JK: Did you always want to be a writer? If not, then what?
KC: I definitely had the idea in the back of my mind since childhood. Unfortunately, I studied literature in university with the goal of being a high school teacher. I quickly realized I was not cut out for either teaching or literary fiction. I ended up in computer science and working for a large telecommunications company. It wasn’t until I discovered genre fiction, romantic suspense in particular, that the writing bug came back and bit me in the butt with a vengeance.
JK: Do your readers contact you? If so, what do they say?
KC: Readers do contact me, usually via social media. I’ve been lucky in that their messages are usually about how much they enjoyed my stories and characters. Often they want to know if I’m planning to write a book about character A or character B. It’s great to see readers get excited about my characters, and it’s always great to read their reactions when I tell them that yes, in fact, character A and B are getting their own stories.
JK: For aspiring writers, what three pieces of good advice would you give them?
KC: Write – try to write every day. If that’s not possible, set a writing schedule and try to keep it.
Finish – work on a story and finish it. I’ve known people who start one story after another. They polish it to a fine sheen and then either enter a contest or shove it in a drawer. They never finish it! Actually, completing a story is key for the obvious reason – you can’t sell something that isn’t complete. The other even more important reason is that the aspiring writer will learn more than they ever imagined about writing during the editing process. That’s when you finally get to look at your story as a whole. Where are the plot holes? Is the characterization strong enough? Are there enough conflicts? Etc. If you don’t finish the draft, you’ll never get to this essential part of writing.
Refine Your Craft – writing styles change over time, reader expectations change. So even if you think you have a handle on the craft of writing, you probably don’t. We can all stand to learn something new. Take an on-line class, attend a workshop or a conference, join a local writer’s group, find a critique group or a critique partner, or pick up a book on craft and try to apply it to your writing. You’ll be amazed by how much your stories improve.
JK: Do you have a favorite of your own books?
KC: Not yet. I love all my books, and shorter works, for different reasons. In terms of characters, Rémi Whitedeer, the hero of Deadly Addiction is one of my favorites. With his quiet determination and steadfast loyalty to his family and tribe, he’s the perfect foil for feisty, no-holds-barred heroine, police sergeant Alyssa Morgan. And he’s sexy as all get-out.
KC: It’s actually very difficult and I don’t think I’ve found the write balance yet. I try to make sure that I see my kids and husband every day, and when I can’t, I try to make up for it on the weekend. I’m glad they are so supportive.
JK: How old were you when you wrote your first book and what was it about?
KC: I wrote many stories when I was in elementary school. Things began tapering off when I entered high school though. Creative writing was not taught at all, except in French class. The teacher asked us to write a story, and I believe we were supposed to draw a picture to go along with it, like a cover page. I wrote some type of science fiction story with aliens. LOL. Anyway, the teacher liked it so much that he printed out copies of it, along with the spaceship cover and created my first “book.” He then used this as reading material for the lower-grade classes. I might still have it in a box somewhere, but I’ve moved so many times since then, I’ve lost track.
JK: Where do your ideas come from?
KC: Most of the time, they spark from current (or recent) events. I take that ember and do research on the topic until I start to see characters and a possible story line. It’s one of the aspects of writing I enjoy the most.
JK: Do you have a writing quirk?
KC: A blank screen and a flashing cursor can be very intimidating. Anxiety builds up and you know for sure that you can’t fill that page with anything but gibberish. On those days, I grab my notebook and my pen and I write longhand. Another quirk is that I have to write everything sequentially. I’ve heard from many author friends that they can and do write scenes as they come to them, out of order! I hope I can achieve that someday, but right now, it seems as crazy to me as building a house from the roof to the basement.
JK :Pantser or Planner?
KC: I’m definitely a plotter. I’m part of a plotting group, the CherryPlotters, which help me create the plots for my longer works. I need that visual representation of the story, especially for my romantic suspense books, before I can even type the first word. Does that mean I never deviate? No. Writing is an organic process whether you are a pantser or a planner. And as a writer, it’s your job to know when to just go with the flow.
