Author Q&A With K.L. Kreig
Why Brothers? Why is it a component that works so well in your stories?
As a reader, I love getting invested into series that can be read as stand-alone, but that also have multiple characters being developed, each getting their own book and their own HEA, be it brothers, friends, or business partners. As a writer, while each book focuses on an individual couple, this approach also allows me to deepen my characters throughout multiple books. As far as the Colloway Brothers go, I wanted to create a series of stories that showcased their strong familial bond, but was also realistic in the fact that looks can be deceiving and not every family is perfect, even though they may appear to be so on the outside. I also really love to write a strong male character being brought to his knees by his soul mate.
Why do you think serial romance fiction is so popular?
I think for the reasons I stated above. As a reader, when you spend hours reading a great book and you get invested in the characters, it’s sad to read the last word, but awesome to know you’ll be seeing them again in a subsequent book. I also think it’s closer to real life, because we all have ongoing relationships and it’s nice to see how some of your favorite characters are doing… it’s like visiting a good friend you don’t get to see very often. It just brings a smile to your face.
Where do you do your writing?
Multiple places. I get tired of sitting in the same spot. It smothers my creativity. I’ve written at the kitchen table, the kitchen island, my home office, on my couch, on a plane, in a car, on a train, in a hotel room, sitting in bed. You name it, I’ll write there (well, except for the tub, that’s a big no-no). I honestly write any chance I get or when I have an idea hit me. I’ve even been known to whip out my phone in the grocery store (and once even in the bathroom…yup) and make notes because I thought of good dialogue or an idea I’m afraid I’ll forget so I have to get it down before it disappears. I take my computer with me practically everywhere. My husband finds it very annoying.
Can you read novels as you write or do you find it befuddling?
I always, always, always read. I read as much as I write, if not more. My goal on Goodreads this year is 150 books and I’m already ahead of schedule. Reading is like breathing or sleeping or eating to me. You don’t want to see what happens to me if you take my book away.
What role does music play in your process?
Oh my god…HUGE! Every one of my books has a playlist that I’ve used as emotional inspiration for my characters, conversations and scenes, particularly the steamy ones. I’ve written entire books around just ONE SONG. I absolutely love music and couldn’t imagine being able to write without it.
This or that… beer or wine?
Picking a favorite alcohol is like asking me to pick a favorite child. Can’t be done! ….or can it?
Do you daydream about strangers you see in the airport, shopping mall etcetera? And build a romantic scene around them?
I wouldn’t say I daydream about them, but I do pay attention to my surroundings and conversations and I have been known to use them in my books. There are only so many experiences of your own you can draw from. In fact, my friends are now a little afraid of what they say around me for fear it will end up in book somewhere down the line. And many a conversation have.
When you walk in a book store, where do you go first?
To the romance section, of course. Duh.
This or that… boxers or briefs?
Cliffhangers-Friend or Foe?
This is a tough one. I love a great series where the story unfolds over the course of several books and to do that you need a good cliffhanger, of course. But I find myself frustrated at the length of time it takes sometimes for the subsequent books to be released. And the truth of it is, I read so many books, unless the series is exceptional and I’m stalking the author, I find myself forgetting about the next book because I’ve already moved on to other ones. There are very few series that I actually count down the days until the next book is released. At one point, I resorted to making an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all of my series and when the next book was expected to come out, that’s how many different ones I was reading. My sister and a good friend of mine share the same tastes in books and so we would all share this same spreadsheet, but I don’t have time to keep on it now, so it went by the wayside. If a series is getting great reviews, I will likely wait until all of the books have been released before I buy them. As a reader, my other complaint on series, or serials, which unfold throughout several books is that they are generally not full-length novels and like every other reader, I want to get what I’ve paid for.
If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Here’s my completely ideal scenario: Imagine this… the temperature is an optimal eighty degrees. There are only periodic cumulus fluffy white clouds floating by in the otherwise clear brilliant blue sky, which is a mesmerizing color you’re not sure you’ve ever seen before. The hot sun is at its highest point for the day, right over where you’re relaxing. The air is summery, but not suffocating or humid.
