Guest Blogger – Author Kiki Howell
Nothing makes an evening good by spending it watching Netflix movies (Despicable Me to be exact) but what makes an evening great? Spending it preparing to host another wonderful author. Allow me to introduce Kiki Howell, author of Torn Asunder. Let’s all give Kiki a warm welcome! I’m told this is Kiki’s first full length novel! Congrats!
First we’ll learn a bit about Kiki and then, read an informative article she’s penned titled, How I Write With an Angel and a Demon on My Shoulder.
Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.
“After a long break having my boys, I finally just had to write again. And, as soon as I gave the stories the space, they entered it. It’s both awesome and humbling to find the words in my mind become characters on a page and create their lives.”
She has now had over twenty stories published between five different small presses. She could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world. Please look around. Although, a bit of caution, most of her stories tend to hang out on the graphically sexy side of town.
Kiki resides in the Midwest with her incredibly handsome and talented, singer/songwriter husband and two children. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her family, reading, baking or knitting.
It had been the beginning of the season, a bit over a fortnight ago, when she first encountered Edmund Bryant, the Marquess of Dalysbury. Although she rolled her eyes still at the title, she felt impelled to live through it all again–through the days of fantasy in which she had allowed herself to participate. Love at first sight didn’t always give way to rational thinking. It did, however, make possible even the wavering delusions of believing impossible dreams could come true. She had just come to London to live with Lord and Lady Sanderly, her cousins who had paid for her travels under the guise of giving a poor relation of marriageable age a chance to find a good husband.
Whereas, the truth of the matter was, she was a relation who had shown a great aptitude for learning of the magical powers she had inherited. The good Lord and Lady, while holding the public title of Earl and Countess, were actually descendants of one of the notorious Pendle witches. They were to teach her to harness and utilize her innate talents in secret while flaunting her about from various parties and balls in the public eye.
She recalled with a weak smile the first ball Lord and Lady Sanderly had thrown to immerse her into proper society. At the time, she had consciously gripped her hands before her waist to resist fidgeting while trying hard to fix to memory all of the titles of those to whom she was being introduced. Her level of discomfort had increased, however, as an unsettled awareness of someone in the room, a haunting premonition of sorts, had made her heart race and her mouth dry. She had paid mind to ignore the successive shivers which rushed the length of her spine until they pooled as heat in her tightening stomach.
Reminded she was holding her breath only when forced to speak, her ribs had begun to ache. When a chill more pervasive that any she had ever known even in the drafty county cottage she had been raised in permeated her shoulders, she had turned in the direction of the source, and her eyes had met with a man standing just across the room looking back at her. She had immediately felt challenged to not look away from the gaze of his dark eyes. They radiated a raw energy unlike anything she had ever encountered before even among those with her own esoteric abilities.
A connection was made. Her heart beat at a frantic, uneven pace like a horse racing over shoddy roads. At the same time, a vague forewarning had made her break out in a glistening of sweat while she fought the urge to escape as well the need to move toward the man. She had given merit to her reactions based only on the fact she had captured the glance of an aristocratic gentleman with a lady in a lavish satin gown on his arm of obviously higher circumstances.
Engrossed in his fine manners, she watched as his hand removed the one holding onto him from his arm with a slight nod of his head. The lady in return had given him a slight curtsy but glorious smile before turning back to her other acquaintances which Aubrey recognized to be a duke and duchess she had recently met. His tempestuous form fit in posh attire spun on the heel of his expensive footwear to find her again with his haunted and hungry eyes. He seemed an odd mix of rugged and refined. She had felt the thrill and danger of being pursued by a beast which lurked inside of the man.
NY Times Bestselling Author, Hannah Howell, says of Torn Asunder, “Kiki Howell spins a wonderful tale of passion, magic, betrayal, and a love that conquers all. Enjoy.” Coming January 2011
Please visit http://www.kikihowell.com/ to see all available titles!
Title: How I write with an Angel and a Demon on My Shoulder
Inspiration comes to me from different places. Sometimes I am reading a research book on something like Wicca, and a spell starts my imagination whirling. I let my mind spin the spell into one where a witch could do the unimaginable. Or, I watch a movie or read a book, and in my mind I see the paranormal creature differently. And thus, a story comes rushing at me. I have even had the occurrence where I hear something, a story on the news or some *cringes* bleachers gossip, usually more on the tragic side, and in dealing with the information, I create a story with a happy ending. But, this is when the anxiety and stress start?
I seem to have these voices inside my head, like the proverbial angel and demon on my shoulders. It is always the devil that starts whispering to me that no one will ever believe or buy into my story. Seems crazy when I am writing about the unbelievable, a world where maybe vampires kill humans to live and witches can produce an energy ball of light for protection. My angel then fights back making that very point. Still, the little devil continues on that no one will want to read it. You know, I write fantasy to get away from the insanity of real life sometimes only to be met with my own craziness. LOL
Thankfully for me, the angel wins eventually. I begin to let go and create. I stay true to MY story, as I want it written. So, you would think that devil would just give up. Yeah, right!
When I create my world, I always start with the characters. I have to not only decide what they are going to be, like a witch (my favorite) or a vampire (love to mix these two) or a shifter, etc. But, it doesn’t stop there. There are a lot of decisions in what abilities the characters have. How far I let my brain go here depends upon that evil red dude with horns on my shoulder again. Once I silence him, again, I have to decide what other characters they will be assisted by or have to battle against and what their powers will be. The trick here is always to create a villain who seems like he or she is more powerful, and then find a fantasy loophole in which the main hero or heroine can defeat them. I must do all of this with imaginary earplugs in to shield me from the voices! LOL
Of course, given I write paranormal romance, I have to decide who that main character is going to fall in love with, and what complications their powers may be to their union. One may think that with supernatural powers life would be easier, but I like to complicate life with them. Of course, in the physical relations, there are always perks found their special abilities, if you know what I mean! LOL I get a bit devilish here on my own, and silence completely the red guy on my shoulder that questions my imagination. I suppose at this point which voice in my head was the devil and which was the angel could be debated. All in the perspective 😉
Once the characters are established, I create the actual physical world with the setting, the time, etc and how all of these things impact the characters. Sometimes my family asks me what I am doing sitting in front of my computer staring off into space, but I am either taking a break or creating my next story. Important work is accomplished staring at nothing. LOL
So, I hope you will enjoy my newest novel as much as I did writing it. Fraught with scenes of explicit intimacy, romantic spells and mystical shapeshifting, Torn Asunder is a unique blending of the age of manners with sexual magic.