JK Coi is my guest this week. She's an award-winning, multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She lives in Ontario, Canada. In her interview, JK offers some excellent advice for aspiring and all writers.
JK has an alter ego and writes Upper YA Dark Fantasy too as Chloe Jacobs.
Thanks so much for being a guest JK. Check out her new release with Ellora's Cave: Brazen Games
-Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.
This book came to me a long time ago. I wrote the first chapter (a dark, sexy scene in a strip club) almost two years ago. But then the story had to be put aside. I couldn’t figure out what came next. And I had other writing commitments. And yet, Jack wouldn’t leave me alone. He was so tired, so damaged. He kept telling me that he wasn’t a very nice man. I tended to disagree and so did the heroine, Tasha. I had to see if he could be redeemed and if she was the one who would be able to redeem him.
- What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?
The best part of being a writer is the writing. It’s also the worst part.
I love writing, and it’s so very very hard. At least to do it right. I’m not one of those lucky writers who spends an hour tapping away and looks down to see that she’s written 3,000 words. OMG that would be like a whole week’s worth of work. I am interminably slow and methodical. I triple think every word. It’s a pain, but when I go back and read I might have to tweak a little bit, but I rarely have to rewrite whole sections.
- What is your writing schedule like?
Although it’s tight because I work a full time day job, I always bring my laptop to work and write through lunch. When I get home in the evening, it’s dinner and dishes and helping kiddo with his homework. By the time I can sit down to write again, everything is put away and he’s in bed…probably around 8:30 pm. Then I write as long as it takes to make my daily word goal. Sometimes that means I’m done by 10:00 and I can watch tv but other times I’m still working at midnight.
- How did you get started writing novels?
I got started when my son was still little. He was about three years old. It’s that stage when they’re in a good routine, sleeping through the night, and when that time comes when you sit down to relax you feel like you could still function and not pass out from exhaustion (that exhausted phase lasted a LONG time) – but it’s not like you actually have a life. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything...and television REALLY sucked. So I started writing. I’d done a lot of writing BK (“before kid”) and when I got back to it, I really enjoyed it. I finished a whole book and when I told my husband he said, “Great job! So now what?”
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I get asked for advice by aspiring writers quite often, and I always try to be encouraging but also honest. I tell them that this is not something that’s going to “pay off” quickly and unless they really love to write, they’re better off spending the time with their family. But if writing is the thing they’ve always wanted to do, then don’t be discouraged. Yes, there will be rejection (lots of it), and no, you won’t get rich, but a career in publishing is definitely doable if you make a solid plan and work toward it diligently.
- If you could write another genre other than romance what would you write?
It would probably be horror or fantasy. And of course, there might just happen to be a character who meets a girl…. (sorry, it’s gotta have romance)
- Are you seat of the pants writer or plotter?
I used to be more “seat of the pants” but these days I’m plotting more and more of my stories ahead of time. I need to. Deadlines mean I can’t waste energy trying to figure things out when I’m halfway through. I don’t want to go back and erase half the book to start over because the plot took off in a different direction. That’s not to say I don’t encourage enlightening developments, but by plotting as much as possible I’m hopefully able to work those in from the ground floor.
- Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?
LOL—yes. In fact, I don’t think my editor at EC has EVER let me keep one of my titles (except maybe the very first one)
- What specific piece of advice would you give a would-be writer trying to kick start a career?
You can’t kick-start anything. Sorry. You’ve got to take it day-by-day. Learn your craft. Take your rejections and keep moving forward. It will feel like the sixth circle of hell, but if you really want it there’ll come a day when it feels like the cave opens up and you can see the sun again!
- A lot of people think that genre hopping isn’t a good idea. What do you think?
I think generally those people are right, unless you have a ton of time to build two separate brands. I don’t always write in the same genre, but the genres that I mix are similar. For example, I write contemporary and I write paranormal…but they’re both erotic. Then I write paranormal (not erotic) and fantasy…which are also similar.
Thanks so much for the interview! I had a great time with it!
Blog: www.jkcoi.blogspot.comTwitter: www.twitter.com/jkcoi
As Jack Trainer watches the dancer up on stage in front of him, all he can think about is that sultry green-eyed stare and the brazen way she moves, as if just for him. Trouble is, he knows this particular siren is a distraction he can’t afford, despite the gut-clenching desire she stirs in him. As right-hand man to a mob boss fighting a violent turf war, his life expectancy is already significantly reduced, and that’s if his damning secrets don’t get him killed first.
Tasha Morris is keeping secrets of her own, and she knows all about the real Jack Trainer, the one he can never afford to let anyone see. She also knows he’s close to the edge of no return. It’s her job to make sure he doesn’t implode and get them both killed, but to do that she’ll have to trust him with more than just her body, something she hasn’t been able to do with anyone.
As the risks multiply and the danger becomes insurmountable, Jack and Tasha will be forced to put aside their mistrust and work together. But when all their carefully manufactured lies come crashing down around them, the consequences might just be too much for either of them to bear.