A Feline Character Interview with Tiklaus from THE BRINGER OF CHAOS SCI-FI SERIES plus a conversation with author Kayelle Allen!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us.  
We have the pleasure of meeting Tiklaus, a character from The Bringer of Chaos sci-fi series

We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Kayelle Allen, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Tiklaus!  

Marie Lavender: Hello, Tiklaus.  Please have a seat. Now, readers, Tiklaus is telepathic, and sends messages in short concepts and images and wastes no words, so the author asked Pietas, her immortal king from the series, to relate the meaning behind what the panther says. Welcome again, Tiklaus and your translator, Pietas.

Character Tiklaus:  Pietas: We are pleased to be here.

Marie: Awesome to have you as guests on the blog, and our little stage! We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

(Pietas nods.)

Marie: So, Tiklaus, what is your occupation (for example, some kitties take on more than role)? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?  

Tiklaus: Alpha.

Pietas: My feline friend is the leader of its tribe and directs all activity. I should explain here that Tiklaus has no gender and does not reproduce. We use the term 'it' which sounds cold, but the panther dislikes being referred to by human terms such as he or she.

Marie: Are you any good at it? 

Tiklaus: Tribe obey.

Pietas: With the exception of three scoundrels who always seem to stir up trouble, the entire tribe follows the lead of Tiklaus.

Marie: Okay. Do you like your role? 

Tiklaus: Duty life. Duty good.

Pietas: My panther knows no other way to live. In that aspect, the cat is rather like me.

Marie: All right.

So, tell us...what is your family like?

Tiklaus: Tribe.

Pietas: These panthers were created, rather than born. They did not have much of a "kittenhood" and were given no place to play or climb. Perhaps this is why Tiklaus has such a love of playing now. The three words I hear most often are "Play? Chase? Tickle?", which means wrestling (the cat is quite gentle), practice running and evading (I am NOT good at this compared to the panther and I have never won this game), and tickling -- which is scratching of the coat and ears and if the cat is in a good mood and no one's watching, a belly rub.
Marie: Great!

Ah...let's try something else.
What did your childhood home look like?

Tiklaus: Cage.

Pietas: The tribe was penned in separate cages and only allowed out of them to fight. Though their creators tried to force them to fight to the death, they refused. Apparently, these people finally realized they could not be forced to destroy one another and changed their training. Instead, they were taught to kill Ultras.

Marie: I see. And your current home?

Tiklaus: Play. Chase. Tickle. Climb. Hunt. Watch. Scout. Guard. Keep. Care. Safe. Duty.
Pietas: That was one of the longest strings of words I've ever heard Tiklaus say. I believe the idea expresses itself rather well.
Marie: So, do you have any hobbies these days? 
Tiklaus: Unknown command.

Pietas: I get that answer now and then. It means the cat has no concept relating to the request or question. Although the tribe is sentient (self-aware, able to communicate, and a host of other attributes of intelligence) they tend to be almost computer-like at times.
Marie: Let me rephrase it. What do you enjoy doing?

Tiklaus: Eat. Hunt. Sleep. Much much climb. Promise much.

Pietas: The cat has recently learned the word 'much' and applies it to things as a superlative. If a little food is good, a lot of food is much. Anything Tiklaus likes gets 'much' tagged on the end and a really beloved thing is much much. Promise is the tribe word for good, vow, honor, and the actual word promise. It's also what all of them call me. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the meanings.

Marie: All right. And you'll have to forgive me. I don't have very many feline characters here on Writing in the Modern Age.

What is your greatest dream, Tiklaus?

Tiklaus: No cage. No pain. No fight. Much much play. Eat. Hunt. Sleep.

Pietas: I think that's self-explanatory, but I will add that given a choice between free food and a chance to play, Tiklaus prefers to play. My friend is a kitten at heart.

Marie:  Cool! 


Let's try a different question.  

What kind of cat do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Tiklaus: Panther.

Pietas: That question had to be explained and was answered with a bewildered 'why would I be anything else, what a crazy human' attitude. What is stopping Tiklaus?

Tiklaus: Unknown command.

Pietas: I believe you get this. (Smiles.)


Marie:  (Laughs.)

Okay. So...if it's not too painful or personal, can you tell us one thing? Who was your first love (your pet humans or kitty love)?

Tiklaus: Worker. Feed. Play. Chase. Tickle.

Pietas: Before being sent away aboard the same ship that exiled my people to Sempervia, a worker used to bring food to the tribe. He would play with each of them, one after the other. They never hurt him. When they were caged and starved aboard the ship, they each longed for him. I could see him through their memories. The image was clear enough that if we ever meet, I will know him. I imagine he will be many generations' dead before we're free of Sempervia.

Marie: All right.

Now, what's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Tiklaus?

Tiklaus: Ship. Cage. Hunger. 

Pietas: On board the ship, they were starved and tormented. In that way, we are much alike. I am seven Terran feet tall, but upon arrival and being freed from my lifepod, I weighed about the same as a small child. I understand their hatred of hunger pangs. They disliked that far more than the abuse.

