Tiptoeing down the hallway, I crack open the door to see avid readers like myself ready for some fun. Pressing my pointer finger to my lips, I motion for them to come in quickly. The Mistress’ fun day at the dungeon got cancelled but I wasn’t willing to give up my interview day. Sneaking them into my room wouldn’t be the problem. It would be keeping everyone quiet. As everyone settled down, I stated in a stage whisper, “Today we have a truly gifted author with us. Amber Kallyn is here today to talk about dragons, her new series, and life in general. So please sit back, relax and enjoy the conversation.”
Why don’t you start off by telling us a little about the Dragos series?
The Dragos series follows four siblings from a dragon shifter family. Book 1, Burned, is how the oldest daughter Calla seeks to prove herself against the domineering men in her family. She meets Scott, a fireman, and sparks fly. Books 2 through 4 are about her brothers.
Now that you have told us about Burned, do you have a small snippet you would like to include?
Calla stepped from the truck on shaky legs, smoothed her navy skirt and slipped on the matching jacket. Reaching across the seat, she grabbed her oversized black bag, which held a notebook, pens and her kit. After another soothing breath, filling her lungs with the crisp mountain air, she headed around the corner to the firemen's entrance.
Giggles drew her attention to a group of teenage girls scantily dressed. And the man they huddled near.
In nothing but low-slung jeans, the top button carelessly undone, the man gave off the rugged air of a male underwear model with a sexy, take me to your bedroom now look. His blond hair, slightly too long for a clean-cut look, dripped water, from a recent shower maybe. Or a drenching with the hose. The scruff on his chin, a shade darker than his hair, enhanced the bad boy aura.
Gods, he was just like Petey. Playboy and chick magnet, an older version of her youngest brother.
"So can we have your autograph? Please?" one of the girls begged, her voice high. The other girls giggled some more.
"Certainly, ladies." The man's voice was as smoky and smooth as his gray eyes.
His gaze flicked to Calla. The intensity shooting from his eyes made her tense, caught like a rabbit in the headlights. His lips twitched. A flush spread up her cheeks. Calla stared at her feet, hurrying along the flower-bordered sidewalk. Before she reached the door, the teen girls filed past, happily waving calendars with mostly naked men.
Figured. A playboy, just like Petey. Which month was he?
Bare feet filled her view. She took in the long, jean-clad legs, the scruff of hair above the gaping waistband. A blond trail led up a golden, ripped abdomen and chest, to dark eyes. This close, flecks of green and blue mixing with the gray were visible.
His scent, suntan lotion and hay, punched into her, dissipating the last remains of the sulfur.
Her libido woke and started clamoring. She gritted her teeth. Not why she was here. And besides, she had no business being attracted to this man. This human.
"Howdy, ma'am." He tipped an imaginary hat, a lusty smile twitching at his lips.
"Excuse me," she replied, her voice steady and cool, the payoff from years of practice working around other untouchable hunks. "I need to see the fire chief."
Something unreadable flashed in his gaze and the smirk disappeared. "What would a beautiful woman like you want with him?"
"Frankly, it's none of your business." Knowing the best way to turn him off, she put a hand to her hip, jutted her chin and raked her gaze over his long, lean form. Unfortunately, her normal barriers weren't working. The only thing she wanted to do was reach out and touch his glistening tanned skin. Instead, she added in a sharp tone, "Let me guess. Mr. October."
His face hardened, all amusement fleeing. The playboy took a step back as if she'd actually offended him. Then, his grin came back, along with a devil-may-care shrug. "Actually," he drawled, "I'm December. I wanted a Santa hat on my lap, not a pumpkin." Leaning closer, his minty breath a whisper on her cheek, he added, "Why? You need a calendar?"
I love the interaction from these two right from the start!
First impressions are huge and when Calla first meets Scott she has an instant impression that is not quite right (as you see partially from the above sample). Do you have any memorable first impressions that you would like to tell us about?
I love the irony of first impressions. Most times they’re completely wrong. It’s fun to play with. I’ve always been told I look deceptively sweet and angelic at first glance. It’s only when people get to know me they find out I’m really more on the devilish side ;)
I love all things paranormal. Usually it is vampires or werewolves. Why did you pick dragons?
I love mythology, in any shape or size. I’ve studied Norse, Greek, Egyptian and Central American. But I’m always drawn back to dragons. They’re my favorite. The idea of a huge beast, scales, talons and wings, a creature created to protect the earth and the people on it, is actually a common mythos about dragons. They’re magical, and powerful.
Sometimes characters are based on someone from their reality. Is Calla based on anyone you know?
Not specifically, but I guess like all authors, there’s probably a bit of myself in Calla. My nickname is snarky -- better than my friends walking around calling me a smart ass all the time :) I love heroines who are tough, but have a need to still be a woman. Who want to find love and be cherished by the man who’s perfect for them.
While Scott is the ultimate male, Calla is still this strong female yet she struggles to find her place within her male dominating household. Did you know that she was going to be like this from the beginning?
Kind of. I tend to write heroines who struggle with their place in things, yet who brave through life with a tough exterior to hide it. As I wrote the book, it developed more fully -- and her brothers got more protective.
How did you come up with all of the different phrases and circumstances for the dragon world? Like the burning that occurs or how sometimes it is with someone that hated another but they had to satisfy the craving.
The easy answer is brainstorming, lol. I actually took ideas from different dragon mythologies, sprinkled a bit of imagination on them, and let them grow. Part of it came from the plot as well -- I needed a way to allow different magical creatures to fall in love and have children. Luckily, I’m writing about magic and not science :)
Part of it also reflects the real world. Too many people get into relationships they should have avoided, yet they stay. It’s a curiosity to me.
