Please welcome our guest–Kaki Warner

Hidy, fillies!  Thanks for inviting me in for a visit today.  P&P is always such a fun group.

If you could live in the Old West, whereabouts would you choose and what would your occupation be?

Wow.  That’s a hard one.  Although I love the beauty and wildlife of the mountains, it would be hard trying to eek out an existence there with the short growing seasons, killer winters, isolation, and no malls or internet.  And as much as I love mountains, I’d rather LOOK at them, than LIVE in them.  Same with oceans.  The flatlands are good because you can see a cloud coming for days and get ready for it, but all that flatness might get a little boring after a while.  Plus, tornadoes give me a bad case of the heebie jeebies.  The South is out because even though the people are a hoot, I don’t like cockroaches and humidity and being sweaty for no good reason.  And I’ve already been through my share of hurricanes, thank you very much.  So I guess I’d like to be where I am right now—on a hilltop looking at mountains and valleys, watching cockroach-free wildlife wander by, no humidity, lots of sunshine, and tapping away on my computer.  I already had a bear on my deck a few months ago—that’s as close to nature as I need to be.  It’s a great life.

What intrigues you the most about writing westerns?

The code.  Honor, integrity, pride, independence, self-sufficiency, pitching in when needed, and of course, guys in tight jeans.  There was no moral ambiguity back then.  Just right and wrong.  I feel of late we’ve lost sight of those basics.  Baggy jeans hanging off a city-slicker’s tattooed butt just doesn’t do it for me.  But a fine-looking man on a fine-looking horse, well…  Plus, there were fewer politicians back then to mess up everything, which is always appealing.

What interesting places have you visited while doing research for your stories?

I’ve pretty much covered the West, so I don’t have to go anywhere to envision it.  All I have to do is remember it.  But I’ve traveled a lot on the cyber highway and have come across many interesting facts—some of which might even be true.  Plus I’m a great people-watcher and brain-picker.  If you’re a doctor, nurse, psychologist, historian, horse trainer, rancher, botanist, bird watcher, hiker, camper, outdoor survivalist, wildlife biologist, or anyone with a kind face—I’ll be on you like a hen on a June bug.  Everyone I meet has something to offer.

Do you normally start with storyline or with character or with some combination of the two?

I think of a place I’d like to write about—then the time period—then the kind of people who might live there then.  It’s the old “what if” scenario.  What if there was this beautiful ranch in a mountain valley in New Mexico, and this guy and his brothers lived there…three really hot, lonely brothers…hmmm.  Then I start posing questions:  What haunts him?  What does he fear?  What does he want more than anything in the world and how can I keep him from getting it until he’s earned his “happily-ever-after”?  It sort of snowballs from there.

Please tell us about your current projects.  (Brief overview including any tidbits about your inspiration or interesting behind-the-scenes notes you care to share)

I just finished the third Runaway Brides book, BRIDE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY, which comes out next June, so I’m taking a short break.  Instead of writing, I’ll be promoting the newly released mass market editions of the Blood Rose Trilogy (PIECES OF SKY, OPEN COUNTRY, and CHASING THE SUN), as well as the trade release of COLORADO DAWN, which comes out on January 3rd.  These brides books have been a lot of fun—four women who head West to start new lives and get more than they bargained for when they’re stranded in a dying Colorado mining town.  Fun stuff.  Meanwhile, I’ll be busy with a huge giveaway on my blog (www.kakiwarner.wordpress.com).  Throughout the month of December, I’m giving away twenty three-book mass market sets of the Blood Rose Trilogy, plus fifteen early copies of Colorado Dawn.  Be sure to drop by.

As for current projects…there are always ideas bouncing around in my head…a Christmas Novella, a tie-in to the grooms of the bride series, a re-visit to the Wilkins ranch…lots of things I’d like to do.  So we’ll see.

 

What was the inspiration behind Colorado Dawn?

