Welcome, we are talking to Kathy Kulig the author of Damned and Desired. Hello Kathy, how are you doing this evening?
Awesome! Thanks so much for having me, Delane.
Thank you for taking the time to answer some question about your latest release Damned and Desired. Why don’t you start off by telling us a little about the novel?
Damned and Desired is the second book in my Demons in Exile series for Ellora’s Cave but each book is a stand-alone and can be read separately. In Damned and Desired, Sakari is a reluctant demon from an alternative world called Anartia—a world trapped within a dimension of Earth. She must harvest lifeforce energy from mortals through sexual seduction to sustain her exiled world. When she meets Brad, she breaks the number one rule of Anartia—Don’t get personal with your quarry. Brad is drawn to Sakari’s lustful advances with a blazing desire he can’t explain. But he has no idea how dangerous she is. While he’s trying to regain control of his shapeshifting abilities, he doesn’t need the added complication. Brad soon discovers he’s in the middle of a battle between mortals and immortals and to save his world he might have to destroy the woman he loves.
As you can imagine I will be looking for the next in the Damned Series. *grins* Can we get a taste of what is to come from you in the future?
Dante is a demon and has appeared in both books. He was one of the antagonists in the first book and caused numerous problems in the second book. But Dante is an interesting character. He’s evolving through the stories. He began as a mortal in the 1800s, during the Gold Rush days. A man named John Reilly stole his gold claim, his wife and arranged for his murder. While Dante was dying in the desert, he was assimilated by the alternative world to serve as a drone demon. He’s been immortal ever since. Revenge can make even a good man do bad things. Dante wants revenge. John Reilly was also assimilated at this time as a drone demon although his appearance has been changed and Dante doesn’t know who he is. I won’t say who Dante’s love interest is but it will really complicate the story and Dante’s decisions. Lots of twists ahead in book 3.
I love Sakari, the heroine’s name, wherever did you get such an unusual name and does it have some special meaning?
I swear by Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Character Naming Sourcebook. I just flip through that book until I find something that resonates. Sakari is an Indian name and it means “sweet”. I wanted something that sounded exotic and sensual.
Do your stories come strictly from imagination or do you do background work on the different characters such as Shifters or demons? When I say background I mean do you follow the stereotype or do you make them how you want them to be?
My stories come from many places—imagination, travel, reading mythology and supernatural books, movies, etc. This series came from a trip to Sedona, Arizona. I took a trip down the Grand Canyon with a Navajo Indian as a guide. He told many wonderful stories and I took lots of notes. That’s where I got the idea to include the Native American mysticism in this series. The shapeshifting myth came from Norwegian folklore. I just added my own twist. Yes, in my stories I do a lot of research in books on mythology, the supernatural and folklore, then add my own twist.
There is a lot of pressure and competition in becoming an author. What made you decide to become a romance writer?
Who has time to worry about competition? LOL There will always be competition. All I can do is write the best book I can. I started out writing for newspapers, even had a few magazine articles published. But I like the creativity of writing fiction, and I love reading romance. I like happy endings and I like sexy stories, so that’s why I decided to write romance.
Many writers say they are inspired to write by their dreams or the characters chattering away in their head. What inspires you to write the stories you create?
Oh, my God. Dreams, yes! Just ask my husband. I’ll tell him, “I had a strange dream last night.” He just rolls his eyes and says, “When do you NOT have strange dreams?” I’ve always had vivid dreams since I was a kid and could remember them in detail. My dreams have begins, middles and ends, like stories. I would write them down in notebooks and had tons of notebooks. I can have several dreams in one night. I still write them down and have gotten ideas for stories or worked out plot problems in my dreams. Anything can inspire me to write a story. Being observant. I was standing in line for a ride at Epcot and glanced at a fantasy mural and the idea for my next book just popped into my head.
Do you have a method by which your write? Surrounded by music, dim lighting, snuggled on the couch, time of day, etc.
I have a day job so my writing time is after dinner for a few hours and on the weekends. I work on my laptop in the dining room since my desk is too small. Sometimes I listen to music but usually I like quiet.
The romance genre is on the rise and I know there are a lot of retreats out there for romance authors, aspiring writers and fans. Do you ever meet with other authors or readers to discuss romance writing? Are there any upcoming events we can find you at?
I belong to the Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers and meet them once a month. I also have a critique group that meet every other Wednesday. My schedule is pretty light this year since I’m traveling to Ireland in September. But I’ll be lecturing about Social Networks for the Bucks County Romance Writers and will attend NJRW Writers Conference in October.
Since it appears that the hottest trend for authors today is to turn their books into movies. I have been trying to visualize different actors in the roles but find that your heroes and heroines are tough shoes to fill. Could you ever imagine Damned and Desired on the big screen and if so who do you think would be the perfect actors to play your characters?
I’m sure every author would like to see their book on the big screen. You’re right it’s tough imagining who would play Brad and Sakari. Hugh Jackman maybe. For Sakari: Kate Beckinsale or Alana de la Garza?
I think that a good book should leave me smiling or moved in some way. What do you look for in a good novel? Which genre are you personally drawn to?
Personally I like unique characters in an adventurous plot with twists and surprises, sexy and emotional. Paranormals are my favorite but I do like contemporaries too. I also enjoy a good thriller, Sci-Fi or mystery.
I happen to love the romance genre. Are there any other genres you have written? Is there anything that you have not written but you would like to? Anything you would never even try to write?
I did publish a straight erotica story in an anthology-Beyond Desire. It wasn’t really a romance. I’m happy with what I’m writing but never say never. What I wouldn’t consider writing? Probably children’s stories or brutal horror.
Okay, I have looked at your bio and though I think I am a pretty smart gal I noticed that your other career is a cytotechnologists, what exactly is that and does it have any influence on your writing?
Simply I look for cancer under the microscope. I also assist physicians during fine needle procedures. There are other duties but that gives you an idea. My job may filter into my stories. I can use scientific and technical details. The heroine in Desert of the Damned is a Microbiologist.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there who are looking to break into the romance genre and battle with all the competition?
Don’t worry about the competition. Write, write, write. And read tons and tons of books. But as you read study how authors put a sentence together, a paragraph, a plot, develop characters, etc. Continue to learn your craft even after you’ve sold. I took a screenwriting class from a local college while I was writing my fifth book (Damned and Desired). It helped a lot with plotting.
Do you have anything to add or say to our readers?
I enjoyed being here. Thanks so much for the interview. I hope the readers will check out my website/blog and invite them to friend/follow me on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.
Kathy, thank you for spending time with me today and giving some wonderful and insightful responses. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.
Where you can find Kathy Kulig:
MySpace | Twitter | Facebook