Rae: If we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a spiced latte with Coconut Milk. What would you order?
Kira: I actually have an unfortunate sensitivity to caffeine, so I’d be sipping a nice hot chocolate with a shot of vanilla and whipped cream topped with cinnamon.
Rae: Fall is in full swing, do you have any traditions or decorate the house? If I had the time and money my house would be totally decked out lol I LOVE fall. I mostly decorate my house for Christmas though. Day after Thanksgiving, everything goes up 🙂
Rae: For those who are not familiar with your work, your backlist ranges from romantic comedy’s to urban fantasy, and stuff in-between, can you tell us a little bit your series?
Kira: The Winning the Billionaire series begins with Cole and Kiersten, a workaholic, demanding boss billionaire and his personal assistant…who shortly after the book begins wins the lotto. And instead of immediately quitting her job as most people would, her friends talk her into sticking around and seeing how much she can get away with before her boss fires her. A little payback for all the aggravation she went through working for him 😉 He catches on and tries to see how much she’ll take before she quits. And everyone gets in on it – betting to see who will crack first.
Cole belongs to a poker group with 3 of his billionaire buddies who are prominent in all the books and each book in the series will follow one of them with some sort of funny bet as a major theme. Cole, Brooks, Harrison, and Christopher. Kiersten’s two besties who won the lotto with her – Cass and Izzy – also show up in all 4 books.
Rae: Congrats on Truly, Madly, Sweetly being optioned by Hallmark. That is so exciting. Where are things right now with that? How long till we see it on our TV screens?
Kira: Thank you!! I’m still over the moon about it 😀 I don’t have an exact date on it just yet, however it is listed on IMDb website and several other sites that list upcoming Hallmark movies as releasing this year. I would assume in Dec or perhaps early next year. It looks like Dylan Neal (he plays Anastasia’s stepdad Bob in the 50 Shades movies and is prominent in Hallmark movies) is listed as both the lead actor and the script writer. They’ve changed the names of the main characters, from Nat and Eric to Emily and Ryan – so it’ll be interesting to see the movie come to life and see what changes and what stays the same!
Rae: Where do you find your inspiration?
Kira: Everywhere! The inspiration for 69 Million Things came from my husband’s lotto playing and a convo we had about what we’d do if we won. I draw a lot of inspiration from conversations and situations in my real life. Brainstorming is one of my favorite parts of the whole process. Taking little bits of ideas from all over, twisting them and combining them to make a cohesive story. Love it!
Rae: How do you keep all of your characters from crossing over into other books? Do you use a series “bible” or have files of notes?
Kira: I’ve been meaning to make a bible for a long time and haven’t had the time to do it lol But I need to soon. I do keep written notes though on character’s names and appearances. Those are hard to keep track of.
Rae: When you are writing a book, do you plot it out page by page, chapter by chapter? Or, do your characters guide you?
Kira: Both! I do plot, heavily. I didn’t use to but it made the edit process insane. Now, I begin with a synopsis. The beginning and end are fairly detailed with the middle more vague. Once I’ve got the beginning written and I know the characters better than just the descriptions I’ve written out, I’ll go through and plot the middle with more details. And usually about half way through I go through and plot out each chapter.
Typically, I know what will happen before I start the story. But how the characters react to that sometimes changes as their personalities sometimes change on me as I write them. For instance, I’m working on book 3 in the Winning the Billionaire series right now. I had outlined the heroine as more of a straight-laced person who would be horrified by the hero’s wacky family. But as I wrote her, she morphed into a quirky, spunky chick complete with bright-colored streaks in her hair and tattoos who will fit right in with them. It’s not what I originally envisioned, but it will actually end up working much better than I’d had plotted so it’s a win win 😀
Rae: What was the defining moment that you realized you wanted to write?
Kira: I never really had one defining moment. I just always wanted to write. My mom sent me a box of my old papers a year or so ago that had stories I’d written when I was 5. I won a young author’s book fair in 5th grade. I was always jotting down story ideas. But it wasn’t something I thought I could really do. It was a dream job like A-lister actor or rock star. Not something most “real” people did. Then when my son was a baby, I started writing little stories for him and I decided to try writing novels again. I wrote my first book while my kids were babies and I was going through graduate school. It took awhile lol And then I had this finished book and decided maybe I’d try and get it published.
What really helped was meeting other writers on the same journey. I found some critique partners and an amazing site, QueryTracker.net, that not only is an excellent resource for querying but also has a forum where I met a group of incredible authors who became really dear friends.
Rae: What can we expect to see on the bookshelves in the upcoming months?
Kira: Lots of fun things are coming up! Book 2 in this series, The Billionaire’s Unexpected Baby (Brooks’s book) will be releasing in Jan. The other books in the series, a new Lovestruck series, and the remaining books in my highlander series (written as Michelle McLean) will all be releasing next year and early 2019. And hopefully, the Hallmark movie will be out in the next few months!
Rae: Thank you for hanging out in the cafe today.
Kira: Thank you so much for having me!!
