Monday, March 7, 2011
L K Below talking about her latest release, Stone Cold Kiss
I'm pleased to have L K Below as a return guest today. Her newest release is Stone Cold Kiss.
1) Tell me a little about your book.
Stone Cold Kiss is a contemporary romance set in Ireland. It is available from Lyrical Press, Inc. as of March 7th, 2011.
Here’s the blurb:
Dangling over the parapet of a castle, Kelsey Donovan doubts her decisions as she battles with her fear of heights. How will kissing the Blarney Stone change her life? But as the arms of a sexy Irishman close around her, she begins to change her mind.
Can it lead to a lifetime?
When Seamus McKinley rescues a tourist gripping the Blarney Castle for dear life, he never expected her to grab hold of his heart just as tightly. But can he convince her to meet him halfway?
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
My good friend and critique partner, Gina Gordon, gave me the heads-up about a call for Irish-themed submissions at Lyrical Press, Inc. Calls for subs often get my juices flowing, and in this case I got no less than three separate ideas -- this was the one that I finished before the two-week deadline. As I researched Irish things, I came across the Blarney Stone. The Blarney Stone is a stone in Blarney Castle, which legend has it a witch blessed so that anyone who kisses it will have the power of persuasion. I started to think, “What if…” and from there, Kelsey’s story blossomed. I’m glad it did, too, because I’m very lucky to work with Piper Denna, my talented editor and a perfect fit for my personality! Since I’ve met her, I’ve come to appreciate her more and more. She’s helped me immensely, and she’s always very enthusiastic about my work!
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 J
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, not really LOL. Well, I suppose that the main character, Kelsey, is faced with the decision to move to Ireland in order to be with Seamus. In a way, I faced the same decision. I moved from Southern Ontario, Canada, up almost to the Arctic circle in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, in order to be with my boyfriend Travis. And I hate the cold LOL.
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Kelsey is a very career-driven character (though her career is in advertising). But she’s much more jaded and cynical than I am when it comes to love.
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Because I’ve never been to Ireland, I had to research the Blarney Stone intensively, not to mention Irish mannerisms. Although with a newfie boyfriend and an Irish-born aunt, I had plenty of experience to fall back on in terms of speech patterns. (For those of you scratching your head, Newfoundland is the Ireland of Canada. If you doubt me, travel to Ireland and then travel out to Newfoundland and see).
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, Stone Cold Kiss (along with all of my currently released romances) is an erotic romance.
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!
It was good to have you back again.