I'm pleased to say I worked on this book with Nyki; spending time with Kaydana was amazing. She's a great character and I'm looking forward to editing the next book in the series, Kaydana and the Pool of the Gods so I can spend more time with her.
Take it away, Nyki!
1. What inspired you to write the Kaydana series?
I’ve been writing (mostly) non-erotic fantasy for many years, both epic and sword & sorcery, and when I started to take an interest in writing erotica, it occurred to me that I could write a series of stories using the various basic S&S plot types (the rescue, the treasure hunt etc.) with sexual themes woven in.
Although I’ve used a variety of main characters, I have a bit of a tendency to go for strong, free-spirited female leads, so I had the idea of writing about a wandering sorceress. Once I’d decided on that, Kaydana was simply there, and she really hasn’t changed since the initial inspiration, although I’ve got to know her better.
I try to tie Kaydana’s sexuality in with the story in an intimate way, especially her struggle with the dark side of her sexuality. I’m not sure why I’ve made the sub/dom element so important, as it’s not something that especially attracts me in real life. Perhaps it’s that it gives the opportunity to explore sexuality at its extremes. I think it’s important, though, that it’s a strong person being dominated – a story about a weak person being sexually dominated would just be icky.
True. Icky is bad. LOL.
2. Tell me about Kaydana. Who is she? Why is she the way she is?
Kaydana was born with a powerful natural gift for magic, and constantly got into trouble as a child for causing accidents with it. Her parents eventually sent her off, at the age of nine, to be apprenticed to a sorcerer called Lourim. He was competent and a good teacher, but by the time Kaydana was fifteen, she felt she’d learnt everything he could teach her, so she stole his magic staff and went off to make her living as an itinerant sorceress.
Although neither she nor Lourim knew it, the staff was actually the Staff of Ishlun, one of the most powerful magical artefacts in the world, and this helped her develop her already formidable magical skills. She gradually gained a considerable reputation.
Kaydana has never felt any desire to return either to her parents or to Lourim, and she loves wandering, seeing new places and meeting new people. She’s very adaptable, able to be at home at a king’s court or in a tavern brawl. She has a huge appetite for living, and especially for sex with both men and women. Although she doesn’t run away from emotional attachment or commitment, Kaydana mostly treats sex as fun and relationships as temporary, even if they’re intense at the time. She’s never ruled out the possibility of a lifelong relationship, but she does place a high importance on being free to wander and gain new experiences.
3. What was your favorite scene from Kaydana and the Dragon Prince? What did you like best about it?
My favourite? But... they’re all my babies.
Well, I suppose the front-runners would include the erotic scene on the mountain, and the big scene near the end where Kaydana confronts the evil king. I think my favourite, though, is where Kaydana rides the dragon. I’d like to think her joy and excitement come through and communicate to the reader. It’s odd, since I’m pretty scared of heights, but maybe it’s true that there’s a thin line between fear and excitement.
I have to agree. Those riding the dragon scenes were absolutely wonderful. The writing was practically poetic. I could feel the wind on my face and the powerful dragon beneath me. I loved them. The erotic scene on the mountain was good, too, but like you--I'm afraid of heights.
4. When not working on Kaydana's stories, what do you like to read?
Mostly fantasy – my favourite authors include Tolkien (of course), Mary Gentle, Ursula Le Guin, James Branch Cabell, Mervyn Peake, Fritz Leiber, Mike Moorcock. Favourite non-fantasy authors – Iain Banks, Italo Calvino, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Hermann Hesse. I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time too, and loved it.
Oh, I love that book. Funny how the classics they forced us to read in English class (what do they call English class if you live in England? Literature, maybe?) are actually great books, in retrospect. Which, of course, is why they're hanging around...but I digress. ;)
I read poetry, though not as much as I used to, and medieval romances, especially Chrétien de Troyes, who’s surprisingly funny in places, and occasional historical and scientific non-fiction (I’m not remotely a scientist, but I love cosmology, quantum particles, string theory and the like).
I was interested to learn you studied Greek literature and mythology as you describe on your website, but it's evident in the structure of your stories. (If you look for it.) I'll pass on the quantum physics, though--not sure how that fits, unless it has something to do with magic.
I’m currently reading 1610: A Sundial in a Grave by Mary Gentle, which is almost a straight historical novel, but has some fantasy elements in it. So far it’s great.
5. If you could meet Kaydana and spend a day with her, what do you think the pair of you would do? (Remember, this is generally a PG-rated blog.) What would you tell her? Ask her?
Well, realistically I can’t assume she’d want to do anything non-PG with me. It would depend a bit on which world we met in, I suppose, but I’d want to talk to her – though, knowing Kaydana, I’ve no doubt there’d be considerable quantities of booze involved. I’d want to ask her about the places she’s seen and some of the strange people she’s met. I’d definitely want to ask her what it’s like to fly. And I’ve no doubt she’d be curious about this world, and how all its “magic” works. And, if she could arrange it, it would be great to go for a ride on a dragon.
Then again, after a lot of talking and drinking, maybe it would turn non-PG.
No comment. ;)
6. What are you working on now?
Well, I have a TV script to revise, which I’m intending to submit to the BBC as a series proposal. If they reject it, then I’ll start thinking about other markets, but I’d love to sell it to the Beeb.
I have a fantasy trilogy, The Winter Legend, that’s about 90% written, but the first priority for it is to do a final revision on the first volume, to get it ready for submission. Then there’s the sixth and last (for now) Kaydana story – I won’t say much about that, but it’ll be a big finish.
Then there’s just a matter of ten or eleven beginnings of short stories that need to be written, the trilogy to complete and at least five other projected novels to write. So not much at all.
Can't wait to hear more about them! Good luck with that BBC script. :)
7. What do you think you'll write about when you've finished writing the Kaydana series?
Well, you might have gathered from my last answer that I’m not short of things to write about. In terms of erotica, though, I’d like to stick to fantasy, probably still sword & sorcery, but I’ll look for a character and situation that allow me to explore different things. I might use a male protagonist, since I’d like to be able to include MM scenes, which hasn’t been easy with a female viewpoint.
I may eventually return to Kaydana, though probably not for a while. Her situation will be a little different, anyway, after the last story – though that’s all I’m saying about it for now.
Ooh...sounds intriguing. The only thing I can think of which would stop her would be motherhood. Does she have a dragon baby? (Ow.)
8. Do you have a blog? How can readers get in touch with you?
I do have a blog at http://nykiblatchley.blogspot.com/
though I’ve been very bad about keeping it up lately. I’m going to try to improve in the future.
Yeah...know the feeling.
Other than that, my website is at http://www.freewebs.com/nykiblatchley/ and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be sure to make them favorites!
And I’d like to thank you for hosting this interview.
I'm pleased and proud to be able to host it, Nyki. I love Kaydana and am happy to tell people about her--and you. :)
Incidentally, Kaydana and the Dragon Prince has already received a review: It got 3 1/2 hearts from Love, Romances and More. Go check it out!