Interviewing this week’s author was super exciting for me. Her new book, Jaded, comes out on June 27th, and the first book in her Golden Trilogy, a Goldilocks and the Three Bears dystopian retelling is currently available on Amazon. Please welcome, K.M. Robinson!
Intro: What is your name, what do you write, and where can readers find you on social media? And just for fun, if you could be any mythical being or creature, who or what would you be?
I’m K.M. Robinson, author of The Golden Trilogy and The Jaded Duology. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat @kmrobinsonbooks You can also find me as K.M. Robinson on Youtube. My website is www.kmrobinsonbooks.com I’m definitely a mermaid, with some unicorn potential in there 😉
- The villain in Jaded is out for James Jareau’s blood. A revolt is always humiliating to the government, but what made the Commander so bloodthirsty? Why go through such an elaborate scheme?
The Commander was publicly shamed when James tried to overthrow his command. Commander Diamond latched onto that and wants his revenge, but because he knows he is in a position of leadership, he has to go about it a certain way. Because of the uprising, everyone is clearly watching James Jareau and if anything happens to him at all, it will point back to the Commander, which infuriates him. Right now, he is in control, but he knows if his supporters leave him because he murdered James, he could truly be overthrown. Over time, this anger agrows inside of him and soon it’s all he can think of. He actually believes the lies he is telling himself and he turns himself into more of a victim than he should be. Once he figures out that there is a way to get revenge through his rival’s daughter, the idea consumes him and he starts putting things into practice to make his plan happening, and that includes involving his family. He believes he if can convince the public that he has put everything behind him and he truly accepts Jade into his family, that they will never suspect her “accidental” death was anything but an accident. With each day that goes by, he is more invested in his plan and it becomes less of a plan and more of a lifestyle: this is something that just has to be. Unfortunately, I know a few people like this and I’ve seen first hand how deep and dark this obsession can get. He will do anything to succeed in his mission. It is his only object and the thing that drives him. He believes once he has punished James, he can go back to leading the way he wants to and had his reign over to his son one day without the fear of another uprising.
- Everyone wants to hear about the famed “butterfly scene” but I want to know where the inspiration came from for that second scene in the pool house. That was a personal favorite!
Haha. All of my advanced readers are obsessed with that scene too. Good news and bad news here: The bad is that I can’t really say anything about the scene itself because of spoilers, but I CAN tell you a bit about what inspired the particular setting. The good news is that this is partly exclusive! *Confetti*
I’ve mentioned the waterfalls in the pool house were inspired by the waterfalls in my aunt’s pool. Now the waterfalls in the pool house are much, much different and far larger and flashier, but those waterfalls in my aunt’s pool gave me the idea to build that structure into Roan’s world and then my personal experiences with the real-life version inspired Jade’s experiences with the story version. However, I’ve never mentioned the rest of the structure and how it was inspired by the pool at the mansion down the road. Sounds fancy, right? Well in truth, that pool was not necessarily the fanciest thing in the world, but the glass build that housed the pool gave me the feeling I wanted for the lighting and how it felt inside that enclosure. I then added a lot of details that made it felt opulent and created the pool house that we see in the book.
Of course, there are more parts to this pool house, including a very futuristic dyer in the back room. This was inspired by my desire to have one of those in real life. I have super long hair that takes forever to dry, even with two hair dryers going. If I could have one of those dryers in real life and would be so incredibly grateful #tiredarms #lifegoals haha.
- Tell us more about “Smarmy.” You said before that he was only supposed to be in one scene and yet somehow wound his way into a much bigger part in the book. How did he do that and how would the book have been different if he had followed the original outline?
Ah, Smarmy…That little jerk. Mind you, everyone BUT me has fallen under his little spell and thinks he’s absolutely charming… But I’m just the author!
I definitely knew the main points of the book, but I don’t plan out every little step. So I knew the scene where they met would happen, and I knew a handful of the big things between that point and the end, but I was always working toward the end goal and however I got there was fine. So his presence didn’t really change anything, but it definitely annoyed me. I told him to go away and he didn’t listen… He’s kind of a bully, haha.
