The paranormal life she loves

Interview with Author Laura Kaye

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

 Thanks for having me here! I write paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance (genre-hopper, here!) and have books coming out in all three over the coming months. I live in Maryland right on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, and really enjoy gazing out over the water, watching the ships anchor out on the horizon as they wait for a pilot to guide them into the port at Baltimore.  I’ve been married for 15 years in October and have two daughters, ages 7 and almost 5, and one bad dog.

 Tell us about your most recent publication.

My most recent release came out April 20 and was also my debut romantic release.  Hearts in Darkness is a contemporary romance about two strangers who find acceptance and dare to find love while trapped for four hours in a pitch-black elevator. My upcoming release is a paranormal romance and my first novel-length book; it releases May 20.  Forever Freed is about a reclusive vampire who falls in love with a woman he planned to kill and her young daughter, who must overcome his century-old grief, bloodlust, the consequences of a lie by omission, and a jealous vampire rival from his past who promises to ruin all he holds dear. The Wild Rose Press is the publisher for both books.

 What inspired you to write this story?

 Though Hearts in Darkness released first, Forever Freed was actually my first.  I’ve always loved and read vampires, so it was natural I would write about them. Forever Freed came to mind as I was thinking about what would happen if a supernatural character of some sort became father figure to a human child—that’s how my vampire hero Lucien Demarco and my heroine’s daughter, Olivia Sutton, were born. The rest quickly fell into place.  Hearts in Darkness was one of those “pops into your head” kinda ideas. It was just there.

How would you best describe your books?

 Despite the fact that I write in multiple genres (I’ve also got a women’s fiction novel I’m revising…), they all have some things in common.  Most particularly, they all feature characters who start off feeling alone and disconnected, for whatever reason, and whose greatest single need is finding a place to belong, a safe place to land in their lives.  I didn’t set out intentionally to write about the universal need to belong, to be connected, but that is without question a theme that runs through my writing.  Another commonality is that I strive to write heartfelt stories that, even in their hottest moments, are filled with heart and emotional connection.  And, of course, I loves me some tortured hero, so I write lots of them, too!

 What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

 Paranormal is my favorite genre to read, hands down. It was my first love as a younger reader, and it’s remained that way. I grew up on Stephen King and Anne Rice, and J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is probably my all-time favorite re-read series, ever!  I love to write paranormal, too—in part because anything goes, anything can happen, as long as you justify it within your worldbuilding, and that’s pretty exciting from a writer’s point of view!

 What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?

 Hmm…this is an interesting question because I feel like I am writing what I want to write. I write what comes to me—and I have an extremely active muse (some might say she’s overactive, but it’s hard to complain!), so I always have a lot of great ideas to pick from. 

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 I love the creativity of it. Writing makes me feel alive and vibrant. I love that moment of writing “The End” on the last page of a draft—it’s completely thrilling!  And I love hearing people’s response to my writing—granted, the negative reviews can be hard to hear, but more often than not people respond with enthusiasm and excitement, and it’s like eating the finest chocolate! LOL  I probably least like that I don’t have as much time to devote to writing as I’d like.  Oh, and I hate writing synopses! *grins*  The author thing kinda snuck up on me about three years ago.  I mean, I was already a published non-fiction author (I’ve written two books in American history), but I had a head injury three summers ago that apparently rewired some stuff in ye olde brain, because when the migraines finally toned down, I had an intense desire to write. So I did.

 Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

 I finished my first novel draft in October of 2008, and I received an offer to publish that book (my first) in March of 2010.  So those dates tell you a little about my path.  I revised and revised that manuscript, then queried and queried, and I got a lot of nibbles from agents, but no bites.  In December 2009, I queried to several publishers that accepted unagented submissions, and received an offer from The Wild Rose Press.  They also bought my second book, Hearts in Darkness, which was a much faster process at ever stage.  I currently also have two new contracts—one for a contemporary erotic romance called Just Gotta Say with Decadent Publishing (no release date yet, though I suspect late summer?) and one for a four-book fantasy romance series with Entangled Publishing.  The first in the series, North of Need, which features the Greek Anemoi (directional wind gods the Greeks also associated with the seasons), will release November 2011.

 What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

 The most special thing about Forever Freed is that it’s my first.  I know Lucien Demarco so well, he should be real!  He still talks to me, sometimes!  I also an completely in love with the heroine’s daughter, Olivia, who plays a surprisingly central role to the story.  She was a lot of fun to write.  What I especially love about Hearts in Darkness was the premise—the idea that when freed from appearances, two people who probably wouldn’t have given each other a chance do, and it’s wonderful! Plus, Caden Grayson is a dee-licious hero!

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

 The first thing I have to do is revise the women’s fiction manuscript I completed in January.  It really needed some time to simmer, and now I’m really excited to come back to it! The next thing I’ll be writing is book two in the fantasy romance series, plus I have a contemporary romance that’s been bugging the heck out of me, so I just might have to squeeze that in somewhere.

 The only two personal appearances I know for sure is a book launch party and signing in early-to-mid June in Annapolis, Maryland, and I’ll be doing a book reading and signing at the Baltimore Book Festival, September 23-25.  I’ll also be at the RWA Meeting in NYC, so say “hi!”  The best way to stay tuned for any appearances would be to follow me on twitter or drop in on my events calendar on my website.

What would you like to tell readers?

 Just that I have MAD, MAD love for all of your support and friendship!

 Find Laura on the interwebz:

Website: http://www.LauraKayeAuthor.com

Blog: http://laurakayeauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/laurakayeauthor

Twitter: @laurakayeauthor

Publisher Website: http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=800

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3703867

Laura’s Book Trailers for Hearts in Darkness and Forever Freed: http://www.youtube.com/user/LauraKayeAuthor?feature=mhum