Author on the Couch: Lee Kilraine


 

Today I’m conducting a session with…Lee Kilraine!

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*Leave a comment for Lee and share this post to be eligible to win an ecopy of her Cates Brothers books. Winner can pick from BRINGING DELANEY HOME, COULD THIS BE LOVE, or CRAZY LOVE.

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Enter to #WIN an ecopy of readers choice in the Cates Brothers series by @LeeKilraine Click To Tweet

 

Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Lee:  The unexpected death of my mother fourteen years ago hit me hard. It made me reevaluate my life and goals. I had dropped out of college in my early 20’s due to health reasons and although I went on to a happy marriage, exciting times as a military spouse, and raising four kids—that unfinished degree bugged me. And I knew it was something my mom had wanted for me. So, once we stopped moving around the country, I returned to school and graduated college the same year our oldest daughter graduated high school. And going back to school got me writing again. Writing again reminded me that many years ago I’d dreamed of writing a book. So I dove into learning everything I could about writing and wrote a romance. I like to think my mom is watching me and proud of her baby girl.

 

Me: Wow… What a story. What a journey.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?

Lee: My sense of humor. It helps my books have a unique voice, but I also think it helps to have a sense of humor to handle everything involved in being an author, such as harsh reviews, crazy schedules, and looming deadlines. Heck, having a sense of humor helped keep me sane raising four kids while my husband was often flying around the world! Okay, well, wine helped too.

 

Me: Humor and wine… A winning combination.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?

LeeI can be very focused on a job or goal and I’ll put 100% into researching and working toward that job–but to the point that I can’t pull myself away and it makes multi-tasking difficult. Which is not a good thing since an author has to juggle lots of different things in a career. It’s a constant challenge for me.

Authors have to juggle lots of different things in a career. @LeeKilraine #amwriting Click To Tweet

Me: So much is expected of the modern writer. We have to be marketers and promoters and social media experts all while trying to write one book, while doing copy edits on another book, and proof pages on a third one. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed.
What was your high point as a writer?

Lee: It isn’t a big thing, but it was huge to me. One of the happiest moments for me was the first time a reader emailed to tell me how much they enjoyed my book. I was touched that someone took the time to reach out to me…I might have even teared up a little. And, I’m going to cheat and mention one other. I grew up a shy kid and spent many glorious hours in the library. So one of my big writing goals is to see my book on a library shelf. I’m not there quite yet—but the first time I saw that my books are available in digital format at the library—yeah, that was big for me.

 

Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when you questioned your path?

Lee: My low point as a writer was last fall when I let doubts slip in, not an unusual thing, only this time I actually listened to them. The doubts usually slither in during the plotting stage of the book, because plotting isn’t my super-power. Plotting always takes me way too long and in the middle of that it *feels* an awful lot like wasting time and procrastinating. And then I begin to feel like a fraud—you know that imposter syndrome everyone talks about? That.

What happened was I froze. I didn’t write for over a month as my next book deadline kept speeding closer. Really bad timing to doubt myself, right? During the month of not writing, I went back and reread everything I’d ever read on plotting and characterization but it only made me doubt myself more. I was over-thinking everything.

How did I get over it? I think two things helped. First, was to remind myself of why I started writing in the first place: to tell stories and have fun. So I went back to find the joy. Second, was to accept that maybe all the time I spend thinking and playing around with my plot is part of my process to get to know my characters and to find my way in to the story. Once I stopped fighting it, I began to write again.  

 

Me: Self doubt is so common among us writers. It gets to all of us at some point.
Which of your characters are you most like? Why?

Lee: 
I think there’s a little bit of me in each of my heroines. Delaney from BRINGING DELANEY HOME lost a foot over in Afghanistan, and she’s strong, independent, protective, and stubborn- and I think that’s who I am as a mom. And Lu in CRAZY LOVE is stuck in the pain of sadness after losing her fiancé in the war. My husband flew over in Iraq and some of Lu’s journey was born in my worst fears from that time, but also my journey after the death of my mother.

I think there’s a little bit of me in each of my heroines. @LeeKilraine #amwriting Click To Tweet

 

Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?

Lee: I’ve written six books. The first book I wrote was a YA novel, so obviously it’s stashed under my bed. The other five are my Cates Brothers books which are contemporary romance.

Plotting is painful for me. I love, love, love writing first chapters! Then the next twenty some chapters can be painful, LOL. I find writing description and narrative is horribly painful. If I could get away with writing a book that is all dialogue—I would. My favorite part of the writing process is revising. Love it! It’s like putting a puzzle together once you have all the pieces laid out.  

