Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Kara Wills:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi! Thanks for having me today!

A little about me, hmm. To start, I’m a Jersey native, born and raised. My husband and I packed up our son and moved to Florida in 2005, where we currently live. I started writing when I was eleven, toying with young adult thrillers. I didn’t write my first romance until after I had my son. Now, I can’t imagine not writing romance!

My latest release from Siren-BookStrand is Destined Desires, which is the second novel in my Talaenian Fae series. It focuses on the love story between Rihanna, half-fae half-human, and Bryce, Rihanna’s reincarnated mortal soul mate, and their fight to stay alive and be together. I incorporated Shaye and Moira (Forbidden Heart) into Destined Desires, as they play a crucial role in the plot.
I have a short story coming out with Pink Petal Books on May 20th called The Gala Lover. It’s a fantasy romance that takes place on the planet Meridos. The story follows two reunited lovers, Jericho and Aisia, as they rekindle a past love affair, all the while dodging an assassin set on killing Aisia.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Probably, lol. Many of my stories have a scene that involves a club or a bar. And martinis or wine. Children appear here and there. Jersey is a common setting. Me personally? Well, I have a son, I love martinis-all those fruity, trendy ones-and wine, I love getting dressed up to go out, and I used to go dancing a lot. But wait! I was never a partier, I swear! I loved going out to be with friends and release the tension of the week.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Research never ends. I research from the moment an idea pops into my head until I type that last period, and then I research some more. Since I love building new worlds, research plays a huge role in helping me create believable settings, characters and elements that drive my stories.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
No, and yes. I love anything that’s make-you-jump scary. I often find myself incorporating a sense of darkness into all my writing. However, I have been intimidated by a story or two that I’ve start. I love a story with layers. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing, keep you moving along. The intimidation comes when I look ahead into the story and hope I can do my characters justice. In the end, I’m satisfied with the outcome, even if I had to scratch a page, a scene or an entire portion of a book to get it right.




Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I’m an optimist through and through. I try and make one message stand clear. Never lose hope for happiness and always believe in fairytales.


Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I’m a proud pantser *smiling*. The closest to plotting I get is knowing the general direction my story will go. I know some key scenes and usually the end. As far as my stories taking on a life of their own? Oh yeah! All the time. My stories come to life as I write them. I tend to let my characters tell their story without restraint, although sometimes I wonder if I need to press the button on their electric collar, lol.

How long did it take for you to be published?
I have two answers for this one. From the time I started writing at 11, it took me 17 years. From the time I started submitting my work, it took me less than two years. I hesitated for a long, long time before putting myself out there. Had it not been for a friend nudging me to go ahead and pitch my story to my publisher, I might still be suffering some severe cold feet!


If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
Me now to me then: You know that three story mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean you keep telling everyone you’ll get? The one with the on site security team, a drool-worthy garage of cars, and everything you’ve ever wanted at the tips of your fingers? Sweetie, *laughing* dreams are wonderful to have!


Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Both. I need both, just like I need two cups of coffee to wake me up every day, lol! I have my laptop and my netbook. My laptop is where I do most of my research and writing. My netbook is used solely for writing when I’m away from home. I have a collection of Composition notebooks. Every time I start a new story, I buy a new set of pens and break in the binding on a new notebook. I jot down plot ideas, scenes, chapters, half a story. Whatever feels like going on paper goes on paper. The scenes I decide to use in my story are transferred onto the laptop later.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Some of my favorite authors are Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole, Heather Graham and Dean Koontz, as well as many more. In my younger years, I’d have to say R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith influenced me the most. L.J. Smith’s work opened my eyes to paranormal more than anyone else, and I embraced it. Today, Karen Marie Moning and Sherrilyn Kenyon are two of my biggest influences.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a shy person until I get to know you  I blush when I write my love scenes. I’ve had many friends tell me I’m modest, but it’s part of who I am and I don‘t want to change that. I cheered in the Pro-Bowl in Hawaii twice. I danced in the Macy’s Day Parade in New York. And through this all, I’m still an introverted, conservative twenty-something, lol!

For Fun:
What is your Prom story?
Oh my. What would you say if I told you I never went to my proms? The only year I wasn’t asked was my Senior year, but I turned down every offer before, and decided not to go my Senior year. At the time, money was tight and I couldn’t justify spending so much between the dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, transportation, odds and ends, and then the ticket to prom itself.

Favorite Mother’s Day memory?
I’m not sure, to be honest with you. I cherish every day with my son. I’m thankful for every day I have with my mother. It may sound silly, but we don’t really treat Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day like an exceptional day. I’m a believer that every day is just as special, just as important, as the one before and the one after. I will always be a mother, and I’m blessed to take part in every aspect of my son’s life on a daily basis.

