Sunday, July 15, 2012

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012

Please welcome Kylie Griffin to The Qwillery. Kylie is the author of The Light Blade series. Alliance Forged (The Light Blade 2) was published on July 3, 2012.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Kylie:  Hi, Sally, it's great be back - I had such a lovely visit last time. Your readers were so welcoming and I loved meeting them!

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kylie:  Definitely the first draft! I can see scenes in my head but that first painful pulling out of the words and putting it all onto the screen is the tough part. I love editing because it means I have the bare bones and then can always layer and add or delete as needed.

Other than that, it's the juggling of two jobs - I teach at a local primary school and write in my time outside this. Sometimes it's hard to balance the two.

TQ:   If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, which 5 novels would you want to have with you?

Kylie:  A survival guide written by Bear Grylls!

And in between learning from Bear, I'd read Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey, Caressed by Ice - Nalini Singh, Rapture - Jacqueline Frank and The Lone Warrior - Denise Rossetti. All four ladies are awesome writers and these are my favorite books form their series so far.

TQ:  What do you wish you'd known when the 1st book in your Light Blade series, Vengeance Born, came out that you know now?

Kylie:  The whole experience of promotion and marketing your work. While you might hear about it from other authors, until you experience it yourself you don't realise what it can entail. Making decisions about how you're going to go about it and what you need to do, and do it efficiently, is a steep learning curve.

I'm glad I sketched out a rough marketing/promotion plan and a budget as a guide. I had no idea if I was doing it right but it helped me keep track of everything, and I took notes along the way so I could improve what I was doing.

One thing I've definitely learned is that there's no one more motivated than you to get your book out there and into readers hands than you the author! :-)

TQ:   Please tell us something about Alliance Forged, the second novel in your Light Blade series, that is not in the book description.

Kylie:  Without giving away any spoilers? Well, in the book it's the end of Summer! Hmm, not quite what you were hoping for? OK, something else then - LOL.

Readers will learn more about Kymora, Kalan and Arek's shared past - specifically how Kymora came to be the high priestess and how she relied on both Kalan and Arek to help her through the first few years of her tenure.

Here's a snippet:
[Kymora] ticked off her fingers as she went. “I was twenty- one . . . an acolyte completing my studies . . . still discovering the limitations of my Gift . . . and blind.” She licked her lips, her mouth dry. “Suddenly, I was expected to lead as the head of our order. The position demanded I make decisions about religious affairs and give opinions to Councilors who were twice my age.”
“Wasn’t Kalan your Chosen then?” Varian asked.
“Not for another two years.”
“All of them were followers of the Lady, surely they had faith in Her decision?”
“While they couldn’t refuse Her choice, the Council debated it for three weeks.” Her pulse throbbed so hard her whole body tingled. She stroked her amulet, lips thinning. “They agreed that the skill involved with my Gift and the insights that came from it would offset the issue of appointing one so young to the position of Temple Elect.”
“They needed an excuse to accept your appointment? Condescending idiots!”
His outrage on her behalf heartened Kymora, but still she ducked her head.
“Kymora?” Varian’s hand covered hers, inhibiting her action. “What’s wrong?”
“They might have needed an excuse to value my appointment”— her voice wavered and she cleared her throat twice before being able to continue—“but so did I. I needed them to accept me so badly it was easier to let them believe what they wanted. Although by doing that, everyone assumed I could cope.
“For a while I even convinced myself I could. Eventually the complexities of the issues were way beyond my expertise.” A strangled laugh escaped from her before she could stop it. “I realized too late I couldn’t confide or turn to any of my teachers or other Servants for advice.”
“They wanted a confident leader, not one who had doubts or concerns as real as their own.”
Kymora nodded. “My own desires isolated me.”
“Why do you blame yourself when their lack of faith contributed to the mess as well?”
She gave a half shrug. “I turned to Kalan and Arek for help, but I let them believe they were two of several people I asked for counsel. We talked over problems, made lists of solutions. I spent hours in the Temple in meditation and prayer. With the Lady’s patience and their guidance, I struggled through the two years until Kalan became Chosen.
“I’m sure the Lady meant it as a lesson in humility, and I took it as such, but that time of my life isn’t something I’m proud of so I’ve kept it to myself.”

