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Debut Print Book Feature: Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

vengeance born by Kylie Griffin

Name of debut release: Vengeance Born

Release date: 7th Feb.2012

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

2 sentence summary: A bastard born heroine and warrior hero uncover ancient secrets, struggle with prejudice, and who discover a love that will save three races.

Genre: fantasy romance


  • Annika – a half-human, half-demon hybrid gifted with the power to heal or kill with a touch and who plans to escape her tormented life and find out more about her human heritage.
  • Kalan – a Light Blade warrior and leader of the humans, tasked with the chore of convincing a rigid and inflexible Blade Council that they must adapt to survive the escalating conflict with the Na’Reish demons.

What makes this story different: VENGEANCE BORN is a book that will appeal to both paranormal and fantasy romance readers. There’s a little bit of everything in it for everyone.

For readers who like world building, there’s plenty of those elements in the plot and sub-plots – creatures, paranormal powers, a deity, conflict between races, secrets unveiled and political machinations.

If you want romance, Annika and Kalan struggle against personal prejudices, flaws and other external hurdles to find love.

There’s intrigue and mystery – some twists and turns in the plot will satisfy this craving. Some secrets you may anticipate, others I hope you don’t see coming.

Action – fighting, a chase scene, death, escaping from dungeons, rebellion…

The story isn’t just about the relationship between the hero and heroine but the world the characters live in, and while there are demons, they aren’t the traditional fire and brimstone kind.

As I said, something for everyone!

Is this a series? If so what book #:

VENGEANCE BORN is the first book in the Light Blade series.

Why you wrote this book:

It was about a year before I put fingers to keyboard to write Vengeance Born that I saw Annika, the heroine, in exactly the same scene readers discover her in the opening scene of the book – descending into father’s dungeon to meet a human Light Blade warrior for the first time, about to begin her escape and achieve her goal of beginning a new life.

The scene was so vivid I jotted down the details then I played a game of ‘What If…’ to discover her story.

It seems a strange thing to say that I had fun considering the possibilities of a crossbreed child born as the result of a rape. But the idea of a bastard child bred for revenge against an old enemy gave me a huge range of character traits and plot lines to play with.

How would the environment influence her development? Could any one person influence or balance her upbringing? What role would they play? How could they affect her? Which character traits would develop because of her situation? What strengths and weaknesses would she have?

I decided that Annika would have strength and courage backed by a determination to free herself – there would be no waiting around for someone to save her (I love a strong heroine) – but, because of her upbringing, she’d also harbor a flawed sense of worth and need for acceptance.

Her story was one that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, and so, VENGEANCE BORN came into being…

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before?

VENGEANCE BORN was discovered by my editor, Leis Pederson, as the result of winning the WHRWA Emily Award (the paranormal & The Best of the Best sections). Critiquing a partial was the prize. Leis liked it enough to request the full, and not long after winning the RWA Golden Heart (paranormal), she made an offer to buy it and the next two in the series.

VENGEANCE BORN is my debut novel but I’ve written and completed another eight manuscripts (all different series) prior to this one. All of them belong to the paranormal romance or science fiction romance genres.

What’s your writing process?

I’m a bit of a linear pantster but since being contracted and with having to submit a few chapters and complete synopsis of the story before I’ve written it, I’ve had to evolve into a linear semi-plotter.

I usually know how I want to start and end a story but everything else in between is fuzzy.

I begin to write, working from Point A to Point Z. I like sticking to a sequence of the events. I can’t write scenes at random and then piece them together.

Then as the story takes shape I see more scenes. Imagine walking through a foggy valley and every so often you come to the crest of a hill and see another in the distance and head for it. That’s how I get through the middle of the story. I just have to make sure the journey takes me to the ending I want. Most times this method works.

Your next published book: ALLIANCE FORGED (Release date 3rd July 2012)

The last book you read that you loved:

It was a re-read of THE LONE WARRIOR by Denise Rossett (a fellow Aussie Berkley author). Can’t get enough of this series!

The last book you read for research:

WEAPON: A Visual History of Arms & Armour by R.Holmes – I was looking up the different types of daggers used throughout the ages. I needed a certain type of curved blade for one of my characters.

The romance book character you most identify with:

That’s a tough ask – hmm, OK. This is a bit of a long explanation but it leads into answering your question, so bear with me. *grin*

This might sound rather weird but as a teen I went on a team leadership camp and one of the team building exercises was to let another lead you around camp for half a day while you were blind folded. It was a trust exercise but I found the whole experience of being blind challenging but fun.

In a way, this experience inspired the character of Kymora (who is the heroine in ALLIANCE FORGED). Her disability is offset by her Gift, the power to sense others emotions from auras. She’s had a lot to overcome growing up blind and she’s faced the prejudice of others thinking she’s hampered by her disability.

I really enjoyed writing her as a character – it was a challenge being in her POV and using only her other senses rather than descriptions of the visual. (The team building activity from my teens impacted me so much it was a help with this aspect of Kymora).

Kymora doesn’t see her blindness as a disability. She faces everything that comes at her head on and confronts those who would see her as weak or helpless with such strength.

So, in a way I guess I have been and would be happy to say Kymora’s the character I most identify with as I see obstacles as a challenge rather than as a set back.
Kylie Griffin

Thanks for participating, Ms. Griffin. You can find more about Ms. Griffin’s work at her website:

If you would like to participate in this feature, please email jane at

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kaylea Cross
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:08:42

    Way to go, Kylie! Sounds like an intriguing premise, and that cover is just gorgeous.

