never touches anyone. That is, until she meets Senth. Our thief, Senth, is a HalfKin: half feline, half human with all the cunning of a lion but the playfulness of a kitten. When a military leader and a trickster thief are thrown together, what can happen? Oh, mercy.
- Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
I used to think it was Luc, who is Senth’s father in At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. But I’ve recently realized it’s Pietas, who is behind many of the problems in my books. He’s a shapeshifter who doesn’t actually change shape. He switches places with another creature, Stormsinger, a magnificent, intelligent dragon in another dimension. I’m working on a book for Pietas now, so he’s taking up most of my creative thought.
- Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure conveys the message to be yourself, and to accept yourself as you are. When you can accept yourself, you can accept others.
- Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?
How about the first chapter? Here’s a link to download the entire first chapter of At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. Because there’s a sequel to this book, For Women Only, on my website, you can also download the first chapter of that story as well. It’s about Senth’s big brother, Khyff. And for anyone who wants to know more about these brothers, you can download the free book Bro, the Story Behind the Antonello Brothers by joining my Romance Lives Forever Reader Group.
- What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing At the Mercy of Her Pleasure?
Because I edited this book from an erotic romance to a sweet romance, I faced several challenges. One, I had to make sure I didn’t remove the sweet sensuality that was already present in the story. Senth is a virgin, and he’s younger than his heroine, who is a sexually experienced woman. I wanted to keep that aspect of the relationship front and center, because it colored every part of their relationship. Second, I wanted to omit nothing about the plot. There are twists in this book that had one reviewer suggesting it should be read twice in order to savor the plot twists and to look for all the hints and redirects that had been placed in the book. Third, I wanted to make sure I kept the scenes with Khyff, Senth’s brother. His book came next, and it was important to lay the foundation for his deep mistrust of the Kin. He hates the alien race for what they did to him and his mother, and to Senth. So of course, I had to give Khyff a Kin heroine. It was the perfect conflict for him to overcome.
- What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing At the Mercy of Her Pleasure?
That the story within me stays important through the years. I wrote the book in 2003 and it was published in 2004. I later took it to a new publisher, edited it, and added more sex to make it fit their requirements. When I decided to go the self-publish route and take full control of my career as an author, I removed most of the added scenes, or at least the graphic content. The story was the same, but the details and quality of the storytelling had improved. I had learned many things by writing and publishing other books. Now, with more than a dozen to my name, I am a different writer, but I still love a good story. At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is one of my favorites.
- Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
If you want it, find ways to make it happen. If it doesn’t work with plan A, keep going. Get to plan ZZZ if you have to, but don’t quit until you get what you want.
- Anything else you would like to say?
I found your site on Twitter, because that’s where I spend a lot of time. I read tweets, follow hashtags (#Thranduil #Loki #MFRWauthor) and track certain type of accounts. I like gamers and gaming (#gamedev #gamer), and am developing an RPG (role-playing game) for my books. My immortal characters are gamers. I’m also a fan of art in any form. I invite any of your readers who are on Twitter to come over and follow me. I follow back.
- And finally, do you have any future works planned?
I’m working on several things, in fact. I’m currently writing Bringer of Chaos, the Origin of Pietas, and I’m doing semi-final edits on Surrender Love: the Wedding, which is a sequel to my EPIC award-winning book Surrender Love. That one is gay scifi, and its re-release will be mainstream heat level (non-erotic). I have a sweet contemporary feel-good holiday romance called A Romance for Christmas, which is on sale right now. I’m plotting a Christms sequel that should be a lot of fun to read. All of these will be out next year.
Author Social Media
Unstoppable Heroes Blog https://kayelleallen.com/blog
Buy links for At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
Hired to steal back a prototype taken by the imperial armada, Senth Antonello retrieves it, but his brother is kidnapped to force Senth to surrender the device.
Now he has to rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. He must do it in the company of NarrAy Jorlan, a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.
He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-bnn
Coffee Time Romance http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-ctr
CreateSpace (Print) http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-csp
Thank you for the interview! I had a great time answering them. I’ll check back and respond to any questions or comments.