Interview with Caitlyn McKenna

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your new novel “Echoes of Angels”?

A: Though set in two worlds, that of mortal earth and the surrounding dimensional realm of Sclyd, Echoes of Angels is a novel about redemption. Slightly reworking the theme of Armageddon, I’ve used the two worlds to illustrate, in a highly fictional way, what might happen if beings wielding the powers of a supernatural dimension were to need the resources of earth’s planet and people to restore their own dying world. And what if there were a leader_ a Keeper of Eternity’s Gates_ who could stave off this demonic invasion, but didn’t want to? How could he be persuaded he should fight again and, moreover, why would he want to?

Ok, that’s a big theme for something that’s supposed to look like a simple paranormal romance (or fantasy, as some would call it), but that’s exactly what I used to create the series. One thing reader will find about my books is that I don’t sugarcoat (well, not much) the characters. They have failings, weaknesses and inner demons to battle (as well as a few outside ones, LOL).

My publisher, Zumaya Publications, gave me a lot of leeway in writing what I wanted to. Though they edited, they changed very little. That pleased me immensely, as I was determined no one was going to come along and tell me to restructure Morgan’s psyche. That was one thing that made NYC pubs shy away from the series, I think. The main male character is not wearing any shining armor! Though one reviewer praised the book, she said in an aside that Morgan Saint-Evanston disturbed her because he was a suicidal alcoholic and treated women badly. I consider that a great compliment, because that is exactly how I meant the character to come across in the debut book. No, he’s not nice. He can be a real bastard. He’s supposed to be. He’s hovering on the brink of mental instability (as the inheritor of a legacy that’s made him an immortal.) Yes, Morgan will find his redemption, yes he will become less abrasive, but not before he’s put through the trials that come of love and loss–and of the realization that one can not escape destiny.

Hokey? Maybe. Stretching the bounds of disbelief? Probably. Fun? Definitely. Will it appeal to all readers? No, it won’t. But if we all liked the same books, it would be a boring library to browse in, don’t you think?

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your future plans?

A: At this time, I am working on the first sequel to Echoes, titled Descent of Demons. Another book, Genesis Awry, is also finished, but needs a good polish before it goes to the publisher. There is a 4th book in the idea stage, Legion, which will probably finish the series, but I don’t know if it’ll ever get past the thinking stage. I’ve still got these other two in front of it.

After that, I want to work on what I call my Pulitzer, a literary novel about… hmm, should I say? Better not. Don’t want to spread the idea around. Needless to say, this one will be semi-fictional, and the names shall be changed to protect the guilty. This is going to be a purely mainstream work.

Q: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

A: I knew at the age of 7 that I wanted to be a writer. Words, to me, were fantastic things. A book can take you everywhere, open up the whole world, allow you to see places and learn of things you might now otherwise see in your lifetime. To me, nothing will ever replace the printed book. They are truly magical things. I read several a week, mostly history and biography. Fiction bores me, as I read tons of gothics as a kid, to the point of burn out.

Q: What has been your major inspiration sources?

A: My main influences in building the Keepers of Eternity series were Dark Shadows and Jeff Rice’s The Night Stalker, both a blending of supernatural elements within the fabric of the everyday world. Both were fantastically done, utter hokum and I was instantly charmed by the ideas they presented. I owe a great debt to these two series, for without them, I doubt the characters of Morgan Saint-Evanston and Julienne Blackthorne would have been conceived. Though labeled a paranormal romance, I consider the novel to be more a gothic.

Q: What areas or challenges lie ahead for you in writing?

A: Learning to write better–and faster. I am a writer who labors with the dictionary or thesaurus over ever word. I wish that my brain cells were larger or my imagination smaller, for I often find it difficult to get on the page what I see in my mind. My paper and ink bill is immense, as I have to print, edit, print, edit, ten thousand times to get the words where I want them to be. Even after Echoes came out, I was still writing it. I finally had to come to the point of not looking at it anymore, as I would see ten things I wanted to redo, or think of some bit of business that would have better served the plot or character.

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

A: I work on web pages for friends and listen to music. I am a huge fan of the internet and MP3’s, so my hard drive is crammed with tons of things. I am also a big e-bayer and spend a lot of time shopping online auctions. I don’t buy much anymore, but I love to look. And, of course, there’s the cats, especially my beloved persians. I worship they paws they walk on, but they do need a lot of care.

Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?

A: A chance to reach a wider audience that might not otherwise ever know about my books. But more than that, it means resources and chances to met new people I might now have otherwise known about. The internet is my base of research. It’s where I go to look something up, be it about a new product I want to buy or a language I know nothing about. If you want it, it is somewhere on the internet.

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