Epic Fantasy Author Kim Alexander
Sometimes I like to branch out from reading mystery and thriller authors – this week I’m chatting with Epic Fantasy author Kim Alexander about the detailed world building and complex characters in her Demon Door Series.
Want to read about other genres? Don’t miss my interview with Book Club Fiction author Jennifer Gold. Click the link here to read.
Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten years working as a disc jockey in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she reported the traffic and spun the Oldies.
After a career upgrade, she became the co-programmer of Sirius XM Book Radio, which gave her the opportunity to interview some of her writing heroes, including Anne Rice, George RR Martin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Margaret Atwood, among many hundreds of others.
She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel.)
She currently lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband close enough to the National Zoo to hear the lions and the monkeys, at least she hopes that’s what those noises are.
To learn more about Kim, click on her name or photo or any of the following links: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Instagram. You can sign up for her Newsletter by clicking the link here.
Epic Fantasy – also called High Fantasy – is typically set in a complex alternate world with big stories, multiple characters, and internal rules.
The Demon Door Series
Two worlds. Bound by magic. Divided by a door.
On the barren, war-ravaged demon world of Eriis, the fierce queen Hellne fights to keep her people alive and her son Rhuun’s heritage a secret.
On the green and gentle human world of Mistra, demons have faded into myth. Only a handful of old men and fanatical children still guard The Door between the worlds.
Different and shunned by his demon kin, Rhuun finds refuge in a book that tells of a human world of water and wonder. Forced by his mother’s enemies to flee Eriis, he finds himself trapped on the other side of The Door in the very place he has read and dreamed about—Mistra.
Chained to the deadly whims of a child who guards The Door, Rhuun must balance serving and surviving, even at the risk of exposing his true identity. Riskiest of all is his task of kidnapping an infuriating young woman who is about to find out that the demons of Eriis are much, much more than just an old bedtime story.
To Buy the Book, click the link here.
The Demon Door can be opened…but the price is deadly.
Rhuun, the half-human heir to the demon throne of Eriis, has found acceptance among the humans on Mistra. He even found love with the tempting and infuriating human, Lelet va’Everly.
With Lelet at his side, his ability to create fire has finally awakened, proving that he is not the cursed cripple all of Eriis believed him to be. There are secrets in his blood, unique and powerful…and worth killing for.
When Rhuun is betrayed and tricked into returning to Eriis, Lelet has no choice but to turn to exiles, children, and madmen to save him. She must do the impossible: transform herself into a demon and travel to a forgotten city to make an agonizing bargain for his life.
Surrounded by dark Mages, a war-hungry Queen, mercurial Goddesses, and enemies on every side, the demon prince and the human woman will find the Court of Eriis a subtle and dangerous place, and one false move could doom them both.
Best-selling author Kim Alexander works her magic once again, creating a novel with worlds that are as rich and complex as her characters. The Heron Prince is the second book of The Demon Door series.
To Buy the Book, click the link here.
Love opens all doors…but betrayal locks them forever.
Newly blessed (or cursed) with wings and fire, Prince Rhuun of the demon realm of Eriis sees hope for his life on the human world of Mistra with his fierce human lover, Lelet va’Everley. She literally went to hell and back to save him, and she’s not about to let anything—or anyone—ruin their perfect future.
All too soon, the claims of family, duty, and justice force Rhuun and Lelet to confront new griefs and old mistakes as they attempt to restore balance to the throne of Eriis. But, with every jealous rumor and each vengeful whisper, friends turn, family schemes, and forgotten enemies creep from the shadows.
Treachery in Eriis and betrayal in Mistra jeopardize what Rhuun and Lelet have fought so hard to build, threatening to tear apart the two lovers, their families, and even their worlds.
To Buy the Book, click the link here.
The New Book
SOMETIMES LOVE DOESN’T CHANGE THE WORLD. SOMETIMES IT CHANGES ALL OF THEM.
Rhuun, the half-human and wholly-reluctant prince of the demons, has finally reunited with his fiery Lelet. It’s too bad they must hide behind a facade of icy indifference to fool those who are determined to keep demons and humans apart…by any means necessary.
There is more at stake than bringing the miracle of rain back to Eriis. It’s not just sand and lost royals poised to come through the newly-opened Door. Something ancient is hungry, and fat, complacent Mistra won’t stand a chance.
Even worse, whispers and shadows speak of blood magic that could destroy not just The Door, but all Doors—forever—barring the way home for lovers and enemies alike. Will the love Rhuun and Lelet have moved worlds to share be the very thing they must sacrifice to save their worlds?