If you have children, does the end of school signal loss of writing time for you?
The end of school mean more time split up between summer activities, but since I do the majority of my writing at night, I usually don’t lose the time.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
I had a great time! Thank you again!

You can find my books at Siren-BookStrand, Pink Petal Books , my website, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, All Romance Ebooks, and other online distributors.



Destined Desires
For a century, Rihanna lived with the brutal memories of her soul mate's murder. Now he's back and he's stolen her heart all over again. The only problem: He's engaged to another woman, and Rihanna refuses to come between them.
Bryce Hampton is a haunted man. From early childhood, a mysteriously beautiful woman has plagued his dreams and caused the unusual scar on his hand to burn. After a momentary encounter with his dream angel in a nightclub, he is determined to find her.
The night Rihanna steps back into Bryce's life five months later, he knows he will never let her go again. But a new threat rises from the ashes of the old, more destructive and deadly than before. Can rekindled love keep Rihanna and Bryce alive?

Excerpt:
His hand rested on her shoulder. Her back stiffened and her breaths, however poor they might have been, ceased. The strength in his fingers sent
shockwaves of heat and sorrow through her body but pumped hope into her
soul.

“If I make you so nervous, I’ll leave. I didn’t mean to scare you by
stopping by. Really,” Bryce said. The mug quaked in Rihanna’s fingers,
spilling boiling water down the delicate flesh of her hand. She dropped the
mug on the counter the same instant Bryce grabbed her injured hand and
cradled it between his own. She tried to pull away, but the concern in his
eyes and regret on his face held her paralyzed. He moved her to the sink and
held her scalded hand beneath a stream of cold water.

“It shall be healed in a moment’s time,” Rihanna said in a hushed tone.

“This is my fault. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“’Tis fine. I assure you.” Rihanna drew her hand from beneath the water
and held it up for him to see. Where a bright red stain marred her porcelain
skin moments before, one would never suspect hot water touched her now.
Bryce drew her hand closer to his face, his thumb brushing over the back of
her hand. He turned it over.

Rihanna’s eyes widened. Bryce’s fingers tightened on her hand before
she could snatch it away from his probing eyes. She watched in fear as he
turned over his own hand and examined the mark she knew resided on the
flesh of his palm.

“You have a mark, just like mine.”

“’Tis a mere coincidence.”

“And your eyes? Your ears? You? Haunting my mind from boyhood?”

“Coincidence.”

“Where are you from, Rihanna? Who are you?”

“No one.”

Bryce’s gaze shifted from their identical marks to her gaze. His hand
lifted to her face and held her chin in a tender grip.

“Can you look me in the eye and tell me, honestly, this is all
coincidence?”

Rihanna recognized the muddle of her thoughts, the ferocious pounding
of her heart and drying of her mouth. She teetered on the brink of panic. If
he did not leave, she would suffer guilt, knowing she came between his
fiancée and her happiness. Guilt. Oh, by all that was Fae, why must it be
guilt? Because his murder sprouted from the foul depths of jealousy? To
know she would, indeed, be the cause for pain in another’s life?

“You’re not breathing well. Are you okay? Should I get you
something?” Bryce asked. The sincere concern melting along the streams of
his deep voice swelled her throat shut from any breath. His fingers brushed
back from her chin, over her cheek, along the length of her ear, and into her
hair.

“I think you best leave.” Her suggestion came out as meek as she felt.
Her voice held no strength in suggestion. She swallowed and added, just as
hoarse, “You have a woman. You need not bother with me.”

“Hmm. In my dreams, you’re always so happy. Jubilant. You don’t
seem to have a care in the world. In my dreams, I remember coming home to
you and you welcoming me with the most enormous hug and…kiss. Here,
standing before me, I see nothing but a woman tortured by pain, an
overwhelming sorrow.”

“Times of past are not worth dwelling upon.”

“They’re dreams,” Bryce assured gently. Rihanna’s eyes glanced
between his own, unable to stop his fingers in her hair or his hand creeping
to her waist. Her feet were as planted as a flimsy weed on tile and took little
effort from him to walk her a step closer.

“Truths,” she gasped.

“I don’t understand how that’s possible.” His voice deepened, thickened
with a tinge more husk than a moment before. Rihanna watched the clear
greens of his eyes cloud. She slipped a hand to his chest, over his pulsating
heart.

“I would expect no less,” she murmured, pushing herself from his
proposed embrace. She spun and managed two steps before Bryce’s arm
shot out, his fingers gripping the counter and trapping her. Rihanna shoved
at him and tried to duck beneath his arm. “Dear goddess, you must leave.
Never should you have come.”

“Why are you so nervous? I came innocent enough, bearing coffee and
hopes of a friendly night—”

“As innocent as your intentions may have proven prior to you crossing
through that door, I cannot bear the weight of seeing you so close when you
are still so far away.”

