Interview with K Caffee

Published 2014-07-31.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Nameless was a role play character. I had just had a rough time in my life, and he was an excellent, safe, fun way to vent off some of the negativity I was dealing with. Then, someone asked me "where did he come from?" Got me to thinking about how a pukah - one of the most innocent and harmless creatures could be as nasty as he is. When I started posting to the group about his back story, they started asking for more. It got to a point where I was posting the equivalent of a chapter every two to three days.

When the group broke up because real life came along, the story didn't fizzle out like so many of my other attempts. I was able to return to it this past summer, and it greeted me like an old friend. With a few small modifications, I was able to hang on for the ride. And that ride landed me here, for publication and somewhere in the neighborhood of tree or four more books on this character alone lining up to be written.
What are you working on next?
Followers of Torments - Book 2: Into the Sunlits. It's already under construction, but the wild ride has not yet hit full stride. I am eager to see what happens to Nameless in this book, because that will determine how many others are in the series.
How do you approach cover design?
I admit I am not the world's best artist, I just know enough to get into trouble. Usually, while I am writing the story, an image or cluster of images will pop out for me. For "Out of the Darkness" I knew what I wanted in the cover before I reached the half way point. I had hopes of helping a friend, but their schedule swamped them under, so I tried my hand at it. I'm sure some tweaks will help, but this is the image for the first edition. I'm still hoping my friend can finish polishing it for me because they do excellent work.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm a college student. Right now I'm between classes because it's summer break, but when this fall hits, I'll be back in the class room. I had a recommendation for Smashwords from one of my class mates that brought me here investigating. I had considered traditional publication, but after reading even a few of the blog posts, and most of the FAQ section, I knew going indie was going to be my path.

I just don't have time or the resources to keep mailing out a manuscript to agent after agent, publisher after publisher. This way, when the final draft is edited, I can get it published and start thinking about the other important things going on - like class work and the next book.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are a source of inspiration, a gentle reminder to keep going, and a reason to get a particular piece finished. I can usually start a book for myself, but knowing there is someone waiting to see what twists and turns I use to get to the finish line definitely keeps me eager to get more of a story done.
Who are your favorite authors?
Favorites? Mercedes Lackey, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, Elizabeth Moon, Holy Lisle, Terry Brooks, Raymond E. Feist, Robert Asprin, E. E. "Doc" Smith, Robert Heinlen, Gale Baudino, David Webber, the team of Sharon Lee and Dean Miller, and to a lesser extend Stephen King and Yolen. And, after that list is just about any other author I can get my hands on. Especially in the Fantasy or Sci-Fi genres.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
When space became a premium item in my life, I had to think seriously about going digital. I'm kind of glad I did, though it has taken me quite some time to find and acquire electronic copies of all of the books I had in print. I am still not sure I found them all. For new books, I typically get introduced to new authors by my father, because we read similar genres within the sci-fi realm.

For my fantasy addiction, I haven't added anyone in a long time. Mostly because I am still hunting down and obtaining electronic copies of print books. When I am in the market for a new author, however I used to look at how big a book was, double check if it is a fantasy book, check out the cover (pieces set in the medieval times tend to interest me more than modern), and if all of the above looked interesting, then I'd scan through a few chapters. That's how I found Robert Jordan and Raymond E Feist. Not sure how well that would work for the electronic books though. Everything except how big the book is can be easily seen, but when I wan a new author, I want something that will take me longer than a day or two to consume.
What is your writing process?
Either dream it, or role play the character. Dream through part of the story. Remember the dream. Mumble a lot while you try to remember the dream. Pet and play with the furry children. Get struck by muse lightning. Break the ice, buckle the seat belt, and hang on for the ride while you hope you can type fast enough to catch the flood of words pouring down. Take a breather. Try to burn up the keyboard again. Try to remember what sleep is, forget what exercise is, abandon the children, keep trying to coax smoke out of the keyboard. Get through the initial plot flood, and then go back to double check details that might have shifted in just the short time the keyboard has been over heating. Remind the children I love them, take a deep breath, check the seat belt one more time, and hope I have enough muscle relaxants to keep the hands from cramping as I push the keyboard even harder through to the end. Get the last word down, and go collapse for at least twelve hours. Then go back and double check one more time for any obvious unwanted shifts in character personalities. If necessary fix these goofs, and get it off to at least one friend to content read.

