Here’s a little blurb from the website about this terrific online book club, Bookaholics Romance Book Club , which was kind enough to interview me recently.
Are you are interested in: Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, Futuristic/Sci- Fic. Romance, Romantic Suspense, Chick Lit, or Erotica?!
Well, look no further!
This is the place for you. 🙂
-Find out about freebies and new contests giveaways
-Make recommendations or ask questions
-Meet or chat online about your favorite books or the latest/upcoming books
Steph, the leader at Bookaholics, is a very nice lady who I met at RT last year. She’s a true bookaholic and makes terrific jewelry. 🙂 Here is the interview she did for the book club and their website. She kindly said I could re-print here, so I did in celebration of the Release Day Eve for Paradise Rules!
SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH BETH KERY
Beth Kery is a versatile author who excels at writing steamy romances that vary from contemporary suspense to the paranormal. She is best known for her sexy writing and the intense relationships between her likeable characters!
But whatever she writes her stories are guaranteed to keep your eyes glued to every page! This year she has 3 books scheduled for release and a 4th for 2010.
With her heavy writing schedule I was amazed she was gracious enough to find the time to answer our questions in this special sneak peak into her writing.
Steph: How did you get starting writing? Do you find writing is a dream come true? What do you find is the most difficult thing about writing that surprised you?
Beth Kery: I’ve always been an avid reader in all genres, but I always suspected I could write romance. I’m not sure why. Kismet? So about four years ago I thought…why not give it a try?
Is writing a dream come true? In many ways, yes. I love the independence, the way you have to be self-driven vs. externally driven. I love being able to create something that starts as a whimsical idea or flickering vision into a many-layered story with complex characters.
Probably the most difficult thing about writing for me is the waiting. There’s always waiting involved. Waiting to hear from your agent or editor about a submission, waiting anxiously for a book to release, waiting to hear about sales figures…and the list goes on.
Steph: All your books are a pleasure to read! You have a very sensual writing style. Do you feel you have found a niche in your writing that sets you apart from other writers?
Thank you, Steph!
I’m not so sure about my niche. I haven’t been writing all that long, technically speaking. My aim in an erotic romance is to write a very taut, emotional story, and the sex flows from that emotion and also informs the plot-line. However, there are some other authors—Lacey Alexander and Shiloh Walker, off the top of my head. I know there are other fantastic ones—who do the same, and much better, in my opinion. So I can’t necessarily call that a niche.
Perhaps one of my niches is the layered quality to my stories. I like them to be wildly entertaining and sexy, but also thought-provoking. I have a lot of respect for the romance reader, and I want to give her something intellectually and emotionally fulfilling as well as sensually exciting.
Steph: I totally agree! What I love best about your books is the relationship between your 2 characters, it never seems rushed or artificial. How do start the process of writing your 2 main characters? Do you have the characters firmly in your mind before you even write them? Can you give us an example from one of your upcoming books?
I do typically have ideas for my characters before I begin writing, but they’re shadowy. The process of writing helps to flesh them out.
In regard to my characters relationship not seeming rushed—thank you. That’s a nice compliment. One thing that I always assume is that even though each character may not know it at that first meeting, something inside him or her knows on some primitive, unconscious level this is other person is important to me. Crucial, even. It’s not rational, and he or she might struggle with that idea. That’s one of my common themes, I think: that falling in love is a deeply irrational process that nevertheless makes perfect sense.
It’s pure magic.
Examples of this theme are everywhere in my books. For instance, Ryan Daire in Daring Time knows he’s behaving irrationally by moving into a mansion that he can’t afford to maintain, but he does it anyway because he can’t ignore his visions of a captivating woman that he sees in the house. He also knows that it’s unlikely that he would fall head over heels for a female after such a short period of knowing her (because that’s what all the “˜experts’ say in this day and age) but beyond all reason, he eventually comes to accept that’s precisely what happened.
Shane Dominic in Sweet Restraint also has to take a similar plunge of faith. In essence, he risks everything; his illustrious career—even his freedom—by taking the love of his life captive in order to learn her secrets and keep her safe. Even though he’s the consummate rationalist, he makes a conscious choice to behave in a manner that on the surface seems irrational and highly risky.
