Speaking of LOVE, we’re ending the week with another something I love: the debut of the Author Interview Series! Weekly, or biweekly, depending on the moon and other undisclosed factors, I’ll be posting an interview with authors and industry pros from many different genres where we can learn about them, their books and their methods.
KK: The witness protection theme intrigued me for two reasons: First, it adds and element of danger, which makes it more exciting, of course. Second, I liked that my lady leads would be pulled away from their homes and into this whole new world.
CH: Have you always written? What was the first thing you remember writing?
KK: I can’t say I’ve always written, but I do remember writing a story back in third grade or so. I still have it somewhere. I think it was called ‘The Mystery Noise’. It was about little kids who kept hearing strange noises from a neighbor’s shed. Once they finally worked up the nerve to inspect it, they discover it’s a harmless little kitten who’s in need of a home.
CH: You have a book that is not part of the Cowboy Romance series. Tell us about the premise and where we can find it.
KK: Yeah – Evie’s Knight is my first published novel. Here it is in one sentence: When Evie falls in love with Calvin Knight, their love provokes a murderous woman from beyond the grave who wants Evie dead. Cheery, right? Ha ha. It’s a really fun read with a paranormal twist but at the heart it is a romance, since that’s what I enjoy writing most. You can find it here on Amazon.
CH: How long does a typical book take you from start to the finished product ready for posting on Amazon?
KK: From start to finish, I’d say it takes six months for me to complete romance novels the size of Cowboy Crave and Cowboy Crush. Once I finish Reese’s story, Cowboy Kiss, I’ll be writing a related series of novellas that I’m hoping to put out in closer to three or four months. I should note that I spent approx. five years getting Evie’s Knight ready, being my first book and all. I had so much to learn, so the writing alone took much longer. I rewrote the book many times as well, and queried several agents along the way.
CH: You’ve chosen to self publish through Amazon. What are your top three tips for an aspiring author who is thinking about going the Indie route?
1. Don’t rush. Going the indie route allows us to put our work out there much sooner than traditional publishing. While this can be a great thing, it can also be to our detriment. It’s easy to get excited about a story, throw a cover together, and put it out there before it’s ready. Take your time and get it right first.
2. Find beta readers. As writers, we are much too close to our work, and don’t always see its flaws. And while our critique partners (and our moms) help get us to new amazing levels, it’s still not quite enough. Get a few more people (those who like to read your genre) who are willing to provide honest feedback. You don’t want anyone reading it like it’s broken (looking for all the places that need fixing) but they should be able to spot places that just don’t jive. This can be invaluable.
3. Do your research. There is so much information out there. Lots of tips and ideas about what and who can help sell your indie book. Before you put time, effort, and or money into these options, check into the results they generate. Say, if you’re considering having someone promote your book, first look at the current and recent books they’ve promoted. See how they rank in sales (listed under Product Details on Amazon). If the books they are promoting aren’t doing so well, you may want to keep on looking.
CH: Who is your favorite of the cowboy brothers?
KK: That’s a hard one. I love them all for different reasons.
I love Gavin’s rebellious edge and his devotion to being a better man.
Blake’s respect and appreciation for women.
And Shane’s playful ways and passionate nature.
CH: When you launch your book, do you have a launch party, or is your celebration strictly cyber based?
KK: Cyber, baby! That’s where it’s at for me. 🙂
CH: If you could write and sell anything, what would it be?
KK: I’m happy to say it’d be exactly what I’m writing and selling now. Stories that I would enjoy reading myself – that’s what I aim for.
CH: After our time at a recent retreat, I’ve learned you have a discerning palate. What is your favorite snack while writing?
KK: I’ll pretty much munch on whatever I have around the house. But my favorite is Tassos (jalapeno and garlic stuffed green olives) with Brie cheese and crackers. I’ve got a taste for savory. Sweets aren’t normally my weakness.
CH: When you finish a book, how do you celebrate?
KK: I love cracking open a bottle of sparkling cider and treating myself to a tall, beautiful glass of it. That one’s just for me. With the family, I’d say a night out to dinner is best!
CH: You have a set of beta readers and critique partners who help to fine tune and perfect your novels. What are some tips to finding good partners? What should we look for?
KK: I sort of touched on this one earlier, but I’d say make sure the people you have going over your work appreciate what you’re trying to accomplish. They shouldn’t be trying to give you a new voice, just helping to make yours shine in the best possible light. It’s been quite a journey for me, but I’m a firm believer in prayer, so I’ve always prayed for help in finding people who could help me the most.
CH: You have a new book out on the cyber shelves. What are you working on now?
KK: Reese’s Cowboy Kiss, which is third (chronologically first) in the Sweet Montana Bride series. Quick blurb: Reese, a Texan pageant queen, gets shipped to Emerson Ranch after witnessing an attempted murder. To complicate things, she learns the bullet was meant for her. Now she’s on a ranch with a handful of cowboys who are wildly attractive and more flirtatious than laws should allow. But Blake is the one who’s stolen her heart. And though she’s certain he feels the same, something seems to be holding him back. Will Blake step up before Reese gets sent back to Texas, or will the very thing she ran from catch up with her before she even leaves?
CH: As a busy Mom, how do you fit writing time into your day? Is it a dedicated time every day, or do you fit it in when you can?
KK: When I first started my kids were younger, so I often wrote while everyone was sleeping. Early morning. Late night. You name it. Now, with all my kids in school during the day, I make that my writing time and do very little on nights or over the weekend.
CH: I read that for this last book you had a certain song that really inspired you. What usually inspires you while writing? Do you have a playlist for each book? Do you have Pinterest boards for your books?
KK: I grounded myself from pinterest the very day I created an account because I feared I would never ever finish another book again with it in my life. I seriously LOVED nearly everything I saw on there. So no – I don’t have a board for the books. But I do find music particularly inspiring. I usually muse on my characters daily. While driving, doing the dishes. Whenever. Sometimes the words to a song will relate to exactly what my character is dealing with and it’s like I’ve just entered their world for a while. I really love when that happens. I love feeling my characters, and I hope it helps my readers relate to them too.
CH: Tease us with one of your favorite scenes, from any of your books.
KK: How about one that’s been referred to as the ‘pantry scene’ from Cassie’s Cowboy Crave. Shane and Cassie are posing as a married couple. When Shane’s young nephew asks him why he doesn’t kiss Cassie like the other husbands kiss their wives, Cassie looks right into his eyes and repeats the question: “Yeah Shane, why don’t you?” The challenge is on, and Shane rises to the occasion in a passionate display that starts in the kitchen, onlookers all but forgotten, and then continues in the pantry when Shane decides to take things behind a closed door. It’s a really fun (and scrumptious) scene and most definitely one of my favorites!
CH: Lastly – here at ADDICTED we need to know…do you have any addictions?
KK: Oh yeah – I’m most definitely addicted to Altoids minis, Soft lips Chapstick, and sadly, I’m weaning myself off Diet Coke.
These have been such fun questions!
Thank you for letting me visit your lovely blog!
I’m hoping we can chat in person next time, preferably over some fine cheese and sparkling cider! 🙂
Sounds like a wonderful plan to me, Kim! Go download her latest release: JADE’S COWBOY CRUSH today!