K.K. Allen has been a long time Facebook & Twitter buddy and I am very pleased to feature her on my blog. Her support of other writers is outstanding and her energy and positive attitude is contagious.
She is the author of the Summer Solstice Series.
Teaser for Book One: Enchanted
After the death of her mother, Katrina Summer is hurled into life at Apollo Beach where she learns of her Ancient Greek ancestors from which the Summer family descends. Kat’s world unravels as secrets from her heritage are exposed. Leading to her birthday, the day of the Summer Solstice, she becomes frightened when enigmatic visions and disturbing dreams start to become reality. Amidst the turmoil, Kat meets Alec Stone, her gorgeous neighbor, who becomes her sole solace in an evocative world of mythological enchantment and evil prophecies that lurk around every corner …
Teaser for Book Two: The Equinox
Katrina Summer finally comes to terms with her enchanted skin as she is challenged with an evil that threatens the Solstice settlement of Apollo Beach. At a private gathering on Summer Island Kat meets the gorgeous Valli sisters, mythological descendants of a different breed, who encourage her to take a deeper look into her new existence. To escape the lurking dangers of the Equinox, which brings outrage and heartbreak to the entire town, Kat accepts a job at the Island Grille where more trouble brews as her handsome, yet brooding co-worker, Johnny, makes life even more challenging. Meanwhile, Kat struggles between her lingering and undeniable attraction for Alec, the secrets that she is forced to keep from him, and a betrayal that sends them on separate paths . . .
The Summer Solstice series is a coming of age, contemporary fantasy with elements of mythology, paranormal, and the supernatural.
K.K. Allen is the author of the Contemporary Fantasy author of stories inspired by nature, magic and love. She loves manatees, learned to swim for the mere purpose of pretending she was a mermaid, and adores the beach so much she promises to one day live in a tent on a Hawaiian beach and serve snow cones on the side of the road. K.K.'s first two books, The Summer Solstice Enchanted and The Equinox are available now.
1. Fantasy, mythology, & fairy tales. Tell us about your reading experiences growing up and what influenced you to become an author.
Since as young as I can remember I was reading, and then writing not long after. Just like most little girls, I dreamt of being a princess, a rockstar, a dancer, a writer, a mermaid, popular among my peers, you name it. At some point I began taking those fantasies to another level and writing about them. I was 12 when I found my love for writing and wrote my first novel. I continued to write this way until I got my first laptop at the age of 21. That was also the year I spent a summer in New York City attending NYU film and dance classes, experiencing every bit of culture I could soak up in three short months. All around me, I was inspired by those who were living their dreams, doing the things they probably dreamt of doing when they were little, just like me. I realized that sometimes dreams do come true, and one day, I could be living out my own dreams, just like them. One year ago I published my first novel, The Summer Solstice Enchanted, and it was obvious to me that this is my dream that I need to pursue, because I've been working toward it my entire life.
2. What made you decide to self publish? Did you try to find an agent/publisher first or was that always your plan?
A great friend told me to publish my book. He had no clue what I wrote, or how I wrote, it was just obvious to him that I loved it. He was impressed that I wrote an entire book and told me to just publish it. Just like that, like he was telling what to order for lunch. It took me about three years to actually listen to him. At that point I had every intention of keeping my pseudenum completely private, terrified my friends would shun me or consider me ridiculous for following a dream. I wrote a query letter and sent it to four very well known literary agents, and then before they even had a chance to respond, I uploaded my book. It wasn't that I was impatient, I simply didn't want their rejections to weigh on my decision to publish or not. It was something I needed to try, and I'm so glad that I did!
3. You have a lot of reviews and some really good ones as well. I would love to know the secret of getting reviews.
Thank you! Let me start out by saying that those who actually take the time to leave a review are superstars in my book. It takes time, thought, and energy to write an honest review. I'm not really sure if there's a secret to getting reviews. If I get emails from readers gushing about my books, or if someone mentions they are interested in reading my book, I always ask for a review. I have no shame! I want to encourage everyone to leave one because it could help someone else determine whether or not my book is for them. Believe it or not, I don't want everyone reading my book, only those who might enjoy it. I also have a section after the last page in my book which encourages readers to leave a review when they are done. It's truly the best gift you can give an author. In turn, I review everything I read because I know how important it is.
4. Is there a book three in the works? What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the third book in the Summer Solstice series, titled The Descendants. This will be the last book in the series, except for some novellas I'm planning on writing to give some close-up looks into certain relationships within the story. I'm anxious to get this book out to my readers! They've been so patient with me this year.
5. What have you learned as an author/self-publisher that you wished you knew when you first started?
Find a great editor or three and let them tear up your work. I made the typical detrimental mistakes at the beginning of my publishing career which I hope I'll one day forgive myself for. Also, making solid connections with other authors in a similar genre as you is key to having a support system in what could be a very long and lonely journey. It's safe to say that my indie author friends are some of my biggest supporters.
6. For those reading this, what would you say to them to convince them to buy your book?
The Summer Solstice series is more than a Contemporary Fantasy; it's a journey through heartbreak, recovery, first love, relationships, and respect for all things nature. Readers are transported into a relatable world with fantasy elements that are somehow believable. The best part—it's fun, magical, and surprising . . .
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