TQ:  Which character(s) in the Light Blade series has surprised you the most?

Kylie:  Two characters from this series have caught me by surprise.

Arek, Annika's half-brother (he appears in all three books in the series). Originally, I'd planned to have the whole brother and sister joyful meeting and bonding happening once Annika reached Sacred Lake but my subconscious had other plans and their blood relationship became a huge barrier for Arek to deal with and overcome. Given that he'd lost his mother to demons (she was a Light Blade warrior and he'd been led to believe she'd fallen in battle), he naturally hated everything demon, and that depth of emotion isn't some you can get over quickly. So, his attempt to kill Annika during their first meeting meant I had to adjust my whole perception of how I saw their story thread panning out. LOL

The other is Rissa, the child healer. I never planned to write her into VENGEANCE BORN, the first book in the series, but she just appeared out of the blue. As I began writing the scene where Annika had just fled the Blade Council chamber after being subject to their prejudice and hostility, I could see this curly haired child with the gift for feeling when someone's spirit was in pain. Bold, precocious & worldly-wise, she just literally crashed through the hedge to meet Annika and became one of her first friends at Sacred Lake. And it looks like she's going to be a regular secondary character in the series as she appears in ALLIANCE FORGED.

TQ:  Are there any other genres in which you would like to write in addition to Fantasy?

Kylie:  Absolutely! I've two science fiction romance series with Bk#1 in each already written and I'm dying to rewrite a post-apocalyptic series I've had sitting in a box with other stories for years.

These are all projects my agent and I will be talking over with my editor, so I can't give any real details yet. :-)

TQ:   What's next?

Kylie:  ALLEGIANCE SWORN is the third book in the series and is slated for release 2nd April, 2013.

Book #3 of the Light Blade series

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 demon leader seeks to unify the races…

With the alliance of the humans and the half-blood Na’Chi forged, the demon Na’Reish prepare for war by seizing human blood-slaves. Captured during a rescue mission-gone-wrong, Light Blade warrior Arek Barial finds himself claimed by a Na’Reishi female who offers him an unexpected choice.

Raised in the elite ranks of a society she abhors, Imhara Kaal lives a dangerous double life as a Na’Reish Clan-leader and an advocate for a caste-free life that honors the Old Ways. Openly rebelling against the Na’Reish would mean her death, unless she can find an emissary willing to present her petition to the human Blade council.

But Arek isn’t about to blindly follow a demon—despite the intense attraction growing between them. And while hatred for the Na’Reish is all he has ever known, Arek must learn to trust Imhara, or risk the destruction of all three races…

N.B. I've just been informed by my editor - good news for mass market paperback fans - Berkley has made the decision to release VENGEANCE BORN in this format and it's also coming out 2nd April, 2013! Woohoo!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kylie:  Thank you so much for having me! I've enjoyed the interview and look forward to interacting with your readers again (time zones permitting given I'm in Australia, so there might be a bit of a lag in between responses! (-: )

GIVEAWAY QUESTION - "Many paranormal romance book are part of a series. Do you enjoy reading books in a series or would you prefer stand-alones? If you answered yes to reading series, what is it about a series that you enjoy the most?"

The Light Blade Series

Alliance Forged
The Light Blade 2
Berkley Sensation, July 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

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.

Vengeance Born
Light Blade 1
Berkley Sensation, February 7, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...

With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war...

About Kylie

Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community. Visit her website at

Kylie's Links:

Newsletter: (sign up form on blog or website)

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Alliance Forged (The Light Blade 2) from Kylie, who will be picking the winner!

