Wednesday, September 7, 2011

INTERVIEW with Author Laura Kaye

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LAURA KAYE                          

Today I’m interviewing Laura Kaye. Her book, HEARTS IN DARKNESS is a contemporary romance and was released on April 20, 2011.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

I’d love to, Sarah! And thanks for having me here! HEARTS IN DARKNESS is about two strangers who find acceptance and dare to find love while trapped for four hours in a pitch-black elevator. Here’s the blurb:

Two strangers. Four hours. One pitch-black elevator.

Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  

HEARTS IN DARKNESS is contemporary romance, though in a pretty unique setting – a pitch-black elevator in which the characters can’t see each other for part of the book. Contemporary is just one of the romantic genres in which I write. I also have books in paranormal (Forever Freed, In the Service of the King), fantasy (North of Need), and erotic (Just Gotta Say) romance. I really enjoy exploring what these different genres offer to my writing, and hope to keep up the genre hopping as long as my career will allow!

When did you start writing toward publication?  

I began pursuing fiction writing a little over three years ago. Kinda weird story: I hit my head on July 4, 2008, and it ended up being a more severe injury than we initially thought. After several weeks of intense migraine-like headaches and changes to my eating and sleeping patterns, once I began to heal, I emerged from the whole mess with a very strong desire to write. The book that became my vampire romance, Forever Freed, was the first novel I wrote, and I had the draft completed in about 11 weeks. I’ve been pursuing publication ever since.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

When I sold Forever Freed in the late winter of 2010, I didn’t have anything else written at that point—it was the first I wrote and first I sold. However, in the following year, I wrote and sold four more manuscripts, two of which are the first in series. I do not have an agent, so I did all the querying/submitting on my own.

Why have you become a published author?    

Well, I was already a published author before pursuing fiction writing. I’m an historian by training, and have published two non-fiction books in my field. However, I wanted to pursue publication of my fiction because, frankly, I thought it would be really cool and a lot of fun to see my book on bookstore shelves and to learn people were reading and talking about what I wrote. Plus, once you open your mind to characters, they sort of take over and demand to be heard! I’m also doing it now because I’m hoping that I can ultimately be successful enough in my sales to pursuing writing as a full-time career.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Every writer has rejection stories! I’m no different. Before I accepted a contract for Forever Freed at The Wild Rose Press, I queried agents widely over about a 9-month period. It was a total learning process for me, and I made a lot of rookie mistakes along the way. I had a lot of requests for partials and fulls, but ultimately no takers. I believe I queried upwards of 70 agents on that book. Then, the first publisher I queried, TWRP, offered a contract. Possibly the most disappointing rejection I’ve received so far was from a big name agent who read one of my manuscripts, totally loved it and raved about it in several emails, but ultimately decided to pass. However, she did say she’d look at it again if I revised this one issue that concerned her. So, it wasn’t all bad news. Now, to find the time for that manuscript!

What is your writing routine like?

I think describing it as a “routine” would be giving it a lot more order and structure than it really has! LOL I work full-time and am married with two children under the age of 7, so I write when the time permits itself, often after the girls go to bed at night. Sometimes I can sneak in some weekend time for writing, too. Otherwise, the only real routine I have is I usually need to reread the most recent scenes I’ve written to get my head back into the story before I can continue on with new pages. I tend to be a faster writer overall, and I don’t have to be in a special place or work in silence, etc., to do my thing!

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

I make the greatest use of promotion opportunities that are free. I’ve been featured on probably 100 blogs since Hearts in Darkness released in April. I twitter and facebook like a demon, and have an active blog. I’m also involved in the forums/boards on amazon and on the kindleboards. Giveaways are a great form of promotion, and a lot of my guest posts include opportunities to win my books. I have purchased some swag items to send to readers, and so far have had romance trading cards made for all my books—I give those away for free if someone sends me a  SASE.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Easy. The most rewarding thing is knowing people are enjoying your books. Knowing you made an impact on their lives in some way, even if small. I love that, and it’s what makes it all worthwhile!

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped

I belong to the Romance Writers of America and quite a few of their local and “special interest” chapters. I find the RWA a great resource and networking tool. Second to that, I find Savvy Authors to be a phenomenal site for authors and encourage everyone to join.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Keep writing. Book one may not sell. It doesn’t, for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean the time spent on that book was wasted. Writing book one honed your skills as a writer and gave you confidence you could finish a book. So, while queyring book one, start on book two—whether it’s the second in a series or something completely new. An agent or editor may decide they your first book doesn’t work for them, but they love your voice—and you want to have something else in hand to show them. Plus, writing is filled with so many milestones, keeping your butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard will give you things to celebrate as the inevitable rejections roll in.

What’s next for you?

I have books releasing on September 30 (Just Gotta Say, contemporary erotic romance from Decadent Publishing) and November 1 (North of Need: The Hearts of the Anemoi, Book 1, contemporary fantasy romance from Entangled Publishing.) Currently, I’m writing the second book in the Anemoi series as well as completing revisions on the first in a vampire series with Harlequin that releases next February.

A little bit about the author

A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance Hearts in Darkness and the bestselling paranormal romance Forever Freed. Just Gotta Say is Laura’s third published book, and she has a fourth releasing in November 2011. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

How can my readers buy your book?  

Check out my book trailer at:   

You can find more information about Laura Kaye and Hearts in Darkness at


  1. Laura,

    You are so welcome and I had a fun getting to know you. I have to say, your cover for Hearts In Darkness is gorgeous!! Good luck to you in your future!!!

  2. I've seen your HEARTS IN DARKNESS cover before many times, and I love it. Reading this interview has now made me want to buy it right now!

    Great to meet you, Laura, and I wishing you all the best!

  3. Hi Sarah! Thanks for having me here today! It was a fun interview!

    Funny story on the cover--the cover model emailed me! I about dropped dead from shock! I guess the photographer gets notices on how the stockphotos are used, so the model found the cover. The cover designer added the tattoos, and the model thought they looked great on him! LOL

    @Renee--Woot! Happy reading!

  4. From only one manuscript written in 2010 to four sold the next year. Man. I want to be so prolific and sold.
    way to give us motivation.
    Great interview.

  5. Hi Sarah and Laura ***waving like a fool***
    Great interview to both of you! Sarah, your questions were awesome and Laura, thanks for sharing.

    I love all your covers, and very kewl model contacted you!

    Another on my growing TBR list!

  6. @Sandy--without question, it's been a wild, wonderful ride. And it's SO VERY DIFFERENT writing under a contract rather than just because my muse tells me to. I'm still adjusting to that!

    @Marilyn--great to see you here! It was totally kewl when my model contacted me. I squeed. Out loud.

    Thanks for your comments!