I love the idea of this being a series, especially since we get to know other Dragos family members. How many Dragos books are you hoping will be in the series?
I’m contracted with Changeling Press for 4 Dragos stories. Originally, I was planning 8 since there are 8 Dragos siblings, but was cautioned to keep it to 4, so I reworked my series outline and shortened it up.
Well, 4 sounds like a great number. Wonder if we will get to see 8. What is next for the series?
January 28th, Dragos 2: Scorched will be out.
Cynthianna ‘Anna’ Hernandez has never known trust, peace or safety, not even by fleeing to the deepest wilds of Canada. When bounty hunter Garreth Dragos shows up during a blizzard, things get complicated as their inner dragons decide they’re perfect for each other. Things get worse when the dark mage hunting Anna finds them, sending his creatures to return her to his evil clutches. He's willing to sacrifice anything and anybody to further his quest for power. Together, Anna and Garreth must trust in each other or all will be lost to evil.
Oh boy…does that sound good or what?!
In March 2011, Dragos 3: Blazed will be available. Ty Dragos is a playboy who’s yet to meet a woman he’s willing to settle down with. All that changes when he takes on a case for the magic council. Rumors say the Dark Mage is after someone in a rock band. He meets Bree Jones, the band’s pyrotechnic, and sparks fly. Soon, though, they realize it’s her the mage is after. Together, they must foil the evil plan before more lives are ruined.
I love how you seem to incorporate the magic and the dragons.
May 2011, Dragos 4: Inflamed is about the youngest Dragos, Petey. He’s always had strange sexy dreams, but now his succubus is asking for help. Unfortunately, helping her means a showdown with the dark mage who holds her prisoner. The Dragos clan must destroy the evil once and for all.
These sound like fantastic books. I cannot wait to read them.
While on your website I noticed you have quite a few WIP. All of them seem to have the fantasy or paranormal theme. Any other genre you have not written but want to? What about ones that you have not even attempted and refuse to?
Actually, pretty much everything I’ve ever written is paranormal in some way. Even when I start to write something without it, magic seeps in. I’ve written YA, Romance, Urban Fantasy and erotic romance. Mysteries scare me with how complicated they are, though I’ve been told I have a lot of mystery elements in my stories. I used to say I’d never write anything strictly literary, but a few months ago after an afternoon with my critique group, an idea for a literary novel came to me. I have the idea written down, but whether I actually write it or not... LOL.
Do you belong to any social networks? Can you share the links?
I try to be on social networks, though sometimes I’m not so good at it.
You have a pen name. Would you like to share it? Do you have a web page for her?
I do. I write my Urban Fantasy as Higley Browne. I wanted to have a different name so that readers can separate my stories. I don’t want someone wanting to read urban fantasy to accidentally pick up an Amber Kallyn erotic romance :) Higley has a blog, but it’s inactive. I couldn’t keep up the pace of four blogs :)
4 Blogs? Ugh…I can only imagine! You are one busy girl.
Your bio states you began to read extremely fast at a young age. What books do you like to read?
I do read fast. I devour novels in just about any genre. My favorites are horror and urban fantasy (and any combination thereof). I love romance as well.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts/JD Robb were my staples as a teenager, and I branched from there. Today, there are so many awesome urban fantasy writers I have a wide selection. I do wish horror was a bit more popular -- my favorite writers can only write so fast, LOL.
Do you have any favorite movies?
I love horror. I don’t care if it’s cheap and corny, or bloody and gory, I’ll watch it. Werewolves, vampires, zombies, axe-wielding maniacs or blobs of goo -- you name it, I’ve probably seen it. I have a huge collection of horror movies, and we just got Netflix on our TV, so now I have even more :)
Just a couple more questions for you.
If you could choose to be one type of paranormal being what would it be and why? Also, if your husband would like to be included in this interview, what would he choose and why?
Oh, that’s easy. I’d be a dragon. Ah, the power, the majesty. Yup, dragon all the way. My hubby, after thinking about it for over ten minutes without being able to decide (engineers) finally settled on an immortal psychic with powers of time travel. Again, there’s an engineer for you :)
LOL. Can you tell the readers something quirky about you, maybe something no one else knows?
Quirky? To me it’s not, but I collect blades. Knives, daggers, swords. I have a huge collection from a tiny bodice dagger, to a ritual athame and a Scottish short sword. I would like to find more long swords of the Norse and Scottish variety. Don’t know where I’d put them, but still... :)
Wow! That is great. We have a Samurai and a replica of William Wallace’s Claymore.
And one last question!
If you were to be described as a flavor of coffee, what would it be and why?
Mmm, coffee. Life’s blood. Call me a Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra espresso. You are what you drink, right?
Totally! Thank you for taking the time to answer my sometimes zany questions. I hope you enjoyed yourself. I know I did!
Thank you so very much for having me. And I love zany questions, they’re a blast.
I peek out the door to make sure no one is in the hallway. Shuffling everyone through the front door I quickly shut it and lean against the door, satisfied that I got away with yet another grand adventure. Hearing the floor creak, I open my eyes a bit to see Kimberly standing there with a smug look on her face. Grinning she giggles and states, “I told the Mistress! You are in so much trouble!”
Gasping, I try to catch her but stop in my tracks as the Mistress calls me by my full name. I know I am in trouble now! Taking a big gulp, I turn around. I am ready for my punishment....