NOTE: For additional information about Kathleen and her books, visit her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com.
Questions for Kathleen and her answers:
How did you get started writing your wonderful romances books?
(1.) I've been writing something or other since I was about 9 years old. The romances came about much later. My first--a short story written when I was about 19 and published in a pulp magazine called "Ranch Romances"-- was sort of an accident. I had no idea I had written a "romance," had no idea what a "romance" was, and so was never able to duplicate the feat. Flash forward through all the years of raising kids, and there I was about to become an AYSO soccer coach. During a workshop drill on a foggy summer morning in coastal California, I suffered an injury that had me bed-ridden for several weeks. I read--a lot. And I read romances, because that was what my dear sister-in-law brought me by the shopping bagful. And somewhere at about the 20th one, the light bulb came on in my brain. Ah HAH! I can write these!
My first efforts gave my school-teacher mom fits of the giggles--I never was a great speller. However, I kept at it, took a night class at UCLA taught by a terrific lady (and writer) named Marilyn Lowery, met my agent, the late and dearly missed Pat Teal, and a couple of years later, in 1983, sold my first book to Silhouette. It was "DEMON LOVER," which hit the shelves in February of 1985. This past December, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of that first sale, I released "Demon Lover" in digital format.
To date I have 48 published books and counting. Slowly...
Where do your ideas come from?
(2.) My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. That's the easy part. I can get an idea from a song, a place, a photo, someone's personal history, my own personal history, a name, a title, a newspaper or magazine article, a TV show... Anywhere. However the process of turning an idea into a book takes a whole lot of work. And I mean the kind of work that happens while I'm staring into space appearing to do nothing while hours tick by in a heartbeat. On one memorable occasion, I was pitching ideas to my New York editor via telephone. I had several I thought were pretty good, and pretty well developed, so I expounded on those. Her response was: "Uh huh..." So I threw at her an idea that had popped into my head a couple of nights before while watching PBS or National Geographic or some such station: "I, uh, had this idea about a story set on an orangutan rehabilitation station in Sumatra..." "OH!" she cried, "I love it! Do that one!" I think my reply was, "Gulp." I had no story, no characters, no plot...nada." Eventually, the book was written, and "TIGER DAWN," was a RITA (tm) finalist that year.
What’s your daily writing routine?
(3.) My daily writing routine varies with my circumstances. I've managed to keep writing through a lot of upheaval and change in my personal life, including divorce, deaths, cross-country moves, and 9-11-2001. Somehow, I've always managed to find a time of day to write that works for me. Until recently. For some reason, since losing my husband to lung cancer and moving back to the community where I grew up to care for my (then very ill) elderly mother, I haven't been able to get my groove back. Right now I live in two houses, located almost 20 miles apart. At night I stay with Mom and care for the animals on the farm where she has lived all her life (and where I lived as a child) and help her run her life. She's 93, now, and in great health. During the daytime--most days--I drive to the nearby town where I have my own house and garden and stuff, and kind of sort of try to write. It's not working real well, but I'm trying.
Do you have favorite characters from any of your stories?
(4.) I do have favorite characters, actually, but quite often they aren't the main characters in the story. I love the "absent-minded professor" hero in "THE SORCEROR'S KEEPER," because he was roughly based on my son, who was a child at the time, and of whom I used to exclaim in exasperation: "He's going to need a keeper when he grows up!" But even more, I love the two-year-old, Wendy, in that same story. I love the homeless bunch in "EYEWITNESS," and the dog in "DANGER SIGNALS." And the cat, Pia, in "THE PRETENDER," because she's MY cat--aka "The Cat From Hell." One of my all-time favorites is Doveman, from "THE AWAKENING OF DR. BROWN." And, of course, my very first hero, Chayne Younger, from "DEMON LOVER."
Is there any one person or persons who have influenced your writing?
