Interview with Luki Belle, author of gothic paranormal suspense The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste
The setting: two fictitious nations, Hastan and Llehstanz, in a past imaginary era of colonization.
The Llehstanz Monarchy won its final battle over Hastan to colonize the nation after years of war. The battlefield charge was led by a reputable, young, ruthless, and handsome Colonel Valstohl Baquiste. Highly skilled but equally arrogant, he holds a prejudice against the people of Hastan. Tragically, Colonel Baquiste was unexpectedly attacked during the last battle leaving him physically disabled. Realizing his military life is over, the embittered Colonel Baquiste awaits his dismissal to return to Llehstanz. However, he is offered a second chance for victory.
Colonel Baquiste is called back to military duty on a secret mission. He must go alone in disguise to capture elusive thugs terrorizing the Llehstanzite regiment. In accepting the mission, Baquiste realizes he is no longer fighting an enemy on a battleground when he travels to stay at the palace of renowned Southern Hastana landowner, Sir Bojeshnomaan Yervaan. Yervaans’ sinister nature ensnares Baquiste while the delicate assignment compels him to confront his tragic past and his prejudice against Hastanas. If the ambitious Colonel wants victory, it will require him to use not just his grit but also his heart.
Excerpt from The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste
Well, when you meet my Jeshn and you see the way he is, you will see how I dread every time he steps out of the palace grounds until the moment he returns when I can touch his face and see him alive, uninjured. Farmers don’t give up farming because this land is all they have to live on, to feed their families, to earn a living, most of which your monarchy takes away from me and if it were not for me, the widow of a landowner, the farmers would be starving and dying from the thugs and the diseased who terrorize the Daikalin people and us!” her voice was shaking from emotions which she appeared to hold back.
Interview with Luki Belle
-What Inspired you to become a writer?
A former colleague of mine – he commented on my paintings and said that I needed to “take the lid off myself” meaning to be more expressive and not to be shy. You see I am a self-taught artist and use to paint women as a hobby. I realized that what my colleague was saying, was for me to be more dramatic in my artistic expression because he intuitively pointed out that I had the desire to express more. However, I knew that I did not have the skills to illustrate my inner thought process, in art, because I was teaching myself and lacked the knowledge to make my paintings appear more dynamic.
Shortly after that conversation with my colleague, I had a terrible nightmare which produced a recurring vision of a haunting scene. I wanted to materialize that vision into art, as a way of self-healing from that terrible experience. While doing so, I quickly concluded that my humble painting skills were limited, and I needed to express this haunting vision into words to get the therapy I was seeking. That got me started on writing out that recurring scene which I kept seeing in my mind after my nightmare. Those initial words, to find self-healing, led to a ten-year writing project and produced my first novel (the one that I will publish after my second book goes out).
When I saw that my first book was more than just pages of scribbles and that it was growing into a full novel, I decided that I wanted it published after it was done. However, I was not comfortable with putting that out into the world first, call it a lack of serious self-confidence. I decided to keep writing and instead of one large novel I started thinking of short stories, one story led to another, and another ultimately created The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste which became much more than a short story and got published first. The short stories I have written will be compiled into my second book, yet to be published. The first novel from the ten-year writing project will be the third in line for publication 🙂
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Oh ghosh! Can I do two things, puhleez!!?
I would love to watch Colonel Valstohl Baquiste fight and or train, showcasing his unique martial arts skills which incorporate tribal and animalistic movements.
Secondly, I would love to visit the Yervaan Palace in its prime days (before Hastan became colonized by the Llehstanz Monarchy) and experience the prestigious era of the Yervaan family in all its glamor!
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence?
Colonel Valstohl Baquiste grimly reveals his dark past in Llehstanz involving his mother Countess Rayaan Baquiste.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Well, are we talking in a group or individually? 🙂
I think Valstohl Baquiste himself, of course, though the conversations may not flow very easily but could be highly intellectual and enlightening if the Colonel can be enticed to meaningless banter (challenging!) But he would willingly engage in pedantic debates and verbal battles, for sure.
Jeshn Yervaan, naturally, the charming, athletic, handsome and virile man that he is! Though I would have to watch out for his sharp tongue and piercing eagle-like gaze, he can read through me quickly and become quite moody unexpectedly.
Ambassador General Masim Tropart, Dr. Sumena Mondo and the elite Mukhma Comshe. Aha! Now we are talking drink rounds after drink rounds! With these gentlemen, you’ve got a long night of entertainment!
Last but not the least by any means, Countess Rayaan Baquiste and the two Yervaan Madams – whoa! Gentlemen, please clear the place! Shots all night and can you hold your own in drinks and conversation with these women? Can you keep them entertained?
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
I say “Let’s drink to that shall we? Bartender!! Drinks all around to everyone in the tavern! My fellow duel-er here is certainly going to win and is therefore paying!” Then as the place gets all loud and happy from hearing this, I make a run for the door and escape 🙂
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Ha! Ha! That would be the comedy genre! I am terrible at telling and making up jokes!! Guess what, the joke is on me 🙂 Did you laugh? No! See told ya!
About Luki Belle
Luki Belle works in the media industry. Storytelling was a fixture from childhood when she would listen to stories told by her grandparents, parents, sisters, and cousins who would read to her from diverse cultural fiction books. Growing up, Luki was fortunate to live in various parts of the world and experience beautiful cultures. During this time, she embraced and appreciated diversity among people while recognizing through love, overcoming pain, or grief, one can truly bond with others leading to unimaginable positive outcomes.
Luki Belle will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Thanks for stopping by Ki’t ‘n Kabookle! Connect with me on Goodreads for more book things. Lately, I’ve read…