 

Me: My favorite part is revising too! That’s when it becomes beautiful!

Tell me about your contemporary romance, LOVE 2.0 (Book #4 of the Cates Brothers Series).

Lee:

Elvis has been spotted in the little town of Climax, North Carolina. Or at least, a shapely female Elvis impersonator—who’s got Kaz Cates all shook up . . .

Kaz is having one of those days. Cyber criminals, federal agents . . . and now, Elvis. In reality, the King is Mirabel Diaz, earning money by delivering singing telegrams. But Mira’s got another reason for being here: she knows Kaz Cates is secretly a master hacker with the skills to help people disappear, and that’s exactly what she needs to do. Still, Kaz can’t help wishing she’d stay awhile . . .

This isn’t Mira’s preferred career—her singing voice isn’t even that great—but her ex-boyfriend, a powerful Russian gangster, hasn’t left her a choice. No matter where she runs, he seems to find a way to pull strings and get her fired. If she doesn’t get off the grid, his vengeful acts may only get worse. Kaz reluctantly agrees to help, and insists on teaching her self-defense. Though she’s afraid to trust any man, she feels safe with Kaz . . . and welcomed by his family. But if they don’t stop the danger that’s chasing her, she may have to go on the road again instead of finding a haven in his arms . . .


Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your newest release,LOVE 2.0.

Lee:

I come from a big, tightknit family with seven siblings. So I enjoy the interaction between my five Cates brothers. This excerpt is one example of the brothers relying on each other, seeking advice, and…well…being brothers. In this excerpt, Kaz has gone to get advice from his oldest brother, Tynan.  

“So what are you saying?” Tynan paused his fork over his food.

“I slept with her.”

“And you’re telling me you’re just friends?” A raised eyebrow showed his doubt about this fact.

“Yes. Absolutely. Just friends.”

“And you’re living under the same roof?” Lu asked, pouring some milk in her coffee mug.

“Temporarily.” Kaz slipped a bite of egg to Ty’s dog, Houdini, who sat patiently next to his chair, working his sad puppy eyes. Before he could blink, DA, the cat, was skidding into position waiting for a table scrap too.

“And you’re telling me it was a one-time deal?” Tynan forked up another bite of casserole.

“Exactly.”

His brother shrugged. “Then I don’t see your problem. I mean, I don’t believe you, but it sounds like it’s over.”

“What part don’t you believe?”

“That you’re just friends and that it was a one-time deal.”

“It has to be. It would be bad for her to be anything more.”

Tynan scratched his neck and stared hard at his brother. “If that’s the case, I recommend you go out on a date with another woman as fast as you can. That way she won’t feel any pressure from you and you’ll move on.”

“That’s what I was thinking myself.” Kaz nodded in agreement, jiggling the keys in his pocket. “That’s what I’ll do. Thanks, Ty.”

After breakfast Lu joined Tynan on the front porch as he watched his brother drive away.

“Sometimes my brilliant brother is an idiot.” He shook his head and wrapped his arm around Lu. “He’s in trouble.”

“This time I have to agree with you. Why didn’t you clue him in?”

“Babe, there are some things a man has to learn by himself.”

“Seriously?”

“I’m afraid so. Especially when it’s going to provide us damn good entertainment to watch him.”

 

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You can find Lee here:

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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the Fatal Truth Series is now available for pre-order.

About the author: abbieroads

26 comments to “Author on the Couch: Lee Kilraine”

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  1. Lee Kilraine - Mar 26, 2017 Reply

    *****Winner! Winner!***** The winner of the Cates Brother book of their choice is Linda Moffitt! Thank you to all who checked out my “session” on Abbie’s couch! And thanks for having me, Abbie!

  2. bn100 - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    interesting premise

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      I was going to mention how I came up with it, and realized I don’t really remember how I ended up at this premise! I know I started with my hero, Kaz, being a computer expert and hacker. I guess from there I jumped to who might need the expertise of a computer expert. Most of my plot-solving ideas arrive in the shower. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Amy DeLuca - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    LOVE that excerpt and reading more about your life, Lee. The story about how you got back into writing was wonderful. Here’s to humor and wine! So proud of you. <3

  4. Linda Moffitt - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for sharing with us. Your books look great I’m going to check them out.

