AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Kara Leigh Miller
Welcome to the home of the “bunnies” Kara… I promise this won’t be too painful…
Tell us a little about Death of a Waterfall and what inspired you to write Death of a Waterfall?
Here’s the official blurb:
Teghan Jacobs didn’t think anything could be worse than learning she’s pregnant by a man she’s been dating less than six months. Boy, was she wrong. Her mother, whose drowning in the river of denial, refuses to take a side on the issue. And her overbearing, manipulative father threatens to disown her and cut her off from her trust fund if she doesn’t have an abortion.
Donnie Marks couldn’t be happier. The woman he loves, the woman he fought so hard to be with, is going to have his baby. Life has never been better. But when she shows up in his dorm room, sobbing and heartbroken, he learns the horrible truth of what happened. He vows to get revenge on the man who’s responsible: Teghan’s father.
There really wasn’t anything specific that inspired this story. Teghan and Donnie had been floating around in my mind for a few years. I knew they were young and in love, but that was it. With the help of some friends and my critique group, the story developed.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I usually have a rough idea of the plot, or sometimes I just have a scene I start with, and I sit down and write. I find it extremely difficult to plot out a story because I feel trapped by it. It’s much easier to let the characters lead me. After all, it is their story.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I’ve always written in the romance genre because I absolutely love the complexities of the interactions between men and women. Typically, erotic romance is my genre of choice, so New Adult is new territory for me. Honestly, when I first started writing, I had no idea that this story was going to be classified as New Adult and I didn’t write specifically for that genre. But, it all worked out.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Oh, wow! I don’t think I can pick just one, so I’ll give you my top three.
- Levi Corbin from The Georgia Corbins. He’s such a sweetheart and it was so hard to be tough on him.
- Robert Jacobs from Death of a Waterfall. He is the villain to top all villians. He’s horrid, but his voice was so clear in my head all the time.
- Vince Russo from Love at the Edge (Aurora Island Resort Series #3). He’s an ultimate playboy—cocky, arrogant, and sexy as hell! I felt like I had a lot of freedom with him because he made no apologies for who he was.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Teghan Jacobs from Death of a Waterfall. I had a lot of trouble getting into her head—probably because I put her through so much that I had no basis for comparison. Most of my editing/revisions were of her scenes and thoughts.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Yes. In fact, the character of Annabelle (Teghan’s best friend) was heavily inspired by one of my own friends from high school. She knows, and she’s thrilled that I wrote her into a story. Lol. There’s also a scene in this book where Teghan and her friends are at a party and they’re talking about the first time all of them got drunk. Yup. That’s a true story of my first encounter with alcohol.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Finding the time. I have so many ideas and characters fighting for their time on the page, but between my family obligations, blog tours, my responsibilities as Associate Editor at Entranced Publishing, eating, sleeping, and taking care of two puppies, I find it hard to find enough blocks of time to just sit and write.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
That I have 5 children—four girls and one boy.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Cheesecake. I can never say no to it. lol. And Dr. Phil. I watch that show whenever it’s on—and cable shows lots of reruns of it.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
The Vampire Diaries! My oldest daughter begged me and begged me to watch it with her, and for the longest time, I resisted. But then I wanted her to babysit for me one night and she bribed me. She said she’d do it if I would watch The Vampire Diaries with her. So, I did. And I was hooked. I spent an entire week catching up on the first three seasons. Now, every Thursday night at eight o’clock, I’m parked on the couch in front of the TV. I never miss an episode.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
A notebook and pen so I can jot things down, like physical attributes of the characters. I always forget and have to scroll back through the manuscript. It’s so much easier to just write it down. On my stand I need to have a tall glass of ice water, the TV remote, my cell phone, and some sort of snack. Normally it’s chocolate or Oreos, but lately I’ve been trying to eat better so it’s a banana or caramel rice cakes.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Yes, I listen to a lot of music while writing. And I’ll stop writing to look for a song to help with a particularly difficult scene or a scene that is pivotal to the story. While working on Death of a Waterfall, I listened to a lot of 80s rock and ballads. There isn’t any one song in particular for this story, though.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
I always pictured Donnie as a young Mark Wahlberg – think of that movie, Fear, just not as creepy. Lol.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home, sitting on the couch, reading my emails. I emailed the organizer of my writers group first. Then she emailed the entire group, I posted it on Facebook, called my mom and my husband. I did a lot of excited squealing that day.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
In high school I read a lot of the Sweet Valley High books. Do those count as romances? Lol. I’ll be honest, I didn’t pick up my first “adult” romance until a few years ago, and since then, I’ve been hooked. I’ve devoured hundreds of them.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Ryan Winfield! Not only is he sexy, he’s super nice. I kind of gave him a hard time about his first book, South of Bixby Bridge. He took it all in fun, which it was, and I’ve been a devoted fan ever since. In fact, he thought enough to send me a preview of his cover for Jane’s Melody, his newest release, and allowed me to do a cover reveal on my blog.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Nope! I haven’t had one of those jobs in a very long time. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for several years now, which is a full-time job in and of itself, but at least I don’t have to leave the house for a nine to five job. That’s nice.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
Recently I’ve seen Fast Five and Iron Man 3. I love both of those franchises and have seen all the movies. I’m really looking forward to the second Avengers movie though.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I just finished a novelette (20K words) entitled Ice Gold. It’s part of a collection of Olympic themed stories with three other fabulous authors: Aria Kane, Melinda Dozier, and Ana Blaze. We’re currently in the process of querying publishers.
Currently I’m working on The Georgia Corbins: Book Two, and Death of a Waterfall: Revelations. Both are sequels to my current books. I’ve also got an epic, erotic, paranormal romance in the works along with a Halloween themed novella.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Hmm, that’s a good question. It would be nice to co-write with Ryan Winfield, or maybe Lora Leigh. In the real world, though, I’d like write something in conjunction with Melinda Dozier. She’s got a great sense of humor and isn’t afraid to get naughty in her stories.
How do you pick your characters names?
I agonize over picking character names. Usually I lean toward names that can be shortened. I’ll spend hours searching through online name banks, and if I still can’t find anything I like, I’ll turn to Facebook and ask for help.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
A steady growth throughout—the physical attraction is always immediate, but the love has to grow throughout the story. I like to add some humor to my stories, so making the hero & heroine clash leads to some funny situations.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Anything with caramel in it. I’m also partial to Kit Kats.