Maddie (the heroine) had already appeared in HEARTBREAK CREEK, the first brides book, so I pretty much knew what she was about.  But since she’s an English photographer and somewhat unconventional, I decided to pair her with a duty-bound, titled Scottish soldier who is so involved running around doing military things he doesn’t realize his wife has given up on him until he returned to find her gone.  Then the chase is on.  Ah…a Scotsman in the West.  Two of my favorite things.  My grandfather was Scottish and I still hear his brogue in my memory.  He always seemed a boisterous, bigger-than-life character, so I suppose in many ways Angus Wallace came about because of him.

What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?

That I’ve been married for forty-five years (and to the same man, no less—give me a freaking medal), and I sold the first book I wrote the same year I went on Medicare.  How’s that for being a late bloomer baby bloomer?  Plus, put me up in front of a crowd and watch the hives pop out.  I’m pathetic.  But I’ve learned to cover my pathological shyness with inappropriate remarks and out-of-control giggling, so at least onlookers aren’t bored.

Since you told me to ask–Why don’t you write sex scenes in your stories?

(You weren’t supposed to tell).  But since you did…actually I do write sex scenes, just not graphic ones.  I figure most of my readers already have  an idea of what goes where, so I don’t need to spell it out in detail.  There are manuals that do that a lot better than I could.  Admittedly, sex is a vital and necessary part of the human condition, but I think overly graphic sex scenes desensitize readers and often trivialize what should be a moving, romantic, physical and spiritual joining.  (I know.  I’m a hopeless romantic).  So I focus on the romance of it, not the mechanics.  I don’t want readers flipping through my books to get to the spicy parts, nor do I want them skimming over the sex scenes to get back to the story.   It’s a choice every writer has to make.  Sure, I’ve gotten dinged for my “fade to black” sex scenes (I use a lot of cuss words, so that should help some, right?).  But I’ve gotten many, many more e-mails and comments from readers who appreciate not having to suffer through yet another blow-by-blow (oops, did I say that?) account of two people getting it on.  Rent a movie.

Am I wrong, readers?  Is graphic better?  Or fade to black?  What do you prefer in your romances and why?

What were your favorite books as a child?

Favorite book? Where do I start. Every Christmas my parents gave me the current Newberry Prize winner and it was always a treasured gift. But the book I carried around
with me as a little kid was Petunia the Silly Goose. From there I went through Uncle Remus, The Secret Garden, any horse book, the Nancy Drew mysteries, Thomas Costain’s books. I even read
bad poetry. In fact, one Christmas I delighted my entire family and guests (I was seven) with a surprise reading of “The Old Bastard Is Dead”which was snatched out of my hands before I could finish (I didn’t know what a bastard was back then. Maybe that was my first step toward romances…you think?)

Thanks for coming by today and letting me spout off.  And in the spirit of the season, I’m giving away a three-book set of the mass market editions of the Blood Rose Trilogy and an advance copy of COLORADO DAWN to two lucky commenters. Ho Ho Ho!

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43 thoughts on “Please welcome our guest–Kaki Warner”

  1. great interview. i like fade to black scenes if there’s a great line to say what they did. but i also like romantic sex scenes like the ones you write. (not trying to suck up, it’s just the truth). it was nice getting to know you a little better.

  2. Yippee! I vote for a return to the Wilkins’ ranch!!

    My question for you is, as a writer of historicals, are you ever tempted to jump forward a generation and write about the children of your original heroes and heroines?

    Looking forward to hunkering down with some cowboys over Christmas!

  3. Good Morning Kaki! A few of my books are set in the mountains in a blizzard. I think I might like to do that for ONE day just to see what life was all about back in the 1860s or 70s. I write sweet (very sweet) romance- historical and contemporary. Historicals are easier for me because I live in the country, where its easier to ‘what if’ the cowboys and Indians. Plus, there are no landmarks or anything to keep them from getting lost in a sand storm or blizzard. My current wip is about a woman renting a cabin that tells her the story of an 1860s Indian captive and the mountain man who finds her. My stories start with the characters. They pop up and tell me their story and away we go. Your books sound awesome. I love the covers! Hope you have a good day and many comments.

