Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Friday to all!

Welcome to another stop for Celebrating Debuntantes 2017 blog event. Today I’m featuring new author Kari Lynn West and her debut ya fantasy novel, The Secrets of Islayne. This novel offers fresh concepts, that introduced readers to Luminators – people with an inborn ability to bring back the faded memories of a person in a much more clearer, fresh and vivid way. Isn’t that interesting?

Following the interview with Kari is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of The Secrets of Islayne. And if you are in the US and would like the chance to win a copy of the book, Kari is giving away a signed copy below. Just enter the form a bit further down in this post. But before that here’s the interview with Kari. I hope you enjoy.

Interview with Kari Lynn West

Please tell us a bit about your journey with The Secrets of Islayne. Did you know right away that this was your story, or did you discover it as you write? And how was the publication process goes for you?

It’s been quite a long journey! Though the central idea behind the novel has stayed the same, almost everything else has changed between when I started writing it three years ago and now. I’ve changed the main character and ensemble, the setting, and the vast majority of the plot. I wrote the first draft, salvaged about a thousand words of it, and threw the rest away. It wasn’t until the third draft that I felt like I got the heart of the novel right, and even since that draft, there have been quite a few revisions and rewrites—and an embarrassing amount of time spent banging my head against a wall, crying that I would never get the story right. But finally, I now have a novel worth sharing.

The publishing process has also been entirely new to me. I spent months doing research on the different options, but even though I felt like I was making an informed decision going the indie route, it was still more work than I’d anticipated. But I love making connections with new readers and seeing people experience the story for the first time, so it’s been very rewarding!

Did you learn any deep, shocking/interesting truths while working on The Secrets of Islayne, about writing in general, or about yourself?

I learned that every single part of the writing process is difficult and every part is satisfying. I learned that, vocationally speaking, nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than creating stories.

Tell us about the cover of The Secrets of Islayne. How it came about? Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process of any novel?

I used an awesome cover design company called Ebook Launch to design the cover of The Secrets of Islayne. They were fantastic to work—very artistically gifted, responsive to my wishes, and quick to make requested edits. All of that was great because I am very picky about book covers in general, and I had a lot of specific requests for the cover of my novel. I think a book’s cover is vital to the book-buying process. Though it goes against the adage, people can’t help but judge a book based on its cover. I do it all the time. But even more important than impacting a book’s sales, I wanted this cover to reflect the adventure, beauty, and magic inherent in the story itself. I think the cover of The Secrets of Islayne does just that.

Do you have a favorite scene to write in The Secrets of Islayne? What scene are you most proud of, and why?

I really enjoyed writing the first scene where the main character, Ronan, and his three friends are all going on their first “summer adventure”. I love the character dynamics between the four of them, so it was very fun to write the first scene where you see all them interact with each other.

I’m also proud of scene where the luminators’ power is explained and demonstrated. That was a very challenging scene to write in trying to explain the ability in a way that both made sense and was exciting to the reader. I was very happy when I could finally get it right on paper and it was no longer just an idea rumbling around in my head J.

If you can revive someone’s memory, who’s mind would you pick and why?

I know this is going to make me sound incredibly self-focused, but if it were possible I would revive my own! One of the reasons why this power was so fascinating to me was because I have a terrible memory, and I think it would be very cool to have so many of my own memories come back as clearly as those of the luminators’ clients.

If one of your characters could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your teenage years, what would the title of that book be? What would be the first line?

She reads a lot…the end. That could be the title, the first line, and the ending J. I was a pretty boring teenager and would not have made for a good protagonist. I liked to make good grades, read a lot of books, and go to bed early.

If you had to pick one sentence, and one sentence only, to entice someone to read your book, The Secrets of Islayne what would it be?

Why would he want to use his hands to shelve books when he could use his mind to give someone back a restored piece of the forgotten past?

Thanks so much Kari!


Kari Lynn West writes contemporary YA fantasy—normally while drinking far too much coffee. She likes to create character-driven stories that are set in the real world with a twist, weaving fantastical elements into everyday life. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters.

Find Kari

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: The Secrets of Islayne
Author: Kari Lynn West
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: June 09, 2017
Pages: 220
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audio

A powerful island. A dangerous mystery. An impossible choice.

For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane.

Just when his long-desired future is within reach, Ronan and his three friends discover a deadly secret on the island. As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads | iTunes


What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed copy of The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be drawn via Kingsumo by the author
  • Ends August 11th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

1 thought on “Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West (Author Interview and Giveaway)

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