The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers
Number of pages: 502
Word Count: 148,139
Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Covers
Portals. Doorways. Gateways. All ways to get in or out of someplace, right?
Nothing weird, spooky or otherworldly about them. Or, at least that’s what Tallis Challinor always thought. Tallis is a practical young woman, a writer, a lover of words and a natural storyteller. But she’s not sure what to do when real-life sucks her into a story far stranger than anything she’s ever imagined.
Tallis discovers that portals are passageways between the human and spirit worlds. She finds out that bent-on-evil ghosts can escape from the spirit realm through those gateways whether they are supposed to or not. And when they do, Tallis finds herself the chosen human, picked by the portal in her basement in New Hampshire, to seek out and return the wayward spirits.
All Tallis wants to do is recover from the loss of her parents and settle into her new home. She’d like a boyfriend, someone like the cute guy, Aiden, down the street. She’d like some girlfriends to talk to and maybe even go shopping with. And she’d like the ghosts, the portal, and the responsibility that has been thrust upon her to disappear.
But when the ghosts threaten her new hometown, her friends, and the family she holds so dear, Tallis discovers the inner courage to meet the portal’s challenge and save those most precious to her. Along the way, Tallis learns that she is more than she’s ever imagined herself to be and that she deserves more than she’s ever dreamed possible.
The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers
Number of pages: 194
Word Count: 52,870
Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Cover
Brittany, France. Near the coast. A picturesque inn. Spectacular scenery. Tasty French treats. Time off from school.
Tallis Challinor imagines this as the perfect vacation scenario, so when her grandfather suggests that she accompany him to the country of her ancestors, she is more than happy to tag along. What Tallis doesn’t bargain on is another ghostly encounter, especially not so soon after she’s sealed up a bunch of unruly ghosts on their side of the portal between the human and spirit realms. But, when she feels the energy radiating from the megalithic standing stones dotting the countryside around Carnac, France, an energy that feels frighteningly like the power exuding from the portal in her basement back home, she has a feeling she might be in trouble. And she is right.
When her grandfather goes missing, Tallis leaps into action. She calls the only ghostbuster she knows in France and, with help on the way, she gears up to battle another set of spirits bent on causing destruction. Along the way, Tallis is forced to examine her life, her relationships, and her tightly-held beliefs about who she is and where she comes from. She also has to juggle two impossible males, both attractive but annoying, both seemingly set on driving her nuts or breaking her heart.
1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
The idea for The Portal’s Choice came to me on a late afternoon in June. I was driving home, approaching an old house that I had driven past several times before. But this time, something about the house and the cemetery next to it sparked my imagination. I felt that there had to be something that happened between the basement of that house and the adjacent graveyard. The feeling wouldn’t go away and when I arrived home I told my kids and my husband that I thought I had a story and what had inspired it. We brainstormed ideas until I knew that I had a young adult novel with a female protagonist. The rest of the story filtered in over the next several weeks as I jotted down notes whenever I had a new thought.
2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
The working title for my book was Tallis Challinor, Ghostbuster. The working title gave me an anchor and a way to organize my chapters. In fact, I had names for all of the chapters as well. The chapter names reminded me of what was in each section of the book. Later, my friend and mentor, Katherine Mariaca-Sullivan, suggested that I needed a better name for the book. My family and I had a lively discussion at dinner one evening and one of my kids hit on the idea of using the word “portal” in the title. Since the portal in the book does indeed choose Tallis, the protagonist, as a gatekeeper, The Portal’s Choice became the logical title for the book.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
I sort of gave this one away with my answer to the previous question so you know that the book came before the name.
4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Every time I hear from a reader, whether through e-mail, personal conversation, or in a review, about how much they loved reading The Portal’s Choice, I am so excited and happy. I write because when I am not in that creative place I am not complete and knowing that other people enjoy the stories I’ve created is a thrill and an honor. Each and every review from a happy reader is the most exciting thing to happen to me.
5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I’m reading Sue Grafton’s newest novel, W is for Wasted. I’ve read all of her books. They are some of my favorites.
6. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
I have two books, both untitled, that I have started but not finished. The first one I started in 2003 but then my family moved in 2004 and I never finished it. The other is set in India and I do plan on finishing that one, hopefully later in 2014.
7. What is your writing process?
I wish I had a really good answer for this question. My writing process is something I struggle with daily and I guess if I have a New Year’s resolution it is to improve my process. Currently, I write in the afternoon. I’d prefer to write in the morning and slowly I’m making that shift. It’s all about prioritizing my time.
- Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I mentioned Sue Grafton in answer 5 and she is one of my favorite authors. I have always loved Agatha Christie books and the complex mysteries she weaves. Two more favorite authors are P.D. James and Elizabeth George. And sometimes only a book by Jane Austen will do. I also enjoy reading young adult authors and have discovered the wonders of the worlds created by J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, and Michael Scott through my kids. Some of my best memories are of reading The Harry Potter series to my children when they were younger.
9. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
This is a tough one and I finally decided to sign books with “Happy Reading” and my name.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a yoga instructor and I received my first certification from my yoga master in Bangalore, India.
11. How do you react to a bad review?
I am human and a bad review makes me unhappy. But I try to limit the amount of time I spend feeling bad about a situation that I can’t control. I remind myself that I can’t please everyone and I am thankful for the readers who enjoy my work.
12. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
The first sale of The Portal’s Choice was on the day it was released. I celebrated the release of the book and the first sale by having lunch with the women in my writing group. It was the perfect way to commemorate both events.
KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. Kelley graduated with a degree in International and Comparative Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After college and marriage to a great guy, she decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her oldest son was born soon after law school, followed three years later by her daughter and a move to Kentucky. One more son, a move to Ohio and four years later, 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, reading one of a dozen books she has started, and dreaming of her future travel destinations.
“The Portal’s Choice”, book one in “The Gatekeeper’s of Em’pyrean” series featuring Tallis Challinor, was released on May 6, 2013.
“The Inn of the Kindred Spirits”, a novella featuring protagonist Tallis Challinor, was released in November 18, 2013.
“The Forgotten Gate”, book two in “The Gatekeeper of Em’pyrean” series, is scheduled for release in 2014.
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