Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Travelers by K.L. Kranes **Guest Post**

The Travelers
by K.L. Kranes
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: October 2nd 2016
Sanguaro Books

Summary from Goodreads:

Dagny lives a dangerous life. Pursued by an unknown enemy, Dagny and her family are always on the run and must use magic to stay hidden and safe. When Dagny meets Marc, everything changes. For the first time, she can imagine a future that doesn't involve constantly changing her life. Despite the risk, Dagny vows to stop running. But as their enemies start closing in, Dagny wonders if she can ever really live a normal life and if she can actually trust Marc.

About the Author

K.L. Kranes lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, daughter and their adorable dog. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications. K.L. moved to New York City after college and worked in public relations before returning to her true passions of writing and editing. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and trying out new potential hobbies. Her latest endeavors include driving her dog crazy as she learns the guitar and making a fool of herself as a novice swing dancer.

Guest Post
What was the inspiration for not only the book, but the characters, the plot twists, and how the story ended?
Inspiration, for me, is like a building. You have a foundation, then you lay the frame. Next comes the bricks and, the detail trim and finally the roof. The foundation for my inspiration came from a close friend who once said to me, “When you teach hate from the bottle, it’s hard to make change.” I found this comment very disturbing, mostly because, like most things that disturb us, it’s true. Our families, parents and even society teach us hate or at least be wary of anything different from us. And many people just accept that without question. I decided I wanted to write a story about two people taught to hate each other. Then, I wanted to make those characters question that hatred and fight back against it. My hope was that the story will entertain, but also inspire others to rethink negative ideas. 

“Let me make sure I have this right. You want to kill people just because some dream and an old book say so?” – Marc, The Travelers

Once I had the foundation, I built the frame. For me the frame of the story isn’t necessarily an outline, it’s really the characters. I needed a character who felt alienated from the cultural norm. From there, I drew from my love of fantasy novels, particularly those of the vampire genre. In most of those books, the wiser, much older, male character falls for a young girl, a relationship that would really not be appropriate by normal, non-supernatural standards. I wanted to turn this concept upside down. But, I didn’t want to write another vampire story, plenty amazing ones have been written already. Instead, I came up with the idea of Travelers who can move their souls from body to body and stay young for centuries. Because of what they can do, they’re feared and hated. Then, I made the main Traveler character a teenage girl, or a woman in a girl’s body to be more accurate, who falls for a teenage boy who has been taught to hate her.

Once I’d determined the theme and the general frame of the characters, the bricks of inspiration were laid quickly. They say to write what you know. While there is no one character that embodies any one person, I pulled traits and backgrounds from them, sometimes combining them into one person or using them in different characters.

Finally, I just needed a roof. For a story like this about tackling hate, there has to be a character with an agenda. Exposing that person and that agenda became the inspiration for the plot twists and the ending. Uncovering the hidden antagonist, like pulling back a curtain, had to be done carefully and slowly. Therefore, the final confrontation, the metaphorical battle against hate itself, was the natural progression of the storyline.   


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