Full of her signature blend of exquisite world-building, sly humor, and poignant prose, The River King is the gripping conclusion to Kim Alexander’s critically-acclaimed Demon Door saga.
To Buy the Book, click the link here.
The River King is the fourth book in your Epic Fantasy Demon Door Series. Should readers start with The Sand Prince? Or can these be read out of order?
I think readers should start with the first book—The Sand Prince.
Since we follow the lives of my two main characters from childhood, I’m afraid it would be difficult to pick it up in the middle.
Your books are labeled “Epic Fantasy” and “Sword and Sorcery” – how would you identify your work and what should readers expect from that genre?
Those are handy labels in so far as getting books into the right category on the Amazon bookshelf. Turns out readers like to be surprised but really resent being misled.
My first blurb made The Sand Prince sound like a romantic comedy. And while there is romance and there is comedy, you have to get past the murder and genocide and kidnapping and poisoning, etc, before you get to it. People were not amused, to say the least! (Also writing blurbs turns out to be pretty important.)
Once we got the blurb fixed, fortunately the book started getting itself into the right hands.
Readers have to trust the author. Once you’ve gained that trust, that the book they are devoting all these hours to is what they were promised, then you can turn the weird up to eleven and be a little more experimental.
What have you learned writing a successful series? What do you love the best about writing a series and what is the most challenging about it? (Maybe those are the same thing!)
I’ve learned so many things! First, I now question the wisdom of making my very first novel have two timelines, and those timelines move at different speeds. I might have made things more complicated than they absolutely needed to be.
Also, I learned the value of having an outline. Any sort of outline! Anything! My story takes place over two worlds and two generations, there are well over forty named character. Around the middle of book two, I realized I needed to plot the rest of the thing out. I was losing track of who did what to whom.
That’s when I deployed the Wall of Post It Notes.
On the other hand, I relished the luxury of telling a long story and having the freedom to explore both the human world of Mistra and the demon kingdom of Eriis.
Finishing the last book in the series, I got to have a lot of plot points from all the way back in book one pay off, and that was intensely satisfying.
It’s bittersweet, though. I’ve loved living with these people in my head for these past six years. I know them so well it’s hard to imagine not talking about them anymore.
Your books are also called “witty” – how does humor play a role in your writing?
I love to write dialogue, and I try to give everyone their own specific voice.
Honestly, my favorite scenes to write are people at parties tossing bitchy remarks at each other. (All my books have parties in them.)
My hero, Rhuun, cannot tell a joke to save his life, but he keeps trying. There’s also a fish out of water element as Rhuun visits the human world he knows very little about, and a lot of the humor arises from his (mis)interpretation of this strange new place.
“We talked about this series being epic fantasy, but I’m much more interested in language and food and fashion than I am in battles.”
Elaborate world building is a mark of your novels. Tell us about the process of creating your complex environments (and keeping it all straight!)
As I said, some outlining is absolutely essential if you’ve got a sprawling world to work on, and I have two.
I made one world easily recognizable and one completely alien. I started by asking myself questions like; if your characters have wings, what do their streets and houses look like? What do they wear and how does it reflect their social status? In conversation, what is considered taboo? What do they eat and what do they worship? What do they read? Do for a living? What kind of romantic and sexual lives do they lead?
As a side note, a friend challenged me to create a world without homophobia, and so Eriis doesn’t have a word or concept for this. I got to create LGBTQ characters in both worlds that have very different experiences, as it definitely does exist among the humans.
Something I also really enjoying was coming up with origin stories and mythology for both the human and demon kingdom, which serves to shine a light on how they see their worlds.
We talked about this series being epic fantasy, but I’m much more interested in language and food and fashion than I am in battles.
There aren’t any dragons or massed armies, the setting isn’t faux-medieval, and the hero isn’t white. What I do offer is magic and passion and friends that would die for each other, poor parenting, near-fatal hangovers, and oh, a giant spider. (Her name is Sylvia.)
What are you working on now?
My other series is a paranormal romance featuring a bartender named Ruby and a unicorn shifter called March. It’s set in my hometown of Washington DC, where there are scarier things than lobbyists roaming the streets!
I wanted to see if I could write something short and fast paced, and I enjoyed the experience so much I’m now deep into the third book.
Final Words of Wisdom For Writers:
Write the kind of book you want to read. And write to finish. I don’t know who said it first, but it’s so important. You can’t fix what you didn’t write.
Congratulations on all your success! I love the complexity of your Epic Fantasy Series! Thanks for hanging out with us!
Header photo by peter_pyw on Pixabay. Click the link here for more information.
Post It photo by Pexels on Pixabay. Click the link here for more information.