Izzy’s Insights – Interview with Character Dage Kayrs…Take 2

on January 26, 2012


Sergej Khakimullin

My name is Izzy and I interview book characters.  Many people say I’m a character, myself.  *Snort*.  That’s nice of them.  I’m hoping Rebecca lets me interview a bunch of her characters–I can’t wait to be in the same room with all of the Kayrs brothers.  MEOW.

So, I tried interviewing the king once before, and his brothers showed up to cause havoc.  Talen is particularly tiresome when it comes to interviews…who knows why.  But Dage agreed to meet me again and this time we met at a very quaint coffee shop that’s off the grid.  The coffee is spectacular and there’s free WiFi, so even if our meeting got cut short, I was happy.  For those of you who haven’t met Dage yet, he’s about six and a half feet tall, packed hard, with black hair and incredible silver eyes.  Frankly, it shows he trusts us that he’s not hiding the odd color.  Here’s the transcript of the interview, with a couple of my thoughts thrown in:

ME:  So.  Thank you for trying this again.  I’m sorry about last time.

DAGE:  That certainly wasn’t your fault.  Sometimes my brothers are a handful.

If that wasn’t the understatement of the millennium, I don’t know what was.  But I nodded and gave him my most professional smile.  He smiled back…not fooled a bit.

ME:  So, I wanted to talk to you about Max’s mission – I believe he left the other day.

DAGE:  Interesting.  Why do you believe that?

Okay.  Vampires can be kind of scary and this one scarier than most.  Even though his tone stayed calm and no expression crossed his face, an odd tension made the air around us kind of heavy.  The king probably didn’t like his information getting out.

ME:  My sources are pretty good.  And this interview won’t run until Max has finished his mission (but about a month before TEMPTED, Max’s story, comes out—don’t tell the king), so there’s no reason not to talk about it.

DAGE:  Hmmm.  Okay.  We’ll discuss Max and then we’ll discuss your sources in my organization.  Basically, there’s a woman named Sarah Pringle who has created a blog and website about the Kurjans.  They’re after her, and we need to get to her before they do. 

(The Kurjans are the bad guys–pasty faced bad vampires afraid of the sun.  Unlike the good vampires).

ME:  You’re going to let her keep the website up?

DAGE:  No.  Jase already took it down and posted information about her writing a good book.  The website has been taken care of.  Now we just need to get her records from the insane asylum because I’m sure she told them all about the Kurjans.  We can’t have that information out there.

A bit of concern had me sitting back in my chair.  What exactly were the vampires going to do to poor possibly-crazy Sarah Pringle?

ME:  I find it odd you sent Max.  I mean, he’s Janie’s bodyguard now.  What did he used to be?

DAGE:  Max has always been part of the family…serving as my bodyguard as well as one of my best hunters.  The guy is a Russian bloodhound when it comes to hunting.

ME:  Ah…okay.

To be honest, I’ve met Max.  The guy isn’t just a hunter. 

ME:  But why Max?  Many of your people are scouts, including Conn.  Why send Max?

DAGE:  Let’s just say I think Max is the right guy for the job.

A really cute twinkle entered the king’s eye at this point and for a second, I could just stare.  Then I shook it off and got back to business, reminding myself that I was a professional and the guy had a mate.  I mean, really.

ME:  Are you matchmaking, king?

DAGE:  I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.

At this point, a barista sauntered up to give the king a free muffin.  I mean, seriously.  It’s a coffee shop.  You order at the counter and take your own food to your table.  Okay, I’m not just irritated that she didn’t bring me a muffin.  I’m irritated on Emma’s behalf.  Dage politely thanked the woman, keeping his attention on me.  She returned to the counter, her butt swaying the whole time.

ME:  I bet that happens a lot to you.

DAGE:  What happens to me?

Man, guys are clueless.  Even immortal deadly ones.

ME:  Forget it.  So, I have to know, does Max get a happy ending?

The peace was too good to last.  I should’ve started with the main question.  Guess who showed up?  NOPE!  It wasn’t Talen.  Jase, the youngest brother, hustled inside, his brown hair ruffled and eyes flashing.

DAGE:  What’s happened?

JASE:  Something’s going on with the witches…Conn is leaving now.  We have to go.

Darn it.  My source in the Realm hadn’t reported anything about the witches.  I mean, we all knew Conn was heading to Ireland to collect his witch soon (and I fully expect she’s not going to allow any sort of collection), but I hadn’t known it would be this quickly.

DAGE:  Izzy, I appreciate your time, but I need to get going.

The darn barista, who had somehow lost a couple buttons on her shirt, hustled over, her gaze on Jase.  So, yeah.  The guy is seriously hot.  But I mean, come on.

ME:  I’d like to talk about Conn and his mission to Ireland.

Dage flashed a smile as he stood to join Jase. 

DAGE:  I’ll arrange for an interview with Conn when he gets back.  You’ll enjoy meeting him.  And we’ll discuss your sources in the Realm next time.

Okay, it was kind of a threat.  Then, well…the coffee chick made a move.  Not a kill ya type of move.  But an almost genuine trip to basically land in Jase’s arms.  They got all tangled up, and he ended up just picking her up.  The woman beamed.  Then she pouted really pretty when he put her down with a smile and whispered something in her ear.  The Kayrs men left.  I took a look at the flushed waitress.

ME:  What did he say?

