Today I’d like to welcome the lovely Kahlen Aymes to Bookish Temptations and thank her for taking the time to do this interview. Her debut novel, “The Future Of Our Past”, is one of the best books I’ve read this year ( you can find my review here) and I’m very excited that she agreed to stop by here at Bookish. Check out what she told me about her first book, The Remembrance Trilogy, herself and a lot more…
1)Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in the Midwestern United States and grew up in a mostly rural setting. We lived in Denver until I was ten when my parents inherited an acreage in Nebraska and we moved. Talk about culture shock! My whole world changed at that point, but I was still a big city girl at heart. I was educated at a private university and have a BSBA in Marketing and Business Administration. (That’s the boring stuff!)
My parents are both still living, I have one sister (who helps edit my books), one brother and one daughter. I’ve been divorced for a few years and it’s just been Olivia and me. She’s also writing a young adult book, even though she’s only 13. We have three huge dogs that we both adore.
I work full-time selling diamonds, but hope that one day I can spend all my time writing!
2)How would you describe The Future Of Our Past ?
It’s always hard to describe one’s own work. I love this series. It has a lot of me in it and I’m very close to it. I mean, yes, there are nuances of me in it, but more, I poured my guts into it. When I sent it to my publisher, he described it as “a female fantasy – the intersection of perfect love, tragedy and raging intimacy.”
3)The Future Of Our Past focuses on the love story between Ryan and Julia. Were they easy characters to write?
To be honest, once I had the first two books in my head, the story just sort of flew onto the page. I feel these characters. They live and breathe in my head. When that happens, it’s not hard to put their feelings and depth into the story. Communicating enough love, enough passion, enough angst and making it tangible so the readers can feel it is harder, but what I try very hard to do.
4)There are some steamy love scenes in the novel. How was it like for you to write them?
The first one I wrote wasn’t so easy, but it gets easier. Again, I want the readers to feel the want, both emotionally and physically. (Blushing, just a little). I hope I accomplish it.
5) Ryan and Julia compromise in order not to lose each other. What are your thoughts in general on compromise in a relationship?
I think it’s mandatory. Two people have to love each other enough to be willing to give the other what they want ..that’s the type dreams are made of. When you are both willing to give it all, then you both get what you want, and the by-product of that is compromise.
6)Ryan has become one of my favorite characters. He’s handsome, intelligent and would do anything to keep Julia close. If the book was to be made into a movie, which actor would you see as Ryan?
Oh Jeesh! I don’t get out much to movies (even though I love them) and I don’t watch much TV, so it’s tough. Ryan is perfect in my eyes, so it’s big shoes to fill. It would need to be someone beautiful… someone that could do that intensity and make it believable, and would depend on who was the right age at the right time. I’m sure my daughter would have many suggestions.
7)Do you have any favorite scenes in the novel?
Again that’s a tough one. I like when Ryan realizes he can’t leave her. I think that’s the hook in the first book. How much he loves her begins on page one. I like the Christmas scene, the Valentine’s Day Scene and of course their first weekend together. It’s more important to me to know which my readers liked the best. It helps me write more of what they want to read. Generally, we seem to be in sync.
8)Which was the most difficult character to write and why?
There was a character in the second book that was a little hard to write. He’s good, but devious in parts. It was a fine line. Because he’s appears in Don’t Forget to Remember Me, I can’t spoil it by telling who it is. Also…making Ryan emotional, without making him appear wimpy was tantamount. He gets weak in this series, but he’s still as strong as steel; that juxtaposition was a challenge.
9)Are there any deleted scenes you wish that had made it into the novel?
I pretty much put them all in there, that’s why there are three books. I would’ve liked to have the prologue to the trilogy at the beginning of The Future of Our Past because it gives a little history into their relationship as friends, but decided to leave it as a teaser on my blog and for other bloggers to use. And, there is some time that I had to skip to move the story forward, which works, but I could have filled it in more if I’d had the page count.
10)How did you celebrate the publication of The Future of Our Past?
When it was first published, it was only eBook. I really celebrated more when I had the paperback in my hand. It’s an accomplishment to finally be able to hold your words, bound in a way that you can just hand them to someone else. It’s a rush. I didn’t really celebrate, though. I just went to work with a big, fat smile on my face. If I ever reach the dream of the best seller list, that will be something to really celebrate!
11)The Future of Our Past is the first of a trilogy. What can you tell us about the sequel Don’t Forget to Remember Me ?
