Tigers Paw by Kimberly Rogers

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 | 6 comments

Tigers Paw by Kimberly Rogers

The road to becoming a published author takes many turns in this day and age. My guest today, author of a Christian adult urban fantasy, Kimberly Rogers, is a young woman with big dreams. I know you will find her journey to publication and her new novella, Tiger’s Paw: A Novella (The Therian Way #0.5), interesting! I predict that Kimberly will go far in the world of writing. We would love to hear your comments and hope you will sign up on the Rafflecopter to increase your chances of winning a Kindle copy of her debut novella! 



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome Kimberly! It’s been a few years since we met in a fiction workshop at the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference as unpublished authors. Tell us something about your own road to publication and about your novella, Tiger’s Paw: A Novella (The Therian Way #0.5)

Thank you for having me, Norma. Well, my road to publication took several unexpected twists and turns after the workshop. I spent a lot of time honing my craft by writing fantasy stories not meant for publication. I read even more books about the craft of fiction writing in general and just more of the current trends in fantasy, including urban fantasy. I still had one eye on submitting to agents for traditional publishing but my path to publishing took a huge turn when I finally got the courage to submit to the 2013 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story contest. I wrote the entry with a brand new character in a brand new world in less than two days and then waited to find out if I made the top 25 entries. I didn’t but by the time I knew that for certain, I had already begun toying with the idea of expanding the story. My entry became the first chapter of Tiger’s Paw. As I worked on the story, I decided I would self-publish it. I finished Tiger’s Paw in September of last year then I began looking into my best options for indie publishing while editing. It’s been a rollercoaster of learning in regards to writing, editing, and the tricks of indie publishing and definitely not the one I had expected to find myself on but it seems God had other plans for my writing career.

For those new to the genre, tell us something about the genre of Christian Urban Fantasy and your target audience.Tigers Paw

Christian Urban Fantasy is one of the smaller subgenres in Christian Fantasy. Urban Fantasy, in general, takes the “What If?” of Fantasy and plunks it down in the middle of our modern world either close to our current year or in the future. What intrigued me most about it was meshing fantastic elements and characters (e.g., Therians (shapeshifters) and Elves) with more familiar technology (e.g., cell phones and computers) and locations. For example, Tiger’s Paw is set in Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The fantasy element has a heavy influence on the setting in my book because it is set in an alternate universe so while Richmond’s suburbs are visited, this is a wilder version of America than we have today.

Urban Fantasy usually features a female protagonist and is written in first person POV. I changed the formula up a bit in Tiger’s Paw because I have a male protagonist. It also usually has either Human control and all the fantastic societies are hidden, the fantastic societies are living out in the open and have been for a while, or some of the fantastic lives alongside Humans and the scarier fantastic societies are still hidden. I chose Option 3, the Elves have long been a part of reality for Humans but the Therians have no desire to have their existence exposed . . . except for the rebel faction known as the Fringe.

My target audience is the New Adult crowd, men and women in their 20s-30s, who enjoy Urban Fantasy with shades of military espionage. I fall into this age range and I enjoy reading Fantasy and Urban Fantasy. However, I do get a bit tired of either teenage protagonists or Urban Fantasy from secular publishers who tend to include objectionable elements, gratuitous language and sensuality, that I have to skip over because I don’t care to read it. So, I set out to write an Urban Fantasy that I would like to read: clean, Christian elements (without being heavy-handed), and an interesting plotline where the struggle takes place on both a personal level and a professional level for the lead character.

Please introduce us to your characters from Tiger’s Paw.

Baran is the protagonist and narrator of Tiger’s Paw. He is a full-blooded Therian who shifts into a tiger. A military man, the general is very much by the book and strictly adheres to the Therian Way, the code of behavior Therians are expected to follow. Because of this, Baran has a sterner, somewhat grumpy personality but he’s also a man of honor and he is determined to do whatever it takes to protect his people from being endangered.

Raina is more of a mystery. She is assigned to help Baran investigate the Fringe threat but she’s not quite what she appears. She is half-Elven, half-Therian and is definitely not military. Her approach is very lighthearted and rather flippant (in Baran’s eyes especially) as she enjoys needling him with teasing and taunts.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

That’s a hard question. I was a bit of an oddball in that I can remember writing my own little stories when I was eight or nine but I despised being forced to write for English assignments, apparently because I only wanted to write if it was something I thought was interesting. School papers weren’t interesting enough. I first started writing with the dream of someday being a real published author when I was fifteen.

What character in your most recent novel is most like you? Was that intentional, or did it just come about in the course of the writing?

