How and why did you decide to use a pen name?
I decided to use a pen name because at my workplace, I’m a college history professor. While I’m proud of what I write, I’m not sure I want 18 year old students to know who I am. For now, I only have one, but I can imagine a time if I get into genres that are even more erotic than what I do now that I might add another pen name. I had a difficult time thinking up my pen name until one day I saw an actress on one of my favorite shows and her name was Gabrielle. It was like a light went on over my head. Then the last name Bisset just seemed to work.
(Starla) I write mainly as Starla Kaye, but I also write as S K Fero and Skylar Faye. It gets confusing sometimes, so be careful.
How do you respond to someone who says, “You write WHAT?”
I’ve only had a few people respond like that, and I always proudly explain that I write erotic romances. I then usually clue them into the fact that the romance market is a booming one, especially in the ebook area, and it seems for most people that provides the credibility they need to see my writing as something more than written porn. (I actually had someone say that once. I have no problem with porn, which I have used for research, so they were stunned when I didn’t react as they assumed I would!) It’s amazing what the almighty dollar can do, isn’t it?
What do you want your readers to take from your books?
Most important for me is that my readers take a well-told story from my books. Yes, I want it to be sexy and romantic, but I really want them to be entertained by the story. This is why I take such care with plot, characterization, setting, and dialogue. Each part must be honed to ensure the story works well.
Do you write a story clear to the end before doing more than simple editing? Or do you stop after each chapter and completely edit it before moving on?
I’m a plotter, so I know the vast majority of the story before I even begin writing. For me, that means when I finally do start, I write all the way through to the end before doing any serious editing. I think that would break my groove a bit if I stopped after each chapter to completely edit, although it would shrink the edit at the end a great deal. I do read over the previous chapter or so each time I sit down to write, but I don’t do anything more than simple editing each time.
Is there anything unusual about your writing habits?
I hand write everything before typing it. It’s old school, but it’s the only way I can write. I find the computer screen so sterile, and I’ve never been able to write anything like that. I have complete 300 page novels all handwritten in notebooks all over my office. And I hate typing! I said that once and the person I said it to was so surprised. She’d never heard of a writer who hated typing. Typing is literally the only part of the writing that I don’t like. Everything else, even editing, I can find enjoyment in, but typing is just drudgery.
(Starla) I have another writing friend who hand writes first as well. Me…well, I wouldn’t be able to read my handwriting.
What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?
The characters always come first. Without the characters, I can’t know what to create for a plot. Once the characters are in place, then the plot, setting, and conflict can flow from them. The title is usually last, despite the fact that I don’t like writing a story if it doesn’t have a title.
(Starla) It is always interesting to read various author’s working habits. For me, it is title first then the characters.
Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?
I usually write at night, but I find between my job teaching and my home life, which includes home schooling my teenage son, I can’t write every night. So I write all day Saturday, sometimes 15 hours a day. It’s a long day, so often I don’t write again until Tuesday or Wednesday night and then I write as often at night as possible until Saturday comes around again. Sometimes life does throw surprises at me, and when that occurs, I just do what I can to write at least something so I don’t get too behind.
Now on to your newest release, Stolen Destiny, from Siren Publishing
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Length: 81,000 words
Release Date: June 29, 2011
Buy Link: Bookstrand
Trailer Link: You Tube
What is unique about this book?
Stolen Destiny is unique because it’s about a new type of paranormal character, Aeveren. Aeveren are a race of people descended from the Archangel Raziel. Blessed with the gift of reincarnation, they live fifty lifetimes and carry with them their memories from each lifetime as they progress through their reincarnation cycle. Aeveren can also have powers above what humans possess, such as teleportation, telepathy, mind control, and even the ability to manipulate time. Finally, Aeveren have been blessed with destined ones, other Aeveren they are drawn to across distance and time. Once one finds their destined one, they will be only for that person in every lifetime they share from that point on.
Did you have a favorite character in this book?
My favorite character is Amon. He’s just so bad. He’s been spoiled by having so much power for 47 lifetimes, but he’s vulnerable at the same time. It’s a delicious combination.
Will there be any sequels to this book?
Yes, the next book in the Destined Ones series, Destiny Redeemed, will be out in the fall. It’s the story of Amon Kalins, one of the most powerful and manipulative Aeveren.
