Kathryn Smith Interview
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
Upcoming Title or Latest Release
Give us an update on yourself. What's your latest news?
Well, I'm about to start work on the final Brotherhood of Blood book – I can't believe the time has gone by so fast! I'm excited about the release of Taken by the Night and I'm hard at work on an urban fantasy series for Avon that will be released next year.
What's your upcoming or latest book/story about?
Taken by the Night is the 3rd of the Brotherhood of Blood series. This is Saint's book. He's in London, at a brothel, and becomes involved with the madam's daughter while trying to solve a murder. It's a light-hearted comedy! Lol.
How did you come up with the title?
All of my vampire books have had 'night' in the title in one form or another, so that part was easy, but my editor and I agreed that we needed something that suited Sainted and Ivy as well as the theme of the book. I gave her a list of potentials, and this is the one she chose.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer, and what inspired you to start writing?
I was 8 years-old and my teacher read a story I had written aloud to the class. Everyone clapped and laughed when they were supposed to and I was smitten. After that, I wrote as much as I could whenever I could. I was a very imaginative kid, so the stories were there, just waiting to be told.
When did you write your first book?
When I was 12. It was called "Broken Glass" and was about a rock band that sounded (and looked!) suspiciously like Duran Duran.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer. Or a rock star.
What projects are you working on now?
I'm about to begin the final BoB book, which is a little sad. And I'm revising the first of The Nightmare Chronicles (Before I Wake – August 2008). I'm also reviewing edits for an anthology I have coming out next spring (Weddings from Hell – Avon).
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Uh … I don't really ever stop writing! Actually, I do have a few hobbies. I like to make jewelry and makeup. I also like crafty things – anything that I can put my own stamp on. Recently my husband picked up Guitar Hero and I've become addicted to that. He and I try to do a lot of things together, like going for hikes, playing video games and catching up on our favorite TV shows. Plus we have a great circle of friends to keep me from being chained to my computer.
What does your family think of your writing?
They've never been anything but incredibly supportive. My sisters are my biggest fans next to my husband. They also keep me very grounded!
How long does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I make myself write at least 10 pages a day. If I don't make the goal I have to make it up the next day. Some days are hard, and other days I can write 20-30 pages.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
I have to check my email before I start writing. It's a weird OCD thing. And sometimes I play a quick game of something to get my mind limbered up.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Everywhere. Comic books, TV shows, books I've read, songs I've heard. I get a lot of inspiration from music. Sometimes I'll research a topic and find some interesting little nugget of information that will start me on another plot. I love when that happens.
What do you think makes a good story?
Compelling characters. If you can make readers care about your characters, and the conflict between them, then you have a good book.
What was one of the most surprising things you've learned in creating your books?
That I can actually start a project AND finish it!
Do you have a specific writing style?
I think my writing is a little dark, and sexy, maybe even a little creepy in places now that I've started writing paranormal. I also think my absurd sense of humor comes through every once in awhile – I can't let the book get *too* dark!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I sometimes have a hard time sustaining conflict. I want everyone to be happy!
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
As of this interview I've written 15 books. My favorite is always the one I'm working on, or the most current, so that would be BoB #4, Let the Night Begin.
Who or what has influenced your writing?
A childhood love of horror books and movies definitely influenced me! Also my love of comic books. Finding my sister's Kathleen Woodiwiss book (Ashes in the Wind) when I was 10 was a huge influence. If I hadn't read that book I might not be a romance writer today. I'd probably be struggling to be the next Stephen King!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Oh wow. Tough question. When I was younger I loved Sidney Sheldon and his sense of drama. Now I think Stephen King is a master of the craft because he can make the impossible *real.* I also admire Neil Gaiman for the ease with which he seems to tell a story.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Lisa Kleypas definitely helped me when I was first starting out. I consider her a good friend, and she took a lot of time out of her life to talk to me, read my work and share her own experiences. I also have to say that Julia Quinn has been a wonderful friend over the years, and whenever I have questions about the publishing world, I ask JQ!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Jeaniene Frost is amazing. I also like Carrie Vaughan, Colleen Gleason (love her!) and Casey Daniels.
Who designs the covers of your books?
The fabulous folks in the Avon art dept take care
of my covers and I couldn't be happier! Personally, I've loved all my covers but I think these vampire ones are the best. Wait until you see the cover for Let the Night Begin – it's gorgeous!
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I'm not drowning in fan mail by any stretch, but I do get regular notes from readers and I'm thankful for every one. Generally they tell me how much they've enjoyed a book or a series and ask about what's next. Occasionally someone asks for writing advice or if I ever plan to do a book signing in their home town. I've gotten some really amazing letters from people who say the most wonderful things, and those letters are what make this job so worthwhile.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Umm … I think I love you?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don't. Give. Up.