interview with Suzanne
Suz: Welcome Karilyn! Pull up a barstool and we'll share some sangria punch in honor of your first visit as a guest. As you know I've been so excited about showcasing your book in the lair. We Banditas LOVE call stories. Would you tell us how you got the call for your first sale?
Karilyn: Hi Suzie! Hi Banditas and Bandit Buddies! Yum, I love your sangria punch (takes another sip). I've been excited too about you showcasing my book! ? (puts the sangria down lest she drink too much and make no sense)
My first story published was a novella in the Taming of the Wolf anthology put out by The Wild Rose Press a couple of years ago. I entered a contest where they chose the top six stories and placed as number four. The winners were announced online and I logged in and saw my name.
It was Halloween so all these kids were coming to the door and I was jumping around in a state of shock. Since the winners were noted online and I didn't get a call from an editor I kept thinking I had it wrong, that I couldn't have won. So I kept going to the door and dumping candy in bags and then running back to stare at my name on the winners list. It was rather surreal.
The Call for Magical Lover was more like a series of emails between my editor and me about changes I needed in order for her to contract the story. I made the changes and-yippee!!-she made the offer! And here we are with my first novel.
Suz: We've had some interesting shape shifter books pop up in the Bandit Lair. Yours is particularly interesting as yours is a dragon shifter. Why did you choose this particular shifter?
Karilyn: When I decided to write romance, I knew I needed a world to return to (because people were going to buy my books and want to read more stories from me, right?? I've always been a big fan of fantasies, so it was natural to set the world in a whole different place. And I've always liked a story with dragons. At the time I wrote Magical Lover, there were very few dragon shifters out there. It took six years and more revisions than I can count to bring Magical Lover to its print form.
Suz: At the beginning of MAGICAL LOVER, Thoren, your hero has a special goal regarding halflings when he meets Keara, your heroine. What is that mission?
Karilyn: Thoren is a reconnaissance specialist, who has been tasked with finding Halflings and returning them to Draconia. Apparently, many of the male Draconi have been parking their scales in non-Draconi females' caves and producing offspring. As a whole, Draconi are very picky about keeping magical beings on their land. Hence Thoren's Halfling finding duties.
Suz: Keara is in a bit of a predicament when she meets Thoren. How does she get out of it?
Karilyn: Keara has red hair and green eyes (a sure sign of a Halfling, although she doesn't know that's what she is) and has the misfortune of living in a town that shuns all coloring except for brown hair and brown eyes. As one of the town's outcasts, she is believed to be a witch and is caught by the town's nobleman. Instead of killing her, he plans on marrying her, which to her way of thinking is worse than death. Enter Thoren to the rescue.
Suz: Was it easy building a world for dragon shifters? By the way, we have our own dragon here in the Lair, so I'm sure Ermingarde is going to demand we keep a copy here for her to read!
Karilyn: I do hope Ermingarde likes the dragon shifters in Magical Lover! I'll be happy to give her a copy. One doesn't want to upset a dragon! Personally, I think world building is fun. It wasn't hard to do since the story came to me in this world, but like all world building, one has to be consistent. I had to know the way the world worked, what the rules were and never break those rules. Occasionally that created problems, but then, natural laws in our world create problems too.
Suz: What's next for our readers to expect from you?
Karilyn: I'm so glad you asked! I have a novella coming out next month featuring the wolf pack from Werewolves of London, the novella in the Taming of the Wolf anthology (which BTW is no longer available for sale. Bummer. I'm working on getting the novella back out, though). Wolf Mates releases on 10/19/11 from The Wild Rose Press. I'm also working on Warrior Lover, which is the story after Magical Lover.
Here's a blurb and excerpt from Magical Lover.
In a world where men can become dragons, Thoren is one of the most powerful. As a shape-shifting Draconi, Thoren wants nothing more than to continue searching for Halfling children, and returning them to Draconia. The last thing he wants or needs is a mate-until he meets Keara, an outcast unaware of the power that lies within her. Keara doesn't know what to make of Thoren or of the magic he practices. She learned early to keep her magic hidden-her witchy red hair and green eyes are burden enough. When Thoren offers his hand in place of a forced marriage with Lord Simon, Keara jumps at the chance to leave her town behind. But she fears Thoren will shun her when he discovers the truth about her abilities. Can Thoren convince Keara she is his lifemate, or will her secret talent be the wedge that drives them apart?
"I know enough to realize she denied you." The stranger growled at Lord Simon, his voice gentling as he turned to Keara. "She will take me though, won't you?"
Keara locked her gaze on the stranger, drawn by his green eyes that looked so much like her own. She had never seen green eyes on anyone else, but knew what they meant. Remembered what her grandmother had told her about them.
"Green eyes are the mark of evil, girl," the old woman liked to say. "Be wary of them."
The wind whipped the stranger's hair about his face. A chiseled jaw topped by firm lips that whitened around the edges and a long straight nose comprised a face tightened in anger. His compelling eyes bored into hers.
She couldn't stop staring at those eyes, all the while his fingers continued their steady pattern against her mark, sending sensuous feelings coursing through her veins.
A stranger or Lord Simon? The man whose touch sent zingers of pleasure throughout her body, or the possibly crazy, but socially acceptable man who might have her best interest in mind. Did she actually think that?
There was no choice. It took two tries to get the words out of her dry mouth.
"I'll take you." She lifted her chin toward the stranger and said a silent prayer he would spare her life.
Thank you again Banditas and Bandit Buddies for letting me stop by! If you'd like to contact me, my contact info is on my website: www.karilynbentley.com.
I'll be giving away a free pdf of Magical Lover to one lucky commentator. What is your favorite type of shifter and why?