How:  Leave a comment answering Kylie's question:

Many paranormal romance book are part of a series. Do you enjoy reading 
books in a series or would you prefer stand-alones? If you answered yes to reading 
series, what is it about a series that you enjoy the most? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, July 22, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. reading series. because i love re entering the world every time a new books comes out

    student dot caprino at gmail dot com

    1. I'm very much like you Roro! I love reentering a familiar world - some of my favorites include Pern (Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders series), Envy (Joss Ware's Ency Chronicles) and Pamela Palmer's Feral Warriors world.

  2. i love reading a series, because the characters you read in the previous books became like old friends and you want to know how they are doing while reading about another one you know too

    1. Julie, I know what you mean. It's funny how we develop a "relationship" with characters, isn't it? I love returning to the world of Pern for that reason - after being introduced to Lessa and F'lar in DRAGONFLIGHT & devouring the rest of the series, I wanted to keep tabs on F'nor, the various dragons, Jaxom, Master Harper Robinton, Menolly, Peimur, Sharra and a host of others! :-)

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  4. I like reading series, because you get so much more familiar with the characters over several books!


    1. Hi Rebe, that's one thing I like about series - while the hero and heroine might change there's the chance you learn more about others the longer the series goes on.

  5. Hi Kylie,

    i don't mind with stand-alones or series as long as i can enjoy the story :)

    1. Eli, I'm so sorry, totally missed your comment when replying!

      Enjoyment or engagement is vital for any book we read, isn't it?

  6. I like series but i also enjoy that the books have their own ending. i like to read stories in a universe that i enjoy so series are great but i hate cliffhangers or when i have to wait years between books ( for one series i follow it's a book every 4/5 it's too long and at first each book had a ending ( yes the big biog problem was still lurking but you see what i mean- the last one has a very bad ending for my taste and thus i'm not sure i will buy the next one in 4years)


    thank you a lot for the international giveaway ^^ i'm jumping on every opportunity to discover your books


    1. Miki, you're welcome and it's my pleasure making this an international giveaway!

      One thing I do if I'm reading a series and there's a long gap in between books is when one comes out, I like to go back and read the others to get caught up, or if it's a longer series, the last couple in sequence.

  7. I love reading books in a series as long as each book in the series has an independent plot of its own. I don't mind overarching plots running through series as long as you can tell when one book ends and another begins. It great to see characters grow and change and explore more of the world. I like it as well if you can't be sure all characters will survive each story. Harsh as it sounds in real life not everyone makes it off the Titanic in time so seeing some beloved characters suffering or loosing makes it more heartbreaking. That said I do enjoy stand alones as well - I can't remember the number of series I have on the go at the moment!! :-)

    Mel S

    1. Mel, you sound like a voracious reader! I'm afraid I like to read one series at a time nt all at once in case I get things mixed up! LOL

      Also like you I enjoy the darker, conflicting story lines that run through series and will bawl my eyes out if a familiar character suffers or gets taken out!

  8. Q: Many paranormal romance book are part of a series. Do you enjoy reading
    books in a series or would you prefer stand-alones? If you answered yes to reading series, what is it about a series that you enjoy the most?

    A: I like serieses. It means that I got more to read of a favourite world or characters.

    Thank you for the chance to win! :)

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-spamme [at] yahoo [dot] com

    1. Hello Cherry,

      We're chalking another one up for series! :-)

  9. Some of my most favorite books are from series. I like being able to recognize characters from previous books and to see how their lives are progressing.

    1. Hi Betty, it's fun to see favorite secondary characters pop up in other books, isn't it?

  10. When I enjoy a book I love the story to continue in a series - that way & kind find out what the characters from the earlier books are doing.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

    1. Di, well if you get the chance to read the Light Blade series you're definitely going to see characters from earlier books pop up in the other books!

  11. I like series and stand-alones. I like a series because you get updates on the couple after the happily ever after.


    1. Hi bn100, looks like you're in the same category as a lot of others. You like both! :-)

  12. I love reading series. I also love stand alone. Right now I wish I loved more stand alone because I feel I get too far behind in some series.
    I love series because I think the reader develops a relationship with the characters and likes to see how they grow.


