Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest - Isabo Kelly

Good morning! Today's guest, Isabo Kelly, is talking about one of my favorite subjects - World Building - and some of the drawbacks writers face when they do it. She's got a giveaway too so make sure you find out how to enter her drawing.


The Dangers of Being a World-Building Addict

Hello, my name is Isabo Kelly, and I’m a world-building addict. True fact. I’m not going to admit out loud how many different worlds I have published at the moment, but, well, it’s more than one. And we won’t mention the as-of-yet unpublished worlds. I love building worlds. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Parnormal, it doesn’t matter. Give me a good woo-woo world idea and I’m away. What can I say, I’m a kid at heart and this is how I play.

This addiction does have a few draw backs, though. I discovered one of those drawbacks while writing and trying to publish my latest novel, THE SECRET OF NARAVA. This is Book 2 in The Naravan Chronicles and is the sequel to my very first published novel, THE PROMISE OF KIERNA’RHOAN (published for the first time more than 13 years ago). Kierna’Rhoan is a science fiction romance—highlight on the romance part. Which meant the sequel was also supposed to be a science fiction romance.

Now, you’re saying, “But wait, you already built the world in the first book. What kind of trouble could your addiction possibly cause when writing a sequel?” To which I will laugh out loud with a slightly hysterical edge. Then I will calm down and admit—sometimes you have to do even more world-building for sequels. (Hehe! Yay, world-building! *Cough* Okay, sorry. Back to the post.)

For The Secret of Narava, I had to do some digging into the biology and history of the native Naravan species, the Shifters (aliens, not were-animals; I named them before the paranormal boom and now it’s too late to change. Ah well.). I had to figure out how to manage an interesting twist in their biology (have to read the book to find out what that is!). And I had to research and develop the way a paleontology dig would take place on another planet in the future. All this great research led to some really fun world-building details.

Too many details. Way way too many details.

By the time I was finished with the first draft, I’d actually written a science fiction novel with a romance story mashed into it. The balance was all wrong. The scientific ramblings and details too extensive, the pace not what was expected from a sequel to a fast-paced SFR novel. I’d gone completely over the top, all because I couldn’t stop with the world-building.

This was a problem. It took me years and years and years (roughly 10 to be exact) to get this book published. And editing it to get to the correct balance of SF and Romance was one of the hardest edits I’ve ever had to do.

In the end, thanks to the help of my wonderful editor, I think we got it right. The book is now faster, the romance balance is much better, and the world-building has been beaten back to what is necessary on the page. But there was a lot of sweat and tears involved with getting the book to this point. All because I am a world-building addict.

I may need help.

I did learn my lesson though (ha!). For all future sequels where further world-building is required (all of them! Yay!), I promise to control myself and ensure that what makes it to the page is actually necessary to the story. At least by the time the book is published.

So what story addictions get you into trouble? (Can we say book-buying addiction? Oh yes, I have one of those too.)

BOOK GIVEAWAY: I will be giving away one free ebook copy of The Promise of Kierna’Rhoan (or winner’s choice of one other ebook from my backlist if they have this one already) to one random commenter. Please either leave your email address in the comment (with spaces if you like) or send me a separate email to isabokelly @ (no spaces) referencing the Star-Crossed Romance blog. This contest will be open to entries until Wednesday September 12th, midnight EST.  

And now, for those curious, here’s the blurb and a little excerpt from THE SECRET OF NARAVA, in which I focus on the romance like a good SFR author. Enjoy!

Their discovery could lead to war…

Paleontologist, Dr. Ti’ann Jones, uncovers a mystery that could alter the course of her planet’s future, putting her and her people in grave danger. She’s forced to call in security to protect her dig site. But the man who shows up threatens Ti’ann on a much more personal level. She’s spent the last three years trying to forget Nathan Longfeather and the incredible things he did to her body, but it’s apparent he’s already forgotten her.

Nathan thought guarding an archaeological dig site would be an easy and welcome break from his normal high-tension contracts. But when he comes face-to-face with a woman he hasn’t been able to forget for the last three years, he finds himself torn between the job and dragging Ti’ann back to his ship to remind her of those brief erotic nights they spent together. Nights she seems to have forgotten.

As the truth of Ti’ann’s discovery is revealed, Nathan’s job gets a lot more serious, and keeping Ti’ann and her team alive becomes his top priority. In a time when anything to do with Narava’s native species, the Shifters, leads to violence, Ti’ann and Nathan face enemies from both sides of the conflict and will have to find a way to prevent a planet-wide war. If they can survive, they might just have a future…together.

EXCERPT: (set-up) Ti’ann and Nathan are sitting at the side of a cliff, just outside Ti’ann’s campsite in the growing darkness after sunset. They’ve been discussing a very eventful day. Now Ti’ann has decided to risk moving into a more personal conversation. And Nathan is having a hard time keeping his hands to himself. (Slightly edited for PG-13 audience)

