This week, we have an interview with author Leah Kirk whose work includes The Prophecy series and stories in various sci-fi paranormal romance box sets.
In this interview, she talks about what inspired her to become a writer, why she finds romanctic scenes to be the toughest to write, what she has planned for the future, and much more!
Please tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Lea Kirk. For those of you wondering, it is pronounced Lee, not Leah. (Like sea, tea, pea.) My first love is Science Fiction Romance, although almost anything in Paranormal appeals to me (especially Dragon Shape Shifters).
Currently I am working on a Sci-fi Romance series called The Prophecy Series, for which I have written two novels already: Prophecy and Salvation. The third book, Collision, will be out in 2017. There are also two short stories set in the Prophecy universe available, All of Me, and Space Ranger. Space Ranger is currently part of the Pets in Space anthology.
On a personal note, could you tell us a story (or some random fun facts) about you that we wouldn’t otherwise know?
This is a difficult one because I’m a pretty open person. But, most people don’t know that I spent the majority of my childhood in Japan (military family). My heroine from Salvation, Sakura Yamata, is a tribute to my younger years. Her name means cherry blossom, and I spent a lot of time every spring climbing in the blooming cherry trees on base.
We all know how time-consuming writing can be. How does your family feel about your writing? Are they supportive of all the time you have to spend at your keyboard?
Most of the time, yes. But, I start getting grief about working too much when they feel it cuts into my responsibilities to them, which I do appreciate.
Considering the nature of the sexy scenes in paranormal romance, do you get any of your family or close friends read them? How do you feel about that? How do they?
This question makes me chuckle. Maybe my great revelation to question #2 should have been this: My father voluntarily reads my books! Honestly, when he said he was going to read Prophecy I gave him “a look” and reminded him that it was a romance. Didn’t seem to faze him at all, and once he finished he admitted that he’d enjoyed it. He’s now reading Salvation, but it’s not clear yet how he responded to the opening scene. My mom’s analysis of Prophecy was, “This was a great book. I can see it being made into a movie. But, it would be better if there wasn’t so much sex in it.” (Disclosure: there are only three full-on sex scenes, and they’re steamy, not erotic.) Again, no feedback yet about that opening scene from Salvation.
My husband read Prophecy, however I can’t talk to him about my stories. I don’t want to know what he thinks is wrong with them, it’d be too much like rejection. So, he can read my books as long as he never discusses them with me. Ever.
To date, my daughter has had the best comment about reading my books. “I tried to read it, but I kept hearing mom’s voice.” That got too creepy for her and she had to stop. My sister is the one who gets me better than anyone. I love that she reads my books, and I love that she loves my books.
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Definitely the racy scenes, but not for the reason you’d think. It’s difficult to write them unless I’m alone in the house. Solitude is a rarity with six other family members popping in and out at various times of the day.
What inspires you to write? Is there a specific place, person or thing that makes the words flow from your soul to your keyboard?
Music helps bolster my creative process, and I do have certain songs and pieces I listen to while writing (some songs are specific to each of my books). But in general my heart, soul, and mind are always ready to write.
What has been your single most rewarding/exciting experience as an author?
I can’t pick only one because there are two that qualify. First is Prophecy’s release day. Oh my gosh, that was over the top exciting! Thirty plus years after I’d first come up with the story idea, it was finally a reality.
Second is the amazing amount of support in the romance writer community. It seems like we live to raise each other up and I’m deeply touched and proud to be a part of that.
How about the opposite? What has been your most horrifying experience while writing?
Heh. The time I thought I had accidently made the unfinished draft of Prophecy available live on Amazon instead of setting it up for pre-order. For a few minutes, I thought I would throw up. You want to see my kids roll their eyes? Just ask them about their mom’s tech abilities.
And now for the silly… if you could choose Hollywood actors to play the lead roles in your latest release, who would you choose for the hero and heroine, and why?
Oh, I love this question! I actually did a blog post of my dream cast for Prophecy (http://www.leakirk.com/blog/prophecy-dream-cast). But this is the first for Salvation, so here we go! Nicholaus “Nick” Bock: model Matt Murnane. I love this picture of him Sakura Yamata: She was a little more difficult to nail down because most Japanese actresses are much slimmer than I envision Sakura. However, if we’re looking just at facial features, it has to be Fumi Nikaido.
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
I would love to! From Salvation, Book Two of the Prophecy Series.
Set up, After weeks of avoidance, Nick is surprised by an invitation from Sakura that leads to the intimate contact of their preternatural Gifts of healing:
What was this? She was actually initiating contact? Nick raised one eyebrow at her.
“Take my hand, Nick. You need to see this.”
Something like excitement—or was it joy? Hope?—bloomed to life in his chest. Take her hand. The one thing he’d never expected her to say to him, and the one thing he’d apparently wanted to hear. Very slowly, he reached out until his palm brushed hers and her fingers curled around his hand. A gentle tug from her urged him to follow her. She led him out of the lab and across the common room to the couch.
“Sit.” She patted the cushion next to her. “Right here.”
To say his curiosity was piqued would be an understatement. He lowered himself until he perched on the edge of the couch.
“Now, put your head in my lap.”
“Excuse me?” This adorable stranger looked an awful lot like Sakura Yamata, but was saying things to him she’d never say. “Are you serious?”
“Serious, yes. Thrilled, no. Do not read too much into this.”
He swallowed back a laugh. It’d probably be inappropriate to ask “face first?” She’d slug him for sure, then leave him sitting on this couch without showing him whatever it was she thought was so all-fired important.
“All right.” Nick moved slowly as he stretched his body the full-length of the couch, in case she changed her mind.
Once his head rested on her lap, he met her gaze. Her eyes were such a deep brown they appeared almost black. Studying her face, he saw things he’d never noticed before. The arc of her eyebrows, the sweep of her lashes, the heart-shaped bow of her pink lips. If this turned out to be a dream, he wanted to explore it, explore her.
“Trust, Nicholaus,” she reminded him.
Right. In other words, keep your lecherous thoughts to yourself, Mr. Bock. He licked his lips. “Okay, now what?”
Sakura placed his hand over his heart and covered it with her own. “We are going into you, but this time you will follow me.” The bronzed warmth of the healing light appeared in her eyes. Her Gift signature of fragrant cherry blossoms seeped into his senses the same way it would if she were conducting a probe. He allowed his Gift to flow, drifting in her wake as he followed her into his own body.
A blessing and a curse…
Seven years ago, a single moment changed the course of Nicholaus Bock’s life forever—the moment his preternatural Gift to heal awakened in him. A gift that made him an invaluable commodity to the known galaxy. Now his mentor’s intriguing and secretive new student goes out of her way to challenge his loyalty to everything he values.
A dark secret…
After facing death and destruction during the Anferthian invasion, Sakura Yamata revels in her new-found Gift to heal. Helping Earth’s survivors keeps her mind off the loss of her family, and the memory of the terrible choices she made. Nick could penetrate her defenses and discover what she’s hiding. She must not let the handsome healer close enough for that to happen.
A race facing annihilation…
When a mysterious disease strikes the hidden sanctuary of the Anferthian dissenters, Nick and Sakura are called in to help. But someone is going to great lengths to ensure the dissenters don’t survive. Nick and Sakura must set aside their differences and work together to save them before the fragile peace between three worlds is shattered.
Where can our readers find you online?
Many thanks to Leah for taking the time for this interview!