Welcome to another edition of Couch Convos with your girl, Lisa W. Tetting. This week’s guest is Author Kirsten Campbell who is here to chat about her novel, Blood Master. Are we ready? Let’s begin…
LWT: Welcome Kirsten, let’s get started. What prompted you to write an Urban Paranormal Fantasy novel?
KC: I have always loved Fantasy novels, and I write Urban Paranormal because I associate with that genre. I read Science Fiction/ Fantasy religiously as a child and once I got older, I got into Urban Fantasy and all types of supernatural fantasy which then led to my love of Urban Paranormal. That in turn led to me to creating and finally writing about the Brotherhood, a place of heroes, a place in the future where African Americans have gathered and come to powerful positions, and most have prospered to the point of making a difference against the evils of the dystopian society of 2052. Don’t get me wrong. The Brotherhood does have other ethnicities within, but African-Americans are the majority within its walls. I have four very beautiful children and lots of beautiful grandchildren and like most I wanted to leave a legacy for my little family, a legacy they could be proud of. As a matter of fact,Tassta is patterned after my youngest daughter, Brittany.
LWT: That’s a very interesting perspective. Why did you base your book, Blood Master in Atlanta?
KC: I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for twenty years. I went to school in Ellenwood, got married in Decatur, and had my children at Grady Hospital. I worked in Fulton County and Dekalb County and have lots of family from my husband’s side, and lots of friends that I visit every year in Atlanta. I absolutely love Georgia and will retire there in the future. Hence, when I decided to write, I swore that I would honor the good ole ATL by making it the main location for my books!
LWT: I lived in The A for several years so I am familiar with those places. In your book you use Atlanta’s famed Underground as a place of refuge for abandoned children. Explain the correlation between your past history and the need to protect children?
KC: My father was Jamaican and my mother German. I was abandoned by both parents at the age of six, and left to be brought up by my Jamaican grandmother, in a horrific world of abuse. When I grew to womanhood, I took it upon myself to protect my children and grandchildren. I wrote books about a hero that would go out of his way to protect the innocent and find a home for the lost, abandoned children of society.
LWT: That sounds like a great reason to champion for children. Speaking of the hero of your book, what is the reason for making Griffin an albino?
KC: When I came up with the idea for the G.O.D.s Series, I knew that I wanted an unusual protagonist. I also read up on cloning and genetic manipulation and lots of scientific theories. I believe Griffin says it best when he said, “Years ago scientists used white mice for experiments. The Guild Faction used albinos. I guess I’m the white mouse that got away…”
LWT: Please explain what G.O.D. stands for and its significance?
KC: G.O.D.s stands for Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensionals. Basically G.O.D.s are beings that have the ability to manipulate/ change or control objects within different dimensions. Most G.O.D.s have inter-dimensional doors in the bodies, their chest area.
LWT: One of the main characters, Tassta is a strong female character who is trying to do what the men in the book are doing. She is told by her brother early on that she should stay home like the other women and be a home maker. Why is it in 2052 the men in the book are chauvinists?
KC: First, let me say that all the men in the book are not chauvinists. LOL… You have to remember that Earth lost two thirds of the human population. It’s 2052 and this dystopian society has lost two thirds of the women of child bearing years. That’s a lot of valuable women, to say the least. Tassta Vinetti is almost a resource at the Brotherhood Fortress. She’s educated and she’s a lab assistant and library assistant and she knows how to handle herself in a fight. She’s also eighteen and in 2052 that means she’s of childbearing age. Her twin brother, Penn, is actually looking out for her-in a cave man, male chauvinistic kind of way. LOL. Hey, if you read the book you will see that he’s the comic relief in the book, a real sweet knucklehead that most people love. On the other end of the spectrum is Lerin Sanctobous, her uncle. He loves Tassta and wants her to become a Guardian, while secretly hoping that other women at the fortress will follow suit. Now, let’s remember that in any society there are factions of people that have their own beliefs and within the male faction, I believe, there will always be men who have chauvinistic views of the roles females play in society. Just saying…
LWT: Well, that clears that up. Your second book in the series will be out shortly, give us a little taste of what it entails?
