Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Interview with author L. K. Below
Today, my guest is L. K. Below talking about her latest release,Unveiling His Princess, an erotic, historical romance.
1) Tell me a little about your book.
Unveiling His Princess is an historical romance. It is now available from Liquid Silver Books. Talk about a great way to kick off the New Year! Here’s the blurb:
When Natalia’s horrid stepsister locks in her a closet, steals her identity, and sets out to marry Prince Bennett in her place, Natalia nearly gives up hope. Luckily, she has a fairy godmother willing to guide her steps. Dressed in nothing but a mouse-skin pelt and assured that Bennett will recognize her even though they’ve never met, she sets out for his palace.
Prince Bennett knows that he must marry his princess, but when he meets her, something seems amiss. He cannot reconcile the lively, veiled beauty he consorts with at night with the waspish princess he meets during the day. And to make matters worse, he can barely fight off his attraction to a fur-clad scullery maid. Whatever will he do?
Find out more about this book here.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I’ve always been fascinated by “classic” texts from the past. Well, I was reading through the Brothers Grimm fairytales, and I came across too many to name that sparked my interest. Thus far, Unveiling His Princess is the only romance I’ve based off of one of these fairytales, but there are certainly more to come! This book was inspired by “Princess Mouseskin.”
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I write full time and try to organize it as a regular day job, where I write between specific hours. Due to late night creative spurts and writers blocks, this doesn’t always succeed, but I always have marketing endeavors to worry about, too.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
As silly as it sounds, I knew from the first time I wrote a short story. I couldn’t put a name to it then (it was for a Third Grade project) but for years (about three) I was on the edge of my seat, begging my teachers to assign more projects like that. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to start writing on my own until I was thirteen years old. And once that started… well, there was no stopping me!
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope they’ll be able to escape for a while. Growing up, and even now, I turn to books to immerse myself in something that doesn’t even vaguely resemble my life. I like to escape to worlds unknown or unexplored, be they fantastic, historic, futuristic, or modern. If you can forget yourself in my book and just read, then I’ve done my job.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write a variety of genres and I love them all, depending on my mood. Speculative fiction allows me to stretch my creative muscles by creating new worlds and species to play with. Writing a romance uplifts my spirit as much as reading one does. Writing for young adults lets me connect with an intensity and emotion which is so much more potent for that age group. But my personal favorite, I think that would be historical. I love the past, and writing historical means that I get to research it! Yay!
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
The toughest part is finishing a manuscript. I’m always reluctant to part with my characters. Not to mention that I’m bombarded by so many new ideas all the time. Sometimes, it really is a challenge to continue on one manuscript when another idea is pulling me by the heartstrings. When I’m in the beginning stages of a manuscript, I often hop from idea to idea until one sticks. Once that happens, though, I discipline myself to stick with it till the end. Even so, it’s a challenge.
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Um, well no. Natalia is the princess of a foreign land whose identity and fiancé has been stolen by her stepsister Antonia. In order to win him back, she has to dress as a commoner -- plus she has a fairy godmother. Nothing based on a real life event here, sadly. LOL.
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Natalia has brown hair like me (LOL), though her experiences make her a lot more rigid when it comes to behavior. She thinks that a princess should only comport herself in a certain way, and therefore she seeks to behave in that way. But even so, she’s very kind and gracious. I’d like to think I’m that way, too!
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Most of the research I’ve already done. This story is set in a mythical past when fairytales were real. So I didn’t settle on a specific time period when I wrote it. Just “dark ages.” The countries and customs were created by me, so it required more world-building than it did research.
11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
They don’t bother me at all, provided they further the story. In many of my romances, the erotic aspect is what brings the hero and heroine to fall in love. A character can rarely realize it at first, when their emotions are clouded by lust. And yes, Unveiling His Princess is an erotic romance, although in this book the characters abstain until married.
12) What about your book makes it special?
I’d like to think it’s special because I wrote it LOL. No? That’s not a good enough answer? Then I’ll move on to option b) providing an escape. I’ve been told I write emotions really strongly, though I’m not sure how true that is LOL.
13) What is your marketing plan?
I live by the notion that my best marketing plan is my next release. 2011 has about 10 releases lined up and while I hope to be able to slack the pace a little in 2012, I’d still like to get out six or so releases a year. I’m a voracious reader, so I need fodder for myself, too, you know!
Aside from that, I also attend a lot of release parties at The Romance Studio or Coffee Time Romance. That’s where the fun begins. I love to connect with readers, whether that be through appearing on someone’s blog or at a virtual party. I do hope you’ll drop by my blog too, at http://lbelow.blogspot.com.
14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
You can find me at my blog, http://lbelow.blogspot.com, on my website, www.lbelow.net, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LBelowtheauthor.
15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Don’t give up. Writing is a tough business to break into -- and can be discouraging when sales and recognition aren’t quite what you hoped. But keep going. Every now and again, you’ll receive an email or a pay check that’ll make it all worthwhile.
Thanks for having me, Penny!
My pleasure. It's always interesting seeing how other authors work.