Iris Q&A

Iris: Book 1 Of The Rygom Narratives
Alteration research has been declared illegal in the Megacity Rygom. Too many gave their lives in pursuit of making humans more powerful. Those few fortunate Alterations that survived have gone into hiding, fearful of what might happen if the Agency finds them.

Despite her father’s warnings, Iris Kayn has enrolled in the prestigious Agency Training Program, pursuing her dream of becoming an Enforcer. Dr. Norman Kayn’s concern for his daughter increases as Agent Tobias Vega and his sons take an alarming interest in Iris. Unsure of how much they know, Norman hopes that the Vegas aren’t seeking the truth about his beloved wife’s death.

Meanwhile in the Lower Region, Azure Clan Leaders, twins Rikani and Tays Rye, attempt to recover from a tragedy that nearly wiped out their entire family. Rikani works tirelessly to build a safe, prosperous community for her tenants and remaining relatives. All the while, Tays must deal with the ghosts from his past; his former mentor and ex-lover both seek to ruin his plans of reuniting Upper Society and the Lower Region, each for their own nefarious reasons.

Plans are hatched. People are manipulated. Pending doom awaits those in Rygom who fail to see the strings being pulled.

Q: What kind of influences affected the story of “Iris”?

A: Although I’m immensely pleased with all my stories, “Iris” is my pride and joy. I wrote the first draft  about eight years ago when I was in college, back when I was heavily under the influence of the great literature classics.


I use to describe “Iris” as “a Dickens novel on steroids.” I love the reveals at the end of Dickens’ books where we learn that this character is connected to this character through this unpredictable way.


Jane Austen’s comedy-of-manners style writing highlights and satirizes the behavior of the elites of society. With the Rygom Narratives series, not only did I get to create a new civilization, but I got to set community values, morals, restrictions, and taboos.


No matter where or when in time and space, human nature is the same. It’s why we still read William Shakespeare’s plays 200 years later. So no matter what technology is being used as tools in a society, people will still act similarly to the way they do now and always have acted.


You take those influences and throw in some cool sci-fi tech, and you get my attempt to create a genre called “epic science fiction.” I was bummed to learn that it hasn’t existed yet. So we’ll see if this takes off.


Q: What is “Iris” about?

A: This series focuses on a large ensemble cast of characters, all of which have some sort of influence in the future of the Megacity of Rygom. Some of them may or may not be incognito super humans called “Alterations.”


In many ways, this is a coming-of-age story for a number of characters. Several are in for rude awakenings when their comfortable lives are shattered and up-rooted.


“Iris” isn’t a romance. There are many love stories throughout the book in order to reflect the fact that people tend to be in relationships. But that’s not the focus. Still, I had quite a bit of fun finding ways to make their loves dysfunctional.


Sorry that I can’t be more specific about what “Iris” is about. It’s very long and very complex. Just sit back and enjoy the intertwining stories of these Rygom citizens.


Q: How did you first come up with the concepts in “Iris”?

A: Oooo! Spoilers! Maybe I’ll reveal my inspiration later in the series.


Q: Who is your favorite character from “Iris”?

A: This is always a difficult question. I love all my characters, but there are a few who stand out. Klev and Lom are a pair of my favorites; they are hilarious and have a beautiful back story. I also really enjoyed writing scenes with Claire and Maximus as they repeatedly diffuse the tension.


Q: It’s been over 2 years since you first published “Iris.” Now that it’s been revised and released for a second time, what kind of changes did you implement?

A: “Iris” is essentially the same as it has ever been. The plot lines are still whole and follow the basic progression in both. All I did in revisions was fix basic punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors. I added a tiny bit of descriptions to a few places. So if you purchased the original e-book through Kindle, don’t worry; it’s still almost the exact story–just with a prettier cover!


Q: Will there be a sequel to “Iris”?

A: I plan on writing many more books in The Rygom Narratives—specifically 3 different trilogies. Each trilogy will have a different cast of POV characters. There will be several consistent characters throughout all 9 books. The next book will be released early in 2019.


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to my Newsletter to get information on my up-coming books:

  • “Reps and Royals” (Coming March 2018)
  • “Mended by Ashes” (Coming April 2018)
  • “The People’s Order” (Coming Summer of 2018)
  • “Not So Anonymous” (Coming Fall of 2018)

–Amy Engle


PS: You can order your copy of “Iris” at just about any bookstore. But I highly recommend getting it from Barnes and Noble.

PSS: If you know me personally, let me know want to read “Iris.” I can help you save on taxes, shipping, and time if we meet up in person!