(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. J. R. was written by J. R. O’Bryant.)
Kelly sat on the edge of a table in the middle of the library of the castle of Elddon. Silence surrounded her as she took in the volume of books and scrolls lining the walls and filling the numerous bookcases which almost created a maze-effect in the room. So many written words. So much knowledge. So many tales waiting to be discovered. It would take a lifetime to read them all—and of course, that’s exactly what Kelly wanted to do, but she heard the door creak open, heard someone step inside the library, and then the door close again. “I’m over here!” Kelly spoke—knowing she had just broken the almost sacred silence of the library. “Sorry,” she mouthed as if to the spirits of the books.
The footsteps drew near, and Kelly pushed herself off the table and smiled as a woman rounded the corner. “Hi, you must be J.R. O’Bryant. I’m Kelly Blanchard.” Kelly stretched out her hand to shake Jessica’s. “Welcome to my fictional land of Elddon and the library of Queen Sophia.” She motioned to their surroundings before giving J.R. her full attention with a smile. “How are you today?”
J.R. looked about her in awe. She had an obsession with books that went beyond love. The smell of so many ancient pages made her dizzy. ” I’m sorry. Hi. I’m great. This place is better than I had ever imagined.” She continued to gaze at the never ending volumes. “How are you?”
Kelly beamed. “Quite well. Today has been a good day for me. Come, let’s find someplace to sit.” Kelly motioned for J.R. to follow her through the maze of books. “So tell me about yourself? What is it that you do?” She glimpsed back at J.R. as she asked this, and finally they came to a sitting area surrounded by books, and Kelly took a chair, gesturing for J.R. to sit as well.
J.R. dropped artlessly into a cushy chair and smiled at Kelly. “What do I do?” She started to grin and almost laughed. “That’s a loaded question. I’d like to say I do what ever suits my mood. But I suppose you would want a more direct answer. I guess you could say I assist in the creation of other worlds and realities and help bring a voice to creatures yet unheard from.” She leaned forward a bit and smirked. “Does that answer your question?”
Kelly chuckled. Perhaps she should have asked more directly. “I’m talking about in real life—are you a full time writer? Or do yo have a job on the side? Writers come from all walks of life, and I’m curious to know what yours in.” She smiled at J.R.
J.R. laughed softly and gave a soft nod to Kelly. “Ah. A direct question. No escaping that. I’m a full time mother of an awesome Daemon Squishy and of course I’m a writer.” Her eyes lit up as she spoke of her daughter. “Being a single mom is a full time career, but I’m insane and love to write, so I do that in every spare moment as well.”
Kelly shook her head amazed. “I greatly admire your ability to be a mom and writer. Finding the time can’t be easy, but good for you!” She smiled then sat back. “So, what started you on the path of being a writer? Did you always write? And what made you become serious about becoming a writer?”
J.R took a deep breath and shook her head. Another loaded question, indeed. “Thank you for that. It can be hard sometimes but the end results are utterly worth it! As to writing it’s kind of been an outlet for me.” She shrugged. “It started in high school with short horror and erotica to free my mind from the boredom of school. But I never took it really serious until about 4 years ago. I was doing commissioned stories and I realized that I wanted to pursue an actual career in the field. I wanted my work to mean something and not just a paycheck. So I pushed myself to do this full time.” She stretched her arms across the back of the chair and smiled back at Kelly.
“Well done! So tell me about your stories.” Kelly leaned forward, quite curious about this. “Well, we only have time for one story, but which one would you like to discuss? Tell me what it’s about.” She smiled warmly.
Darkness slipped deep within J.R.’s eyes. A look of evil glee crossed her features as she leaned closer to Kelly. “The one I really want to tell you about is Cold Crypt Cellars. It’s the first part of Krystianna Aramis’s story. She is a centuries old vampire with an attitude to prove it. Her exotic fashion sense and her sadistic needs in the bedroom come out to play in her adventures. Of course so does the entire supernatural world. With an edge of eroticism, danger, violence, and just a dash of intrigue Krystianna leaves you begging for more.” She leaned back smiling softly, the dark look still edging the light in her eyes.