For my shorter works, I create an outline that has the general flow of the story and some major turning points. Then I start to write. Before each scene, I think about what I want the next scene to be, keeping in mind the overall story flow.
JK: Do you pick out dream casts for your books? If so, what's your favorite so far?
My new Six Alarm Sexy erotic romance firefighter series has a full cast of heroes from my fictional Station 44. Believe me when I say that it’s been quite a hardship spending hours going through firefighter calendars, looking at firefighter models, and searching through stock image sites for sexy firefighters to complete my team. Check out the cover for my upcoming erotic romance, Under His Command, from this series. Like it?
KC: Coke, but I stopped drinking carbonated drinks a few years ago.
JK: Chocolate vs Vanilla?
KC: Definitely chocolate. I think I was born with a piece of Ghirardelli chocolate in my mouth!
JK: Cake vs Ice Cream?
KC: Ice cream. In an apocalypse, I’d kill for some Rocky Road.
JK: Do you think we dream in color or that we wake up and remember it in color?
KC: Now that’s something I’ve never thought about. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say we dream in color.
JK: What's your favorite food?
KC: I love Asian food. Nothing too strange though. LOL. I’m also a huge fan of my mom’s spaghetti and lasagna.
JK: What type of food could you never live without?
KC: Beef. I don’t think I could ever be a vegetarian. I don’t eat red meat every day, but I love a big juicy steak, and I need to eat it at least once or twice a month.
JK: If you were stuck on a desert island, what would you take with you (limit 4 items)?
KC: “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon because it’s one of the only books I can read again and again.
A huge notebook so I could write stories to entertain myself.
The longest lasting pen in existence so I could write stories to entertain myself.
A knife to cut bark and sticks to make paper and pencils, once my notebook and pen run out, so I could entertain myself.
*I’m detecting a pattern here.
JK: Favorite show growing up?
KC: M*A*S*H* and Happy Days were my two favorite shows when I was a kid.
JK: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
KC: I think I’d want to be able to fly. I’d be able to move quickly and travel easily. And with my bird’s eye view, I’d see things I shouldn’t!
JK: What do you think the future will hold?
KC: I think the future of publishing will be as dramatically different in five years as it has been in the last two. When things change as quickly as they are, it’s virtually impossible to predict the future. I just hope that there are some big time bestseller lists in my future
Award-winning author Kristine Cayne is fascinated by the mysteries of human psychology—twisted secrets, deep-seated beliefs, out-of-control desires. Add in high-stakes scenarios and real-world villains, and you have a story worth writing, and reading.
The heroes and heroines of her Deadly Vices series are pitted against each other by their radically opposing life experiences. By overcoming their differences and finding common ground, they triumph over their enemies and find true happiness in each other’s arms.
Today she lives in the Pacific Northwest, thriving on the mix of cultures, languages, religions and ideologies. When she’s not writing, she’s people-watching, imagining entire life stories, and inventing all sorts of danger for the unsuspecting heroes and heroines who cross her path.
Deadly Obsession (Deadly Vices, Book 1) is the award-winning first book in Kristine Cayne’s Deadly Vices series. It is currently on sale for only 99 cents from these online stores:
Kindle US - http://amzn.to/RETLOq
Paperback US - http://amzn.to/Q7U2e1
Kindle UK - http://amzn.to/On7LZN
Paperback UK - http://amzn.to/Qmdfq5
Nook - http://bit.ly/Qf1u5s
Kobo – http://bit.ly/XpYs0R
All Romance eBooks - http://bit.ly/JJMUMa
Visit Kristine’s book pages for more information on her work
Deadly Addiction (Deadly Vices, Book Two): http://kristinecayne.blogspot.com/p/deadly-addiction.html
“Aftershocks” (prequel to Six Alarm Sexy Series): http://kristinecayne.blogspot.com/p/six-alarm-sexy-series.html
“Un-Valentine’s Day” http://kristinecayne.blogspot.com/p/anthologies.html
New Releases List (http://kristinecayne.blogspot.com/p/new-releases-list.html) or