What inspired you to become an author?
My father. He always encouraged my love of reading, and even helped me write my first short story and bind a DIY book for a literary class. He introduced me to the book that started me writing way back when, and actually agreed to collaborate on my first book, Olyvia. He died before it was finished. I felt one of the best ways to honor his influence in my life was to finish the work and publish it. After family and friends encouraged me to continue writing, I decided to pursue authorship and produced my second book in November of 2015.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Not as of yet. I like first-person POV, but I feel that I’m still such a fledgling author that I’m not sure how to identify any more then that.
Do you write in different genres?
Not as of yet. Fantasy was my primary source of reading material, which evolved into urban fantasy-type of novels. I enjoy reading other types of genres, but I don’t feel comfortable writing in a genre that I have little knowledge of. Although I’ve heard from others that Jules crosses into the realm of classic horror, so maybe I’m more versatile than I thought, haha.
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
I couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t sound cheesy or over-done. I’ve got so many ‘in-progress’ works on my laptop, I found I was forgetting which title went with which word document. So I began to name all of them via their main characters. Like I said, when it came to naming both of my books, I couldn’t think of anything cheesy or that didn’t make the reader in me gag, so I went with the simple solution. It seems to be working for the moment.
What book are you reading now?
The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi, Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson, and re-reading Electronica by Jessica Benya.
What books are in your to read pile?
The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, The Narrative of John Smith by Arthur Conan Doyle, and about 70 others.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
My current project is a story about a magical thief that’s set up to rob a chapel. It’s very urban fantasy-type stuff, and after it comes out, it’s on to book four! Really I’m just working towards finishing the story installments that I started in 2015…Although there is a possibility of a werewolf story in my future. And zombies. And vampires. It’ll be super fun if I can pull it off.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
Ryan Bayron. It’s an amazing cover, isn’t it?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. Don’t give up. If you want writing to be your job, treat it like your job. No one else is going to treat it like that until you do. Everything you do can be utilized for a story, good and bad. Just got kicked in the ribs? Remember how it feels (I didn’t know how much that hurts until a horse decided to let me in on the sensation…). Above all, be yourself. It makes it easier for people to like you and buy your wares. That, and editors. Editors are your friends.
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
Strut by Adam Lambert
Jackrabbit by San Fermin
Last Midnight from Into The Woods (the Meryl Streep version)
Cry Me A River by Julie London
I Found A Reason by Cat Power
Why Don’t You Do Right? By Amy Irving
La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf
…At least those were the main songs I was listening to while writing. Of course, there were a few days where I listened to nothing but Harry Connick Jr.
Jules: The 2nd Adventure
Genre: Magical Realism
Date of Publication: December18, 2015
Word Count: 26,489
Cover Artist: Ryan Bayron
War. It doesn’t start with armies or bombs. It doesn’t start with declarations or protests. It doesn’t start with speeches. It starts with one thing. Intent.
Jules understands this concept. She intends to kill a cult leader. She intends to undo magic from the past. She intends to get her family home.
She intends to start a war.
Jules Excerpt 2
When I entered the blue-lighted nightclub, Sting was at the piano again. He was thundering out jazz compositions with the energy of a hyper pygmy goat.
There was a twin-headed Doppobocca at the microphone, scatting like a pro. These squatty, yellow aliens landed somewhere in Italy, and apparently enjoyed the culture so much they decided to stop by Earth on a regular basis. Doppobocca was not their species name, just what the fairies from Italy decided to call them. It was an Earthling nickname, as far as they were concerned, and the Doppobocca didn't seem to mind in the least.
The alien’s two heads were currently scatting something I had never heard before and probably would never hear outside of Sting's nightclub. The heads scatted back and forth, while the single, thick body moved and danced to the beat.
I made my way to the bar, ordered some Pixie wine, and watched the crowd. I was watching to see if my Hyena contact would show up. She liked to frequent My Fair Lady as much as I did, if not more because she had more time. Tonight should have been one of her nights, if I remembered correctly.
"Quite a turnout tonight, isn't it?" someone said behind me, loudly.
I glanced over my shoulder and took in intense brown eyes broken up by a jovial smile on a narrow face. Some of his blond hair was matted in the front, bobbing with every habitual flick of his head in an attempt to get it out of his eyes.
