Kym Grosso Interview
July 24th, 2012
Kade’s Dark Embrace is my debut paranormal romance novel. I have also written and published several articles about autism. I developed a late interest in writing after my son was diagnosed with autism and started advocating on his behalf. Three years ago, I started my own website, www.AutismInRealLife.com and now blog and write articles for PsychologyToday.com.
I live in Pennsylvania with my husband, two children and our dog, Ace. My hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba and traveling. New Orleans is one of our favorite places to visit with its rich culture and unique cuisine. But we also love traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow covered mountains.
I love reading mysteries, romances and about all things vampires, werewolves and other supernaturals. I hope readers enjoy Kade’s Dark Embrace. I have already started writing the next book in the series, about Luca, due out Fall 2012.
You can find Kym at
Kade’s Dark Embrace
Book One of Immortals of New Orleans
After a series of girls are ritualistically murdered on the cold streets of Philadelphia, seasoned detective, Sydney Willows, is forced to work with sexy, alpha vampire, Kade Issacson. While working the case, Sydney finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kade, fighting the passion she feels towards him. Kade, determined to solve the case and mete out justice, is captivated by the independent, fiery detective. As he attempts to protect her from a very real murderer, Kade grows concerned that the beautiful, but very human detective, could easily end up dead should she tangle with supernatural forces that are beyond her control.
The investigation leads them into a dark and dangerous world, deep in the heart of New Orleans, where together, they search for the perpetrators of the Voodoo killings. Sydney soon becomes the target of the killer and ends up fighting for her life and love in the Big Easy. If she makes it out alive, will she give into the intoxicating desire she feels for Kade?
Welcome to VampireRomanceBook Kym, I’m so happy that you could be with us today.
Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m so excited to visit Vampire Romance Books and have the opportunity to do an interview!
I had the pleasure of reading your debut novel Kade’s Dark Embrace and loved it. Can you tell everyone a little about the book?
Thanks so much! Kade’s Dark Embrace is a fast paced, spicy paranormal romance which is a little bit of a mystery/thriller as well. The story involves a series of murders where girls are ritualistically killed in Philadelphia. Sydney Willows, a seasoned detective, is forced to work with the very sexy, alpha vampire, Kade Issacson. Sydney finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kade, yet she is annoyed to have to share her case. Kade is captivated by the independent, fiery detective. As he attempts to protect her from a very real murderer, Kade grows concerned that the beautiful, but very human detective is in danger.
The investigation leads them into a dark and dangerous world, deep in the heart of New Orleans, where together, they search for the perpetrators of the Voodoo killings. Sydney soon becomes the target of the killer, and they both end up fighting for their lives and love in the Big Easy.
Where did you get the idea for Kade’s Dark Embrace?
I always wondered how authors came up with the wonderful and imaginative stories they write. I wasn’t sure how to get started, but I did know that I wanted to write a story about a hot alpha vampire who would fall in love with a strong heroine. And I wanted a bit of a mystery too.
Instead of writing an entire outline, I tend to think and write a scene at a time. At night when I lay down to sleep or sometimes if I’m at the gym, I just let my mind wander and think about what will happen in the next scene, what the characters will do and say, where the story will go, etc. Then the next day, I write out that scene or chapter(s).
I love Sydney’s character! She’s smart, witty, and very strong. Would you say that you and Sydney have a lot in common?
LOL! Well, I’m embarrassed to admit that I do need a cuss jar. My friends who read the book will tell me that I am a little like Sydney in that I can be strong and get a little wild every now and then. J Autism advocacy will do that to you, and we autism mamas are especially tough.
But Sydney is way tougher than I could ever be; working as a cop in Philadelphia is no joke. And she doesn’t seem to care that she’s fighting alongside vampires and werewolves. I guess there’s not much that scares Sydney except for maybe love.
The cover for Kade’s Dark Embrace is HOT. Who designed the cover?
Carrie Spencer, from CheekyCovers.com, created the cover for me. I poured through hundreds of photostock images on the sites she sent me. I also had background shots of my own that I’d taken on my trips to New Orleans. Then, I picked the photos I liked, and she designed it all together in one shot.
I wanted to convey that the book was a romance but also that it had a thriller element. The picture in the background is of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, New Orleans.
