I have another great interview with a fellow Indie Author to share with you. I reviewed this book on Goodreads a while ago, and mentioned that the concept really blew me away. So here is my interview with Keary Taylor author of Branded and Forsaken, books one and two of the Fallen Angels series;
What was the last song you rocked out to?
Not My Time by 3 Doors down. Watch the music video, it will give you goosebumps.
They say ‘write what you know’. Are any of the traits from your characters based on the people around you, or yourself?
There are little bits of myself in every character. I love Dr. Pepper, like Jessica. I love to eat way too much, like Alex. A lot of the things Alex says my husband would say. Jessica’s father is based a lot on my own dad. And I tend to be a name stealer. At least part of every characters name comes from someone I know.
Could you sum up your writing style in a word then explain to us why you chose it?
I had to think about this for a while but came up with this: Selfish. I write for me. Some people don’t like the direction I take things but I write where I know the story is supposed to go.
How are you finding being an Indie Author? Is it mainly a positive experience or do you find yourself head-butting the wall on occasion?
BOTH, lol. It was a really difficult journey getting to where I am now. I went the route of trying to get an agent first and while a lot of different ones liked it, they just didn’t love it enough. So I self-published. It has been an AMAZING journey and I have met so many wonderful people and received so much support!
From what I’ve seen you have a flair for cover design, and the covers for Branded and Forsaken certainly snag the attention. Can you tell us why you chose these covers?
I do love graphic design, though have never had any real schooling in it. When I decided to self-publish I always had an image in my head that the cover should show Jessica’s scars, they’re such an important part of the story. My friend Jenni Merritt, also a writer, did the photo shoot and the scars. When it came time for Forsaken, I wanted to stick with the back theme and found this amazing image for Cole. It just felt right and I just had to use it!
Coal is such a sexy character. And naughty. You gave us this smoldering stud, but sneakily managed to make us dislike the overall feel of him. What was your frame of mind when you created him?
The character of Cole was actually developed before Alex even was. He stemmed from the character of the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera (where I got the idea for Branded). He was just this very dark character that had so much history and passion to him. Yet he did terrible things without a second thought. I wanted to create a character that you were drawn to but that you knew was bad in all the right ways.
Jessica is quite a complex young lady. You brought across a real sense of lost innocence even though she never did anything wrong. Did her character just come to you, or was there a specific source of inspiration?
Like I said, I got the idea for Branded from watching The Phantom of the Opera and in my mind Jessica has always been Emmy Rossum. Some of her character traits were drawn from that character but mostly her personality just stemmed from the situation she was in with the nightmares. She’s been living this nightmare her entire life and yet she’s still clinging to sanity, even I was surprised at how she had managed to hang on to reality.
There were a few not so obvious twists in the book - like how one stopped being put on trial for others. Were these intentional or did they just happen when you were typing?
That was something that just happened as I went along. I’m not a huge plotter so that situation kind of took me by surprise. The major twist in the end though was always planned from before I even started typing the first words of Branded.
Forsaken, book two of the Fallen Angels, is out now. Did you find it difficult to live up to people’s expectations on this novel?
I wouldn’t necessarily say it was living up to expectations, it was just the actual writing of it. It was a really, really difficult one for me to write. I started writing it when I was querying Branded to agents and as I kept getting rejection after rejection I got kind of depressed. But after I self-published and started receiving such great response I knew I had to finish, not only for myself, but for those out there who wanted to find out what happened next.
The story is becoming even more complex ... what overarching themes can we expect?
That love and everything worth living for is a fight. Never give up.
Alex is the sweetheart of this story. Are we going to see a darker side of him in the second book?
Alex goes through some major struggles in Forsaken and things will get even harder in Vindicated, the third book. He’s not as perfect as he seems and you’ll learn a lot about his feelings toward Jessica when he found everything out in Branded. You’ll get to know him really well, since about a third of Forsaken is told from his point of view.
Thanks Keary, and good luck with Branded!
You can read my Goodreads review of Branded here and the book is available to download from the Kindle store (US/UK). You can now pick up Forsaken (US/UK) too! If you have any questions why not contact Keary on her website or her blog, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.