So I finally got a chance to interview Laura Kaye! This is an interview I’ve been waiting for, for a while now. Thank you, Laura & Entangled Publishing!
You are on fire with your writing, how long does it take you to write one novel?
First, let me say thank you SO much for hosting me here! It’s been a hugely exciting year for me—I just had my seventh book release! Length of time to draft a story depends on a lot of things: how long the story is supposed to be, how well it cooperates, what else is going on in my life. But, in general, if I push to write at least 2-3,000 words a day, I can complete a novella in less than two weeks and a full-length novel in 5-8 weeks. It doesn’t always go that fast, but I would say that’s been my average to date. That time doesn’t include revisions, of course!
Is writing your full-time job?
Not yet! I hope it will be within the next 1-2 years. I’m a college history professor in my other job. *winks*
What is the one thing you want readers to come away with when reading your stories?
Well, first and foremost, I want to have entertained them. I want them to have been totally transported to a different place while they’re reading. I also hope they feel hopeful, because the general message in my stories is that there’s a place for all of us to belong.
I have not experienced PTSD, but I did have a mild traumatic brain injury (aka TBI, mine was about four years ago). So I did in fact have firsthand experience with some of the problems the hero Marco Vieri experiences. However, I also did quite a bit of research on medical discharges from the Army, consequences of TBIs, what apraxia is and how it manifests, etc.
When did you start writing?
I’ve been a writer my entire adult life, though most of my writing was in non-fiction (history) related to my academic research in history. I started writing fiction four years ago this coming August. (And, if you’re playing along at home, you might notice that the head injury and the writing happened at about the same time…brain injuries have mysterious side-effects…)
What has been your publishing experience like?
Hmm. There are a lot of ways to answer this! I currently have books with four publishers and am actively writing for two of them. Overall, I would say my experience with publishing has been very positive. I have seven books out and at least 2-3 more scheduled to release this year. It’s worth noting, though, that after I finished my first novel, I queried for nearly a year before I finally sold it—it wasn’t instantaneous by any means. I also haven’t yet had success landing an agent or a publishing deal with a big, traditional New Yorkpublisher. Despite that, my first book will be hitting bookstore shelves on July 10 (West of Want, Book 2 in my Hearts of the Anemoi series)—and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that!
Who or what was your inspiration for Marco and Alyssa?
Marco first came to me last summer. I kept seeing this image of a very broken man sitting in the near dark and struggling to play the guitar. This is the way stories usually come to me, first with a character (usually a hero), and then pieces of the story fall into place until I know enough to start to write. Since writing Marco, I’ve found an Italian actor named Giulio Berruti who would make the PERFECT Marco Vieri! But I didn’t have a particular inspiration for either Marco or Alyssa before writing.
Any consideration to continuing their story?
See #9! *grins*
There was a good deal about Alyssa’s brother, Brady – any chance he gets his own story now that he’s home for the next two years?
Yes! Brady Scott will get a story—that’s what I’ll be writing starting next week! And I’m about 90% certain that Marco and Alyssa will make an appearance in his book.
What are you working on next?
The first I’ll be working on is Brady’s story. Then I’ll either be writing a novella in my Hearts of the Anemoi series OR the third in my Vampire Warrior Kings series with Harlequin Nocturne. There’s never a shortage of projects demanding my attention! But, really, I wouldn’t have it any other way…
Before I go, how about a little excerpt from Her Forbidden Hero? Here, hero Marco Vieri is struggling to resist what he wants but knows he can’t have:
Alyssa Scott deserved it all.
Marco’s gaze dragged over her still form. The sun shone off her long hair as if it had a high-gloss finish. Her skin glistened, and that purple bikini left way too little to his imagination to be good for his sanity. Jesus, she was stunning. Petite and fit, with curves where women ought to have curves. He could almost smell the sun on her skin, taste the salt of her sweat on his tongue, sense how the hot silk of her hair and the heated firmness of her hip would feel in his hands.
Without thinking, Marco stepped onto the porch and walked down into the grass. Before he knew it, he was standing over Alyssa, his body casting a long shadow over the length of hers. Warring desires rocked through him.
For now, being near her was enough—would have to be enough.
Moving to her side, he spread out the extra towel she’d brought beside her and lay down on his back. The sun was too hot against his black jeans and its shine too bright in his eyes, but this closeness, this feeling of not being alone—maybe it meant he was even weaker than he thought, but he needed it. Jesus, he was starving for it.
Movement from the towel next to him captured his attention. Marco rolled his head to the right and found himself looking into Alyssa’s big brown eyes. She held his gaze for a long moment, neither of them talking, or moving, or avoiding the scrutiny of the other.
Finally, she turned her head back up to the sun and closed her eyes. Her hand slid across the grass between them and clasped his. His throat went tight. She’d known. Dammit, she’d known just what he needed from her. He slid his long fingers between her slender ones, linking them together more tightly.
And then he closed his eyes and struggled not to voice his greatest fear.
He might be falling in love with her.
There will be THREE winners! 1) 1 commenter will win an ebook of Her Forbidden Hero, 2) 1 commenter will win a pair of guitar pick ear rings, 3) 1 commenter will win a guitar pick necklace. Laura will sign the guitar picks on the back side if the winner deisres! Email address required! Open to international! (Oh, and if you want to know how the guitar picks are relevant to the story, you’ll need to read the book! *winks*) Good luck!
About Her Forbidden Hero:
You always want what you can’t have…
She’s always been off-limits…
Former Army Special Forces Sgt. Marco Vieri has never thought of Alyssa Scott as more than his best friend’s little sister, but her return home changes that…and challenges him to keep his war-borne demons at bay. Marco’s not the same person he was back when he protected Alyssa from her abusive father, and he’s not about to let her see the mess he’s become.
…but now she’s all grown up.
When Alyssa takes a job at the bar where Marco works, her carefree smiles wreak havoc on his resolve to bury his feelings. How can he protect her when he can’t stop thinking about her in his bed? But Alyssa’s not looking for protection–not anymore. Now that she’s back in his life, she’s determined to heal her forbidden hero, one touch at a time…
About Laura Kaye:
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of over a half-dozen books in paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Hearts in Darkness is the EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Novella and HOLT Medallion Award of Merit Winner for Best Romance Novella, Forever Freed is the NJRW Golden Leaf Winner for Best Paranormal of 2011 and is a finalist for two GDRWA Booksellers’ Best Awards, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, is a finalist for a FF&P PRISM award, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives inMaryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of theChesapeake Bay every day.