Anne Interviews Kimberly Frost
So last week, I reviewed the new book in Kimberly Frost’s Southern Witch series and I LOVED it. I had not read any of this series when the opportunity came up to review book four, so I read the first 3 books before this one.
I finished reading Halfway Hexed, (book number 3) just before midnight and since I had Slightly Spellbound, I started reading right away, until I finished at 5:45am. Although actually, my Kindle ran out of power and I had to plug it in and lean over the nightstand to finish!
Then I went online to see when the next book would be available and emailed the publisher to see if Kimberly Frost would be willing to do an interview. Finally, I went to bed. After a few emails, I was able to get this wonderful interview with this wonderful author.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Kimberly Frost.
I love an urban fantasy with both romance and humor which is one reason I love your books so much. You do well with leaving each book in not too much of a cliffhanger. Still, I can’t wait for the next book, Casually Cursed. I think I might have died if I’d have had to wait three years between Halfway Hexed and Slightly Spellbound. (I don’t think I hesitated even five MINUTES between them! LOL) Can you talk a little about why there was that time, and what your thoughts or plans are for the series going forward?
There have been some long gaps between books, which I know is hard on the avid readers of the series. It’s always hard on me as a reader when I have to wait a long time between the books in a series I love.
The main reason for the delay was that we weren’t sure whether the series was finding enough of an audience early on. At one point, readers seemed more in the mood for darker paranormal stories. Since I had an idea for a darker paranormal romantic suspense series, I decided to write some of those.
I always felt, however, that I hadn’t finished with the Southern Witch series. And I’d actually gone back to writing a Southern Witch story that I planned to simply put on my website for fans. When my editor said that the Southern Witch series was still selling and asked if I’d like to do more Tammy Jo stories, it was perfect timing. 🙂
In terms of my plans for the series, I can tell you that I have plans for it. 😉 I’ve discovered some things about Tammy Jo’s future, and it’s fun to contemplate how those new developments will affect things. I like mystery, romance, humor and adventure, so I can promise that every book in the series will contain those elements. But more than that I can’t say.
I’ve noticed a positive trend in television lately, which I LOVE, that I consider the essence of what urban fantasy is. It used to be on shows like Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Moonlighting or Remington Steele, it was all about the buildup. Once the couple got together, the show ended, as do some romance novels. Now there are shows like Bones and Castle, where the story continues, after the couple is together. It seems more mature? realistic? well, definitely more interesting to me to see how they go forward as a couple, solving problems, fighting evil, and working through any relationship issues. (I confess I have been TEAM Bryn since day one) Do you see the Southern Witch series as an urban fantasy like that? Will we see Tamara working with her man in future books or will her suitor continue to be a question?
That’s one of the biggest questions an author writing a series has to answer for herself. How much do you allow the main character and her life to change? For me, as a reader, I’ve often gotten tired of love triangles that aren’t resolved after six or seven books. Sometimes when a heroine is rehashing the “whom should I choose” dilemma, it becomes stale, at least for me. So I decided early on that I would allow things to move forward. Tammy’s adventures and choices will change her life.
I’ll work to keep the romantic spark from going out. There will have to be new challenges in her life (not a choice between men necessarily, but other issues.) That’s why we read, isn’t it?…to see what will happen next and how our favorite character will deal with it.
In reading reviews, have you ever stumbled on any useful insight about your work (punctuation quirks, plot holes, beloved/hated characters, story direction, errors your publisher missed) that changed the way you wrote future books?
The main thing I think I learned early on is that some readers found some unresolved plot threads frustrating. I had assumed that since I was writing a series, it was okay to start various storylines that would be dealt with later. As a reader, I’ve liked it when authors drop hints that they later explain and resolve. But I think it depends on the reader and on how much focus is placed on something. If there’s a lot of focus on someone who’s missing for example, then a book might feel unsatisfying or unfinished if the person isn’t found by the end of the story. So I do keep that in mind as I write and edit the stories.
Many paranormal romance and urban fantasy books now contain quite sexy scenes. How do you feel about writing them? Do you expect to turn up the heat a bit as the series continues?
I like sexy scenes and I don’t mind writing them, but I don’t plan to change the heat level in the Southern Witch series. I think the readers of the series have come to expect that there will be sex and sexual tension, but that the scenes won’t be graphic or be the main focus of the story. That’s the style I chose early on that seemed to fit the character, and since then I’ve had women tell me that they’ve given the books to their teen daughters to read. I’ve always loved the idea that the books strike the right chord with readers of different ages and genders who then feel comfortable passing them between the generations.
Who are a few of your favorite authors and why do you like them? Or just what kinds of things do you enjoy reading?
I love books and there are so many authors whose work has inspired me. I tend to listen to a lot of audiobooks because I can consume them faster and while multi-tasking.
Books that I’ve listened to in the past few months that I’ve loved are Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The Best Man by Kristan Higgins, and Still Life by Louise Penny. I do love paranormal and urban fantasy, but haven’t read as much of that lately. I go in cycles and mix things up. Sometimes romance, sometimes mystery, fantasy, mainstream, sometimes a memoir. I just download whatever catches my eye or whatever I hear good things about.
What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever been recognized as an author or talked with someone about your books?
My other career is in the medical field, and one day a med tech approached me and said, “I didn’t know you were a writer.” I said, “Yes, it’s true I am.” I assumed one of my work friends had mentioned it to him, but then he said, “My girlfriend was bugging me to read this book series she loves.” He said to her, “Who wrote it?” Then he flipped open the back cover, saw my picture and was shocked, exclaiming “I know her!”
That is definitely one of my favorite stories of someone discovering I’m a published author.
Okay, Flash Four time
Flash Four questions about books and writing ~
How long, from start to end, did it take you to write “Slightly Spellbound”?
About 3 months were spent brainstorming and writing it. Then about six weeks of heavy editing and polishing. There were other steps along the way. The entire process was spread out over a year.
Did you see yourself being a writer as you were growing up?
I didn’t see myself as one per se, but I dreamed of it. I began writing in childhood and always hoped I’d have a book published.
In what room of your house do you write from?
When writing at home, I write in my bedroom on my laptop.
Do you tend to come up with the title for your book before you start writing it, while you’re writing it or when it’s all done?
I usually brainstorm titles when the publisher needs a title to put on the paperwork. 😉 Coming up with titles is tough work for me, so I often put it off.
Flash four questions about random things ~
Sweet or salty snacks?
What color is your toothbrush?
Red & white
Your high school experience: good or bad?
What do you like on your pizza?
Veggies, generally the more the better, and extra sauce 🙂
Thank you so much Kimberly for answering my questions today. I really enjoyed your series and I can’t wait for its next release in May 2015.
We’ve extended our giveaway of TWO copies of Slightly Spellbound, the fourth book in Kimberly Frost’s Southern Witch series (you can check out my review here) courtesy of Penguin books. You now have until Tuesday May 20th to enter. Giveaway open US only. Click HERE for more info and to enter.