Tell us a bit about yourself.
With pleasure, and thank you for this fabulous opportunity, Claire.
A P Von K'Ory is my pen name for most of my fiction works. Why a pen name? Out of necessity, since my own name is a mile long and just about impossible to pronounce for most people. I’ve won six Awards from four continents, the last one being the Achievers Award for African Writer Of The Year 2013 in the Netherlands. I studied Economics, Literature and Journalism in London; Germanistics and German-specific Economics in Germany. Finally, I studied socio-economics and philosophy and now have a Ph.D. in sociology.
I also have six doctorates, some of which I got in my late thirties and early forties - I regard knowledge as a lifelong quest of learning something new. I live in Germany, France, Cyprus and Greece with my husband, the Baron of Wimpfen, and our son and two grandsons. Writing is now my full time joy.
I was born in Kisumu, the capital city of Luoland, Kenya, to the Luo royal houses of K’Orinda and Yimbo; sent to a public school (I think Americans call this private school) in Yorkshire, England, when I was too young to say “sod off”. I finally graduated as a journalist - the London Schools of Journalism as well as an economist - the London School of Economics. Love took me to Bavaria, Germany, where I further studied Germanistics and German-specific economics.
Writing entered my world when I was about five and never left. In between doing other jobs (e.g. working as a cleaner in a mental asylum in northern Germany – great plots there just waiting for me!) and as a freelance journalist since 1980, I've become a grandy (that’s grandma up in Yorkshire!) of two boys aged five and two.
I give lectures and seminars in various German, Austrian and Swiss universities, colleges and high schools on topics ranging from socio-economy in Africa, Business English, African literature and the socio-ethnological conflicts in the traditions of Africans and Europeans in particular, and the West in general. I’ve published articles, papers, reports that are too numerous to list here. My first (and favourite) book was the novel in German: Khiras Traum. I’ve continued this in the English language where it is now the Bound to Tradition trilogy-turning-into-Saga because I’m already on the fourth and fifth books.
There are loads of autobiographical stuff especially in my Bound to Tradition books. Bound to Tradition: The Dream; Bound to Tradition: The Initiation and Bound to Tradition: The Separation. I now have six romance books: Secret Shades Aroused, Secret Shades Revealed, Dark Desires Obsession, and Dark Desires Aflame. I’m working on Dark Desires Gilded at the moment. All the books, including series are full books of between 78K to 135K words each.
The non-fiction book “Darkest Europe and Africa’s Nightmare: A critical Observation of the Neighbouring Continents” was published in 2008 by a New York publisher. Since then I’ve written three more political/humanities and socio-economics non-fiction books.
I live in Bavaria mainly, but spend some months of the year in Burgundy, Cyprus and Greece where we have family homes too. Have I mentioned that already?
What bought you to the world of writing?
Well, before I could read and write, I always embellished the stories read to me, making the characters nicer or nastier, inventing new beginnings, middles and endings. By the time I could write, I put the embellishments down in writing -. et voilà!
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book was Khiras Traum which I still love best. I elaborated on it and turned it into the Bound to Tradition series/saga. But basically, in fiction, I’m in love with each book, laugh and cry with each of my fave characters. I even feel sorry for the antagonist in the end. Consequently, I’m the sort of writer who has to really, really shed buckets of tears when I kill my darlings.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
The ones I enjoy writing most are of course the romance books. I do sincerely hope that they fulfil my readers’ needs, of course. The political/humanities and economics book are where I rant and rave to fellow earthlings to get their shite together and behave like the civilised species they claim to be. More or less.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
Okay, I think right now I’m very much in a hot courtship with my new series Dark Desires. Not only is the series my first erotic romance genre, but I also feel more mature as a writer to tackle that (to me) sensitive genre.
I didn’t want to take the stereo-typical generalisation for my heroine and hero. Maybe I’m warped too in my own way, because I prefer a bit of the aesthetic. Anyway, here’s the brief syno for Dark Desires 1: Obsession
Roman, a native of Hamburg, is cultured, go-to-hell handsome, wealthier than is good for
anybody and nasty with it. But he has strong principles:
He loves his parents, especially his mother; he is the supreme commander-in-chief of his highly successful global businesses, which he built himself from the ground up; while he loves the fact that he is “what I am”, he adamantly refuses to be referred to as damaged; and he treats his "reigning queen" exactly like a queen, draping her in priceless gowns, jewels, and all the other accoutrements in exchange for her complete loyalty and sexual devotion. He never two-times, not even for a one night stand, unless it’s a ménage with an “expendable” third party. In the bedroom, he's a nasty Taipan and only his rules count - but top among the rules is complete satisfaction of the woman/women. He prefers relationships that leave him the option to leg it when he wants to. He never takes whips, floggers, chains and the like to his woman as he believes strongly in “pleasure, not pain” for both partners, and he has many varied and effective ways of extracting and dispensing pleasure. Still, he thinks vanilla is something for the chef on the Queen Mary.
