Thursday, November 6, 2014

Interview and Giveaway Laying Low in Paradise by Kristy K. James

Q: Can you tell us where you’re from and how you came to be a writer.

A: Except for a few months in other states, I’ve been a lifelong resident of Michigan.
I fell in love with writing during a ninth grade creative writing class, though I’d written plays for my siblings and cousins before the age of ten. Part of the reason writing is because I’d been totally into Barbie and Ken and I missed making up stories for them to live out. So I guess in a way, this is just a continuation of my childhood.

Q: Do you write in a single genre?

A: No. While I write primarily romance, I’ve also written a couple of historical fiction novels, and am having a lot of fun with the fantasy genre. Of course, everything I pen will focus on love stories, but if I don’t read a single genre, why should I limit myself to just writing one?

Q: What have you had published to-date? Do you write under more than one name?

A: I have eighteen books published at the moment, with a novelette and novella due out by the end of the year.  And the only name I use is Kristy K. James.

Q: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re necessary for an author’s success?

A: I do not have an agent. Ten years ago they might have been the only way, but with the publishing industry is going these days, I don’t believe they’re vital. That’s not to say that I would never consider having one, but for now ... I’m not looking.

Q: What formats are your books available, and which do you prefer to read?

A: I’d have to look, but I think I have four paperback versions of my stories. Everything else is available in digital format.  Since purchasing a Kindle a couple of years ago, I’ve accumulated quite a library, but I still prefer paperbacks. There’s just something about being able to flip back through real paper pages to reread something you really liked.

Q: What are your future writing plans? 

A: I’ll be publishing a Coach’s Boys Christmas novella sometime before the holidays (hopefully).  And then next year, the plan is to write the final installment for the Casteloria series, a prequel and sequel for Enza, along with a new series about average, everyday, normal people. It’s fun to read about perfectly beautiful, handsome, and wealthy heroes and heroines, but I think regular people deserve some representation too.

Q: Do you write every day? Is writer’s block ever a problem?

A: I do try to write every day, but I tend to be a procrastinator who is most productive when under pressure to finish a project. I’m working on retraining my muse to enjoy spreading the work out over a couple of months than a couple of weeks.

I definitely suffer from writer’s block. There are times when scrubbing the bathtub, sweeping down cobwebs, or organizing the garage seems like the lesser of two evils.

Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A: I’m a plotter. I need to know where I’m starting, where I want to finish and, most importantly, whether I can make the middle interesting enough to make it worth investing a few months of my life to write it. I tried the pantser way one time – and the mess I wound up with took ten times longer to edit than if I’d taken the time to plan the story out.

Q: How do you create your characters and make them believable?

A: I like to keep a baby names and telephone book handy for naming characters (or I use Google a lot). I also try to compile a lot background information for each of my main characters. I always know far more about them than readers ever will.
Another tool I use is to ‘interview’ them. I felt silly doing that at first, but now I get into it so much you’d think I had a multiple personality disorder. One ‘interview’ helped me understand where Darby O’Hara (the heroine in Code Red Christmas) was coming from. I couldn’t relate to her, and – honestly – she was my least favorite character of the series. During the interview process though, I really got to know her, and what led her to where she is today. And then I very much enjoyed telling her story.

Q: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that your writing improves over time?

A: As I’ve learned and grown as a writer, I find that my first drafts are much closer to the final draft than they used to be. I still do a good bit of editing though because I want people to be glad they spent a few hours with my characters. So I make sure the stories are the best I can possibly write.

Q: Do spend much time on research?

A: It depends on the book. I spent several years, off and on, researching for Enza. And there’s no way to write about different jobs, or hobbies, or personalities without doing an awful lot of reading. Sometimes you just have to invest the time – if you want your story read like you know what you’re talking about.

Q: Do you prefer to read or tell stories in the first, third, or any other point of view?

A: I enjoy third person more than any other, though I did write a short story for my blog in the first person. It was actually a lot of fun. I may try a full-length novel in the first person one day, but it would still have to be from the dual points of view (hero and heroine). I like knowing what both are thinking.

