It is my pleasure to host author Mia Kerick (who has the distinction of being the first author to answer ALL of the questions I submitted for authors to choose from, lol). Take it away, Mia...
MK: Hello everybody at THE READING ADDICT!!! Thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog to talk about my new release Love Spell!! Let’s chat…
What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre(s) you like to write in?
MK: You know how lots of people say “LOVE IS LOVE”? Well, I say it, and with everything in my heart I BELIEVE IT!! I don’t believe that romantic love can be dictated by cultural expectations or gender lines or political/religious laws. When love blooms between two people a minor miracle has occurred and it should be accepted, at a minimum, and better yet, celebrated and supported. I often wonder about what life would have been like if the person I’d fallen in love with had been another woman instead of a man. Until recently, we would not have been able to be legally married, and in some states we still couldn’t be. There would have been no sharing of marital benefits, so I couldn’t have been a stay-at-home mother. And our children would have been viewed as a peculiarity rather than just a part of our family. Any love is good love—in as far as gender, religion, race, etc. goes. And so I write stories about these people because they are important.
What was the most difficult thing to overcome on your path to becoming a published author and how did you conquer it?
MK:First of all, I will say that I haven’t conquered it. I struggle with my challenge every day.
The most difficult challenge I have had to deal with on my path to becoming a published author has been using my computer. In high school and college, I never took a computer class, as I wasn’t a computer science major and I had a typewriter, so I figured, why should I? LOL- but it is the truth. In my author’s bio it says I pray daily to the Gods of Technology and I do!!! I have learned EVERY COMPUTER LESSON the hard way, and it seems my MacBook Air always has more painful lessons in store for me.
What would be your dream place to visit and why?
MK: I’m a simple girl. I like simple fun. Just put me on a plane to Orlando with a suitcase filled with shorts and T-shirts and let me spend a week or ten days with Mickey Mouse. I will be COMPLETELY fulfilled. Really.
(note from ELF: I am fortunate to live in CA, and this sounds like a great plan to me, spending a week or so at our version!)
Which author(s) has/have been the most influential to you and how or why?
MK: I’m gonna come clean. I loved Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. No, I adored Twilight. And Edward Cullen was the ultimate in tortured-soul characters, of which I have never been able to get enough. I wrote my first book because of Stephenie and Twilight and Edward. Meyer moved me to create a tortured guy of my own!!
What do you do to mentor others?
MK: I wrote about 12 books for Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press, their YA imprint, and last year I mentored a teenage writer by reading and critiquing a story she had submitted to a contest. Other than that, I am an excellent cheerleader for new authors (GO-O-O-O-O NEWBIE AUTHORS!!), and I often invite them to visit www.miakerick.com, where they spend an evening in my figurative guest room where they can promote themselves.
What is your writing process?
MK: I start the writing process by doing research on what is going to be the major theme of the book. This constitutes a good part of the hard work I conduct prior to the fun stuff, which is the creating of characters. (Character creation=frosting on the cupcake.) For Love Spell, my research focused on gender confusion. I had a concept in my mind of Chance César—a teenage boy who is quite in touch with his feminine side, even admitting he wishes, at times, that he were a girl. After researching the theme I will tackle, I spend time creating a rough version of a plot. This part is difficult and intense. For the most part, I just sit and think. I think about popular culture, events in the news, what kinds of things kids deal with everyday, current music, and music that spoke to me as a teenager. This can feel like a desperate time for me until I have the plot idea, and then I feel AWESOME. The next step in my writing process involves creating a very rough outline of the events that will take place in the story. I do not use a standard outline form, just a long rambling list.
And then the fun part—creating the characters.
What scares you the most or makes you the happiest about writing?
MK: By being published, I have lost a degree of privacy. Many people in my town know I’m a romance writer and have asked me about the books I write. I have written intimate scenes (some with three people involved) that I am not at all ashamed of, but that I wouldn’t go screaming about from the rooftops. Well, actually, maybe I would scream about my love scenes to adults, but I have kids in school, and I don’t relish the idea of their friends teasing them about the romantic scenes their mother writes. So there is a measure of privacy that disappears when you are published.
What is one of your hobbies and how has it enriched your writing?
MK: I will admit that my favorite thing to do—aside from activities with my family—is to write. But when I say write, I mean everything that comes under the writing umbrella. I enjoy researching and creating characters, developing plot, and just daydreaming about what I’ve created.
by Mia Kerick
Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”
But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.
An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.
Lost: One Rat’s Ass, $10,000 Reward if Found and Returned In Good Condition to Rightful Owner
My parents are what you might call “rather apathetic” with regard to their sentiments toward the one who will, in theory, carry on the César name. Or at least that’s how I see it. Fair warning—I’m a person who likes to call spades exactly what they are. And even if I so badly wish the spade was a club, I still call the frigging thing a spade. So yeah, when I was young, I used to pretend like Mom and Dad gave a crap, but you can only pretend for so damned long. Now that I’m seventeen, any and all remnants of the “I love you, you love me—we’re a happy family” charade are ancient history.
Nope. They don’t give a rat’s ass about their only child, Chance.
Now don’t get me wrong—Mom and Dad possess no wish for lousy shit to fly my way. They just aren’t into the whole parenting thing, and I figure that’s their right.
But on the brighter side, they don’t give a rat’s ass that I’m gay. Nope, there’s no horrific, scarring homophobia going on in the César family home. And get this: my big “coming out of the closet” last year consisted of three lines of dialogue between my parents and moi:
Me: Mom, Dad… I’m gay… and I just thought you guys might want to know.
Dad (yawning): That’s nice, Chance.
Mom: Yeah, that’s great. Oh, by the way, it’s get-your-own-dinner-night… again.
Nope, nothing emotionally scarring there.
Good thing I’m the kind of guy who chooses to focus on the positive. I can walk around the house in full female stripper garb, and nobody bats an eyelash. If I conjure up any reaction at all, it might be that my mother asks me where I bought my sexy stretch-lace naughty knickers, as she’s been looking for ones in that color. And speaking of color choices, neither Mom nor Dad said a single word when I showed up with my hair dyed the flamboyant shade of a Cheez Doodle. Not only do I have complete freedom with how I express my personal style, but when I go all drama-queen mode on their asses, my parents just look at each other and shrug. In fact, I try—and I try fucker-nelly hard—but I just can’t shock these people.
I can barely get them to notice me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Stop by Mia’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.
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