Thursday, June 25, 2009

Author Interview: Kinsey W. Holley

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first ever Vivi Andrews Author Interrogation... er, Interview! Today I welcome debut paranormal romance author Kinsey W. Holley to the blog to discuss her new release, Kiss & Kin! (Note: Kinsey & I got a little carried away, so this is quite possibly the longest author interview ever.) Now without further ado, I give you the Kinsey Holley Marathon Interview!

Welcome, Kinsey! (Applause!) I'm so glad you could visit my little corner of cyberspace. So, first things first. The Call. Or, in this case, The Email. When you heard Kiss & Kin was going to be published as part of Samhain's Shifting Dreams anthology, what did you do to celebrate?

This is my very first book. My actions, in order:
Stared at the email
Stared at it some more
Said “eeep!!!” a few times
Didn’t scream – I’m not a screamer, I’m a choked-upper
Called the sister in law who helps me with all my plot problems, reads my stuff, etc. etc. and told her about it
Called my sister, who’d read the book and liked it – which was a shock, b/c she doesn’t read paranormal romance and is very, very critical
Jumped on Romance Divas and freaked out.
Repeated it all several times for the next week

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? (Note: this does not have to be your day job if you have one; it can be anything from flapper to astronaut to crime-solving paleontologist.)

A musician (note: I don’t play music). I’d love to be a fiddler player, like for a country rock band or folk band. Since I can’t, I’m writing a book about a woman who is.

I love that part of writing - being able to live out any life you want through your stories. What is your favorite thing about being a writer and/or your favorite writing memory?

I haven’t been writing fiction very long. I wrote a lot as a child, and I clearly remember being in sixth grade, and we had to invent a tall Texas tail – some legend or something – and the teacher read my story to the class because she thought it was so good.

What three things do you absolutely need in order to write?

1. Solitude – can’t write with people around
2. Quiet – can’t write with music or any sound in the background
3. Diet coke

Diet Coke! My addiction of choice! You're a woman after my own heart. Ahem, back to the interview. In ten years, where do you want to be as a writer?

I’d love to be writing full time, no day job. Not sure how realistic that is, but I’m certainly going to aim for it.

A fabulous goal. I definitely think you can make it. Kiss & Kin is a great launching point for your career. What inspired you to write it?

I did it on purpose, as it were – didn’t wait for inspiration. I really wanted to get published in a Samhain anthology, and I was getting frustrated and stalled out with my big WIP (work in progress), which is set in the same world as KnK. So I thought – okay, no need to invent a new world, I already have a bunch of shapeshifters. And I already had Nick and TJ as characters – Nick’s an offstage character in my big WP, but when I first started writing this world, I was going to do a book about them. I didn’t want to use TJ and Nick, cause I still want to give them a whole book. So I said – okay, it’s a member of Nick’s pack and, what…then the whole “woman walks into a bar, gets into a lot of trouble with werewolves” came to me.

And, of course, another werewolf bails her out. A very hot werewolf hero. What do you find attractive in a hero?

I like alpha guys, whether we’re talking about paranormal or contemporary romances. Not assholes, not abusive or messed up, but strong, I’m-the-guy guy. Kind of guy who automatically takes charge when there’s a problem (my hub is this way). My heroes have to be loyal and committed to their families or friends, or whatever support system they have. I’m working on a hero who has no family or real friends, and he refuses to join a pack, but even with him, he’s loyal and protective of the people who place their trust in him. Also like the hero who, while smart and alpha and strong, finds women a little confusing, a little mysterious, and so tends to unintentionally screw up a lot.

Sounds like my kind of heroes. And the ladies? What do you look for in a heroine?

Intelligent, strong willed, not too girly girl. She doesn’t sit around waiting for Mr. Right to show up, and when he does show up, she’s not gonna just jump in his car and race off. She’s got to make sure the relationship will work for her.

How important is the setting/world in your books?

It’s vital, since it’s a paranormal. The main thing about my world is that shifters and fae are “out” – they live openly among humans. They are separate, but closely related, species who evolved alongside humans, and they finally made their presence known (or were discovered) in the 1940s and 1950s. I don’t spend a whole lot of time talking about how they came out, or how they interact with humans. I just treat them as characters, and they go about their lives just like humans do.

What drives your books? Is it the hero, the heroine, the conflict?

Hm. I think it’s Lark, the heroine. You get both POVs, but I think Lark’s is the closer POV. The conflict is mostly internal – they’re afraid to admit their feelings for each other b/c each thinks the other wouldn’t reciprocate, and they’re both afraid that friends and family would disapprove.

If you are a genre-jumper, what elements of your writing transcend genre? Which differ from one genre to the next?

I haven’t jumped genres yet, but I plan to – I’m working on the outline of a contemporary. I think what will stay the same is I’m more interested in characters – interaction and development – than plot. I mean, the plot’s important, b/c something has to happen, but I want to make two interesting, 3D characters who are fun to watch, interesting to get to know. The characters in my contemporary have some problems they need to work out with themselves. I gravitate toward internal conflict – how is the character stopping herself/himself from getting what he/she needs/wants? How do they get past it to get together? How painful is it, and what do they have to give up?

