Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Guest Post: Keena Kincaid

Author: Creator of Worlds, Designer of Destinies

Being an author is a heady, addictive experience.  When we sit down at our keyboard, we are able to build our own world, people it as we see fit, and decide the natural rules for this world. We can have magic, shifters, monsters, or nothing extraordinary.

And though world building is most often associated with paranormal and science fiction writers, every writer is a supreme being when she sits down to tell a story.

But we’re not omnipotent. If we want to woo and keep readers, we need to create and live by the rules of our world. Readers need to know and understand the rules early in the book so they can sit back and enjoy the tale, and our characters need to act and react logically within the covers of the book because few things annoy a reader more or faster than an author who breaks the rules of her own world.

I understand the temptation. Sometimes you’ve written yourself into a corner, and the only option that presents itself is to break the rules, but that’s cheating, and it could leave your readers dissatisfied.

For example, in my historical paranormal series about Druids one of the “rules” is magic comes at a cost. Sometimes the cost is relatively mild, a headache. Other times the price is steeper, such as knowing someone you love is going to die and being unable to stop it.

In ENTHRALLED, the third book in the series, my heroine, Ami, possesses the ability to “see” emotions as if they are auras. Everywhere she looks, the world is a tapestry of tangled color and passion. The downside of this gift is there’s no social cushion between her and everyone else. It’s hard for her to believe a smile when she sees the hidden anger behind it.

To create believable worlds, authors need to:
·         Identify the boundaries.  Readers need to know what to expect and what not to expect whether it’s just the unspoken rules of a small town with a big secret in a straight contemporary or a magic drenched world with almost anything is possible.
·         Use the rules to separate the heroes from the villains. Even in worlds where magic is possible, there must be rules for use. It’s only polite. Heroes don’t always follow the rules, but they always have a good reason for breaking them. Villains break them because they can.
·         Develop the yin-yang of their world. Perfection is boring and unrealistic. For example, if your world is one where magic is possible, the “good” and “bad” of that magic must equal out. In other words, the more powerful your character, the greater the risk and potential for destruction. The Force and its Dark Side are good examples of this principle at work.

As a reader, have you ever run across an author who breaks the rules of her own world? Did that change your opinion of the book?

To claim her, he must abandon home, duty, and honor—or reveal the secret of her Sidhe heritage and risk losing her forever to dark magic…

William of Ravenglas wants only one woman—his foster sister, Ami—but she is promised to another, a fate sealed by his father’s recklessness. Resolved to her forfeiture, he forges a dangerous path to bring stability to the house of Ravenglas, balancing the secret demands of the queen against loyalty to the king.

Ami, true sister to Aedan ap Owen the minstrel, refuses her fate. She wants William. But when his kiss awakens her dormant magic, it triggers cascading events that sweep her into the queen’s fiendish web and threaten William's life.

Now Ami must learn to control her fey powers or watch William die. But with a mystery lover in his past, even if she succeeds will he truly be hers?


She looked up. His eyes were heavy and dark and filled with a need that sent woozy warmth through her. She could see it in his expression, feel it in the way her heart pounded when he looked at her. He wanted her. Flames licked the back of her thighs, the skin behind her ears. She grazed her fingertips across his chest, trying to figure out how she could force a man almost twice her size to kiss her again.

She flattened her hand against his chest until she felt the distant, fast thud of his heart. Maybe this would be easier than it should be. In a swift move, she rose on her toes and brushed her mouth against his. He pushed her back, then grabbed her arms, as if to keep her away.

“I am at the edge, Ami.”

Something akin to pain blunted his voice, as if the words were forced to cut themselves free of his tongue. His eyes, though, were dark, the pupils so large only a pale ring of blue remained, and his breath came in short, shallow bursts. A brilliant purple rose between them, over them, filling her senses with the heady perfume of thyme blossoms.

His eyes turned the deep hue of bruised violets. His will wavered, then shattered.

She stilled, suddenly terrified of the thrum and churn in her blood. Her body felt insubstantial yet so heavy her knees threatened to buckle. Slowly, as if giving her time to run, he stepped her backward. Her shoulders grazed the wall, then pressed against it as he pushed closer. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t slow the frantic pounding of her heart, the desperate urge to arch her spine, to press her body against his.

“Do not move.” His whisper brushed over her cheek, his breath sweetly scented by wine. Unable to ignore the command, her nerves sizzled as he closed the distance between them. His lips brushed hers, once. Twice. Then he plundered her mouth.

Reviews for ENTHRALLED:
Kincaid does a wonderful job in the way she twists the plot of this book and how you interpret one thing and then all of sudden what you thought was going to happen doesn't and something else comes up. Wonderful job, this book just keeps you guessing on what will happen next. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading historical/paranormal/suspense all in one. — Happily Ever After Reviews

If you can’t journey through the ruins of a misty castle, or time travel back into medieval times, but want to intimately know the magic of it all, then Keena’s books are for you. — Novels Alive TV

About the author
Keena Kincaid is the author of four romance novels set in 12th century England. Her books are available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble online as well as anywhere ebooks are sold. You can fan or friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, Typos and All.  To buy a copy:


Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Pamela,
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I'm open for questions if anyone has any.


PamelaTurner said...

Hi Keena,

Thanks for posting. :-)

Sondrae Bennett said...

Sounds like a great read and a fascinating world! I look forward to reading more about it.

Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks, Sondrae.