An Interview With Admiral Branden Kel-Paten
Anyone who starts talking romances with me for any length of time will know I absolutely adore Admiral Branden Kel-Paten. He was the main star of Linnea Sinclair's Science Fiction Romance Games of Command. Imagine my absolute surprise, when after a trip or two (or three or four) to the Intergallactic Bar & Grille, Ms Sinclair let it slip that it wasn't fiction. Kel-Paten was real. I simply had to convince her to contact him for an interview. As Kel-Paten’s official biographer, she has a very sophisticated setup for communicating with the admiral. Although I cannot disclose the location of or details about the technology, I can say that after our interview, a digital elaborate transcipt was waiting in my email mere seconds after we disconnected. I have shared it below.
Kathy Andrico impatiently waits while Linnea Sinclair contacts Admiral Branden Kel-Paten. She can hardly believe that it is all true. Games of Command was real, simply packaged as a Science Fiction Romance. Suddenly he appears on the screen and Linnea makes the introductions. A timer is set for how long this transmission can last.
Kat: "Admiral, I know you are busy and I really appreciate your taking time to speak to me. I would like to start by asking about your thoughts on the future. Your entire relationship with Tasha has been during times of conflict and war. Would you mind sharing, if the war ended tomorrow, and you could settle somewhere, where would you live and what would life be like?"
Admiral Branden Kel-Paten leans back in his chair and, black-gloved hands steepeled in front of his face, studies Kat for a moment. "You're assuming, then, that the Triad and the Ved have somehow annihilated not only themselves, but the Illithians as well? Which would then somehow miraculously cause the Rebashee to behave and not, perhaps, seek to conquer whatever is left of the Triad at that point? Against the direct wishes of the U-Cees..."
He arches one eyebrow. "You read too much fiction. But yes, should that all transpire, I think there still would be a need for exploration and scientific advancement. Sass and I could very comfortably call a research ship our home. As our encounter with McClellan's Void proved, there's yet much to be learned of our galaxy, let alone the entire universe. Enough to keep me busy and," and at this point, one corner of his mouth quirks up in a small smile, "Sass out of trouble."
Kat smiles. His humor must be returning along with his memories, which is needed for her next question. "It appears that Ralland Kel-Tyra has been your best friend, maybe your only friend, through the years. How did that come about? My guess is that it may have been a result of Rall's persistence. How is your relationship different today versus in the past?"
Kel-Paten: "I don't think Rall had all that much choice being that, well, we're brothers. Not that siblings are automatically friends. And I will tell you that Rall was very much an annoying ten-year old, and didn't improve all that much at eleven or even fifteen. But Rall is nothing if not," and he sighs, "persistent. Gregarious. Quite often too damned-chipper for my liking. You'd have to ask him why he kept showing up by my side. I did my best to discourage him. Eventually, I just gave up." He smiles again, his eyes closing slightly. "He's good people, even if he has a noticeable lack of organizational skills. You've seen his office?"
Kat shook her head, maybe another interview in the future...
Kel-Paten: "As to how our relationship is different, well, it's not, really. You know I risked my life for his a year ago. I would have done so a dozen years ago if the situation had come up. Annoying or not, Rall has always had value to me. A lot of people have — my officers, my crew, for example. I just don't go around advertising that. It's counterproductive." He shrugs. "Alright. I know what you're getting it. Yes, I'm a bit more open now than I was five, ten years ago. I don't have Psy-Serv's retaliation to worry about. And Rall knows, as most people know by this point, how important Sass is in my life. But it's still not something I'm comfortable talking about, not to Rall or anyone, and I still wish Rall would clean up his office."
Kat, surprised how quickly the familial relationship was mentioned, didn't expect that "with a stranger" and says so.
Kel-Paten: "You're hardly a stranger, Ms Andrico. If anything, it's my personal opinion Sass's friend and biographer, Ms Sinclair, has shared far too much information with you. Though, yes, I know that's the role of a biographer. The only upside on this is that everyone, or most everyone, thinks we're fictional. Plus, the release of the books and stories are limited, by agreement, to your solar system. At the rate you are *not* progressing with your space program, I'll be long gone by the time those stories ever make it to my sector of the galaxy, and what I say becomes known."