Kelly chuckled. Oh, this kind of character—they were always entertaining to interview. She smiled and sat back. “So what’s her story?”
“So she was born on the west coast over 400 years ago. Fast forward to modern times and she is the owner and operator of Cold Crypt Cellars Winery. She is a bit of a technophobe, a bit of a Tom boy, but a total sex goddess when it comes to her, ummm, exploits.” J.R. laughed at the idea of her favorite character and her adventures. “She loves the ocean, horse back riding, and being a bad ass. It’s kind of her thing.”
“But does she have any enemies? Something she’s looking for, or so?” Kelly was trying to understand what the overarching story was wherein this character played a role. She furrowed her brows, sitting back in her chair to listen.
“Okay. Yes. Her arch nemesis is the self named Obsidian Chylde. He is the owner operator of Darkly Dead Drinks Winery across the big pond. Krys and Obsidian have an on going one upmanship. She spends a good deal of her time trying to simply make him disapeared out of her life. Krystianna is not only the owner of Cold Crypt Cellars but she is the head of the Aramis Family. She is the head of the West Coast Vampire Coalition. And her “Father’s” perfect daughter. She strives to run the family business and her life in a way that pleases not only herself but keeps her in high esteem with the supernatural hierarchy. In Cold Crypt Cellars she starts out simply trying to promote her company at a convention and ends up having to do things that will haunt her psyche for years to come.” J.R. sighed. It was hard to talk about Krystianna’s first journey as it had taken its toll on both of them.
Kelly nodded. “Sounds complicated, but complicated is good.” She smiled then tilted her head to a side. “Now though, what inspired this story? What gave you the idea for it?”
J.R. smiled. “Yeah complicated is a good way to put it” She leaned back and closed her eyes thinking about the beginning. She sat up and opened her eyes with a soft smile. “Ah, the beginning. Krystianna started out as a side project. She wasn’t suppose to be more than a few pages of thought. I tried to think of what would happen if this total bad ass vampire had an edge of humanity. And then I decided to give her all the responsibility I could come up with, just to make her that much more human like. I was about 10 pages in and suddenly this character takes the reins and runs away through the streets of her world hauling me behind her with a will of her own. She just took on a whole new level of life that I had never planned. I didn’t have the idea for her she had the ideas for me.” J.R. smiled as she remembered the frenzied nights of writing.
Kelly shared J.R.’s smile She knew exactly what it was like for stories to take a life of their own. However, she caught a glimpse of an ancient clock on the wall and frowned. “Our time’s almost up.” She looked back at J.R. “But one more question. Vampire stories are popular, so it’s very competitive. How does your story stand above the rest? What makes it different?”
“Temps Fugit! It really is a competitive genre. I want to believe that my unique mix of sex, violence, humanity, intrigue, and sheer sarcastic humour makes my work stand out. Krystianna is a breath of fresh air after some of the softer, fluffier, more lovey type vampires. I think that and the fact that the entire series is from Krystianna’s view point and her reality really makes a difference.” J.R. stood slowly and offered her hand to Kelly. “Thank you for the conversation. It’s been quite the pleasure.”
Kelly rose as well, smiling, shaking J.R.’s hand. “It has been quite a pleasure indeed! Thank you for agreeing with meet with me. I sincerely can’t wait to meet Krystianna. I’m sure I’m going to annoy her with pestering questions.” She chuckled. “Come, I’ll show you the way out.” Kelly motioned for J.R. to follow then led the way out of the castle library.
J. R. O’Bryant’s novel, ‘Cold Crypt Cellars (Book 1 of the Krystianna Aramis Series)’ is available on Amazon. The second book in the series, ‘Behind the Masque’ has a intended release for next spring if not sooner. Be sure to follow her on social media for more updates!