Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
From her comfy, ergonomic office chair Kayelle Allen forges the very fabric of her story universe using only the tips of her fingers and her powerful imagination. Her passion is to create both commissioned and original art, employ extensive worldbuilding with inventive behind-the-scenes peeks, and write tightly woven tales with unstoppable, unshakeable, unforgettable characters so real you’ll swear you’ve met them.
Follow Kayelle here:
Thanks so much, Kayelle, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Kayelle Allen: Start a newsletter from the beginning and stick with it. It’s how you’ll meet some amazing readers and create an interactive community of people who love your stories.
JSC: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?
KA: I have a great note app on my phone and I jot down a few words to help me remember later. If I think “this is so good I’ll surely remember,” I won’t. I’ll remember that I had a great idea but have no idea what it is. So I always write it down.
JSC: How long have you been writing?
KA: My first book came out in 2004. But I was doing creative writing in middle school. No one else saw it, but I had grandiose plans. At 18, I wrote a 400 page novel. I still have it, and though that book will never see the light of day, concepts from it pepper my entire story universe.
JSC: Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
KA: I get characters in a flash. Once I have the name, I have the person. They come like Juno from Zeus’s head: fully grown, all at once. I discover more as I write about them, but the backstory and sometimes even details hit me all at once. But ideas fly through the air and land on me. I can’t not get them (double negative intended).
JSC: What inspired you to write A Divided Heart? What were the challenges in bringing it to life?
KA: The characters were in other books, and I wanted to give them their own story. It was fun to think “and then what happened?” I had to double-check dates and places to make sure everyone was where I said they were in the story, but, thankfully, I keep good notes.
JSC: Who has been your favorite character to write and why?
KA: Pietas. I will never run out of stories about him. He speaks to me in a totally non-cray-cray way. For realsies. He’s brilliant, a bit narcissistic (my other characters are going ‘a bit?’), and he’s often unintentionally funny. His wry sense of humor always makes me laugh. And because he’s immortal, I can put him into current and future books. My universe is a vast one, and Pietas has left his mark on most of it, generally in some indelible manner.
JSC: If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
KA: I’m terrified of deep water, so the odds of this happening to me are slim to none. However, it seems to me the best things to wish for are 1) a way to signal for help, 2) a safe way off the island, and 3) a supply of enough anti-anxiety meds to last till I’m rescued.
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
KA: I just started a brand new project, and I’m loving it! I’m now on the subscription platform Ream Stories. I have a public following, a private official “follower” level, and then several paid levels that provide fun swag, inside peeks, character interviews, maps, and more.
The first few chapters of all my books are free for everyone to read, and once you join a paid tier, you’ll get full access to every book. One level, Steamy One Shots, has exclusive R rated material. I invite you to come follow me and take a look. If you like what you read, you’ll find instructions on how to read the entire thing.
But the best aspect of the site is that I can write and share new chapters as soon as I finish them. You can opt out of reading those if you prefer.
I hope you’ll join me on Ream, where you’ll have the opportunity to join a community of readers like you, who love MM Romance and Sci-Fi Romance. See you there!
And now for Kayelle’s latest book: A Divided Heart:
In a school filled with hackers and thieves, how do you trust your heart?
The Thieves’ Guild Academy teaches three things. Honor above profit. Skill above chance. Family above all.
So when the Academy decides to turn away an alien child who’s too unruly to train, Professor Brinn Halin intercedes. Despite the warnings of his handsome ex, the Headmaster, he fosters the precocious four-year-old girl.
Academy Headmaster Kam Zavala oversees a school full of trainee thieves and hackers, and he’s used to their tricks. This latest student, a headstrong but brilliant little girl, has gone beyond a simple hack. Her work threatens to implode the ancient Academy itself. As a disaster of epic proportions unfurls, Kam must take action.
But when the child’s breach uncovers a deeper, more insidious hack, the two master thieves must work together. Is there truly honor among thieves? These two have a second chance to prove it, save the child, the Academy, and restore their newfound love.
The question is, will they trust their well-honed instincts, or follow their long-divided hearts…
This scene is from the MM Romance, A Divided Heart. Professor Brinn and his ex, Kam (who’s the Headmaster) are at the Thieves’ Guild Academy, a school for training professional hackers and thieves (legal in the Tarthian Empire).
At the door to Brinn’s classroom, Kam braced one shoulder against the wall. “Are you up to having dinner? Just the two of us. Someplace quiet.”
“Why? What are you angling for?”
Kam beckoned him closer, and he leaned in. “I’m angling for a date.”
Surely, Brinn wouldn’t leave him hanging for an answer. Would he? But the man stood there, an expression on his handsome face like he was deciding between two unsavory choices.
Why hadn’t Kam waited until after work? He kept what he hoped was a smile on his face while Brinn stared at him. Kam was two seconds from telling him to forget it.
“Okay.” Brinn jabbed a finger toward the floor. “But just dinner, and not tonight. Dresden will need to decompress from all the excitement after her first day of school. Hahlibeth and I want to provide some one-on-one time with her as well.”
“Tomorrow night then?”
“Sure. Just dinner.” Brinn gave him a serious look. “That’s all.”
Killjoy. “Absolutely. Just dinner. Tomorrow night at seven?”
Brinn straightened. “I’ll meet you. Where?”
“Miraj on the River. I’ll make reservations.”
“Nice place, but they’re usually booked, you know.”
“Pretty sure I can hack Miraj on the River.”
Hands up, Brinn took a step back. “I do not want to know anything about that. Call me if you can’t get a table.”
“Oh, I’ll get us a table. No worries about that.”
“So… Are you going to bring one from home and set it up outside the front door?”
Kam made a sweeping bow. “Nothing but the best for my guy.”
Brinn’s cheeks darkened, and he flashed a smile. “Go do something like work. See you tomorrow night.”
“I look forward to it.” After Brinn entered the classroom, Kam stayed put. “I’ve got a date with the hottest teacher on campus. How about that?” Whistling, he headed for his office.