Interview with Kimberly Dean, author of 'Courting Danger'

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica.  She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day. 

Her latest book is the contemporary erotic romance, Courting Danger.

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About the Book:

Title: Courting Danger
Author: Kimberly Dean
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Rielle Sands ventured too close to the fire once and got burned. Now when it comes to men, she’s vowed to play it safe. But then a dashing, mysterious man shows up at Luxxor Limited after hours, the agency she manages, needing an escort.
Darien Scott isn’t what he appears to be. Beneath the sexy smile and wicked charm, he’s hiding secrets. Yet the sizzling chemistry between him and Rielle is real. He tries to stay away, but his attraction to her keeps pulling him back. When he discovers that he’s not the only one haunted by danger, he changes tactics. To protect Rielle, he may need to stay close. Super close. Exclusive Luxxor contract close.
The reward is more than worth the risk.

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  • Courting Danger is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads. 

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

As I’ve been writing my Courting series, the book titles have been the key inspiration for the story lines. Each title sparked an idea, but none more so than my current book, Courting Danger.  The title just cried for a romantic suspense, and the genre made a lot of sense.  The series is about the women and men who work at Luxxor Limited, a high-end escort service, so danger was an obvious premise.  What wasn’t obvious was which character would take center stage. 

Imagine my surprise when it was quiet Rielle, the Luxxor Limited office manager, who kept popping up as I brainstormed.  The word danger elicits so many feelings:  fear, thrill, dread, curiosity, etc.  It didn’t fit with an office manager.  It fit better with an escort.  That was when the key question hit me… What if the timid office manager took a risk one night and stepped out as an escort?

Boom.  Suddenly, I had a plot.  It was the contrast that made the idea work so well, and I kept running with that idea as the hero took form.  In the end, it was all about playing off opposites that made the story take flight. 

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing a thriller can be stressful!  Romantic suspense and erotic romance play well together.  Both genres depend on keeping tension high, yet that can also be the very thing that makes writing a story difficult.  There is a greater demand on the author to keep everything building to higher and higher levels, and an author can feel this physically.  I found myself leaning in over the keyboard.  My fingers were flying, my leg was bouncing, and my breaths were short.  It’s great to be into your story, but take breaks!

That’s true for your characters, too.  If they’re running from scene to scene, constantly on edge, your reader will burn out.  Give your characters a breather before you reach for a higher level of tension, yet make that down time count.  Have your characters connect as they’re bandaging wounds, or let them make a big discovery when they’re hiding out from the bad guys.  The low points will make the high points all that more impactful.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Mischief Books, an erotic romance line from HarperCollins out of the UK.  I’d worked with my editor at Black Lace Books.  When that line went defunct, he contacted me to see if I’d like to submit something to Mischief.  Of course I would! 

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Haha.  Yes, if you count having a contract magically appear in your mailbox as surprising. Years ago, I went through a spell where all I was reading were books that disappointed me.  I thought to myself, that I could do better so I sat down and gave it a try.  I shipped the manuscript off to Black Lace Books in England, and then went on to other things in my life.  Several months later, an envelope showed in my mail.  Those were the days when manuscripts were mailed back and forth – only this envelope was much thinner than the one I’d sent out.  I opened it up and discovered a contract.  A contract!!!  It was so much better than the call that everyone talks about.  This was on paper.  It was real, and I could touch it.  Suddenly, I was an author.  Talk about a surprise.  It knocked me for a loop.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’ve written the proposals for two more erotic romances in my Courting series and have sent them off to my editor.  If all goes according to plan, both books should be out next year.  I’m also in the middle of my Dream Weavers series, based on the Greek legend of the Oneiroi, spirit gods of dreams.  The next book in that series is called Riveting Dreams, and I’m halfway through the first draft.  I’m liking it a lot.  I hope to self-publish it early next year.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?   

I’m a news hound.  I just skip from news site to news site. I’m just as apt to click on an odd news story as current events or pop culture.  Social media is more difficult for me. I don’t like to post about myself. I prefer to read about others.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?  

 I’ll walk around the house turning off lights, checking doors, and making sure curtains are drawn.  Just last week, I discovered the downstairs basement door standing wide open, looking out into pitch darkness.  I can’t describe how badly that scared me!  I yelped, ran to the door at nearly the speed of sound, slammed it shut, and braced it with my weight.  I have no idea how long it had been like that.  I locked it up tight, but that meant I had to take another tour around the house, turning on lights, and looking in closets and under beds.  Sometimes having a writer’s imagination isn’t a good thing!  It took me a long time to get to sleep that night, but it also spurred some story ideas.  If I wrote horror…

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I wasn’t trying to send a message, but there was significance in how the story idea came together.  The heroine, Rielle, has been a quiet secondary character for several books now, but she had a big story to tell.  In this day of extroverts, quiet people are often assumed to be boring.  That’s so not true.  They often tend to be the most interesting and the most complex.  Look past the people who only want to talk about themselves. It’s the quiet ones who will surprise you.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A writer’s life can be great, but the most important thing is to trust in yourself.  Learn your craft and do your homework. Do everything you can to become the best writer you can possibly be, but listen to your gut. People in this industry love to throw out advice. Some of it is great, but a lot of it is pure hooey. Just because a big-time author tells you to do something or an agent demands you make changes doesn't mean they're right. This can be one of the hardest things to learn. Don't be inflexible or a smarty pants, but develop a backbone. This is your story, your business, and your dream. Trust in yourself to make things happen.

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