Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Wednesday Guest - Laura Kaye

A multi-published author of paranormal and contemporary romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with the supernatural. Though an avid fiction writer as a teenager, a career as a historian took her in other directions until recently. Now that Laura’s inner muse has awakened, she’s constantly creating new story ideas! Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Why do you write romance?

I write romance in part because I love to read it so much, and I'm a huge believer in the idea that you should write what you love, write the books you'd want to read. I also enjoy writing romance because it's both an incredible escape and something we can all relate to. Plus, romances most often focus on that magical, fantastical, endorphin-filled process of falling in love. I know I remember that fondly, can still feel the thrill and intensity of it when I think on it, and who doesn't want to immerse themselves deeply in a long, cool drink of that every once in a while? I know I sure do. And I love the idea of offering that feeling to others through my writing.

Which is harder to write - contemporary or paranormal?

This is such an interesting question. Let me waffle for a minute! They're both challenging in their own way. Contemporary romance can be harder to write because it's more difficult to find unique premises for real-world men and women falling in love. Plus, it can be more difficult to create interesting, believable, novel-length-sustainable conflicts in contemporaries. The upside to contemporaries is that, for me, they take less research and pre-planning because you can set them right in the midst of the world you know. Paranormal romance can be harder to write because the worldbuilding creates demands on the story that are separate from the romantic plotline. Everything has to be justified, consistent, compellingly and vividly described because it's usually foreign to our real-life experience. Given its popularity, paranormal romance also poses challenges to creating unique premises--everyone has heard of the many pleading cries of "No more vampires!" from so many corners (despite the fact they're still selling well...). Now, apparently, demon and angels are the new vampires, and agents and editors are starting to decry that they're being buried under them, too, so originality takes work. The upside to paranormals is that anything can happen, as long as you justify it within your worldbuilding. And that's exciting and freeing for an author. In the end, I'd have to say that paranormal is a bit easier for me in part because it was my first and most enduring reading love, and thus also something I immensely enjoy writing.

What are you working on now?

I have two main projects in the works. I just sold a fantasy romance series to Entangled Publishing based on the four Greek Anemoi--gods associated with the directional winds (N,W,S,E) and thus also the seasons/weather. The first, entitled North of Need, will release in November 2011. The other three planned books in the series will release at approximately 3-4 month intervals afterwards, in conjunction with the seasons they feature. The other project is my final revision to the women's fiction manuscript I completed in January that needed a few months to marinade before I could face the edits. This book, The Fantasy Life of a Middle-Aged Wife, follows a wife's efforts to reconnect with her husband of nineteen years--it's funny and quirky and sexy and full of lively characters--and unlike anything I've ever before written!

Blurb for Hearts in Darkness:

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
~William Shakespeare

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Excerpt: (This is an exclusive excerpt!)

“What color are your hair and eyes?” She shifted while she spoke and her voice got a little closer.

Caden itched to reach a hand out and measure just how close she was. His senses told him she was within reach. The thought made his arm ache for the feel of her. “Both brown, although I don’t have much hair to speak of.”


His laughter spilled out of him. It broke the quiet between them, but not the intensity. “I keep my head shaved.”


“I like it that way.” He wasn’t ready to reveal all his oddities to her just yet, because he didn’t want to scare her away. He was half contemplating taking out his facial piercings before she could see them, but decided, somehow, that felt dishonest.

“Like buzz-cut shaved or like baby’s-bottom-soft bald?”

“Give me your hand,” Caden offered. “You can feel for yourself.”

Makenna gulped down her excitement at finally getting to do what she’d been dying to do most of the night. Her sight gone, she longed for another way to make a more tangible connection to Caden. And between the sex talk—G-rated though it might’ve been, and the plans for a date, and the whispering, and the feeling his body was close to hers, Makenna’s body was starting to vibrate with a heady sense of anticipation that made her stomach flutter and her breath come a little faster.

Still lying flat on her back, Makenna gingerly reached out her hands. “Where are you?”

“Right here.” Caden caught her right hand in his, and Makenna gasped at the contact. His hand engulfed hers as he pulled it up to his head.

Makenna’s pulse raced as she smoothed her hand over Caden’s head. His hair was shaved so close it felt soft and ticklish as she rubbed her fingers over it. Long after it was necessary, Makenna continued to stroke his hair. She didn’t want to stop touching him. And when he scooted his body a little closer so she didn’t have to extend her arm so far, she smiled, thinking he liked it, too.
“Tell me something else,” Makenna said in a low voice, no longer whispering, but speaking soft enough she didn’t chase away whatever magic was working between them.

Find Laura on the interwebz:

Hearts in Darkness book trailer:




Twitter: @laurakayeauthor

Publisher Website:


Becky said...

I enjoyed this post. I loved the excerpt. Hearts in Darkness sounds real good. I have added it my list to get. I will have to check Laura's other books, since she is a new author to me.

Laura Kaye said...

Hi Becky--thanks for stopping by! I hope you try and enjoy Hearts!

Lea Nolan said...

What a fun interview! Thanks for having her here. This is a great book, very heartfelt but also very sexy. A fast, fun read!

Eliza Knight said...

Great interview Laura! And congrats on all of your successes!

Laura Kaye said...

Lea and Eliza--thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed!

Anonymous said...

Loved this post...I too write in two genres!

Laura Kaye said...

*waves to Tess*--hello fellow genre-hopper! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, Laura!
(*Arial rips the sheet off.* WOOOT!!!) ;)

Great post! The excerpt had me saying, "Ooooo! Must read!" so I bought it! Can't wait to read it.

That's my two pence...
Arial ;)

AJ Nuest said...

I agree with Arial. This book is a MUST read. What a great, great premise. Thanks for sharing the exclusive excerpt Laura!

Laura Kaye said...

Arial--you are too funny! Cover that boy back up, now! :)

I'm so glad y'all liked the excerpt!!! :)

Willa Edwards said...

great interview Laura. I love what you say about writing what you like. I totally agree with that. If you're not interested in reading you're book who will be. I love the title of the new book. North of need. Definitely would get me to click and see what the book was about.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Laura, I love the premise of this book and the sensual tension between two strangers stuck in a pitch-black elevator. I need to look for it. I write contemporary, medical romance, romantic suspense and more recently a paranormal. Once we immerse ourself in a story it keeps flowing out.

Laura Kaye said...

Hi Mona--Thanks for stopping by! If you try it, I hope you enjoy! :) Folks--check out Mona's TWRP books, too! :)

Marianne Stephens said...

Love elevator scenes...wrote one in one of my books. You can do so much with the hero and heroine, trapped together in a confined it heats up.

Sarah Raplee said...

Love your book concept and your trailer for hearts in Darkness!