Then Roman meets the Eve that will bring his Dominant Adam teetering on the brinks of insanity... or maybe not quite. He’s suddenly wedged between three women:
Marie feels struck by thunder when Roman suddenly ends their eight-month relationship at the blink of the eye via telephone. However, she has an ace in her hands, which Roman does not know about. Marie is dead sure her incomparable weapon will lasso Roman right back to her.
Alyssa, heiress to a bakery imperium, falls hard for Roman at first sight. She believes she has found the love of her life and the dominant of her dreams. Until she is confronted with the reality that Roman is simply using her to get to her best girlfriend, Shana.
Shana is not only Alyssa’s BFF (best friends forever); the two are also lovers. Shana feels safer sharing love with a woman instead of a man ever since a disastrous relationship in her younger years turned her off all men forever – a secret she has shared with no one, but Alyssa and Shana’s older sister. Then Shana meets Roman, who pursues her relentlessly all over Europe. He is determined to make Shana his, and what Roman wants, Roman gets. However, is Shana ready for a relationship with a man? Besides, Alyssa is head over heels in love with Roman, and the last thing Shana would do is take the man Alyssa loves away from her beloved girlfriend. Roman’s biggest problem is that he has never had a woman as a rival. How do you fight a female off the woman you want to be not only your sovereign territory, but also yours forever? Certainly not with fisticuffs. Even more challenging, how do you persuade the object of your ultimate desire that you are just what the doctor prescribed for her?
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
That depends. Since I always have to do elaborate research no matter what genre the book is in, I need between six months to one year for a completed first draft. Of course I tend to revise as I write (since I’m a pantser), chapter for chapter, page for page or even paragraph for paragraph. Then I go through the completed work two or three times before I send it to my editors.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
Yeah, Claire, why am I a pantser. A good question. I think I love a challenge. Like, cooking is one of my favourite hobbies, but I like turning a recipe into something a bit off the chartered waters. Add coriander instead of parsley, ginger instead of pepper. I like the hunt, the chasing of my quarry until I get them where they take over and tell me where they want to go from there. Straight into the boiling water or rather marinated overnight, browned in hot oil and then wrapped in a foil for the oven. That’s my joy in the creative writing.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?
Quite frankly, I prefer the third POV. My adventurous inclinations, I suppose. I want to roam the globe, have somebody going to bed in Sydney while another’s waking up in London and the third’s going for lunch in Shanghai. My Dark Desires work is my debut with the first POV. But I reserve it only for the protagonist, Roman. The rest of the characters are in third POV.
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
As I’ve said, I revise as I write. After the six months to a year of writing, I leave the work to “settle down” for one or two weeks. Then I revise/edit again; leave the first and second edits to “brew” for between three and four weeks and go through the work again a final time before I send it out to the editors. But you bet the editors will still find typos and glitches. Always.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
I like to think that my books are rather international. However, yes, I particularly aim for a multicultural readership. I love readers who – like me – are curious about other cultures and people outside their spiritual beliefs and/or ethnic groups. Writing/reading such diversities in the romance genre is quite simply exhilarating. I live in an inter-ethnic and intercultural relationship so I guess I’m writing my romances from personal, not imagined, experience. I know where the valleys, hills, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, the deep seas and the heavens are!
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher
I work with an agent/publisher for my non-fiction books and my first novels. But since 2012, I began self-publishing and started my own publishing company, AuthorMeProfessionals Press, which is a member of the Author-me Group of Cook Communications, USA. I’m particularly engaged in helping aspiring writers to improve their works and get published by AuthorMeProfessionals Press. In today’s writing and publishing world, where even certain agents who DO NOT ACCEPT UNSOLICITED MATERIAL exist, emerging writers have it at least ten times harder to get published.
How do you promote your writing?
That’s where I’m still totally hopeless. I have my Facebook page, joined appropriate Groups and have Author pages, and I do my best with those. Then there are guest blogs and interviews like yours. But I’m still pretty handicapped because one, I have an inborn phobia with anything tech/IT, and second, I hate marketing something that I love so much. It sounds crazy, I know, but I feel like I’m offering my own flesh and blood babies for any willing buyer out there. But – psssst! – please don’t tell my readers that. I said it already – hopeless.
Where can we buy your books?
My books are available worldwide – Amazon.com, Amazon Canada. UK, India, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Brazil, in the main. And of course Kindle. I’m still battling with Smashwords and all the others, but not very successful in the tech side. I have to force myself to it personally or I’ll never overcome my phobia.
Who are your favourite authors?
I love the chic-lit of Marian Keyes, romances from Nicholas Sparks, Kate Morton, Zadie Smith, thrillers from
John le Carré, Frederick Forsythe, Nesbo, Lee Child, Olsen Adler, crime from Val McDermid, Tana French – oh it's a long list. All I can say is that I read tons from all sorts of genres but the horror and paranormal.
Visit my websites at http://akinyi-princess.de
Follow/Like me on my pages http://facebook.com/AuthorAPVonKOry
Join my Groups and discuss http://facebook.com/groups/AWITD
Chat with me at my FB pages http://facebook.com/KOrindaYimbo
Follow me on Twitter @Apky11162
Thank you Akinyi for participating in our Interview blog swap. If anyone else is interested you will find us on https://www.facebook.com/groups/859062540800300/