Kya’s King began as an experiment in the paranormal genre for me. I started thinking about how easily everyone seems to accept the idea of shifters and vampires and other strange creatures living along side the rest of the human world. What would happen if a shifter didn’t realize such things existed let alone understand his or her own capabilities? That premise became Kya’s story. Of course the super hot cat shifter who stands beside her and helps her find her way back to the clan she was lost from made the whole journey worth while.
Who is your favorite character from the story?
I adore Kya’s surrogate brothers. They are each perfect in a different way, and I am playing with the idea of writing their stories. But in Kya’s King I would whole heartedly pick Ja as my favorite. He is strong and determined to let honor and duty guide him, a warrior to the core. Once he meets Kya as an adult though, the black and white rules he has always lived by suddenly seem less cut in stone. He has to make some pretty big decisions about loyalty to his clan and promises made to a dying king in comparison to personal desire and the needs of the woman he loves. He can’t restore the royal line without destroying his heart.
What movie stars do you envision playing the role of Kya/Hannah and Ja?
I could see Emma Watson as Kya. Although she is a little young, there is a natural spirit and strength in Ms. Watson that very much reflects Kya’s outlook on life. She also has Kya’s innocent and somewhat fragile appearance.
Ja is a bit older so I would have to say Orlando Bloom would play him with grace. Bloom has an intensity that jumps off the screen–much like a wildcat.
What books have most influenced your life?
I laugh every time someone asks me this. I learned early that I liked romance novels from the super sweet Barbara Cartland books my mom let me read in middle school to some pretty hot stuff from Jude Deveraux. However, what really made me fall in love with reading was a boy who was too caught up in Middle Earth to notice the starry-eyed girl beside him. I started reading J.R.R.Tolkien’s novels to get the young man’s attention and to provide fodder for conversation. I eventually moved on to boys who could talk about more than wizards and rings, but I developed a love for fantasy from that experience. I learned about honor and duty and mythical creatures and the often, untapped strength hidden in each of us.
What kind of hero makes your heroines break their own rules?
My girls are suckers for super strong minded men with soft spots for their women. Some ladies like the polish of an executive or the charm of a man from a foreign land, but give my heroines a shoot from the hip American guy every time. Not that there is anything wrong with the cultured type, but my women, like me, tend to want their men a little rough around the edges. Not uneducated but not really cultured either, sort of on the edge of untamed.
Besides writing, what do you do in your spare time?
Spare time is something I don’t have a lot of. I teach English at an alternative school, and I free lance edit. The rental properties in our area are pretty sad so my husband and I have just finished remodeling homes for our college age children. (They signed the mortgages on the houses, we just made them livable.) When I am not working, I love to bake, cook, sew and garden.
What are the three most important pieces of advice you’d give to a brand new author?
Wow, that is tough.
1) Find critique partners you trust. Don’t settle for the ones who give you positive feedback but are not willing to tell you when something stinks. You learn nothing from that type of response.
2) Don’t give up on yourself. If you love what you do and you are willing to revise and grow from rejection and constructive criticism, then you can succeed. If you adore your characters and their stories then others will do so as well.
3) Lastly, I would share the advice that my first writers group (Aspiring Romance Writers) gave to me and that is “Don’t get it right–Get it written.” You can’t fix a blank page. Take the time to write everyday. Even if you throw half of it away some days, you will still have half to work forward from. Also, if you constantly go back and self-edit while you are trying to get the story on the page, you will never finish. Write the story and then go back and fix what doesn’t work.
What would we find under your bed?
What a question. I hesitate to answer truthfully but since you asked my guess would be: three giant tubs of miscellaneous novels, seven or eight pairs of shoes, at least one of my dog’s toys, and dust bunnies the size of large jackrabbits.
How do you unwind and relax?
I spend time with my family on the patio or in front of the fire, I write or read, or I snuggle up to my hubby on the back of his motorcycle, tip my face into the wind like a hunting dog in the back of a pick-up truck, and grin.
What question do you wish was on this list?
Have you ever gone anywhere or done anything that led to an unexpected reward?
When my son was little, about two and a half I think, we were driving around looking at the fall colors and stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. While we were there, a couple hunters came in with an eagle in the back of their truck. The game warden said to put it back and let nature take its course, but they didn’t have the heart to do that. The bird could not fly for some reason, and it would have quickly become prey for coyotes. My husband (big softie that he is) said we would take it home and find somewhere to rehabilitate it. My son was enthralled with the mighty creature. We would take freshly killed gophers and such to it in the barn, and T would always say, “I pet that bird, Momma.” I had a hard time convincing my little guy that he could not touch. Thank heavens the latch was too high for him to reach on his own, or I swear the story would have a different ending. After three weeks we finally found a place that would take the golden eagle. The vets suspected it had lead poisoning and would never recover fully, but they were wrong and the following spring the bird was released into the wild. The opportunity to help such an amazing creature does not come along often, but I am glad my family and I had a chance to touch its life as it touched ours.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
First of all, thank you for being my readers! Beyond watching my kids grow and succeed, I can not imagine a greater feeling than the one I get from readers who take the time to write to me. Good, bad or downright ugly, reader feedback makes my day. The good swells my ego and enables me to write another story that may make someone smile or laugh or feel good about him/herself. The bad and the ugly keep me humble and make me want to do better for the person kind enough to take time to tell me where I stumbled. Now, I am not saying that I am strong enough to handle an outpouring of reader hate, but I do learn, and I hope grow, from both positive and negative reactions to my work. So, in a nutshell, tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you if something I have written touched you in any way.
You can find Becca at her blog, Becca's Retreat