AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: KERI FORD
Turquoise Morning Press author Keri Ford has joined the bunnies to answer a few questions…
So what is your most recent book Keri?
Making Her Nights. It’s the fourth book in my Uninhibited In Apple Trail, Arkansas series. My publisher, Turquoise Morning Press, signed me for six novellas in this series.
Tell us a little about Making Her Nights, what inspired you to write it?
Small towns are nothing if they’re not full of gossip. It’s just part of the community, so when I looked at Apple Trail and I didn’t have a bad girl in it, I knew I had to create one. Tiffany McBride was born.
I couldn’t stop there, so to complicate things, I made her hero a young Chef Deputy of the county, and his office is in Apple Trail. Now, Mike Gable is a well respected man of the law and his career and the career of his boss is at the mercy of the voting public.
One misstep in this town, say…dating the girl who used to throw flaming bags of poo on the mayor’s porch…not so much a good idea for long-term career plans. And then of course, I love unexpected turns, so when it comes to Tiffany McBride, things are not always as they seem.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I let the characters go. At times I get stuck and have to really think over it, but for the most part, I just go with the flow and let the characters take me. Most of the time when readers comment on liking a particular scene, it’s one that just rolled out with no thought behind it.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
Actually, Contemporary was the genre I started in. I wrote one terrible single-title, morphed myself into romantic suspense for a while. Then I tested the waters with historical and ended up back in Contemporary Romance!
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I know you’re not supposed to pick favorites, but I do. Nicolette from In The Hay was such a pickle to get right, but I had this character in mind of how I wanted her and after several, several rewrites, lots of feedback from my editor and critique partner, and she became the woman I wanted her to be.
My goal with Nicolette was innocent and naïveté without being completely inexperienced. When readers tell me how much they identify with her and like her, I get a little teary, because she was such a labor of love. There’s a lot of me in Nicolette’s character.
What is your favorite genre to read if you have time?
Historicals. While I tried and failed to write this genre, I love to read it. I still have a file FULL of historical plots, but I’ve had to put them aside because my voice just doesn’t fit the genre. I love the sweeping romance, the princess feel, the chivalry, all of it. The cheesier the better.
Do you have an all time favorite book you have read? written?
Yes! Of ones I read, because they’re sentimental to me. Christina Skye’s Codename: Princess was my first romance and Suzanne Enoch’s Sin and Sensibility was my first historical. Both books introduced me to a world I never knew existed. I’ve read both over and over.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Oh, gosh. That’s impossible to answer! There are a ton of authors I would love that chance with.
How do you pick your characters names?
I test them on my tongue until one sounds right. I don’t know how it works, but I just know when I hear it.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I pull some from my life a little, but not really from other people. Fun stories. Oh, wow, this is going to suck, but it’s the best I got: I have a very supportive family who are super proud of my writing and becoming published….for some reason most of my heroines end up with deadbeat parents who are unsupportive assholes…uh, is that okay to say on your blog? What about dicks? (I think I’m getting worse!)
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Getting stuck and endings. When I get stuck, I quickly get frustrated. And then the endings. Through the whole book, I do my best to set up hard conflicts and for the characters to have a Happily Ever After, one, or both, have to bend. I’m stubborn, so making my characters bend their will is always a challenge to sound real.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I have a really short attention span and my mind constantly jumps from one thing to another. It’s a miracle I can sit still and hold focus long enough to write a tweet, much less an entire book.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure since I freely admit it, but I love what my husband calls dumb movies. Weekend At Bernies, Ace Ventura, Robin Hood: Men In Tights. I’ve seen these movies over and over and over, but I still laugh until I cry.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Not really. Sleep I guess (though sometimes not much!).
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I used to say no, but more and more I’m beginning to rely on music. The right song can take me from I’m stuck to words flowing. My crutches lately have been Satisfied by Jewel and Don’t You Wanna Stay by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. Whatever I listen to, it has to be one I’ve heard a hundred times or I’ll get distracted with trying to figure out the lyrics.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
I don’t do this exercise with my characters, so I asked on twitter! For Mike Gable it would be someone very mature to the outside world, smooth, confident, no-nonsense. Part of his story is learning to relax a bit. So maybe Matt Damon?
For Tiffany, she’s a big risk taker. She hustles people for money, loyal to her friends. She grows up during her story and what’s important really hits home. Again I went to twitter and they gave me Reese Witherspoon.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
At home. It was early in the morning and I ran and jumped on the bed and woke my husband up. He sort of came out of sleep long enough to understand.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was a late bloomer reader. Probably 21-22.
Who do you like to read?
A few off the top of my head: Jill Shalvis, Victoria Dahl, Gaelen Foley, Johanna Lindsey, Monica McCarty.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Monica McCarty. She writes the BEST Scotland set historical romance. They’re just beautiful with enough real history woven in. She’s one of the few authors I will auto buy and give up something at the grocery store for.
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
I’m a mother of a 4year old boy and at times it is very pesky.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Wrapping up Apple Trail 5—Satisfying Her Tastes and 6—Chasing Her Trail. I’m also getting ready to write a spin off series due out summer of 2012 and also polishing off a single-title to pitch.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”?
To my complete surprise, I haven’t gotten that yet! I was so ready to turn my nose up at someone, but everyone I’ve met and told them what I do have been nothing but supportive and thought it was really cool.
Where can readers find you ?
Please visit Keri’s website www.KeriFord.com for more on her books, excerpts, and other things she has going on!
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Milk Chocolate all the way. I can do some dark, but it really depends on the brand and my mood. If it’s something out of a box and has a filling, even better (my husband never gets me boxed candy!)