I see that Luca’s story will come next. Will we get to learn more about what happens with Sydney & Kade in his book?
Luca goes missing at the end of Kade’s Dark Embrace, and Sydney and Kade definitely will be there to help find him. I don’t explore their engagement in Luca’s book, but I’m thinking of maybe doing a novella or novelette with a story around their wedding.
The vast majority of Luca’s book will focus on how he finds love, and the mystery that ensues. J He’s not generally fond of humans, so it will be interesting to see how he fights his deep attraction to Samantha. She’s a witch now, so she’s told, but she can’t seem to find her powers. Her life in danger, and they don’t know who or why someone would want her dead. She tries to escape and outrun the danger, but it follows her out of state. Luca finds her, and they are forced to return to New Orleans to face the perpetrators.
Do you have an idea of how many books will be in the series yet?
I’m not sure yet. With each book, there are new characters who get added into the series. For example, in Luca’s book, there is a new vampire introduced who may have his own book. And Tristan’s sister, Katrina, is explored more as well. I do know that after Luca’s book, I’m going to work on Tristan’s. He’s one sexy Alpha wolf!
Was there one character you enjoyed writing more than the others? Was there one that gave you a lot grief?
I liked writing Sydney’s character; she’s definitely rough around the edges. Her character can be a little too assertive at times, but that is just kind of how she is. She’s from Philly, a cop, tough as nails. I enjoy reading urban fantasies and paranormal romances with strong heroines. So I made her superwoman strong, even if she does manage to get herself into trouble because of it.
As far as the hardest character, that would probably be Etienne. He wasn’t a huge character in this book, so there is not much information on him yet. I am still deciding on how his character will evolve in the future and his backstory, but my feel right now is that he is a less experienced but strong vampire. And of course, he will be totally hot when he finally gets his own book someday. J
I read that you like to read all kinds of romance, mysteries, and all things paranormal. Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many great authors out there; it’s difficult to pick just one. If I had to narrow it down, I would say JR Ward. Her stories literally pull you in and won’t let you go. I can remember reading all of her books over the course of a month, one after another, and thinking, ‘this should be an HBO series’. I literally was up all night reading her books. She creates a new world in which there are traditions, culture and intrigue that is so realistic, you feel you are there in their world. You find yourself emotionally tied to fictitious characters because her writing makes you feel like they are real people.
I also really enjoy thrillers and mysteries. James Patterson is one of my favorite writers too. His books are amazing.
Did any of those authors influence your writing?
I would say other authors influence my writing in that I love reading and identifying what elements of a book make it enjoyable (i.e. mystery, strong male lead, strong heroine, etc.). Of course “what is enjoyable” is really subjective, but I have a tendency to write what like or what I know. I’ve always been interested in vampires, so I pretty much knew I wanted my male lead character to be a vamp.
And even though I love paranormal romance, I really like mysteries too. So I have been trying to weave a thriller/mystery storyline throughout my books as well.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to mention your website AutismInRealLife. As a mother of a 7 1/2 year old son on the autism spectrum (PDD-NOS) I want to say thank you for sharing your story, writing great articles, and advocating to help other parents!
Since I get asked this a lot, I thought I’d ask you too. If you could teach the world one thing about the Autism Spectrum, what would it be? (I know, choosing just one thing is tough. lol)
It is so hard to pick just one thing. J I do a lot of autism advocacy and have lots of close friends who have kids with autism too. And through Facebook, I’ve met lots of wonderful autistic adults as well. So I guess the one thing I would tell the world about autism is that we need to work on acceptance and inclusion within our communities, not just schools but higher education and employment too. I do think the world needs to focus on why there are so many children being diagnosed. But we could really help our future by advocating acceptance of differences as well. To quote Dr. Temple Grandin, “our children are different not less.”
Can you tell us anything about the children’s book and the non-fiction autism book you’re working on publishing?
I actually started writing an autism book several years ago. Then once I started writing on PsychologyToday.com, I kind of got sidetracked writing autism articles. There are just so many important autism issues and topics; I end up putting a lot of my focus into articles. It is really important to me, so I will always make time to do it.