  4. You can suck up all you want. Michelle. LOL. Thanks for coming by and happy holidays.

    Marijane, I have tons of historical suthors I love–from Richard Cornwell to Eloise James, Jodi Thomas and everything in between. And I add new ones all the time: Emery Lee (FORTUNE’S SON) is a new author to me, Genevieve Graham (UNDER THE SAME SKY) is a debut author with a great book coming out. So many to read, so little time.

    Sarah, right now I’m sort of stuck in the same time frame since I’ve done so much research for the 1860s through the 1870s. I would love to jump ahead, and might, if I extend the Wilkins books, but there was tremendous change with the expansion of railroads, and I’d have to study up on all that. Do you, as an author of contemporary western romances, ever think of traveling back in time with your books? (Loved A MAN OF HIS WORD, by the way).

    Linda, you’re in, and good luck!

    Stephy, your books sound great. I, too, live in a rural setting, so much so that I have seven deer outside my office window right now, taking turns at the salt lick. It does make it easier to stay inspired with an uninterruped view of mountains like I have–easy to picture a cowboy riding along a ridge. Sigh.

    My thanks to all of you for coming by. Hope you’re gearing up for a great 2012!

  5. Hi, Kaki!

    Great interview! I’m looking forward to Maddie’s story. She was a favorite in Heartbreak Creek, and the Blood Rose Trilogy remains high on my keeper shelf.
    I don’t mind spicy or fade to black love scenes as long as the author handles them well and they fit the characters. But I certainly don’t want the all out “manual” descriptions, or one on every other page. In my own writing I tell my characters the first draft is theirs live it up (gotta give the cowboy a chance after he’s been on the range, in gunfights, fighting the land or an enemy or hasn’t seen his lady love in years), then I go back and make the final decision. :o)

    –Kirsten

  6. I would love to be in the drawing for your upcoming book. I’m a big fan of the blood red trilogy and I can’t wait to read your new book Colorado Dawn.
    Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  7. Great interview Kaki, loved your answers and agreed with them. You know I am a big fan of your work and I can’t wait to get COLORADO DAWN! Love your stories!
    I agree with you on the Fade to Black sex scenes and I don’t miss the sex scenes in your books I do have an imagination of my own. If a book has a lot of sex scenes I tend to just brouse through them or skip them. A lot of times it is just not needed in a book. Its all in how the book is written.
    I do love me some cowboys so keep bring your cowboy books to us. Keep up the good work, your books are awesome. I will try to see you on your blog! Thanks for sharing with us today!

  8. Hi Kaki……..It’s wonderful to have you back with us. I love your books. Each one is better than the one before. Can’t wait to read COLORADO DAWN. I have it pre-ordered.

    Also, loved the interview and being able to find out a little more about you. Wow, 45 years is a long time to be married! Congratulations on finding your prince charming. 🙂

  9. Hi Kaki!
    I’m with you on the fade to black scenes. I like to read books where the author closes the bedroom door and leaves room for my own imagination. We all know what goes on there, so no need to speak it out, is there? 😉 I love your answer on why you’re writing western books. So true!
    I’ve won the Blood Rose Trilogy at your facebook giveaway and I can’t wait to start reading them! And your new series sounds really intriguing, too. I need to catch up on your books, seriously. 🙂
    Thank you and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  10. Thanks, Kirsten–I love the way you let your cowboys do “their thing”, then do “your thing”. LOL.

    Stephanie, thanks for dropping in and Happy Holidays to you, too.

    Quilt Lady, thanks for your kind comments. I appreciate the support. And I’m glad you don’t mind “fade to black”. These characters are my friends, and it just seems icky to be watching them go at it from a clinically close perspective. LOL.

    Linda, it’s always fun to visit P&P. And thank you for ordering COLORADO DAWN. I hope you like it. As for my “Prince Charming”, yeah, he is a good man. And REALLY patient. HA!

  11. Kaki,

    The covers of your books are just beautiful….I have not read any of your books but now they are on my must read list…

    I love “Prince Charming” story lines…

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  12. Thanks for sharing with us today Kaki! Enjoyed the interview… I have to add your trilogy to my want list… love the looks of your cowboy covers… Happy Holidays!

