Welcome to BRB, sweeties. And, welcome, Kelly. Before we get into the interview with author Kelly Whitley, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween! Stay safe and have a great time! I attended a party last night dressed as a nun and the hubby went as a priest. As I suspected, everyone had a good chuckle at our expense. It was great fun. Loved it!
Tell us about yourself, Kelly.
I’ve worked in the medical field for a couple of decades. About three years ago, I started reading romance, and decided to give it a try.
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
A story on the news, my job, ideas triggered by discussions with friends.
What made you chose to write M/F paranormal literature in particular? And, is there any other genre you’d like to write? And, if so, why?
I enjoy exploring the unguarded emotions uncovered during intimacy—it adds to a deeper understanding of the characters. I’d like to try writing outside the paranormal genre—maybe sci-fi or contemporary. A children’s book might be fun.
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: a character, the plot or the title?
The lead characters, the villain, and then the plot. The title evolves out of the plot, usually a phrase used by a character, or a play on words.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: beginning, middle or end? Why?
The middle. Balancing the suspense, romance, subplots.
Has your own life influenced your novels? If so, how?
Since I work in the medical field, I tend to end up with at least one character to having a medical career. I’m very sure about that stuff. The law enforcement stuff has taken a lot of research.
Writing sex/romantic scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult?
If I know the characters well, it usually grows organically out of that. I layer in more internal dialogue after I have the scene right—how the characters react to each other.
If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
I’ve absorbed a lot over the years by reading heavily in the more erotic subsets of several genres. In the end, it boils down to knowing the characters very well.
Do you use a certain formula to write the sensual parts?
Not at all.
Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Yes.
Or left to the imagination?
Most of the experience of sex is internal, but I want to give the reader explicit action plus the naked internalization of the characters.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created?
Evan Nichols. He’s a physician, and a vampire, and like all my characters, has a heavy past influencing his present.
He’s an alpha male with all the best beta traits to boot. Sexy and handsome.
Tell us about your newest release.
Into the Red is the story of vampire and physician Evan Nichols, and the human he woos—then protects—Tara West.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite colour? Hot pink.
Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain? Both! Can’t beat having a strong combo.
What is your favourite movie? And, why? One of my favorites is A Knight’s Tale. It’s high adventure with a romance thread!
If you could be anyone in the world who would it be? Why? I’d love to be a spirit that could visit the psyches of my favorite writers, understand their fabulous thought processes.
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years? One or two books a year, plus short stories and flash fiction. In ten years, I’d love to leave the day job behind!
Website Link: www.kellywhitley.comInto the Red
Human blood is an illicit and highly addictive drug--if you're a vampire. Known as Red, its side effects are insanity, and eventual death. A group of Red-addicted vampires known as Poisoners are killing women as part of an extortion plot involving a lost ancient vampiric tome, and they’re leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. The discovery of each new victim risks exposure of the entire vampire race to humans. Then one victim survives…
Dr. Evan Nichols, oncologist and vampire, lives a monk-like existence, by his own choice, focusing on patient care and research to benefit his vampire brethren. It’s been twenty-five years since his world turned upside down—the night he lost his fiancée and discovered his hidden vampire heritage. Now his government has ordered him to take a mate—or they’ll choose one for him. It’s a horrible prospect, and one that might push him over the edge—until Fate throws him together with a human female.
Wary of relationships, Tara West has poured her energies into work and inventing cutting edge climbing equipment. She doesn’t like the gorgeous Dr. Nichols, yet finds herself unaccountably drawn to him.
When a crazed vampire attacks and poisons Tara, Evan rescues her. With time running out, he has to create an antidote to the poison before he loses his chance at love.
In order to make the vaccine, which might cure her, he has to find the bastards who poisoned her and take their venom—before they die of their addiction. If he doesn’t reach them in time, saving her will be impossible.
Thus the journey begins—into the Red!
The caged light above the emergency exit cast a pallid, purple glow over the alley and the pair coupling against the brick wall. Barely twenty feet away he watched, hunkered down in the murk of the shadows, thinking about the merits of killing them both, or waiting for the girl to be alone.
The bar catered to the darker element; men who came to drink, drug, and fornicate. Dangerous men. Men who committed violent crimes as easily as they breathed. Few women frequented this establishment. Most of the females present worked there as waitresses with benefits for purchase, for the men with sex on their minds.
Management took a cut of everything—the liquor, the drugs, and the sex. He also knew the management dictated who did what to whom and when, so it had been just a matter of time before a pair left the bar for the privacy of the alley.
The guy from inside the bar was clean, well-dressed in something other than biker gear and blue jeans, and wasn’t drunk or high.
Which was better than usual.
Hidden, he watched while the man finished and then disappeared back inside. The girl stayed in the alley. A match flared as she lit a cigarette and walked in tight circles by the back door. Based on his observations, he knew she wanted to attract a customer who didn’t come from the bar.
She didn’t realize she’d just sealed her own fate. It would be a quickie. A hell of a quickie.
He separated from the shadows and approached her from the end of the alley. He wasn’t clean, well dressed, or sober.
Which was worse than usual.
But he did have fifty bucks. He bit back a laugh as he caught the expression on her face—half victory, half revulsion. She took his money, tucking it into her bra before turning to face the rough brick of the building.
He leaned into her, pressing her chest against the alley wall and inhaling the smell of her neck as he yanked up her skirt and entered her from behind. He ran his hands over her body, relishing the feel of her soft skin as he plunged into her, ignoring her little yips of pain.
As he slammed into her and finished, the leech of his addiction demanded satisfaction, and he snaked an arm around her throat. For a moment she didn’t react, then the fragrance of her relief gave way to the smoky scent of panic. She lashed out, connecting with the unforgiving brick wall. Her struggles kicked his anticipation into overdrive, and he sank his teeth into the exploding pulse of her fear.
Within a few seconds, her legs gave out, leaving her limp against the wall; he supported her around the waist. The ache of withdrawal eased its way into euphoria as the Red hit his bloodstream. With jerky movements, he laid the body out of sight behind the filthy packing boxes before grafting himself to the shadows.
Soon, another couple would exit the bar for an outdoor tryst.
And he’d be watching.
Color Your World
What colors do you choose when you write? The usual spectrum doesn’t do justice to good writing. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet. Brown. White. Black.
Branching out into other common color descriptions doesn’t help: maroon, emerald, aqua, chocolate, charcoal, and the like.
How can you punch up your prose? Consider tying the color to your subject matter. Does your hero love the ocean? Green could become seaweed. Does he love motorcycles? Silver might become chrome, or nickel-plated.
Is he into hockey? White as ice? Black as a puck? Red as a nosebleed on center ice?
How about your heroine? Does she love to bake? Brown becomes cinnamon or nutmeg or toast. White as coconut? Yellow as saffron?
Maybe she paints—a huge array of color names are in a paint box. Alizarin crimson instead of red.
Consider color descriptors that fit your story. Carnal red, for example, in erotica. Lab coat white for a doctor story. Pull up the environment in your imagination and go for it.
Good sources for unique color descriptors:
-Raid your spice drawer and cupboards.
-Cruise your household. Walk the neighborhood.
-Art supply catalogs.
Take a clipboard, write down what you find, and blend with your prose. Make your reader say “I love that description!”
Thanks so much for the doing the interview, Kelly, and the awesome article! All the best for the future. ~ Blak Rayne