  5. Sheri Humphreys - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Lee, this is a great interview. Thank you for sharing your heart and letting is see where some of your motivation comes from. Writing IS hard, and it helps to be reminded that others feel the same, persevere, and are successful. I adored your first book and have had CRAZY LOVE on my TBR list a long time. Past time to move it up to the top of the list!

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      Too true, Sheri! It’s so helpful to remember we aren’t in this alone. Thanks, Sheri!

  6. Jennifer Hoopes - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Love the interview. So nice to connect that doubts hit us all, and usually when they are most inconvenient. This statement resonated with me, “I think there’s a little bit of me in each of my heroines.” Despite them all being different, a small part of me creeps into each one as well. Love me those Cates Brothers!

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      “…doubts hit us all, and usually when they are most inconvenient.” Right? I guess there are super confident authors out there somewhere… Thanks for the Cates Brothers love, Jenn! I just wrote the final installment in their world, and it feels sad to say goodbye. Is this a normal writer thing, y’all?

  7. J Paulette Forshey - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Great interview! I’ve gone through some similar events these past four years and understand how hard it can be to write. Sometimes escaping into our own worlds with our writing is the best we can do to keep us sane. Please continue the fantastic work with your books!

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      “Sometimes escaping into our own worlds with our writing is the best we can do to keep us sane.” EXACTLY! Even when it seems hard, it does help. Sorry to hear you’ve gone through some of this recently yourself, but thank goodness for our writing to help us navigate through. Thanks for your comment, J Paulette!

  8. Laura Trentham - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    I love, love, love your covers!!!

    I too hate to plot. Preplotting is not my strength and I avoid it at all costs. Those first chapters are a joy for me as well and then the rest is slog until I get to the last couple of chapters. This writing thing is HARD! And you think it’s going to get easier the more you do it, but it gets even HARDER! What is up with that??

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      I hesitate to say writing gets harder the more you do it only because it reminds me of when I was a parent of 4 kids under 4 (Yep. 3.5, 2, and then–surprise–twins!) and most days I was just barely hanging on. Some well-meaning older woman would come along and tell me to enjoy this time because it only gets harder when they’re teenagers. One of life’s hard truths. So, yep, Laura, I agree–harder. I did get lucky with my covers! I love them too! Thanks, Laura!

  9. Julie Mulhern - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Gosh, I love these interviews. And I don’t know anyone writer who hasn’t wandered the barren wasteland of not-writing with a deadline looming. Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself!

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      Reading all of Abbie’s interviews has helped reinforce that I’m not crazy, lol! Or at least I’m normal for an author. 😉 And not that I’m happy you’ve traveled through that barren wasteland too, but again, there’s that comfort of knowing I’m not alone. Thanks, Julie!

  10. Jill B - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Hi Lee and Abbie!

    I LOVE the Cates brothers — Lee created a small town I want to live in and a family I want to adopt me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series — Delaney is one of my favorites — she’s funny, stubborn and I get her sense of humor. Great interview!

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      Thank you, Jill! I love that you love Delaney! She holds a special place in my heart too.

  11. Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    I’ve loved reading all the other sessions on your blog, Abbie! I love reading everyone’s unique stories. So inspiring! But also encouraging and uplifting to hear other authors who’ve dealt with and come out on top of things I struggle with. Thanks for letting me spill all on your couch today, Abbie!

    • abbieroads - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      Hi Lee!

      I loved having you on my couch!

      I too love reading everyone’s stories. I think that’s why I love being a therapist… I hear people’s stories all day.

  12. Erika Kelly - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

    Hi Lee and Abbie! These interviews are so great. Lee, I learned so much about you! I’m sure every writer on the planet (except Nora!) has doubts. Every time I start a new book, I’m befuddled, convinced I don’t have the slightest clue how to do it. I actually spend a good amount of time on prewriting. To me it’s just as valuable as the time I put into editing. When I say it takes me 6-8 months to write a book, that discovery period’s included. I need a solid 4-6 weeks of just letting the story grow and develop. Some of it comes through research, some comes in the shower, and most pops up at 3 AM. 🙂

    • Lee Kilraine - Mar 23, 2017 Reply

      Thanks, Erika! Sounds like we’ve got the same process! I agree; that prewriting time is so valuable. It’s just that I fought (and still do sometimes) it for so long that I was and can often drive myself crazy during that prewriting. I want to get to the point where I relax into it and appreciate it for what it is. Sounds like maybe you’re there, so there’s hope for me. 😉

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