  13. I am from Colorado so I like to read books set in that beautiful part of the West.
    Enjoyed reading the comments.
    Merry Christmas

  14. Looking forward to the release or Colorado Dawn so much. I do like your stories a lot. I’ve read them all so far…keep them coming!!! Loved the interview. You give us hopeful older people, who have always dreamed of writing a book (or more) to have a go. I’ve been writing a book in my head chapter by chapter for decades. Maybe I should start putting it down on paper! And depending on the mood I’m in, I either like the fade to black or I’m more into the “blow by blow”! I re-read books I really like, your’s are some that I’ve re-read often. Thanks lots!

  15. Thanks, Melinda and Colleen. I like the covers too. Especially Hank’s. Yum. As for my “Prince Charming” story line, Melinda, that’s in real life, not my books, LOL.

    And Colleen, I appreciate you giving my books a try. Hope you like them. They were a lot of fun to write.

    Joye, lucky you to live in such a beautiful place. I hope I did it justice. I’ve been going the last several summers to the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Great group. And great contest, which is now open to both pubbed and pre-pubbed writers. You ought to check it out.

  16. I appreciate that, Debbie. And I hope you do start writing. I’m proof it’s never too late. Just start writing–you can edit later–but you have to start, first. Good luck!

  17. Hello again, Claudia. Thanks for participating in my giveaway–maybe you’ll win a book here for a complete set. I hope the books arrive safely–let me know if they don’t. And you have a great Holiday, too.

    Cindy, I agree. It’s all in the writing and the couple. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. I’m too old to want graphic lol. I like your way better. Afterall, I think the imagination is the best way to go. I’ve not read any of your books but they do so wonderful and just my type of read. Thanks for the interview.

  19. Great interview Kaki, I really enjoyed reading that. Westerns are my favorite romances, and I especially love historical westerns.

    Please include me in the drawing for Colorado Dawn only. I already own your Blood Rose trilogy – which I loved! Thank you!

  20. Melinda, I love Prince Charming stories too. What woman doesn’t want her own prince?

    You’re welcome, Catslady. I hope you give them a try. And thanks for coming by.

    And Thank you, Lori D., for reading the Wilkins books. COLORADO DAWN (2nd in the Brides Novels) was a lot of fun to write. If you win a copy, let me know how you liked it.

  21. Estella, I hope you’ll give them a try. Thanks for dropping by.

    Tina, thank YOU and all the readers who buy my books–which allows me to keep doing what I love to do. And Merry Christmas to you, too!

  22. My husband an I both laughed at the poetry you tried to do,that was so cute,,anyway nice post,thanks for coming by

  23. Kaki, thanks so much for blogging at P&P. I learned a lot about you and your writing. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t begin writing until I had my family raised and felt I needed to do something different, so I wrote down a list. Writing a cookbook was at the top, so I decided to take a class from Jodi Thomas. I figured surely a NYTimes USA Today bestselling author could teach me how to write a cookbook … that’s how uninformed I was about the craft. But I took the challenge seriously, although I was 55 years old. I sold at 59 and have been married to my D/H for 43 years! Isn’t it wonderful that writing isn’t just for the young, but for the young at heart?

    Don’t you have an Edwinna in one of your stories? Linda created Edwinna Dewey in our first or second anthology as a secondary character. I waited three books to steal her from Linda, then made her into a main character in the Christmas anthology. And, one of her grandchildren appears in my contemporary WIP. Great minds, create great names! Enjoyed your post, and come back and see us soon. Hugs from the Texas Panhandle, Phyliss

  24. Kaki,
    Thanks so much for being our guest today! I loved learning all about you and your stories–these covers are great and the stories sound wonderful! I know what “SANTA” is bringing me–I already have a kindle and I’m ordering what I want for it for my Christmas. LOL Great interview–I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you.
    Cheryl P.

