The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is M.K. Hall! Her newest release, Empyrean Queen (Origins Book 2) releases May 23rd.
How long have you been writing?
I’ll preface this question by saying that I didn’t discover the power books hold over a reader and how they can provide an escape from reality until my late twenties. That was when the fuse was lit and I made my first attempt to write. It failed miserably and thankfully only my sister-in-law knows just how terribly that went. (I’m still not convinced she forgives me for that). After another twelve years of reading and battling excuses and debilitating self-doubt, I finally mustered the courage to try again.
Describe a typical writing day.
Weekends are easy. I usually write from the time I get up until dinnertime. I have a full time job, so during the week I’m usually up by 6am, writing by 6:30am. I clock in for work at 8 and then write over my hour lunch break. When I clock out around 5-6pm, it’s back to writing until bedtime. (Somewhere in there, I manage to eat and say hello to my family.) Whether weekends or weekdays, rest assured there are copious amounts of coffee involved.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
My first published series, Origins, which features just two books (Empyrean Born and Empyrean Queen), stemmed from a conversation between my younger daughter, then 18, and myself. We were watching tv and there was yet another odd weather event or something and I just looked at her and said, “I should write about 2020. Maybe make up some race of people who are responsible for all this craziness.” Thus, the Empyreans were born. As far as the other irons in the fire, those ideas just randomly hit me. I use Pinterest a lot and am one of those authors who needs the FBI to know those Google searches are for research, I swear.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
I actually really enjoyed writing one particular type of character in Empyrean Queen. Without giving too much away, it was oddly fascinating how much fun I had writing from the bad guys’ POV. I guess we all have a darker side just waiting to be tapped into.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
In general, I’m someone who likes quiet. I can’t write with music playing or when there are other distractions and this is especially true during an emotional scene. I usually have a woodwick candle burning (I get hypnotized by the sounds of the crackling wick). I simply reread the previous scene or chapter for that character and get myself into the moment. I’ll be honest, sometimes it doesn’t work and I just have to write out some of the action and go back to tweak it, add detail or dialogue at a later time.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Oh boy. I’m not good with these types of questions. (See? Already broke the rules.) I guess I’d have to say considerate, trustworthy, introvert.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
I find that delving more into other characters’ lives and history, building that foundation and making it relevant to the current storyline works from my perspective. In the Origins series, the second book has several chapters from other characters’ POVs, characters that were secondary and one that wasn’t even mentioned in the first book.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
Yes! I’m very excited about my current project. I actually finished the first book last year and then walked away from it while I wrote the Origins series. The break proved to be just what I needed. Now that I’m nearly done with a total rewrite, the story has become much larger and far more complex. I feel I’ve finally found the true voice of these characters and I’m so excited to get this one out. Without sharing too much detail, I’m comparing it to a Lord of the Rings style epic fantasy but with a rather intense romantic theme. I’m not quite ready to reveal the name of the series just yet. You’ll have to join my Facebook reader group – Books, Cats, and Tatts – for more information.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Haha, well honestly, I’m still in a place where I’m the one looking for advice! I will say this, though, never stop writing. If writing is your passion but you’re going through a slump of writer’s block, take a break but do NOT give up. This was proven to me with my current project. I wasn’t 100% happy with it but I kept going. As it turns out, that first draft gave me the foundation I needed to make the story something I’m truly proud of.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
What I hope for more than anything, is to create worlds readers can get lost in. I envision them so vividly in my mind and I wish for nothing more than others to see what I see. Life and reality are hard enough. We all need an escape, even for a little while. I truly think this is what most authors strive to achieve and if even one person enjoys the escape I’m attempting to provide, I’ll consider myself a success.
Thank you M.K. Hall for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out and preorder her newest release, Empyrean Queen today!
The year 2020 may be over, but that doesn’t mean things have gotten any easier. With mixed feelings about no longer carrying the secret title of being the Empyreans’ Chosen, Val returns to her realm and her people only to find more danger lurking in the deepest, darkest shadows and threatening to destroy the Empyreal world.
Everywhere she turns, betrayal isn’t far behind, and with an ever-growing list of bad guys, trust is a precious commodity. Yet allies from unlikely places come forth as more mysteries about her life are brought to light. Val will be tested and forced to confront the truth of her past and the unknown future, all while attempting to save the soul of the man she loves.
With demons of all kinds on the loose, the looming threat of war with Purgatory, and Gabe’s eternal damnation hanging in the balance, will Val ever learn who she really is and where she came from? Will she ever be crowned Empyrean Queen, or will deeply buried secrets be her undoing?
Empyrean Queen is the final book in the Origins duology.