Kamillia is an author of paranormal romances living in an upscale suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Accused of being an actual witch herself by an ambitious group of businessmen with a dark agenda, she is surprised to find a man who resembles one of her fictional, alpha male heroes at her door offering her protection.
Luca is an immortal Watcher from the River of Light. Sent to Earth to help Kamillia, whose true heritage has yet to be revealed to her, Luca is caught off guard by the fighting spirit of the woman and the way his human body betrays him in her presence.
When research for her next novel requires Kamillia to travel to Italy, she and Luca are forced to join together despite numerous obstacles to overcome the evil of many centuries blocking a portal there. Only then, can she return to the problems awaiting her in her own city, with or without this stranger who has captured her heart but cannot share her future.
Romantic Journey: Thanks for joining us here today, Kiki. I’ll dig right into the interview and ask our first question. How did you first get published?
Kiki Howell: That is a story! After two high-risk pregnancies, I stopped teaching and writing for almost a decade when I had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mother two my two little miracles.
When I did try to get back into it, it was really hard. My husband bought me a book of writing exercises hoping it would get the creative juices flowing again. About the same time, I learned of a local publisher one city away from me called Ellora’s Cave, and read my first erotic romances.
Also, my husband went on a trip to Israel for two weeks. During one of his first phone calls home I heard an explosion in the background, and thus had trouble sleeping for the remainder of the time he was gone.
So, I started the writing exercises, and came across one that said write in a genre you are not comfortable writing in, one you are unfamiliar with. I had also been reading calls for submissions and seen that Whiskey Creek Press Torrid had a Celtic Love Knots line that released monthly two stories.
So, for the exercise I mixed my love of the paranormal with erotic romance. Once my husband got home safely and read the stories, he encouraged me to send them out to see what the publisher would say. They sent me a contract for both stories!
RJ: Do you have another job? If so, what is it?
KH: I am still that stay-at-home mom, yet the kids are in school all day, and I have a really dirty house.
RJ: How would a typical workday unfold? Do you clean first or write first?
KH: Based on the last question, I write first. Per my husband’s suggestion and constant support, I treat the time my kids are at school like a workday and write the whole time. Well, most of the time!
RJ: How do you let your family know when you are in serious writing mode?
KH: They are great in supporting me and knowing what story I am working on, etc. So, all I have to say is I need to get this done, and they help me find the extra time to work.
RJ: What is the biggest blooper you’ve written?
KH: I guess no one has pointed out any bloopers yet, crossing my fingers here now!
But, long story short, I was accused of actually being a witch once I had my first stories about witches published! A few short-sighted men couldn’t separate me from my fantasy characters. It was one of those life bloopers that made living in the neighborhood fun for a while!
RJ: That is so funny. It sounds as if that experience might have inspired the premise behind Witch Hunt?
KH: Ah, you caught me! During the experience, my husband said the phrase that became the title and noted that at least I should get a book idea out of it. That is all it took for my imagination to take off!
I did get the chance to spout off a bit in the novel through Kamillia, as well! I enjoyed more than I should have choosing the image for the Mastema (bad guys) in my youtube video, too!
RJ: And what line that you’ve written continues to amaze you?
KH: Sorry, this is longer than a line, but what comes to mind is the beginning lines in a story I wrote called, “The Stone Hex” in my Mystic Stones anthology.
Having come to the end of the trail she followed, Rachael paused where the full green of the tree line gave way to an open expanse of land. The remains of a field, long unattended, rolled out before her until the sun-drenched colors of the landscape took on the blackness of shadow. From where she stood it seemed as if the long-abandoned house had burned the earth with its mere presence. The symmetry of the two-story square made it appear intimidating, despite it’s aged wood and cracking paint, as if the house was smirking at her in a domineering stance. Furthermore, the large fallen tree whose weight the house now sustained seemed an elaboration of contorted fingers grappling for possession of the sky itself. Dead twigs of brown held onto its foundation as if paying homage to their master. Once she left the protection of the trees, the house, black with the soot of neglect, chilled her even as the sun burned upon her shoulders. Nevertheless, this was how the house had greeted her for years. As a few clouds rolled in muting the sun, the light-play of shadows gave the illusion of specters in the windows.
RJ: What are your five favorite books?
KH: Again, I think I am cheating here, but I have a couple that are series.
- Teresa Medeiros, Cabot Series: After Midnight and The Vampire Who Loved Me
- Denise Lynn, Dragon’s Lair
- Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic
- Nora Roberts, Three Sisters Island Trilogy: Dance Upon the Air, Heaven and Earth, and Face the Fire
- Linda Winstead Jones, Fyne Witches Series: The Sun Witch, The Moon Witch, and The Star Witch
RJ: What lessons have you applied from them to your own writing?
KH: I just aspire to someday write a book that will sweep away a reader as those ones did me.
RJ: If your ship were sinking and you could grab one thing on the way to the lifeboat, what would it be? Go on instinct here; don’t let common sense interfere with you as you grab your hairdryer or laptop instead of food to take to the desert island.
KH: Oh, definitely my laptop! I could read ebooks, write stories and email everyone I love! Of course, what are the odds that island would be connected? Should have thought that one out better! LOL! Now, I am starving with a dead battery in my computer!
RJ: You’d be surprised how many of us would grab our laptops! Again, Kiki, thanks for stopping by today.
Kiki is giving away a very cool book bracelet with a witches hat for one of our lucky readers. Enter the random drawing by:
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You receive one entry for each action, so you can potentially receive eight entries.
The winner will be announced 4 December. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. UTC on 3 December, 2009.
No transfers or substitutions.