To start, Katlyn Conrad is a pen name. I also write paranormal mystery novels that have absolutely no explicit sex, and I didn’t want to send my other readers into a tailspin when Amazon automatically recommended erotic romances to them. So who am I really? Highlights: chocoholic, middling martial artist, and my “day job” involves spending three to four months out of the year in developing countries. The rest of the time I write from home. I’d much rather be writing full time. So please buy my books!
Q ~ What’s something that you never leave home without?
A pen. You never know when an idea for a story will stumble across your path, and ideas frequently get written down on the backs of envelopes, my hand, old receipts... I really need to add a notebook to thinks I never leave home without.
Q ~ Can you tell me about your ideal reader?
Someone who believes “alpha male” does not mean being a rapey, controlling, jerk-face. It is possible for strong, masculine men to be respectful of women, and that used to be an ideal. I’m not sure where that concept fell by the wayside, but this whole “romantic abuser” thing that’s become popular in romance is something I just can’t relate to and will never write. My ideal readers crave love and respect between the hero and heroine.
Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
I started writing when I was a little kid, but went through non-writing phases when I lost the faith. Finally, as an adult, I came to understand that professional writing means having to learn some rules of the trade, and I got serious about it. (And I am and will likely always be still learning).
Q ~ Who are your biggest supporters?
My sisters. One is also a writer, Alyson Conrad, who writes paranormal romantic suspense. I hate to say it, but I think she’s a better writer than I. She only started writing a year ago, and it would be seriously irritating if I didn’t like her so much.
Q ~ When you write, do you lay out a solid outline before beginning, or start writing and iron out the kinks later?
I lay out a very wobbly outline, write it, and then iron out the kinks!
Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing?
I like to take five minutes before writing to free write, and get all the distractions out of my head so I can focus on the story.
Q ~ What are your five favourite verbs to use during a love scene?
Claim, demand, kiss, arch, ache.
Q ~ Why did you choose to write paranormal romance as your primary genre?
I think the paranormal adds another layer of interest and intrigue to any story. And let’s face it – growing up, our first romances were likely paranormal – all the great romantic fairy tales are inherently paranormal, with wicked witches and dragons and spells.
Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release Spirit on Fire?
It’s a paranormal erotic romance about a shaman, named Samantha, who has been rejecting her shamanic powers. In this urban fantasy world, pretty much all paranormal creatures are really weres of some sort. A werewolf has a wolf spirit inside her, a fairy is a human with a fae spirit inside, etc., Shamans are spiritually connected to certain were spirits, with a measure of control over them. Samantha encounters a fire demon-were, Marek, who wants to be human again and take revenge on the vampire who “infected” him with the fire demon spirit. He thinks Samantha can help him. Sam isn’t so sure if she can, or if she really wants to.
Q ~ What music did you listen to while writing Spirit on Fire?
It’s been so long from writing to publication that I can’t remember!
Q ~ What is your favourite part or scene in the novel?
The first kiss!
Q ~ What characters did you find yourself especially drawn to and why?
I really liked Samantha. She’s practical, good natured, and funny, and I think the combination makes her endearing.
Q ~ Who would play Samantha and Marek in the film adaptation of this book?
Reese Witherspoon and Gerard Butler.
Q ~ What was the most difficult part of the process while writing Spirit on Fire?
This was not only my first stab at an erotic romance, but also my first novella. So I hope I got it right! I think the challenge was figuring out how to show two people falling in love in such a short time span. I didn’t get a full 60,000 word novel to make it happen – only 26,000 words.
Q ~ Have you written an outline for the Shamans and Shifters series or do you make it up as you go?
I have the rough draft finished for the second in the series, tentatively titled Shaman’s Bane, and a synopsis for the third.
Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment? Care to give us a hint about it?
Shaman’s Bane is another shaman/were pairing, but this time I went with the more traditional werewolf. It’s an erotic paranormal romance, but there’s a murder mystery woven through it as well.
Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never stop learning.
Katlyn Conrad has never met a chocolate dessert she didn't like, and her guilty pleasures are watching True Blood reruns and drinking old vine Zinfandels. She has a deep and abiding love of magic, myth, and mayhem.
You can find her on Goodreads.