Kat is floored that Sass was supposed to be the lead of Games of Command. For Kat, it has always been Kel-Paten. But that can wait. "So it really was all Rall's doing that you became friends...
Kel-Paten nods slowly. "He can be, as I said, persistent. I think he knew it annoyed Roderick Kel-Tyra, his father. My paternal genetic donor, if you will. And no, I don't consider Roderick my father, not in the usual meaning of the word. And yes, I do consider Rall my brother. If you want to psychoanalyze all that, please do it somewhere other than my office."
Kat smothers a smile. She is really happy to see him let down his shields with her - even if simply to let loose with a snarky comment. "I would have thought Rall would have been discouraged by your parents to form any type of relationship with you. Did he sneak it by them?"
This garners a short chuckle from Kel-Paten. "I am, or was, an extremely expensive and important experiment for the Triad. I can't discount that Roderick wasn't pleased but if he had any objections, the medical team at Sellarmaris Biocybernetics, and Psy-Serv, would have overruled them. Plus, I think Rall was seeking a partner-in-crime, someone to cover his tracks after his various escapades. I'm very good at that. Or thought I was, until I met Sass..." Another soft chuckle, and Kel-Paten's gaze seems to shift off to one side for a few moments. He turns back. "She is the master of the mullytrock, you know."
Kat agrees, "I know." But thoughts of a possible future interview with Rall swirl in her head. A chirp indicates that there is just enough time for one quick question. "Have you given any thought to getting a furzel of your own, or is Tank furzel enough for the two of you?
Kel-Paten: "I'm telepathically linked to Tank. That's quite enough, thank you. A second telepathic link to a second furzel?" He shakes his head. "There's not enough Excelsior brandy in this sector to get me through that."
With that, Branden Kel-Paten disappears from the screen.
The Return of Admiral Branden Kel-Paten, My All-Time Favorite Hero
And a Tale From the Second Chance Saloon
They're back. Admiral Branden Kel-Paten and his Lady Sass. Like many, I was thrilled to learn that Linnea Sinclair was writing a short sequel to Games of Command. Even better, in The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romances, we would be gifted with two Linnea Sinclair short stories! Below I have the beginnings of the reviews for both stories, followed by my Dec 2007 Corner of Admiral Branden Kel-Paten.
Seven Months of Forever
An admiral without a fleet, but not without love. Admiral Branden Kel-Paten had been a part of a small group that had left the Triad. He may no longer have command, but he had Captain Tasha Sebastian. He had been in love with her for years. From the moment he had first seen her, he had needed to hide his feelings. As a biocybe, his emo-inhibitors had been set to prevent that from happening, but he had overcome that. Now, he was living the dream he never even knew he could wish to have.
But war still waged, and his enemies would try anything to get him back. Even if it means wiping him away forever.
Raphael Macawley loved Briony Winn. He had never told her. Never told anyone. She considered him heartless, ruthless. Certainly never a lover. He had loved her. Actually, he still did, but not for much longer. He was about to die, and he had never said it aloud. Not until the moment he died.
I've finally found the epitome of a Romance Genre Novel hero. He is smart, shy, sexy, awkward, a military great, and yet a victim of government-sanctioned abuse. He is also absolutely, head-over-heels, oh-so-in-love with his heroine. He is Branden Kel-Paten, the hero of Linnea Sinclair's Games of Command, and now the one character whom I believe all heroes in future romances must strive to emulate.
Imagine being born just to be an experiment. Imagine the physical agony as your arms and legs are transformed from mere flesh and blood to having implants, wiring, and ports. Imagine the loneliness as everyone knows who you are, admires what you are, fear what you've become, and shies away from contact with you.
Imagine loving a woman, when you should not feel love. In fact, you should not have any feelings except anger because the scientists programmed emo-inhibitors to prevent your feeling emotions.
This is just a little of what Branden Kel-Paten had endured. But as if that wasn't enough to make any reader feel for him, we quickly learn that Kel-Paten had turned the tables on the Triad. He was still one of their most loyal people, but he had learned to override his programming. He could feel emotions. He was able to shift through the programs they tried to download in him. Kel-Paten was in charge of who he was. He was an admiral dedicated to the Triad, he was a biocybe trying to hide the fact that his humanity was in control over his biocybernetics, but most of all, he was a man completely in love with a woman, by the name of Captain Tasha "Sass" Sebastian.
