26 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Guest Post by KD Pryor, Author of The Portal’s Choice

Today we are going to find out a bit about Young Adult author KD Pryor, whose debut novel, The Portal’s Choice, was released on May 6, 2013 by Madaket Lane Publishers.

How did you become a writer?

I have always loved to write and to keep a journal. Sometimes my journals were only short notes jotted into a calendar, but I’ve always been good at conveying my meaning in few words. I love those calendars now. I wrote a great deal in college and law school and that was non-fiction. That kind of writing is very satisfying and it helped to hone my research skills. I started my first novel in 2002 and it remains unfinished. In 2009 I enrolled for a writing course entitled “Writing a Compelling Novel.” I met my current writing group and my publisher through that course. At that time, my family had recently moved back to the States after four years in Bangalore, India and I was working on a story set primarily in India. That all changed when inspiration struck and the idea for The Portal’s Choice was born.

What inspired you to write The Portal’s Choice?

Late one afternoon in June, as I was driving, I approached an old house situated next to a cemetery. I’d seen this particular house before, but on that day something struck me as different about the place. I had the strong sense that there was a connection between the basement of that old house and the ancient graveyard next to it. At first I wasn’t sure what was going on, and it took some brainstorming with my husband and kids before I finally hit upon the notion of a portal between the human and spirit realms located in the basement of the house.

What kind of research did you have to do in order write the book?

I did a fair amount of research as I wrote The Portal’s Choice. My first step in writing is figuring out my characters and an important aspect of any character is his or her name. It’s very important to me to choose names that illustrate key qualities of my characters. For instance, the head gatekeeper of the spirit realm is named Porteur. In French, Porteur means gatekeeper. The perfect name for this character. My main character is Tallis. In Greek, this name means truth and noble. I think that Tallis embodies these words. Tallis’ uncle, Nories, is a gatekeeper on the human side. His name means caretaker.

As I wrote, I created my idea of the spirit realm. I researched extensively for old words to use as the names for each level of the spirit realm. I also used ancient words as names for different sorts of spirits in the book.

Research takes time, but I believe that being precise and using words and names that reflect the meanings and nuances in the book add depth and believability, even in a seemingly unbelievable situation.

Do you believe the after-life is like this and why?

I have no idea if my conceptualization of the after-life in The Portal’s Choice is correct. I enjoy reading books concerning the after-life, the possibility of more than one lifetime for each soul, and the many different beliefs held by various traditions about spirituality. I trained as a yoga teacher in India and I believe that some of what I learned is reflected in my book, with my own twists and turns, of course. None of what I write is meant to be taken as true, only as a reflection of my imagination based on my life experiences. And, most importantly, it is meant to be fun to read.

Were any of the characters based on someone you knew?

None of my characters is based upon a real person. It is hard, however, not to add small pieces of real life into a story. I admit that a few of the character traits in the book might have stemmed from personal experience. As an example, in one part of the book, Tallis comments on her Aunt Gabbie’s use of aprons because Gabbie is a messy cook. I am the world’s messiest cook and I use aprons when I prepare a meal. I actually love aprons and my favorite one I purchased on the Rue Cler in Paris, France. I feel as if I’m back in France when I wear this apron. Now, if only my meals were so amazing!

Is Landry, NH a real town or is it based on a real town? If, so, what town is it?

Landry, New Hampshire exists purely in my imagination. However, I did have inspiration for Landry. I live in a small town in New Hampshire, so that town and the surrounding communities are, of course, my primary sources of inspiration. I wrote about the snow in New Hampshire and the graveyard I wrote was influenced by the cemeteries in New England. I also had another small town in mind when I wrote and that town was in Kansas, where I went to law school. I based the house where Tallis Challinor lives on the first home my husband and I purchased in Lawrence, Kansas. It was easy to see the interior of that house in my mind and, luckily, the house looked very similar to the house next to the cemetery that prompted the writing of The Portal’s Choice.

How did writing The Portal’s Choice change you or affect your life?

Before I finished The Portal’s Choice, I had my doubts as to whether I could actually bring a book with twists, turns and complications to a successful conclusion. I am very proud of what I accomplished with my first book and am more confident in my own writing process. I am now working on book two in the series, The Forgotten Gate.

The Portal’s Choice is the first book in a series, The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean. How many books to you envision in the series?

The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean series will encompass three trilogies, or nine books, when complete. Each trilogy will introduce my readers to a new gatekeeper and a new set of adventures.

Do you have a process for writing and what is it?

I have my best writing days when I get up early, take some time to center and meditate, and write from a place of peaceful concentration. I am human, and that process doesn’t always happen. I am working on my discipline as a writer. I’m also trying to train my kids to clean the house and do the laundry. That hasn’t worked as well as I’d like but they are great kids all the same.

What is your favorite hobby when you aren’t writing?

I love to travel. Living in India with my family was an adventure that I will treasure forever and the opportunity we had to see so much of the world was priceless. I am fortunate to still be able to travel back to India and to many other fascinating places with my husband and kids.

About the Author:
KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. After college in Texas, marriage to a great guy, law school in Kansas, and the arrival of three kids, she and her family jumped on the opportunity to move to India. They lived in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, for four wonderfully chaotic years, traveling all over Asia, Australia and Europe. Now, settled in New Hampshire with her family and herd of cats (only three), she can often be found in her office, working on the next installment of The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean series and dreaming of her future travel destinations.

About the Book:
Journal, just in case . . .

I didn’t ask to meet ghosts. Shoot, I was fine without them in my life. Uncle Craig and Hannah were nasty to me, but at least I knew how to handle alive pains in the butt. Now I have to figure out how to open and close a portal between the human and spirit worlds. And I have to find and return a bunch of angry ghosts through the gateway and lock them on their side. I don’t know why the portal chose me to do this, a fifteen-year-old kid with no ghost busting experience. But it did. And if I want a ghost-free night’s sleep anytime soon, I’d better figure out how to get the job done. Because I’ve about had it with murderous ghouls and their unpleasant agendas. “Signed Tallis Challinor”

After the death of her parents, Tallis Challinor and her brother Wyatt must move to the Midwest to live with their dead mother’s sister and her family. When Aunt Sandra dies three-and-a-half years later, Tallis and Wyatt find themselves moving yet again, this time to New Hampshire to live with their father’s sister, Aunt Gabbie, and her husband Noreis. Gabbie is young, pretty and fun. Tallis remembers being a little girl and playing with her Aunt at the family home in California, before her parents died. So Tallis is excited to re-locate and reconnect with Gabbie. But what should have been a happy reunion is plagued with problems when Noreis opens a portal between the spirit and human worlds located in the basement of the house.

Tallis is a practical kid. She doesn’t believe that ghosts exist. But she can’t deny what she sees with her own eyes and the two ghosts Tallis meets at Thanksgiving in the basement of her aunt’s house are definitely not figments of her imagination, although she wishes they were. Tallis is unwittingly drawn into the portal’s energy when one of the ghosts fixates on her and forces her to assist in the release of three particularly nasty spirits. As a final blow, the portal chooses Tallis as a temporary gatekeeper and she finds herself charged with the duty of returning the very ghouls she’s set free, plus a few of their buddies, back to the spirit realm.

As Tallis learns the secrets of the portal and begins to understand her newly acquired power, she formulates a plan to return the ghosts. Along the way, she receives help from many new friends who fill in the details about the identity of the escaped spirits, providing a possible motive for the outrageous actions of the escaped ghosts. Tallis must learn to trust herself and others as she taps into her inner courage to get the job done and save her town from the angry restless dead set.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.