Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Kelly Whitley! She is my very first guest author on my blog, so give her an extra warm welcome!
Kelly will be sharing some things about herself and her romance novel, Into the Red. Feel free to leave a comment 😉
Once upon a time, Kelly dreamed of becoming an entomologist, then a gymnast, and then an architect. Instead, a career in healthcare became the chosen path. After years of devouring other people’s books, she decided to give writing a try. An arduous journey and many hot fudge sundaes later, her first paranormal romantic suspense debuted in July 2012.
Now she writes a variety of fiction, spanning the genres from humor to paranormal, and flash fiction to full-fledged novels. A career in the medical field and interests like painting and home restoration provide plenty of inspiration for the characters who find themselves populating her stories.
An ideal day consists of coffee, no phone, and writing quirky characters for her fans to fall in love with. Stop by http://www.kellywhitley.com, where the paranormal is an everyday occurrence and get your fix for vampires, werewolves, shifters and more. Kelly loves visitors, human and otherwise.
Kelly lives in the Rocky Mountain Midwest.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started technical writing years ago. About three years ago, I decided to try my hand a writing a paranormal novel.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
Those days when the words come faster than I can type. Unfortunately, those days are far and few between. I’m pretty much a plodder.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like strong images and strong verbs, and prefer close third for most of my characters. Letting the reader into the characters’ heads really helps connect them to the story.
What do you find is the hardest thing about being an author?
Finding the time to write. Since a thousand words can take me two to three hours (first draft), it’s a long process.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hmm. Hard to say on that one. For vampires, I still favor Anne Rice. Her settings are so rich with description, it puts the reader right into New Orleans. I’ve never been there, but I have a feel for it.
And Linda Howard is another favorite. She wrote a book back in the eighties called Kill and Tell. Coincidentally, it’s also set in New Orleans. It’s a good example of close third in some areas.
What inspired you to write Into the Red?
I love vampires, and I work in the medical field. Over the years, it struck me that vampires could have evolved from humans. The concept for my vampires grew out of this. Since it’d be a spoiler for me to explain the entire premise, I’ll leave it at that. Suffice it to say, if you like medical romance, chances are you’ll like this.
Was there anything you found particularly challenging when writing Into the Red?
Time. Always time. The other issue was setting out with a grand scheme and little fiction writing experience. I took a lot of workshops and read a lot of writing books, and analyzed a whole bunch of novels—word by word.
How did you come up with the title?
It’s the English translation of the vampiric term “Via Rubitas,” into the red. It’s a reference to hunting down bad vampires.
Here’s the quote:
When the drinks arrived, Gage raised a bottle. “To Purging. Via Rubitas. Into the Red.”
“Into the Red,” Evan echoed. Heaven help them.
If you were to give your book a Heat Rating, (lowest) 1—simmering, 2—sizzling, 3—on fire, or 4—blazing (highest), which would it be and why?
For language: 3.5; one character in particular is very fond of colorful cursing. For sex, 3.5. It’s explicit but not tons of it. Less is more, know what I mean?
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a couple of short stories, and the next novel is in the early stages—outlined and sketched in.
Human blood is an illicit and highly addictive drug–if you’re a vampire. Known as Red, its side effects are insanity, and eventual death. A group of Red-addicted vampires known as Poisoners are killing women as part of an extortion plot involving a lost ancient vampiric tome, and they’re leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. The discovery of each new victim risks exposure of the entire vampire race to humans. Then one victim survives…
Dr. Evan Nichols, oncologist and vampire, lives a monk-like existence, by his own choice, focusing on patient care and research to benefit his vampire brethren. It’s been twenty-five years since his world turned upside down—the night he lost his fiancee and discovered his hidden vampire heritage. Now his government has ordered him to take a mate—or they’ll choose one for him. It’s a horrible prospect, and one that might push him over the edge—until Fate throws him together with a human female.
Wary of relationships, Tara West has poured her energies into work and inventing cutting edge climbing equipment. She doesn’t like the gorgeous Dr. Nichols, yet finds herself unaccountably drawn to him.
When a crazed vampire attacks and poisons Tara, Evan rescues her. With time running out, he has to create an antidote to the poison before he loses his chance at love.
In order to make the vaccine which might cure her, he has to find the bastards who poisoned her and take their venom—before they die of their addiction. If he doesn’t reach them in time, saving her will be impossible.
Thus the journey begins—into the Red!
The caged light above the emergency exit cast a pallid, purple glow over the alley and the pair coupling against the brick wall. Barely twenty feet away he watched, hunkered down in the murk of the shadows, thinking about the merits of killing them both, or waiting for the girl to be alone.
The bar catered to the darker element; men who came to drink, drug, and fornicate. Dangerous men. Men who committed violent crimes as easily as they breathed. Few women frequented this establishment. Most of the females present worked there as waitresses with benefits for purchase, for the men with sex on their minds.
Management took a cut of everything—the liquor, the drugs, and the sex. He also knew the management dictated who did what to whom and when, so it had been just a matter of time before a pair left the bar for the privacy of the alley.
The guy from inside the bar was clean, well-dressed in something other than biker gear and blue jeans, and wasn’t drunk or high.
Which was better than usual.
Hidden, he watched while the man finished and then disappeared back inside. The girl stayed in the alley. A match flared as she lit a cigarette and walked in tight circles by the back door. Based on his observations, he knew she wanted to attract a customer who didn’t come from the bar.
She didn’t realize she’d just sealed her own fate. It would be a quickie. A hell of a quickie.
He separated from the shadows and approached her from the end of the alley. He wasn’t clean, well dressed, or sober.
Which was worse than usual.
But he did have fifty bucks. He bit back a laugh as he caught the expression on her face—half victory, half revulsion. She took his money, tucking it into her bra before turning to face the rough brick of the building.
He leaned into her, pressing her chest against the alley wall and inhaling the smell of her neck as he yanked up her skirt and entered her from behind. He ran his hands over her body, relishing the feel of her soft skin as he plunged into her, ignoring her little yips of pain.
As he slammed into her and finished, the leech of his addiction demanded satisfaction, and he snaked an arm around her throat. For a moment she didn’t react, then the fragrance of her relief gave way to the smoky scent of panic. She lashed out, connecting with the unforgiving brick wall. Her struggles kicked his anticipation into overdrive, and he sank his teeth into the exploding pulse of her fear.
Within a few seconds, her legs gave out, leaving her limp against the wall; he supported her around the waist. Anyone encountering the scene would assume they’d not yet concluded their transaction. The ache of withdrawal eased its way into euphoria as the Red hit his bloodstream. With jerky movements, he laid the body out of sight behind the filthy packing boxes before grafting himself to the shadows.
Soon, another couple would exit the bar for an outdoor tryst.
And he’d be watching.