OBS owner Dawn chats down with author H.K. Savage about her exciting series “The Empath Trilogy”. In this interview we get a chance to learn more about the Empath characters, her upcoming work and fun facts about the author you might or might mot know. Enjoy!
You can check out the review for Empath (The Empath Trilogy, Book #1) here.
Dawn: What is the inspiration behind the Empath series?
H.K.S.: Honestly, I’ve been reading paranormal for 20 years and loved it. Then, it seemed like good ones were getting hard to come by so I thought I would try to write the one that appealed the most to me. The characters came to me and I threw them together in a crisis to see what happened.
Dawn: I often felt overwhelmed with what Claire could pick up from others, with how strongly their emotions came at her. How did you get into the headspace of an empath?
H.K.S.: At the risk of sounding flaky, I’ll admit that my background is Psychology and my great grandmother was a psychic (a real one, not a phone in tv sort). Since I was raised thinking about what was in other people’s heads, maybe this sort of stuff is on my mind a lot more than it is for some people. I think a lot of my stuff comes from watching people and trying to figure out where they’re coming from. Figuring out Claire was no different. I treated her ability as a disorder, like she did in the beginning, and went from there. How would someone deal with sensory overload on that sort of level? In our current society with the need to medicate and treat the hell out of anything different, what would a young girl with confusing thoughts do? Would she hide it, use it, how would she compensate? And not to sound pompous by mentioning it, this same idea inspired my 2012 ABNA Breakthrough Novelist entry, Whispers. It made quarterfinalist (that’s from 5000 entries down to 250) which shocked me. It was my first contest and I was just jazz not be laughed at. I’m sorry, I wandered. It’s late as I answer these. My point is I love writing about people who think of themselves as damaged but turn out to be very strong because of it.
Dawn: I like the way you portrayed James and Claire’s relationship. She retains her strength of character despite needing James for safety reasons. Is it important to you to have a strong female lead that is not too dependent on her boyfriend? If so, why?
H.K.S.: In short, yes. The girl dragging along on her boyfriend’s leg begging him not to go is a little much for me. Claire starts out doubting herself but I loved watching her grow and progress as a character. She always felt real and I heard again tonight about the realism of this character in particular was alluring (a reader emailed me). I think the super swoony women and the over the top kick ass heroines are a little out of most of our reach. My characters tend to be real- even when they’re crazy powerful or vampires out to take over the world.
Dawn: I really like Stephen. Will we learn more about him and the clan in the next two books?
H.K.S.: Stephen was great fun to write, I can picture him as soon as I hear his name. His character inspires the most requests for “more.” It’s cool to hear how other people connect with him. His fun-loving personality has a bit of an edge to it and it brings a certain amount of depth and levity to the story. I don’t know about you but I try to laugh a lot in life so that tends to come through in my books; even while everyone is running for their lives. Stephen’s clan, or family, is VERY active in the rest of the trilogy. You’ll learn a lot about him and some of our other fabulous Andrews family as well.
Dawn: I could see myself being friends with James and Claire’s group. How do you develop characters? How did you make them so likeable?
H.K.S.: Awww, I’m just glad people like them. I write up the characters and their backstories, then I let them grow and kick around in my head for a while. After a few weeks of getting to know them I find a situation they would realistically be in. From there, I let them go and we get to watch them get through it. The little quirks and bits of personality are what make them real to me. You know, those bits about your friends that make you crazy or make you smile; I like to give them to my people too.
Dawn: What are you currently working on?
H.K.S.: My new series, The Veritas Chronicles, which started with The Path (released March 2012) needs a book 2. I’ve written the Prologue and first chapter introducing a new character who needs to develop in my head as well as figuring out what sort of chaos I’m throwing my new crew’s way. Also, thinking of maybe seeing Whispers in paperback soon only I’m afraid it needs to be a series too and two series is pretty ambitious.
Favorite color: depends on the day, today it’s lilac.
Favorite food: cake.
Favorite time of the day to write: late at night or early morning depending on your perspective.
Favorite place to write: my kitchen table; out my front window is the woods, behind me the lake.
Favorite literary character: Can it be mine? I love James in Empath. He’s complicated, damaged and noble. Otherwise Jean Claude from the Anita Blake series up to book 5 when I lost interest. If I have to go high brow, Don Quixote; he was deranged but figured out how to work for him- plus he was so convincing he got other people to believe him. How cool is that?
Favorite villain in a book: This one is tough for me, I despise bad guys. That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Maybe Voldemort? He tried to kill a kid and tons of other people, that qualifies as villainous.
Something that I liked about author H.K. Savage after reading her interview was that she started this series by writing to herself making it a story that she liked and eventually fans liked it too. What do you of author H.K. Savage and the Empath Trilogy?