Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Alys Cohen

I'm excited to show off Alys Cohen in all her author glory today. Her newest novel Sacred Honor, came out yesterday!

So let's get down to business so you guys can get to know her better and hopefully become as excited as I am. As always, don't forget to click on the links to the other parts of the interview.

Part 1: Yup, the dance party starts here!
Part 2: Head over to Sandra's blog
Part 3: It's Vicki's turn to show off Alys' work
Part 4: Terri is rocking the books
Part 5: T. W. is never missed for some time to show off an author

Alys started writing as a young child. From picture books to novellas to fan fiction on a then-state-of-the-art IBM, if it involved writing, Alys wanted to do it. Always an avid reader, early literature favorites include Nancy Drew stories and the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe.

At the age of 12, Alys began participating in poetry readings. At 17, she penned her first full-length book, an inspirational non-fiction on living life with a severe illness. No publication attempt has been made with it.

For several years, Alys wrote short stories and poetry, eventually becoming involved with a part of the San Francisco poetry slam scene.

In 2011, a new story began to take form in Alys's head. By September 2012, the iron was too hot to not strike. So she went to the living room, fired up her laptop, and within 30 days, had finished her first fiction novel's first draft. She had finished the second in the trilogy by the end of the year.

A native of California, Alys currently calls Vancouver, Washington, home.

Section #1: About You
BRoP: How long have you been writing?

Alys: Oh my.  This is tricky.  I dictated stories to my parents before I could write.  Some of them were really scary stories too, especially from the mind of a child.  I was about three when I started doing that, and about seven when I started writing stories down myself and even illustrating them.  Giant spiders, abductions, and a good smattering of princesses, sometimes with the spiders!  I was sixteen when I wrote my first full-length book on life with a severe illness that will never entirely go away.  But before that, I also wrote poetry, and still do on occasion. 

BRoP: When and why did you begin writing?

Alys: My imagination has always been very overactive, and I’ve always loved elaborating on thoughts.  My teachers often started setting maximum lengths to reports because I was that kid who’d take a two-page minimum and write for sixteen pages in tiny writing, two lines of print for year line of paper.

However I started Sacred Blood, my first published work, in response to the increase in popularity of abuse-as-romance in books.  Since I’m a firm believer in trying to do better the work of someone you do not admire, I put fingers to keyboard and started writing.

BRoP: Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote?

Alys: As I said, I’ve been coming up with stories since toddlerhood.  So I’ll go with my first full-length book.  I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness when I was 12 and have been dead twice.  Surviving meant losing some pretty important organs.  At that time, there weren’t books for people like me, and the internet wasn’t around for personal use yet.  Though my book was never picked up for publication, I had hopes for it, that it might help encourage other young people who feel alone while battling illnesses. 

BRoP: When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?

Alys: To me, a professional is someone who is turning a profit on what they do.  Since I am not yet at that point, I do not consider myself a professional.  Right now I’m one of the mass of authors with dreams of attaining the level of professional writer.

BRoP: What books have most influenced your life?

Alys: Angela’s Ashes got me through some of the hardest times in my life.  In fact, that book is to thank for me being alive.  Frank McCourt’s childhood struggles and his ultimate rise out of poverty gave me the encouragement to not give up through homelessness and hunger.  One cold day in 2005, I was making plans to go to the Golden Gate Bridge, which was near where I was sleeping, until I came by my copy and started reading.  After that, I couldn’t do it.

Not exactly a light and fluffy answer, but it’s the truthful one.

BRoP: What genre do you write?

Alys: Oh goodness.  Let’s see.  Sacred Blood and its next two are supernatural, but not really romance.  There’s a formula for romance, and this doesn’t follow it.  Action, adventure, encouraging.  However I have some dystopian works in the pipelines as well.

BRoP: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

Alys: I enjoy supernatural because of the doors it opens.  Part of why I write is to escape from the real world.  Supernatural lets me keep a foot in this world while also opening up the ability to do more than possible in real life.  I also identify with beings who usually need to avoid the light.  I hate sunlight because of how easily I burn (welcome to the world of a pale-complexioned redhead), and so prefer to be awake at night.

Romance has always been enjoyable, but not the stereotypical bodice-rippers.  My guilty pleasure is erotica.  However I’m shy when it comes to sharing. 

BRoP:  If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Alys: I have two ideal careers.  One is to act.  See last question regarding why I love supernatural.  I used to do a bit of it, and found it to be a great way to try on a new life for a while.  Some people want to vacation to foreign locations and exotic locales.  I want to vacation in someone else’s shoes.

The other is to be a fashion designer.  I own a small business doing just this, and am very fortunate to have clients around the world. 

Sacred Blood

Abused and frightened, Juliette St. Claire has never

known love or kindness in her eighteen years.
Meeting Tristan LaRocque changes that,
infuriating her cruel boyfriend, Nathaniel Jensen.
But Tristan is powerless to help Juliette when merely trying
could result in her death.

As threats to her life intensify,
Juliette uncovers the mystical secrets
they have both kept from her,
and she must make some tough choices
about the men she thought she knew.

Fiercely passionate and profoundly riveting,
Sacred Blood is an outstanding story
that will leave you rethinking
love, friendship, and everything you hold dear.

Where to find the book:


 Sacred Honor

Never could Juliette St. Claire have guessed that her future would involve the hard work, glitz, and glamour, of an indie-film actress-turned-Hollywood starlet. Challenges presented by a new relationship with a co-star force her to abandon her comfort zone professionally and personally.

As her twenty-first birthday quickly approaches, an unexpected invitation from an old love quickly propels her back into the danger she thought she'd never again experience. Juliette quickly learns she must choose: her own happiness, or her family's safety.

Intensely captivating and seductively romantic, Sacred Honor is the empowering continuance of Sacred Blood that will keep you on the edge of your seat challenging perceptions of sacrifice.

Where to find the book:

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