I'm delighted to welcome BK Bilicki as my blog guest today. I’ve known him for a few years as a fellow contributor to the ERWA storytime constructive critique group.
And I was among those who encouraged him to submit some of his stories to publishers. He may regard it as "nagging in an encouraging way", but he did it! Fireborn Publishing liked what they saw – “Stage One: Hear”, the first book in his "Voices From The Sanctum" series, was published last November
I purchased, read, enjoyed and gave it a five star review
"Engaging, fast-paced and full of twists and turns
Wow. This kept me engaged from start to end, always wondering what was going to happen next. Fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and lots of saucy moments within the context of a slowly developing relationship. A cast of varied and interesting characters, blending sci-fi and magic. This is clearly the first in a series, but it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger.
There may be some foreshadowing, but I won’t know that until BK stops teasing and gets Stage Two published!"
IS - So, BK, what do you have in mind for your next writing project?
BKB - My next new project will likely be volume four of the Voices of the Sanctum (VotS) series, tentatively called ‘Arrested Momentum’. It will center on two of the Sanctum’s members - Lob the Unmarred and Arms Master Juushin. We’ll meet Lob and get a very brief glimpse of Juushin in volume two and will get a much more comprehensive look at both of them in book three.
How do you develop ideas for characters? Are parts of you incorporated into any of them?
Some characters develop from a given situation and others are done in reverse with the situation matching the characters. For VotS, the only thing I had in mind initially was that I wanted to write about characters that would work in ongoing series. After I tripped across the word ‘psychoholic’ and started pondering what that could possibly mean, I started crafting characters to play with it. And yes, a lot of my characters tend to pull bits of their creator along for the ride. Kana’s knack for assigning inappropriate nicknames to people and things is a good example.
Have you ever found a character just “do their own thing" while you were writing?
My characters are forever going off and getting into trouble with little input from me. A lot of this is due to how most of my books came to be. They started off as short stories that made fans want to see ‘more chapters’ of them. In those cases, I hadn’t plotted out anything to cover those, so I just let the characters get into it and see what happens. Much of my writing feels like I’m spying on other dimensions and just writing down what I see.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I play computer games, watch anime, and work down in my lab. I’m an electronics technician in real life, so I spend a lot of time fixing electronic things for friends, family, and the occasional side-customer.
What do your family and friends think of your writing?
Both of my moms (birth and adoptive) are fans. My kids are supportive with a bit of careful detachment. My youngest son once happened upon one of my short stories. He thought it was very good until he realized that his dad had written it. My daughter has playfully forbidden my granddaughter from reading my stuff until she’s thirty.
What book do you wish you could have written?
There are a few stories by Bob Buckley about the Palatinae (Paladins) that I’ve read on the ERWA mailing list that I thought were brilliant. I have a brief reference to them in the second VotS book. The Merely Players books, as well as the related Mark/Maggie stories, by a chap named Ian D Smith are also a big favourite. His characters are very likable and work together very well, unlike many of mine.
Thank you for the kind words! Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t asked?
Nothing much, other than to reply to my fan's most popular question; "My next chapter/book/project is coming out ‘soon’." This may mean days, weeks, months, or even years, but it/they will come out sooner or later. This year, I intend on having volumes two and three of VotS published, along with the rewritten version of an earlier book called ‘One of Those Nights’ which was written from Jan 1998 to Jan 2003. That one was wildly popular on the ERWA (then ERA) list and could possibly do very well.
Well, I do hope your book finds you more appreciative readers, and encourages you to develop your other ideas. Do please visit again when you've a new book to tell us about
Kana Morel is possibly the Sanctum's most powerful caster. Training Jamyn Siska as her new acolyte should be easy. When she accidentally discovers his hidden passion for her, how will she contain the ensuing firestorm?
"All the things you said about my abilities were very flattering." Her nerves started to jostle. "Way over the top, but still—"
"You're easily the most powerful caster in the Sanctum," he said, his voice suddenly resolute.
His intensity startled her at first but she waved him off with a brief chuckle. "Nahh," she replied quietly. "I'm sure there are a couple around here who could give me a run for my money." Seeing the defiance rising in his eyes again, she held up a hand to him. "Regardless, your words were very much appreciated. Thank you."
"Any time." He replied with a small bow. Her hand on his cheek stopped it and he raised his head again to find her staring directly into his eyes.
"That covers the first part," she whispered. "Now about the second." His face flamed into a full blush. He started to turn away but she firmly cupped his chin, halting his retreat. "Hey!"
He stopped trying to move away and looked back at her. "What?"
"Did you mean all the things you said?"
His eyes started to water and he swallowed hard. "Every word."
"Hmm." She considered his reply, trying to keep her expression neutral while her heart charged up to her throat. "Then I thank you again for showing such intense loyalty to your master." She released his jaw and thought over her words. Deciding to throw caution aside, despite the warnings screaming in her head, she corrected herself with a coy smile. "Your mistress."
"You're welcome, Kana," he whispered in wonder.
She arched an eyebrow.
He swallowed hard and returned her smile. "You're welcome, Mistress Kana."
"I would prefer you only call me that when we're alone." Even as she quietly warned him, she wondered if she would end up regretting her abrupt decision.
She leaned forward and brought her face right up to his. She considered the soft glow in his amber eyes for a second before easing forward and kissing his lips.
She pulled back just enough to break contact and whispered, "You're sweet."
"And you are the most beautiful woman I've ever known," he whispered in reply.
Her eyes widened in alarm and she whimpered. "Damn. And you were doing so well too." Her choked words barely made it past her lips.
She sat back, her cheeks burning. "Making me blush isn't usually a healthy idea." She turned away from him to hide the tears gathering in her eyes. "I think we're done here."
His hand on her cheek stopped her slow retreat. He turned her face back to his and smiled mischievously. "Mistress Kana should learn how to take a compliment," he whispered, staring directly into her eyes. He came forward and landed a brief kiss on her cheek. "Call if you need me." With this, he leaped to his feet and calmly walked out of the room.
She barely heard his words, having caught sight of the obvious bulge of his erection straining against his pants. Confusion, lust, and gratitude all warred within her trembling body and she struggled to get her thoughts in order. Taking several deep breaths, she got her nerves under control at long last and looked again at the door her acolyte had just slipped through.
"I need a drink and I need to hit something." Staggering to her feet, she headed straight to Evrok's.
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Having spent over two decades scribbling curious little stories, gathering fans on several continents, and failing to make any sense out of either, B.K. Bilicki has now embarked on Phase Three of his writing career - actually getting something published. When not spending his lunch hour writing, B.K. can usually be found performing various miracles with a soldering iron. Furor Scribendi can be chastised by fans new and old alike at BK_Bilicki@wi.rr.com. Grr-ya.