KS Augustin is primarily a writer of science-fiction and fantasy romance. Like most authors, she has held down a variety of jobs, including corporate trainer, technical writer, lecturer, satirist, martial arts instructor, project manager, political essayist and small business owner.
She was born in the global South (Malaysia) and, with her husband, has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. She will tell you often that her husband is from Poland because she is so proud of him. They have two children, nicknamed in her blog The Wast and Little Dinosaur. The Wast was born in California and Little Dinosaur was born in Melbourne, Australia.
Concepts in books
While trust is an integral part of any romance, Augustin is also fascinated by the concepts of discrimination and ambiguity. Most of her work contains elements of these concepts.
The Seti species in The Commander's Slave suffered perhaps the ultimate in discrimination, the entire genocide of their people, and the book is the story of how their commander tries to obtain some justice and continuity for his species.
Toh, the hero of On Bliss, is a shapeshifter, held in suspicion by the galaxy at large. He holds himself apart from the rest of the population on the prison-planet of Bliss, leaving Hoara Felin to wonder if all that she's been taught about the murderous shapeshifters is true.
Heron Meed, from Prime Suspect, is a male-dominant hermaphrodite, also subject to discrimination from an uneasy and conservative galaxy. At the start of the story, it is bitter and petulant, until it learns to begin trusting again. And the person it trusts is the lush Subah Doisson, who has seen life pass her by and is resigned to a life of apathy ... until, that is, Heron comes along.
The heroine of The Dragon of Ankoll Keep is a small thief called Gamsin. She has issues with physical intimacy after two previous rapes. Ankoll is the man who helps her regain her confidence in herself. Ankoll is a pure beta-male (he whistles off-key, is considerate and supportive, and loves to cook) with a problem. At the beginning of the book, he is under an enchantment. And, at the end of the book, he is under an enchantment. It's just a different enchantment.
Ebony Strike (from Combat!) is a renowned martial artist who has, at best, ambivalent feelings about the planet she's left. From the time she was young, her overriding ambition was to leave the poverty of her homeworld but, despite herself, she finds she cannot turn down a direct plea from its inhabitants. The children are starving...will she help?
Cheloi Sie, the professional combat officer from War Games (once available for download under a Creative Commons licence, but now currently under extensive revision) is not who everyone thinks she is. Her entire life, as the brilliant commander of a strategic territory on an alien planet, is a lie. What happens when she discovers that most unlikely of emotions -- love -- amid a war-zone? There are layers of ambiguity, politics, and double-dealing in the book. Augustin considers this book a "space opera romance". There is too much space opera to be regarded wholly as a romance, and too much romance (she thinks) to be regarded wholly as a space opera.
A Pirate's Passion brings a new element to the Republic universe, with the introduction of the aristocratic gentry class. Tera d'Olzon is a poor little rich girl trying to run away from the corruption that her monied class revels in, while the honourable pirate, Gilthen Ahn, finds himself coming up with a scheme to impersonate that same gentry class in order to get his hands on as much money as possible.
Her first contemporary, Guarding His Body, while striving for a lighter tone of romance, turns the usual trope of bodyguard upside down, with a female guarding the male.
Her sff works take place in three universes to date. The Fusion is more like a dysfunctional utopia. The plots set in the Fusion tend to span planets and their politics. Actions of characters have consequences far beyond themselves. Stories set in the Fusion include The Commander's Slave, Combat!, War Games and Genesis. Humans don't enter into this universe; Augustin is not sure if Earth has even been discovered by the Fusion. Augustin readily acknowledges the influences of Star Wars and Iain M Banks in this universe.
The Republic is a human-led and human-dominated coalition, with all its associated bigotry, conniving and corruption. Stories of Republic characters are tighter and more intimate, relating how people work within an essentially rotten society. Stories in this universe include On Bliss, Prime Suspect and A Pirate's Passion.
The Land is where the adventures of Gamsin and Ankoll (The Dragon of Ankoll Keep) take place. This was originally a world created for a fantasy comedy about cheese-making (believe it or not) but Augustin decided to use it to tell Gamsin and Ankoll's adventures. The premise for the series began with the question: what if the prince doesn't kiss the princess? Or the princess doesn't kiss the frog? What happens then?
On Bliss (Short story — Total-E-Bound)
Prime Suspect (Novella — Total-E-Bound) : 2008 Gaylactic Spectrum Award Recommended Short List (Short Fiction)
A Pirate's Passion (Novel — Total-E-Bound)
Guarding His Body (Novel - Total-E-Bound)
In Enemy Hands (Novel - Carina Press)
Cougars & Cubs (Anthology - Total-E-Bound)
Singapore Sizzle (Standalone release from Cougars & Cubs anthology - Total-E-Bound)
Seeing Stars (Anthology - Total-E-Bound)
Waiting on covers is an ongoing (and nailbiting!) process. Covers to date include: