Friday, February 5, 2016

Books, Chocloate and Wine with Kimbra Kasch

     Today I'm hosting Kimbra Kasch on Books, Chocolate and Wine. She'll be telling us all about herself and her writing. 

How did you come up with the idea for 

     The title came from a place on the Oregon coast. It is named after a creek that I was always enchanted by: Cullaby Creek.

How long did it take you to write THE CATS OF CULLABY CREEK?

        It took me about a year to write the story because I was working fulltime and had three kids at home, who all played basketball and sang in their school choirs. So between kids, life and responsibilities, it was difficult to find time to write.

What was it about your book that made your editor want to buy it?

       I bet it was the romance. Don’t we all like a little sweet love story?

What was the most difficult aspect of writing THE CATS OF CULLABY CREEK?

        See the answer to two above, it was that ever elusive T.I.M.E. I had the worst time etching out a little slice of that timing pie to write.

How much research did you conduct for THE CATS OF CULLABY CREEK and what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research?

        Actually I did a lot of research during this story and you might not even know it as you read over the pages but it’s true. I researched what animals live in the area, how they live with one another and a lot about water…

Why did you decide to write romance?

       I don’t think I ever intended to write a romance…but like life, it just sort of happened.

What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?

        I envy plotters but I’ve never been that well organized. I just fly by the seat of my pants, in writing and in life.

Do you use any techniques, tools, or aids to help you write?

        My secret weapon when I write is my husband. I read passages out loud to him and he tells me if they are boring, confusing, or well written. It’s usually a whole lot more of the first two than the last one ;D

Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?

        I have a revision addiction. It’s hard for me to see something as “finished”. Instead for me, it’s more likely to seem to be a “beginning” even after the ending.

How do you make time to write? 

        I don’t. Instead I just give up sleeping ;D You’ll catch me writing late into the night. I’ve been accused of being a vampire…

When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?

       The characters don’t just speak to me…they control me ;D Guess it’s a good thing I had a B.S. in psychology.

Who has had the most influence on your writing?

       Well, see the answer to #8 above. My inspiration is my husband…and Stephen King ;D an odd combination.

Have you had any "ah ha" moments as a writer?

       Many. I’ll be writing and then think, “oh, that’s what they’ve been trying to tell me.”

What advice do you have for other writers?

        “It’s better to fail at doing something than to succeed at doing nothing.” So, “go after your dreams and never give up.”

Why did you decide to become an author?

        When my oldest son went off to college, he told me, “Mom, you need to get a life.” And he meant it in a good way. He was concerned that with my kids flying out of the nest, I was going to molt and wither away. So, I had to think, “what did I like to do, before I had kids?” Writing popped into my head, and running, sewing, knitting, baking. . . I could go on and on—like I said, writing.

Why did you decide to become a romance author?

        It just happened. I never planned to write romance but I guess having been married to the same man for over 30 years helps…

Would you tell us your story of getting "the call?"

        Well, I got an agent a long time before I sold a book. So, I think that “getting the contract” was a bigger story – at least for me. I remember opening the email and thinking “WHA…AA…AA…TTT?” I couldn’t believe it. But, there in my email was a contract. I had to read it over…and over again until it really sunk in.

What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?

       Just being able to tell my family that I “sold” a book. They always thought I just wrote for fun, which I did. But, it was validation.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

        Baking, sewing, knitting, running, crocheting, …crafting, I could go on and on. . .

How does your family feel about your career as a romance writer?

        They think it’s cool that I’m a writer…I don’t think my kids would say that about the romance part though but who knows…I guess I’ll have to ask them.

What books can we expect to see in the near future?

        I’m working on a couple books now. . . so keep your eyes open and maybe you’ll see my name on another cover very soon, at least I hope so ;D

Love is in the air, something else is in the water.

When Savannah meets Kyle, its love at first sight. And why wouldn't it be? He's perfect, as far as she can tell. But when she starts finding dead animals in her yard and hears something scratching at her window at night, she starts to worry. What’s worse? Kyle appears whenever things go wrong. Maybe he isn't everything she thought he was - maybe he's something more. It's a complete mystery until she discovers the water in Cullaby Creek is being bottled and sold as vitamin “infused” water. Mistic Water promises the impossible. And then, like a magical elixir, it delivers. People who drink it feel younger, smarter, faster...healthier. But it doesn’t take long before side effects hit. Everyone begins to change or “tate”. Some are becoming dangerous animals. Literally. And the secret to what they are tating into has to be in the water…or is it something more?

