Today I am very proud to announce Toronto author Karen Dales. I have known Karen for several years through the Toronto Pagan Pub Moot, which she has been running for over ten years. (I forget how many off the top of my head.) A couple of years ago she published the first book-two books in one-of the Chosen Chronicles. I read and loved these books, Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen and Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen. I can’t wait to read Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen, which came out last week.
Without further ado, let us begin…
1. Can you tell us a bit about your series, the Chosen Chronicles?
The Chosen Chronicles starts off with Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles. It is in this novel that we are introduced to the character who will become known as The Angel. It is within Changeling that we see the events and circumstances that shape The Angel and the initialization of his millennium long connection with Father Paul Notus. In essence it is the origin story of The Angel and how he becomes involved with the Chosen.
Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen takes place within the Victorian area in London, England. Something is poisoning the Chosen’s (who now call themselves Vampires) food supply – us, the humans. The Angel is manipulated into playing detective for the Mistress of Vampires to discover who is killing them off and why or see his friend and mentor, Father Paul Notus, killed. In the process The Angel reluctantly partners up with Fernando de Sagres and is joined by Notus’ mortal housekeeper, Jeanie. It is Jeanie that ties their hands to act in ways that are natural to them until Fernando’s interference which lands Jeanie in The Angel’s bed. The Angel does find out who is killing off the Chosen, but at a very high cost. Not only to himself, but to those he cares about.
Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen occurs approximately one hundred years after Angel of Death. The Angel no longer needs to seek out his revenge. Expecting to retire quietly, he is lead across the Atlantic to Toronto, Canada, by Notus, despite warnings by Fernando that their enemies are there. It is in Shadow of Death where those who have failed against their extermination of the Chosen reap their revenge against The Angel in very unexpected ways.
2. When did you first decide that you wanted to be an author?
I would have to say ever since I was in grade 5 and I self published, as a school project, a little story I wrote. I loved the whole thing and wanted to do more. When I hit high school I was very lucky to have an English teacher who taught creative writing. She really believed in my writing and encouraged me. Even other teachers allowed for my creative writing in subjects most would not have imagined. It was at York University that I took the three year creative writing program. I learned a lot, but I wanted more. I kept writing. I never stopped. It was my childhood dream to live this passion.
3. Which part of the writing process was hardest for you?
I think, for many of us, the biggest and hardest part is finding time to write. It’s easy to say to new writers that it’s important to write something, anything, every day, but with life’s responsibilities getting in the way it can be very difficult to carve those precious minutes out of the day. But if you really want to do it, you will find the time to write, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
4. What writing advice do you think is most important for new writers to follow?
Never give up, never surrender. Do what you love and the rewards will be given.
5. Your series, The Chosen Chronicles, is about vampires. What advice would you give a writer trying to make their vampire story stand out from the rest in today’s vampire-crazed world?
Do something new. Take a new spin on an old idea. The idea of the romantic, non-scary vampire is over done, in my opinion. Vampires can now be considered their own genre with sub-genres on their own. If you can come up with something new, then do it. Vampire fiction is not going to go away no matter how many people may be tired of the Twilight craze. Take advantage of it and have fun with it.
I was on a Vampires panel at Ad Astra just recently and someone asked about the idea of ‘rules’ in how vampires are written. I asked him, “Rules? There are rules to how vampires are written?” In other words, don’t worry about the rules, as long as your mythology is consistent, then you will be fine.
6. Outside of your writing life, you are also an active part of the Toronto Pagan community, particularly running the Toronto Pagan Pub Moot. How has your faith influenced your writing?
It’s common knowledge that you write what you know and that’s the case with me. I do believe that being Pagan has influenced my writing of The Chosen Chronicles. There are Pagan elements in it and in Shadow of Death I have a character who is Wiccan, but it is not the driving force or a central (or tertiary) theme within my books.
I’ve read other vampire fiction where there are witches and Wiccans and it is clear to me that the author really hasn’t a clue about the reality of what they are writing about. Sorry, but witches and Wiccans are not paranormal creatures.
7. What do you think of the future of ebooks?
I really believe they are the future of reading. eBooks are going to become the new mass market paperback and if folks want physical books they’ll buy the trade paperback or hard cover book. Sales in eBooks are going to continue to climb. It won’t be with my generation, or the generation after me, but I wouldn’t be surprised that by the time my son becomes an adult eBooks are going to be the way people will read novels for the most part.
8. What’s your favourite part of being a published author?
I love meeting new people. I love the fact that people love what I write. It’s the fun of making fans/friends because my books have touched them.
9. What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading “Feral Passion” by an author friend of mine, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime. She’s great and I encourage folks to pick up her books.:)
10. Your book, Shadow of Death, came out recently. Is this it for the Chosen Chronicles? Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
There is at least one more book planned for The Chosen Chronicles – Thanatos, which I’m currently writing. I’m also working on an historical fiction novel set in Edo Japan. Unfortunately I’ve had to put that aside to focus on Thanatos.
Karen Dales is the Award Winning Author of “The Chosen Chronicles.”
She began writing “Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles” and “Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles” after she was inspired to create the character of The Angel for an on-line role playing game she was part of. It was from that experience the birth of The Angel was formed and through years of research Karen fleshed out The Angel and other characters that came to her.
Having completed York University’s Creative Writing courses years previously, Karen began to write “Changeling” and “Angel of Death” as one novel. It was on their completions that it was clear they were two distinct novels of an evolving series that has come to include “Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles.”
Karen is currently writing the next installment – “Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen Chosen Chronicles.”
Since the publication of both “Changeling” and “Angel of Death” in a limited edition single volume, Karen has been an Author Guest at, Polaris, AdAstra, FanExpo, and has appeared at Word On The Street. You can find out her future appearances by clicking http://karendales.com/appearances.html
In January 2011 Karen’s book “Angel of Death” which included “Changeling” won the Siren Books Awards for Best Horror 2010 and Best Overall 2010.
Karen loves hearing from you. If you have a question or comment please feel free to email it to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow her on:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/karendales
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Dales#!/
and join her Facebook Fan Group – http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=58223589311&v=info