Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway with K.A. Linde

Hi everyone! Alyssa here, and I was given the amazing opportunity to interview soon-to-be-published author K.A. Linde! I recently read her book Avoiding Commitment, and absolutely fell in love! It's officially my new current obsession! I can't remember the last time I got this giddy over a story and the characters involved! Sex... love... lies... drama. THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL!  I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to read K.A. Linde's work, and I can now not only add a new favorite book to my "favorite's" list- but a new favorite author as well! :) 

Hi K.A. and welcome to My Secret Romance! Can you please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in writing?

Hey Alyssa! Thanks so much for having me!  I just recently graduated with my Masters in political science from the University of Georgia.  I relocated to Chapel Hill rather recently for a job, and I am really loving my time up here.  I really got into writing in high school.  My best friend and I used to write (terrible) drama filled stories about high school students in the Gossip Girl/A-List vein.  The Avoiding series was more of an extension of college experiences.  I really utilized story creation as an outlet for everything else that was going on in my life.

Believe it or not, I absolutely LOVED Jack. You quoted on Goodreads, that although Jack was so bad... he was just sooo--- good for Lexi.  I couldn't agree more! What is it about his character that you love most?  

That’s a great question.  I think my favorite part about Jack (besides his blue eyes) is his persistence and his passion.  He may have done some pretty bad things to the people in his life, but in some way he was always there for Lexi.  I have a great example from AR that would sum this up perfectly, but to keep from spoiling book 2 for everyone, I’ll let you guys guess which one I’m thinking.

Then there is the passion…Jack is so passionate!  He just has something about him that is both emotionally moving both positive and negative that you can’t help but want him to be with Lexi…and also you want to smack him!  Then you want to kiss him, then you want to pummel him, but you kind of want to kiss him again…woops!

Did you worry about how readers would perceive Lexi, since she was always involved with Jack, even while they were both seeing other people?  

There is always that worry that readers won’t connect with the MC.  But to be honest, the way I construct my characters is with flaws.  Everyone has them, and it drives me crazy when I read books where the characters are perfect.  Lexi was going through a problem; Jack is the problem.  The cheating and involvement with Jack was to me more like an addiction.  They had control over each other.  It wasn’t a one way street, but you just saw it from Lexi’s perspective.  Also, I think what Lexi went through actually happens to people.  There’s usually that one person (whether you dated them or not) that you know you should stay away from but you don’t.

And when I created the characters, I knew that Lexi wasn’t always going to be seen as a great person, because she wasn’t.  She made mistakes, like everyone makes mistakes in their life, and showed that she was able to change eventually in the end.  I think it’s a life journey that you read about Lexi, and you get to be there every step of the way.

What drove you to write Avoiding Commitment?

I woke up one morning and thought, “What would it be like if I had to meet one of my ex-boyfriends new girlfriends?”  I’d had some interesting experiences with relationships in my past, and I just started wondering about how that would make me feel.  Avoiding Commitment really grew organically out of that idea.  I had a hard time relating to a lot of the characters in picture-perfect-type books, because it was never something I had been through.  I wanted to write something more from the heart, and I have a very personal connection with all of the characters and experiences that went into creating Avoiding Commitment.

The second book, Avoiding Responsibility is already out. Will this be the last book or do you plan to write more for these characters?

I plan to write a third book in the series.  As many of the people who have read the book know, there are A LOT of ends that haven’t been tied up at the end of the second book.  I have a lot of ideas about where I want the third book to go, but I haven’t started writing just yet.  I’ll be sure to fill you in and send you teasers as I start writing.

Do you like to read emotional/angsty books? If so, can you recommend some to us? It’s what I live for!

As funny as it is, I don’t actually read that many angsty book.  I read Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens a couple years ago and loved that, and we’re now pretty good friends.  I’m sure everyone has read that!  Otherwise I really like Philippa Gregory’s books.  Her historical fiction series Wideacre is crazy emotional and wonderful.  Otherwise, I’ve been told that The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher is similar to my novel and it’s the next one I’m planning to read along with Slammed by Colleen Hoover.

Are the characters modeled after anyone you know personally?

I think the answer to this question is always yes and no.  For instance, Bekah and Chyna are both extremes of a conglomeration of people that I’ve known throughout my life.  Lexi reminds me a lot of myself especially in her mannerisms and snarkiness, which I’m sure is because it was the first novel I ever seriously sat down to write.  Jack, again, is similar to a guy that I once knew, but I promise he was a lot sweeter than the Jack we all love to hate. J  Ramsey, however, I must admit is a complete manifestation of my imagination…

I'm sure there will be some fans out there who would consider Jack a "villain" or have mixed feelings about him- he's definitely a character you love to hate! Which leads to my next question... Did you write Ramsey and Jack as polar opposites so that there would be a clear choice as to who Lexi should be with?

Oh man, definitely not!  I think both Ramsey and Jack are flawed in their own ways.  I don’t think of Jack as a villain or Ramsey as the hero.  I think they are both good for Lexi in completely different ways and at different times in her life.  And when I was writing the novels and going through the process, I really didn’t know who I wanted Lexi to be with.  I never thought there was a clear choice, and I think throughout the novel you can see that Lexi battles with the choice herself.

One thing I really ended up loving that made the story unique, was the way you switched the chapters between past and present. What made you decide to alternate the chapters instead of telling the past in one half of the book and the present story in the other half?

From the very beginning, I had the intention of writing the story between past and present.  The way I saw it was that the past created and shaped Lexi and Jack’s present.  I started with the idea of the present with Lexi meeting Bekah like I said above, but I think their past was more concrete to me from the beginning.  I already knew what Lexi and Jack’s story was.  I knew what they had gone through to get where they were before I even knew much more than why Lexi was going to go to Atlanta.

By getting their story piece by piece instead of as a chunk at the front of the book, you really got to know the characters in a very specific way…you got to see in real time the mistakes that changed their reactions to each other.  If you knew up front what happened with Lexi and Jack in New York, then you would never fall in love with him – there would be no emotional connection.  I think it adds an element of mystery to the novel, which I used to feed the growing tension between the characters.

*SPOILER ALERT*  Did you ever originally want Jack and Lexi to have their happily ever after? Or were you always planning on writing a second book?

Yes, of course.  I really really wanted them to end up together!  Just as a snippet into the creation process of the book, the scene that everyone talks about in the hallway with Jack and Lexi was initially going to happen with Ramsey.  But the more and more I wrote Ramsey’s character, I just couldn’t see him legitimately doing that with/to Lexi.  Also, I couldn’t see how it would make sense.  Then the more and more I wrote out what happened, I couldn’t see Jack and Lexi’s HEA making any more sense than her sleeping with Ramsey when she was emotionally messed up at the end of the book.

However, as soon as I introduced Ramsey’s character and kept so many secrets about his past, I knew I wanted a second book.  I didn’t really know how I wanted the second book to go until a lot later, but I knew the potential was there.

Don’t tell anyone, though I know how you feel about Jack, Alyssa, I still secretly hope for Jack and Lexi’s HEA…and Jack’s redemption. *sigh*

Do you plan on self-publishing all your work, or do plan on being published by a publishing house?

I never anticipated publishing AC or AR when I first wrote them, because they are so deeply personal to me.  They’re my babies.  After all the hype though, I’ve decided to put them out for more people to read.  I think that these books will do well in the Indie world because contemporary romance and supernatural are doing really well.  The books I’m currently writing are more fantasy/romance, which I’m not sure how well would do in the Indie world.

I wouldn’t mind publishing with a big publishing house because the reach is so much larger especially with huge PR deals, but I think there are ups and downs.  Authors get a smaller cut and less discretion about the content which really worries me, but of course the PR is big so you’re likely to sell more if you’re not writing romance (or even if you are and you’re not Jamie McGuire J).  I think it’ll depend on what the publishing house offers then.

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, can you give us a little sneak peak, please?

