Today I’m hosting Starla Kaye, who was kind enough to do an interview with me! Her newest book, Their Lady Gloriana, is out now from Black Velvet Seductions. She’ll be giving away a piece of Medieval-style jewelry from one commenter on her blog tour–check below for all her stops!
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
When I first became more seriously interested in writing, I joined a couple of writers’ groups: Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a local group of romance writers. Being around other writers in my same genre helped me focus on the writing. Sharing all of the ups and downs with people who also experience those is good as well. Since then I’ve also become heavily involved in a multi-genre fiction writers’ group.
What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
I decided to try my hand at writing medieval romances last year, which was a new sub-genre for me. Any time you write in another time period there are many challenges. You have to do a lot of research to learn about the culture at the time, what the lingo was, get a general feel for how things were said, the clothing, the food, the common day-to-day things, and so much more. With a medieval, I also needed to know what castles of the time looked like and what they contained. I needed to know what the countryside around the castles was like. I could go and on. Basically you, the writer, have to step into that long ago time period, “feel” it and present it in such a way that the reader will not only believe it but also “feel” as if they, too, are there. Since I had done so much research (and have been in love with medieval romances for a long time), I decided to write several stories. The first two medieval novels were sold and published last year by another of my publishers, Blushing Books. Their Lady Gloriana is my newest medieval novel published with Black Velvet Seductions. And I will be coming a follow-up story on the second hero, Rowan.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
You can’t sell what you haven’t written. I think that says it all. You can have a gazillion ideas rolling around in your head, but if you can’t sit down and actually write them…well, that is all they will ever be: ideas.
If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I work on multiple projects at all times. So when I get stuck on a particular project, I work on another one and let the other one’s problems bounce around in my head for a while. Sometimes it just helps getting away from the computer for a while. I like to walk outside and the fresh air and change of scenery help clear my head. Other times I launch into the amazing crazy-lady-cleaning mode, and I’m always glad to be done with that.
Who is your favorite character from one of your stories and why?
I’ve had a lot of characters that I enjoyed and miss. When I finish a book and it gets published, I sometimes feel like I’m saying good-bye to an old friend. I have to admit that the three main characters: Thomas, Gloriana and Rowan in Their Lady Gloriana are some of my favorites. Their tragic, complicated pasts and their wounded souls touched me. Their determination to survive and forge onward humbled me. And their special love for one another made me understand how many different kinds of love there are in the world and to never judge someone else’s situation.
What do you do to set the “writing mood”?
This is something that varies depending on where I am in working on a story, the mood I’m in, or the situation around me. When I’m first lining out a story by creating some basic character sheets, a loose plotting outline, and some initial research, I like to work in my office at my husband’s firm. I have two big monitors there and can see many details at once, all of which are then saved to a flash drive to be put on my laptop. After I’m actually writing, I take my laptop to wherever fits my mood for the day to work. Sometimes I go to the coffee shop in Barnes & Noble, or to Panera Bread, or just sit in a lounge chair on my patio. Sometimes I go to pretty settings such as a park or our Botanical Garden. If I’m working at the office or at home, I like to have country western music in the background. It is something I like and that I can also easily tune out. If I go to one of the public places, I like the atmosphere around me, the quiet conversations, observing the way people interact with one another, etc.
What are you working on at the moment?
As I mentioned earlier, I work on multiple projects all the time. I’ve just finished the research and plotting stage and I’m ready to start writing my follow-up book for Black Velvet Seductions, For the Love of Rowan. This will obviously be another medieval romance with some ménage elements. I’m writing my second short novella, Starting Over, to, hopefully, be part of Decadent Publishing’s 1 Night Stand M/M series. My first short novella with them, Maggie’s Secret Wish, will be released soon as part of their other 1 Night Stand series. And I’m writing a heavier-but-light (it’s complicated) Dom story for Blushing Books. And then there are my Blossom (an imaginative, romantic cow) stories, which are my way of stepping out of my normal writing world stories.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Live, laugh, love. There is something so simple about it and yet says everything.
Excerpt: Their Lady Gloriana
Lady Gloriana could barely draw in a breath. Her life with Geoffrey had done this to her. He’d battled down her self-worth, her dreams of having a happy family, and her natural zest for life. She needed to find the strength to face this new marriage to this war-hardened warrior. She had to make him respect her. Most of all, she had to endure relations with him until he got her with child.
The great hall rang with the sounds of joyous reunions. She heard the deep tone of an unfamiliar voice. It rang with authority, with power, much like Geoffrey’s voice had. Yet something about it drew her instead of repelling her. Something about it called to her woman’s place and she felt warmth spreading there. The reaction surprised her.
Her focus moved to the raised dais. Two such different—and yet the same—men stood there drinking cups of ale. Neither smiled. Both seemed to study her.
Gerald guided her to the dais. “Lady Middlemound, my lord.” He nodded toward the two powerfully built men. “Lord Montrose, my lady. And Sir Montgomery, his first knight.”
“Thomas,” Lord Montrose said and stepped down in front of her. He towered over her by at least a foot. His breadth and brawn made her heart race. Yet she didn’t feel intimidated by him.
Then the other man stepped down. As she glanced up, he gave her a crooked smile. “And you may call me Rowan.”
She felt her heart race even more.
Starla Kaye has worn many hats professionally and as a writer. She works part-time with her husband (who believes he is the model example for each of her heroes, “yes, honey, of course you are”) in an accounting firm. A gerontologist by degree, she volunteers in the community with a very active group of senior adults, who provide her with story ideas for senior adult romances she occasionally likes to write for fun. She is a multi-published author on-line in e-book and Print-On-Demand book form, writing as both Starla Kaye and S. K. Fero for Black Velvet Seductions, Blushing Books, Decadent Publishing, and Red Rose Publishing.
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