This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?
Think on THAT a while…
Welcome, Author Laura Kaye! You’ve just released Hard to Hold On To. Tell us a little bit about your story.
Hard to Hold On To is a contemporary love story between a troubled Army veteran and the woman he recently saved. It is the third book in the Hard Ink series, which features the survivors of an Army Special Forces unit trying to recover their stolen honor after being unjustly discharged from the military. I am donating all of the proceeds of the first two weeks’ sales of the book to the Wounded Warrior Project.
You also write books about vampires and Greek gods. Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?
In general, I consider the Vampire Warrior Kings and Hearts of the Anemoi series to be paranormal romance. The Hearts of the Anemoi is the series that focuses on Greek gods, and it’s sometimes deemed fantasy romance because gods and goddesses often represent a lighter form of paranormal, but the series gets quite dark as it progresses to the end in East of Ecstasy, which just released in the spring.
I’ve been interested in the supernatural since I was a kid. My family totally believed in this stuff and there was a lot of supernatural lure in my family history. So it was natural that I’d start writing where I did most of my reading – in the paranormal realm. My vampire romance Forever Freed was the first piece of fiction I wrote and sold.
Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels. If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?
My favorite all-time paranormal creature is the vampire. Immortal, powerful, animalistic, fangs! What’s not to love!
Is Hard to Hold On To part of a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!
Yes! Hard to Hold On To is the third story in the Hard Ink series. The series will ultimately have at least four full-length novels and three novellas. The next release, Hard to Come By, comes out on November 25.
What else are you working on?
I’m currently writing the last book in the Hard Ink series (currently untitled) and preparing to re-release a backlist title (Just Gotta Say). I also just submitted proposals for two new series to my agent!
Of all the characters in your fictional world, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together?
I really love all the characters in my Hard Ink world. I’d just really love to be able to hang out in the Hard Ink building with the whole big crew! *♥* The series really started with and around Nick Rixey and his brother Jeremy, and it would be a blast to have the pair of them give me some new ink! Ahem.
Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?
I’m a total pantser. Now, I’ll confess that writing romantic suspense has required more plotting from me. But, in general, I plot as little as possible and usually only a few chapters ahead of where I am. The steps I take before diving into a new book? Um, I open Word? LOL
How long does it typically take for you to write a novel? Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?
I’m a fast writer, to a certain extent because my current deadline commitments require me to be. Under normal circumstances, I am for 3,000 words a day at least 5 days a week. If I hit that, I’ll produce 15,000 words a week, which means it should take me about 2-3 weeks to write a novella or about 6-8 weeks to write a full-length novel. However, I’ve written 100,000-word novels in 4-6 weeks on more than one occasion. I revise as I write. So, each day when I sit down, I re-read the previous 10-20 pages and revise it, and that gets me back into the flow of the story. When I reach the end, I’m done.
Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?
1) BICHOK – Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. You can’t revise what you haven’t written and you can’t sell what you haven’t written. So write EVERY DAY. Yes, every day. Even if you only commit to an hour a day or even 100 words a day, you need to get in the habit of making forward progress. And never underestimate the amazing power of getting to write “The End” and proving to yourself you can finish a whole book.
2) Read, read, read. One of the best ways to learn how to WRITE is to READ extensively in your genre. Find books you think do a great job at characters or worldbuilding or suspense or pacing and study them (just be sure that your application of those techniques in your own work is in your original words!).
3) Treat it like a profession, by which I mean join the professional organizations, do the work consistently, study and hone your craft, and always present yourself professionally (on social media, on your website, and in only submitting or publishing your work when it’s in the absolute best shape it can be).
4) Find a critique partner, preferably someone else who is professionally pursuing publication and not just a friend who will tell you it’s great! Because it may be great, but everyone benefits from having other writers who know the craft and the genre give you feedback on your work. You can find critique partners through local and online writers groups.
5) Don’t give up! At the beginning of your writing career, you will get a lot more nos and rejections than yeses and acceptances! Persevere and don’t give up! Every big name author you know experienced rejection at some point in their career.
Can you give us a taste of what to expect?
Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.
As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.
Jenna awoke with the immediate realization that she was wrapped so tightly around Easy that she might as well have been lying on him. But she couldn’t bring herself to feel bad or guilty or embarrassed about it in the least. Because his heat and his touch and his clean scent in her nose had allowed her to sleep without nightmares. And because she refused to regret something she wanted and might not get to have again.
After all, he’d said he liked her, but she had no idea exactly how he liked her. Maybe he meant like a kid sister. Or maybe he meant as a friend.
Except … his hips shifted under her leg, and she did not think she was imagining what she was feeling. He was hard. He was holding her, and he was hard.
Jenna’s heart tripped into a sprint. Not out of fear but out of curiosity, amazement, interest. Because Easy made her feel safer than she’d ever felt in her life.
He was hard. She was more than a little intrigued.
Easy was patient and kind, and he made her feel special and cared for. And from his handsome face to his incredible muscles to the ink on his chest, he was totally, freaking gorgeous.
And he’d saved her life.
Couldn’t forget that.
The simple act of thinking about the man in these terms made Jenna’s belly flip.
And while she half expected to freak out at the idea of sex after she’d been pawed by Bruno’s assholes, when she looked at Easy, she didn’t see any of that, she didn’t feel it, she didn’t think about it.
What she thought about instead was that, if those assholes had killed her, she would’ve died without ever knowing what it felt like to love a man. And be loved in return.
She could’ve died.
The realization made her feel like she’d never really been living. But now she could. Now she had a second chance.
Jenna shifted herself closer, her body reacting to her thoughts and her closeness to his.
A hand clamped down on her thigh.
And Jenna’s heart turned into a hammer inside her chest.
“Jenna,” Easy said, voice full of gravel and warning.
She tilted her face upward, bringing her lips against his throat. And before she’d even thought about it, she kissed him. A long, soft press of her lips against the suddenly jumping pulse in his throat.
He groaned, and it was a sound as sexy as it was tortured. Beneath her thigh, he hardened further.
She kissed him again, dizziness threatening as her body slingshotted from sleepy to utterly, eagerly awake. And aroused.
“Jenna,” he said again, though this time it came out as more of a plea. His hand slid up her thigh. His fingers pressed into her back, pulling her tighter against him.
She slipped her fingers from his and gently cupped the other side of his neck as her lips found his skin again and again…
Where can we find Hard to Hold On To online?
Other Books in the Hard Ink Series:
Hard to Come By (11/25/14)
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. 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.