AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: SAMANTHA KANE
Popular M/M author Samantha Kane has let the bunnies corner her for an interview:
What is your most current work out?
Cherry Pie which can be found at Loose Id
Tell us a little about Cherry Pie.
Cherry Pie is about a hometown hero who left for college and took a wrong turn. Eight years later Connor Meecham returns to the small North Carolina town he grew up in. He’s had some rough times, did a stint in prison, and now he’s back to find who he used to be, and see if he can recapture the life he left behind. But his mother died while he was in prison, and there’s a stranger living in his childhood home. Connor shows up one day, just to look around the house for the memories, and the man who owns the house ends up offering him a job helping him fix the house up. John Ford is an internet millionaire, living alone in old house in a strange town, running from memories of his dead lover and the lies John learned about after his lover’s death. Small Mercury, North Carolina welcomes Connor back, and through Connor the small town finally embraces John, giving him a place to belong for the first time in his life. Together the two men find love and a second chance at happiness.
North Carolina and country music were my inspiration for Cherry Pie. The first time I heard Miranda Lambert sing “The House That Built Me” Connor and this book were born. My family goes to the beach a lot in the summertime, and we drive through the area where I placed fictional Mercury, North Carolina. It’s an amalgamation of a lot of small North Carolina towns. I love everything about those towns, and over the last few years I’ve despaired as I watched them dying before my eyes. A shaky economy has wreaked havoc here, as it has on towns across the nation. Mercury gets a second chance, too, in this book. I hope it brings hope to people who find their towns in this situation, and I wish for a John Ford in each and every one of those towns.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I plot. I’m a plotter. I didn’t used to be. My first few books were written by the seat of my pants. But as my career grew I needed to be more organized. I never thought I’d be able to plot a book. Now I can’t believe there was a time I didn’t do it. I use a 3 act, 8 sequence screenwriting structure when I plot out a book, and it’s a beautiful thing. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the characters to dictate a right or left turn from what I’ve plotted. When that happens, I simply go back and plot the rest of the book again. I’ve found that with plotting I’m not sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike. I can keep deadlines a lot easier, estimate word count on a book more accurately, and generally stay sane while working on more than one project at a time.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I started writing m/m/f ménage when there wasn’t a lot of that around. M/M as a romance genre was just starting to grow in popularity. As a matter of fact, I’d never heard of it or read a m/m book before I wrote my first m/m/f romance. I just wrote what I wanted to read, and through that book I discovered a whole new world. This is only my second m/m, although I have nine m/m/f books.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
This question is so hard! I love them all, especially when I’m writing them. Truthfully, I love Connor and John because they’re so real to me. This is only my second contemporary, and writing contemporary characters is much different from writing historical characters. These are guys that could live on my street, and it brought them much closer to me. But, so far, my favorite character is Wolf Tarrant, one of the heroes in my upcoming m/m/f ménage Prisoner of Love, Book 8 in my popular Brothers In Arms series at Ellora’s Cave. Wolf is so loyal and true and yet bitterly conflicted. He’s a rock for my heroine Very, but he hides his own heartbreak and uncertainty over their relationship and his relationship with their lover Michael. Wolf broke my heart.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
I didn’t think I had any, but my editor differed. LOL That would be Ian Witherspoon, in At Love’s Command, probably my most well loved book, or at least the one that readers mention to me the most often. My editor thought he was a manipulative bastard in my first draft. For anyone who has read it, I actually have my other hero, Derek, call him that in one scene. That was a little in joke for my editor.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
No, not really. You’d think so, but no. Characters take shape based on the story I’m telling. Quite frankly, I don’t want to take any personal acquaintances and put them in the bedroom in my books. That’s sort of creepy. LOL Secondary characters emerge as the story unfolds. I can’t think of a time I tailored a book to fit a character.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Finding the time and the willpower to do it. I’m a mom with three kids under 10, you do the math. Time is a priceless commodity to me. And in the morning when they’re all at school, or in the evening when they’re all in bed, sometimes I just want to collapse and do nothing. I have to force myself down in front of the computer. Once I’m there, the words usually come. But getting there is a struggle.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m actually very dull. People seem to think that erotic romance writers lead exciting, sexy lives. Um, no. Not this one. I’m a homebody who likes to knit. Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Does Smokey and the Bandit count?
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
A computer. I can’t write longhand. My brain moves to quickly. As it is I have to read over what I type because I unconsciously leave out the little words like a, and, the, but etc., because I’m in such a hurry to get the story down. Oh, and my reading glasses. Can’t see the computer without them. Other than that, I’m good.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Music has begun to heavily influence my writing. If I’m having trouble in a scene, if I listen to the radio, or to my iTunes library I invariably hear a song that opens up the scene for me. Recent books and songs: (fyi, I’m a country music lover)
Love’s Fortress: Blackbird (The Beatles), Our House (Crosby, Stills and Nash) and I’m Just a Country Boy (Don Williams)
Cherry Pie: The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert), Turning Home (David Nail) and Gentle on My Mind (Glen Campbell)
Prisoner of Love: Bring on the Rain (Jo Dee Messina), She’s My Kind of Rain (Tim McGraw) and You Lie (The Band Perry)
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
In Cherry Pie? Goodness, I haven’t even thought of it. Readers will have to tell me. I don’t watch a lot of t.v. or go to many movies, so I’m not that knowledgeable about the current crop of actors.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home. Raelene Gorlinsky sent me the email, and I called my husband at work screaming for joy. We didn’t tell anyone else until my second book came out. Seems silly now that I didn’t.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was about 15, I guess, give or take a year. It was The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.
What is your favorite genre to read if you have time?
Paranormal and contemporary. Mainly because I don’t write paranormal, so I don’t analyze them. I just read them purely for entertainment.. And I just love contemporaries. They’re so easy to put yourself into. I’m constantly saying to myself as I’m reading, “Oh, that’s totally something I would do!”
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
Nope. No day job. My writing is my career.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Well, I’m currently working on a western, alternate history steampunk and a new Regency-set historical series. Very different books! And Prisoner of Love, Brothers In Arms Book 8, will be out in June. This is Very’s book, for dedicated readers of the series.
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”.
Surprisingly enough, and pleasant, too, I haven’t had that many people say this. And the ones who have are unfortunately other writers. I get, “Erotic romance isn’t real romance. It’s just sex,” more than I get any of those others. I just patiently explain that my readers enjoy what I write, and I’m very grateful that I can make a living doing what I love. The end. I don’t ask anyone to justify their job or writing to me, and I don’t justify mine to them.
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark chocolate. Which I gave up for Lent, and at this point am contemplating selling my soul to get some. Which really sort of defeats the whole Lenten principle, doesn’t it? Although, by the time everyone gets to read this interview it will be after Easter and I will have gorged myself silly.