A warm welcome today to Virginia Kelly. Tell us about yourself, Virginia.
Thanks, Anna, for having me here. I live on the northern Florida Gulf Coast. It’s a beautiful area with sugar white beaches and a laid back lifestyle. The only drawback is that we have to endure hurricane season. My husband and I have three wonderful children, and have had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling, something we hope to do again.
Sugar white beaches! I love the sound of that. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?
My first thought was Peru, where I was born. I’d really like to live there again. I love the food—my mouth is watering for my favorite dishes and the fresh fruits I can’t get here. The people are wonderful, I speak Spanish; it’s the home of my childhood. While I was born in Lima, which is a huge city, I spent my first five years in the Peruvian jungle, before moving back to the city for school. While Lima is a possibility, I really don’t want to live in the jungle again.
Another possibility is a little cabin in the Smoky Mountains, snug and fitted with all the modern conveniences. Lots of trees and peace and quiet. And wildlife. I love to take pictures. I’m not very good at it, but it’s fun.
Short term, I’d love to spend a month living and traveling in Italy. Maybe find a place around Florence for a few weeks, then Venice, then… There’s just so much to see. But first, I absolutely have to learn the language. Spanish and English get me by, but it’s not the same as being able to communicate in Italian.
I loved Florence when I visited years ago. Venice not so much. Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I’m an academic librarian by day. I love what I do. And, no, I don’t spend all day reading, nor do I wear orthopedic shoes and a bun J. I work the Reference desk helping students find sources for their research projects and teach research courses. I also deal with computer and website issues, I’m very lucky that I stumbled into a career I love and one that’s fun, challenging and offers so many opportunities to learn something new every single day. It’s also a career that’s allowed me to learn a good deal about technology, something I suspect most people don’t know librarians handle on a daily basis.
How did you get started writing?
I’d written short stories as early as 7th grade. My first serious attempt at writing as an adult came after I met an academic librarian who wrote romances. I loved romances, saw that someone who had the same job I did could do it, so thought, “why not?” “Why not” proved difficult indeed. I’m a pantser. I’ve tried and tried to organize myself, to plot out stories, write synopses, outlines and more. When I do that, I feel like I’ve already told the story, so now I concentrate on getting a first draft down. Then I do a lot of editing.
What genre do you write in and why?
I primarily write romantic suspense and romantic adventure. DANCING IN THE DARK is a contemporary romance novella. The hero and his profession give it the romantic suspense edge I love.
Sounds intriguing! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve written seven complete books and have two or three others that I work on at the same time. A couple of my books are better left hidden somewhere, like maybe under the bed. I’ve published two complete novels (plus a third coming out in October) and one novella.
My favorite book has always been my first sale: TO THE LIMIT, which started its journey to publication as The Temptation of Nicholas Romero. It was an RWA Golden Heart finalist and sold to Harlequin. Just because I said it’s my favorite, doesn’t mean I don’t like the others, because I do. I tend to fall in love with my heroes. Nicholas Romero was my first love, so he’ll always come first. My latest published hero love is Matt Kincaid from DANCING IN THE DARK. Matt allowed me to interview him, though he wasn’t as open as I’d hoped he’d be. There’s a link to the interview on my website.
I have a soft spot for the surname Kincaid. It was my mother-in-law’s maiden name. I changed the spelling a bit for the heroine of my novella, Sweet Taste of Love, to Nolana Kyncade. Sorry, I digress! Tell us about your current WIP.
I need to work on a fabulous ending for the romantic suspense tentatively entitled ANOTHER HERO. I’m working on another novel, no title yet, that’s a bit stalker romantic suspense, a bit adventure. I also have a novella sequel to AGAINST THE WIND. It’s still in torturous first draft status. I’ve fallen in love with the heroes of these WIPs. One is half Peruvian, like me.
Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?
I love historical romances, vampire romances, and some mysteries. I don’t write those, so can easily turn off my internal editor. When I read the same genre I write, I find myself thinking that I would have done things differently, so don’t enjoy reading unless the book absolutely blows me away. If the book blows me away, I go back to my own writing with great reluctance. So, historicals, vampires and mysteries are my fun reading. No matter what I read, a happily ever after is an absolute must.
What’s next for you?
My next release is IN THE ARMS OF A STRANGER, from Entangled Publishing’s Ignite line. It’s due out in October 2013. I love the hero (call me fickle, I love all my heroes). It’s romantic suspense and is the novel-length sequel to DANCING IN THE DARK. Sign up for my news & updates (link below) if you’d like an email reminder when it’s available.
Thanks for visiting today. Where can readers find you?
My website is: http://virginiakelly.net
News & updates (sign up): http://virginiakelly.net/contactabout.html
Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
To the Limit can be found in print at used bookstores online. Links below are to ebooks.
To the Limit: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore
Against the Wind: Amazon
Dancing in the Dark: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore
Back cover copy from DANCING IN THE DARK:
What if you discovered all you ever wanted were the things you left behind?
Covert CIA agent Matt Kincaid is back in tiny Walton Springs, only to find Janey Blackmon waiting to ask him a favor. Matt’s not there to reminisce with the girl he’s never forgotten…and he’s definitely not there to divulge government secrets about her missing brother.
Ten years…and Janey hasn’t forgotten the love of her life…or that he abandoned her on prom night. Bound by duty and honor, he was shipped out to parts unknown by Uncle Sam. But she knew he’d go because adventure is in Matt’s blood. Being stuck in a small town with plain Jane the librarian wasn’t ever in his plans.
Trapped by a flood, with no phone or power, desire tempts them both. Will passion—and Matt’s offer to recreate prom night—lead to a future together? Or are they just dancing in the dark?