And it is this man who has become my epitome of a Romance Genre Novel hero.
I had not read any books by Linnea Sinclair prior to accepting Games of Command for review (Please see my review!). I did not know the history of the book, nor that many readers had been left hanging for many years. Apparently, in 2002, Command Performance was published. It introduced four characters, Admiral Branden Kel-Paten, Captain Tasha "Sass" Sebastian, Chief Medical Officer Eden Fynn, and rebel Captain Jace Serafino. Unfortunately, it left a cliffhanger, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the sequel was not published.
In steps Bantam Books, who decides to publish the story, but Ms Sinclair needs to rewrite it into one book. And I must extend my hearty appreciation to Bantam. This story is utterly amazing. The depth of back story Ms Sinclair creates is phenomenal. I actually thought that this was part of a series. For example, if you were to pick up any Star Wars novel, you know that there will be references to all sorts of characters, species, and worlds that you have learned about in other books, movies, comics, etc. However with Games of Command, there is all of those name dropping, and side comments, but no additional stories. Linnea Sinclair is an amazing storyteller, but I'm going to change gears from spotlighting Ms Sinclair, and return to my favorite hero - Kel-Paten.
He had conquered the programming, and was able to feel emotions, although he could block them when necessary - such as when he was around empaths. This was particularly important due to his feelings for Tasha. He loved her. Yet he couldn't tell her, and he had absolutely no idea how to interact with her on a personal level. They had been on opposite sides of the war for years, and she didn't fully trust him. He knew that what he was probably was an equal, if not more, cause for her to turn away from him. And not simply for distrust, but perhaps disgust as well.
Yet Kel-Paten always tried to find ways to be near her. During the war, he engineered battles so that they could spar, just to be near her. Then with peace, he was able to use his influence to bring her onboard his ship. Now he had her where he wanted her, with him, yet he had no idea what to do next.
My heart hurt so much for Kel-Paten. He was trying so hard to be more human than biocybe. He continually used terms like "learn" instead of "programmed". He also tried to avoid allowing Tasha to see the non-human side of him. Kel-Paten was so in love with Sass, and due to the emo-inhibitors she knew had been put in him, Sass had no idea that the comments she made, and the way she reacted with him, devastated him. There is one scene in this book that I have re-read so many times, there is actually (GASP) a crease in the spine. Sass devastates Kel-Paten. It is page 233, and Sass is justified in her fear that Kel-Paten may have betrayed them. However, it is her words, and our insight into him, that we know how much her words hurt.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Down Home Zombie Blues to read for review (Please see my review!). This story was exciting, and yet another great romance. However, it is not just romance readers who are her fans. She has a huge fan base of Science Fiction readers. I have joined her Yahoo Group (Link found on Linnea's website) and highly recommend any fan to join. There are many incentives to join that I can't share here!
Also, once you've read Games of Command, the adventure doesn't end. She has posted several deleted scenes on the blog she shares with several other writers. She included several deleted scenes, (Link found on Linnea's website) plus an interview with Kel-Paten! (I even got my question answered by him...SIGH) There were 2 postings from Kel-Paten. (Part 1) and (Part 2)
So, for all you Kel-Paten fans, and maybe even those of you who haven't read the book yet, I have a special surprise. Linnea Sinclair has given me a deleted scene that she hasn't yet posted on the blog. Be among the first to find out how Kel-Paten's friend Ralland Kel-Tyra learns about Kel-Paten's love of Sass by Clicking Here
This month, if you are a member of my Yahoo Announcement Group, you will be automatically entered to win an ARC of Games of Command provided by Ms Sinclair
I hope that you take my advice, and read Games of Command. And once you do, I'm sure you will love Kel-Paten as much as I do.
Then we'll just have to wait impatiently hoping for a sequel.
I truly enjoy sharing my love of reading. This site was started to allow me to share some of my favorite books. I hope that if you look around and find that you agree with some of my selections (see my reviews), that you will return and hopefully find new authors. I plan on having periodic "Recommended Reads" lists that will include books I recommend, as well as suggestions by visitors to this site. I will also keep you up-to-date on different upcoming events, special offers, etc.
As you look around, I'm still learning my way around HTML, etc. If you see any errors, typos, please e-mail me.