Kylie Chan is the best-selling author of the Dark Heavens series of epic fantasy books and the Dragon Empire science fiction series.
In the nine-book Dark Heavens series, Emma Donahoe is an ordinary Australian woman thrown into the world of Chinese Gods, martial arts, and magic. Emma must deal with a bewildering variety of Chinese mythological creatures from dragons to the Monkey King as she learns martial arts from her employer John Chen, who is really the God of Martial Arts, Xuan Wu.
Dragon Empire is Kylie’s new Science Fiction series, exploring a future universe where Earth is dying and humanity receives an offer of help from a powerful intergalactic dynasty – but at a price.
Kylie regularly posts updates on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, and has a Patreon where subscribers receive out-takes, additional content – and photos of Kylie’s apathetic cats.
1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?
I recently finished the final book in the ‘Dragon Empire’ Trilogy, and it will be released in Australia on the 2nd of September. When Harper-Collins sent me the final version of the cover:
The editors there referred to the cover as ‘Hot and Broody’ and I have to agree.
Now that ‘Dawn’ is finished and ready for release, I have three more projects that I’m working on.
The first is a cyber-thriller about artificial intelligences who want to destroy humanity and a totalitarian regime that are trying to save us. It has androids, mech and international conflict and I’m really enjoying it. I submitted an extract to the Gold Coast Home of the Arts ‘Rage Against the Virus’ program and they accepted it – and that extract is available to read at: https://hota.com.au/minds-of-sand-and-light/ . The working title is ‘Minds of Sand and Light’ and I was already six chapters in before I was swamped by edits and proofs for ‘Dawn of Empire’.
The other two projects are a YA fantasy about a teenaged dragon on the run in the Dark Heavens universe, and an adult-level spinoff from Dark Heavens itself.
I’m also prepping the ‘Dragon Empire’ series to self-publish overseas. I submitted it to more than thirty agents and publishers, including my own US publishers, and none of them were interested in picking it up so I’ll release it in digital on Smashwords and in print through IngramSpark. Release date for ‘Scales of Empire’ outside Australia is September 1, and this is so much more work when you have to do it yourself!
The final thing I’m working on is a pitch deck for a TV series for ‘Dark Heavens’ so that my production partners in the US can pitch it to studios over there. They’ve given me a bunch of existing decks to work off – and this is also way more work than I expected! They made the offer to hire someone to build the deck, but anyone they hire will probably only have read book one of the series and won’t understand important plot points that need to be set up for later reveals, so I’d rather do it myself.
Now that ‘Dawn of Empire’ is ready for publication, technically I don’t have any books contracted, which is both terrifying (oh no, I have no guaranteed income!) and liberating (I’ll fail the deadline – no wait I have no deadline and I can breathe). I’ll continue working on my creative projects for now, and hopefully when I have something to present to a publisher they’ll show some interest.
2. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?
Any time anyone comes up to me – or emails me – to tell me that my books have helped them to survive a difficult hospital (or even prison) stay. A number of people have emailed me to thank me for distracting them from their awful cancer treatment. There isn’t any higher accolade than to know that your book is a ‘hospital book’. My heart is full of joy to know that I’ve helped people when they’ve been at their lowest.
3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?
Right now Devin Madson’s award-winning We Ride The Storm is absolutely killing it out there. Devin is a remarkable talent and it’s about time she received the recognition she deserves. Check it out!
Also Alan Baxter’s novella ‘Roo’ which is a monster-horror in the most Australian setting possible. If you’re into giant beasts tearing people apart (and many swears), definitely do yourself a favour with this one as well.