NEARLY TOPLESS WAITRESS:  He said he’d be back next week

Excellent.  So will I.  🙂

What’s the Deal with Slander?

on October 10, 2011

Welcome to legal musings!  I haven’t written a legal blog in a while and thought maybe I should.  While I’d like to discuss the legislation regarding internet piracy, that bill has been stalled in committee and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Some time ago there was a hubbub on twitter about an agent allegedly threatening a client with a slander case because the client allegedly talked about their current contract on the internet.  Note that I have no idea if this really happened or not.  However, it does bring up a couple of interesting issues regarding slander (spoken) or libel (written).  Basically:


Yeah.  So if you’re saying the truth…you can’t be sued for slander.  Well, now…you can be sued.  I mean, anybody can file a lawsuit.  But you’re going to win for sure because you’re telling the truth.  People don’t tend to realize this.  The truth can be mean and even hurtful…but it isn’t slanderous. 

Also, your opinion is mostly protected.  If you’re just giving your opinion (I think Bob is a total jerk), then you’re probably all right.

So what if we’re not telling the truth?  Something to think about is that unlike most areas of the law, slander/libel law treats different victims differently.  How odd is that?  Public figures (actors, famous writers, politicians) are treated differently.  You can say meaner things about a famous person than you can your next door neighbor. 

In other words, if you’re a famous author and someone slanders you…you have to prove they did it maliciously.  Your Aunt Betty doesn’t.  Why is this?  According to the United States Supreme Court, public officials and celebrities, the Court has said, have chosen to step into the limelight and subject themselves to public scrutiny. They need less protection because they have more opportunities to counter false information published about them.  See New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, (1964), and Hatfield vs. New York Times, 532 F.3d 312 (C.A.4 Va. 2008.)

So there’s a brief overview of slander and libel law.  Though we all should just go back to what we learned in Kindergarden…if you can’t say anything nice…

CYA Disclaimer:  This is not legal advice.  If you need legal advice, hire a lawyer.  If you’re planning on slandering someone…stop it.  Karma doesn’t follow the U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Karma will nail your butt.  If you’re being slandered, tell all the writers on your yahoo loop–we often work with karma to find justice.  Again…this is not legal advice.  Just sayin.

CLAIMED’s first Review…

on August 8, 2011

Hi all!  The fabulous Wanda over at Good Choice Reading just posted the first review for Claimed.  She seems to like the Kayrs brothers.  To quote Wanda, “all the brothers are sexy. If I were one of their mates, I wouldn’t let my mate out of my sight. The power they all possess will make any woman fall on her knees (Literally).”  🙂

Also…there’s a contest going on at Good Choice for an ARC of Claimed as well as a signed copy of Fated.  I think the contest runs until next Sunday.  Drop by here and comment to win.

Agents as Publishers…We only have one Butt

on August 1, 2011

The writing loops have exploded with news that literary agencies are opening up self-publishing businesses for their clients as well as other writers.  While these folks may have the best of intentions, this violates the law of agency—if the agent is both the agent and the publisher.

Yeah, I know ‘violates’ is a tough word. Here’s a definition of agency law:  The law of agency is an area of contract law when a person, called the agent, is authorized to act on behalf of another (the author in this case) to create a legal relationship with a third party(the publisher in this case).  The term “third party” pretty much shows us what’s wrong with a literary agent also acting as a publisher. 

(Note:  An agent assisting an author with self-publishing is different from an agent opening up a publishing business.)

So, when an agent negotiates with a publisher for a deal—how in the world does an agent
negotiate with herself for the deal?  Can’t be done.  No matter how honorable and good intentioned the agent (and I truly believe these folks are both), it is physically impossible to sit on opposite sides of a table at the same time.  We only have one butt, and it has to be in one chair.

An agent owes a fiduciary duty to his/her client—and the agent’s goal can never be counter-productive or opposite to the client’s.  There’s no way an agent can fight hard for her client—when she’s fighting with herself and her bottom line.  No matter how nice the agent.

So, is there a conflict of interest?  Yep.  Anything that isn’t directly in the client’s interest…is a conflict. 

This has nothing to do with trust, loyalty or track record.  Agency law is…agency law.  It’s quite simple.

CYA Disclaimer:  This is not legal advice.  If you need legal advice, hire a lawyer.  Especially if you’re in Colorado, Utah, or Wyoming.  Those guys need to buy skis every year — and boy are those expensive.  The opinions expressed, while brilliant, are mine and you should get your own.  In fact, there are so many lawyers out there right now, law schools are cutting down on admissions.  We only want to tempt fate so much.

Ten Things I’ve Learned after My First Book was Released

on July 28, 2011

1) Romance readers have some serious depth.  I spent several emails with one fan about the philosophy of good vs. evil and whether the Kurjans even had a chance to be good.  Loved it!

2)    Any jackass can leave a review on goodreads or amazon.  My favorite was the gal who sent people to buy her book instead.  Classy.

3)    Readers like the heartwarming stuff…even in a sexy book.  I’ve had more comments about how cute the big, bad, vamps are with little Janie. 

4)    People who tell you the ‘sex is too much’ in book one…have already preordered book 2.  Yeah.  You know who you are.  🙂

5)    If someone tells me how wonderful the “world building” was…the sex may have been too much for them.

6)    Getting stressed about aspiring authors dropping your name to your editor or agent is just silly…they’re used to it.

7)    It’s a high-low profession.  One day a national magazine recommends your
book…the next day another national magazine doesn’t like your characters.  Keep it steady by remembering…it’s all about the story.  Forget the rest.

8)    Promotion and social media are a must.  But writing the story should always come first.

9)    Your editor is on your side—completely.  Anyone who thinks it’s a battle between the author and the editor…probably doesn’t have an editor yet.

10)  It’s okay to say ‘no’…even if you’re a nice person and really do want to help people.  Unfortunately, there’s only so much time in the day, and hopefully you have a life too.  Protect that.