Guess what everyone?! Today I have Keri Stevens here with us! I got to meet Keri not long ago and let me tell you how incredibly fun she is to be around. She is bubbly and super sweet and just a incredibly awesome individual. If you haven’t gotten a chance to talk to her….well here is your chance to learn a bit about her! Keri graciously sat down and answered all my questions and has allowed me to do a giveaway (which we will get to in just a bit)
Welcome Keri! It’s great to have you here today!
1. Who is Keri Stevens? Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a wife and mother of three boys in northern Kentucky. I own a fitness business, but over the past couple of years I’ve been backing off the day job in order to write more.
2. Stone Kissed is your first published work….what made you finally pick up the computer and start typing? Was there a catalyst?
The story idea itself was the catalyst. I was taking a week-long dance workshop in Manhattan and I was dehydrated and exhausted and overwhelmed by my first trip to this biggest of cities. With my shields down, I sat in the courtyard of my hostel–Leo House, a lovely little facility run by nuns–next to one of the scariest Virgin Mary statues I’d ever seen. I began to talk to her, and pen in hand, I took down my hallucinatory imaginings of what she’d say. Within minutes I’d fleshed out a scene in which Scary Mary gossips, complains and tells my heroine how to fight dirty.
I’ve since learned this is the best time/way for me to draft–early in the morning, shields down, before my conscious mind gets a chance to wake up and say, “This is crap.”
3. Let’s talk Stone Kissed. What made you want to write about talking statues? Tell us about the book.
In Stone Kissed, my statues talk to Delia, the heroine. Once I established that rule in my fictional world of Stewardsville, Virginia, it opened up all sorts of questions. What does a six-hundred year old armless bust think of the generations of people who “own” her? And if we squishy mortals keep dying and are replaced by others, who, in fact, owns whom? Our attitudes about property might be ridiculous to creatures who are much more durable than we.
After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he’ll allow her to oversee the restoration.
Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.
But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon, Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant’s love, but for both their lives…
4. Tell us what you are working on now?
There are (at least) three books set in Stewardsville and several dozen other characters that are insisting their stories be told. This is the thing about small towns–real and fictional. Because everybody knows everyone, they can be more crowded than the biggest of cities (even or especially in an author’s brain!)
Right now, however, Kelsey Hardcastle–the pregnant hospital records clerk we first meet in STONE KISSED–is facing the music after her one-night stand with a male siren. WATER ROCKED is the working title of this related book in the series, and I’m editing like a freak right now.
5. Romance is subjective, so what is the most romantic thing you’ve had happen to you?
My husband introduced me to romance novels as a joke. He gave me a Jade Lee novel and I fell in love with it. I bought her backlist and an addiction to the genre was born. A few years later, after I got him his own autographed copy of her book, The Dragon Earl, he looked at me straight in the eye and told me, “I really think you’re going to do this. You’re going to sell that novel.”
What’s more romantic than a show of faith and support from the person you admire and desire the most?
6. You mention Jade Lee as an influence to you. Do you have other authors that influenced your writing?
Like Jade Lee, Diana Gabaldon blithely crosses all sorts of boundaries and breaks all sorts of “rules.” They move in and out of normal and paranormal universes, they set their books in unusual times, places and cultures. Their characters cross racial boundaries. I’m glad I read them both early on, before I know there were these so-called rules. And I’m glad I found Carina Press, where “no great story goes untold.”
7. I met you at the last Lori Foster conference, do you enjoy going to conferences and fan related get togethers? Do you plan on going to more?
I do enjoy them–I have to remind myself repeatedly that I’m at these events for work and not on vacation! That said, talking romance novels with like-minded people is nothing but pure fun. Next year I look forward to going to the Romantic Times convention in Chicago in addition to my hometown con–the Lori Foster Reader-Author Get Together.
8. Have you had any funny instances with fans since you’ve been published? Besides talking to me about my giant sex basket I won at the conference that is
Actually, Nikki–your giant sex basket pretty much trumps everything else! (You don’t want to know how many tickets I put in that bag…heh) The raffles at the Lori Foster conference are the best I’ve ever seen–and I used to be a professional fundraiser, so I’ve been to a LOT of raffles and silent auctions!
Thank you for having me. I hope your readers and you enjoy STONE KISSED–especially the lucky drawing winner!
Keri has given me a epub file (though I can get PDF as well if needed) of Stone Kissed to give to one lucky commenter! This is open internationally and I will leave it up until 11:59 pm EST on August 26th. All you have to do to enter is say hello to Keri and tell us, if you could talk to statues would you seek them out or would you try and ignore your ability as much as possible?
*As always, winner to be picked by random.org*