Today on On The Record, I’m chatting with the fabulous Kim Law, author of SUGAR SPRINGS, CAUGHT ON CAMERA, and the serialized EX ON THE BEACH. Keep reading and find out how you might win a Kindle Fire HD!!
TB: Kim, it’s so great to be chatting with you today! I’ve heard a rumor you are writing something called a serial. What’s that about?
KL: It’s about foreplay 😀 At least, that’s what I always think. Serials are full length books that are released in episodes. So every two weeks, readers are getting another 30-40 pages of the book until the full book is released. To make it really successful, the author’s goal is to leave each episode on a cliffhanger. That means the reader will then have two weeks of tittering anticipation 😉 as they wait for the next episode. Thus…foreplay. J
TB: Oh, my! That is intriguing! People today are so accustomed to instant gratification that the allure of delayed gratification gives the book an air of mystery! And everyone loves a cliffhanger. How does this format impact your writing style?
KL: Well, I always try to leave chapters and scene with some sort of hook, but with episodes, I have to refocus and make sure I leave that last scene with a much bigger reason to make the reader want to turn the page! I also have to make it fit within the word count of the episode, so that gets a little tricky. Some episodes are a little longer and some a little shorter, but I still have to keep it within the right range. That impacts what I do/don’t do in some of my scenes.
And as for everyone loving a cliffhanger…some people don’t. Some are just brutal when they get one! After this last episode, I got a comment “Can they just have sex already!” There was more to it than that, but it wasn’t all polite. So suffice it to say, that person was not pleased with the cliffhanger strategy. (Yet, each time I hear people railing about the injustice of not having more to read… RIGHT NOW, I do feel I’m doing a good job 😉
TB: There is something to be said for leaving the readers wanting more! The title of your first serial is EX ON THE BEACH. I love that title! What is this story about?
KL: Thanks! I get to take credit for that title, though it’s the only good one I’ve ever come up with! EX is a fun, sexy contemporary about a wedding planner who has to pull off the wedding of the summer to save her business…then discovers that the ex who once left her at the altar is the best man!
TB: Titles are devilish little necessities. But it’s rare to find on that really captures the essence of the story so good job with that one! And what a great story premise! Do you consider yourself a thorough plotter who knows how a story will end before you begin writing, or are you a seat-of-your-pantser who just takes two characters, puts them in a virtual room together, and waits to see what happens?
KL: Funny you asked that the way you did. I’m a total plotter. Throw me two characters together in a room and I’ll sit and think about them for a week. And then I’ll make them do something. So yes, I figure out characters and I plot like a loon. HOWEVER, things always change as I’m writing, and I never…ever, ever, ever…know exactly how a book is going to end until I get to the ending. It’s frustrating, and that’s the part I hate writing the most. I’m currently STUCK on the ending of EX (did I also mention the episodes start releasing as the author is still writing the book? *sigh*) because I don’t know what they need to do!
TB: I’m a plotter, too. To my detriment. Whenever someone says, “How long did it take you to write that book?” I usually say it took three months to write, but about six months to THINK about! Here at On The Record, we like to talk about men. Do you “cast” your books with real life individuals, celebrities maybe? Or even photographs of hunky men? And maybe women, too, since not every heroine can look exactly like us. Do you create story boards?
KL: You know, I think I’m one of the few who does not cast my heroes. I do tend to look up celebrities for my heroines, but rarely do I think one looks like a certain person. It’s more of, they have this person’s hair and this person’s eyes, etc. And I have no idea why I don’t find hot, hunky men to be my heroes. Apparently I have an active enough imagination on that front 😉 And no, no story board. Unless you want to count sticky notes with scene notes on them. But that’s more plotting. I don’t do the picture thing. I’ve simply found it doesn’t help me.
TB: I’m switching gears here. It’s random question time. What five non-sentient things would you take to a deserted island?
KL: Wow. That requires thinking. I’m on deadline. There is no thinking! OK, I’m going to pretend my deserted island has electricity. Can I do that? I would take a fully loaded Kindle, my Kindle charger, a truckload of mint M&Ms, a freezer to keep my M&Ms frozen because that’s how I prefer to eat them, and hmmmm….I guess another truckload of wine. German Riesling J Boring, huh? Mint M&M’s, white wine, and books and I’m a happy girl!
TB: Actually I think you’re on to something lovely here. Books, alcohol, and chocolate. Sounds like perfection to me! Speaking of perfection, describe your perfect writing day.
KL: Glad to know I’m not the only one who could live on such! My perfect writing day…they rarely happen because I tend to procrastinate too much, but my perfect writing day would be me waking (without an alarm clock or the blasted cat meowing at me!!) at about 7:00. Then I sit down and write, churning out a couple thousand beautiful words, knocking off about 11 or so. I’ll then break for lunch, maybe take a nice walk out in the sunshine, then handle a few business related tasks. Next I shower, make myself look like I haven’t just spent the morning in my PJs, and sit down for a couple more hours to knock out a thousand more beautiful words. End of day, greet the husband when he gets home, chill together in the evening. Ahh…it would be a nice life. It’s rare. You’ll usually find me at the computer well into the evening, and sometimes throughout the night. And I won’t even talk about how I’ve forgotten what a “weekend” is!
TB: Ah, yes, “the weekend.” That sort of loses its meaning when you work at home, and like many writers, it sounds like you don’t always have a set schedule. Now before we say goodbye, tell me about this contest and how people can be entered into the drawing to win a Kindle Fire HD!!
KL: To encourage readers to give serials a try, Cheryl Bolen, Patrice Wilton, and I are giving away a Kindle Fire HD on April 1st. To enter, all readers need to do is come to our website and answer an easy question about our serialized book. Go to all three of our websites, answer all three of our questions, and be entered three times!
TB: That sounds fun!!! Here are the links to their pages:
Thanks for joining me today, Kim!!
Biography: Kim Law wrote her first story, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in elementary school. Although it was never published, it was enough to whet her appetite for a career in writing. First, however, she would try her hand at a few other passions: baton twirling, softball, and music, to name a few. Voted Bookworm and Most Likely to Succeed in high school, she went on to earn a college degree in mathematics. Law spent years working as a computer programmer and raising her son, and she now devotes her time and energy to writing romance novels (none of which feature talking raisins). She is a past winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and currently serves as president for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, she lives with her husband in Middle Tennessee.