New and Debut: Kasia Bacon00:00
Another Monday, another debut author to meet. I'm so happy to have with me today Kasia Bacon presenting her debut short story, The Mutt, part of her upcoming Order series. And the cover and teaser graphics are awesome, aren't they?
1. Tell us about yourself and why did you decide to become a romance writer?
Thank you, Ellie, for this opportunity to introduce my writing. As a noob, I’m delighted to be included.
My background lies in psychology and sociology, but I’m a medical translator and interpreter by trade. I specialise in mental health and social care and at times witness distressing events. It can be draining, and so even though I enjoy my job, I need a way to decompress afterwards. Writing is my primary outlet.
My first attempts at writing were made in my native language. The first book that I wrote, illustrated and manufactured at the age of 7, had all the adults in my family in stitches. Which confused me deeply because it was intended as a tear jerker. I, for one, bawled my eyes out over it. What’s more emotional than bodies piling up everywhere? I continued writing similar dark and gruesome stories throughout my teenage years.
I didn’t start writing romance until much later. I guess I needed to achieve a certain level of emotional maturity to think myself able to do it. Not that I see myself as a fully-fledged adult, God forbid. I’m fascinated by the complexity of human nature, and I perceive romance as a study of such. This genre, I believe, offers an exceptionally broad scope for an exploration of the characters’ complex feelings and motivations. There’s enormous potential for angst and drama in romance—and I love reading and writing both.
Also, I get to write sex. Which is fun.
2. Can you share some of your favourite books and authors?
Oh, wow. Reading has always been a huge part of my life, so… err, how much time have you got?
I don’t read much non-fiction apart from biographies, books on linguistics, forensic psychology and cookbooks. I adore and collect dictionaries; it’s a fixation of mine. As to fiction, I’ll read just about anything. However, I’ve got three areas of preference: historical fiction by 19th-century French novelists, classic mysteries and epic fantasy. Fantasy is my biggest love and the genre that moulded me in many ways.
I’m an obsessive fan of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (and I’m totally one of those miserable bastards who would watch the GoT show while foaming at the mouth, mumbling and raging.) The First Law series, written by British author Joe Abercrombie, is a gritty delight; Steven Pacey gave it a shiver-inducing performance on audio. The Black Company books by Glen Cook are firmly amongst my favourite reads—I find this author's love of anti-heroes and his particular blend of sarcasm irresistible; he must be my kindred spirit. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson is next high on my list. Erikson’s novels are complex and odd, and while I’m aware that there appear to be two modi operandi amongst his readers—multiple rereads or DNF at 15%--I find the imagery in his books enthralling. The last series I’m going to mention had a tremendous impact on me: The Witcher Saga by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski is the ingenious creator of Geralt of Rivia. It pains me, I mean physically pains me, when people think of Geralt merely in terms of a video game character.
I also read a lot of M/M romances. This genre brims with ridiculously creative and talented authors, and I have loads of favourites. If I had to limit myself to four, I’d say Josh Lanyon, JCP, Harper Fox and Ginn Hale come out on top. Ginn’s Wicked Gentlemen claims a special place in my heart. I completely and unequivocally get the unique and clever brand of urban fantasy she writes; figurative rather than descriptive, it takes one’s imagination by storm. I’d like to slice Ginn’s brain open and examine the contents. And that’s not weird at all.
3. Who/what do you consider your writing influence/inspiration?
Good Lord. What don't I consider my writing inspiration? The thing is, I’m hyperactive and susceptible to all the stimuli. I’m compelled by ordinary things, like everyday conversations, or unusual situations I observe on the Tube (London can be such a whimsical place.) And given that I’m a linguist, certain phrases or sayings can get the cogs turning in my head; recently, a friend shared a Spanish idiom with me, and I itched until I could wrap a mini scene around it. I also get lots of feels and ideas when watching anime, which I do compulsively. Predominantly, I’m triggered by music, images (NSFW included) and nature. I adore forests, and I'm at my most creative when surrounded by greenery and quiet.
4. What kind of stories can the readers expect from you (contemporary/historical/sci-fi, adult/NA/YA, etc.)?
I’m a total escapist, so that’s an easy question to answer: fantasy. With some humour and a fair amount of torment thrown in. I wouldn’t shy away from infusing it with some politically-engaged themes in the future; I might be wrong, but I feel one can get away with more in fantasy than other sub-genres in this respect. One day I might try writing a historical romance, potentially something set during the French Revolution or the reign of Louis XIV, which are my favourite periods in history. Perhaps I’ll stretch as far as writing a paranormal romance, but I doubt I’ll ever write a contemporary story. But who knows; it’s all still up in the air.
5. Please, introduce your latest/upcoming release.
The Mutt is a fantasy short story and a prelude to The Order series. It features the budding relationship between Ervyn Morryés, a cheeky archer and Dark Elf from the Highlands, and Lochan Féyes, a reserved half-breed, who grew up amongst humans in the assassins’ guild. The story is set in the Elven Country and recalls how Ervyn and Lochan met during their national service as young recruits in the Queen’s Army. I have a number of other characters and storylines from the same universe in the works, but Lochan and Ervyn will always be special to me.
An Order Series Short Story
I, Ervyn Morryés of the Black Mountain clan, know all about control.
As the only fair-haired Dark Elf in the Highlands, I had to learn to control my fists and my temper in the face of derision.
To become the best archer amongst my peers, I had to learn to control my breathing and my movements.
But the day the half-breed called Lochan Féyes arrived at the training camp, my discipline faltered. Because—sweet gods—when I am around that aloof, blue-eyed assassin, my need is uncontrollable.
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.