Debut author Kristie Cook contacted me a while ago to be part of the Paranormal Summer Fest, and you guys know how much I like to give a spotlight to debut authors, so Kristie is here to talk to us a bit more about the story of her first book! But before, let me give give you a little introduction to Promise, her first book, releasing July 30th, 2010.
Alexis Ames has a life full of promise…but not all promises can be kept.
When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.
Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.
Promise is the first novel of a series that explores the ideas of how damaged a soul can be before it can no longer be saved and how far we will go to protect the souls we love and those we do not. This first book introduces Alexis and Tristan and their trials and tribulations to unite. Their union is the Angels’ first step as they prepare for the war for human souls to enter the physical realm.
The Story Behind the Story
Promise was an accident. Well, the whole series was really an accident, because I had come to believe I didn’t have a whole novel in me. I was just messing around with a very vague idea of angels and demons. Then a couple of characters came to mind. Before long, I had a rough idea of not just one novel, but an epic story that I thought might span several books. And I had real characters, whom I eventually had to name (Alexis and Tristan).
It all started with this intense scene (which I can’t go into without spoiling anything), but I couldn’t get past that scene. I had an idea of where they would go, needed to go, but I didn’t understand their relationship enough. I realized I needed to know their history – the passion they once had. And they certainly wanted to tell me about it. They wouldn’t shut up.
So, Alexis and Tristan took me back in time. Nine years, to be exact, to when they first met. As I wrote their love story, I thought I was just indulging myself. It was fun to write and good to know for the rest of the series. But so much came out, it became a necessary part of the first book. So Part I was written. Then Parts II and III. And re-written and revised, more times than I care to count.
When I thought it was done, I pursued publication. I had a hard time describing my story, though. Plus, it was incredibly long. About 600 pages or so. A couple writers suggested breaking it into two. Another shared his experience of having to do the same with his own story and yet another pointed out that J.R.R. Tolkien originally wrote The Lord of the Rings as one book, but his publisher made him break it down into three. It still took some time for me to have the a-ha moment, but when it did come, I was surprised my head wasn’t bruised because it had been pounding on me until I finally got it. I couldn’t succinctly summarize the story because there was too much going on. There were two books in one
So, Promise became its own book and Purpose, with that original intense scene, became book two. Purpose is what I set out to write, but the story in Promise needs to be known. It was hard for me to separate them – I still think they make a great story together. With them together, we see an extensive transformation in Alexis (literally!). Now that growth and change takes place over two books. Loose ends in Promise don’t get tied until the end of Purpose and that is frustrating to me and may be frustrating to readers. But there are reasons for it all. Just trust me on that.
In Promise, we learn how Alexis was before and shortly after meeting Tristan – self-protective, afraid of his reaction to her “quirks.” She’s been betrayed in the past and trusts no one. Her biggest fear is abandonment. But then she learns Tristan has secrets of his own and they’re much worse than hers. They are meant to be together – their souls were specifically created for each other – but they must overcome their personal demons first. Add in the enemy – consisting of real demons in the world – that wants to either prevent their union or bring the couple to their side. The results are devastating. You can read the first two chapters at www.IHavePromise.com.
We see a darker side of life and love in Purpose, while Alexis goes through some significant life changes. We also meet more “creatures.” There’s an allusion to these creatures in Promise, but Alexis doesn’t know what they are until the second book. By the end, she not only knows who they are, but she knows more about who she is, too. She comes into her full powers and learns her life’s purpose. She fulfills that purpose in the rest of the series.
I now see Promise as a prologue for the series. After all, while it takes place nine years ago, Purpose and the rest of the series is set in present day. I considered holding it and releasing it as a prequel, but then I needed to add mythology and back-story to Purpose that would leave Promise rather empty. So here it is. An introduction to Alexis and Tristan and the rest of the Soul Savers. I hope you enjoy it…because things get even more intense from here on out. I promise.
Thank you very much Kristie for sharing your path with us! I’m sure it will help some aspiring authors out there =D
Kristie is offering a signed copy of Promise + 5 bookmarks to one of you!
Open to US Only
to enter Please FILL THE FORM
Ends July 4th, 2010.
Feel free to drop a comment for Kristie and spread the word!