Meet the Author – A Conversation with Kaylin McFarren, Author of Requiem for a Queen

Requiem for a Queen

Kaylin McFarren
Creative Edge Publishing (2022)
ISBN: 9798434809993

Kaylin McFarren has received more than 60 national literary awards, in addition to a prestigious RWA Golden Heart Award nomination for FLAHERTY’S CROSSING – a book she and her oldest daughter, New York Times/USA Today best-selling author Kristina McMorris, co-wrote in 2008. Prior to embarking on her writing journey and developing the popular THREADS psychological thriller series, she poured her passion for creativity into her work as the director of a fine art gallery in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; she also served as a governor-appointed member of the Oregon Arts Commission.

Her award-winning time-travel adventure, HIGH FLYING, asks challenging questions that will linger long after the final twists are revealed. Jumping to the supernatural-horror genre, Kaylin’s clever GEHENNA series leads readers into the pit of Hell, through the mechanisms of secret societies, and across the Earth’s crust, ever raising the stakes for her leading duo—a wicked demon and guardian angel presented with shocking revelations.

With each story she writes, this author delivers unexpected twists and turns and keeps her readers on the edge of their seats, leaving them guessing and thoroughly entertained. When she’s not traveling or spoiling her two pups and three grandsons, Kaylin enjoys giving back to her community through participation and support of various charitable, medical and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and divides her time between her homes in Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California.

Hi Kaylin, welcome back to Reader Views! Tell us about your latest novel, Requiem for a Queen.

Here’s the summary:

Forced into captivity by Lucifer and crowned as his queen, Samara Daemonium struggles daily with her identity and daunting duties in Hell. She belongs to a race of Nephalem—hybrid beings who are half angel and half demon—and although she wields the powers of both supernatural species, she has yet to discover her formidable prowess and potential. 

In the Outer Rim of Hell, Lucinda continues to plot her father’s demise and her ascension to the throne. Believing Lucifer plans to bypass her as Hell’s next ruler, she kidnaps his new heir and has every intention of killing him. 

Meanwhile, Samara is faced with the threat of death for her part in an invasion. Her survival depends on revealing a dark secret, giving her no choice but to depend on Lucifer and his Tracker Demons.

Ultimately, Samara’s journey to self-discovery instills in her the importance of family and friends, and reminds her that belief in the impossible is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. 

This is the third book in your Gehenna series. What was the inspiration behind the storyline of Requiem for a Queen?

According to Perry Bysshe Shelley, “Power, like a disease, pollutes whatever it touches.” In other words, many characters in literature become corrupted because of their quest for power. I fully agree with Shelley that power “pollutes everything that it touches” because having too much power concentrated in the hands of one person leads to a dictatorship and has bad consequences. This is the story about the battle for power and the negative effects that ultimately result.

Tell us about Samara Daemonium. What motivates her?

She simply wants to survive in the underworld, which she has been forced to exist in against her will. When she escapes, her troubles multiply tenfold and she realizes that her own strength and determination becomes her key to survival.

Samara is on a significant self-discovery journey that instills some uncharacteristic beliefs, considering her role in Hell. Is she tormented by conflict?

As a Nephilim being (half angel and half demon), her journey is more complex than other characters in the story. She is slowly discovering her warrior power as Lucifer’s queen. As this series continues, she will challenge his daughter in battle for title and position in Hell with the help of a returning character.

What are the dynamics between Samara and Lucifer?

They have a love – hate relationship, and she continues to test him. Although she voices her desire to escape, there’s no place where she fits in better than Hell.

Our reviewer said, “I love that while some of the flawed characters have redeeming qualities, others are completely wicked.” Are the heroines or villains more fun for you to write and why?

I love writing flawed, wicked characters because they often surprise you with their unexpected actions and hidden emotions. They also direct the story’s plot and twisted ending.

Requiem for a Queen is a spectacular blend of horror, fantasy and supernatural thriller, What do you enjoy most about writing in these genres?

There are no boundaries when you write outside the box. I like pushing the limit of disbelief, whether it be fast-fetched fantasy or touches briefly on biblical references. I like testing expectations and morals, and have discovered that often readers enjoy this too.

The Gehenna series is a bit of a departure from the mysteries you’ve written in the past. What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

This is a “huge” departure from the deep-sea diving stories I’ve written but my readership have written positive comments and love the characters in my Gehenna series thus far. In fact, I’ve been told by a number of readers that they LOVE my villains and evil characters.

Have you found your reading audience has changed at all? 

Actually, I’ve added to the following by changing my genre. Readers that like supernatural stories, horror, or paranormal books, which have a huge following, seem to like my books too.

You’re notorious for taking readers deep down rabbit holes, or in the case of this series, the depths of Hell. How do you come up with your plot twists and keep things fresh and new after writing so many stories?

I simply let the villains take over, directing the storylines, while putting up roadblocks and complications for my main characters and heroes to overcome. My imagination is on a constant simmer, I suppose.

What’s the most disturbing thought that’s ever run through your head during writing and did that thought make it into the pages of one of your novels?

Drowning is my greatest fear, and yes, it did make its way into Requiem For A Queen. If you don’t experience tremendous challenges in your life, how can you write about them in a believable, convincing way?

Do you believe in heaven, hell and life after death?

I do believe in the afterlife and in reincarnation too, but then I have a great respect for Buddhist beliefs and practices in life. 

If you could ask the devil a question, what would it be?

Hmm…interesting question. Nothing I say is going to scare him, depress him, or intimidate him. The best I could hope for is to annoy him. And frankly, I’d rather not annoy the guy with ultimate control over the place I’m going to be spending eternity in.  So, I guess I would ask if there’s a way to get out of Hell…without being scorched.

What scares you in real life? 

The inability to breathe has always been my greatest fear. That’s why writing Severed Threads and Buried Threads presented tremendous challenges. I had to know what it felt like to dive and was never able to keep my head under the water for any length of time.

Who is your favorite horror author and how has this person influenced your own writing?

Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice books have found their places on my shelves and continue to keep my imagination and the gears in my brain spinning. I love being pleasantly surprised and amused by their characters.

Talk about the amazing book covers in the Gehenna series. What inspires such vivid imagery and what can you tell us about the genius behind the artwork?

My daughter –Amanda Tomo Yoshida– designs all my book covers, which influence my stories to some degree. I simply tell her about the plot I have in mind, and she takes it from there, creating eye-catching, book-selling covers.

As such a visual writer, have you ever considered shopping your novels for the screen?

I wish! Perhaps a Hollywood screenwriter will take interest in one of my stories and shock the world with my diabolical imagination.

Will there be more books in the Gehenna series? Do you have any other writing projects you’re working on that you’d like to share? What can your readers expect to see next?

I’m currently working on the fourth and final book in this series, titled Black Wing Sky. This story depicts the final battle between Heaven and Hell and the players that will ultimately rule the spiritual realms.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to thank all the readers that continue to support me and find my writing amusing, entertaining, and even memorable. Without readers like you, authors like me find it hard to draw on a lifetime of experiences, even if they exist only in our dreams.

CONNECT WITH KAYLIN MCFARREN!

Website: http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKaylinMcFarren
Twitter: https://twitter.com/4kaylin
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/4kaylinmcfarren/

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