Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Interview With Kelley Harvey, Author of BREATHE

During a chance encounter during one of my daughter's school field trips, I met a person with whom I had a scintillating conversation about books. This person later tipped me off about debut author Kelley Harvey and her New Adult science fiction romance BREATHE. How cool is that? Signing up to be a chaperone can pay off in unexpected ways!

On the heels of my (non-spoiler) tag post for BREATHE, I invited the author aboard for an interview so we could learn more about her Devastation series. This series features an alien-hybrid hero, a heroine with a secret, and their burgeoning romance amid both tragic and unusual circumstances. 

Here's the blurb:

The summer after graduation, Lexa falls for Gabe, but can she trust her new love with the secret of a lifetime?

Secrets rule Lexa's life. After her move to Texas for college, she develops feelings for her life-long friend. But Gabe’s gone emotionally bi-polar, ice cold one minute, volcanic the next, and Lexa’s not even sure he is her friend any more. As she struggles to regain control over her shaken world, Lexa wakes one morning with wings. Panic sets in and she keeps her discovery to herself. Everyone has secrets, but revealing hers could land her on a lab table, and that’s not where she wants to spend freshman year.

When Gabe learns he’s an alien-hybrid, it changes everything. Now, he's rethinking his entire existence. After he lays a mind-melting kiss on her, Lexa wants to ditch their platonic status, but Gabe’s certain a move like that will ruin their relationship. However, resisting her is almost impossible. Can he figure out how to keep his secret and his best friend?

They think it can't get worse.

They're wrong. 


And now for my interview with Kelley Harvey!

The Galaxy Express: BREATHE is the first installment of your Devastation series. What does "devastation" symbolize or refer to? 

Kelley Harvey: First, please let me thank you for featuring BREATHE, Heather, and for doing this interview. I truly appreciate you and your blog. Okay, on to the question. Devastation refers to a point in the story (which comes in BREAK, episode 2) where one of the characters is so distraught over what’s happened, s/he is completely devastated, the loss so great, it blankets him/her in utter darkness. 

TGE: What inspired you to write this series?

KH: Of all things, a drawing my daughter Alex drew of a girl angel fitted out in full battle gear, shin guards, breast plate, sword, shield, the whole nine. However, my characters aren’t angels in the least.

TGE: BREATHE has superhuman/superhero elements, especially given how some of the characters come of age and discover their unique natures. Are you a fan of superhero stories? If so, what are some of your favorites?

KH: ABSOLUTELY! I love almost ALL the super heroes… my most favorite ever is THOR… but in all honesty, that happened after Chris Hemsworth was cast in that role. Can you say HOLY HOTNESS??? But I have loved super heroes since I was about five and we got our very first VCR. For some, you might remember, back when they first came out the movies were super expensive. For the longest time my family owned only two movies. One was Patton, the other SUPERMAN. Now, which do you think a young girl would like best? I will always imagine Christopher Reeve as Superman, no matter how many hotties play him through time.

TGE: What appealed to you about mixing science fiction and New Adult characters?

KH: To be honest, this story was first written as a young adult book. My daughter, at the time she drew that picture, was only fifteen. But as more of my early readers gave me feedback, I heard more and more often that they’d love it if the characters were older. Plus, as a self published author, I hope to reach a wider audience with New Adult characters than Young Adult. Truthfully, I love that I could up the heat level with older characters. It was so fun moving them up in age and getting to add some spicier elements to the story.

TGE: What kinds of heroes and heroines do you enjoy writing about?

KH: I know some people love the beta male, but I’m an alpha male kinda girl, and writer. I married an alpha and find them super sexy. I also love to put them in their place sometimes. As for my heroines, I write them however they evolve in my head. Actually, I guess that happens with the guys as well. Believe it or not, I’ve often started books with one kind of character and as the story builds the character tells me who they are and how they want to behave and react to the other characters and the situations they encounter.

TGE: BREATHE takes place during the summer. Will any part of future installments take place while Lexa and Gabe are in college? 

KH: In BREAK, Episode 2, they do move to their apartment to start school, but there will be a huge wrench, or two, thrown in, which rather ruins the college plan. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

TGE: Are you a coffee or tea person?

KH: Coffee… copious amounts of it. YUMMMMMMM.

TGE: What's the last film or television show you watched that featured aliens?

KH: I watched Prometheus again the other night. Not my favorite, but I was editing and it was on. I watched, because I love aliens and if there’s an alien movie, t.v. show, or even quasi-documentary with aliens, I’m likely to be found watching it. 

TGE: Given that BREATHE ends on a major cliffhanger, tell us about how the Devastation series will be published.

KH: The plan is to release Episode 2, BREAK, either at the very end of January, or super early in February. Then BLEED, Episode 3, will likely release about six to eight weeks later. After that, remaining episodes will release as I finish writing them and make sure they are reader-ready.

My hope is to release one at least every eight to twelve weeks until the series is complete. I envision at least six episodes, but possibly eight or more. It all depends on the characters and the worlds they encounter (that’s not a spoiler; I hope you guys would figure out the entire series won’t be Earthbound). I will warn you; these are episodes, much like a television series, so, more than one might end on a cliffhanger. The great thing is, I don’t intend to make my wonderful readers wait an entire year to find out what happens next.

TGE: What was the most challenging aspect of writing the Devastation series? The most rewarding?

The most challenging thing? Dreaming up fresh ideas as so many amazing science fiction books and movies have been written and made. It’s hard to create characters and aliens completely different from anything else, but I can try to ensure they don’t feel over-used or cliché. I really hope I’ve accomplished this with Lexa, Gabe, and Nathaniel.

The most rewarding? That’s easy. Reader response. When someone reads and loves Lexa, Gabe, and Nathaniel, and then talk to me about them like they’re real people (because to me they are), it makes me smile like a drunken chimpanzee. Above even that are my daughter Alex’s feelings for this story. I originally wrote it for her. She loves The Devastation Series. Believe me, this was no easy feat. My Alex is very much like me, she’s quite opinionated and has a hard time not telling it like it is, as I wrote BREATHE, she’d read over my shoulder and comment on anything she felt wasn’t genuine or didn’t seem quite right. But now that it’s done, she truly loves it and is dying for me to get the paperback copies so she can display it on her bookshelf. This makes me smile like a demented llama and clap like a circus seal. ;)

TGE: Where can readers find you?

Find my website/blog: www.kelleyharvey.com

Follow me on Twitter: @KHarveyWrites

BREATHE, Episode 1 of The Devastation Series, on Goodreads

Find BREATHE at Amazon. BREATHE is available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Ms. Harvey, thanks so much for your time, and for your art.

Joyfully yours,