**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with K.L. Docter
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.
I’ve lived most of my life in Colorado and, despite a couple of moves outside of the state, I’ve come back every time. I love my mountains and the wonderful weather here. Give me a chance to go camping or fishing in the mountains with my husband and my laptop and I’m so there! I talk a lot about going to the beach and I do love Maui, but I’d never move there permanently. A three month writing vacation there wouldn’t be out of the question though! 🙂
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
I write two different kinds of romance novels…Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter and Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter: Romance.
My contemporary romances are cute and spicy, and run about 50,000 words. They’re lighthearted, make-me-sigh kind of romances. I have tremendous fun throwing the hero and heroine together with a tickle and a smile. I read a lot of Harlequin/Silhouette romances and wrote for many years with those kinds of stories in my head. And, despite the fact that my characters deal with serious issues – for instance, in Satin Pleasures, the heroine is dealing with an intense drive to right a wrong and it makes her a workaholic, while the hero has left his stressful career behind – I allow them to have fun while they’re learning something about themselves and each other. I didn’t set out to deliberately write humorous books. It’s just the way these characters develop in my head. I tend to write the kind of stories that I can see an actress like Meg Ryan playing the lead role.
My romantic suspense, on the other hand, is twice as long. Killing Secrets is around 110,000 words, closer in word count to the more traditional single title books. For years, I had been writing only shorter contemporaries, but many of my stories had suspense elements in them. I love suspense and mysteries, too, so I decided a couple of years ago to explore the darker suspense angle. These books are a lot more complicated to write. I not only have to develop a romance, but find a way to carry the characters through the dangers that unexpectedly drop into their everyday worlds. I actually have two antagonists in Killing Secrets, so the hero and heroine don’t always know where the danger is coming from. These stories also demand that I dig deeper into the psyche of a serial killer, which I find fascinating. I’m a huge Criminal Minds fan.
I have so many stories in my “Book File” that I won’t run out of material anytime soon. I love to write at both ends of the spectrum, lighthearted one moment, psychological suspense the next. Now, if I could only write faster!
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Healing. I would love to be able to touch someone and help them to heal, whether it’s mental or physical illness/damage. There is so much pain in the world, I think I’d be pretty busy. But it would be so worth it!
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
Like most writers, I do get stuck occasionally, although it’s not generally writer’s block, per se. I’m both a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants) and a plotter. I began writing as a pantser, but discovered myself in perpetual revision. Then, I learned the “W” plotting technique years ago. (I loved it so much, I taught others how to use it for about 12 years.)
Anyway, the “W” has become such an integral part of my writing that the only time I really run into walls is if I haven’t properly done the plotting. Now I know chapter-by-chapter and scene-by-scene where my stories are going. Whenever I find it difficult to motivate myself through a scene, my pantser tendencies kick back in. I seldom write in a linear, chronological, straight line. If I get stuck with a scene, I’ll skip to another scene…even if it’s chapter eleven and I’m only on chapter five. If I wake up with a particular scene running through my head, that’s the one I focus on because it’s “there”. Those scenes seem to write themselves. Who am I to argue with my muse? 🙂
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Marketing. Don’t get me wrong. I love social media and talking to my readers. I’ve made oodles of friends. I don’t, however, like selling myself and my books. This is a problem for an Indie writer like me. I have no one to sell me…but me. A dichotomy that makes me crazy. I just want to write my books and everyone to know they’re out there and worth reading.
Hmmm, maybe I need to look into telepathy as my superpower. Then, I can shoot you all a mental picture about the book I have coming out so we can just play the rest of the time.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Anyone who reads my blog knows I love to cook. My Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog on Fridays highlights all of the recipes I’ve collected over the years. Lately, I’ve been sharing other author’s recipes.
If you came to my house for dinner, I’d make something you loved. You’d be a friend so I’d know your favorite meal. Love lasagna? I’d make that. Chicken enchiladas? You got it. I make a mean Enchilada Chili Chicken over Basmati Rice, my own creation. I probably have a recipe you’d love…and I take very good care of my friends.