But it’s only irrational if one doesn’t factor in the kind of love that turns logic on its head. In many ways, that’s the essence of romance; how love breaks all the rules and challenges personal and cultural beliefs about how things should be.
Steph: You just released a time travel romance earlier this year in May 2009, called Daring Time and you have already have 2 more books to be released this year and another for early Feb 2010. How do you set aside time to write? Do you find yourself running out of ideas or make a set schedule?
Once I get started on a book, I typically need to do a set word count everyday. I do sometimes find that the creative well gets dry. That’s when I know I need to take a break or get into a fun brainstorming session with one of my writer friends. Also, I find it works best for me to write through a block; to not worry about whether it’s crap or not. If it’s awful, at least I learned something. That’s not the direction I want to go. 🙂 And that’s pretty good information to have.
Steph: I really enjoyed your paranormal and contemporary romances. Do you find it difficult switching between them? Is one genre easier or more fun to write than the other?
I don’t think it’s hard to switch. I enjoy both genres for different reasons and both have their challenges. Many people seem to believe that contemporaries are “˜easier’ in regard to not needing to world build, less research, etc. However, I do as much if not more research and setting building for my contemporaries than I do for paranormals. My heroes and heroines have dozens of different professions, for instance. I work really hard to understand some of the details and “˜everyday’ practicalities of that job. It’s even a bigger deal in a contemporary, because there are people out there reading it who will be like—that’s ludicrous! I’m an artist and a sculpture never does that. Whereas if you build your own world, or even do a historical, most people are much more forgiving because it’s not their world.
Steph: I especially liked your time travel romance Daring Time. Time travel can be a difficult genre to write realistically. Did you particularly find it a challenge to write? Did you have to do extensive research?
Thanks! I loved doing Daring Time. I hope I can do another time travel. Yes, there was a great deal of research involved, especially in regard to historical Chicago.
There’s something so fun and whimsical about a time travel, and yet they interest me on an intellectual level too—getting all the details correct given things like time paradoxes, parallel time lines, etc. Another thing I love about a time travel is it incorporates so many genres that I’ve written and like writing: contemporary, paranormal and even historical. In Daring Time’s case, there was also a suspense/crime element. So I was in seventh heaven. 🙂
Steph: That makes so much sense. What do you feel is the most challenging book you have written? Is that your favorite book?
Beth Kery: Hmmmm….probably Sweet Restraint. The reason it was difficult is because even though I typically write erotic romances with mild BDSM in the storylines, Sweet Restraint’s kink factor is a bit higher. I was worried about how Shane Dominic, my hero, would come off to the reader when he first takes Laura captive. He acts more “˜dom-ish’ than most of my heroes, and even more “˜dom-ish- than he normally would be sexually with a woman. However, he’s doing it for a reason. He’s a desperate man with a desperate plan. 🙂
Because of the story set-up, his behavior was called for and necessary, but my ultimate goal was to show how much he loves this woman…how he’s sacrificing everything for her by his actions.
If I can convince the reader story to take the journey with me, I think she’ll find Sweet Restraint is quite possibly the most intense, romantic story I’ve written.
Oh, you are bad to ask about favorites. Lol. Well…I’ll say that Paradise Rules which comes out October 6 is a major favorite. Why? This is one story I would literally love to escape to. It mostly takes place on this luxury houseboat moored on a private lagoon in Hawaii. I love the parallel of taut emotion between the main characters juxtaposed with this golden, lazy, sensual…almost magical setting.
Steph: Your next 3 upcoming books are all contemporary. Was this a break from writing paranormal romances? Will you go back to writing paranormal romances? (Please?!)
LOL, thanks Steph.
Being a new writer in the NY market is a challenge in regard to genre. I think I got Daring Time through because it’s very loosely a paranormal, what my editor at Berkley actually calls a paranormal light—something with a background theme of ghosts or maybe ESP, but a story that for the most part takes place in the real, everyday world. In Daring Time’s case, most of that real world is actually contemporary Chicago.
It’s difficult, because readers tend to label you with that first book (Wicked Burn, in my case) and that’s what they come to expect. Even with Daring Time, while some people loved the few paranormal elements, some readers wanted me back to doing contemporaries ASAP. 🙂 Until an author becomes more established, it’s harder to expand in the genres she writes.