Released from prison to find a murderer, a prison-hardened Varek Leale is convinced no woman deserves the man he’s become, but his Aeveren destiny makes him succumb to sweet and sexy Callia Reynolds. To catch a murderer, he and Callia must find an Aeveren with the power to control time. But Amon Kalins isn’t a man to trifle with, and when he wants something, he’ll use his powers, devastating charm, and good looks to get it.
When Amon manipulates time and seduces her away, Varek must turn to the people who set him free for help to get her back. But the Council doesn’t do anything without requiring something in return, and what they want is Amon Kalins, one of the most powerful Aeveren ever. Varek will do what he must to capture Amon and find Callia. If he doesn’t, she’ll be lost to him for untold lifetimes.
“Varek. It doesn’t seem like anyone else is here. All of these rooms are dark,” she whispered.
They came to the end of the hallway and stood in front of a closed door at the back of the house. The light under the door indicated this was where the owner of the home was. The man opened the door and stood aside to let them pass but didn’t announce their arrival to anyone. Varek and Callia found themselves in the room with the door closed behind them.
Callia began to speak, but Varek stopped her with a shake of his head. He quickly scanned the room but saw no one else. But he sensed they weren’t alone.
Leaning in to him, she whispered, “Where is he?”
Before he could answer, they heard the doorknob turn, and they turned to find themselves face to face with the Aeveren tempuster. Amon Kalins stood facing them in the doorway. Taller than Varek by mere inches but leaner, he seemed bigger than life. His long, pale blond hair, his most noticeable feature, hung to the middle of his chest. Running a very close second were his eyes, which were a color close to ocean blue. They sparkled with very fine yellow flecks, and the entire effect was almost magical. Dressed in all black and wearing a long black coat, Amon Kalins looked like a sorcerer.
Fucking wizards, Varek thought to himself.
The three of them stood silently, Varek and Callia taking in the sight of one of the most powerful members of their people and Amon sizing up the visitors to his home.
“Callia, Gethen tells me you are related to Elan. How is she?” His voice was husky and low. As he spoke, he slid out of his coat.
“She’s fine.” Callia felt like she should say something else but was uncomfortable. His deep blue eyes stared into hers like he was searching for something in her through them.
“And this is…” Amon’s voiced trailed off as he turned his head to look at Varek. A sinister smile drew the corners of his well-formed mouth up slightly, and he said in a mocking voice far different than the one he’d used with Callia, “…your brother?”
Varek hoped one of Amon’s powers was telepathy and intentionally spelled out in his mind exactly what he thought the tempuster should do to himself. Callia saw his body tense and diplomatically answered the question while she attempted to avoid eye contact with Amon.
“No, Varek is my destined one,” she said in a voice full of pride as she smiled at Varek.
Amon walked between them and, in a deep, hollow voice, said, “Ah, young love.” He sat in a dark leather chair and extended his arms out to indicate they could seat themselves in the two chairs facing him. Behind him hung full-size portraits of fierce-looking warriors.
Varek kept his eyes on Amon, jealously watching him stare at Callia like she was something he wanted to taste. He sat in the chair closer to the tempuster and silently hoped this meeting and their entire acquaintance with Amon Kalins would be brief.
Callia struggled to avoid Amon’s gaze and looked instead over his head at the warriors’ portraits. She felt his eyes on her and knew without even looking at Varek that he was watching the other man.
Amon thought to himself how easy it would be to dispose of the beautiful female’s destined one and considered doing so but decided not to until he’d heard the reason for their visit. Then he’d seriously consider how to rid her of Varek, whom he knew already didn’t like him.
“You didn’t come to see me to admire my ancestors’ portraits, carina, so what can I do for you?” He knew without even moving his eyes from Callia that Varek disliked the pet name he’d chosen for her. Carina. Little one. He did enjoy when visitors came.
Callia recognized Varek should explain their situation but believed Amon’s preference for her required her to answer. As she prepared to speak, she offered Varek her hand and held his tightly, hoping to remind him of how much she loved him.
“We need your help. We have to find who is murdering Aeveren in New Hope. We need you to use your…abilities to help us capture him.”
As Callia spoke, she felt like Amon’s eyes were enveloping her. They were almost hypnotizing, and she began to fear that they were connected to some unknown power he possessed.
He answered in a voice like a deep purr, “We?”
This time Varek spoke, his voice the one he’d used in Nil. “Yes. We.”
Amon pulled his gaze from Callia and turned toward Varek. Callia watched as his deep blue eyes became almost blue-black.
“And I would do this, why?” The purr in his voice changed to a growl.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
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Email: [email protected]