“Rihanna, please. Can’t you just explain this to me?”

Rihanna shook her head, forcing his fingers from the counter and
throwing his arm aside. She blinked back tears, stumbling away from him.
She thumbed the stone on her ring, thumbed it desperately. Use it. Sift back
home. Leave him.

Nay!

She didn’t want to leave him. She never wanted to leave him. But this!
His persistence peeled mercilessly at her faltering resolve just as much as it
broke apart her heart.

In a feverish effort to frighten him into leaving, she dove into the only
topic he seemed curious about.

“Have you seen it happen? In your dreams?” Rihanna asked quickly.

Bryce’s shoulders straightened as his attention focused even more acutely
on her. She rushed on, taking advantage of his bafflement. “You’re
murdered in your dream. You realize naught when you wake. You are
murdered. Have you experienced their wrath? Their jealousy upon leave of
the cabin? They tricked you to come out that eve, the eve they ambushed
you on the dirt road into town. Sweet goddess, they were brutal…” Rihanna
could not fight the tears any longer as they trailed down her cheeks. Bryce
made a move to wipe them away, but she shuffled back, out of reach. “Do
you recall a name in your dream? Your name?” Bryce’s brow creased.

“Mikhal?”

“How…how do you know? How do you know what I’ve dreamed?” he
whispered.

“They are truths. Your dreams are memories. The mark on your hand is
a scar from a time long passed. And now you must leave before my brother
returns,” Rihanna threatened, throwing a paranoid glance over her shoulder
for effect. Dear goddess. Had she just lied? To the very man who held her
heart?

“Are you telling me I lived before? In another time? And you were there
with me?” he asked quietly. Rihanna couldn’t find the strength to answer
him. In fact, her voice fled her completely. Bryce stepped toward her. She
took another step back. “You are the love of my life in those dreams. God, I
lived every moment for you. My days never began until you were with me. I
couldn’t breathe without you. When I saw you at the club, I couldn’t believe
my eyes. And since, I’ve been counting the days, the weeks, the months,
hoping you would come back. I had myself believing it was all a
coincidence, fate turning a cruel hand on me.”

“There is reason behind every occurrence in one’s life. Coincidences do
not exist.”

“When I arrived, you explained everything away as coincidence,” Bryce
pointed out.

Rihanna felt like a trapped animal the moment her back hit the wall. She
broke to the left. Bryce’s arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her to him,
and halting her escape. His brazen movement seared her blood with heat.
She felt him, his warmth, his strength, the shape of his muscular arms, the
curve of his chest. She fought to free herself from the torment, from the trial
to uphold her dignity and not step between a committed pair.

“Why are you fighting me? Why the sadness?” he whispered against her
ear. His scorching breath and his restrained embrace made her knees buckle.
Without him, she would fall.

Without him, she would die.

His nose brushed her temple. “Please, Rihanna, tell me who you are.
Who you are to me? Who am I? Since I saw you, I’ve wanted no one more
than you. I’ve been mad with desperation, praying to God you’d come back
to me. I’ve been out every night, searching every damn bar and every damn
club. I can’t begin to tell you how much of a fool I’ve been. But it’s all
worth it because here you are, real. Not a dream or a story. You’re here,
with me.”

“Mo anam cara,” Rihanna breathed. Her fragile heart couldn’t bear this
much longer. When he turned her to face him, lifting her chin so their gazes
met, she lost the last of her remaining willpower.

“Soul mate,” he translated quietly. “Anam cara.”

The Gala Lover, coming soon from Pink Petal Books
Shadow Hunter, BookStrand.com
Talaenian Fae series, Forbidden Heart and Destined Desires, Siren-BookStrand.com
Kara's Website

9 comments:

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

This is a great interview. I love the way you put yourself into your novels. It's pretty dang cool that you wrote your first book at age 11!

Kara said...

Thanks Julia!
I think incorporating certain aspects of me helps readers connect with the characters, because the feelings and situations reflect something real :)
That first novel, and the few after, will never see the light of day, lol! I'll go back and read those once in a while and just laugh because they really sound silly :) We all have to start somewhere, lol.

Kristen Painter said...

Great interview!

Rachel Hauck said...

Excellent!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being with me today Kara! I started writing stories at age 11:)

Molly

Kara said...

Thanks for having me here Molly! It was a blast :) There's something in an 11 yr old's air that sparks the creative juice :)

April Ash said...

Authors sure do put something of themselves in their writing...just like you stated! We may not think we do, but we gravitate to the "familiar" settings, and use our experiences...but, of course, we have to be creative with some things!
Nice interview!
Marianne/April

Judy said...

Kara, such fun to read about you here...Great interview...Good stuff

Leigh Duncan said...

Kara,
How wonderful to learn so much about you! Thanks for letting us into your life and your writing!