I would have to say that Raina is the most like me. We’re both fairly outgoing (although she passes me in that regard). It definitely wasn’t intentional. Raina is very much her own character and she does things I would never dream of doing because that is who she is, but I think there’s always a little bit of the writer in each character.

You began your writing journey at a young age, how do you manage your writing schedule along with the load of college courses?

Scheduling and balance. I schedule as much of my writing for the breaks as possible but I also have a system where I don’t lose all of the spring and fall months without compromising my grades. Schoolwork always comes first for me so during school terms I block out my schedule to provide myself with plenty of time to work on whatever is due that week for class. Normally it will take up my mornings and afternoons, but I also provide myself with either the evenings or a free day for my current project. The free days are the most fluid part of my schedule; I can take a whole day to work on my current project but only if I reach a specific goal in my classwork for the week. I think the most important thing is that I am also willing to put aside my writing during the weeks when the load for school is more demanding, especially during midterms and finals. It allows me to give my best to both school and writing, which has always been my goal.

What advice do you have for other young writers?

Don’t be afraid to finish what you start. I know that many writers consider the beginning of the project to be the hardest part but I consider finishing even more important. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve dealt with doubts about my plots or whether I can finish the mess of a project I started. The closer I get to finishing, the more frustrating the little problems (research, writer’s block, etc.) seem but pressing through and finishing where I not only had a draft but I actually published was one of the greatest feelings ever. Finishing gave me courage to keep going with the next book. Finishing also gave me the ability to say “Yes, I can be a writer and published.” 

If you could spend the day with a character from your all-time favorite novel, who would it be and what would you do?

Oh, that’s a tough one since I have many favorites. Umm, I think I would love to spend the day with Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. I’d have him tell me about the worst parts of being a ranger and show me the best parts of being a ranger.

How do you see the importance of Christian fiction?

I think Christian fiction is extremely important. It not only serves to nourish Christians by providing wholesome readings but it also provides a way to connect with those who are on the spiritual fence without seeming too pushy or overwhelming them. It doesn’t always require a heavy presence of Christian elements nor does every story need to contain a salvation experience, but it shows different stages in the Christian’s journey and different ways for Christians to be in the world without being of the world.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

I enjoy reading fiction, primarily fantasy, Christian romance, and historical, if the last two are combined all the better. I also enjoy handcrafts, especially cross-stitch, knitting, and crocheting. And I review fantasy books for my blog.

I know you are already hard at work on your next project, tell us what you see down the road for yourself.

Well, I am well on my way to preparing Book One of The Therian Way for publishing. There’s at least six more books in the series, so I’m working on Book Two. I’m also planning to release several fantasy romances in the next year or two. That is just the very tip of my to-do list, though, so what I see down the road is a lot of writing, especially once I finish my degree next year, and hopefully a lot of books.

Please share the first scene of Tiger’s Paw: A Novella (The Therian Way #0.5).

A low growl vibrating in my throat broke free as I surveyed the prisoner, scenting his fear . . . and his madness. Bitter, astringent, and tinged with an undefinable scent of wrongness. I bared my teeth, snarled, and grabbed the prisoner’s shirt. Yanking him upright, I slammed him against the metal wall of the containment room. “Why, traitor?”

Burning gold eyes, partially covered by lank brown hair, stared back at me too insane to back down as was proper among Therians. His cheeks were pale beneath his scraggly, brown beard as he curled his upper lip in a silent snarl. I slammed him against the wall again and tossed him into a chair. My two lieutenants held him in place. This traitorous backstabber had used my personal clearance code to allow Fringe forces into the city limits resulting in the deaths of thirty civilians, among them sixteen innocent cubs, and nearly revealed the presence of our kind to humanity. Humans who still naïvely believed, after over five hundred and fifty years of knowing and dealing with the Elves, that none of the other distorted legends held a grain of truth. We, Therians, would prefer to keep them in ignorance. If the Humans learned of our existence, it would be the end of the Therian Way.

Cold fury whipped to the fore at that thought, and I let go of my control just enough to achieve a partial change. I growled again, now a man with a tiger’s head, as I loomed over the prisoner taking advantage of our differences in height and his now seated position. My muzzle wrinkled as I smelled the prisoner’s fear going up a notch. That’s right; cower before the tiger that just might bite your head off for being a traitor. I bared my fangs and snarled, “Why did you betray your people, Devin?”