I’m really pleased to tell you, though, that I sold a paranormal last month to Samhain. It’s called Velvet Cataclysm, Princes of the Underground and features a race of men that we would call vampires, but who really possess more mysterious origins. I like writing one liner blurbs, so here is my one liner for Velvet Cataclysm.
For her, he battled both his own dark nature and his Scourge vampire clone and unexpectedly found the impossible: his soul.
Look for it next spring, 2010 from Samhain.
Steph: As I mentioned earlier I think you are a versatile writer. I think it would be a shame for you to write one genre! The main thing that attracts me to your books is the relationship between your 2 main characters. I am especially looking forward to reading Sweet Restraint, which released on July 7th, 2009. It sounds deliciously naughty! Can you tell us more about your characters? Your men are always super sexy, I am sure Shane is no exception, do you base them on anyone?!
Beth Kery: My characters are always from my overactive imagination. 🙂
Sweet Restraint is very naughty, and like I said, the kink factor is a bit higher because it essentially involves Shane taking Laura captive against her will. As the reader will see, of course, it’s actually a forbidden dream come true for Laura—not just to have Shane tie her up to a bed and have his way with her, but to give over control to Shane.
I suppose one could read this story just as a naughty erotic romance, but the reason I think it’s much more is that the sex—more specifically the type of sex—is symbolic of giving over control, which is something that Laura has struggled to do for most of her adult life. Here is a couple who have been kept apart from each other for fourteen years by ruthless men, after all. The bed becomes the place where Shane coaxes her to give over the crushing weight of responsibility that she’s carried on her own shoulders for so long. He’s essentially telling her with his every action, “˜give over the burden to me, you’ve carried it long enough. Tell me the truth and let me take the weight from you.’
Of course Laura is stubborn, so it takes some convincing.
I think Sweet Restraint an extraordinary love story.
Steph: I also wanted to ask you about your book Paradise Rules. It is a straight contemporary romance instead of a suspense novel. Your heroine in this book seems more independent and take charge than your previous heroines. Do you feel this story is a departure from you usual writing style? What other plans do you have for your upcoming books?
Beth Kery: It’s funny, but I actually believe that outside of the bedroom, where my heroines’ tend to have submissive qualities as far as sex goes, every heroine I’ve written is incredibly independent and determined. It’s often a quiet confidence, and they aren’t kicking butt and taking names. Lol. But I guess I tend to admire quiet strength and fortitude a great deal. For me, being loud and bossy might connote confidence and strength, but often it’s just a shield against the world. For my heroines, you often see their strength in their actions and their inner struggles against their own emotional demons, more than anything.
And in a strange kind of way, Lana Rodriguez, my heroine in Paradise Rules is a good example of this theme, but in the opposite sense. She might look like the most independent and take charge female on the surface, especially when it comes to sex. But in reality, she’s the most emotionally brittle of all my heroines. She’s a lovely, special woman, but her psychological wounds have left her vulnerable.
I think we’ve all seen that—when someone covers their wounds with an attitude that acts as armor. I think Lana actually is very strong, but her strength doesn’t come from the fact that she keeps men at a distance by controlling every aspect of sex, even paying for her sexual encounters so that she never loses an ounce of control.
I’m excited to have a contemporary coming out with no suspense elements. In many ways Paradise Rules is the most similar to Wicked Burn in that way out of all my Berkley books. It’s the story of two people who crash together sexually and emotionally, and how that pivotal event changes their way of thinking…their entire life, really. Both stories probe the depths of the characters’ psyches and emotions. Both are about choosing love even in the face of deep, primitive psychological fears and insecurities, and growing because that hard choice was made.
Steph: Whew! I gotta read them now! Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions. It has been a real pleasure meeting you and learning more about your writing!
Beth Kery: Whew is right. That was a lot of fun, Steph. Thanks for taking the time to read all the books and ask such relevant and probing questions. ( I added this later as a tease)
You’re not related to Barbara Walters, are you, Steph?
Steph: Gee, thank you! 🙂
Interested in finding out more or joining Steph and her gang at Bookaholics Romance Book Club?
Here is their information–by the way, Steph says they are giving away a signed Paradise Rules at their website. 🙂
Join Bookaholic’s Romance at yahoo book club here
Bookaholics website is here