I’d like to welcome Kaki Warner, author of Bride of the High Country, to Love To Read For Fun.
Hi Marq! Thanks so much for inviting me to visit.
Tell us a little about yourself. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Only for the last twenty-five years or so. After reading an awful book, I decided I could do better. Ha! But after diddling around with it off and on over the next quarter century, I finally did. Some of us are slow learners, I guess. But the point, whether it takes one year or twenty-five, is to never give up.
What do you love most about writing?
The total immersion in something beyond yourself, your daily life, your experience. That, and holding that first finished copy in your hands and seeing your name on the cover. Nothing can beat that kind of validation.
Briefly describe the Runaway Brides series.
Four women, each hoping to carve a new life for herself, meet on a train headed west in 1870. But when they’re stranded in a dying mining town in Colorado Territory, they find more excitement than they bargained for, and greater love than any of them thought possible. It’s all about finding family among strangers, letting go of the past, and forging new beginnings—for themselves and for the town they’re determined to save.
The Runaway Brides series doesn’t contain explicit sex scenes. Do you think sex scenes are necessary to adequately portray the romance in a story?
Not at all. In fact, I often think overly graphic sex scenes diminish the romance to purely physiological and biological reactions…which is OK, just not my style. I consider myself more of a storyteller than a romance writer, and after all the work I put into writing every page of every book, I’d hate to have readers skimming through the story just to get to the sex scenes. So I strive for a balance, then leave the “ins and outs” of it (so to speak) to the readers’ imaginations. If they need more, there are many wonderful writers out there who can pen graphic scenes much better than I can. But just to cover my ass, I put in lots of killing and cussing, and strive to mention “breasts” at least once in every book (mostly for the guys).
How many books do you have planned for the series? Is Bride of the High Country the last book in the series?
I just signed a contract for three more books set in Heartbreak Creek, which will feature all the old characters and a bunch of new ones. After the first three books, I realized I had left too much unfinished business—the water and railroad issues, saving the town, Edwina’s pregnancy, the cloudy future for Thomas and Pru. These folks are family now, and although they’ve each had their own stories, I think it’ll be fun to see how they’re coming along, even though each book in the new trilogy will focus on a new romance.
How much research do you do when you’re writing historical romance novels?
A lot. Luckily with the internet it’s much easier than it once was—especially since I live in a remote place eighty miles away from the nearest research library. I try to weave into each story historical events (the Epizootic of 1872, the Panic of 1873, statehood battles, Indian issues, the various problems after the Civil War, immigration, the Irish potato famine, etc.), while also including some aspect of the setting (storms, floods, blizzards, animal attacks, mining hazards, railroad expansion, and so on). In addition, I try to be as accurate as I can in regards to language usage for the times, clothing styles, medical practices, and anything else that might pull the reader from the story. It can be daunting. But fun. (For example: Did you know that condoms—called Dr. Power’s French Preventatives back then—have been around since the 1850s and were invented by Charles Goodyear? And that in urban areas they had “horse hotels”? And that in bear country, they would leave nails poking out of shutters to keep grizzlies from pushing in the windows? Interesting stuff.)
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
Travel. Visit our grandkids. Listen to music. Garden. Think up stuff for my husband to do. I’m a pretty mundane person.
What are you reading right now? Who are some of your favorite authors?
Right now I’m reading Genevieve Graham’s Sound of the Heart. A wonderful new writer. And I have too many favorite authors to name, but here’s a few…Eloisa James, Jodi Thomas, Lee Child, Sara Donati, Richard Cornwell, Jon Hart, Donnell Bell. I’m also fortunate to host virgin authors (debut writers) on my blog, and here are some recent ones: Sarah Anderson, Theresa Romain, Lisa Potocar, Marne Kirk, Amanda Collins, Don McQuinn, and more to come. There are MANY great writers out there, and I love getting to know them “back when”.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks so much for having me, Marq. It’s been fun.
Thanks to Berkley Sensation, I have one (1) copy of Bride of the High Country to give away. The giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Leave a comment to enter. Ends 6/13/12.