Q: Do you have stories that will never see light of day?

A: Absolutely. I have dozens of notebooks filled with handwritten stories. Some would probably be considered fan fiction today. When I first started, I liked to practice dialog using characters from my favorite television shows. The only light those ‘stories’ will ever see will come from a match.

Q: What advice would you give to new authors?

A: Read. Read. And then read some more. The best way to write good books is to read good books. I think it’s also helpful to read lousy books so you learn how not to write.

Q: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you serve?

A: Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, and Bruce Willis. And I would serve them my homemade lasagna, and my white cake, layered with cooked vanilla pudding, frosted with sweetened whipping cream, and topped with cherry pie filling.

Laying Low in Paradise
The Casteloria Series
Book One
Kristy K. James

Genre:  Romance


Number of pages:  191
Word Count: 56,661

Cover Artist:  Vila Design

Book Description:

He's hiding out because someone wants him dead...

Cameron Rafferty is keeping secrets. Dangerous secrets that could endanger the lives of everyone around him. His plan was simple...keep a low profile until the would-be-killer was found. And it was working - until an accident changed everything. Before he knows it, he finds himself becoming more involved with the family next door, and wishing for things he shouldn't. Things that will put their lives in jeopardy, too.

Her summer plans didn't include secrets and danger...

Spending summers on Bois Blanc Island was a tradition for author Laura Keane and her young son. Filled with special memories of the husband she'd lost to war, she looked forward to days of reminiscing, playing, and working on her newest novel. She didn't expect this year to be any different - but that was before their sexy neighbor came to her rescue like a knight in shining armor. Will that armor be tarnished when she finds out what he is and why he's living next door?

Available at Amazon and Smashwords

Excerpt 2
Laura watched Cameron walking toward the water’s edge, wearing the brightest, loudest swimming trunks she had ever seen. He hadn’t wasted any time in changing, given the fact that they hadn’t been home a full five minutes yet. She saw him wade out to his knees, hesitate briefly, then dive head first under the water. She shivered at the thought of how cold it must be, and her lips curved in a tender smile.
If only it were so easy for a woman. Instead, she knew she was going to be cleaning the chalet from top to bottom, hoping against hope that she was so exhausted by the time Sam lit the fire tonight, that holding hands with Cameron wouldn’t bother her at all.
“Yeah, right,” she thought, shaking her head as she watched him swimming hard along the coastline. “And the man in the moon is going to float down and deliver some cream cheese, too.”
“What?” Sam asked, walking into the living room. “I didn’t know you were back.” His gaze followed hers, and his chin dropped a little. “Is that Mr. Rafferty?”
“Why is he swimming without a wetsuit? Man that water is cold.”
“Maybe it’s a guy thing. We saw a few of them swimming on our way back to the island. Maybe he wants to prove to himself that he’s as tough as those younger guys are.” It could have been the truth. They had seen some guys swimming without suits. And he could have been trying to act young and stupid, but he wasn’t.
“I think I’ll head out to the beach. In case he winds up needing some help.”
“You do that. I think I’m going to wash the windows today.”
Sam looked at her, brows raised, and reached for the handle on the French door. He paused, looked out at Cameron, then back at her.
Laura knew the exact moment when he put two and two together. As a look of pure disgust crossed his face, she wished for the non-existent hole to open up and swallow her.
“Ew! That’s just wrong. You guys are way too old to be thinking about stuff like that,” he muttered, hurrying outside and slamming the door behind him.

Turning quickly, in case he looked back at her, Laura laughed uproariously. Too old? So not.

About the Author: 

Kristy K. James' first goal in life was to work in law enforcement, until the night she called the police to check out a scary noise in her yard. Realizing that she might someday have to investigate scary noises in yards just as dark as hers if she continued on that path, she turned to her other favorite love...writing. Since then her days have been filled with being a mom and reluctant zookeeper (7 pets), creating stories, and looking for trouble in her kitchen.

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1 comment:

Kristy K. James said...

Thanks for hosting me today. :)