I definitely like the angle the book takes once he makes his appearance, and I like that certain people are thrown into the situations that they’re thrown into, even if I hadn’t expected him.
I will say, had he walked away, the endgame still would have been the endgame…We just would have arrived a little differently. I like that he’s there and adds a bit more depth to things so it isn’t so focused in on just a few specific people. I still hold it against Smarmy though!
- Jade was especially interesting to me as a heroine in dystopian society because she is a quiet rebel who doesn’t wish to change her society, but instead, survive and claim ownership of her life. Why did you choose this route for her?
Everyone writes about taking over a government—heck, I have stories about this. This is the heart of dystopian literature-see an injustice and work to fix it. But what happens if you weren’t meant to be a hero? What if you just had to live?
Jade is a hero, there is no doubt, but her goal isn’t to save by destroying or dismantling, it’s just to save. She just wants her family and friends to make it out alive and have a better life. If she could sway the Commander into being a reasonable man and treating his society fairly, that would be her goal. She doesn’t want to run the government and neither did her father. Her dad’s goal was to bring down the dictatorship and reestablish a democracy where everyone had a say and was able to live their own lives.
So for me, Jade’s goals are the same as her father’s: to let everyone survive.
Let’s be real—what teenager is going to lead a rebellion on her own? What teen is going to overthrow and entire societal structure by herself?
Realistically, to change society, a person can’t do it alone-they need a team. No eighteen-year-old can change a government without the help and knowledge of older, more experienced people.
Will Jade change the society? Maybe, but she has a lot of people, specifically adults, working alongside of her. She’s not leading, she’s supporting the ones who are better equipped to lead.
Jade’s goal is to survive. If she can’t survive, her goal is to make sure her people are not hurt. Her priority is to take care of those around her. To me, this makes the story a lot more believable and approachable because an eighteen-year-old girl really COULD one day end up in this situation and if she did, her goal would be survival, not to become the leader of an entire nation.
And you’re right, she’s a quiet rebel. I love this about her because it shows you can be in control without being loud or aggressive. Being acutely aware of the people and situations around you leads to valuable information and observations that will allow you to have the upper hand. Jade always has the upper hand because she pays attention and uses the information she gleans to her advantage and strategically plans what she will do and say in very subtle, but effective ways.
They say that the quiet ones are dangerous. I know this to be true because I’ve lived this. Growing up I was quiet because I was observing, and oh the things I learned! I have so much knowledge and power that I could change people’s entire worlds if I wanted to. Jade knows this to be true and she uses it to her advantage. She doesn’t call attention to herself; she uses what she has and she survives.
- You’ve said on social media that you made Jaded’s cover long before you actually wrote the book. Where did the inspiration come from for the cover and how did it influence the plot?
I DID create the cover way in advance because it was actually a compilation of a photographic art series I did. A long, long time ago, I had an apple tree in my backyard fall against my house. The house was fine, but I was devastated to lose the tree. Not being one to let anything go to waste, I created a fine arts photographer series out of it.
As I started to write the book I was deeply inspired by the story I was telling through that photo series and I really used it to dictate both the way I wrote the first book AND the sequel. The photo series tells the same story the book tells on a basic conceptual level, and while the story of Jaded goes in a deeply different direction than the photo series, the underlying principals are the same, so it only fit that when the time came to do some concept art for myself, I created it using that series. When I signed the deal for Jaded and was able to create my own covers (because I’m a professional photographer and designer who has done this for years and years-I don’t ever recommend doing your own covers unless you’ve taken hundreds of hours of training and have put in hundreds of hours of work to become a pro) I took the concept art and changed it up a bit into what you see today!
- This is random but fun one, if you could pick any time period to live in, when would you live and why?
Let’s just say it would involve ball gowns… Because ball gowns.
Haha. No seriously, I would love to live in an era where ball gowns were considered socially acceptable. I would be wearing one right now if I wouldn’t be criticized for it!
- If the Baers from the Golden Trilogy and the Diamond family plus Jade got together to throw a dinner party, what would happen?
