Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi Molly! And thanks for hosting me here! I write paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance and have four books releasing in 2011. The first two are out: Hearts in Darkness (contemporary) and Forever Freed (paranormal), and the other two are set to release in early fall (Just Gotta Say – erotic) and November 1 (North of Need – contemporary fantasy romance). I’m a college professor in history by training, as well as a mom and wife.
My latest release, Forever Freed, is my debut paranormal romance about a reclusive, empathic vampire who falls in love with a woman he planned to kill and her young daughter, then fights his ancient guilt, bloodlust, lie by omission, and an old vampire rival who threatens everything he holds dear.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
If you mean “scared” as in overwhelmed, I’d say yes. In January I completed a novel, a commercial women’s fiction, that was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever written. I generally write fast, but this book was a non-cooperator from start to finish, and with other things mixed in, ended up taking me a year to draft. Even though I knew what happened next, that book was always just a bit daunting to sit down to in a way nothing else has been.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Yes, definitely. Not usually wholesale, but I’ll definitely incorporate cool phrases I overhear, mannerisms I see people do, or smaller situations. I really like to use birthdates of people I know in my books for my characters. *grins* And, without question, there are pieces of me in every single thing I write.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
That really depends on the book. Some require less research, so I’ll only research something if a specific scene requires a little expert knowledge to pull off. For others, I’ll sit down beforehand and do a good bit of researching before writing. Hearts in Darkness required little research—except about elevator operation and safety procedures LOL! Forever Freed, however, required much more historical research to establish the characters’ backgrounds and the history of the city in which the story is set, Detroit.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
My tagline is: “Hot, Heartfelt Romance – Because everyone longs to belong…” And that last phrase is a theme that runs through all my work. No matter what, there is a place where you belong, where people will love and accept and protect you. We all want that, and I truly do believe it exists for everyone—exactly where may not be the same for all of us, but I think the desire to belong does.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
Total pantser. I have plotted one book, my first, but since then I pants everything! Whether that’s good or not, I don’t know! LOL And stories always take on a life of their own. Things always happen that I didn’t anticipate or expect. Characters sometimes even make decisions I didn’t expect them to make, or absolutely refuse to cooperate with what I’d had in mind for them to do or say. What the heroine Samantha decides at the end of Forever Freed was a TOTAL surprise to me. It wasn’t what I had in mind at all, but once I got there, she told me what she was going to do and there was no talking her out of it. And, if it seems like I’m referring to my characters as real people with a will, etc., it’s because, when I’m writing them, they totally are.
How long did it take for you to be published?
I’ve been writing fiction for about three years so far. I sold the first novel I wrote, Forever Freed. I queried that book to agents for a long time (about a year), and while I got a lot of requests for partials and fulls, it didn’t hook anyone enough to sign me. Then I approached epublishers, and the very first one said yes (The Wild Rose Press)! The editing and production process there took 14 months, total. So, it took me about 14 months to land a publisher and 14 months from there to see the book published, which it was in May. Overall, though, I’ve had great fortune in getting published with my first book, and so early in my career.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
I learned a lot writing and querying Forever Freed. That was my learning curve project! I’d tell myself to know more about the craft and business of writing before leaping in. But, really, there’s no right way to start being a writer except to write, write, write.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Laptop. Although I keep a pad of paper in my purse in case I have an idea while away from my computer! Beyond my computer (have computer, will travel!), I don’t have too many ‘must-haves’. It doesn’t even matter if it’s noisy around me, because when I’m in the writing zone, I block everything else out.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
Just one??? *grins* J.R. Ward is probably my favorite paranormal romance author. I’m totally addicted to her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She’s probably the writer who most taught me what I know about writing male point of view. I grew up on Stephen King and Anne Rice, though, so they’re partly responsible for my love of all things weird, creepy, and otherwise unexplainable!
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Maybe that I’m a Ph.D. historian who teaches college? Maybe that I have two tattoos? I don’t know if these are surprising, but they’re random facts about me! LOL
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Thanks for having me, Molly! Here’s where you can find me:
Sign up for Laura’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/d9ruD
Forever Freed is available at all major online retailers, or use this DigiBooks Café code for a 20% discount: http://tiny.cc/iydy4-
A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance with four books releasing in 2011, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with the supernatural. Though an avid fiction writer as a teenager, a career as a historian took her in other directions until recently. Now that Laura’s inner muse has awakened, she’s constantly creating new story ideas! Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
A heart can break, even one that no longer beats.
I stalk my new neighbors, a single mother and her child, drawn by the irresistible scent of their joy and love. I crave their blood, starved for some healing respite from my ancient grief. Now to lure them into my grasp.
But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear or reservation--talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and calling to the forgotten man within me. They lure me instead.
Ah, Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can...
I stepped out of the shower and dried off, then flushed the toilet for the show of it. When soft knocks landed on the bathroom door, I secured the towel around my waist and opened it.
Samantha leaned on the jamb, her eyes widening as they locked on my bare torso. She reached up and caught a droplet of water running from my hair down my shoulder. Then she placed her hands on my chest, and the fingers on her right hand caught another stray droplet. When she brushed my Blood Mark, I sucked in a breath. Her lips fell open as she watched a third droplet slide around the base of my neck to my chest.
She leaned forward and kissed my skin over the stray droplet and let her tongue just meet my flesh as she drank the water into her mouth. I closed my eyes at the sensation. Her drinking off me was too fucking close to the fantasy of her drinking from me, and all at once the blood turned molten in my veins.
Oblivious to the seismic activity building under my skin, she continued to kiss across my chest. I wrapped an arm around her waist, the heat of her lust searing me. I burned from the inside and the out.
Ah, Cristo. I wanted her so damn bad.
Between kisses, she taunted, “So, I was just wondering if I could get you to growl again.”
I gripped her more firmly against me, wanted her to feel exactly what she was doing to me. I ground the thick column between my legs into the soft flesh of her belly. She moaned appreciatively. Her heart thundered between our chests. And then she was successful in her quest. She bit me.
She flicked her tongue out against my nipple and sucked it into her mouth. Then her teeth closed around the taut peak in a series of playful nips. And I growled. She couldn’t know the significance of her actions—for vampires, biting was very much a part of sex. And she also couldn’t know how wild her bites made me feel.
Instinctively, I grabbed her roughly with both arms and spun her around so her back pressed against the wall next to the bathroom door. She gasped, but I distracted her with my mouth on her lips, jaw, ear, neck. I pinned her hands next to her on the wall. Her chest heaved against me. The scent of her arousal was thick and sweet in the air, making me want her worse than I already did.
She rubbed her thighs together as I ran wet open-mouthed kisses down into the V-neck of her shirt. I rolled my hips into her. She moaned. My teeth tingled, and I had just enough awareness to keep my fangs retracted. But I wanted to sink myself into her—my fangs and my sex—more than I’d wanted almost anything ever before.
My name on her lips was an incredible invitation, so filled with need and longing. “God, I want to touch you.”