  25. You’re right, Phyliss, writing knows no age constraints. If you can keep up with the demands of promotion, deadlines, and research, and are willing to sit at a computer for hours on end, you can go as long as you want. In fact, I think some of us (mostly me) need those extra years to get smart enough to write a book. And yes, I have a character named Edwina (the hero calls her Ed). She’s the main character in HEARTBREAK CREEK, the first brides book, and a southern princess if there ever was one. Hugs back to you from a transplanted Texan.

  26. And thank you, too Cheryl P. for the kind welcome. As always, I’ve loved visiting with you ladies at P&P. You’re a talented and generous group. Merry Christmas to all of you. Kaki

  27. Great Interview! Thanks for posting today. You know, my favorite books have always been the Little House series…I have actually read them again for the gazillionth time this year. I’m not sure I will ever outgrow my desire to be a pioneer. 🙂 I can’t wait to read your books…I’m requesting them from my library right now!!

  28. Great Blog! I am a fan of thr fade to black sex. I figure that I can imagine what is happening and don’t need it described. Need to find these books!

  29. I am impressed. We are of a similar age, and figured it was a bit late to start writing and trying to get published. You have proved it is never to late to succeed.

    As for your “fade to black” sex scenes, THANK YOU. It is getting rather tiring having to work around all that is being put in some romances. There is a big difference between romance and sex. I am not interested in sitting there watching. Let’s get on with the story already. I end up skipping pages. Who needs 5 pages describing a tumble in bed or the hay or the grass or the wagon, etc. The imagination works better.

    We lived in Colorado for 3 wonderful years. I wish we could have retired there. The Brides series follows one of my favorite storylines. I look forward to reading it. I already have 2 of your Blood Rose trilogy books and enjoyed them.

    Thanks for an enjoyable post. Best of luck with the rerelease of the trilogy and with the release of COLORADO DAWN.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a great 2012.

  30. Kaki, great interview thanks for sharing re your writing. I have been a fan and followed you since discovering your just published first book. I have all your published books, either hard copy or ebook dependant on the format that can be chased down from Australia. Your up and coming books have been preordered already(so I don’t need to go into the draw) Either “fade to black” or a little more detailed is fine, dependent more on the story and how it all fits together with the plots and characters. Great to here later bloomers thriving, cheers Rosheen

  31. Stephanie and Connie–thanks for giving my books a try. I hope you like them. I loved writing every one of them.

    Patricia B, I get emails all the time from readers who much prefer the “fade to black” so I guess we’re not alone. That’s what’s great about the romance genre–there’s something for everyone. Luckily my editor has never indicated she wanted my love scenes to be more graphic, which isn’t true for every author. I hope you enjoy the brides/Colorado books. It’s stunning country.

    Rosheen–Australia! Now that’s a place I’d love to visit. Like Jack in the third Wilkins book, CHASING THE SUN, it’s been a lifelong dream. Lucky you. And thanks so much for buying my books. It’s a thrill knowing someone so far away can connect with my characters. Thank you.

  32. Hi Kaki,

    I enjoyed meeting you through this interview. I haven’t read any of your books yet. They do sound like books that I would like.

    One of my favorite books growing up was Johan Spyri’s Heidi.

    johnslake at usa dot com

  33. Would love to enter the contest to win a autographed copy of the book ‘Colorado Dawn by Kaki Warner for my best friend and book buddy. We read our books together and talk about them daily. I know I have won one, but it would be a great Christmas present for her. Keep writing about them Cowboys.Merry Christmas!

  34. You’re right, Laurie G. I’d forgotten about Heidi. I loved that one, too. I hope you’ll give my books a try, and thanks for coming by.

    Hello again, Kim. I enjoyed your comments on my giveaway and appreciate that you came by P&P. If you love cowboys, this is a great site that’s loaded with excellent authors. A great research tool, too. Good luck winning another copy of CD, and Merry Chriastmas to you, too.

  35. I’m coming late with a comment, but I was delighted to find your interview after relaxing from gift wraping tonight. Your books sound great and I was pleased to find a new historical cowboy writer. If I don’t win one of your books, I’ll be ordering one soon. My frist historical western is coming out in January and I can’t wait to join with such wonderful writers as I’ve found on this site.

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