I imagine that would be rather interesting. Jade and Auluria would get along brilliantly. Auluria would definitely teach Jade and thing or two about taking care of herself. Dov and Roan would have a serious heart-to-heart and I know Roan would definitely respect Dov. Dov would definitely have some educating to do. Everyone from the Baer family would have serious issues with the Commander and I’m positive they would be working with Jade to free her from his tyranny. The Commander would definitely still be bent on destroying Jade, so he’d acknowledge the Baers when he needed to, and when he couldn’t sway them to his side immediately, he’d be very cold. Alice would be mortified of how in-your-face Eden and Berwyn are; she’d likely also be very wary of Auluria because she is very similar to Jade and has clearly bonded with her. Lines would definitely be drawn-The Diamonds on one side and Jade with Auluria and the Baers on the other…of course, Jade has to pretend to have no issues with the Diamonds, and the Baers will be very sensitive to this when trying to help her. The whole thing would be a sight!
- This book is filled with a looming threat of death, but it didn’t turn out quite the way I expected. If you had to kill one character who was not a villain for some portion of the story, who would you pick and why? How would it affect the next book?
Ummm… Isn’t everyone a villain at some point in my books? Legitimately, I think there are exactly four people who aren’t villains: Jade and Mr. Eroh in Jaded and Dov and Silas in Golden. Everyone else has at least one or two moments where they are painted as a villain or have the potential to be a villain 😉
I feel like this is super hard to answer because a lot of my characters may not survive my series. I have plans for everyone *evil grin*
In Jaded, I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if Alice Diamond wasn’t there. She’s kind of a voice of reason for her husband, even though it doesn’t seem like it. I feel like he’d be a lot more unhinged and there would be NO buffer for Roan. This would impact the sequel dramatically because she’s going to continue to be that force that stabilizes specific people and situations.
In Golden, I feel like it would be very interesting to see what would happen if we removed Silas. He kind of facilitates a lot of what happens in the book and it would be dramatically different without him. His absence would drastically affect certain people in the sequel… But that’s enough of this conversation considering where we left Silas last. Uh oh!
- Did you ever consider an alternate ending to the final draft of Jaded?
For a millisecond, I did. One of the publishing companies who made on offer on the story wanted me to change something toward the end and make another character the villain. I entertained that idea for as long as I entertained their offer (about a day before my pub lawyer and I decided it wasn’t a good fit) and then I realized I hated that idea because I had big plans for that character… But that’s a secret for another time!
- If you could rewrite any scene in the book to change the outcome, what would it be? Would things get better or worse for our main characters? How would that affect the rest of the book?
Haha. Would I EVER make things easier? Really?
Honestly, if I could, I’d protect my babies. I’d leave them happy and healthy and whole… But is that a good story? No. So we rip them apart, tear them to pieces, leave them in tears, and leave the audience fearing for the lives of these characters.
So, if I could change scenes, I would change the ones with deaths. People would not die, which, of course, would change everything. But all of my favorites would live, and that makes my heart happy to think of a world where specific characters would not die. This is something that can never be though because this is what it takes to get the characters ready for what is coming.
I feel like I’ve already done all the bad I could do in these first books for Golden and Jaded, but fear not: there’s one more book in The Jaded Duology, and two books and a prequel novella left in The Golden Trilogy, and I promise you right now, things get worse. Much, much worse. In these first books, I’ve actively worked to throw as much pain, suffering, and torture at my babies as I could without overwhelming the readers. Now that I’ve prepared them, I have freer reign and I will happily rain down terrors like these characters have never known in the coming books.
This is going to be fun…Well, for me anyway. Mostly.
I’ll cry when certain people die… I’m not totally heartless. But I do love making my readers cry, so prepare for heartache and loss… And I’ll throw in some extra swoony scenes to make up for it!
Thank you so much K.M!
So what do you think, are you psyched? You can still join the Jaded launch party HERE,
Remember you can check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat @kmrobinsonbooks, as K.M. Robinson on Youtube and her website www.kmrobinsonbooks.com. (Here’s a hint: she’s pretty awesome!)
Jaded is out on June 27th and Golden is out now on Amazon!