Devin was not a member of Clan Felidae. He was one of the Jackals and a shame to their long history of utter loyalty to the Therian way of life. He was also a lesser predator, Jackals being no match for any of Clan Felidae when it came to power and rank, except perhaps for the Lynxes, which should have guaranteed me his cooperation once I entered the room and showed my power. Nevertheless, only madness reigned behind his eyes. “Stupid tigers only know how to follow orders. You think you’re protecting the Therians? You’re condemning them to obscurity! We must make ourselves known! Rule over the humans, as is our right, and take down the Elves, high and mighty elitists, who are deliberately diluting our Therian blood with arranged peace marriages! Crush the Elves and teach them their place beneath Therian feet!”

I caught my lieutenants exchanging looks and silently agreed with them—Devin had gone fringe. So far fringe that his madness was now undisguisable. I roared, filling the room with the deafening sound, until the Jackal finally ceased his mad raving. Lowering my massive tiger head so Devin had a very pretty view of my finger-long fangs, I growled softly. “Who told you how to gain access to my code? Who recruited you?”

The cackling whine of a jackal was my only answer. Lips peeling back in a snarl, I indulged in reminding Devin that I had bigger teeth. It would be easy to shift my human-looking hand to one covered in fur and tipped with long, retractable claws so I could cut systematically until the traitor was begging to tell me all he knew. However, I needed to bring the council proof, that was not forced after hours of intense questioning, that the Fringe was gaining so many followers needed to be addressed. I needed to discover what had happened, what I had somehow missed, to spur these zealots into becoming so aggressive over the past year.

I shifted so I was once again fully man . . . otherwise, I would have been too tempted to bite off the traitor’s head. Stepping back, I nodded to my lieutenants and they released Devin before retreating several paces. The Jackal’s skin was twitching, and I braced for his shift. Instead, he merely snapped at the air, golden eyes bulging as he lunged straight at me, screaming, “Death to the Tiger!”

I waited until he was nearly upon me then sidestepped, twisting, as I clamped my hand on his leg and wrenched it as I drove him to the floor. Devin let out a high-pitched yelp as his leg broke. It did not matter; he would heal within the day. Flipping him onto his back, I grabbed his throat, pinning him down. “Who recruited you? Where were you approached?”

He gurgled and whined before finally rasping, “The Blue Star.” I questioned him for another hour, but Devin didn’t give up anything else. Leaving him under the watchful eyes of my lieutenants, I went to speak to the Therian Council. This threat to our way of life would be addressed.

Book Blurb:

What if history didn’t quite play out the way we know it? What would stay the same? What would change? Even in a world where Elves and Humans coexist, there are secrets. Not all the old legends are accurate, but neither are they false. Hidden among the Humans are the Therians, those gifted with the ability to shift into beasts. How long they will remain unseen by Human eyes depends on how well they adhere to their code of life and honor – The Therian Way.

When secrecy is vital to survive among Humans and Elves, the Therian Way offers balance. The Fringe, a militant group of discontented Therians, threaten to expose their race to Mankind. It falls to General Baran to track down and remove the Fringe Nest before time runs out. Who can he trust when the fate of his people lies in the Tiger’s paw?

About the author:

Kimberly RogersKimberly A. Rogers writes in-depth reviews of Christian and secular fantasy as well as articles for Christian fantasy writers at her blog So You Want to Write Christian Fantasy? Of course, only when not in the midst of writing papers and taking exams in the pursuit of her Masters in Religious Education. Kimberly lives in Virginia where the Blue Ridge Mountains add inspiration to an over-active imagination originally fueled by fantasy classics such as the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Connect with Kimberly:

Website: https://kimberlyrogerscfwriter.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimberlyrogers2/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karogersauthor

Book Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Paw-Novella-The-Therian-ebook/dp/B00ZDDQIYG/

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  1. Never read urban fantasy – Christian or secular, and stories told entirely by the male protagonist’s POV are rare – definitely want to see how Baran handles his duties and journey of Faith.

    • Thanks for stopping by Felicia!

    • Urban fantasy is definitely different but I do like it. They are, I can only think of a few series where the male protagonist is the only or lead narrator, but Baran’s story was definitely one that needed to be told through his eyes alone. Of course, I was always the one who wanted the guy’s POV to go along with the girl’s. 😉

      Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Interesting! I’ve never attempted to write fantasy, but I too love CS Lewis and Tolkien. Best of luck with the novel!

    • Thanks for stopping by and encouraging a young author, Debra!

    • Thank you, Debra. Fantasy is an interesting genre to write but it suited me better than my attempts at historical or contemporary or chick-lit. 🙂 Of course, if I was allowed to toss a fantasy element into the mix, I’d be more willing to try the others.

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