First off, I’d like to give thanks to Lynn for hosting me and my ramblings today. For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, my name is Kelly and I publish under the name K. Aten. I’m fairly new to the writing game, only publishing my first novels in 2018 through Regal Crest Enterprises. I won a Goldie award in my debut year for my dystopian sci-fi novel, Waking the Dreamer. I was also a Goldie finalist for the first book in my Arrow of Artemis series, The Fletcher, that same year. Since then, I’ve gone on to win the Lesfic Bard Award for best drama with my novel, Burn It Down, which was also a romantic blend finalist in this year’s GCLS awards.
I’ve got a wife, two stepsons, two cats, and the sweetest dumbest, gassiest dog ever. I live in Michigan, and I’ve just published my 11th novel with Regal Crest. I’m a #TransAlly, a Myers–Briggs INTJ, and probably a Kinsey 4-4.5 in physical sexuality (though a 6 in romantic sexuality). I also whole-heartedly believe in lifting my fellow authors, especially in supporting my #BIPOC authors. You want resources? Hit me up. I’ve made notes on so many things over the past couple years, royalty free image sites, text, and DIY 3D cover creation sites, LGBTQIA+ reviewers, and more. I want to help. It’s not a pie, it’s a freaking endless buffet and people can buy my book AND your book! Lift each other. The human capacity for kindness is endless, let’s tap it as much as possible.
Now that you’ve skipped the first two boring, blah, blah “me” paragraphs, let’s get on to the interesting stuff. I sleep nude. Oh, that got your attention? LOL. Let me add…with my wife! Mostly because I sleep about a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. (That’s 537.8 degrees Celsius for everyone but the United States, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Liberia, Palau, The Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. Now YOU know.)
If you’re read the paragraph above, you’ve probably deduced that I’m A) strange and B) I like research. Maybe you didn’t catch all that from one paragraph but it’s true, nonetheless. What I will say (and this is what others have said as well if you believe the chatter) is that I’m a serious world builder. I’ve also been told many times that my fiction is character-driven. I suppose I have to believe that it’s real in order to convince others, hmm? That’s where all the research comes in. Believe it or not, I write as much real science into my novels as possible. And when real science fails, then I delve into speculative science. I give what we currently have a little bump into “what we could have in a few more years” territory.
Probably 85% of what I write is speculative fiction because it’s what I grew up loving. (Asimov, Heinlein, Norton, Lackey, Pierce, Moon, McCaffrey, Anthony & more) Once in a while a contemporary storyline will hit me, as with my rom com, Rules of the Road, or my romantic drama *cry* book, Burn It Down. But for the most part I run toward hard sci-fi. And why not? One of the things I love about WLW fiction over the past decade is how much the other genres besides contemporary romance have exploded. I’m a science fiction nerd who loves romance and HEA, but for the longest time I could only get one or the other. Now, not only am I see many authors writing the stuff I really love, but I’m also writing what I love.
One thing to note (if you’re still with me) is that I have a preference as a reader. Some know this from my stint as a reviewer for TLR, or from my posts on the TLR Facebook page. But my personal belief is that the best books will make me think, feel, or discuss. As a writer I try to do the same for my readers. I want my book to stay with you, I want you to laugh, cry, or get angry, and LIVE the events contained within. And I want you to share your love or passion for it with other readers. For instance, what did you think of the major twist in Waking the Dreamer, or the minor twists in Remember Me, Synthetica? Would you believe me if I told you that many of the funny and embarrassing things from Rules of the Road happened in real life, either to me or my former roller derby teammate who was a dental assistant?
“Some words end the silence, others begin it.”
My own author motto is the distilled essence of my #Think, #Feel, #Discuss beliefs in fiction. It came about after an intense search for my author brand at the beginning of my writing career (a whopping 2 years ago). In the end I couldn’t pin myself into a genre. I bring heroines to life in a variety of blended LGBTQ fiction genres. I really like extraordinary women who are flawed and compelling. (I swoon for a flawed Mary Sue) I also love diversity in fiction, so I write it as much as possible, while maintaining #ownvoices designation. I believe diversity is important in novels because people want to see representation in media of all types. However, I also believe in meaningful diversity, in creating real characters and not just slapping a name, skin color, or religion on them in an attempt at diversity lip service.
*steps down and kicks the soapbox out of the way* Do you need to know any more about me? Not now and certainly not here. If you’re curious and NOT creepy, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Even if you just want to talk about books or share adorable pics of pets. (And I HAVE pics.) Finally, let’s talk about my newest book. You may be wondering why I didn’t write about it at the beginning rather than the end of this blog. It’s because things like diversity and reader passion are more important than my newest book.
Click on picture above to purchase!
“This story was so fun to read. My fiancée is a huge sci-fi fan and I’m usually not and so picking this one up was stepping a little outside of my comfort zone. I’ve loved every book I’ve read by K. Aten though so I knew that it would be great no matter the “genre” or subcategory.”
– Jordan on Goodreads
Remember Me, Synthetica is officially my favorite book that I’ve written, surpassing the storyline of Waking the Dreamer. And after implementing a few changes in my writing and editing process, it’s also the cleanest book of all 11 so far. I’m very proud of that because a clean, well-written novel means a lot to me. Anyway, Synthetica is about the fictional great niece of the late, great, Alan Turing. He was much maligned English genius who was famous for cracking the Enigma code and so much more.
The book is NOT about Alan. Instead, it’s about Alexandra Turing, also a genius, whose passion in life is to create an android that can pass the infamous Turing Test. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and when she wakes from a coma she’s suffered memory loss, personality differences, and sensation amnesia. Despite all that, she navigates her way back into her old life, finding romance, adopting a kitten, and discovering a mystery within her father’s company. It becomes a race to finish her Synthetica project before whatever sinister events are being kept from her come to light. So, read it for the hard science fiction, the romance, humor, kittens, and intrigue. I did say I write blended genres, right?
To recap: I’m a newish author, I’ve won awards, I’m married, have step kids, sleep nude, and I believe in diversity and inclusivity. I’m a #TransAlly and a #BIPOCAlly, and I’m passionate about lifting my fellow authors because kindness matters. Oh, and you should totally read my newest book because it’s fab, even if you aren’t a traditional sci-fi lover. But don’t take my word for it.
Oh, and wear a @$%&# mask!!
Wait…how did that soapbox get here again? LOL
Thank you, Kelly for sharing today. And thank you all for visiting. Be sure to stop by next time when I’ll be presenting something new.
Until Next Time,
Photos subject to copyright.