Kristina: M&Ms, Chips 'n Dip, Jell-O Shots…what's your snack of choice when you're on deadline?
Kate: Without a doubt, Swedish Fish candies are my favorite writing snack. About twenty calories apiece, they are sweet, gummy, and vegan, to boot! They're perfect for my "sweet" mood. My "salty" mood requires tiny pretzel sticks--by the handful.
Kristina: What most surprised you about the publishing process?
Kate: My new book, Thunder in the Night, is my first with Crimson Romance, but my fifth published novel. I've been amazed at the speed of the whole process with Crimson Romance. From my initial query to acceptance and contract was about a month! As a writer, I'm used to submitting and waiting months and months to hear what is usually bad news. ("Dear Author...") So Crimson Romance's speedy and positive response has been wonderful.
Kristina: When the writing gets tough, who do you lean on?
Kate: I'm married to a screenwriter, so he can commiserate when my plots run aground. He's chockful of great ideas, too, so brainstorming with him always produces a few good leads. We go out to dinner and spend the whole meal discussing either his work-in-progress or mine. I sometimes wonder what other diners think if they hear us talking about motives for murder, international crime rings and assassins!
Kristina: What are you listening to right now and does your listening choice influence your writing?
Kate: I don't listen to a lot of music, but I love listening to books on audio. I'll enjoy a classic mystery by Agatha Christie one day and a breezy summer read by Elin Hilderbrand the next. I've discovered so many terrific authors via audio books, too. It's the perfect way to "read" while driving or dusting or doing the dishes. Sometimes I'll be struck by a particular aspect of a book and it will inspire me to try something similar in my own work. Lately, as I've been listening to some women's fiction, I've been pondering ways to bring those sorts of layers of emotion and family feeling to my next book, for example. When I do listen to music, it will be anything from a great soundtrack ("Out of Africa", "North by Northwest") to disco from my college days!
Kristina: Tell us one interesting thing about this book or its characters that didn't make in 'between the covers'?
Kate: My hero, Mart, started out with a crew cut. Picture him--handsome, serious, fit. Tanned from time in the sun and sporting a no-nonsense, athletic haircut. Yum1 But my critique group told me crew cuts made them think of drill sargeants not romantic leading men, so Mart grew his hair longer. Originally I'd written the book in the third person, so I could use multiple viewpoints. In the end, though, I realized I wanted readers to see the story through Allison's eyes. I've long been a fan of first person novels, where I'm right there at the character's side throughout. That creates such a sense of immediacy, I think. I know it's a bit unusual in a romantic suspense, but I think it heightens that suspense. We only know what she knows--and when Mart takes her in his arms, she knows it's love!
About Thunder in the Night:
Aspiring investigative journalist Allison Belsar has exactly zero interest in tagging along with the society set when they visit Belize. But when the trip is sponsored by the local zoo and her editor issues the order, she packs her bags and shows up on time.
Turns out there’s more to this adventure than red-eyed tree frogs and Mayan ruins. Something criminal is going on. But what? And how does that gorgeous tour guide figure into events? He’s close at hand every time there’s danger.
Of course, he’s nearby plenty of other times, too. The moments she spends in his arms are as magical as the moonlight on a tropical night. Allison is in danger of losing her heart to this man, and her life to a deadly ring of criminals who will do anything to keep their secrets hidden deep in the jungle. This could be the story to make her career—if she lives to tell it.
Sensuality Level: Behind closed doors
Sensuality Level: Behind closed doors