As for the children’s book, I did write a short children’s book called, “Woobie Dog”. It is actually based on a true story of a sweet little Shih Tzu that I trained as a hospice therapy dog. We would both work as a team doing hospice volunteer work. Woobie was an interesting dog in that she was adorable and great with patients, but hated playing with other dogs or even playing ball with humans. The premise of the book is that Woobie Dog was different, yet in the end, she found her important purpose. I’d still like to publish it someday, but I’m not sure that is the kind of book I’d like to self-publish. And I still need to get it illustrated.
Besides New Orleans, where is the best place you and your family have visited?
I know my kids would want me to say Disney World, but in my opinion, the best place we visited as a family in the United States was Jackson Hole, Wyoming during wintertime. It was brutally cold but unbelievably beautiful; the nature is pristine. Living in suburban Pennsylvania, we just don’t get to see the kind of wildlife they have roaming free out west: bison, moose, big-horned sheep, elk, etc. We also went to Yellowstone National Park and took a Snowcat tour to see Old Faithful, which was spectacular as well.
Internationally, we took the kids to Round Hill in Jamaica one summer. It was a perfect family vacation. My son, who has autism, was taught by one of the resort’s lifeguards to snorkel. It was a magical experience.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
I am a huge fan of history. I would love to go on a full European tour so we could visit all the wonderful historical locations and museums. I also would visit Croatia because my maternal Grandmother emigrated from there as a child in the early 1900s.
What made you decide on self publishing instead of working with one of the houses?
Honestly, because I’m unknown, I knew it would be difficult to find a literary agent, and it’s difficult to submit without an agent to a large publisher. As avid reader, one of my favorite authors was Indie, so I knew some authors were making a decision to publish independently as their first option as opposed to looking at it as the last option. So when it came to publishing a book, I was on the fence about whether or not to try to go with a publisher. In the end, I made the decision to self-publish in attempt to get read before I tried selling a book to a publisher.
When it comes to the e-book market and publishing, it feels like we are in a revolution. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but it’s a change. It is like when we used to have record stores and now, most of us buy our music off the internet. Not the whole album, just one song at a time. Times changed. These days, I buy most of my books off the internet. Sure, I still get paperbacks every now and then, but I love my Kindle. And when I go to look for a book, not once have I ever looked to see whether the author was indie or published by a publishing company. If the reviews are decent and it looks like the kind of book I want to read, I buy it or borrow it from the library. Amazon has really opened up the playing field for new authors, like me.
I will say this though, I would definitely consider going with a publisher if it seemed a good fit. There’s no doubt that it’s difficult to market yourself alone, and I could use the experience of a publisher to help me grow as an author. But I also feel like I need to prove myself…that I can do this on my own before expecting a publisher to blindly have faith in me. If I can write good books, sell them and build up a reader base, then a publisher or agent would be more likely to want to contract with me. Not sure if that’s really how it works J Guess we’ll see. J
What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced as an indie author?
Getting seen, read and reviewed is a big issue for indie authors. Also, we are a one man show, which gives you all the control or too much control depending on how you feel about it. In my opinion, it is imperative to use an editor, beta readers, proofreaders, cover artists and formatters to help you create a good book. All of which can be quite costly. But for me, I feel as though it is an investment in my writing. All these factors, especially marketing, can be great challenges when you are independent
Do you have any advice for authors just starting out in the industry? Do’s & Don’ts you’ve learned along the way?
I would tell them that if they want to write a book or articles, they need to write, but also publish their stories/blogs/books. It gets you in the habit of writing, editing, receiving feedback, etc. The more you write, the more comfortable you are in your own skin, so to speak. If you are writing non-fiction, like I do with autism, write what you know and write from the heart. There is no doubt that it can be a little scary putting yourself out there.
Keep writing. Have faith. I’m a newbie, but I know this much, writing books is a journey not a lap around the track. J So as Dory from Finding Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.”
I want to thank you again for visiting with VRB today. I wish you all the luck with Kade’s Dark Embrace and your future books. And from one warrior mom to another, keep up the amazing work you are doing!
I just would like to thank you at Vampire Romance Books for reading and reviewing my book. I really appreciate you hosting me on my tour and the opportunity to meet you and your readers! Thanks so much!!! ~Kym