Today I am pleased to present a review and and interview with Kallysten, the author of Demons & Lullabies; Demon’s Age, Book 2.. Find out more about the book, read the review and then meet the author. In addition, check out the other Tour Stops to see what other people thought about the book.
Title: Demons & Lullabies
Series: Demons Age, Book 2 (Can be read independently)
Genre: Male/Male, Paranormal, Romance
Words: 107.000 words (321 pages roughly)
Purchase: Autographed copy | Kallysten.net | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Createspace (Print) Stars: 5
Book Description: Some little boys want to be firemen or astronauts when they grow up. From the moment Jacob understood what his fathers did, he never wanted to do anything but fight demons.
Andrew, Jacob’s father and a vampire, fights demons because it’s a necessity: few others have the strength or skill to kill the strange creatures that started appearing the very night his son was born. He carries with him some guilt, too, and the suspicion that the magic that made Jacob’s very life possible also opened the way for the demons. The last thing he wants is for his son to ever join this fight and get hurt.
As the years pass, however, and Andrew watches Jacob grow up and grow more determined, he slowly has to accept there’s little he can do to deter his son. It doesn’t help that Nicholas, Jacob’s other dad and Andrew’s Childe, starts giving Jacob sword-fighting lessons under the cover of playing, or that Jacob discovers his mother’s diaries and comes to the same conclusion Andrew did concerning his origins and the demons’.
Through snapshots covering Jacob’s life from birth to adulthood, watch all three members of this unusual family change, grow up, and find their place in the world.
While I always am interested in craft, authors are so much more than just the books they write, and their thoughts are as varied as their characters. To read my interview with Kallysten, find her contact and website information and see my review, please read more:
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I promise they shan’t be difficult, and hopefully won’t bore you to death.
Thank you for having me, it’s my pleasure!
First: Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, relationship status, what color are your socks?
Well I was born and grew up in France. I’ve been living on the shores of Lake Erie for a little over ten years, and have discovered this wonderful thing called ‘lake effect snow’..! I’ve been married for just as long to a wonderful man straight out of a romance novel… and he might have strongly inspired a few of my heroes Most of my socks are black, because it was required at my last day job, but now I’m free to wear what I want and purple is creeping its way in my sock drawer. My favorite socks however were a gift from a friend: green with little frogs.
Can you tell me a little bit about this book?
Demons & Lullabies tells the story of a family composed of three men: Andrew, a vampire who fights strange creatures nicknamed demons, Nicholas, his Childe who used to kill humans to feed but stopped to return to his Sire and lover, and Jacob, Andrew’s human child. The story starts with Jacob’s birth, and in each chapter we get a few snapshots or anecdotes showing us the daily lives of this little family during one year of Jacob’s childhood and teen years until he is seventeen. We see Jacob growing up and deciding to fight demons like his dads. We also get to watch Andrew and Nicholas change and become true partners rather than simply Sire and Childe.
I won’t ask you the all too typical when did you know you wanted to be a writer, but I am curious as to what was your earliest interest – was it a teacher or particular book, parent or a character or situation that just wouldn’t go away until you told the story?
It all started with a blank notebook my father gave me when I was fourteen. It was beautiful, with a leather cover, a ribbon bookmark, golden edges… I looked at it for a long time trying to decide what I would do with it. It had to be something special. And it ended up being my very first story, written in pencil over the course of a year during my study hall periods: sci-fi, set on a spaceship that was ‘ruled’ by a family with psychic powers, with siblings finding each other after being raised apart and a forbidden love story for their parents… it was all over the place, but very fun to write!
Where do your ideas come from? Do you set out to ‘outline’ a plot and situations, or do you let the characters take you along for the ride, and clean it up later?
My ideas come from very different places. For example, a couple of years ago, I took inspiration from a news report about a newly discovered, untouched tribe in a remote corner of the world and turned that into a sci-fi/shifter story. At other times, the inspiration comes straight from my readers as they comment on a book or the sequel they’d like to see.
As for outlining or riding the wave, I do both. I’m usually a plotter, because I do like knowing where I’m going, but I don’t NEED it, and every now and then leaving the characters in the driving seat and just seeing where they want to go I also something I enjoy.
If you had the opportunity to do anything else in the world BUT write, would you trade in the writing to do it? What might tempt you?
I don’t think I could. I might be tempted by a few things – traveling the world comes to mind – but in the end I always go back to writing. Earlier this year the hubby and I had a much belated honeymoon and we went to Hawaii. It was a gorgeous trip and we had a lot of fun…but I did miss writing, and I’ll admit I scribbled a few times in our ‘down’ moments…
What is the first book you remember reading? A series of old French books by the Contesse de Segur which are for the most part short moralistic stories about children learning the difference between good and evil. I don’t think they’re known at all in the US. (I know these – my cousins used to bring them when they would visit)
What is the last book you read? I just finished Gossip by Beth Gutcheon
Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate
Cats or Dogs? Kitties!
