Thursday, April 11, 2013

Meet author Tawdra Kandle and her King Series

Today, get to know author Tawdra Kandle and her world of King, as she celebrates the release of the fourth book in the series.

What was the inspiration behind the King series?
I am a character-driven writer. It is very unusual for me to launch a story from a situation rather than a character. So when Tasmyn came to me--inspired by the what-if question of "What if you were a parent raising a child who had an extraordinary ability like mind hearing?"--I began to ask what her story might look like. At the time, I was fairly new to Florida, and a local town influenced the creation of King. Frankly, at that point, the story began telling itself.
In a time when trilogies are all the rage, why did you make this a four-book series?
The short answer is that it took four books to tell Tasmyn and Michael's story! I guess I could say that since much of Tasmyn's magik is elemental and there are four elements, we needed four books. . .but really, we needed to see Tasmyn's growth. FEARLESS introduced her to King, to Michael and to Nell and Marica. BREATHLESS was about Tas learning to deal with her new life even when Michael wasn't physically present. RESTLESS was the story of Tasmyn dabbling in the dark side, succumbing to the temptation of using her powers. And ENDLESS wrapped up the story in many ways, though of course, no story ever really ties all the loose ends.
How much of yourself or your family members are in Tasmyn and the other characters?
Tasmyn does have a lot of me in her, though I didn't intentionally write her that way. And apparently Michael is very like my late father in some ways. Again, that wasn't something I set out to do. I think some of my kids have snuck into different characters. But probably there are more situations from our lives than specific character traits. I moved around a lot growing up, so that was part of FEARLESS. My husband and I experienced a good deal of separation when we were dating because he was at West Point, so some of that snuck into BREATHLESS. I think it's almost impossible to write a book without at least some of your own characteristics sneaking in a bit.
How did you create some of the more unique names in the books, such as Tasmyn and Marica?
I knew I wanted an unusual name for the main character. Names are big for me, to the point that when I am first planning a book, once I name a character, if I forget it, it drives me crazy. Names are important. In the earliest parts of FEARLESS, I toyed with the name Taryn, but it wasn't sitting right. And then one day I realized her name was Tasmyn. Later, half way through writing BREATHLESS, I learned that 'Tasmyn' is the feminine of Thomas. . .which means twin. I thought that was pretty cool, given the story line. Marica is a Romanian name, and I knew I was looking for that. I just liked it when I found it. It actually means 'nymph'.
If you had the ability to listen in on other people's minds, would you want to?
Absolutely not. I have enough trouble with the things people tell me. . .I couldn't deal with more people in my head!
Are there any such gifts that you would want?
I would love to slow down time. . .and maybe time travel. Getting more done in day would be wonderful.
Now that the series is over, are there any spinoff ideas floating around in your mind, or any other new project ideas?
Always. My next book will be THE POSSE, a contemporary romance. I'm really excited about it. Nell and Rafe will each get their own book this summer in a set of books called The Serendipity Duet. Cathryn will be the main character in a short story that will be part of the anthology ETERNAL SUMMER to be released in June. I also have the first book of an adult paranormal series coming out this year. And eventually, I hope to release an anthology of short stories about different characters from King. I'm not finished with them yet!
You work hard to promote the works of other authors, just as hard as, if not more than, your own works. Why do you do this? How can others do the same?
I strongly believe in paying it forward and paying it back. I was extremely fortunate to have wonderful authors giving me good advice and helping me promote my books. I love to be able to do the same. As writers, we're not really in competition with each other; as someone said to me the other day, it's not like a reader will ONLY read one book or even one author. To me, anything that gets a reader to Amazon or BN or the corner bookstore helps all of us. How can others do the same? Easy! As a reader, the best thing you can do is read. . .and then review. Posting reviews on Amazon, BN, Smashwords and Goodreads is so helpful. And then when you find an author you enjoy, pass the word. Post on your Facebook page, tweet, blog. . .word of mouth is tremendous. Authors can and should do all of the above, and we can also be cheerleaders on our author pages and websites. I like to share bits of other books at the end of my own books, too. Supporting authors is so easy, fun and positive. . .why wouldn't you do it?
Tell us more about your newly launched publishing company.
Oh, we are so excited about Hayson! Mandie, my partner at Promotional Book Tours and I decided last year that we wanted to start our own publishing company. We have the built-in benefit of experience in promotions, which really does make all the difference these days. And of course we also have the most talented cover artists and formatters in the business. We are giddy about the books we're releasing this year, and we'll be re-opening submissions pretty soon. Our authors are awesome. . .we are very picky!
Why the purple hair?
Why not? About five years ago, my daughter was having hot pink put into her hair. I have the absolute best hairdresser in the world, and when I asked her half-kiddingly about putting a color in MY hair, she told me that many women added pink to their hair in support of breast cancer awareness. I lost both my parents to blood cancers, and I have worked as a volunteer with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Their signature color is purple, so I decided to go with that. It has opened many doors to conversation, and as an author, now it's part of my branding.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just a huge thank you to you and all the bloggers who have supported The King Series and this tour in particular. You all rock, and I couldn't do this without you.
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for having me!

Tawdra KandleAbout Author Tawdra Kandle

Tawdra Kandle is the author of THE KING SERIES, a young adult urban fantasy quartet. Born in South Jersey, Tawdra published her first short story at the age of 13 in Child's Life magazine. During the early years of her marriage and motherhood, she wrote articles and columns on parenting and homeschooling, as well as some homeschooling curriculum. THE KING SERIES is her first published full-length fiction. Tawdra currently lives in central Florida with her husband, and children, both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.

Follow Tawdra Kandle:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon


After the tumult of her high school senior year, all is right in Tasmyn Vaughan’s world. She’s attending college with her boyfriend, and she’s learning to control her powers. Everything is finally perfect, until it isn’t.

When her new part-time job leads to more than she bargained for, Tasmyn is thrown into a deadly fight against forces of evil that she didn’t even know existed. Mastering her extraordinary gifts—along with the strength of an endless love—may be the only weapon that can guarantee her a happily ever after.

Check out the entire King Series:

Book 1: Fearless

Book 2: Breathless

Book 3: Restless

Book 4: Endless

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