Author Bio: Born and raised in Southeastern Idaho, Kody Boye began his writing career with the publication of his story [A] Prom Queen’s Revenge at the age of fourteen. Published nearly three-dozen times before going independent at eighteen, Boye has authored numerous works—including the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunriseand the epic fantasy series The Brotherhood Saga. He is represented by Hannah Brown Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media Agency.
1) What inspired you to write His Touch of Ice?
When I initially wrote the story that would eventually become His Touch of Ice some years later, I was responding to an anthology call requesting dark romance stories with supernatural creatures. I'd initially intended to write a vampire story, but wanted to try something different (hence the more sensual aspects of the feedings that take place within the story.)
After releasing the completed manuscript online and then abandoning it, I came across it via the torrents seven years later and got to thinking about how a re-envisioned version would be. I'd learned from download counts when it was listed on Smashwords that people were interested, and that they continued to read despite the juvenile writing, so I figured, Why not? Paranormal romance has been big, and given that erotica has surged as of recent, I wanted to see how it'd be received.
2) There are some very strong characters in this book, did they come to you easily or did you have to spend a lot of time crafting them?
My characters usually come very naturally to me. Sometimes I give them aspects of myself (Jason's aspirations to become a Literature professor or possibly an English teacher was born out of my false desire to gain approval; Guy became the enigma that everyone loves, but isn't shy about his affections.) Some people (like the villains in the book) were lost even to me, which is why I'm eternally grateful to my editor for helping me shape them into stronger, more three-dimensional characters. Some characters come out fully-formed. Others have to hatch and then develop.
3) His Touch of Ice features a few mythological beings, did you have to do much research to write about the Howlers and Kaldr?
The Howlers are no different from Werewolves, nor are the Sanguine to the Vampires. I decided early on that I wanted to keep the 'traditional' monsters locked in their 'traditional' aspects (though I did maintain an infection-based transference of power to their human thrall/victim.) The Kaldr were born out of my fascination with Norse mythology. The 'Nordic Mountain Man' mythos was intriguing to me, but I wanted to expand upon the idea of men and women who lived in frigid climates and create something supernatural. In that regard, I first had to create them as supernatural creatures, then give them a reason to be placed outside of Europe. I did a lot of research on Viking conquest in conjunction with certain parts of blossoming Norway. Because of that, I gave the creature a name I felt suiting for their species. Svell means Ice in old Norse, as Kaldr means Cold. So, effectively, the Svell Kaldr are The Ice Cold. A few other words come up throughout the novel, but all can be pinpointed back to Nordic language.
4) Why did you choose to set it in Texas?
I set the story in Texas because I got tired of seeing the same-old vampires in California thing (which is ironic considering I set the story in California when I initially wrote it.) After moving to Austin, and living here for almost four years, I decided to pay tribute to the state and city that liberated me from religious fundamentalism by setting the story here. The geographical settings are something to behold. Long, winding roads, some of them lined with beautiful fields of flowers and blue bonnets; apple orchards that stretch as far as the eye can see; areas where there are absolutely nothing at all. Few people tend to recognize the scope of this state (or that you can fit parts of Europe in it several times over.)
5) How hard was it to go back and rewrite the original story?
I maintained only the skeletons of the original novel His Touch is of Ice, but even then they were broken and repurposed to suit the needs of the story. My juvenile aspirations as both a writer and person really affected the story in terms of scope and depth. I didn't know anything about the area it took place in, I gave vague impressions for plot points that should have been connected, and the nature of the Kaldr was so transparent I could've taken them out. I was barely fifteen and had no concept of the world. So, for that, I decided to keep only the basics. It kept my trajectory clear and didn't hinder me from creating a new universe.
6) Do you think you might write sequels to it or is the open ending meant to be as it is?
The open ending is meant to be exactly that. I wanted to be able to end the come to a halt where it still felt satisfying, yet at the same time left me in a position to where I could easily continue in a second novel should I ever get the inkling. So far, I don't have plans to continue. I'm not even sure what happens beyond that point
His Touch of Ice is the story of Jason a former college student who's been down on his luck ever since he was kicked out after being falsely accused of plagiarism by another student. Tired, anxious and alone he spends time in chat rooms seeking a connection. On a whim he meets up with a man he's sure will turn out to be just another jerk and finds that there's a lot more to Guy Winters than he had at first bargained for. Despite his better judgement he follows tall, handsome and intriguing back to his place. Going home afterwards turns out to be less than appealing, especially when it turns out the eviction notice and belated rent payment have finally come to bite him.
Guy , who's turned out to be a very mysterious but seemingly trustworthy hook up offers to let him stay at his place and Jason soon takes him up on it. Things are fine for a while but one evening a break in changes that and the pair finds themselves on the run. It seems Guy is more than he at first appears and Jason was right to be uncertain. Lost in a world he doesn't understand Jason is quickly swallowed up in Guy's world, swept along in a battle he may not be able to handle.
His Touch of Ice is a surprisingly quick read and a very satisfying one at that. Boye's characters are very likeable and we instantly relate to Jason's life and concerns. It's been a while since I got into a PNR book and this one is a fresh new take on the usual PNR tropes. I really liked what he did here with the Kaldr (distant relatives of the ice giants in norse mythology) and Howlers (a different take on werewolves)who are enemies battling it out in Texas. Fans of m/m romance and erotica will enjoy this book immensely and find a lot to interest them.
There are a few typos and certain elements might do well with some fleshing out, but I found these things did little to distract from the plot. I'm hoping we'll get to see a bit more about this world and it's characters as many elements of the book leave it open for at least one more story. Boye has a lot to offer his readers and I for one will be seeking out other books from this author.
Four Stars ****