**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with T.J. KLINE
INTRODUCING… T.J. Kline.
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
While I write under the name T.J. Kline for contemporary romance, my name is Tina Klinesmith. I am a full time writer but I started working from home nearly 8 years ago as an online fitness coach. Because my business gave me so much freedom, I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. I have a wonderful husband and three beautiful children, now teens, and have recently just started suffering from the first stages of empty nesting with my daughter in college. But, that has also brought new opportunities to pursue my first love – horses – again. I have raised and trained horses since I was fourteen and, raising kids, it was pushed to the wayside. Now, I’m back at it with my new 2 year old filly.
1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?
I write what I love to read. If I wouldn’t want to read the story, I don’t see the point in writing it. I love cowboys, the West, horses, rodeo and feisty women, so I chose to incorporate all of them. I’m just lucky enough that other people want to read the same things.
2. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)?
I used to be a complete pantser but because of the schedule I have set for myself (approximately one book every two or three months, if not more) I have learned the benefits of plotting. I don’t do detailed outlines but I give myself a general idea of what should happen in each chapter and plot at least half of the book in advance. Nearly 100% of the time, my plot will change, twist or grow but this general outline helps me move the plot quickly without losing track of where the characters need to end up while still letting them flow freely in the story and surprise me.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
I love the first draft…now. I’m writing my seventh book for Avon Impuse (at the time of this interview) and have found that I do best if I just shut out the world and write. There is no inner critic allowed for the first draft. This is where NaNoWriMo helped me (and where I was “discovered.”) because it taught me to just write fast and freely. I will usually get at least 2000-3000 words per day on the page. To keep that pace daily means there is no time to over-think things. When the inner critic/editor does rear its ugly head, I just remind myself that he/she gets to have a say later, the first draft is just about getting the words, mental pictures and emotions on the page.
4. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?
First and foremost, I am a wife and mother. My family always comes first so I try to work my writing schedule around theirs. I do still run my other business from home but on a part-time basis now. But if I had to choose something other than writing I’d love to do, it would be training animals, especially dogs and horses. I don’t think that would come to a surprise to any of my readers though.
5. What’s your favorite meal of the day?
It depends on my writing schedule. Most days, dinner is the only “meal” I am able to make time for. I wish I could say writing has developed healthy habits in my life, especially since as a fitness coach, I know better, but most days I have several cups of coffee and don’t eat until very late in the day. But dinner, oh! I have some brilliant concoctions for my three boys!
6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why?
This is actually a really tough question for me to answer. I love writing female characters because I can be anyone. I can do, say and feel the way I want to without any judgment as long as I give my heroine a legitimate reason. I get to say the things I wish I could in real life to those people who irritate and anger me. It’s pretty therapeutic, actually. But it’s also fun to see things from the male perspective. I get to write about what women wish their men would say (or do). My male characters are never perfect but they somehow always seem to come close enough to make me love them.
7. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?
I would want the power to control minds. Of course, I would only use it for good. *wink wink*
8. Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?
I’d live on my horse ranch in the mountains. I have always wanted to have a log cabin (a big one, of course) in the mountains. I absolutely love the Tahoe area but anything in the mountains would make me happy. As long as I have my horses and WiFi, I’d write and ride all day.
9. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you?
I cherish every review I get because it means a reader took the time to write down what they thought about a story. That makes it personal, for them and for me. Luckily, I haven’t had any harsh ones (I feel like I’m tempting fate by saying that!) As far as rejections, I had a version of Rodeo Queen from a very bad first draft (which I tossed and completely rewrote) that was rejected by Avon nearly twenty years before it was accepted. It just goes to prove that there is a right time and place for every manuscript if you love it enough to keep working on it.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My newest book, Runaway Cowboy, (Avon Impulse) will be released on Feb. 3rd, 2015. This is a prequel novella in the Rodeo Series and the last of the Chandler siblings. We finally get to see Jen and Clay, pre-Rodeo Queen, and how their relationship developed into the strong couple we see in the other books. I had a lot of fun writing this one because Jennifer is such a strong, motherly heroine but she never takes anything off of either of her brothers. Clay, on the other hand, always seemed so soft-spoken, it was nice to see him spar with her. This novella, the first I’ve ever tried, came to me so quickly, my fingers could barely keep up with my brain.
Links to T.J.’s website, blog, books, etc.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/t.-j.-kline
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about T.J, her new release, and an excerpt from RUNAWAY COWBOY, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!