Guest Author: Kalayna Price

Today, I am excited to welcome Kalayna Price to Literary Escapism!  Kalayna is the author of the superb Haven series – Once Bitten and Twice Dead.

Kita is adjusting to her new liquid diet–an adjustment she rather resents. Not that everything was chocolate and sunshine before (though both were possible before the sexy but infuriating Nathanial sank his fangs in her business). Kita’s ability to shape shift into a kitten when her peers shifted into lions and tigers complicated her life, to say the least, but getting stuck in one form–that of a human shaped tick, a.k.a. a vampire–sucks, literally. Her adjustment period is violently interrupted when she discovers a headless corpse during a party for a visiting vampire council. But, the headless dancer won’t be the only corpse she encounters.

Kita’s involvement draws the attention of the Collector, an ancient vampire with an inclination to acquire two things: power and oddities. As a pureblood shifter turned vampire, Kita ranks high on the collectability list–not a safe place for anyone who values her freedom, and Kita is not the only one on the list. But with the body count rising, there is more at stake than freedom. A killer is slithering through the underbelly of Haven’s vampire community, and with the supernaturals dealing in unnamed favors, it’s a bad time to be a kitten who can’t slip her skin.

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Writers and Real Life Research

I recently had little downtime between deadlines and took an evening off to catch up on watching Castle. I don’t watch a lot of tv—or really any most of the time due to writing—so I tend to record shows I like and marathon them when I take a weekend off. Well, my husband and I were trying to catch up on the second season of Castle, and in one episode the main character, Richard Castle, a thriller writer who is shadowing a police officer for inspiration, decides he needs to figure out how his main character would get out of a situation where she’s been taped to a chair. So he has his daughter duct tape him to a chair and leave him to get out on his own. Of course, this is when his phone starts ringing and he frantically attempts to get loose. As we were watching, my husband burst out laughing. Now, it was a very comical scene, but it wasn’t quite a laugh-till-tears-run from your eyes scene. Once he finally got his breath back, he looked at me and said, “I could totally see you doing that.”

Oh, yeah, it did look like something I’d do.

I don’t know who writes Castle, but they got that scene spot on. Writers (or at least myself and several of my friends) are all about figuring out how our character could get out of the mess we tend to dump them in (and we don’t always plan the out before we drop a character into trouble). I distinctly remember one night, during critique, several of my critique partners and I ended up on the ground trying to figure out where a knife would have to be stashed for a character who was tied up in the back of the truck to get to it and cut herself free. Anyone who was watching would have thought we’d lost our minds.

As a whole, watching a writer write would be extremely boring, but there are moments when I’m glad no one has a camera. There are times, while writing, I’ll suddenly jump up and imitate the position I’ve put my character in so that I can better describe what she’d be feeling or seeing. Lots of times it is the little details which can be the most interesting, and you just have to experience them to describe those details well. I also apparently tend to make faces while I’m writing and trying to decide what expression a character would have depending on how they feel. This isn’t much of a problem locked away in my office, but I do write in public places on a regular basis, and apparently I’m so accustomed to cycling through expressions I don’t notice myself doing it while writing in the middle of Barnes and Noble. Oh well, the end result is hopefully a better book which rings true to the reader!

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

8 Comments

  1. Great post and I’m a big fan of your first book..I need to get over to Fictionwise to get your second one! I like the idea of authors trying to act out the scene they write – sometimes during fight sequences in books I end up having to re-read it a couple of times to figure out what’s actually going on and wonder if it is possible to move that way! Or maybe I’m just jealous cause I’m no longer that flexible :)

  2. Hi Kalayna! Your books sound really good! Castle is a great show, I agree. I would love to be a spy on your wall while you write. It sounds really funny to picture you jumping up and doing all that. LOL Everyone has their own techniques. I’d probably do the same thing to figure out a fight scene. I never understood how writers are able to get the scenes down so well. Well it’s great to see you here on Literary Escapism and I will be checking out your books!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed Once Bitten and now I have Twice Dead to look forward to. Thanks for telling us bit about the the things writer’s do to make a character or event believable. I find these insights lots of fun.

  4. Hi Jackie, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for reading!

    Heather, I’m so glad you liked Once Bitten! Yeah, what is really fun is trying to act out things I’m not actually flexible/strong enough to do. That is when I start writing friends who take martial arts to find out if things are possible (like the throw Kita does in one of the last chapters of Twice Dead.) Thanks for reading!

    Thanks Rachel! Eeks, like I said, I’m glad there’s no video of me writing. ^_^

    Thanks Patricia! It was a fun post to write. I hope you enjoy Twice Dead!

  5. After reading Once Bitten, I can’t wait to get my hands on Twice Dead. *big cheesy grin*

    Sadly, I’ve started using my three-month old as a prop to figure out how much effort it would take to run with about ten pounds strapped to my heroine’s back. At least, Little Bit got a kick out of it. Thankfully, grandma wasn’t around to see it either. :-)

  6. Loved the 1st book, can’t wait for the next one. Great storyline and characters The author just draws you into the book.

    Thanks for the update.

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