Please welcome today’s guest, Kathleen Long!
Kathleen wrote the fun romantic comedies Get Bunny Love and Cherry on Top for Zebra!
She now writes fabulous books for Harlequin!
I invited her here to tell us more about her books…
Please tell us about your books.
It’s been four years since I got “The Call” – yesterday was my anniversary, to tell the truth. I started out intending to write only romantic suspense, but it was a book I wrote purely for fun—Get Bunny Love—that garnered my first sale. Since then, I’ve written an additional romantic comedy, a novella for Harlequin and ten Harlequin Intrigues. It’s been a busy four years.
My upcoming trilogy is the first time I’ve written connected stories and I loved the process. Revisiting my characters with each of the three Body Hunters stories for Harlequin Intrigue was a true treat for me. The books will be released this April, May and June and center around a group of private individuals who’ve formed a secret society dedicated to finding victims and villains that society has forgotten or ignored.
What inspired the series or story?
The premise for The Body Hunters came to me one summer while watching the news. Most of my stories, as a matter of fact, are inspired by the news and a “what if” moment. The first story, Positive I.D., centers around the search for a high school graduate who’s gone missing on a vacation to the Caribbean. Sound familiar? That’s right. The seed of the idea came from the Natalee Holloway case, but I put my own spin on the story by reuniting the girl’s parents for the search—a wife who thinks her husband died years earlier, and a husband who faked his own death long ago in order to save the lives of his wife and infant daughter.
Which of your characters is most like you?
It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that my first heroine, Beatrice “Bunny” Love is the most like me. While I’m no Feng Shui expert, I do crave color in my life. I also have a tendency to get myself into the worst sort of messes, and I’ve been known to fall over tables, dislocate my back, and get my arm stuck in car windows. Graceful, I’m not.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Least favorite?
My favorite part of being a writer is the chance to create complete worlds inside my brain then bring them to life using the written word. I love books…have always loved books…and realizing my dream of becoming an author has been an amazing experience. And let’s face it, reporting for work every morning in my pajamas is not a bad gig.
My least favorite part has been my loss of reading time! Where I once devoured book after book in my spare time, I now must use that same time for plotting, planning and writing. My TBR pile has taken over the house.
How has your real life influenced your writing?
Tough question. For me, the real life influence on my writing is best seen in the level of emotional intensity in my stories. The past year has been one of those years where I’ve focused simply on putting one foot in front of the other, and I do know the intense emotions of real life have slipped into my work. My editor tells me Positive I.D. is highly emotional, and I’m proud of that. I believe it’s my best Harlequin Intrigue to date, and I consider myself lucky to have my writing as an outlet for my thoughts, dreams, fears and feelings.
Is there anything you’d like to write, but haven’t? Other genres?
I’d like to write a bigger, more emotional book, shifting into women’s fiction. Later this spring, I’ll be working on a new project, one that’s far broader in scope than anything I’ve written before, and I couldn’t be more excited to dig in. As much as I love writing for Harlequin Intrigue, my creative brain needs variety, and I’m looking forward to adding women’s fiction to the mix of projects on my plate.
Who has inspired you as a writer?
Two groups of friends and authors have influenced me and kept me sane – Writers At Play and Romance Unleashed. Both groups include amazing women—all authors—who understand the daily challenges of juggling life, the creative facets of writing and the business/promotional necessities of this career.
In addition, my first daughter, Emily Bernadette, was the initial inspiration for my writing, and the reason I got serious about my dream of becoming published. She was a beautiful little girl who lived for five days despite all of the odds and doomsday physicians, and she taught me that anything is possible, if only we believe. Thanks, Emily!
What would you like to tell aspiring writers?
Never give up! There was one piece of advice that kept me going even when I wanted to quit. That came from an Inside the Actor’s Studio interview with Mike Myers. When asked why it was that he succeeded, he simply answered, “I didn’t quit.” That one sentence stuck with me and hangs out at the back of my brain, whispering in my ear whenever I need a reminder to keep going. Now that my daughter is a full-fledged Finding Nemo addict, I also hear Dory’s voice quite often. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Stubborn. Free-spirited. Tired.
What do you like to read?
My current reading is trending toward more serious women’s fiction—poignant, yet uplifting, as well as memoirs dealing with the topic of surviving life-altering events. Toss in a sexy romance, a terrifying thriller and a comedic mystery, and you’ve got a snapshot of my tastes in reading. I’m all over the place. After all, isn’t that what makes reading such an amazing treat? As readers, we can experience every sort of world imaginable.
What is next for you?
Next up for me is The Body Hunters trilogy—Positive I.D. in April, Cold Case Connection in May, and Undercover Commitment in June. I’m counting the days until the April release of book one and I hope The Body Hunters team will resonate with readers as deeply as they have with me.
Is there anything you’d like to ask readers?
Yes! How do you potty train a toddler? Just kidding. Okay, so I’m not kidding. If you do know the secret handshake, let me know! Although, I’d imagine successfully navigating the world of potty-training is a lot like writing. With a bit of practice, persistence, and determination, I’ll find my way through…I hope.
On a more serious note, in the coming weeks, I’ll be launching a site dedicated to The Body Hunters. What do you, as readers, want to see in a site dedicated to a series/group of characters? More detailed character information? A message/discussion board? Deleted scenes? Exclusive short stories and excerpts? Let me know. I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Thanks for stopping by today to visit, and a HUGE thanks to Jennifer for inviting me to be part of her fabulous blog.
Thanks Kathleen for that great interview!
Best of luck with the new series and with potty training! 🙂
Readers, you can learn more about Kathleen and her fabulous books by visiting her newly updated site: http://www.kathleenlong.com
And how about answering Kathleen’s questions for readers…
Remember, every comment left this month is an entry into the giveaway…details here!