Marie:  Wow! That's awful, and so tough for a kitty. :(


Let's try another question, shall we?

(Pietas nods.) 

Marie: What was your dream growing up? 


Tiklaus: Trees. No cage. Food. No fight.

Pietas: The tribe could see trees outside their enclosure and longed to climb them. The color green was their favorite. Upon arriving on Sempervia and having freedom to hunt and climb, they spent a great deal of time in the trees doing both.

Marie: Did you achieve that dream? 


Tiklaus: Hunt. Much much hunt.

Pietas: I think the answer is yes.


Marie: (Smiles.) In what ways was your dream not what you expected? 


Tiklaus: Ultras good. Ultras tribe.

Pietas: This is a tricky answer. They were created to eat Ultras, but after hunting and stalking me for a time, Tiklaus decided I was not prey. The cat kept its distance for months, but once I connected with my people, it made a decision to bond with me. My thought is that it recognized me as the alpha of my people. Since it respected me, it declared my people 'not prey' to the rest of the tribe. The concept came to me as a declaration that we were both 'mighty hunters'. It was both a glorious revelation and a sobering one. Had I not been found worthy, the tribe's mission was to hunt us to extinction.

Marie: Yikes! 

So, I want to ask you something else...

Who is your role model, Tiklaus?

Tiklaus: Tiklaus.

Pietas: I agree. The cat looks to no one else for leadership, although it does communicate with me when making decisions that affect both our people. Our friendship is an alliance of two leaders of distinct people groups. My friend, Six, refers to me as the panther's pet, but that is not true. Well...maybe a little bit.

Marie: Nice!

So, is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Tiklaus: Six dead. Smell. Bad. Bad.

Pietas: My friend, Six, is a ghost. Not an apparition but a member of Ghost Corps, a human soldier resurrected by having Ultra blood infused within his body. So, technically, dead yet alive and walking. He smells human to me, but apparently Tiklaus finds the smell disagreeable. This doesn't keep the panther from playing with him or getting the occasional ear scratch or belly rub and if Six is fishing, he is the cat's best friend.

Marie: (Smiles.)


Let's try another question.


What is your deepest desire?

Tiklaus: No cage.

Pietas: Freedom.


Marie: Can't blame you there!

And what is your greatest fear, Tiklaus?

Tiklaus: Cage.

Pietas: Loss of freedom.

Marie: Makes sense to me! 

Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Tiklaus. Thank you for visiting us today. And you too, Pietas.

Marie: It was so interesting getting to know you. (Waves at her guests as they head off the stage.) Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective. We have Kayelle Allen on the stage today! 

  Hi, Kayelle!

Author Kayelle Allen:  Hello! Happy to be here!   


Marie: (Smiles.) Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!

So, we just got to talk to the kitty character from your story...Tiklaus. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?


First - Tiklaus is not a him or her. The tribe is completely genderless. They do not have a compulsion to reproduce and could not if they did. They were created to be killing machines who target a specific prey and eat it. The panther is also immortal. You kill one, and it gets back up and comes after you again with even more determination. But for all that fierce aggression, Tiklaus loves to play and is happy being considered Pietas' kitty. The cat is a sucker for being petted.

Marie:  Nice! Well, aren't felines all big babies at heart? ;)

Let's try a different question.

What are your character's greatest strengths?

Loyalty. Incapable of dishonesty or deceit.

Marie:  How admirable!

So, what are his greatest weaknesses? 


Having his tummy rubbed. If this cat is hungry, it will hunt for anything alive that is not as fast as it is.

Marie:  Sounds like a regular cat to me!

But, he seems like an interesting character.

And what are some of Tiklaus' favorite foods? 

Kayelle: Rabbit. Squirrel. Monkey. Cow. Any type of game animal. In a pinch, humans will do.

Marie: What's a positive quality that your character is unaware he or she has?


Kayelle: Tiklaus is adorable and has no idea that it is perceived that way. Tiklaus is just being itself.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I wish mine were a bit more humble. Cats here on Earth often use their cuteness against us. ;)


So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Kayelle: They will love this character. It's a ginormous black panther who loves being tickled. What's not to love?
Marie:  Exactly!
Well, now that we have a real taste of Tiklaus, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire?

Kayelle: I've been working on this series for several years, unaware it was going to be one. I had an idea for a single book. Pietas had other ideas.
Marie:  Oh, I've had those stubborn characters before! 
Isn't it interesting how the muse works? :)

So, what is your writing style like, Kayelle? Are you a pantster or plotter?

Kayelle: I am a complete plotter. I do everything ahead of time. Until I got to this series. I knew the basics because it was the history of my Tarthian Empire. I knew the characters (or thought I did). But as I began writing, I had to toss out my plans and write the real story as it was revealed to me. I often woke up from a dead sleep with complete scenes in my head. I couldn't get to my PC fast enough.
Marie:  I know what that's like!

Well, I'm throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.

Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, or getting it published? What would you do differently next time?

I had to learn how to reach my inner Pietas. He was scary. I have made great use of brainstorming with several friends. My critique group, my social media assistant, my beta readers, even my family, all helped me with details and let me talk out ideas. I sat with a dear friend and we came up with names for the tribe members. Although they weren't all named in this book, they will be in the next. With two exceptions, all their names mean 'trouble' in other languages. Believe me, it fits!

Next time? I will listen to my gut and trust myself and my characters.

Marie: Sounds like a plan! And yes, kitties are often troublemakers. (Giggles.)

It was such a pleasure having you on Writing in the Modern Age again, Kayelle. We hope you can come back sometime soon!

Kayelle: Thanks so much for having Tiklaus, Pietas and me on your blog, Marie.

Marie:  Oh, it's my pleasure! Lovely to have you here! 

Readers, here is the blurb for Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire


Love Romances Cafe Best in Science Fiction/Futuristic Nominee

When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem.

He's not.

Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. He's facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.

It's not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he's loved for lifetimes is at his side. He's bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.

Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.

Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever...

Warning: Contains angst, humor, sweet romance, betrayal, vengeance... and a ginormous, sentient panther who wants to be Pietas' "kitty."

Here is an excerpt.

In this scene, Pietas has been playing with his panther, a huge animal he calls Tiklaus. The name means 'Loyal Warrior'.

Tiklaus batted at him, knocked Pietas onto his back and then flipped itself down beside him. The panther wrapped its front legs around his arm and gnawed at it in gentle play while the hind feet kicked him without injury. Claws flashed, but did no harm.
Now I know how a chew toy feels. Pietas blew out a breath.
When the panther draped itself over his chest, Pietas struggled to slide out from under but could not get up. The animal weighed less than he did, but with no visible effort, it kept him from rising.
"I concede, my friend. You win."
The panther ignored him.
"Tiklaus, off."
"Off, please."
The panther yawned, opening a huge maw. Fangs flashed.
Pietas tried a signal that worked with sparring partners and asked for release by double-tapping the panther's side.
The cat stood at once and stepped over him. It shook from nose to tail, then sat and groomed itself.
He stood and brushed himself off. Standing beside Tiklaus, who reached him mid-thigh, Pietas took pride in knowing this sweet, playful cat was also the snarling ball of animal rage that had nailed his father to the ground. The man had not seen it coming.
He should have let the cat eat him when he had the chance.
Pietas ensured no one was on the path in either direction before he knelt and scratched the cat's ears. "Who's a good kitty?"
The animal sneaked in a lick of his hand and face and flopped down on its back.
"My Tiklaus, that's who. Tiklaus is a good kitty." He rubbed the smooth belly. "Yes, you are! Such a good, big kitty. You're my kitty, aren't you? Good, good kitty."
The panther accepted the attention, one paw twitching. After a moment, it stood and shook itself. A purring sound rumbled from its chest. It sat, licked one paw and added a lick of Pietas's face as well.
"Thank you for the bath." He hugged the panther's neck. "You have as soft a heart as I do but you don't show it either. Pact, my friend. I won't tell if you won't." He kissed Tiklaus on the nose.
The panther bumped its head against Pietas, then bounded to a tree and up it.

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bringer-of-chaos-kayelle-allen/1127580844  
Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Bringer-Chaos/Kayelle-Allen/9781981328321?id=7205747130327 IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781981328321 

Kobo:  http://solsticepublishing.com/a-stones-throw/.
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/808824
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bringer-of-chaos-forged-in-fire/id1365745318?mt=11&ign-itsct=1365745318-1365745318&ign-itscg=0177&ign-mpt=uo%3D4



What People Are Saying About Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire



"Kayelle Allen has created a rather dark but powerful story for book two of this series. This book begins with a broken Pietras, who had been tortured and starved for a very long time. With the help of his family and friends, he grows strong again, even as parts of him remain broken. During their journey, they discover many lies that had been presented as truths, until with the help of others, the real truths were laid bare. But learning a truth can be painful as well, and more than one suffers from the lies and truths.
While a dense and often dark story, it was a fabulous read and I highly recommend it.




This series sounds great! Readers, don't forget to pick up a copy of Kayelle Allen's awesome science fiction novel with a touch of romance! :)


About Kayelle Allen:



Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.

Author Links:

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/KayelleAllen/e/B003ZRXVN8/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/710889.Kayelle_Allen
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116022131333186423293/

Romance Lives Forever Reader Group:  http://kayelleallen.com/bro/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kayelleallen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayelleallen/



Kayelle's Books:




  1. Marie, you have the most amazing interviews anywhere. Every time I pop in you have these fascinating questions and answers. It was fun for it to be my turn! Thanks for letting me bring my immortal king and his kitty. :)

    1. Oh, thanks! And you're absolutely welcome. Please come back any time for any feature. ;) I try to switch things up now and then.


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