I love sharing how I write, what I’m working on, techniques I’m struggling with. But once in a while, it’s nice to be able to pick another writer’s mind, to see what they’re doing and how they do it. So today, I’d like to welcome Kyra Jacobs to my blog. I’ve known Kyra for a few years now. She’s a warm, lovely person, and also a lovely writer. She has a new book coming out tomorrow–Monday, September 14th- and what a cover! Gorgeous! It’s a contemporary romance, (which is what I’m working on now), so I thought I’d invite her here to spill her secrets about writing and tell us about her new release.
Hi, Kyra! Again, welcome to my blog. I’ve followed your writing since you started the Hometown Heroes series with cops and fire fighters. In those books, you mixed romance with suspense for a little extra pizzazz. Your new novel is a contemporary romance. When I tried straight romance, it was an adjustment for me. Was it for you?
Definitely. I knew the basics of the story from the start, but unlike romantic suspense I didn’t have a crime or devious goings ons to drive the story forward. That meant digging a whole lot deeper for me as an author and forced me to really delve into the character’s emotions and play off their relationship fears instead of life and death concerns.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? What do you have to know before you start writing a book?
You know, I try to plot. Really I do. But no plot for me ever sticks, and usually I just end up tossing it aside at some point. I guess that makes me a “plantser”? lol Ironically, I do keep an outline in a separate file as I write, noting every chapter and scene and page numbers and basic story elements, so I can go back and find instances easily. I’d be lost with out it!
As for what I need to know…hmm. A lot of my stories started out as an image in my mind of a single scene or conversation. From there I look back in time to see what might have led up to that moment, and forward to see what comes next.
How do you develop the characters in your stories?
Great question, and one I know probably everyone has a different answer to! For me, it’s been a bit of an evolution of the process with each book. The biggest influence for my method, though, came in the form of a blog I stumbled across on Janice Hardy’s site a few years back that gave a terrific overview of a workshop put on by Michael Hague called Using Inner Conflict to Create Powerful Love Stories. http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/08/the-inner-struggle-guides-for-using.html
I’ve given this link to a number of people now, because I think it’s a terrific description of how to keep your characters from being boring and 2-dimensional. It also helps me dig deeper into each of them to better understand their goals, motivations, and potential conflict.
You’re part of the KickAss Chicks — http://kickasschicks.com/. How much fun is that?
Yes! The KickAss Chicks came about this spring and we have had a blast putting together a fun, interactive site that connects writers with readers. It’s also stretching us outside our comfort zones, which can be kinda fun, too. Our current blog series features each of us chicks reading a scene from one of our books, so you’ll get to see and hear us. (I’m not even going to tell you how many takes that took to get recording right!)
And while it is absolutely amazing coordinating with the chicks on social media, the benefits to being a part of a group like this goes beyond our website. As you know, writing can be a very solitary, sometimes lonely process. But beyond the keyboard, many of us are mothers, wives, employees…you name it. So the biggest blessing of this group for me has been coming alongside 6 amazing women who are there in a heartbeat to encourage and celebrate each other in both our writing journeys and our personal ones.
Any advice for fellow writers on how to get published?
Write what your heart is calling you to write. The stories that have come easiest for me were the ones that called to me, that dug their claws in and wouldn’t let go. Don’t try to fill a niche, or feel you have to write whatever is selling best right now. Publishing (done right) is never a quick process. Some books take years to write, and even longer to publish. The market changes, but a good, heartfelt story will never go out of style.
Any news you’d like to share? Anything about dragons? Or last comments?
Haha well, yes, since you mentioned it… While this week marks the release of my first contemporary romance (which I hope will become a several book series at the Checkerberry Inn), I also just signed a three book contract with Samhain Publishing for a fantasy/paranormal romance. And it juuuuuust might include a few irresistible men who can also change into giant dragons. That comment I made about writing what your heart is calling you to write? Yep, that one demanded I write it. A bit way off the beaten path for me, but my beta readers LOVED it, and I’m hoping you will too. Watch for all three books in that series to release in 2016, starting with DRAGONS AMONG THEM April 19th!
Tell us a little about your new book, Her Unexpected Detour. http://www.entangledpublishing.com/her-unexpected-detour/
DETOUR follows Fort Wayne native Kayla Daniels as she embarks on an unplanned trip to visit her younger brother at Central Michigan University. But a late spring ice storm complicates her plans and brings Kayla to the Checkerberry Inn. Both she and the owner’s grandson have suffered the loss of a parent and chose to shut the world out rather than grieve and move on. But comedic interludes and mutual attraction help Brent and Kayla heal together and find their happily ever after.
Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the detour…
Kayla has the perfect strategy for a broken heart: work, work, and more work. Then a storm sends her car skidding off the road, stranding her in Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, rescue comes in the form of the incredibly handsome but gruff Brent Masterson. And he’s hot enough to tempt Kayla into doing something she never thought she could do…
Brent Masterson swore he would never give into the fierce attraction that’s been sizzling between him and Kayla since they first met. He has his own demons, and he won’t risk his heart again. Not even for someone as gorgeous and amazing as Kayla. So…how exactly did he end up in Kayla’s bed last night?
But sometimes all it takes is an ice storm to show two broken hearts the way home…
Thanks so much for having me here today, Judy!
Thanks for sharing with us, Kyra, and for being a guest on my blog!
You can find Kyra’s webpage at: http://www.kyrajacobs.wordpress.com
Her blog’s at https://indianawonderer.wordpress.com/
And she’s on twitter: @KyraJacobsBooks