To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an author?
I live in North Mississippi not far from Memphis, TN with my railroader husband, two boys, and White Waug. My first career was as a dental hygienist, but I retired from dentistry in 2006. I’ve been writing full-time since then. Kyle and I are both from Laurel, MS and have lived in five towns that all start with the letter H over the twenty years of our marriage.
I completed my first book, Unwilling, in June 2010 and the second book of that series, Unloved, in December 2010. So far I’ve published 4, going on 5 this February, books and have two more in production. Unwilling, Unloved, Unboundless (Feb 2017) are Paranormal New Adult Romance. Frost, A Rendezvous Collection is a holiday themed Paranormal Romance Anthology.Boys of Fall is Contemporary Erotic Romance novella and my first self-published title by K.D. Wood Books.
I saw on your Instagram page you are trying to hit that 70K word count. Can you tell us what you are working on?!?
Absolutely! That is the revised draft for Unboundless, the third book in the Unwilling series. I still have around 30K to go before I send it off to beta readers. It’s set for release in February 2017.
You contributed to Frost, A Rendezvous Collection with several other authors. How did you get involved in that project?
Fellow Blue Tulip author Elise Faber pitched the idea to me last summer and I really liked the concept of one haunted hotel in NOLA and the additional twist of 4 different situations/couples. I’d never done an anthology, or anything shorter than 100K for that matter LOL! It was a challenge and really made me work hard to craft a paranormal romance like I had never written before. I enjoyed the mental workout and experience very much.
One of the reviewers for Unwilling wrote: “Wow this book. I have never read anything quite like this before and it was fascinating.” What makes your work stand out?
Unwilling is written with an intentional “everything but the kitchen sink” quality because I like all kinds of books. Suspense, romance, fantasy, SciFi, horror, mystery etc etc. It’s also written with a super tight tension and hook because I’m a horribly picky reader. I need my reads to suspend my belief right to the edge so I can completely step out of my reality and enjoy the escapism of a story. There’s way too much reality in my reality and I don’t want it in my books. I also LOVE dialogue and see my books in my head in scenes that always start with conversations between the characters. The first draft of Unwilling was literally nothing but dialogue.
With me being Unwilling’s first reader, all of the things I need in a book are intensified. Everything I write has that fast-paced tension I love. For that reason, I get blamed for a lot of lost sleep LOL! As an author, when you hear things like, “I could not put this book down!” Or “I stayed up all night to finish because I had to know what happened!” Those kind of messages are some of the most thrilling to receive. And if I can do for a reader what I set out to do for myself with my books, then I’ve done my job as author.
I will first and foremost always be a reader and Unwilling is very much the book I’ve always wanted to read. Some would call that the “book of their heart”. In some ways I agree with that, in other ways, I disagree. That label sounds too final for me to take it on because I have a lot of stories in me.
What can you tell us about the White Waug? J
Oh lordy, that rotten heifer will love that you asked about her LOL!
As her full title suggests, Her Royal Highness The White Waug of Mount Gundabad, is a complete diva and she knows it and that I watch too much Lord of the Rings when naming my animals.
Waug is a Staffordshire terrier and she’s just had her 4th birthday. One look at those spots as a puppy and I was completely gone on her. She’s a big girl now at 80 pounds and has no concept that laps are not made to hold that size dog butt. Nor does she care. Her favorite things are Son#2, hotdogs, and white powdered donuts. She enjoys car rides, walks, and rolling in mud. Which doesn’t mix with white fur at all!
That’s so cute! 🙂
Being an author can be tough work. What have you learned in the time since you published your first book?
That the joy of creating your story has to be protected from the job of being an author. No one warns you that there’s a difference in those two things when you start out. And it can be VERY hard to find that balance between them. To find my balance, I had to set a very clear line for myself between job and joy. When I mushed the two things together early on, my writing suffered horribly from the resulting stress. This job can easily overwhelm you if you aren’t careful.
When I’m creating, writing, drafting, whatever you want to call it, I set all the “jobs” of being an author aside and immerse myself in the story. No matter if it’s for the ten free minutes I have that day or ten hours. I’m completely under the surface of that world.
I used to try to do both things all at the same time. Answer emails between writing scenes. Work on edits and a draft. Update social media between writing. All that caused major issues for me. I had to set times aside for certain kinds of work. It takes more planning now, but it always works better and I’m happier and that’s what matters most. Protecting that feeling of joy that comes from fingers on the keys as the story flows out of my brain.
What have you read lately that really wowed you? What’s coming up next on your TBR?
I did a production read for my pal Carolyn Haines new book, THE BOOK OF THE BELOVED, and OMG I LOVED IT! It’s a ghost story set in Mobile, AL after WW1. I can’t wait to read the final product that releases on August 9th. Here’s that blurb:
As a young woman widowed by World War I, Raissa James is no stranger to ghosts. But when an invitation arrives from Caoin House, her uncle’s estate in Mobile, Alabama, she’s finally ready to cast off the shadows of her past. And what better way to do so than with a grand party in her honor? An aspiring authoress, Raissa’s eager to soak up more of life—and immerse herself in the dark history that haunts the estate.
But the revelries come to an abrupt end when one of her uncle’s guests takes a deadly plunge. And when a ghost from the property’s past, a Confederate soldier, reveals himself to Raissa, she’s more determined than ever to get to the heart of the mysterious deaths that plague Caoin House. Enlisting the help of Reginald Proctor, a self-proclaimed medium, she holds a séance to shed light on old secrets. But she discovers that some secrets, even those long dead, still have a startling hold on the living…
Carolyn does a fantastic job pulling a reader into her world and that’s one of the reasons she’s an auto buy for me. Funny story, as I’m reading this book late at night, just as I reach the creepiest part of the book, the Waug was under my desk and her cold nose touched my ankle. I nearly tore the top off my desk jumping LOL! It was AWESOME!
Where can readers find out more about you or your work? On which sites are you most active?
My three daily social media contacts are Instagram (@k.d.woodauthor), Twitter (@kdwoodauthor), and Facebook (KD Wood). There’s a fan operated page on Facebook I visit daily “Love Stories Over Coffee with KD”. That page receives story pieces and news first. I also have a monthly newsletter for updates you can sign up here to get that newsletter on this link http://bit.ly/1WUUq0O . I post fun things and inspirations to a Pinterest page for each book. There are fun deleted scenes and first chapters for all my books available for free reads on Wattpad.com and I have playlists for all the books on Spotify.
Any parting words for our readers?
Thank you so much to everyone out there who has read anything I’ve written and shared a review, sent me a message, or hugged my neck at a signing event. Without you guys, none of what I do as an author would be possible. I look forward to meeting more of you soon and creating more worlds for us to geek out over!
Thank you so much for joining in on the Author Interview Series!!
If you enjoyed this interview, check out some of the other interviews in the series!