Saturday, January 15, 2011

Author Spotlight - Kiki Howell - Torn Asunder

Welcome Kiki!!! We're big on caffeine here at CFE, so what's your favorite drink with a kick? What's your guilty pleasure?

Oh, the Turtle Mocha at Caribou Coffee. If I am at home though, I like my coffee black with homemade mulled Brandy. It’s a good thing I don’t indulge too often, right?

What drew you to this genre?

Drew? I kind of tripped and fell in! LOL! I was trying to get back into writing after taking a decade off raising my boys, so my husband, always very supportive, bought me a book of writing exercises. One said to break writer’s block by writing a short story in a genre you were not comfortable with. I took comfortable to mean not familiar. Anyway, I had, yes, just read my first erotic romance having stumbled upon Ellora’s Cave searching for publishers in my area out of curiosity. So, my not-familiar genre chosen was erotic romance. My husband encouraged me to submit the story to see what kind of response I got. The response was a contract from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. So, I kept writing in it!

What's your favorite subgenre in Erotica? (eg. BDSM, LGBT, Paranormal, etc.)

Paranormal. I like to take things to an otherworldly level. It makes the sex, well, out-of-this-world! Okay, bad pun, but it gets the point across *grins*
How long have you been writing?

Well, I wrote when I was in college, thinking of going the English teacher who writes the next great American novel path. Then I met another future English teacher, and I married him. After two high-risk pregnancies which included bed-rest and leaving my teaching position, I took that decade or so off I mentioned above. I started writing again in late 2007.

Please describe your writing environment.

A section of the dining room, the part with the fireplace, I have sectioned off as my own. I collect snowmen and leave them up all year in my little place. However, since I write so many witch stories, the witchy gifts keep coming in leaving me with an eclectic, yet perfectly Feng-Shui’ed room. I am also a Feng Shui practioner. The picture here was taken of my fireplace mantle for a Feng Shui post I once wrote showing a very personalized career cure.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

Mostly, I am an outliner. Sometimes, I outline very heavily. For my newest release, Torn Asunder, I am thankful I did. The story was written three different times: once as a 25 K short story, then to a 50K short novel, and finally to a 78K full novel. Outlining helped me in the final stage to make my ending a new conflict, then continue on with more chapters to find a new resolution.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place?

Not really. I write once my kids are in school. I always brew a cup of tea first or make some coffee.

Stilettos: Sexy or not?

As uncomfortable as the confounded things are, I have to admit they are sexy. What they do for a leg! LOL

Does this make my butt look big?

I don’t know! Does this shirt make my boobs look big?

What’s been the most challenging part of writing erotica, for you?

Making the sex scenes varied and realistic even when you have magic as a sex toy. Sometimes you feel like A into B causes C, needs an X + Y =Z, until rereading it, you realize that all the limbs are not in the correct place. LMAO!

Where won't you go with erotica? What are your taboo’s?

Hmmm, if I had any, I recently broke them writing a story with Emma :) No, seriously, the story comes out in September and it is hot. Okay, to answer the question, I am not sure it is a taboo, as much as a comfort level writing it, but I shy away from anything more than light bondage in that area. In stories not yet released, I have done all of the pairings I think. *blushes*

Erotica has the ability to be as sweet or as raunchy as you like it. Where do you feel your work fits in the spectrum?

My current release, Torn Asunder, I would say if mostly sweet. I guess most of them are in a way. I tend to get the words “steamy” and “scorching” most often from reviewers. I do however like to include a little sex magic in most of them. In A Modern Day Witch Hunt one reviewer said of my sex magic scene, ”I have to say that what was certainly hot sex in the story was perpetrated for the most unique reason ever given.” I like to mix things up a bit, and sex magic is a great way to raise power to enhance a spell.

Do you ever have issues with the language, specifically when referring to anatomical parts? I mean how many ways can one really say dick or pussy without it getting a little old? Are there any terms you refuse to use or, on the flip side, are their words that are your go-to words simply for the shock value?

No, not really. As a former English Teacher, I am open to all words :) I really feel that words only have the power one gives them and I have found I can no longer write worrying about offending someone – I am going to do that anyway. As far as shock value goes, it is usually any word I can put the f-word before. LOL – didn’t want to shock anyone!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Torn Asunder

"Kiki Howell spins a wonderful tale of passion, magic, betrayal, and a love that conquers all. Enjoy." ~NY Times Bestselling Author, Hannah Howell

Blurb: Aubrey Griffen is a witch whose true reasons for coming to London soon fall to the wayside when she catches the eye of Edmund Bryant, the Marquess of Dalysbury. He seduces her into a whirlwind romance until the lies and threats of his mother force her to flee to Triaill Brimuir, a secret island of her ancestors off the coast of Ireland. Edmund goes after her only to be hit by Aubrey’s confusion and anger when she magically transforms him into an elemental beast of her own creation.

However, it is when Edmund’s lust mysteriously turns him back into a man that the couple are forced to deal with a family secret and untold of powers. Now, Edmund must learn to shift himself into the beast in order to save her in a battle of black verses white magic.

Fraught with scenes of explicit intimacy, romantic spells and mystical shapeshifting, Torn Asunder is a unique blending of the age of manners with sexual magic.

Genres: Historical (Regency), Paranormal (Witches & Shifters), Erotic, Romantic Suspense

Adult Content Warnings: Explicit Graphic Language, Violence

Novel Coming January 14th, 2011 in eBook and Trade Paperback online at all major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, etc. or purchase at Excessica Publishing.

Author Website

More Advanced Praise for Torn Asunder:

Kiki Howell I feel has a major hit on her hands with Torn Asunder. I was so glued to this book that I was up til 4AM reading it, and mind you, I had to be up at 7AM to see my kiddies off to I was just so captivated by the story of Aubrey and her love Edmund. They are drawn together by an unseen force that unites this couple body and soul. You would think that would be a good book to read but lets add witches, shapeshifting, white and black magic, a despicable mother, and a malevolent father to the mix. That is the story I had the very great pleasure of reading. It seemed at every turn our fated couple had more than there fair share of obstacles to over come…In between all the chaos our couple must endure is the most breath taking love story. Think Romeo and Juliet without them both dying at the Their hearts and minds are linked for all time by an unforeseen connection that real couples only dream of. After reading this story you truly believe in soul mates and that love conquers all. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a 10 and encourage everyone 18 and over to get a copy of this book and fall under Aubrey and Emund's spell. It is so worth the ride. ~5 out of 5 Stars, Review by Raquel Vega-Grieder for Sinfully Tasty Reads

“Torn Asunder is what a Regency novel should be. Prior to this book, I have never had a historical romance keep my interest for more than a chapter or two. Kiki Howell has written a historical novel that sings.
In Torn Asunder, Ms. Howell carefully spices her text with appropriate language, but does not go overboard. She lets the language flavor the story, instead of overpowering it. Her love for the time period is reflected in every part of the story, from the vivid characters to the clear imagery of her settings.
I give Torn Asunder five of five hearts.” ~D. Alexx Miller, Book Reviewer for Romance in the Backseat


Kiki Howell - Author said...

Thanks so much for having me ;)


Rozlyn Sparks said...

Great interview Kiki!