Please welcome Kareena to the fold so to speak. She's been very generous enough to join us today to share a bit about herself and her writing.
What inspired you to begin writing?
Truly, I don’t remember. I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember (which is back to age 2, at least), and I started writing them down as soon as someone showed me how to make those squiggly little letters.
For each writer their genre is the one they’re comfortable with. Why did you begin writing within yours?
I actually write in a number of genres. In addition to erotic romance, I write YA urban fantasy, and I’ve written a couple of mainstream fiction manuscripts that will probably never see daylight. I’m also working on a paranormal novel. But… since this interview is about my erotic romance, I’ll answer that, I guess. I started writing it because a friend challenged me to write something that showed sex as a positive thing.
What was your initial reaction when you got that first contract?
I literally jumped up and down. My kids thought I’d gone nuts.
Do you have to do a lot of research to write the books you do or do you write within the fields you know?
I really don’t like doing research, so I try to write what I know. Some research is necessary, though. For example, Deep Down, which is available from Siren Publishing as of January 7, takes place in Boston. I live just outside Boston now, but when I started writing the novella, I still lived in Maine. Once I moved here, I realized I’d gotten a lot wrong, so I visited some of the places mentioned in the story and rode the subway line that the characters ride. That’s the kind of research I enjoy. If it’s something I can’t quickly find online or learn about in person, I probably won’t write it.
What would be your one piece of advice for anyone interested in getting a book published?
Learn. Learn to let the words flow without getting hung up on mechanics to start with. Once the first draft is finished, learn the mechanics. Proper grammar, punctuation, etc. Learn to self-edit; don’t expect your publisher to do it all for you. Learn to ask for help, for beta readers or crit partners, for anything that will help you reach your goal of signing that first contract.
And after you sign that contract, keep learning more with every book you publish.
How did you family/friends react to your decision to become a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was five, so… I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision. My parents claim to be proud of me for my writing. My daughters think it’s cool. And my fiance is so supportive of it that he recently threatened to break my car so I’d have to stay home and write when I mentioned that I thought I might have to quit writing and get a second “real” job. (I was in a bad mood at the time. I couldn’t quit writing any more than I could quit breathing!)
What sort of goals do you set for yourself with each project?
To finish the story. Other than that, I don’t set any goals, I just see what happens.
What sort of music do you listen to while you’re writing?
I generally don’t.
Do you use any sort of ‘forms’ with your writing? Character outlines, plot sheets, etc? Do you find them of any value to you at all or do they distract you from the actual meat of your book?
I don’t use any of that. I’m a total what some call “pantster” when it comes to writing. I might jot down a few quick notes about the characters’ names and what I think is going to happen in the story, but that’s it. Once I start typing that first draft, I often have no real idea what’s going to happen until it does.
I do have one minor weirdness, though: I absolutely cannot start writing a story until I have at least a preliminary title. The absence of a title makes my brain freeze up.