    1. Victoria I've felt like this at times too - there are a couple of long running series by very popular authors where I've just lost track of who's who and what's what because of the longevity of the series. Makes it hard to keep up.

  13. I love series, but the only thing about them is that I want to read them in order and then have to wait for the next book to find out what happens next. In a stand-alone, I read the book and I'm done, but then I wonder about those characters I enjoyed and wish I could read more about them. So I guess I prefer series. :D I enjoy getting to know the characters and following along as they go on adventures, or learn and grow, etc., in a series featuring the same characters in multiple books. I like seeing secondary characters get their own stories told in subsequent books in the type of series where there are different main characters featured in each book.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

    1. Hey, Barbara E., thanks for following the blog tour! Good to see you here! :-)

      Ahh, the dilemma of stand-alones. Loving the characters so much then lamenting that there isn't another book or two after to see what happens to them!

  14. While I do love a good series, I tend to get frustrated with the sudden cliff-hanger endings. I also hate waiting an entire year for the next installment. I prefer a series to come out in rapid succession, with only a few months at the most separating the releases.
    I'm also getting a bit tired of every single paranormal being a part of a series lately. I'm almost afraid to start any new ones, because I'm already involved with reading so many different ones that I start to get behind on them and then forget what's happening by the time I finally get back to them.
    I'm actually delighted when I can read a good stand-alone paranormal.
    debbie at burdeen dot com

    1. Hi Debbie, I'm seeing series doing exactly this, releasing within a short space of time of one another, particularly the opening few books. I know my editor wanted it this way with only about 6 months in between each. Some I've seen release within a couple of months of each other, rare but still happening.

      So yes, I can understand why you'd enjoy a good stand-alone occasionally.

  15. I do love series, when they keep my interest as the story unfolds and they do not drag the story on and on without adding anything. Some series get better as they go on, but others...I just lost interest in many of my beloved series..that's sad

    blog follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

    1. Hi, Reading mind! It's a fine balance between writing a series that holds a readers attention and knowing when to call it quits - despite it's popularity.

      It might be a disappointment to end a series but I think you're right when you say the pleasure diminishes when a series goes on and one without really going anywhere.

      I'd like to think that my beta readers will tell me "Enough's enough, Kylie." when the warning signs start appearing with my series.

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  17. Hey Kylie, I almost always prefer a series. While I sometimes will pick up a standalone, about 80% of my reads are from series. I just love the way an author can keep you interested and invested in their characters. It is almost like I NEED to find out what happens next.Thanks.

    Michael B

    1. One of the challenges that faces a writer is engaging readers then keeping them hooked. What I love about writing a series is that you get to world-build some more, adding depth to what you've already written.

      It reminds me of putting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together, creating a much larger, more complex picture.

      A bit like travelling back to a country time and again, seeing more of what you missed the first time around.

  18. I enjoy reading both series and stand alones the only bad thing with a series is having to wait for that next book to be written when I am dying to know what happens next lol.Hav a great weekend
    wanda f
    posted to blog

    1. Hi Wanda, yep, totally agree with you on the impatiently waiting for the next book to come out. That's why I enjoy finding a new-to-me author and discovering she has a backlist I can go and buy in one hit if I enjoy one of her books!

  19. thanks for the great post and congrats on the newest release! I've read such great reviews for this series!

    I like series. Mainly b/c I like how a world is expanded and we get to see more of the characters that I've come to like :)

    gfc: erin

    1. Thanks, Erin. I've been pleasantly surprised at how well the Light Blade series has been received, a little overwhelmed actually but I'm also excited because it means I get to share the wonderful world of the Light Blades and the diverse characters who've been clamouring for their stories to be written for so long! LOL

      For example, one I'm keen to get straight in my head and share but am still fleshing out the details for is Lisella's story. hers is going to be an incredibly powerful and emotional one btu I can't give you any more details than that. But if you read ALLIANCE FORGED you'll know why. :-)

  20. I enjoy both stand alones & series. When I fall in love with a world, or characters, I don't want to let them go in a hurry.