Ebooks or traditional paper books? Ack! I plead the fifth. I love my Kindle, but there’s a thing about holding a paperback, the weight of it, the feel of paper, the smell of ink…
Do you have a character that keeps returning for their spotlight? LOL If only there was only one! I have a very hard time letting go, and whether it’s just through flash fiction I post on my Tumblr or with entire novels, I often revisit old friends…
Best advice you have ever been given about writing? Write every day. It doesn’t matter if you end up trashing everything you wrote on a ‘bad’ day, by the simple act of writing that day you learned something about yourself, the characters or the story.
What does your writing day look like? Are you able to set a daily goal of X number of words, or do you just concentrate and write for X number of hours? What about editing? Do you clean up and make adjustments to yesterday’s work before starting today – or just get it all out and then start at the beginning again?
I have a monthly goal, and I keep a spreadsheet where I record how many words I write each day to keep myself accountable. I usually have a daily target in mind, but it’s more of a guideline. As long as I write every day and get to my monthly goal, the day to day varies with my mood, my muse and what else I have to do that day. For edits, my inclination would be to revise as I go, but I’ve come to realize it’s counterproductive because I end up reviewing and revising ad nauseam rather than writing new material. So I try to force myself to only re-read the last few paragraphs I wrote to get back in the mood of the scene and then move forward from there until I’m completely done and can go back to review it all.
How long does it take you to craft a story that you feel is ready to be released (not counting final edits and the like – just the writing)?
I write all sorts of lengths, so it really depends on what kind of story I’m shooting for. A short story might take me a couple of days. A novel, a couple of months. And then there are stories like Demons & Lullabies which I write in bursts, a few scenes at a time, so that they can take up to a year to be ready.
Do you have a favorite chair or corner that always seems to keep you inspired? Definitely! I have claimed the love seat as mine, and the end table next to it is my mini desk. I don’t write anywhere else anymore.
What is your favorite sound? Least favorite? My favorite is a tie between waves crashing on a beach and a storm complete with heavy rain and thunder. Least favorite…it really depends. At the moment it’s that ‘gangan style’ tune. My husband seems to be having a lot of fun looking for all the ridiculous spoofs that are popping up.
You can only keep one: Thesaurus or Dictionary? Dictionary. And can it be a French/English dictionary please?
Which character have you created would you take out for a night of Karaoke? What about out for a meal? Oh that’s a hard one. I’m a little bit in love with all of my heroes, so picking a couple is torture! If I really had to, I’d pick Nicholas from Demons & Lullabies to Karaoke because he’d make sure I enjoyed myself. Out for a meal… Brett from the On The Edge series, because he’s fun and he knows the best restaurants!
Thank you so much for this interview, it was fun! And if I may, I’d like to invite you and your readers to my Shades of Pink event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m running a fundraiser and giving away paperbacks, swag and book thongs every week in October, as well as a handmade quilt at the end of the month. I’d love for you to drop by and play with me!
My Review: I received an eBook copy of this book from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are entirely my own responsibility.
Let me start off by saying that this is very much a story of a family and how they navigate the difficulties that are encountered as a family. That being said: this is a ‘non-traditional’ family, with a homosexual relationship at the forefront of the sexual activities, and if that concept is not something you are comfortable with, you may have difficulties reading this book. During the sex scenes, and the occasional homophobic comments addressed to the child, Jacob, are the only times you note a difference in this family from any other you could pick up off the street. Well, perhaps there is another difference, both Andrew (the biological father) and Nicholas (his progeny, lover and co-parent) are vampires, and manage an agency that eradicates demons that are suddenly appearing in their area.
The author has created a series of vignettes that essentially take one year of Jacob’s life, and distill it into the ‘highlights’ of the moment and put those into a chapter. We start with Jacob as an infant, and watch Andrew deal with the grief at the loss of his wife, and the joy and fear he feels with having a son to raise. By the time we have reached Jacob’s heading to school, you are so engrossed in the story, and so attuned to his fears as well as those worries his Dads hold that it literally becomes impossible to put the book down. What’s amazing to me after reading the book is that the author managed to develop 3 characters in a way that makes them tangible and complete – without major holes in their personalities, even though we are really just sort of ‘checking in’ on them every year or so for 18 years. I just realized that this was the second in a series, yet this book stands alone proudly, and is one of the better books that mixed plot with erotic content that I have read this year. I should talk more about the paranormal content, but even it was buried within the more dominant story line of the love and growth in a family.
About the Author:
Kallysten’s most exciting accomplishment to date was to cross a few thousand miles and an ocean to pursue (and catch!) the love of her life. She has been writing for fifteen years, and always enjoyed sharing her stories and listening to the readers’ reactions. After playing with science fiction, short stories and poetry, she is now trying her hand, heart and words at paranormal romance novels.
See her stories, including free short stories and sample chapters, visit http://original.kallysten.net