Lois McMaster Bujold – I LOVE the Vorkosigan stories – was asked by someone why, in all her books, Miles fixes the problem, solves the mystery, dispatches the obstacle just bam, bam bam – dusts his hands off, moves right on. Lois answered “Miles doesn’t need external enemies.”

What she meant was – Miles is his own worst enemy. The internal conflict can carry the story.

Lois McMaster Bujold went to high school with my mom! Okay, now that I'm name-dropping... the incomparable Celeste Bradley describes her muse as “Edna--a sarcastic gravel-voiced barfly who occasionally disappears for weeks at a time with her Vin Diesel wannabe biker boyfriend.” Describe your muse.

Hmm. Y’see, Nora Roberts says there is no muse. I guess it’s a religious question. I don’t think I have a muse – I think I have an anti-muse – this snarky, pessimistic, smartass bitch who sits there and says look, that’s not gonna published, it’s not that good, just put it down and go for a walk, eat a bagel – you can’t come up with an original plot…..blah blah blah.”

I tied her up, throw her in a closet, and lock the door. She always gets out, but I usually get a few hours of peace and manage to write something.

To muse or not to muse... I think we should have Nora and Celeste fight it out. And while we're name-dropping... which authors are on your auto-buy list? Who do you love to read?

Terry Pratchett, JR Ward, Lynn Viehl, Katie MacAllister, Tom Holt

What do you think is the most romantic moment ever from a book or movie?

Oh man. Let’s see.

Princess Bride – As you wissshhhh….

The last episode of Buffy, when she tells Spike she loves him – he’s about to sacrifice himself – and he says no you don’t, but thank you….

And the last episode of Angel, where Wesley’s dying, and the demon who ate Fred morphs into her, and pretends to be her, and holds him and comforts him as he dies crap it’s gonna make me cry…

The end of The Duke (Gaelene Foley) – but I’m not gonna tell you what it is, because I want people to go get the book and read it.

Oh my sweet Westley... I totally wanna be Buttercup when I grow up. If you could be a character and live through any book, which would you choose and why?

I’d be Vishous’ shellan (Black Dagger Brotherhood)

I’d live in Ankh-Morpork (Terry Pratchett’s Discworld)

I’d be the heroine in a Loretta Chase or Gaelene Foley Regency

Okay, Kinsey, we're winding down here. Now that I've asked you for everything except your firstborn child. Last question: What’s next for you?

Win the lottery, so I can write full time.

I have to finish that damned WIP. I want to submit a story for the Space Opera anthology, but not sure I have enough time.

And I need to write Nick and TJ’s story, because that’s what everyone seems to want.

BIG THANKS to Kinsey W. Holley for being my first interview victim, er, subject. Here's to the wild success of Kiss & Kin and all your future works!

Check out Kinsey's kick-ass new release!

Kiss & Kin
by Kinsey W. Holley
ISBN: 978-1-60504-612-9

Brotherly love? Oh hell no…

A Sexy Shifter story.

On the surface, court reporter Lark Manning looks like the luckiest girl in the world, blessed with great friends and a wonderful family. Underneath, she harbors a hopelessly unrequited love for the sexy werewolf everyone thinks of as her cousin. Taran rarely notices her except to condescend or lecture. He’s treated her the same way since she was eight years old, and there’s no reason to think he’ll ever change.

Taran Lloyd, a detective in the Houston Police Department’s Shifters Investigations Unit (SHIU), lives for those rare moments he gets to spend around Lark, torturing himself with what he can’t have. Kin only by marriage, she thinks of him as her big brother. He couldn’t bear her pity—or her disgust—if she learned he wants her for his mate.

When weres from a rival pack attack her, Lark screams out the first name that comes to mind—Taran. Only this sexy alpha can keep her safe until they find out who wants her dead, and why. But keeping her safe means keeping her close. And the closer they get, the harder it gets for these not-really-cousins to honor their commitment to keep their paws off.

Click HERE to read an excerpt.



Nice first ever marathon interview!

MaggieJ said...

Kinsey,great interview.
As your first book goes it was AWESOME!It will be on my re-read list.I sure hope you write about Nick...hint

Jamie Michele said...

Fun interview!

I really need to watch Buffy and its spin-offs. Everyone keeps mentioning them, but despite the fact that I do love TV, I've never seen a single Buffy episode and just can't relate.

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Great interview, Vivi!

Solitude, Quiet, and Diet Coke. Sounds fabulous to me. I get "into" the stories I write, so distractions are anathema. I also need coffee several times a day.

Vivi Andrews said...

Joss Whedon is like oxygen to me. Buffy, Angel, Firefly... I nearly hyperventilated with joy when I saw he was coming out with the Dollhouse. And Fred (from Angel) is in it!


I'll admit I've never seen Buffy or Angel, but I love Firefly. Actually I got hooked on Serenity first, and then Tivo Firefly.

Kinsey said...


I'm working on Nick and TJ - it's in the early, early stages!

Vivi Andrews said...

Woohoo, Nick & TJ! I can't wait to see this one in print.