Well, no. Obviously not. Kyra is a real human being. This is just her cartoon self. Let's take it as a clue that she's rather cute but wants to stay incognito.
That's the book Kyra wants to talk to us about:
Looks like fantasy romance, doesn't it?
That's because that's what it is.
Now, Kyra...tell us all your secrets...
Who are you?
I am Kyra Halland, author of dark-edged tales of fantasy and romance.
Where are you?
I live in southern Arizona with my husband, younger son (our older son has been out on his own for several years now), and two cats.
How are you?
I'm really happy to be featured here! I'm also working hard on a couple of different novels: The Lost Book of Anggird, which I'll be releasing later this month, and the sixth book of my fantasy-western series, Daughter of the Wildings, and having lots of fun with them.
Which book do you want to talk about? Tell us briefly what it is about.
My current novel is Chosen of Azara. It's a cross-generation tale of the destruction of the beautiful land of Savaru and the quest to restore it to life. It's also a romance between Sevry, the last king of Savaru, and Lucie, the woman who unknowingly holds the key to bringing Savaru back to life.
Why did you write it?
I usually get my story ideas as images of characters that appear in my mind. For this story, I got an image of a young woman alone in the forest who sees a vision of a man she doesn't know. Then, some time later, the man appears at her home, looking for her. I put this idea into a world I was building, where magic comes from Sources, or various natural features such as caves, rivers, ocean coves, mountains, etc. I thought it was a very tragic and romantic story, set in this really cool world, and I loved writing it.
Tell us about your main character. What does he/she look like, love, hate, dream of? What qualities/flaws/principles does he/she have?
There are actually three main characters in Chosen of Azara.
Juzeva is a princess of Savaru who is married to a prince of the enemy Madrinan Empire in an effort to ensure peace between their lands. But she is betrayed, her land is destroyed, and she disappears, taking the secret of Savaru's survival with her. She is young, and like all Savarunans, black-haired, blue-eyed, and fair-skinned. She is dedicated to the service of the magical Source Azara, and it breaks her heart to have to leave her Source to marry the foreign prince. She is entrusted with the key to renewing the land and Sources of Savaru, and her entire purpose becomes to protect that secret and her daughter, who will inherit the secret after her.
Sevry is Juzeva's nephew. After the royal family is mostly destroyed, he becomes king of Savaru, but he is unable to save his land and people. He is twenty-three at the time his people are destroyed, and with the aid of magic he sets out on a quest that lasts for centuries to find one of his aunt Juzeva's descendants, who can restore the land.
Lucie is a sheltered young noblewoman, the daughter of a baron in Ceryria. She has curly red hair and is very pretty. She freckles easily, which she doesn't like! She loves to be outdoors in the woods, where she can sense the magic that lives there. She is looking forward to her marriage to a young baron, Estefan, and to the beautiful home that will be hers. When a strange man appears, telling her she has to come away with him to help him restore a land that was destroyed centuries ago, she doesn't want to go. She has to go through a very difficult struggle to choose between what she wants, what her family wants for her, and what she knows is the right thing to do.
If you could make up your own genre for this book, what would it be?
Epic fantasy romance, or epic romantic fantasy. It's fantasy and romance in equal measure, and you couldn't take either of those out of the book and still have it work.
Is there a message in your book? Do you want your readers to take something home?
I think a message in all my books is the importance of honor, of doing what's right even though it's hard, and also the importance of family, and how love can make you into a stronger and better person.
What are you currently working on?
Like I mentioned above, I'm working on a few different projects right now.
The Lost Book of Anggird, which will be released later this month, is an epic fantasy with a strong romantic storyline. It's the story of a professor of magic who is searching for a solution to why the magical power in the land where he lives is deteriorating. He goes too far in his research and causes a terrible magical disaster, and discovers that everything that's been taught about magic for centuries is a lie. He and the woman he hired to translate ancient books for him embark on both a romantic relationship and a quest to discover the true origins of magic and restore magic to its original, unbroken state.
A second novel, Sarya's Song, is out with my beta readers right now. It's set in a world where magic is worked through music. Sarya is a skilled musician who is in disgrace after a musical wedding ritual she wrote went terribly wrong. The world is falling apart, and Sarya finds herself torn between the man she's had a love-hate relationship with since they were teenagers and a beautiful but dangerous man in chains who appears to her in her dreams, telling her that if she will sing him free he can stop the disasters that are threatening to tear the world apart. Right now I've got it scheduled for release in February of 2014.
Finally, I'm writing the 6th and final book in a fantasy-western series, Daughter of the Wildings. Non-magical people have fled from the mage-dominated land of Granadaia to the unsettled Wildings to escape from the oppression they suffered in Granadaia. Silas Vendine, mage and bounty hunter, has come to the Wildings to hunt for renegade mages. Lainie Banfrey is a young woman born in the Wildings who is both terrified of and fascinated by her developing magical powers. Silas and Lainie team up to stop a renegade mage who has driven Lainie's hometown nearly to the brink of war and end up falling in love. Through the rest of the series, their relationship grows as they hunt down other renegades and uncover an evil conspiracy that threatens the freedom of the Wildings and everyone who lives there. The world is inspired by the American Old West of the late 1800s, but it's also definitely a fantasy world. Right now, the plan is to start releasing the Daughter of the Wildings series in the spring of 2014.
Which target audience do you write for? What do you think makes your book especially appealing for that audience?
I write for adults who love a good fantasy and a good love story, where the characters have to face lots of trauma and difficulty and hardship, that looks into the dark corners of life and human nature, but that has an uplifting overall message about the importance of honor and doing the right thing and the power of love, and a happy ending.
Want to find out more about Kyra? Go visit her on Facebook, her own website and Goodreads, or buy her book on Amazon.