Friday, March 11, 2011

Interview with Kimberly Lang

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Kimberly Lang. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Girls’ Guide to Flirting With Danger. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Girls’ Guide is a reunion story. I love reunion stories because the characters come front-loaded with unique baggage and sexual tension and that just makes it fun to write.

Here’s the blurb:

Life is good for marriage counselor Megan Lowe—until the media discover that she’s the ex–wife of Devin Kenney, America's most famous divorce attorney! Now the paparazzi are digging for a scoop just in time for the launch of Devin's new book. His gorgeous smile smirks at Megan from magazines and billboards — making him infuriatingly impossible to forget…

It's time for Megan to throw her rulebook out of the window and face her dangerously sexy ex. And their sizzlingly hot reunion — well, that's most definitely headline news…

Girls’ Guide to Flirting With Danger is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

I wish I could take credit for it, but my title skills are weak, to say the least. The title came from the editors and marketing geniuses. I just bask in the glow of its fabulousness.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love contemporaries because, well, they’re contemporary. I understand the world my characters are living in and their mindset because I’m there with them. I also don’t have to worry quite so much about being wrong. If I tried to write a historical I’d be terrified the whole time I was filling the book with inaccuracies. (I love to read historicals, but I could never write one.) I’m in awe of authors who can create entirely different worlds from their imagination, but my mind doesn’t work like that. I like to live in the now, so that’s where my characters live.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a total pantser. I’ll start with a scene or a character and build the book around that. I once wrote an entire book because I had this sentence that would be a great first line. It’s always interesting because I don’t know where the book will go, but it’s not always fun. But the upside to being a pantser is that it means I’m completely open to new ideas while I’m writing. Since I don’t have a plot going in, I’m not married to a plot point or trying to write to it. That has its own dangers as well, but no one ever claimed writing was easy, right?

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

Not a ton, but some. Megan and Devin are both professionals in fields I don’t know a lot about, so I did have to do research to make sure I wasn’t completely wrong in my ideas about how things “worked” in the areas of law and psychology. (Hint: I was.)

I far prefer people over books or websites for research. I like to talk to a real person about whatever it is I need to know, because I not only get the info, I get their feelings about it as well. I can also pick up on the kind of language they use, and sometimes they’ll drop a nugget of pure gold I can work into the book. (For this book, it just so happens that my BFF is a therapist.* I had a bit of a head start on my heroine’s mindset!) So, I guess my favorite research website is Facebook. ~grin~ Half of my high school classmates have gotten emails/phone calls pumping them for info. And I have no problem calling strangers out of the phonebook either. *Yes, I really do have a therapist on speed dial. Make of that what you will.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I have no clue where the idea came from. (Sorry. I know that’s not very interesting.) But I do remember chatting with a friend about my idea for a marriage counselor heroine and famous divorce attorney hero, and she asked, “Were they married?” DING! It really came together after that. All the conflict was RIGHT THERE and all I had to do was play with it.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Megan, definitely. I love her spunk and her dedication, and since I could pull on some of my actual experience trying to carry on a non-therapy conversation with a therapist, she was easy to write. When my mom read the manuscript, she said that if BFF and I could figure out a way to procreate, Megan would be our child. I didn’t mean for Megan to turn out that way, but looking at her now… yeah. Mom is right. No wonder she was so much fun.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

Again, that pantser thing…. My characters just kind of come to me and I get to know them better as I write the book. I keep a pad on my desk with a few notes – like physical descriptions so I don’t forget what color the hero’s eyes are – but no, nothing as organized as interviews or character charts. I wouldn’t know where to begin with something like that.

The research into the characters’ careers and where they live does affect how I write them. After all, what you do affects how you think, how you speak, and how you react to a situation. Since my heroine is a therapist, she knows when she’s being irrational, and she knows the proper, healthy way to deal with it the situation. That doesn’t mean when it’s her emotions on the edge she can actually do the proper thing. That kind of internal gear-grinding affects how she behaves.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Jenny Crusie, Rhonda Nelson, Julia Quinn, Pamela Hearon, just to name a few. I think all books inspire me in one way or another. Getting lost in a book and falling in love with the characters inspires me to want to write books that other people can fall in love with.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Umm… er… Yeah, about that. Hm. ~avoids eye contact~

What do we have to look forward next?

My next US release is What Happens in Vegas… It spins off my second book, The Millionaire’s Misbehaving Mistress, because the hero’s little sister nearly stole that book and demanded one of her own. Revisiting a character was so much fun because I felt like I knew her from page one.

Thanks, Kimberly!

My pleasure. Thanks for having me!

To celebrate her book release, Kimberly is offering a copy of her other reunion romance, Boardroom Rivals, Bedroom Fireworks! to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio.
USA Today bestselling author Kimberly Lang hid romance novels behind her textbooks in junior high, and even a master’s program in English couldn’t break the obsession with dashing heroes and Happily Ever After. A ballet dancer turned English teacher, Kimberly married an electrical engineer and turned her life into an ongoing episode of “When Dilbert Met Frasier.” She and her Darling Geek live in beautiful North Alabama with their one Amazing Child—who, unfortunately, shows an aptitude to sports.

Check out author’s website at www.BooksByKimberly.com

Buy __http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=23236&cid=226.
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8 comments:

Kim Watters said...

Good morning Kimberly. Thanks for joining us here today. I'm a little slow at getting your chocolate out because I was up really late last night. Those darned deadlines. I love reunion stories and this one certainly has my interest. What a conflict. :) Enjoy your day with us.

Linda Andrews said...

Your books sounds fantastic! I love reunion stories, too.

Libby said...

Sounds like a great book - I definitely will buy it!

Kimberly Lang said...

Mornin' everybody. Thanks for having me here today. Glad to hear you like the premise of Megan and Devin's story. They were so much fun to write.

Cara Marsi said...

Kimberly

I loved your post. I too love reunion stories. And your book sounds terrific. I'm so glad you don't do character sketches. I don't do them, but always feel guilty when other authors swear by them. I like your writing style.

Donna Hatch said...

A marriage counselor and a divorce attorney...brilliant! Talk about conflict, huh?

Estella said...

Reunions are one of my favorite tropes!

Kimberly Lang said...

Cara Marsi -- Don't ever feel guilty for doing things your way. Process is way too personal and unique to try to find *one* right way to do something.

Keeping the conflict strong and fresh throughout the book is a toughie for me, so a reunion romance with opposing careers was the best idea I've ever had. It wasn't a matter of finding their conflict this time, it was a matter of when to ease up and pull them out of their misery!