K.L. Bone is the author of the Bestselling Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series. The Rise of the Temple Gods fantasy series. And a stand-alone sci-fi novel, The Indoctrination.
Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is currently working towards her PhD. She wrote her first short story at the age of fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction.
Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveler, living in California, London, and most recently, Dublin. When not immersed in words of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to mythical sites and Game of Thrones filming locations.
Q. Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I consider myself more of a world traveler than from a particular location. Though I am American, I’ve spent the past five years living in England and Ireland. Both locations have had a powerful impact on my writing.
Both of my series have a predominately medieval setting. My Black Rose series in particular has been heavily influenced by European history from the castles visited to the mythologies incorporated into the novels. I greatly enjoyed taking notes and photographs as I walked through famous locations from the Tower of London to Blarney Castle, experiencing what it was like to stand in actual locations of historical sights.
Q. Tell us your latest news?
I just recently returned from speaking at a Gothic Conference in New Zealand, where I presented a paper on vampires and had an amazing time exploring Lord of the Rings locations and seeing the beauty of the country!
As far as book news, I am excited to say that I will have two new novels being released in the summer of this year, Shadow of the Rose and Silver Rose, books 4 and 5 in the bestselling dark fantasy Black Rose Guard series!
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember, though what I consider to be my first real piece was a ten-page short story in the ninth grade. The story was entered in a state-wide writing competition in which I placed third. It would later become my first full-length novel, a stand-alone science-fiction piece titled The Indoctrination.
My bestselling dark fantasy Black Rose Guard series originated from a short story written for a freshman college course, though it would not be published until many years later. My first novel was published in 2013.
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
Oh my goodness, too many to list! I guess among those at the top would be:
As a student of literature, I’d have to include some of the more classical influences. Among them are Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and many ancient myths such as those of King Arthur, Lancelot, or Tristan & Isolde.
Becket, author of Key the Steampunk Vampire Girl and Greg Wilkey, author of The Life and Undeath of Mortimer Drake, have to be included. I had the privilege of meeting both of these amazing authors when I was first considering publishing a novel. Listening to their experiences, struggles and triumphs in publishing their own work helped me to find the courage to release my own.
I’d also have to say Anne Rice, who I had the pleasure of meeting when I was invited to attend the Undead Con and Vampire Lestat Ball in New Orleans as a guest author. Her dark twists, gothic overtones, heroic villains and lovely descriptions had a great influence on my work; especially within the novels of the Black Rose series.
My former writing mentor Lilith Saintcrow, who taught me so much about the writing process and Skyla Dawn Cameron, author of the Livi Talbot series, who has guided me through the publishing process in a way I will never be able to repay.
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
The characters are like friends. I’m honestly not quite sure where they came from except in that, like any good friend, they appeared and introduced themselves one day.
In my Rise of the Temple Gods series, I actually met the character of Princess Mariana in a short story I wrote for a college course. After the shorter work was complete, I became interested in knowing more about her. I wrote several additional short pieces involving her, stories that were seen only by myself. As she took me back through her childhood to castle and magical temples and introduced me to other characters in her life, I eventually gained enough information to sit down and being to tell her actual story, which became the first novel in the series, Heir to Kale.
Black Rose was also a novel which was first begun in a college course, though it took much longer to reach full realization. The novel’s development was heavily influenced by the myths of England and ancient Ireland, as are many of the locations and castles found within the story.
I’m not the type of author who generally writes detailed outlines for a story. My writing tends to be more organic where I begin with a few ideas and vague direction and the writing carries me through unseen twists where even I have no idea how a tale will end until I get there.
Q. What motivates you to write?
I love writing, always have. Writing is an outlet for me to express what I’m thinking and feeling through the fiction world of my characters. It’s also a form of escape, a chance to play in a fantasy realm and create new myths. I love how the characters will tell me their stories, piece by piece, allowing me to figure out who they are and to join them through their fantastical journeys.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
That would be writing book blurbs and tag-lines. I always struggle with the idea of attempting to describe an entire novel in a few paragraphs while at the same time, not revealing any of the novel’s secrets.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have learned so much from writing these novels. They’ve involved a great deal of research on topics from marital arts for Rise of the Temple Gods series to European mythology and history for the Black Rose series. Research is an incredibly important part of my writing process, whether it involves answering questions such as: What type of flowers would be found commonly on the Irish coast? What is the name of the goddess of mercy? What type of sword would a knight have carried in the 1400s? Or the origins of terms, such as would ‘mother’ have been used in the 9th century or would it instead be Ma or Mama?
In my experience, learning and writing always go hand in hand.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
Living in Europe heavily influenced my writing, particularly for Black Rose. It is loosely based in Irish myth and interlaced with the mythology of various European legends.
My inspiration for Black Rose came from a version of Tristan and Isolde I came across, in which the story told of the grave of two fallen lovers, from which grew a vine and a rose continually connecting their graves. The magic of the roses set my mind spinning with ideas and the series grew from there.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive of my writing and has always encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
The best writing advice I received as a young author was from NYT Bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton. At a signing in St. Louis, Hamilton said to choose a wall in the house and cover it with rejection. Only when it was completely full, could an author start dreaming of acceptance.
For me, this statement holds true not only for the rejection letters received from agents and publishers, but for the experience of being a writer in itself. Being an author is to put your work up to the test of public scrutiny. Not everyone will love what you write, and being faced with rejection, negative reviews, and other such setbacks can be difficult. It is one’s ability to understand that such criticism is part of the writer’s journey that helps transform aspiring authors into professionals.
The second piece of advice that I would give, is: write the story you want to read. If you want to read it, others will too!
Q. What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Greg’s Wilkey newest release, Deadly Little Friends, book 3 in the Neither Nor series and Confess by Erin McFadden.
Black Rose ~ The Black Rose Book 1
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“May the Black Rose protect you in life and avenge you in death.” – Vow of the Black Rose
Six hundred years ago, the Muir Court was wiped from existence, destroyed by an elite group known as the Black Rose Guard. Their Captain, Mara, has a reputation of being a harsh woman who leads the guard with a fierce formality. During her long years, she has known pain, loss, heartache…and one great love.
Edward was the Captain of the Royal Guard. He loved her once. However, it was a love that faded the day he met young Liza, the Princess who stole the heart he had once sworn belonged to Mara alone. Liza was also the woman that Mara was fated to protect. When the Queen learns of her daughter’s forbidden love for Edward, she devises a series of punishments, torturing Edward while her daughter is forced to watch. In a an act of desperation, Mara takes Liza’s place and looks on helplessly as Edward endures the torments which break his body and Mara’s soul.
All of their pain is put aside when Liza is murdered by the rulers of a rival court. Haunted by her failure to protect the Princess and adhering to tradition, Mara takes the vow of the ‘Black Rose.’ It is an ancient oath which ties those under its power to abandon the lives they knew for the sake of a single goal: vengeance. Her quest leads her on a dark path of violence, rage and bloodshed.
Tormented by a fate they can neither accept nor escape, Black Rose is a tale of retribution, love, and above all, honor—at any cost.
*Includes map illustrated by Raven Quinn*
Heart of the Rose ~ A Tale of the Black Rose Guard
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Reunite with the captains of the Immortal Guard and witness Mara and Edward at the beginning of their epic love story, which spans more than a millennium of heartache, pain, and undying devotion.
When Edward is sent on a mysterious quest by the ruthless queen, nineteen-year-old Mara—the youngest sub-captain to ever serve the Royal Guard—vowed to await his return, never anticipating decades would pass without word of his fate. The noble captain is taken prisoner by a rival court where he is forced to endure years of brutal torment at the hands of his captors. His life clings to but a single thought—Mara.
Refusing to accept that her love will never return, Mara clutches to a hope which defies the bounds of reason. However as years pass, memories fade from comfort to unbearable grief. As Mara prepares to accept the unimaginable loss, a sinister creature of roses and shadow haunts her dreams. Dreams of blood. Dreams of torment. Dreams of Edward.
The dark presence lingers, and Mara finds herself trapped in a certainty she fears no other will believe—even those closest to her heart. She must choose between honoring her vows to the immortal courts to which she has sworn her life, or leaving to search for the man who possesses her soul.
Dive into the beginning of the tale that shapes the most feared, most loved, and most revered captain in the history of the immortal courts.
Blood Rose ~ The Blood Rose Book 3
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“…a story of strength and determination, actions and consequences, deep love and dark desires.”— Greg Wilkey, Author of Growing Up Dead
“May the Black Rose protect you in life and avenge you in death.” – Vow of the Black Rose
A woman with no memory of her past. Another unable to forget. Both haunted by a sinister creature of roses and shadow with an unquenchable thirst for royal blood. Return to the world of the Black Rose Guard.
Mara, Captain of the Black Rose for over eight hundred years, thought she had taken her last immortal life. But now, with her sub-captain dead at the hands of the Arum Court, she again must don the blade she vowed to never raise again. However, the task will prove ever more dangerous as the shadow of Mara’s past returns to awaken the long-dormant roses.
Reunited with her lost love, Mara must also come to terms with her past in order to embrace her future. Can she forgive the man she loves for betraying her heart? And can she redeem herself for the death of the princess she failed to save?
Across the sea, Sandra is haunted by the same presence, leading her deeper into the pieces of her mysterious past. Echoes of memory. Glimpses of fate. And a secret that will change everything for both herself and the captains who seek to rescue her from the hands of Mathew, King of the Arum Court, who has a dark agenda of his own.
Join the captains of the Immortal Guard on their journey toward honor, vengeance, forgiveness, and a love that refused to be banished.
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