The breeze is light enough to cool your warmed skin, but not strong enough to coat it with the powder-fine sand lining the mile-long, sparsely populated beach. The yellow lounger you’re reclining on is positioned within just feet of salty water so clear you can see to the bottom and is comfy with thick padding, making it the perfect napping spot. The person next to you, mirroring your position, is your favorite one in the entire world and there’s no one else you’d rather be with (mine would be my hubby).
You’re protected from the harsh, wrinkle-causing rays by a brown thatch umbrella. It has to be thatch, because that fits in with the whole beach scene and seems more natural to the environment. To your right on a weathered wooden table sits a Bluetooth speaker, which is playing your favorite music (mine would be a mixture of alternative, like Red, Adelita’s Way, Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf and pop, such as Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Justin Timberlake, Maroon Five, Coldplay and Sam Smith). Said table also holds your favorite chilled beach cocktail (mine would be a pina colada or a sex on the beach). When you pick up the drink to take a sip, the condensation drips on your swimsuit, soaking through and chilling you in only that one spot, but it feels refreshing. You savor another drink, allowing a few more droplets to fall before returning it.
As background noise to your favorite tunes, birds chirp, the occasional motor boat cuts through the water and the ocean waves crash softly against the shore, trying to lull you to sleep because you’ve been sitting here already for hours with the latest riveting novel by your favorite author (such as Forsaking Gray, by K.L. Kreig). But you resist the droop of your eyes and the pull of a nap for you simply must see what happens on the next page. You’re nearing the end and you won’t put this book down or move from this spot until you’ve read the very last word, full bladder be damned.
Now…close your eyes (well, after you read the rest of this, of course). Can you picture it? Can you hear the crashing, melodic waves? Can you feel the warm breeze skating over your skin? Can you smell the salt and heat? Can you taste the coconut and rum lingering on your tongue? Is a tear running down the side of your cheek or a smile spreading your lips because a talented author was able to stir emotion in you? Are you wishing their next book was out right this minute so you could immediately buy it on your kindle from the comfort of your chair?
Good, because that’s exactly how I picture my perfect, responsibility free day. That carefree day would then be followed by a night of endless dancing to my favorite dance music with the hubs and friends until my feet hurt, my muscles protested and sweat ran down my back, possibly followed by some music of my own making when I finally made it back to my room.
What every hero needs to have.
As a voracious reader of romance novels myself, I’m going to address this topic as such and I’m going to go all out, because this all about building my fantasy man!
First and foremost, every hero needs some sort of redeeming quality. I don’t mind a few douche moments, because let’s face it…all our guys have them. And I don’t mind reading angst, and generally like that in my books, but at the end of the story if I don’t think the hero has some sort of personality trait for me or the heroine to fall in love with, then I don’t feel a connection to him and the story is a big fail for me.
I love a hero who has some sort of broken and imperfection in him, because we all do to some degree and although these stories are just fiction, there has to be some sort of element of real life for any type of reader to make an emotional connection.
I love a hero who falls madly, deeply and fiercely in love with his heroine, making her the center of his world, because that’s really what most of us want deep down and probably why we read romance novels in the first place. I definitely love a hero who is alpha, but not in the “I will control everything you do and eat and say” kind of way, but in the “I would give my life for yours” kind of way.
Other generally loved traits of mine are: humor, sensitivity, romantic gestures, definitely a little (or LOT) of bad boy, and a little dirty talk in the bedroom is an absolute must! I don’t even mind a little bit of arrogance as long as it’s well placed and conducive to the storyline.
The thing I don’t like in a hero is a cheater. That’s just a huge turn-off for me and no matter how much he tries to redeem himself throughout the rest of the book, if he’s in a committed relationship with the heroine and he cheats, that’s a hard one for me to get over. I also don’t like a hero who degrades his heroine. That’s a definite no-go for me.
As far as physical traits go, I always make that up on my own to what I prefer, which is tall, muscular and handsome and honestly, one of the reasons I don’t like faces on my book covers. I like for the reader to build their own version of the characters based on descriptions and what their preferences are. Also, a few well-placed tats are nice.
So there you go…the perfect man in the world of K.L. Kreig. The first book in her new series, Thge Calloway Brothers, Forsaking Gray, releases Aug 24th!