    GFC: Mary Preston


    1. Mary, I'm like this with series I fall in love with too. One of my recent favorite reads was the Dark Age Dawning series by Ellen Connor. I loved the rich world-building and dark edge of each of the stories in the series and when I realised it was a trilogy I was sad to see it end/leave the world.

  21. There are pluses & minuses to both. One reason why I like standalones is that I don't have to wait for the rest of the series. I like to read my books all at once in sequence & waiting for the rest to be written can be agony. Then I find I've forgotten much of what happened in the preceding books & hv to read them all over again from the beginning. Then again sometimes I love the characters & the world so much that I can't get enough of it from just the one book. A series can be more fulfilling for the reasons I've mentioned but the writer I think needs to know when to put a stop to it. A nice length would be a trilogy.

    1. G'day Linda! Totally agree with you that an author should know when to call a halt to a series (I mentioned something like that in my previous comments).

      One thing about series is the pleasure you get time and again from revisiting and rereading them. I've done that with Nalini Singh's Psy'Changeling series and Pamela Palmer's Feral Warrior's series (just to name a couple (-: ).

  22. Hy Kylie! =)
    My favorit genre is PNR and fantasy, and those genres always come in series. I love reading series, I also have series OCD, must read in order or if not I will search book number 1 first then read the next. What I love from series is the complex worldbuilding and the characters.

    Thanks for the interview
    sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Ahh, Ren, another OCD'er!!! So glad to find out I'm not the only one that has to begin from the beginning. Nothing irks me more than discovering I've picked up a book, read it then realised it's Bk#4 in a series! LOL

  23. I love series. There is always a secondary character in book 1 with him I fall in love and want an entire book devoted to him.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

    1. Hey, Tracey! I'm nodding my head in agreement as I read your comment. That happens with me too, particularly if there's a bad boy secondary character - the darker or more brooding the better!

      Zsadist, Zarek, Jag...three of my favorites!

  24. I love both, series and stand alone. In series, we read another character story and sometimes a glimpse from earlier character.

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

    1. Catching up with past characters can be like catching up with an old friend, can't it, Filia?

      Thanks for following the blog tour and good luck in the draw!

  25. I love a good series for a lot of reasons, but mostly it's because I like to reconnect with previous characters throughout a series instead of just leaving them behind.

    1. Hey justpeachy36! Sometimes (as an author) having character reenter the story gives you the chance to reveal more details about them. :-)

  26. I like series and single books. I think you get more details out of a series about the characters than you do a single book. I am a follower and email subscriber.

    1. Hi, Tore, thanks for following the blog tour! In a series you get a fuller view of characters and the world they live in.

  27. You really do work two full time jobs, teaching and writing. I hope you have time for a little relaxation in between!

    I love a series, I get so attached to characters that I am always sad to read THE END in a book. So when an author has plans to keep these characters alive I rejoyce! =)

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

    1. Hi Lexi! Some days I wish I had a clone to go with the 2 x full time jobs! LOL

      Looks like the majority of readers like series, which is wonderful! Especially for the authors who like writing them (like me!). :-)

  28. I Like both, But what I love about the series is that you get to keep tabs on all the other people in the previous books. A lot of the women end up pregnant and its nice to know what they have, and how everyone is doing. They are all like family, lol, so its nice to keep track of them. Thx Lona


    1. Hi Lon! It sometimes feels like you're following a distant set of relations or friends, doesn't it? :-) I love it when a favorite author weaves snippets of past characters into the present story in the series.

  29. Thank you everyone for welcoming me so warmly - it's been a hoot getting to know you a little more. Thanks also for sharing you POV's on series too - looks like the majority of you like them (which is great news!) :-)

    When the deadline passes I'll be using the scientific method of selecting the winner - the "paw & claw" process where I'll throw pieces of paper on the floor in front of one of my cats and have them choose one! :-)

    Good luck in the draw!