Laura Kaye, Author of Hearts in Darkness
Ms. Kaye is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, her large extended family believed in the supernatural and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses and this cemented her life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
TRI: Tell us about Laura Kaye, the woman and the writer.
LK: I’m originally from Western Maryland but now live in Annapolis. I’m married and have two daughters, ages 9 and 7. Technically, I have a full-time job as an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy, though I’ve taken a leave of absence to write and will terminate the job at the end of this semester to write full-time! I started writing five years ago after a brain injury left me with a very strong creative urge.
TRI: Do you have philosophy for your writing career or life?
LK: I’ve never really thought of it as a philosophy before, but I guess I do. For writing it would be, write what you love and remember that a writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. For life it would be, live like today’s your last.
TRI: What drives you to write?
LK: The stories and the characters, for sure. They won’t leave me alone. Writing is the only way to get them out of my head!
TRI: How much of your writing is driven, influenced by your readers?
LK: My readers are definitely an inspiration to me. Knowing readers are falling in love with something you create is an incredible rush, not to mention privilege. I’m not necessarily influenced by my readers though. I tell the stories that come to me and demand to be told, and I tell them as I “receive” them. I never really feel like I’m making them up…
TRI: Is there something that you would like to share that your readers or peers do not know about you?
LK: Hmm. I’m pretty open on social media and guest posts after over a dozen releases, so I’m not sure there are many secrets left! LOL…I think most people know my career started after a brain injury in 2008, and a lot know that I wrote several Twilight fan fiction stories back in 2008 and 2009, all of which are still up. I also have several tattoos, which most people know about me too since I talk about my love of tattoos so much!
TRI: I’ve been thinking about getting one. Who is your favorite romance author? What draws you to this writer?
LK: My favorite romance author is J.R. Ward, and I particularly adore her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I love the grit of this series, the bromance, the characters, and the rawness of so much of it. I am a ginormous fangirl. Which is why I broke down crying in the middle of a HarperCollins workshop at RWA when I learned that she’d given me a cover quote for my upcoming novel, Hard As It Gets.
TRI: We know that authors love all of their creations, but is there one of yours that is your ultimate favorite? Why?
LK: Yes, it is hard to choose! But my tortured hero Marco Vieri from Her Forbidden Hero has a lot of me in him, particularly his journey to recover from the head injury that was one of the reasons he was discharged from the Army Special Forces. But I have to say, the latest book I’ve written Hard As You Can (Hard Ink #2) might be my favorite book ever. Really raw emotion in that one.
TRI: Tell us a little about Hearts in Darkness.
LK: It’s my little story that could! Hearts in Darkness is a 30,000-word novella originally published by The Wild Rose Press and now my first self-published title. It was the first book I published and has sold well over 100,000 copies. It’s the story of two strangers who get trapped in a pitch-black elevator for four hours and find acceptance and even love despite their lack of sight.
TRI: That is an interesting premise. Tell us about discipline in your writing career?
LK: I do something related to my writing career every single day. I treat it as a full-time job, which is even more important now that I’m not working my day job anymore. In terms of writing, my daily goal is a minimum of 2-3K a day, and I often hit more (mostly because I have a crazy number of deadlines right now). I think discipline is key to success because so much of building a readership is about publishing multiple stories, releasing them fairly quickly, and interacting with fans on social media. And that takes dedication, time management, and productivity to achieve.
TRI: As a writer do you feel you have come full circle?
LK: Hmm. I would say no. And I’m not sure what that would actually be for me. So much of my journey as a writer has been totally unexpected. I never would’ve predicted a year ago I’d be where I am now, and the same was try the year before that, too.
TRI: Any words of wisdom for newbies?
LK: Write, write write. Revise, revise, revise. Read, read, read. Surround yourself with other writers. And don’t give up hope!
TRI: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.
LK: Thank you so much!