This is the first time I get to conduct an interview for Coffee Time Romance and I have to say I'm stoked. I'm also thrilled that I got to interview Laura Kaye. Welcome to Coffee Time Romance Laura, we'll dive right into the questions.
What was it like when you sold your first book? Tell us about it.
It was a fantastic moment! Forever Freed was my first novel and the first book I sold, and it was so wonderful knowing it would be published, especially as I’d been querying it for a while. I had a lot of requests from agents, but no takers, so it was completely thrilling when the very first e-publisher I queried, The Wild Rose Press, said yes!
I bet it was a huge thrill. So what kind of books do you enjoy?
Paranormal romance is my first reading love. I grew up on paranormal stories—particularly by Anne Rice and Stephen King (I’ve read just about everything each of them has written). And those kind of stories continue to be the ones that most pique my interest. My current favorite author is J.R. Ward and I am totally in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’ll pretty much sink my teeth into any vampires stores. *grins* But what I most want in a story are compelling, engaging, sympathetic and likeable characters—if a story has that, I’ll probably enjoy it, no matter the genre.
Oh I love Anne, Stephen and of course the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I would definitely like to sink my teeth into Wrath. What gave you the idea for FOREVER FREED? What sparked the muse?
Forever Freed came into my head nearly fully formed and then demanded to be written (I wrote the first draft, all 145,000 words, in under 12 weeks). I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that children have a special ability to perceive the supernatural, and to accept it because they’re not yet closed off by ideas of what’s possible or worried about what others will think. One day I was thinking about what it would be like if a vampire became a caregiver for a human child, and wham! Forever Freed rolled out before my eyes. Lucien Demarco (the vampire hero) and Olivia “Ollie” Sutton (the heroine’s daughters) were the first characters to come to mind.
I have to say Forever Freed was certainly awesome, and the vampire caring for the human child was a great twist, can you share an excerpt?
Why, I would love to! Here goes:
I stepped out of the shower and dried off, then flushed the toilet for the show of it. When soft knocks landed on the bathroom door, I secured the towel around my waist and opened it.
Samantha leaned on the jamb, her eyes widening as they locked on my bare torso. She reached up and caught a droplet of water running from my hair down my shoulder. Then she placed her hands on my chest, and the fingers on her right hand caught another stray droplet. When she brushed my Blood Mark, I sucked in a breath. Her lips fell open as she watched a third droplet slide around the base of my neck to my chest.
She leaned forward and kissed my skin over the stray droplet and let her tongue just meet my flesh as she drank the water into her mouth. I closed my eyes at the sensation. Her drinking off me was too fucking close to the fantasy of her drinking from me, and all at once the blood turned molten in my veins.
Oblivious to the seismic activity building under my skin, she continued to kiss across my chest. I wrapped an arm around her waist, the heat of her lust searing me. I burned from the inside and the out.
Ah, Cristo. I wanted her so damn bad.
Between kisses, she taunted, “So, I was just wondering if I could get you to growl again.”
I gripped her more firmly against me, wanted her to feel exactly what she was doing to me. I ground the thick column between my legs into the soft flesh of her belly. She moaned appreciatively. Her heart thundered between our chests. And then she was successful in her quest. She bit me.
She flicked her tongue out against my nipple and sucked it into her mouth. Then her teeth closed around the taut peak in a series of playful nips. And I growled. She couldn’t know the significance of her actions—for vampires, biting was very much a part of sex. And she also couldn’t know how wild her bites made me feel.
Instinctively, I grabbed her roughly with both arms and spun her around so her back pressed against the wall next to the bathroom door. She gasped, but I distracted her with my mouth on her lips, jaw, ear, neck. I pinned her hands next to her on the wall. Her chest heaved against me. The scent of her arousal was thick and sweet in the air, making me want her worse than I already did.
