Normally you would find ADULTS ONLY listed for all of my posts in this blog. I have to do that because there is explicit adult content throughout this website/blog. I write erotic romance and erotica and I don’t apologize for it. It’s my chosen genre for this pen name. That doesn’t mean from time to time I won’t host authors who write books that sort of fall in the gray zone. My guest today is one of those. K.B. Lever writes paranormal suspense that does appeal to a young adult audience, but does have a bit of a dark side that appeals to adults. So before I go any further, I must warn any visitors.
This site contains very explicit materials intended for adults only. If you are under the age of 18, you must leave this page immediately. By choosing to continue reading this post and any others listed in the pages contained on this site, you acknowledge you are over 18 years of age and that you’ve been warned of the explicit contents presented here. Although the interview today with Ms. Lever is not in itself for adults only, I cannot in good conscience allow anyone under 18 years of age to enter. If you do, or you are a parent who is allowing your child to view this interview, you take full responsibility.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way please help me welcome author K.B. Lever to Behind Closed Doors. It’s her turn to be under the spotlight this week to answer questions about herself, what motivates her as a writer and to talk about her brand new release Manipulating the List, the first book in her Immortal Companions series. When she’s not writing, Ms. Lever is a paramedic for a large municipality in North Carolina. Since my “evil day job” is that of a full-time veterinarian, I know full well how hard it is to juggle a family, work and writing. If anything, it does give us more material for our stories!
Gather around my friends and let’s bring out our guest and get to know her a bit better, shall we?
What inspires you to write?
Writing has always been a lifelong passion of mine. From poetry to fiction, it brings me sheer enjoyment, relaxation, and a sense of accomplishment. The idea that people want to read my work, share my stories, and are excited to talk and meet with me, simply blows my mind! I love it! Setting an example for my daughter and entertaining my fans and readers are truly what inspire me to write.
Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven?
I am a very open and free-minded writer. I don’t do much pre-planning for my writing. I form a very lose idea about the major twists and turns of the book and then let the characters make their way to them. I guess that would make me more plot driven.
Do you listen to music while writing? What kinds of music work best for you? Do different types of music help you for different types of scenes?
I prefer to work better in silence. I find a comfortable spot around my home or at a beautiful outdoor location and let the words flow. With the radio on, I find myself singing the songs and typing the lyrics.
Tell us about the different types of characters you like to write about? Why are these types so appealing to you?
My favorite character to use thus far is Katherine from my Immortal Companion Series. She’s a little bit clumsy, a sarcastic sense of humor, and a little fearful. I like to develop a character that people can relate to. Since I like to write from the main character’s perspective, it helps that person to dive in and picture themselves doing what she’s doing and thinking what she’s thinking. My favorite type of story is one where the reader is pulled into the story, not simply reading the words.
In what ways are your characters like you? In what ways are your characters not like you?
I think in any story you write the characters each have a small part of you. Take for example, Manipulating the List. Katherine and I are extremely similar—sarcastic, clumsy, a hopeless romantic, and fearful of the unknown, but willing to give it a try. Jonathan, the Collector, is very playful and childlike a strong part of my personality that I hope not to lose the older I get. Liam shows the inside of my heart. He is what I believe a prince should be in a happily ever after type of story. Jennifer is the newly formed close friendship that is formed in the middle of tragedy. She shows the loyalty of a close friendship and how I would treat my friends should they ever run into trouble. To develop a great character, instead of a good character, you have to recognize a little of yourself in each of the characters. It’s important to relate, for the readers and writers.
What are your favorite fiction genres to read from?
I prefer to stay in the YA, Romance, Fantasy, and General Fiction lately, mainly because I’m writing a series that fits into all of those genres. It helps to know the audience you’re trying to target. I learn what they like and what they don’t like by watching the mainstream titles that fall into these genres.
What are your favorite non-fiction genres to read from?
I don’t read many non-fiction books. I like to read as an escape and fiction is better for my getaways! I find non-fiction events that I read about give me a launching pad to make my own story.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you think they appeal so much to you?
I have one favorite author in particular. Nicholas Sparks. That man is a genius! He somehow manages to pull at every one of my heartstrings with each of his novels. I’m a fool for fictional romance, but not too mushy or overly sexual stuff. He seems to write it perfectly, every time!
What kinds of stories are your comfort reads when you are sick or feeling low?
My comfort reads would be things in the fantasy genre. Take for example the Twilight Series. Obviously the characters cannot exist in real life. It gives me a world to escape to from my own reality for as long as I care to indulge.
Who is your favorite all time heroine? Why do they resonate so well with you?
Scarlet OHara. I absolutely can relate to the person she became and her “Failure is not an option” personality. She was stubborn, outgoing, and dedicated to success.
Who inspires you and why? (loved ones, friends, authors, public figures, historical figures, actors, teachers etc)
Inspires me in my general life? My parents, my grandparents, and my daughter. It’s amazing when you grow up and realize exactly how much you are like your parents! (The one thing we all said we would avoid!) My parents showed a tremendous dedication to one another throughout my entire life. They led by example, disciplined as needed, and loved me with the true definition of unconditional love. My grandparents, of course showed the same things as my parents, but also added in a very strong religious background. My daughter, Ava, who is only three, is the main reason I have learned patience, understanding, and reevaluated every aspect of my life. FAMILY. It is extremely important!
Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time?
What’s your day job? Do you like it? Why or why not? How has your job affected your personal development? How has it affected your writing life?
I try to find new things to experience every week. I’m constantly scanning the newspapers, magazines, and Internet for new things to take my daughter to. I always learned by doing and my daughter seems to have the same learning style. I enjoy horseback riding, motorcycle riding, traveling, visiting with friends, comedy clubs, reading, coffee houses, and fishing. My next adventure I’m planning involves standup paddle boarding! I’m overly excited!
At my full-time job, I work third shift for a large municipality on an ambulance. I’m a paramedic and have been working in the EMS field since I was 18. I started my career as an EMT/Firefighter and progressed through the ranks to make a Lieutenant position in the Fire department (before the birth of my daughter). With further education, I became a Paramedic Crew Chief at the ambulance service. My compassion and my patience are reinforced every day I go to work. I see a lot of things in my field that most will never see. I think it helps to tell a good story. Any experience you can relate to for a story makes it more vivid for a reader.
In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.
Katherine is friends with an entity similar to Death (Jonathan aka. the Collector). He collects souls and tells Katherine about every person he collects until the day Katherine’s name appears on his list. Katherine must escape death while running from the law, falling in love, and fleeing from state to state and country to country.
When and where does your book take place?
The book takes the reader on travels around the world, but is mainly based in the United States and Australia. It takes you on a journey to places like North and South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, California, and multiple locations in Australia such as Hobart and Port Arthur.
How does the time and setting weave into the plot and persona of the characters?
The times and settings transition the characters through very different styles of life. Some of the events included in the story are based off of real life; large incidents that actually took place in history.
Who is the heroine?
Our beloved Katherine Elizabeth Sheppard. You’ll see her life transition from the age of 6 to 22.
What drives her?
What better to drive a heroine than her heart? She feels the need to help her best friend and stay with the love of her life.
What is she running away from (literally or figuratively)?
She wishes she could run away! This is where my story differs. She isn’t running away from anything, she’s running toward it. Katherine must assist the Collector in collecting souls. She has to help him find the next victims, meet them at the proper collection time, and hand them over to Jonathan.
So she has to do this in order to keep Jonathon from getting to her on the list…that has to be maddening for her at times.
What obstacles will she encounter in this story?
Katherine has to travel throughout multiple locations, run from the police, save her best friend, protect her love, and stay alive!
What draws her to the hero in this story? What gives her that push away from him?
Depends who you want to call the hero in the story. Is it her best friend or is it her heart’s true love? Jonathan or Liam?
This is where I’m partial. 😉 My muse/husband’s name is Liam so he is and will always be the hero for me. So when I see a character with his name, I automatically see him in that light. Hope he is that in your book!
What about her will make readers sympathetic toward Katherine?
The entire novel is an inner struggle within herself. Should she compromise her morals and assist in killing people simply to stay alive or should she allow herself to die and be transitioned into the afterlife? I believe everyone faces an inner struggle at some point in his or her life. Everyone eventually experiences death. It’s a struggle that everyone should be able to understand.
Is there a villain? Who is he? What’s he like? Why is he/she the way they are? What motivates him/her to cause oppositional force to the characters? Without giving any spoilers, can you give a hint as to what sort of opposition he/she gives to the main characters?
There are multiple villains in Manipulating the List. I don’t want to give much away, so I’ll refrain from saying much more.
Oh! You are such a tease!
What is the theme at the heart of your story?
Living your life to the fullest. Enjoying what you have.
What message do you hope readers take away from this story?
This story isn’t made to send a strong message. It’s simply made for entertainment. I want the story to end and the reader to be scrambling to find the 2nd book (which is set to release in Feb – if not sooner.)
Is this book a part of a series?
Yes, It’s the Immortal Companion Series. It’s a set of 3. Book 2 is currently in the works with about 5 chapters completed and I’m hoping to have it ready for release in Feb. 2013. We may press the date forward if we don’t get bogged down by the upcoming holidays.
What is the theme of the overall series and how does this story fit into that?
The theme changes slightly through each of the books, but unfortunately the books are so tightly woven to one another that I really can’t tell you much about the rest of the series for fear of ruining the first book! I’m really excited about the rest of the series. I thought book 1 was excellent, but really they’re only getting better as we go along!
Will these characters show up in other books in this series?
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the Immortal Companion Series, but also am working on a YA romance novel that I hope to release in late 2013. I have a title picked, but I want to wait until the book gets a little further along to release it.
I’d like to add a general comment. Please provide feedback for my novels. I love to hear what my reader’s opinions are. Good or bad, they will help me become a better writer.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Karen! I look forward to the next books in your Immortal Companions series and invite you to visit again with us soon.
If you would like to find out more about this series and our guest today, please click on the following links. Enjoy, and happy reading!