I shrugged slowly with a single shoulder. Gave him a teasing smile as I turned back to the crowd. "Aren't you in the wrong place, Keeper?"
His expression fell as he looked down at his outfit; it was a simple, brown vest held open over a grey shirt with sloppy-looking carpenter jeans. I pointed at the back of his hand, which bore a tattoo in the shape of the Keepers’ insignia: lady justice. Scales in one hand, sword in the other, blindfolded.
It was a human insignia that the Keepers adopted for themselves, in an attempt to maintain the idea that justice is blind. In their case, justice was not only blind, but mute, deaf, and dumb as well.
He lifted his hand to stare at it and frowned, as if he had forgotten it was there. After a moment, he shrugged it off and smiled. "I'm not on the clock," he responded jovially. "I can be anywhere I want. And talk to whoever I want."
"Got it," I said. "So get back to your lonely drink."
He held up a long glass filled with tree sap, alcohol, a tap of blood and a hint of cherry. It was called a Maiden’s Bluff. I hated the taste of it, but it was a popular favorite.
"It's never lonely when you're drinking next to a be-a-utiful woman," he said, toasting me before taking a long drink.
As he threw his head back, his hair shifted just enough for me to see an angle to his ears. He wasn't human.
Usually Keepers were comprised of Terran mages and knights. Nothing else.
I didn't recognize the shape of the ear. Before I could get a good look at it, his hair shuffled back and blocked my view, his head coming forward as he finished his drink. He flashed me a wide grin and exposed canines that were longer and sharper than an average human's.
Something began beeping on his hip and he glanced down. An old beeper sat clipped to his belt, screen lit up with a red glow. He frowned as he checked it. "Oops," he said, "speak of the devil."
He saluted me, taking another drink. "May I know the name of such a beautiful witch," he asked, "or will you let your lovely face curse me forever?" When I stared at him for an answer, he grinned again and said, "I'll tell you mine."
I let out a soft, low laugh and raised my wine glass to him. "Jules."
He bowed low, saying, "And my name is Hansel, great lady."
Dropping a handful of coins on the counter, he plucked a pike that leaned against said counter, handling it like it was another arm. He saluted me with his free hand and said, "Pleased to meet you."
He made his way to the door as someone else approached me from the other side.
"Well, you two certainly seemed chummy. I never picked you to make nice with the Keepers.”
"I wasn't 'making nice', Ruby," I responded, taking a sip of my wine and turning to the new voice. "I wasn't in the mood to kill him is all."
Ruby stood almost as tall as me, but she had more meat on her bones. Her hair was a deep fire-red, and her green eyes complemented her light-skinned complexion.
Her half-jacket fluttered around her ribs, her skin-tight shirt only an inch or two longer. As she shifted her hips against the counter, the belt that lined her low-cut jeans jingled, the beads at the end swinging with the motion.
Despite her slutty appearance, the armor wrapped around her shins and feet made most stay far enough away. I'm sure the various red and blue stains that weren't bothered to be cleaned off helped scare others away.
She twisted her faerie-elf features with a smirk. "I never picked you to need a mood, then," she responded with a laugh. She leaned on the counter and ordered a pure ale before turning back to me. Her Cheshire cat grin was wide on her pointed face, making her smiles look even more threatening.
Well, she was a Hyena. Hyena smiles were frightening no matter what face they happened to be on.
"Weren't you just here, Julia?" she asked. "Like a day or two ago? Don’t you have other places to be?"
"First of all, darling, a day or two doesn't count as 'just' being somewhere. Secondly, you weren't here last time. If you were, I wouldn’t have had to come back.”
The Doppobocca had finished scatting. Sting was alone now, a soulful blues rift gently reaching out into the crowd. The reptilian-looking barkeep dropped an ale down next to Ruby, who swiped it up and chugged with all the grace of a sailor.
"I'm going to start a war," I said quietly, counting on her excellent hearing. "And I need the Hyenas to play nice."
A half-Hawaiian, half-Spanish, half-Italian, half-Filipino, K. Stevens is 4'6" of sarcasm and introverted weirdness. She enjoys time spent communing with local flora and fauna. She hopes to one day be considered one of the greats in literature, but will settle for people at least knowing her name.