(5.) This is a tough one. I know the first person who really had an influence on my writing was my Uncle Tommy Hand, because when I was a child, he told me I should definitely keep on writing. He was the one who made me think I had some talent. There was Marilyn Lowery, of course, the lady who taught that class at UCLA, who also made it clear she thought I had something special. Pat Teal is probably the one who taught me how to write a romance, though, and I learned a lot from Leslie Wainger, my first editor, even if she could be something of a tyrant at times. <grin>
What do you enjoy when you aren’t writing?
(6.) When I'm not writing--which, sadly, is most of the time, now--I'm kept pretty busy with Mom, the animals, my garden, and involvement in community organizations and activities. I sing in the choir at my church, serve on the boards of directors of our local historical society and another community service organization, am a member of the local Rotary Club, and organize a group of gleaners who gather the leavings from the potato harvest in our valley and distribute it to various food charities. I love to take pictures and spend a lot of time making photo books from them. I spend quite a bit of time keeping up with family members, loved ones, friends, my kids. I spend way too much time on Facebook, and of course, like all writers, I love to read. I also collect old dolls in need of restoration. I used to restore them and resell them, but these days don't have the time. I do hope to get back to it some day, though, because I have HUNDREDS of them! If I have time--someday--I would love to do more traveling. Right now, my favorite trip is to Austin, TX, to see my new baby grandson.
What’s up next for you?
(7.) What's next? Finish the book I'm on! It's the third book in a 5-book series, called "The Scandals of Sierra Malone." The first two books, "SHERIFF'S RUNAWAY WITNESS," and "THE PRETENDER," are available for all the various eReaders. I hope to finish the third, tentatively titled "THE SOLDIER'S SECRET," this summer. After that, I hope the next two, to complete the series, won't take nearly as long!
In addition, I'm continuing the task of bringing out my older work in digital format. I have released ten books so far through Blue Jay Publications: Six books originally published under the "Loveswept" imprint for Bantam Books; one book originally published as a Harlequin American Romance, under the pseudonym Kathleen Carrol; a short single title romance originally published by St. Martin's Press, which was the basis of a CBS Movie, "A HOLIDAY TO REMEMBER;" a Silhouette Christmas novella; and of course, "DEMON LOVER." You can read more about all of these on my website.
And there are lot's more to come!
Veteran Border Patrol agent Juliet Maguire was amazed to find herself still alive. She’d been captured by the most dangerous of border smugglers—the ruthless man they called “Blue Eyed Demon.” It was he who threw her into a camper, removed her clothes, and offered her one frightening chance—make the other coyotes believe she wanted to be his new lover or die at their hands. She would have to create the illusion of lust to survive, no matter what the cost to her dignity. As she abondoned herself, her world turned upside down in a way she never could have imagined.
amazed at finding herself still alive. For a moment she couldn’t think why she should be amazed; but then memory returned in a single sickening rush and instead she couldn’t understand why she should be alive.
Cold–blooded smugglers, ruthless traders in human contraband, couldn’t possibly have any use for one incredibly clumsy Border Patrol agent. It would have been so easy for them to kill her and dump her body in the desert.
It was dark, but she seemed to be on a bed, in something that moved. She could feel the rough fabric chafing her cheek, hear the low growl of a powerful engine, feel the occasional lurch and sway of rapid motion. The camper—she was in the camper, of course! And they were on a paved road, probably still in the desert, since the road seemed to be arrow straight.
She lay very quietly, holding her breath and listening for sounds of alien breathing. She heard only the drone of the motor and the sound of her own blood pounding in her aching head. She was alone. That fact gave her very little comfort; they had left her alone because there was absolutely nothing she could do to escape. Julie wasted no time struggling with her bonds. They were simple and effective—completely professional.
He knew his business, that one—the tall one. The one who had caught her.
What was it they’d called him? . Or had she only conjured the name from her nightmares? Julie shivered in the darkness.
Partly to keep her mind off her physical and emotional discomforts, and partly because it was almost second nature to recap any incidents encountered on patrol, Julie stared into the shadowy darkness and began a painful and meticulous replay of the whole fiasco.
Where was it now? She closed her eyes and moved her head against the bed, feeling only the weight of her short platinum curls. Gone, then.
Here's where you'll find Kathleen: