WE'RE CELEBRATING THE RELEASE OF K.L DOCTER'S
I am a split personality though. I write contemporary romance as Karen Docter, and romantic suspense as K.L. Docter. Today, K.L. is in the house.
Well now!! It's so nice to have you as my guest today. Let's do this K.L.!!
1. How did you get started writing?
I’ve written my entire life. Stories, poetry, essays, whatever struck my fancy … or was assigned. I was one of those nasty people who set the curve in English classes. I love all things writing. However, I didn’t start writing novels until my middle child was two years old and I quit a challenging job in the business world to be a stay-at-home mom.
We were living in the mountains at the time. I took on daycare for up to twelve kids (some days, day care in the mountains was practically non-existent back then) from newborn to school age. I didn’t get out much or talk to humans – okay, make that adult humans :) beyond my husband – for weeks at a time. Needless to say, I went a little stir crazy.
I retreated into my second love, reading. I do enjoy reading across the genres but my favorite was always romance. One day, I got so irritated about how a romance ended that I mentioned to my husband that I could have done so much better. He looked at me and said, “So, why don’t you?” My writing career was born. Even better, I had a place to hang with adults every time I opened a file. I’ve never seriously considered another “career” since.
2. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?
I actually write in two different genres. My contemporary romances (writing as Karen Docter) are cute and sassy. I love writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don't allow for a relationship just so I can throw them in each other's path...with a tickle and a smile. These stories are pure fun to write, lighthearted. Life is often so tough on us that it’s great to escape into a story that we know will end happily, no matter how many obstacles we throw in their path. If I can make a reader laugh or sigh out loud, I know I’ve done my job. I plan to continue writing these between my darker suspense novels because I also need a breath of fresh air after dealing with a serial killer for months on end.
This month, I’m launching my alter ego, K.L. Docter, and the first of my new Thorne’s Thorns series novels, KILLING SECRETS. These books are also filled with romance, but the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. I love the challenge these books provide me. They’re more complicated psychological thrillers and appeal to my sense of justice. Pitting my characters against the antagonist, helping them to win in the end, is as satisfying to me as if I’d brought the villain to justice myself. I had thought, at one time, I might want to be a police officer. But, I finally decided I couldn’t handle what our law enforcement has to deal with each and every day.
3. What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write? Special beverage? Music? Etc.
I usually have a flavored coffee, either hot or iced, at my elbow all day. But, I also have some “special” coffee I think of as my writing coffee.
I’m also a music girl. I write more effectively if I have music filling my office or earphones. I only use the earphones when I’m not in my office. I meet with my critique partners twice a week for a "Just Write" session but, since we all listen to different music, we all have our own earphones. Putting on my earphones is a signal to my brain that it’s time to create. I’m both right and left brained so I’ve found using music allows me to descend more quickly into my stories.
Unlike some writers, I don’t pick a particular album or selection of songs to inspire me for each book. My music is more about setting a tone to prime my creativity. For instance, I listen to a lot of Benise (romantic flamenco) when I’m writing romantic scenes. Apocalyptica (cellists with a heavy metal feel) is my “go to” music when I’m writing fight scenes. I use Pandora and have 15 different “stations” that focus on artists with a particular feel, everything from hang drums to Industrial to piano, guitar, classical, etc.
I can’t listen to anything with lyrics, except for opera or foreign languages. I can listen to Josh Groban if he’s singing in Italian or English. There’s something about opera that doesn’t intrude. English lyrics, though, generally impinge on me and pull me out of my “zone” so I avoid them.
4. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Speed. There aren’t nearly enough hours in the day to do everything I want. I want to write faster, keep up with my family, give time to my friends, volunteer for my pet projects, etc. I am one woman and have some health issues, so something is always falling by the wayside.
5. What is your favorite part of writing?
The creative process. I get so excited when I’m brainstorming my books. I love getting to know the characters, what makes them tick. It’s so exciting when I dig deep enough to discover the one thing that makes that character a real person for me. Once I have that, I can write their story. They’re friends by the time I sit down to write. I’m eager to help them realize their dreams, fall in love, solve their problems.
6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? The heroes and heroines, or the villains?
I love writing them all. Creating real characters that resonate with me, no matter what they’re doing, is the reason I write. If I do my job right, they will all resonate with my readers. When I reach the point the characters become real to me and start writing their own story, it’s fun. Both of the villains (yes, there are two) in KILLING SECRETS surprised me with something I didn’t know about them until I wrote a particular passage or scene or dialogue line. I laughed out loud both times because it was fun to learn something new about them…even as it creeped me out. Both times, those characters became more diabolical in my mind. They’d taken a life of their own. And, of course, I love helping my heroes and heroines to solve their problems and fall in love.
7. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
Domestic abuse. I find it disturbing that so many women and children (and elderly) are abused on a daily basis. I’m a supporter of the Alternatives to Family Violence in my area but, given the opportunity, I’d wave a magic wand to make the organization non-essential. I’d wash the violence from so many lives, give them all hope for their future…in a heartbeat.
In KILLING SECRETS, the heroine has escaped her controlling ex-husband but he’s determined to get her back, along with their child. Helping Rachel to put that part of her life behind her, to fall in love with a man who’d treat her right, was immensely satisfying.
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
KILLING SECRETS is releasing everywhere on April 17th! I’m so excited to launch my Thorne’s Thorns series about six foster brothers. Patrick is the first brother and the only natural-born son of Ross and Evelyn Thorne.
Some secrets are better left dead.
Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.
Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.
There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.
Read the excerpt below and tell us what you think. You may be one of two lucky winners chosen next Monday, April 14th three days before the official release of KILLING SECRETS!
© Copyright 2014 – K.L. Docter
The first time he laid eyes on her, he stood on the threshold of a doorway he dare not cross. He fell into her fathomless dark gaze, unable, unwilling to shake his soul free and, in that one moment, he knew.
She was meant for him to love.
Untouched by the sordid life that flourished around her, she was sunlight in a gray existence. A smile in a dingy room. A joy such as he’d never known. She was a gift from a cold, unforgiving God. Forever innocent.
Why God would give him such a precious angel, he didn’t know. But he suddenly knew what he was willing to die for. What he’d kill for.
In that instant of clarity the monster that lurked in the dark recesses of his mind was freed. A creature designed to kill. To live and die. Over and over again. Until his angel ascended once more to her place in Heaven at God’s feet where he couldn’t reach her.
‘Til death parted them, she was his and his alone.
Certain she’d been lost to him, the shock of spotting her again in LoDo, a lower downtown section of Denver, nearly brought him to his knees. His brain tried to tell him he was mistaken. She had more curves than he remembered. Her hairstyle and clothes were different.
The others were different, too.
He shook his head against the monster’s treacherous whisper. He refused to listen. Couldn’t listen. His angel smiled at him. His soul recognized her. Somehow, some way, his fractious God had been appeased and given him yet another chance.
The past seven days were hell. Watching her. Wanting to take her. Knowing he couldn’t screw up and lose her again. Tonight, his preparations in place, she’d return to his side where she belonged.
Breathing slow and measured through the full-face ski mask he’d bought at a thrift store, he sucked in a lungful of musty stench. In this uncommon late-May heat wave, he was sweating bullets but the wool soaked it up before it could sting his eyes. The itching would drive him insane, though, if she didn’t come home from work soon.
The LoDo sports bar where she waited tables closed almost an hour ago. She couldn’t have gone on a date at two o’clock on a Thursday morning, could she?
Three times he’d entered her ground floor apartment after she’d left for work, and he’d seen no sign she was involved with anyone. No jockey shorts mixed with her panties in the hamper. No extra razor. The food in the refrigerator wasn’t enough to feed a cat, let alone her and a boyfriend, and the only scent on her pillows was floral. The sole message from a male on her answering machine had identified himself as a special research librarian from the Denver Public Library reminding her to pick up the copy of “The Warwick Genealogy” she’d requested.
That doesn’t mean she isn’t still involved with him, the almighty scion of Thorne Enterprises. She’s probably crawling into his bed like a whore right this minute, letting him do things to her, making her scream….
“No! Stop!” he whispered. “That was a mistake!”
Was it? The insidious question lashed him from the dark place in his pounding skull.
He rejected the smirking voice, the vivid images. Think of something else. Anything else. Forgetforgetfor--
A car alarm screamed at an outlying parking lot and dragged him out of his fugue. His eyes cleared. The pain behind them eased to a level he’d learned to carry over the years. He took a deep breath to smother his panic.
Soon, he would kill the nightmares forever. Patrick Thorne would die and the secrets with him. But the contractor hadn’t been punished enough yet. Before he finished, he’d ruin Thorne’s reputation, his livelihood, and destroy everything he loved most in the world.
Just as Thorne destroyed our lives. The man must die! Now!
Restless to escape its bonds the monster thrust knife-hot pain into his brain, but he wrestled it back into the shadows and locked it down. Retribution was almost at hand, but not tonight. This night was about her.
Where the hell was she?
There! Her tennis shoes slapped the sidewalk as she approached. He caught a flash of uniform—shorts and sports shirt, both too tight for decency. Then she walked out of the weak light that pooled across the commons into the dark well that led to her door. Her building superintendent had replaced her broken porch light this morning, but he’d smashed it again. He smiled when she cursed someone named Ronnie.
With a jingle of keys, she passed the niche he’d carved for himself in the shrubs. A bunch of adrenaline surged through him, made him light-headed with anticipation. He shook the buzz from his head and crashed out of the bushes with more noise than he intended.
Her head snapped left. She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her eyes widened. She lunged for the safety of her door.
He chased after her, grabbed her by the throat. A squeeze of her windpipe cut off her scream. He didn’t want to damage her too much. He just needed to get her alone.
To atone. To give him another chance.
With her soft body pressed against him, he groaned with pleasure. It had been so long! For a moment he forgot his purpose, lost in the new scent of her, in the innocent softness of her curves against him. Her breasts were full beneath his forearm. The sweet curve of her ass cradled his stiff penis. With another groan, his grip relaxed.
She screamed. Struggling, she broke loose of his hold.
Shit! Reaching out, he snagged her long ponytail and yanked her back hard. With his other hand, he strangled her next scream into a whimper. “Do that again,” he grated, “I’ll use my knife.” The honed blade was secure in his pocket but she didn’t know that.
“I have money,” she croaked. “Three hundred. Tips. In my pocket. Please! Don’t—”
“Shh. Don’t fight me. Shh,” he crooned into her hair. He tugged a chloroform-laced rag from his pants pocket and fitted it over her nose and mouth. “Just give me another chance, Angel, and everything will be fine.”
This time she’d make the right choice because, God only knew, he’d truly go insane if he had to kill her all over again.
Also, don't forget to visit her sites for more information on all of her work!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Docter/e/B008TST8TY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_
[You can find my contemporary romance releases here. Until Killing Secrets releases on April 17, I won’t have my K.L. Docter persona up at Amazon.]
Karen Docter Author Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Docter-Author/112017712223396
K.L. Docter Author Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/kldocter
Book Bench for Romance Lovers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/281099382014548/