Excerpt – The Cats of Cullaby Creek

These two shared some sort of history. And now I was in the middle of their story.
Sparks flew through the air. But, they didn’t seem to notice—or maybe they just didn’t care how uncomfortable they were making the rest of us.
I scanned the room. The terribly odd thing was that while they stood in the center of the cafeteria—arguing—everyone’s eyes were on me.
What is so interesting about me?
After a few seconds, I heard whispered accusations slammed back and forth, like a ping-pong ball. My name, muttered in odd and angry tones. No one seemed to mind staring at me, but only the bravest few were sneaking sideways glances over at Kelly and Kyle, hoping no one noticed.
This wasn’t what I needed on my first day at a new school. I hadn’t come here looking for instant enemies, but I knew I’d accidentally stirred a private pot and things were already starting to boil.
I needed to do something and quick. From the sounds floating around me, if they got into an actual argument, I was going to get the blame.
I spit out the first words I could think to say, “What’s a new kid to do, after school, around here… for fun?”
Kyle sighed and chuckled, “That depends on what you’re hoping to find and what you think is fun.” He stepped back away from Kelly for a moment. “You big city kids always think something needs to be going on. But in real life, in a small town, not much ever happens.”
“We could ask my Mom to drive us into Astoria to do some shopping,” I suggested. It was a little too obvious—even to me—Kelly wanted me out of the picture and was trying everything she could think of to keep me away from Kyle. I almost felt sorry for her—but only for a second.
“Or,” Kyle sat down and nodded for me to join him. I could feel a warm rush of air and his scent worked its way up inside my head. I barely heard him finish, “We could go for a run.”
“What?” Kelly demanded, clenching her hands into tight-balled fists at her side.
“Savannah,” Kyle lowered his voice and said my name slow, putting an emphasis on the last syllable, like it was a soft sigh, ‘ah’. And, for the first time in my life, I loved the sound of my own name. “Is a runner. And she’s fast. Aren’t ‘cha?” He nudged me and moved even closer. I could barely think. His smell overpowered my senses; it was the sweet woodsy scent of him that took me by surprise. I closed my eyes and drank it in.
When I opened them back up, Kelly’s eyes were shooting red flames of rage straight at me.
I gazed at Kyle and felt a warmth in my stomach again. It was working its way up into my chest. “That’s not what you said this morning,” I laughed then spun away.
“You two went running this morning?” Her voice came out in a squeak that broke into a high-pitched screech, like fingernails on a chalkboard.
“Yeah,” Kyle said casually, then back to me he added, “And, I’d like to see how fast you are.”
I wondered if everything he said was going to have a double meaning but I wasn’t ready to question his motives. He was my only real friend in this place, and it looked like I was going to need a few because I was making more than a few enemies, without even trying.
“I could use the exercise,” I nodded, looking around the table at the other kids’ faces and wondering why no one else had said a single word. “Plus, you could show me around the town.”
“No problem,” Kyle agreed, and I couldn’t help looking forward to it, even though I knew Kelly wasn’t going to be happy about my running off with Kyle. “But I only think it’s fair to warn you, there’s not much to see—so don’t get your hopes set too high.”
“Great—I mean about the exercise,” I smiled, and without even thinking how it might sound, I added, “Then it’s a date.”
Kelly only heard one word and it was like I’d pulled back a rubber band—hard—and snapped it against her forehead.
She wailed like a wounded animal, “Agghhh!” and spun around on her heels, stomping out of the room.
Kyle shrugged and started to walk toward the exit, then he twisted around to call out, “I’ll meet you out by the flag post after seventh period.” His lips curled softly, throwing me a quick backwards nod, “And, remember, it’s a date.” The last thing I saw was his warm, sensual grin, as he glanced around the room before he gave me an exaggerated wink—meant more for everyone else to see than for me, and then he disappeared out into the hall.
I wished he would have used a different word because he didn’t need to rub it in.
I shrugged. Who cares? I told myself, he’s been the nicest person in the entire school. If it weren’t for Kyle, I wouldn’t want to ever come back to Mist High.
The rest of the day dragged on and on. All I wanted was to see Kyle again, with his sleek body and powerful frame. But what I found fascinating was the casual way he had about himself. He said whatever he wanted, while I worried about everything I said, how it would be taken, and what people would think of me.
Somehow, Kyle was working his way into my system, like a powerful drug. And I was beginning to feel addicted. I couldn’t wait for our meeting out by the flag post.
Finally, after what seemed like absolutely for…ev…er, the bell rang.
I rushed out of class, down the hall, and out the front doors of the school to meet up with Kyle.
But as I got closer, my spine tingled. Something was wrong. I could feel it. Then I knew why.
Kyle wasn’t standing underneath the flagpole; someone else was there, waiting for me.
“Kelly,” I muttered under my breath.
She stood beneath the red, white, and blue banner with an enormous grin carved into her face, like a giant jack-o-lantern beaming up at me. But this look was way more sinister and gloating. My knees suddenly felt weak and my throat went dry.
This girl just kept surprising me.
Kimbra Kasch
I grew up in a family with 9 kids and only 1 t.v. so I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I love getting lost in stories that can take me to castles and faraway lands or show me cultures and ways of life I’d never see any other way.
Books are the cheapest way to travel…and stories are the only sure way to escape the routine of everyday life.
My favorite romance novels are The Hunger Games...okay, I know some people say it's a survival book but it's really all about romance. Then there are the series: Twilight, Divergent and more but I also love paranormal and sci-fi.
Did I say I love to read, talk, knit, sew, and bake... I could go on but I'll stop by saying, I hope you’ll stop in on my social sites and say Hi. Thanks for listening.
Please join me on Twitter or stop by and see what I'm pinning on  Pinterest and, if you've read one of my books and have a question or simply want to share a comment, please feel free to send me an email. I love connecting with readers. You can also find me at  Goodreads, Amazon Author Page, Facebook and my  Website and Blog.