Welcome KK Weil to the round pen today! She’s sharing her new book, Shatterproof, and I’m asking her a few random questions. KK also has a special offer at the end.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m very excited to be here.
I’m thrilled to have you! Let’s get started.
What is your writing routine?
As soon as my kids leave for school, my computer goes on. My coffee sits next to me and if the weather is nice, I either work outside or open all my windows. Fresh air inspires me. Usually, I take care of any “business” first, like social media or communications with other authors. After that, I dive into writing. What that means depends on the day. It might be picking up where I left off and spewing out tons of words or maybe I just go over what I did the day before and tweak it. Of course I find the days when I get more pages out to be more productive, but both kinds of days are necessary. I work until the kids come home, which often means losing track of time and neglecting everything else that needs to be done. And then my computer goes back on when they go to sleep.
Which comes first for you—plot or characters?
It depends. For my first book, At This Stage, I knew the premise of the plot before anything else. I developed my characters around what I wanted to happen in the story. In my new release, Shatterproof, my hero, Griffin is a character from the first book. I fell in love with him while I was writing At This Stage, and I knew I wanted to give him his own story. Shatterproof developed entirely around Griffin, so in that case, character definitely came first. In the book I’m working on now, I started with a general idea of the plot, but was having some trouble with my heroine. Then I used a character sketch to get to know her better and then everything started flowing like magic.
What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult?
For me, the most natural part of writing is the story development. I absolutely love creating something from nothing and every time plots come together in ways I didn’t initially expect, I get very excited. I tend to write about sensitive subjects, so I guess I’d have to say the hardest part is how to handle them. For example, a large part of Shatterproof is about how Griffin deals with his anger towards his mother for staying in an abusive relationship for years. I really wanted to capture what he was going through, while making it clear that the feelings were his as a product of that household, and not mine as a writer. It can be tricky.
What was your first writing piece and where is it now?
I’ve always written, so I couldn’t name my first piece. But my first “full length book” – which would have to be judged by how many pages it took up in a marble composition notebook – was about twin girls. One good, one, bad, naturally. And the trouble they got into. I think I wrote it in Junior High. I still have it, tucked away in my basement, in a duffle bag filled with old stories I’ve written.
Where in the world would you want to visit (all in the name of research, of course) and why?
My number-one dream destination is, without a doubt, Australia. I’ve actually had my itinerary planned for years, because one day, it will happen. There are so many things I want to see there. The opera house and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef are at the top of my list. But above all, I want to visit the outback, Ayer’s Rock and learn about the Aborigines. I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful place to take my family. And imagine the stories it would inspire!
Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry and why?
Margaret Atwood. (https://twitter.com/MargaretAtwood1) To me, she is the queen of dystopian fiction, one of my favorite genres. I’d do anything to pick her brain.
Favorite movie and why?
I have so many, and they truly change with my mood. But two of my all-time favorites are Bullworth and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, because I love satire.
Salty, sweet, or both?
Salty, salty salty. Except if you’re offering me a peanut butter cup.
Griffin Stone knows the stats. Sons of abusers become abusers. This is his single fear.
After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?
Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.
Until he meets Frankie Moore.
Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.
Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.
“You need to grow up, Griffin,” my father spat at me. “Life isn’t perfect. You need to get over it and move on. Your mother can. She’s happy with me and whatever we have between us is our business, not yours. Grow the hell up, and start acting like a man instead of a petulant child.”
Heat shot through my body at lightning speed. “Act like a man—like you?” I shouted. “What should I do, go pick some amazing woman who’s full of life and beat it out of her until she can’t even recognize herself any more, until she can’t even differentiate between love and pain? Is that what a man does, Dad? Is that what I should do?”
My father broke into a smile. An evil, condescending, terrifying smile. “You think you’re so different from me?” He hovered over me. His tone was sinister, as if he was trying to cut through my skin with nothing but his voice. “Get up.” He yanked my arm and pulled me by the elbow into the bathroom. He grabbed the back of my head and forced me to face the mirror. “Look at yourself, Griffin. And look at me. Everything about you comes from me. You may deny it now. You may put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you’re above being human, but just know that the fire inside you, that’s my fire. That passion, it’s mine. And when you have an uncontrollable desire to love, to hurt, to possess a woman, it’s from me. Nothing is yours alone. Even this face.” He snagged my chin between his strong fingers. I tried to yank it away from his grasp, but he held on too tight. “It’s mine. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try to mask it in this mess of hair and clothes and tattoos you have going on, but know that every time a woman falls in love with that face, every time she says she can’t resist you because of it, every time she can’t walk away from you…it’s because of me. It’s because you are me. We. Are. The. Same.” He released my chin with a shove and left the bathroom.
Instead of telling you how I’ve always loved to write (which is true) or how I dabbled in different genres for years while I was a teacher, before I took it up full-time (also true), I’d like to let you get to know me a little.
I love trying all different foods. I enjoy everything from street meat to decadent delicacies. When I travel, I pester the locals for restaurant recommendations, off the beaten path. Having said that, I am a savory fan. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I’d much rather have another bite of dinner and one more glass of wine that save room for dessert. There is one exception to this rule. Reese’s peanut butter cups. Sometimes I think I love those more than I love my children. I’m kidding. Maybe.
I’m left handed. I blame my horrendous handwriting on this, even though I don’t really believe they’re related. Everything in this world is built for and by righties. (Ever try using a can opener with your left hand?) So when I meet another left-handed person, I feel an immediate bond to her, like we’re in this special club. A club founded on being inconvenienced. When I was young, I was desperate for my sister to be a leftie like me. So even though she grabbed things with her right hand, I’d quickly switch them to her left. Now she’s ambidextrous.
I always save the best of everything for last. It’s a compulsion. I don’t like pizza crust very much, so I eat it first. I tear it off, piece by piece (I don’t bite the slice backwards. I’m not a Neanderthal, for God’s sake), until there’s just a little bit left in the center. I use this as a handle.
I have an irrational fear of lice, bedbugs and any other insect that can become an infestation.
I prefer beaches over grass, heels over flats, dramas over comedies, coffee over tea, night over morning and fall over spring.
She sounds interesting, doesn’t she? Check out:
Shatterproof, a New Adult, Contemporary Romance
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v1…/index.php…
I have one leftie (of my three girls) and teaching her was a challenge in a lot of ways as she grew up, since I’m a rightie. She’s ambidextrous also, mostly because she was right handed until a nine foot fall when she was almost 2 that rewired her brain some. Thank you for visiting the Ranch and sharing your work and yourself, KK!
For a chance to win a copy of one of her books, tell KK if you are a rightie, or a leftie. :)