  2. Kylie Griffin
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 15:45:59

    Hi Kaylea! Thank you for the compliments on the cover – although technically the kudos goes to Gene Mollica for his wonderful conceptualisation of VENGEANCE BORN. He really succeeded in portraying the Annika of my imagination.

    Just as an aside, and because quote a few have asked about him as a cover artist, I had the pleasure of being able to interview him for my blog, and find out more on how he went about creating that cover. If you’re interested, you can read more about his process here –

    Thanks for commenting! :-)

  3. Jessa Slade
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 15:56:18

    Gene did my covers too. His love for the fantasy work really shines, I think. Congrats on the new book! Off to find you on Twitter :)

  4. Sandy
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:09:37

    I can see how relying on someone to lead you around would build trust, Kylie. I was semi-blind for a few days after a close encounter with a horse’s hoof – that was bad enough. Hope the writing’s going well. :)

  5. Janine
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:44:18

    I enjoyed reading this. Vengeance Born sounds really interesting, especially Annika’s backstory. And wow, eight manuscripts. That’s perseverance. Congrats on the publication!

  6. Kylie Griffin
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 17:10:08

    G’day, Jessa, wow, you have some awesome book covers too – I loved FORGED OF SHADOWS, there’s something about the bare back of a man that I really like. And I love the blade he’s holding!!! :-) And yes, I agree with you, Gene has a real passion for his fantasy work. So good for us, eh?

    Hey, Sandy! Great to see you dropping in. Eww, on being kicked by a horse, so glad to hear it wasn’t a permanent injury! Bk#3 is progressing, just can’t type fast enough to keep up with my ideas! LOL

    Hello, Janine. So glad you enjoyed the interview. The 8 manuscripts I mentioned doesn’t count the 3 plastic crates I have of unfinished mss sitting in my office. :-D

  7. Jenny Schwartz
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 17:22:15

    Authors read the darnedest books! A Visual History of Arms and Armour … you’ve got to be a fantasy author ;) Congrats on your debut book, Kylie, and may there be many more!

  8. Book Chatter Cath
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 17:57:45

    I’ve read and loved VB…are any of your other 8 manuscripts going to get published or are you primarily focussed on the Light Blade series?
    I’d love to get a chance to read your other stuff :)

  9. LaVerne Clark
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 18:27:58

    I’m halfway through VB at the moment and trying to s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out. Like a good wine, I want to savour it because then I’ll have to wait until July for the next in the series!

    I love a good fantasy novel but don’t have the imagination to write one. Anyway – it’s so much more fun to step into another’s amazing world.

    Like Book Chatter Cath said, I’d love to read your other works. You have such a wonderful storytelling ‘voice’!

  10. Kylie Griffin
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 04:00:55

    Hi, Jenny, yes, there is an odd collection of books on my shelves – everything from an herbal lore almanac to Egyptian mythology to a mid-1800 hard leather bound dictionary I inherited from my great grandmother that has words in it I’ve ever seen in any modern dictionary. LOL Thank you for your congrats on my debut book!

    Hey, Book Chatter Cath & LaVerne – at the moment only the Light Blade series has been submitted to my publisher and I guess, depending on how the books are received by readers (aka sales) will depend if any more in the series gets written. My agent & I are going to be discussing with my editor to see what she may like to see next. Would be nice to think the Light Blade will continue, if not then there are plenty of other stories to pitch to her.

  11. Beverley Eikli
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 04:20:32

    Hey Kylie, I love the sound of your book! I’d heard about it and I’d seen and loved the cover but it was great to read such an in-depth précis about your characters’ goals and what makes them tick. Thank you. I’ll be looking out for it!


  12. Kaz Delaney
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 05:29:58

    Congratulations Kylie! VB is certainly a book for all seasons and all readers. Got so much going for it – and can’t not mention that smoking hot cover.

    I was fascinated by the catalyst for the birth of second heroine. That experience must have had quite an impact on you to have stayed such a strong image/sensation!

    Such a nice interview and a really nice site to visit.

    Hope this books is firing off the shelves!

  13. Kandy Shepherd
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 06:17:51

    Fascinating interview, Kylie, I love to read about the story behind the story–in this case the story behind the “birth” of both your books.
    I’m so looking forward to reading Vengeance Born.

  14. Gillian
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 06:20:09

    Stunning cover and compelling concept combined with a story that never lets the reader go–you’ve got a brilliant debut, Kylie!

  15. kylie griffin
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:37:20

    Bev, great to see you here. Glad you’d herd about my book and like the outline of the characters!

    G’day, Kaz & Kandy! :-) Yes, the trust activity was an amazing experience and has stayed with me for quite a number of years (not saying just how many that is though! (-: ) DA is a great website, one I always like to read – particularly the information about the industry. Hope you both enjoy VB!!!

    Gillian, sounds like you’ve read VB? Wow, and thanks if that’s the case – appreciate the compliment. :-)

  16. Sandy Curtis
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 03:21:59

    Kylie, I love your cover, and the premise for your story. Interesting that your demons aren’t all fire and brimstone. You have me intrigued already.
    Best wishes for great sales.

  17. Kylie Griffin
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 07:02:31

    Hey, Sandy! :-) Thanks for the compliments on the cover & premise. The difference in my demons were what interested my editor when she first read the manuscript – almost her exact words too! LOL

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