KC: The second book of The G.O.D.s Series is titled, Blood Rage, and it’s a monster! LOL. Griffin has transformed into a G.O.D. and he is now a Blood Master. The Throng, the demons within the Dimension of Blood, are constantly trying to leave the inter-dimensional doors within his chest and he must learn to control them and the rage he feels when they are present. He must also learn to control his unbelievable powers. Tassta needs his undying love and devotion and the Brotherhood needs him more than ever. In Blood Rage, the Trips, the most lethal Agents of the Guild, turn up on the Brotherhood’s door step. They want to take the children of the Underground so they can beef up their numbers. Can Griffin be the man that Tassta needs him to be? Can he save the children and the residents of the Brotherhood from the Guild Faction and the Trips? Will he learn to control the abilities or will they control him? Only time will tell…
LWT: That sounds amazing. Some of your short stories and poems have been published. How did it feel when the first one was published? What was the experience like?
KC: That was a long time ago… It was 1996. I was elated, as anyone would be and that’s when I decided I would pursue a writing career.
LWT: Other than short stories and poems, do you write any other genres?
KC: Yes, I co-authored a non-fiction short story in an anthology that is being published in September 2015 called “Chocolate & Diamonds for a Woman’s Soul”.
LWT: We’ll have to keep an eye out for that. Since your book is post- apocalyptic I am curious, if you were stuck on a desert island or an abandoned city for that matter, what 3 books would you want with you?
KC: Don’t judge… I would love to have George Lucas-Star Wars Trilogy/ 720 pgs, Anne Rice-Vampire Chronicles/1280 pgs, and last but not least, Frank Herbert-Dune Messiah.
LWT: No judgement on my blog, ever! Name 3 writers that have influenced you the most?
KC: Nikki Giovanni, George Lucas, Anne Rice.
LWT: What does your writing process look like?
KC: I write by hand, type, edit, read, edit and then give to beta
readers and then get back manuscript, look at questions. Make edits and then give to my editor.
LWT: Wow, that sounds like a long process, how long does it normally take for you to complete a book?
KC: There is no set time. It is finished when it feels right.
LWT: You mentioned the use of beta readers. Please give some tips on finding quality beta readers?
KC: I always look for intelligent devil’s advocates; 2 females and 2 males. They don’t necessarily have to be friends, and I prefer people that are very opinionated. They always question things that I would never think of.
LWT: Some writers try to edit their own work. Why do you believe in using a professional editor?
KC: Unless you’re a Harvard English professor, you definitely need an editor. There’s no way to know every detail of the laws of grammar and dialogue. Also, it’s great to get an editor’s eyes on your manuscript. They catch things you would never catch and a good editor can clean up mistakes and make you aware when you have redundancies in your manuscript.
LWT: For Blood Master I noticed you wrote two versions, one for adults and one for young adults. What was the reasoning behind that? And was it difficult?
KC: I wrote the adult version of Blood Master figuring that I could easily create a young adult version from the original manuscript. I really wanted my grandchildren to read the series. The books are long but they love to read just like me. It wasn’t that difficult to change from adult to young adult. I just took out the heavy duty kisses and most of the curse words.
LWT: Why did you decide to have a separate website for this series?
KC: The G.O.D.s Series is such a huge series that it kind of took on a life of its own. Each book is at least 400 pages and there are four books that I have written, so far. I knew I needed a place to put the blog for G.O.D.s, the music I wrote, the character studies, the schematics, and everything else involved with G.O.D.s. Check out kcampbell-gods.com and you will see what I mean. There’s even a Donation Page – every 3 months I donate to NoKidHungry.com. My other site, kirstencampbellbooks.com has my other books that will be available shortly on Amazon. I have a young adult Paranormal Fantasy book of short stories, “Darkness Calls”, a book of published poetry, “Perfect Chaos” and the previously mentioned “Chocolate & Diamonds for a Woman’s Soul”.
LWT: There is a trend with indie writers making their own book covers. Do you design your own book covers or do you use a graphic designer?
KC: I use a graphic designer. You have to remember that your book is the first impression of you that a reader sees, and first impressions do count. Believe me, you can judge a book by its cover.
LWT: I have never understood that saying because I always judge a book by it’s cover. You had a blog tour at the end of last year. Did you find it successful in helping to sell books? Would you do it again?
KC: Blog Tours definitely help to get your book out there. I am going to do a few more tours this year for Blood Master adult and young adult and for my new short story book, “Darkness Calls”.
LWT: What are your most successful methods of building your readership?
KC: Blog tours, Good Reads and using advice from Trainingauthors.com. They have lots of helpful hints about getting your readership up to par!
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, another Couch Convos on the shelf. To purchase Kirsten’s fascinating book, Blood Master, click the book cover below:
Feel free to contact her on the web at the following links:
G.O.D. Series Website – kcampbell-gods.com
Author Website – kirstencampbellbooks.com
Facebook – Blood Master
Good Reads – Kirsten Campbell