Get the first content edit back, and make necessary corrections.

Send it to anyone who's willing to beta read and begin gnawing on fingernails. Get these recommendations back to final edit, and get it out of my hands. If I hold on to it past this point, I start second guessing pieces of the plot, and trying to rewrite them. When this happens, the plot unravels on me, and we start having some ugly words, usually because I'm trying to take a hard left turn for New York. And, I live in the middle part of the US without a car or boat that can go trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I absolutely love seeing what the characters are going to do next. I have a general idea where I want the story to go, but once it gets started, if it's going to be completed, I'm mostly along for the ride. It is as much fun to write the book to read it, just because I get to read it as it comes together. Though, being able to go back and reread an old friend is always wonderful.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was in High School. I have always been good at telling enthralling stories, but getting them on paper is a horse of an entirely different color! Several attempts later, I was involved in a role play session when someone asked the question that sparked this adventure. I guess you could say I'm in my second birth of writing. This time, things came together, and I was able to finish the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yup. It's still hanging around here somewhere in one of a multiple attempt to hand write it. And, no, I do not think it will ever make it to print. Last time I worked on it, the plot and I had more than words. One of us kept trying to take a hard left turn for New York, and we're in the middle of the US. Train wreck plot is about the nicest I can call it.

And, yes, when I'm actively working on or with a story, it has a personality, so is an entity. Take heed!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing with my furry, four legged children (most people call them cats), reading, school work, reading, writing, working, or attending class. Some activities are kind of dependent on if school is in session. Reading for fun is severely curtailed during the semester in favor of reading for class. Same goes for writing.
Describe your desk
I would call it a typical student's study desk with some extra additions. Besides the computer I use for writing, I have to keep something mobile for school as well. Some times I've got my reader near by, other times not. Depends on how deep I am into what ever project I'm in. (Schoolwork ALWAYS means the reader's on the other side of the room!)
What do you read for pleasure?
That's a tough one. Some times I read sci-fi, other times fantasy, and other times a mixed genre book. Depends on my mood, and what type of activities I have been doing that day. Though, if I have started a series, I will often keep reading it until I come to the last book available to me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I would have to say anything with the Android OS. I remember my first Sony e-reader, and that was nice, but it didn't support color. Not a major biggie for me because the books I had at that time were old friends. When I got my Nook, it was nice to be able to see the color covers, but I still was reading mostly old friends. The new authors I was beginning to nibble on were from ARC books given to my by members of my family.

I currently use either my Samsung smart phone or Samsung reader for the bulk of my reading. Just because these platforms are small enough and portable enough to go anywhere I am.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Into the Sunlits
Series: Followers of Torments, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 106,810. Language: American English. Published: October 15, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The reward for his blind devotion reduced Nameless to a pauper once more. Now, with only his trainer, he must take desperate measures if he is to continue honoring his dark goddess properly. Join Nameless as he steps beyond boundaries of all he has known as he travels to the Sunlit Realm to begin rebuilding his wealth. Will his captives bend to his will, or will they successfully rebel?
Remember the Shadows
Series: Followers of Torments, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 114,330. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Join Nameless as he journeys through a dark, tangled bureaucracy filled with corruption. Will he emerge the champion of his cause, or will blind devotion to his dark goddess exile him permanently?
Out of the Darkness
Series: Followers of Torments, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 123,480. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
When the Realms were still new, and the races emerging, a nameless champion arose. from the blood-filled Arenas. Raised to be a fighter obedient to his owner in a culture where lives were only a means to gain power, can he win acceptance and freedom from his dark childhood?