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(the real) AAD Spotlight: Samantha Kane
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in North Carolina with my husband of sixteen years and my three kids, ages 11, 8 and 5. I taught high school social studies before I became a mom, and then a full time writer. I’m 45, I’ve been writing professionally for about seven years, and my 16th book will be released this fall from Bantam Loveswept. I recently had to give up both alcohol and caffeine due to allergies (I survived—barely), I’m making myself crazy organizing my house to sell it, and I’m going to Disneyland next month. J
2. Did you dream of writing when you were a little girl or did you dream of other thing like being a ballerina (or world domination, like me)?
Well, both ballerina and world domination were beyond my skill set. So, yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and in fact was writing and entering contests as early as grade school. I also wanted to be a teacher. I achieved both goals.
3. Were you always interested in erotic romance or did you start out interested in something else?
I always wanted to write spicy romance, but when I first explored the idea of writing romance with the goal of being published, erotic romance was still a relatively new idea. When I did encounter it, both as a reader and a romance writer (thank you, Ellora’s Cave) I fell in love with the subgenre and knew I wanted to write it.
My new series with Bantam, The Saint’s Devils, isn’t erotic romance, but it is quite steamy. I originally plotted the series as erotic, but was encouraged to try for a mainstream audience by readers and agents, which I did. So this is sort of back to my original roots. I will still be writing my erotic series Brothers In Arms. I have many more books planned in that series.
4. What is the first book (doesn’t have to be romance) that you can remember making an impact on you and why did it make such an impact on you?
Watership Down by Richard Adams. I loved the characters in that book so much. It was the first book I read that was so complex and character driven, with romantic heroes (yes, they were rabbits) in a classic quest narrative. Believe it or not, this book led me to Dumas and the Three Musketeers, Rafael Sabatini and Herman Wouk.
5. What are you reading right now?
I’m beta reading an erotic romance by my critique partner Mari Freeman. When I finish that, Princess Charming by Nicole Jordan.
6. What is your writing process?
I used to be a pantser; that is, I sat down and began writing and figured out the story and characters as I went until I somehow reached the end. Now I’m a plotter. So the first thing I do is figure out my characters, plot, conflict etc. I use Scrivener for that. I break my books down into 3 Acts, similar to a movie, and I work my scenes into that structure. Then I sit down and write. I have to write progressively, from chapter one to the end. I can’t jump in and write a scene that’s in the middle of the book. I have to get there organically, in other words let the story lead me there rather than work my story around already written scenes. Part of my OCD I suppose. J
7. How do you approach revising?
I have no problem with revisions. After all, there’s usually two or three or four different directions the story could go from the first moment I envision it. I don’t see revisions as breaking down a story so much as writing a new one. Since it’s what I do, (write stories), it’s not that difficult.
8. What authors inspire you?
Any author who manages to finish a book that people want to read. LOL
9. What are your top 5 comfort reads?
1. The Windflower by Laura London
2. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
3. Pride and Prejudice (I don’t really have to put the author, do I?)
4. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
5. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
10. Are you part of a group of writers/Do you have 1 trusted reader or CP?
I belong to HCRW, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America. I learned all about the business of writing from that chapter. A great group of writers as a whole, and several of those ladies I consider my core writer group. I met my critique partner and bff, Mari Freeman, through HCRW. I also have a fantastic beta reader, Kati, who is very smart and generous with her time.
11. Do you have a day job? If so, do you see yourself being able to (or even wanting to) leave it any time in the future to pursue writing full time?
No day job except Mom, lol. Which we all know is a full time gig.
12. What is your goal as a writer?
I just want to keep writing books that people want to read. I have set goals in the past—to be published, to get an agent, to be published with a certain house—but the business is changing so rapidly these days that my present goal is to stay relevant and have a recognizable name in a market glutted with so many good books and authors.
13. What do you love most about writing?
I love being my own boss, and making a living doing something that I love and that is so fun. Not many people are blessed with that privilege.
14. What do you hate most about writing?
Promoting. LOL I’m not very good at putting myself out there. “Buy my book!” just doesn’t come naturally to me. I wish it did. The biggest burden for promoting a book these days is on the author. I’m learning to be more aggressive and self-promoting, but it’s a struggle. I’m a bit of an introvert, and if everyone would let me I’d sit on the sidelines and observe. That doesn’t really sell books, though, especially now. Like I said, so many books, so many authors—you’ve got to get out there and introduce yourself to readers or they’ll look right over your book.
15. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Well, my new book, The Devil’s Thief, will be released by Bantam Loveswept on November 12, 2012. It’s a Regency historical romance, the first in a series based around a group of friends from school known as The Saint’s Devils. In each book, Sir Hilary St. John, a Sherlock Holmes type character, will help his friends solve a mystery.
In Samantha Kane’s sensual tale of wicked passion, a desperate woman must resort to burglary—but the beautiful thief ends up stealing the heart of a rogue.
The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.
Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.
Now available for pre-order on:
THIS OR THAT
1. Peanut butter or jelly?
Peanut butter is proof that George Washington Carver loved us and wanted us to be happy.
2. Chips or cookies?
Cookies are my downfall. I will never lose weight as long as cookies exist in this dimension.
3. Bacon or sausage?
Bacon. Super crispy. Almost burned. Well, burned is okay, so long as it’s so crispy it crumbles if you pick it up and hold it too tightly between your fingers.
4. Print or eBook?
Ebook. Print is unwieldy and a pain in the butt. It also takes up way too much space in my house and collects dust, which my daughter and I are both allergic to. Some books you’ve got to have in print, but most I prefer in ebook.
5. Pen or pencil?
Both. Or neither. I write so little these days, except grocery lists and to sign my name, that my fingers cramp quickly and my writing is atrocious. Isn’t that awful? But I do write with a pen more often. It’s the notion of permanence, I think. I’m thinking of getting a fountain pen and forcing myself to write just so I can maintain an almost lost skill.
6. Print or cursive?
Cursive. I’m too impatient for print.
7. Notebook or computer?
Computer. Macbook to be exact. It took me a minute to realize you didn’t mean notebook paper.
8. Kleenex or handkerchief?
Kleenex. I don’t want to carry my old snot around in my purse or pocket.
9. Zombies or vampires?
Neither. I like my people alive and well.
10. Angel or Spike?
I love them both, but I have to give the win to Angel. He’s the whole package. Swoon worthy hero material. The ultimate redeemed bad boy. Sigh. I miss Angel. There are no good vamps around these days. (Yes, I love JR Ward’s Brotherhood, but they’re no Angel. Just not the same.)
Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband of fourteen years and three children, two boys and one girl. She spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full time writer and mom. Ms. Kane has a Master’s degree in American History.
She loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to email her today.
I am a filthy-mouthed 29-year-old full time mommy/wife/student, bookaholic, Twitter addict, & self-described tomboy-princess. I am never without at least one book (I usually have two... sometimes more), and I will be happy to tell you ALL about whichever book(s) I happen to be reading at the moment. :)