Yes!  I am currently writing a fantasy/romance novel called The Affiliate, and it is going to be a trilogy eventually.  I’ve already posted the first 8 chapters on fictionpress for everyone to check out.  Here is the summary:

On the day of Cyrene's 17th birthday, she is Presented to the court of Byern for Selection into the Class System of their society. Coming from a high First Class family, she desperately hopes to be placed into the highly educated world she grew up in. Her sister and brother both already serve their kingdom as established ambassadors of the royal court in one of the highest positions. She hopes to obtain a similar stature next to her sister as a Queen's Affiliate. What she finds when she ultimately enters this world is something she never dreamed of, full of a series of unanswered questions and riddles, scandal, and intrigue...

All I’ll say is there are a lot of rather handsome men in the book, one strong, snarky heroine, and some underlying elements that perhaps hint at magic...

If you could give your book a warning label, what would you say?

Chocolate.  Ice cream.  Snuggles.  These all may be necessary to read this book.

Be prepared for heartache, the desire to through your kindle/computer/ipad/device across the room, the need to reach through the book and strangle the characters, and a bipolar-esk love/hate relationship with the characters!

Where can we find out more about you and your work?  

If you want to follow me and my writing here are a couple ways:


Where can we buy Avoiding Commitment?

Avoiding Commitment isn’t currently available to purchase, but I’m on a mission to have it out by the end of July.  Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the future!

Thank you so much for answering our questions today! We really appreciate it. 

You can read Alyssa's reviews HERE and HERE.

Even though Avoiding Commitment isn't out to buy right now, K.A. has offered to giveaway the book to one lucky winner today!! All you need to do is LIKE K.A. LINDE'S FACEBOOK page  and leave her a comment. If you want to LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE too that would be great! The contest will run for one week. 
Thanks and good luck!


Evelyn said...

Thank you for the contest! liked both facebooks

karla said...

Great review Alyssa. I love getting into the minds of the authors, always so revealing. I look forward to reading her book.

Love the new look of the blog Taryn!

Maria D. said...

Great interview! Avoiding Commitment sounds like an intense romance and a guilty pleasure both:) Thanks for the giveaway!

Virginia C. said...

Thank you for a great interview! And the
Books are fabulous!!

mamadow said...

Great Interview, both pages are liked. I read these books on my cell phone because my family was using the T.V which is our Computer monitor. I read Avoiding Commitment and Avoiding Responsibility back to back on a tiny screen that was back lit, it was totally worth having funky eyesight for the next two days:) Keep on keeping on, You Rock!!

amandakgc said...

great interview! already left a comment for her and hopefully i win. *crosses fingers*

Melissa said...

I was sucked in to AR and AC and loved the switching between past and present of the story.
** Team Ramsey **
Thank you for the great interview!

Alex said...

Thanks for opening my eyes about a new author! I really can't wait for her to publish that book. Something else to add to my "to read" list on Goodreads. Those characters sound like they'll pull me in before I know it.

jannasierens said...

Great Interview! Gonna be checking out these books for sure!

Tammy said...

Great interview!!!
Thanks for the contest

Evelyn said...

awesome interview!!!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons said...

Totally Like/Love her facebook page! =)

Great interview! And I totally second the need to bubble wrap your e-reader and grab a bar of chocolate while reading this amazing, consuming series. And maybe a glass of wine =)

or two.

Donna said...

love interviews! Thanks for the giveaway

Jess said...

thanks for the giveaway! interesting contest

ElisaCP said...

Thanks for interview. I loved AC and AR. I liked your FB page.

DyslexicSquirrel said...

Great interview. Looking forward to this series!

Kelly said...

Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

Carol said...

Wonderful contest, thank you so much! I loved reading the interview!!!!

Kim D said...

Great interview!!! Thank you for a great contest and the chance to win!!

Taryn @MySecretRomance said...

Thank you to everyone who commented and read Alyssa's interview! We really liked having Kyla on the blog and we hope once her book is released you all will go out and buy it!

Using, the winner of K.A.'s book, which hasn't been released yet is AMANDAKGC! AMANDAKGC, K.A. will be emailing you shortly.

Thank you everyone!!

amandakgc said...

Thank you sooo much! Looking forward to reading this.

Foretta said...

Great interview!!!
Thanks so much for the contest!!

mary said...

Great interview! Can't wait for the book :)

Mandi Counterman said...

Great interview! Thank you for the amazing contest!

dusty katt said...

This looks great. I would love to read this.
I am following on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter


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