Today I am so pleased to welcome Laura Kaye to Joyfully Jay. Laura has come to talk to answer some questions about her writing as Create Something Magical Blog Tour. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
1. What made you want to become a writer? How early in life did you start writing?
I came to writing in an unusual way. In 2008, I suffered a traumatic brain injury and, as I recovered, I felt a strong creative urge. I finished my first novel within 4 months of the injury, and then there was no going back. Writing fiction was a totally different path for me. At the time, I was working as an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy, so I was well established in another career.
2. Is there one piece of advice you would give an aspiring writer?
You can’t revise what you haven’t finished writing, so finish the book. That’s one for sure!
3. Who is on your bookshelf?
So many people! J.R. Ward owns the biggest amount of real estate on my shelves, though!
4. Can you tell us about one of the most memorable moments in your writing career thus far?
Probably the most exciting moment was when two New York publishers contacted me in the summer of 2012 to ask me to submit something to them, and then within the next four weeks, I got my first agent, wrote five series proposal, when on submission with one of them (Hard Ink), and had my first big sale to a New York publisher (Avon). That was a trip!
5. Tell us about your newest release/current work in progress.
I have two releases coming up: Mastering Her Senses, the second book in my erotic Blasphemy series, and Ride Rough, the second book in my suspense contemporary Raven Riders series. Mastering Her Senses is a super sexy story about two people who agree they’re only having a fling, and Ride Rough is a sexy, suspenseful, and heartfelt second-chance love story. Just adored writing both!
But let me tell you a little bit about a book that might appeal more to the audience here on Joyfully Jay. Hard to Be Good is part of my Hard Ink series, which follows the surviving members of an Army Special Forces team as they investigate the conspiracy that got them discharged from the military and seek to clear their names. Hard to Be Good is a friends-to-lovers and opposites-attract story about Jeremy Rixey, the sexy, outgoing, playful owner of the tattoo shop out of which the team is running their investigation, and Charlie Merritt, a shy computer consultant who was recently rescued from a kidnapping.
Jeremy and Charlie meet in the first book of the series, when an injured Charlie is brought to the Hard Ink tattoo building and Jeremy assists in nursing him back to health. From there, their friendship grew over the following books in the series. As the two non-military men in the group, they often work together on operational tasks that don’t take them out in the field, and they share both a frustration that they can’t do more and concerns for their siblings (Jeremy’s brother is the co-owner of the tattoo shop and the team’s leader, and Charlie’s sister is the leader’s love interest). Because Charlie is essentially hiding out from his kidnappers, he has few belongings with him, and so he’s forced to borrow shirts from Jeremy’s infamous dirty T-shirt collection. Their friendship is sweet and funny and tight.
I knew Jeremy was bi-sexual before I wrote the first word of the series. Charlie was a murkier character for me at first. But once I realized he was gay – and that one of his conflicts was that his Army Colonel father – also the SF team’s commander – didn’t accept his homosexuality, I knew Jeremy and Charlie would end up together. So their relationship was just what was right for their characters and came as a natural outgrowth of the deep friendship that develops between them. Sometimes secondary characters become a lot bigger and more awesome than you think and demand their own story, and that was definitely the case for Jeremy and Charlie!
I am planning more gay romance stories in my erotic Blasphemy series, which follows the 12 Masters of Baltimore’s most exclusive play club. Stay tuned!
6. Tell us a little about your workshop at the Create Something Magical Conference.
I’m teaching several workshops I’m excited about at the conference. I’m teaming up with Jennifer L. Armentrout to talk about writing fast and being prolific, which is a real-talk conversation of pros, cons, and strategies for your writing career. And I’m also doing a solo workshop on conflict—the element that keeps readers turning the page!
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.