Kyleen Valleaux didn’t choose her pen name, it chose her. She started calling herself Kyleen in online forums as long ago as the nineties! And it stuck. She’s mom to more than just her children too! Her “grandson” is a German Shepard and many, many Internet people call her Mom and rely on her kind ways, quick wit and willing ear. Just ask around, you probably know her or someone she loves.
Want to know more about her? Keep reading! She’s an accomplished author who’s been writing since she was seven. At twelve she took it seriously, ignoring those who would tell her she’d starve if she tried to be an author.
Win a copy of her book!
You can win a copy of Revolt (Dragons of the Thaumaturgic Realm) just by commenting on this post. A winner will be chosen at random from everyone who leaves a comment on this post. (This contest will run from October 1 to October 31, 2017. A winner will be determined by November 7, 2017)
Welcome to the Manic Writer!
This is the October edition of my Indie Author Spotlight. If you are here, you are part of a network of readers and authors who love Indie/small press Authors. Each month I spotlight a new Indie/small press author. You get to ‘meet’ my featured author, and learn how they came to be an author, how they approach their craft and many other exciting facts. You’ll also be eligible for a sweepstakes in which I’ll give away one or more of their books so you can sample their work! What could be more exciting than that?
Last month I spotlighted Santana Young, who tells an amazing story where history meets scifi space opera. The sweepstakes is over but you can still check out her interview and her first book. I loved it, and my review is here.
You can enter the giveaway for a kindle copy of Revolt, (Dragons of the Thaumaturgic Realm) by leaving a comment on this post. I’ll choose a random winner on November 7!
Kyleen Valleaux is your average author who grew up on books and comics and decided to emulate them. She worked in a comic book store as a teenager which only fed her desire to write her own. She has a love of anime which shows up in her writing, especially the Garlon T’zen series. She’s chosen to ignore the naysayers in her life that suggested writing wouldn’t pay the bills and follow her dreams. She still has a trunk full of her work from when she was young and she’s pressing forward with her dream. She has two books published and the sequels to each of them in the works. They will be released in the near future. Scroll down for a sneak peek at their synopsis!
We all know that writing is an individual process. Well, my readers that write know. If you aren’t a writer then trust me, writing is as individual as the authors who do it. Kyleen is no exception.
Kyleen is not able to write full-time at the moment. That pesky need to eat rears it’s head on a daily basis. She writes in the evenings, in the privacy of her bedroom. She says her children know that if she’s writing she shouldn’t be disturbed unless the house is on fire. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened. She also sneaks in writing time when she’s waiting somewhere by writing on her phone. She says she’s gotten a surprising amount of writing in during the breaks at hockey games!
She uses Storyist and Dropbox to organize her work and keep it safe, with the added benefit that it’s available across a variety of platforms. She also keeps a project notebook for ideas she can’t work on yet. She participates in NanoWriMo when her schedule allows. In fact, Revolt was a result of a Nano project that she wrote in 2006. Though she says it has undergone many changes since that first draft.
Kyleen currently has two books published, Manor Town (Chronicles of the Garlon T’zen), and Revolt (Dragons of the Thaumaturgic Realm). They are very different from each other but equally charming and fun to read. You can read my reviews of both of them by clicking on the titles. You can win a copy of Revolt (Dragons of the Thaumaturgic Realm) just by commenting on this post. A winner will be chosen at random from everyone who leaves a comment on this post. (This contest will run from October 1 to October 30, 2017. A winner will be determined by November 7, 2017)
Kyleen wants you to see this review too! She says it gave her smiles for days!
She is currently working on sequels to both books. And she’s shared the titles and synopsis with us here as a sneak preview! (Squee!)
Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Garlon T’zen series will be Homecoming.
After Leader Dessalen takes Kiku’s brother to the Garlon T’zen capital, what sort of mischief will our princess get into? And Dessalen finds that he miscalculated Kiku’s growing feelings for General Lysis. And once the three are reunited, what does that mean for the future of the empire?
I’m excited to find out what’s in store for Kiku’s brother and what she’ll get into next. She’s a curious strong willed girl who rarely does what she’s supposed to. I can relate to that.
Book 2 in the Dragons of the Thaumaturgic Realm series will be titled Conquest.
It’s been five years since Maug’s bond was broken with his mate. And while he is certain she is dead, he lives for their two children. But Bobby is very much alive but living with no memory of her past, having been told that she lost them in a terrible accident that killed her entire family. Can the two of them find each other, and more importantly, rekindle their love, in the midst of the war between the dragons and King Oberon? Or will the Fairy King get his revenge on them all?
I read Revolt recently and I’m saddened that Maug has to spend five years away from his mate. I loved them together and I’m hoping Kyleen feeds my need for a happily ever after. Sadly, even knowing the author rarely helps to influence their story. I’ll have to wait and read, and hope she has the best intentions for them.
Kyleen is an full on Indie author, a choice she made so she would have full control over her work no matter what. She wanted to be free to tell the story she wanted to tell without someone telling her she had to change it. She says her books are her babies and she wants to send them off on her own terms. She believes that the world of publishing is changing and wants to be on the cutting edge of that change.
Kyleen thinks of Indie and small press authors as storytellers, much in the style of the traveling minstrel, only now our stories travel electronically and our voice is heard only in our words. This is better for some of us, who can’t sing at all, ahem.
She says the best part is being her own boss and the worst part is marketing her own books.
Indie and small press authors need drive and commitment to showcase their work but it allows them the independence to tell new and interesting stories that defy cookie cutter plots and market niches. It’s a risk they take on but she cheers them on whenever she can. She says she’s honored to know and love many Indie and small press authors who are creative, funny and have amazing gifts to share with the world.
We both want to remind you that the best way to love your favorite author, no matter how they publish their books, is to reach out and tell them. Kyleen loves fan mail, as do many authors. She loves to hear what people loved about her stories and what they hated.
If you loved a book by an Indie author then suggest your local library add it to their collection. Even better, if you have a local Indie bookshop suggest it to them too. Most Indie authors have swag of some sort, and they will send you some if you offer to pass it out to friends, family and anyone who will listen to you tell them how much you loved the book. Word of mouth is the best advertising for any book.
Indie publishing is a lot of hard work, and it would never happen without the help of friends and coworkers. Kyleen has a long list of people who have made her books a reality.
Personally, she’d like to thank her friends who have stood by her, listened when she needed to talk and talked when she needed to listen. They are all in the publishing business in some way and have shared wisdom when she needed it.
D.R Perry organizes a group called the “Awethors,” booking, managing and creating opportunities for them to be seen at conventions and other public events.
R.R. Virdi is a great friend, always willing to hash out what makes things work and trouble shoot ideas. He’s also a really sweet guy. (I can vouch for this, having met him myself!)
EA Copen has not only been a fellow author for Kyleen, she’s a friend, a listening ear, and support and love when she needs it. She’s taken time to read Kyleen’s work despite it being outside her preferred genre and “too sexy” for her. Her feedback was helpful and encouraging.
Finally she’d like to recognize her editors and cover artists, because where would we be without them? I don’t have to answer that question, do I?
Michelle Dunbar has been her editor for the Dragon series and she doesn’t think anyone could have done a better job with them. She says Michelle made it her business to know and understand the world she’d created so she could do the best job possible.
Anika Willmanns did the cover art for the Dragon series. She’s a talented cover artist who always delivers an amazing cover. Kyleen says not only does she show up with extraordinary talent, but patience as well.
Her Garlon T’zen series was edited by a friend who works professionally but did it as a favor for Kyleen and her cover art was created by HenryEZ on Fiverr.
So that’s about it for Kyleen. Do you love her know? I do! You can win a copy of book 1 in her Dragons series just by commenting. A winner will be chosen at random from everyone who leaves a comment on this post. (This contest will run from October 1 to October 30, 2017. A winner will be determined by November 7, 2017)
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