She rubbed her thighs together as I ran wet open-mouthed kisses down into the V-neck of her shirt. I rolled my hips into her. She moaned. My teeth tingled, and I had just enough awareness to keep my fangs retracted. But I wanted to sink myself into her—my fangs and my sex—more than I’d wanted almost anything ever before.
My name on her lips was an incredible invitation, so filled with need and longing. “God, I want to touch you.”
As a writer myself I'm always curious about how people write, so do you write in silence, or do you have a playlist of songs? If you listen to music what kind of music inspired you to write FOREVER FREED?
I love to make playlists, but rarely listen to music while I’m writing. I don’t need absolute silence—in fact, I often write at a Panera with my best friend who writes YA paranormals—but I find music too distracting while I’m writing. I love to listen to playlists while I’m driving, though, and find they really do help spark ideas. I listened to a lot of brooding violin music while writing Forever Freed—Lucien is a violinist. I also listened to a lot of Linkin Park, in fact I kinda fell in love with that band while writing this story. I can’t help but think of Lucien whenever I hear something like “In the End” or “Easier to Run.” Songs behind particular scenes include Billy Joel’s “Lullaby,” which was behind part of the black moment in Forever Freed, and the Beatles’ “In My Life,” which plays a role in a road trip scene. The whole Playlist is available on the book’s page on my website.
Very cool! I love to check out author's playlists. What is your favourite type of hero, barring your own? ;-)
I have a thing for the tortured hero, especially if he’s a bit of a bad boy. J.R. Ward’s Zsadist may be my all-time favourite romance hero. But I’ll admit to being totally in love with all of my heroes!
Yes, Zsadist is another one of my favorites. How do you relax? What hobbies do you take part in?
I’m a voracious reader, and find it hard to put a book down once I’ve begun! I also love video games as a form of procrastination! I have two young kids, ages 5 and 7, so I spend a lot of time doing kid-centered activities. I’ve also been trying to learn to play the guitar…
Guitar? Wow that's really impressive. I see you have a fantasy series coming out. Tell us about it.
I do! And I’m so excited to be working with Entangled Publishing. Set in the modern day, the series is based on the Anemoi, directional wind gods the Greeks associated with the seasons. The first in the series, North of Need, will release in November and focuses on a god of the north wind, or a winter god.
Any advice on world building? How do you build your fantasy world?
I’m a total pantser, so I tend to research my world building elements as it’s necessary to detail them in the story. The world building in North of Need turned out to be much bigger and more detailed than I first imagined. I didn’t realize the Greek god connection at first, but as soon as I started writing the hero, he told me that’s what he was, and I found myself researching all sorts of folk tales and myths about the gods of winter, the gods of snow, etc., and found this whole mythology. Once I had that, I was able to build my world up from the existing myths. In Forever Freed, my world building centered around two elements: the setting of Detroit—in all its incredible decline, it makes a great setting for vampires to live unnoticed, and the villains—who are based on real people. Jacques and Antoine Laumet lived in the late 17th and earlier 18th centuries, and Antoine Laumet actually founded the French fort that went on to become the city of Detroit. The Jesuits, who were meticulous recordkeepers, wrote a good bit about Laumet and much of it was scathing, so I had a basis in characterization to build on. I like to use some grounding in established history or myth.
Very cool about the world building. What is the most important advice you can give to a newbie author?
Write, write, and write. Seriously, you can’t edit what you haven’t written, and you can’t submit what you haven’t written. So that’s the key thing. Also, treat your writing as a profession—get other writers to serve as critique partners and join the relevant professional organizations and writing groups. Finally, write what you love no matter what’s being said about that genre at any given moment, because you have to love it and be passionate about it before anyone else will.
Good advice. Well Laura thanks for allowing me to interview you, it was so much fun.
Thank you for hosting me here! I enjoyed the interview!
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A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance with four books releasing in 2011, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with the supernatural. Though an avid fiction writer as a teenager, a career as a historian took her in other directions until recently. Now that Laura’s inner muse has awakened, she’s constantly creating new story ideas! Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.