DFTRM picks up where TFOOP lets off. Immediately. I wrote it as one book before I knew that the word count was too long for publishing, so one flows into the other. Ryan and Julia still have trials, but this book focuses more on Ryan’s pain. Although Julia suffers a loss, so does Ryan, even though the focus is on her. He buries his pain inside so that he can take care of her, but really, his loss is greater than hers. (You have to read the book to find out why).
12)How did you come up with the title of the novel?
Honestly? I’m not sure how. I was just walking with my iPod one day and playing with story ideas and title ideas. The title, Don’t Forget to Remember Me came to me first and the story was built around it. I thought those five words would be something very meaningful and close between a couple that had to leave each other over and over again…but then I thought….how can I make them mean even more? (Again, you have to read the second book to see what I mean).
When I split the novel into two parts, I had to come up with one that would really describe the story in the first book. I wanted to make the reader understand the depth, time and intensity of the love in the first novel, because it’s so important in the second and third. Ryan calls it “mad, mad love.” And it is.
13) How do you choose the names of your characters?
Again, there was no certain methodology. I picked names I liked that I felt suited the characters personalities. It sucks, too, because I was writing this at the same time that SR was writing his series. Separately, we both came up with the name of Julia for our female lead. We only realized it as GI was published and TFOOP was already edited and in my publishers hands. We laughed about it and decided that creative people sometimes have similar thoughts, so I didn’t change it. For me, I just wanted a certain ease of readability, a cadence, if you will. It had to feel and sound right, and I’m happy with the one’s I chose.
14) Was becoming an author something you always wanted?
I didn’t always dream of it, if that’s what you mean? When I was young, I read a lot of romance novels and I thought at one point, “I could write one of these,” but it was never a focus of mine. I lost my job in media sales when the economy tanked three and a half years ago and I had to find a way to make a living. I developed a web site for couponing and then needed to network with women in order to market it. I found a fan fiction venue that was huge, and I started to write there. I never dreamed I’d have the response that I had, that I’d love it so much OR that I’d ever publish! I do love it, so much! Now, writing is my focus, and the web site has taken a back seat.
15)Are there any techniques you use to overcome writer’s block?
I’ve only had a couple of times where I just couldn’t write. Usually, it’s when something happens that upsets me and takes me out of my writing mojo. I just have to push through it. I usually have two or more things going at a time, so if I get stuck on one, I switch to another for a while. But, most of the time, I’m thinking about my stories constantly. It’s a sickness. LOL!
16)When you want to read a book, which genre do you usually opt for?
Romance of course, but I do read mysteries, industry books and classics.
17)What are you reading right now?
Right now, I’ve got some of my friends and fellow-authors books on my docket to read. Currently, I’m reading Gabriel’s Rapture. Then, Crushed Seraphim, Hearts in Darkness, Across the Hall…among others. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read, because I work full-time and then the rest is spent with my daughter, taking care of my house and writing and marketing my own books.
18)Do you write daily or are there specific days of the week you like to write?
Literally, whenever I can. 10PM-2AM are prime writing hours for me, and it’s a LOT of work. I’m not to a place where I can write full-time, but I’d like to get there. I write in the middle of the night, after work, whenever I can to get it in. (If I could write full-time, I think I could publish 4 books a year.) My house gets messy because I use my days off for writing. I’ll be calling Merry Maids, any minute now.
19)Do you have any hobbies?
Tons! I like Jumba, taking long walks with my iPod and my dogs, cooking, roller skating, movies, singing, dancing and listening to music. I used to play piano, but I don’t have one right now. I draw and paint. I was very involved in community theater, (particularly the musicals), and I taught ballroom dancing for about a year after college. Generally, I’ve very artsy, fartsy. (Is that a word?) LOL!
20)What is your motto in life?
Take responsibility for your life. Own your actions and treat people with kindness and respect.
Rapid fire questions:
-Coffee or tea? I like both, equally.
-Favorite song? Can’t narrow that one down. If I have to choose; Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. You can get an idea of my tastes from the playlist for the series on my blog. (All of the novels I write will have playlists. Music inspires me a great deal.)
-Favorite color? Green
-Favorite food? I like cooking complicated recipes. So, there are many different foods I enjoy.
-Pens or pencils? Pens to write, pencils to draw.
-Cats or dogs? Dogs. No question.
-Early bird or night owl? I used to be a morning person until I started writing. Now I stay up all night.
-Your latest obsession? Hmm… For the last three years it’s been writing. I eat, breath and sleep it.
-You have a weakness for ……. My daughter, sweets, animal shelters, roller coasters and hottie male leads.
Thank you so much Kahlen for this awesome interview! It was a pleasure to have you here!
Make sure to check out The Future Of Our Past. It’s a terrific book!