“How long have you worked in security?” [Ti’ann’s] voice was quiet, distant. She pulled her legs up to her chest, wrapped her arms around them and rested her chin on her knees.
[Nathan] couldn’t tell if it was a defensive move, but the pose made her profile appear both innocent and erotic. Sitting here with a contemplative expression, her hair silvery blond in the weak moonlight, it was so easy to see the woman he’d been preoccupied with all these years. And she was even more fascinating than the first time he’d met her, so much more to her than he’d guessed.
He turned to face her, wondering what she was really thinking. She wouldn’t look at him.
In a way, he was grateful. Every time she did, he reacted. Those big, soulful eyes of hers tugged at him, urging him to touch her. And his willpower wasn’t nearly as strong as his sanity required. He swallowed and concentrated on answering her question.
“About thirteen years now.”
“Why security?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
He grinned when she frowned and rolled her eyes. Her look of frustration captivated him. He could sit here and frustrate her all night just to see that expression on her face.
Okay, so he’d rather spend the night satisfying her instead of frustrating her, but this was a close second. And since he couldn’t spend the night satisfying her, as long as she was his client, frustrating her would have to do.
“What did you do before going into security work?” Her natural curiosity once again overcame any other emotion.
He’d watched her curiosity dictate her actions all evening. Even when he thought she was shocked speechless, when most people would have concentrated on the political ramifications or dangers they were facing, Dr. Ti’ann Jones had focused on the riddle and the discovery. That kind of natural curiosity told him a lot about her. And promised some very interesting sex.
“This and that,” he answered. That look again. He almost chuckled.
“Not much for sharing details, are you Mr. Longfeather?”
Mr. Longfeather?”
“Nathan, then.” She shrugged as if it made no difference to her.
He remembered her groaning and panting his name in the dark. Just hearing her say it brought back a rush of sensory memories. He sucked in a breath. He knew he was torturing himself. It wasn’t like him, but he couldn’t seem to help it.
Any more than he could help easing a little closer to her, near enough that her heat permeated his jacket and warmed his arm. Her scent was elusive, caught and carried on random breezes, drifting around him in tempting eddies. He’d know her scent anywhere.
He let his gaze roam her face and settle on the curve of her neck. What would she do if he leaned in and kissed her, just there? The last time he’d done something like that to her, her reaction had led them into yet another delicious round of sex. For a long moment, he considered the spot just below her ear, the soft skin and her warm smell. Without conscious thought, he leaned a little bit closer.
Warning claxons went off in his head and he straightened away just enough to regain some semblance of control. One touch. All it would take was one touch and he’d be lost.
He couldn’t decide if that was bad or not.

About Isabo:
Isabo Kelly is a multi-published, award-winning author of numerous science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romances and erotic romances. She’s traveled and lived around the world doing crazy things like training dolphins in Hawaii, being a shark caretaker and snake nurse at the Natural History Museum in Las Vegas, and watching deer mate in Dublin Ireland (for her Ph.D.) She currently lives in New York City with her Irish husband, fabulous 4 year old son (Destructo), silly dog, and is expecting her second baby (already nicknamed Dancing Baby).

Isabo has two upcoming releases in October. The first is a spin-off short story from The Secret of Narava, called INTERFACE (Tirgearr Publishing) which was originally published in the anthology Dream Quest. Her second is a re-release of her Christmas novella, CHRISTMAS PRESENT (Tirgearr Publishing).

You can find out about the many many worlds of her fiction at, follow her on Twitter @IsaboKelly (where she spends most of her social media time), or friend her at Facebook She very occasionally blogs at

Buy Links for most recent books (or related stories):

The Secret of Narava (Book 2, The Naravan Chronicles)

The Promise of Kierna’Rhoan (Book 1, The Naravan Chronicles)

Brightarrow Burning

-- Lynda Again,
    Thanks, Isabo, for the great post! I hope our readers give you a warm welcome!

    Have a Blessed Day!


ellaquinnauthor said...

You've led an interesting life. Congratulations on your releases.

Isabo Kelly said...

Thanks, Ella :-) And thanks for stopping in to say hi.

Barbara said...

I like the sound of this story, Isabo, although i don't read a lot of SFR, this is one I'll buy. Best of luck with it. And Kudos for coming back with another book after a goodly amount of elapsed time.

Good for you!

bn100 said...

Nice interview and excerpt. I like all kinds of books.


Isabo Kelly said...

Thanks, Barbara. Hope you enjoy the book. :-)

Glad you enjoyed the post, bn! Thanks for stopping in.

Linda Andrews said...

Great excerpt. It must have been hard to cut out so much world-building. Is your third book SFR too?

Janice Seagraves said...

I enjoyed reading your excerpt and I love SFR.

Good luck with your release.


Isabo Kelly said...

Hi Linda, yeah cutting all that fun stuff is hard, but the book is much better for it.

I write all over the SF/F and paranormal spectrum so I have several other SFR books published, a number of fantasy and a few paranormal. They range from sexy to super hot. And they are almost all unique worlds because I'm a world building addict. LOL. I have two fantasy romances that are related, Thief's Desire and Destiny's Seduction. But most of my other published books are still waiting on further sequels in those worlds. The spin off short story, Interface, being re-released in October is in the same world as The Secret of Narava. My other October release, however, is a paranormal/Christmas romance.

So yeah, I'm all over the place with genre :-)

Isabo Kelly said...

Thanks, Janice! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

Isabo Kelly said...

Congratulations to bn100 on being the commenter to win a free ebook copy of The Promise of Kiern'Rhoan!

bn100, I've sent you an email regarding your prize but if you don't get it, please email me at isabokelly(at)Verizon(dot)net.

And thanks again Lynda for having me here at Star-Crossed Romance! And to everyone who stopped by to comment. I had a great time.