Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Blogger: Vijaya Schartz on Writing The Chronicles of Kassouk

Please welcome Vijaya to the blog. I've been reading her series, The Chronicles of Kassouk and have fallen in love with the sci-fi behind the whole concept. So, I asked her to come on and tell you all a little about it. I'm telling you, it is well thought out, realistic, and...well...REALLY COOL! Without further ado, Vijaya!

Amber, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog.

Since the third book in THE CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK, BLACK JAGUAR, is out this month from DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING here are a few points that make this series so special.


Each story in the Chronicles of Kassouk stands on its own, but reading all the novels in the right order allows the reader to perceive the evolution of the various societies I created for this series. The entire concept of the series is based on the contrast between people at different stages of evolution. What happens when an advanced galactic race decides to take advantage of a less developed population?

In Book One, WHITE TIGER, powerful aliens are worshiped as deities in the temple when their galactic enemies attack, and the Human population, at a medieval stage of development, is caught in the middle. In Book Two, RED LEOPARD, a Hybrid race of Mutants rules the planet, but forbids Humans to develop or use technology. And when their galactic Fathers return, the Mutants are divided. Again, the Human population is caught in the struggle. And in BLACK JAGUAR, Humans are exploring the other continents and find themselves as the high-tech race, compared to the natives... until they discover a scheming galactic interloper...

But in all these stories, although technology is powerful, Human ingenuity, courage, and will power usually triumph in the end, even against impossible odds. I am partial to good endings, where the villains get their due and the heroes their rewards. That’s why we read fiction.


Because the Human population of Kassouk originated from the crash of Noah’s Ark, a science vessel from Earth, meant to seed another planet with animal life, many familiar species are found on New Earth, and large felines abound. After the Human technology was destroyed in the harsh conditions of the frozen planet, the knowledge was lost over generations in favor of survival skills, like hunting. Eventually, a new low-tech society emerged, and only legends tell of their origins.

But the Humans of Kassouk have learned to tame wild felines as pets (a kitten is a kitten after all, no matter how big) and they enjoy a special bond with them. They also train them for battle. These fiercely loyal companions are found throughout the series, and Human warriors like to take feline battle names. Each title in the series is the battle name of a warrior (male or female). The animals risk and sometimes sacrifice their lives to protect their Human masters. A few special characters, like Tora in White Tiger, and Talina in Black Jaguar, can even communicate with them, mind-to-mind.


I always loved sci-fi, but as a woman, I often missed the feminine element. I remember my mother saying "I don’t like movies with no women." Later I understood that what she missed was not just the women, but the interaction between the two genders, and the complications, romantic or otherwise, that derive from their being thrown together into some kind of conflict.

Early on, while writing straight sci-fi, I joined Romance Writers of America, because they offered sound guidance and professional advice for new writers. Then I realized that what was missing in most Sci-Fi stories was the romantic element. So, I decided to write sci-fi romance, a complete science-fiction or fantasy plot, cool aliens, lots of action, with a love story, emotional conflicts, and sensual scenes throughout, all the elements I love. Unfortunately, at the time, no one was publishing sci-fi romance. Until a few gutsy small publishers launched this new genre, and it has been growing exponentially ever since. Thanks to them, sci-fi is now open to the female market.

Find out more about all my books at:

You can also find my books on Amazon at:

And at Are (All Romance eBooks) at:

Hope you enjoy burying yourself in the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK. I’m presently writing book Four, titled BLUE LIONESS, and scheduled for release in August 2011. Noah’s Ark, the prequel and last book in the series, will follow in April 2012.

Thanks again, Amber, for the chance to appear on your wonderful blog.

Vijaya Schartz

Thank you, Vijaya, for giving us an insight into your series. I would recommend this series for anyone interested in SFR with equal doses of SF and R. Top quality writing and top quality world building.

Good writing all!


  1. Nice interview Amber & Vijaya.

    I love how Vijaya was woven the cats into the story. My favorite would have to be White Tiger, but I adore Red Leopard and Black Jaguar as well. Vijaya does it effortlessly, blending romance into the sci-fi. I love how the story moves. The characterization in all the stories are rich. Gosh, I could just gush about this series for days....

    Happy sales!

  2. Thanks for a great post, Vijaya and A.R.

    Although all three of these novels are already on my TBR list, this indepth look into the culture in the stories completely intrigues me. I'm going to have to bump these way up my list!

  3. Thanks Steph for liking my books, and Laurie for wanting to read them. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.