OBS owner Dawn is back with part two of her interview with author H.K. Savage and her ‘Empath Trilogy’! They talk about more serious topics that take place within the story, Clair throughout the books and fun facts. Enjoy!
Dawn: You explore rape in Bonded. Why did you choose to cover that topic? What do you hope readers’ learn from it?
H.K.S.: When Claire is taken the other side wants to break her down. Unfortunately it is a commonly used tool when a woman is to be broken; to show her she is vulnerable by taking her body against her wishes. What the issue does by being brought up here is to bring Claire to her breaking point to see if she can come out of it. That is one of the themes I often write about; the strength of a human’s character. Readers see through Claire’s struggles that she finds the strength to fight back; not wait for someone to save her. She takes her own fate in her hands and surprises herself as well as those around her.
Dawn: You don’t shy away from brutality and violence as the series goes on. Was it difficult to write the scenes relating to women being brutalized?
H.K.S.: One of the things we see a lot in the paranormal, with monsters being characters, is violence. In books we can explore the different possibilities of life; some are happy and some are incredibly cruel. Being monsters, the capacity for cruelty is enormous. The difficult stuff is hard to write but I’m really just watching the scenes unfold as the characters go through them. Trust me, they never listen to me. My heart did go out to my people on several occasions. Sometimes they are hurt, sometimes they are being stupid with each other. Either way, they are always being tested.
Dawn: I love Claire’s self actualization throughout the three books. She really grew up. I’m sad to see the last of James and Claire. Will we hear about them on occasion through the other characters’ stories? I’m not sure I can bear never hearing about them again. Do you have any plans to write about the other characters in the Empath trilogy?
H.K.S.: This question gets asked a lot. Can we see more Stephen? Lucas? James and Claire? I hate it when a series goes on too long and I worry that to write more with these guys would make me one of those authors who doesn’t know when to quit. On the other hand, I do get asked a ton about this. I’m not beyond entertaining the thought of a novella or two to be released digitally. I’m not sure. Contractually I have an obligation to my new series and I’ve got my 2012 ABNA entry that went to quarter finalist, Whispers. It could easily be a series and we’re debating putting that one out next year. Not sure when I would be able to do a novella for the others. Now you’ve got me wanting to read the series again (I’ve never read one of my books after it’s been published) although I’m worried I can’t.
Dawn: You created an intricate world of species working together, the politics of those species, even the laws on being “involved” with someone of another species. How the heck did you keep it all straight in your head?
H.K.S.: I take notes as I write. Lots of notes. My master book has all of my books, character descriptions, basic plots and character quirks. The politics were easy since they kind of popped into my head and stuck, but I was very worried I’d mess something up along the way so I kept my notes with me the whole time. When you write a series it helps to have those things down. As I get ready to get into the follow up for The Path I have my handy notes out so I can get back into my characters’ heads without re-reading the book.
Dawn: If you could spend a day with any author, alive or dead, who would it be? and what would you hope to gain from the experience?
H.K.S.: Hmmm, anyone? I think it would be fun to have a scotch with Hemmingway but I’d probably be disappointed to find out he was a blowhard drunkard like his reputation deems him. Poe would be cool to follow around but I’m pretty sure he’s insane and it would be hard to talk to him. In the end, I think I’d like to spend the day with a big paranormal author like Deb Harkness or Gail Carriger. I’d like to see how their lives have changed by being able to be just a writer and not have to juggle another career with it. Plus we’re all a little off so it would be fun to kick around with someone like that. Who knows what kind of trouble we could get into.
Thanks to author H.K. Savage for a great interview!