6. What is your typical day like?
I don’t generally get to bed much before 1:00 am., so I don’t get up too early. But I’m usually in my office with my first cup of coffee by 8:00 or 9:00. I spend the morning taking care of business, social media, my seven emails, blog, etc. (I have multiple emails for the various hats I wear.) As soon as I clear those decks, I try to write. On a good day, that means 10:00ish. On a not-so-good day, it might be noonish. I don’t write at night because I’m not nearly as productive and I used to battle insomnia. Generally, though, I’m on the computer 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I join several of my writing buds for Just Write days, when we get together outside of our usual lives and just write for several hours. I love my Just Write days!
7. How likely are the people you meet going to end up in your next book?
I think the better question is: How likely are the people I meet NOT going to end up in my next book? 🙂 I’m an observer of life and find more wonderful character traits and storylines and personalities to give me ideas and fill my creative well.
Oh, everyone, don’t freak out! You’ll never recognize yourself in my stories…I hope. But it’s fun to find something unique or special that I can use to make my characters and stories richer, more full-bodied. I don’t want to write cardboard characters so I tap the world.
8. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
He says he’s here to snuggle with the purple flower penguin sitting on my printer. She’s a cute, little thing, with a bright smile, one of the “writing partners” my granddaughter gave me. I don’t know how she’ll feel about the sombrero though…the penguin, not my granddaughter. 🙂
9. What’s your favorite beverage?
Anyone who knows me can answer this question. I’m a coffee hound. I haven’t met a coffee I didn’t like. I drink coffee all day, all flavors, although I do move to decaf in the late afternoon so I can actually sleep at night. I especially enjoy favored coffees, cappuccino, espresso, and the occasional latte. Yes, I have a cappuccino/espresso machine and a Keurig, and I know how to use them!
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
Actually, I just released (April) the first book in my romantic suspense, KILLING SECRETS, Thorne’s Thorns Series ~ Book 1.
When I started writing Killing Secrets, I only had Patrick’s story in my head. But, brainstorming his backstory, I discovered his father was a retired police officer and his mother was a woman who came from money who did volunteer work. It wasn’t a far leap for Ross Thorne to be like his wife and want to help some of the young boys he might come into contact with in his police work. Patrick was their only biological son, but Ross and Evelyn gave him foster brothers. All of the boys were in minor trouble at one time or another growing up, so they became known as Thorne’s Thorns. Once I knew who Patrick’s brothers were, I had to write their stories.
Making the brothers’ stories credible standalone novels is a matter of developing distinctive individuals with specific goals and problems. These men are real to me now and their stories are different, but they’re connected by their upbringing and their love for each other. All of Patrick’s foster brothers might have different last names but they’re still family. I’m currently working on Ben Zancanelli’s story, KILLING PROOF. I’m estimating the book will release January or February 2015.
I’m also working on a contemporary romance called I DO, I DO…FOR NOW. It’s a cute romance about a firefighter and a divorce lawyer who were best friends as children, separated until adulthood. When they meet again, they end up using a faux engagement to convince his ex-in-laws and her bosses that they’re in a committed relationship, despite their desire to avoid familial entanglements. They soon learn there’s family, and then there’s family. I DO, I DO…FOR NOW is a December release.
Links to K.L.’s website, blog, books, etc.
Facebook/Karen Docter: goo.gl/6TXc5X
Facebook/K.L. Docter: https://www.facebook.com/kldocter
Book Bench for Romance Lovers FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/281099382014548/
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/karendocter/
Satin Pleasures by Karen Docter
Catch That Santa, a novelette by Karen Docter
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about K.L. Docter, her new release, and an excerpt from KILLING SECRETS, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
FOR ONE WEEK ONLY, K.L. is making KILLING SECRETS available 40% off through Smashwords. Get this psychological, romantic suspense for only $2.99, all formats. Go to Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/429369. Use Code: BA64S at checkout for $2.00 off. Download your format of choice.
Everyone’s a winner! Don’t miss this chance to read K.L.’s latest release!