***** Tasty Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why? Two of my all time favorite series are the Outlander series (by Diana Gabaldon) and the Wild Swan series (by Celeste de Blasis). They are historicals and both are massive sagas but they follow epic love stories that will wring your heart out and stay with you forever.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? I live in the tiniest little town in Central PA and honestly, it would take literally 2.5 mins to drive down mainstreet lol But it’s like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. I love it here. We do have a LOT of amazing things within driving distance though, including Hershey, PA (a must see if you like chocolate). Really though this is the place to go if you like nature and the outdoors. The PA Grand Canyon is close as are several breathtakingly gorgeous state parks, hiking trails, caves, etc.
3. Do you take-in or cook? If so, what is your “go-to” dish? So, according to my family, I’m not the best cook LOL I do bake really well though 😀 You need cinnamon rolls, cakes, etc, I’m your girl! I make a REALLY good sugar cookie cake/cupcake that is to die for!
4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? I’m actually pretty shy in person until you get to know me. Then you can’t shut me up lol But I’m the biggest introvert. I’m happiest when I’m holed up at home with my family.
5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? Ooo this one is a hard one. It really depends on my mood. I love everything from Metallica to the Beach Boys lol I do have an obsessive love with 80’s hair band monster ballads though…
6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go? Scotland! I have a massive list of places I’d like to go, but Scotland has always been up at the top.
7. What is your guilty pleasure? I’m a pretty big binge watcher. I’ll get busy with deadlines, etc, and not be able to watch my favorite shows, so if I can get a few days or a week off I will get caught up on everything all at once.
8. What are you afraid of? Spiders. Heights. Not a fan of small spaces. This is also why I had to abandon a childhood dream of being an astronaut (the heights and enclosed spaces…not so much the spiders. Space spiders….there’s a new nightmare!)
9. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? No tats, but I love them. I have a pinterest board with tats I love. I have considered getting a white ink tat with a tiny heartbeat line on my wrist to honor a baby I lost.
10. Organized or Free Floating? A weird mix of both. I really really like being organized but I rarely have the time to get as truly organized as I’d like. So I organize everything as much as I possibly can. And spend a lot of whatever free time I have organizing more lol
11. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)? LOL (see guilty pleasure) 😀 I do like to binge watch because you don’t have to wait a week between episodes! My current faves that I watch every week are Outlander, Scorpion, Big Bang Theory, Will and Grace, Scandal, The Good Place, Modern Family, Speechless – I like the sitcoms because I can sit and watch one while eating breakfast or lunch and then get back to work without being sucked in for an hour+ at a time.
12. What’s on your playlist? Depends on the mood – writing music usually includes Lindsey Stirling, Rob Dougan, Piano Guys. If I’m cleaning or trying to stay awake I like something with a good beat so I’ll go for Lady Gaga or 80s and 90s hip hop lol 🙂
13. What play or musical do you want to see next? It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen a play or musical! Well, I did see my kids’ school’s production of Seussical last year which was fabulous. And I’m a huge Into the Woods fan so I was thrilled when the movie came out. I’d like to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
14. Are you a crafter? Yes! Love crafts! I especially like making those name letters for my kids (like my son has the letters of his name decorated like soccer balls hanging on his wall – gymnastics themed letters for my daughter). I used to cross stitch a lot years ago. I miss doing that. And I really love decorating cakes.
15. What’s your favorite TV show and why? I don’t have one favorite really. I do really love Outlander because it’s based on one of my all time fave books and the casting is so amazing! Mostly though, I want to watch something that’s going to make me laugh. Big Bang Theory and Mom are favorites. Also enjoying the Lethal Weapon show. And Castle was a huge favorite of mine before it was cancelled.
16. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )? LOL well until a year ago, I would have said Outlander but they made that wish come true!
17. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why? Ohhh, same problem here as with books. Too many to choose from!! I’m a big rom com girl though (surprise, I know!) Fool’s Gold is one I will watch every time it’s on. And The Holiday.
18. Would you rather see a movie in the theater or at home on DVD and why? Kind of depends on the movie. I do love seeing movies in the theater but I love the comfort of being in my own home also. We go to the drive-in a lot in the summer with our kids. Kind of the best of both worlds. We get the big screen experience but it’s much more relaxed.
19. What is the one thing you can’t live without? It’s probably a cliché answer and it’s not a “thing” but my kids. Material things I can learn to live without. Even books, though it would make the world a dreary place – because I have enough stories going on in my head to keep me company if I didn’t have access to other books. My kids though…I don’t know what I’d do without them.
20. If you could invite 5 people to dinner (not friends and family – that’s too easy) who would be at your table? Hmmm Ellen DeGeneres – she seems like a really fun and amazing person. Robin Williams for the same reason. Ryan Reynolds. Melissa McCarthy. Emma Thompson. That would be a seriously fun dinner party!
21. If you could try any career for a day, what would it be? When I was in school I wanted to be a museum curator. I’d still really love to do that. And a zookeeper. I think it would be fun to take care of animals all day.
22. Person you admire and why? My sister. She has gone through some nightmare situations but is building an amazing life for herself and her kids despite seriously massive obstacles and still has the best sense of humor around. She’s amazing!
Rae: Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another spiced latte 🙂
Happy Reading Dear Readers. Happy Writing Kira