My guest today is the author of the adult romance novel GLADIATOR, which was inspired by the 2000 Hollywood movie by the same name (and who didn't love that movie?) But Kate Lynd puts a twist on this tale with its post apocalyptic setting. Welcome, Kate!
Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.
In some ways I had a good childhood but in others it was really bad and I had to find a way to survive it, so I turned to the movies, books, and television. My stepdad was a really huge positive influence on me in that respect. He would tell us bedtime stories and encouraged us to read. I started writing my own stories when I was five years old.
What is one of your favorite books and why?
Too many to mention! I think as a kid there were two books, one was Jacob Have I Loved about a girl who is constantly looked over for her twin. And Bridge to Terrabithia, which when I read the scene where the little girl died I should’ve been watching a science filmstrip. (I hated that teacher by the way.) When I was older I would say Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury were huge influences on me. Mother Night by Vonnegut remains my favorite by him, although Slaughterhouse Five was just a revelation for me.
What inspired you to write this book series?
Wow. I think it may go back seeing Gladiator during the summer of 2000. But what got this series started was a book cover, a blurb about a futuristic tale by a YA author, and the music from the film. And of course imagining Daniel Craig in a loin cloth.
How would you describe your writing process?
Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks—a total pantster.
What has proven to be your most successful marketing tool?
I don’t really know. I operate with the core four—Twitter, FB, Website, and Blog. But I have tons of other stuff too, including a street team, which I highly recommend.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Work hard, build your brand, and be persistent. If you build the story success will come to you.
“What is it you want, Veronica?”
She leaned in close and whispered seductively, “Why, you know I only want you, Tristan.”
He snatched her up by her throat, pinned her against the wall and kissed her passionately, brutally, and without clemency. When he pulled away she was smiling with a darkness that made him angry. She was a power-hungry mongrel who played on her husband’s weaknesses and jealousies. Tristan hated her. And he hated himself for [sleeping with] her. But this was his life. He let go of her and walked away.
“Is my poor Gladiator jealous? There’s really no need for that, is there? You know you’re my favorite.”
“What is it you really want, Veronica?”
She came up behind him and seductively began to ease off his armor. He was covered in sweat and blood and he felt her shiver against his body. And as always there was a twinge of nausea that would precede the raw animal aggression.
She turned him around. He looked at her. There was no doubt about it; she was beautiful. But she was poisonous—a rattlesnake with crystal green eyes and flaming red hair. Her father had promised peace and a return to normalcy and democracy in the wake of economic and nuclear disaster, and instead this was what had become of the world. And she was no doubt always enjoining her father to maintain her life in this fashion. He loathed her. He detested her. And every time he had sex with her his intense hatred for himself deepened a little bit more.
“My dear, sweet Gladiator, as much as I’d like to celebrate your victory with you tonight, my husband wishes me to share his bed. But fear not—I do have a consolation prize for you.”
His skin began to crawl. Veronica had a twisted way of looking at what constituted a consolation prize; it was usually just a groupie who wanted to watch what the queen did with the equivalent of rock stars of the former
“What is it this time?”
She smiled. His response had given her the mistaken impression that he cared.
“The rebels have been restless. And it seems there is a young woman we have in our prison whom they want terribly. Well, frankly, they are in two minds as to what to believe. It is rumored she is the mythical Healer. The one meant to find her soul mate, so together they will lead our Nation out of the so-called darkness into which it has plunged itself.”
“And what do you want me to do?”
“Oh Tristan, why are you being so defensive? I just want you to find out whether she really is the Healer, and report to me if she is.”
“And then, what?”
“And then you let me handle it,” Veronica said, sliding back into the evil skin that was her natural state. “The rebels have no idea what it takes to run a country.”
The image of his wife being raped and murdered flooded him and it was all he could do not to throttle the queen right then and there.
“So can I count on you to do this for me or do I need to find someone else who can?”
He was no one’s hero. But she had said young woman. And he couldn’t just allow his wife’s fate to be visited upon some other unsuspecting girl. “I’ll do what I can.”
Veronica ran her index finger down his cheek and whispered, “Good boy, Tristan,” she purred. “Guard! She’ll be delivered before the night is over. I don’t know when I’ll be able to return to you, but I expect that you’ll have had enough time to gain her trust by then.”
Tristan’s stomach churned. The Healer? In the beginning there had been whispers of it. But he had never believed in such a thing. It had been years since the crown had feared anything. And now this. He said nothing as the queen was escorted away. He was left to think about the young woman he might be forced to turn over in the end.
Where can readers find you and your book?
You can find me and my books at my blog http://Creative-Chatter.blogspot.com or if you want to talk to me you can find me at http://Twitter.com/Kate_Lynd.
Kate's novel can also be found on the Muse It Up Publishing bookstore. Thanks for being a guest today!