K. E. Saxon has written Diamonds And Toads.
1. What is your name and where do you call home?
K.E. Saxon, Houston, Texas
2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
DIAMONDS AND TOADS: A MODERN FAIRY TALE. I’m going to cheat a little and use the description one of my reviewers used on Amazon.com because I really liked it: Diamonds & Toads blends hot romance with wit and humor for a fantastic and fantastical modern fairy tale.
3. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
As far as what/who inspired me to even attempt to write a romance, it would be Julie Garwood, in a very roundabout way. One day, after I’d finished reading her medieval Scottish Highlands romance, The Bride (for about the 20th time) and felt once again frustrated that she had never written a sequel involving the sister and her Highlander, I thought: “I’m just going to write the story for myself, so that every time I read this book again, I’ll always know what happened to the sister.” Well, needless to say, it only took me about 5-10 minutes into the writing of it to realize I had no idea how to write like Julie Garwood, nor what Julie Garwood would do with her characters (another source of frustration, I might add—I still wish she’d write that sequel!) However, the germ of the idea was set and I ended up writing a completely different story purely springing from my frustration in not knowing the other character’s story! As far as how long I’ve been writing, well, I’ve been keeping a journal since I was a pre-teen and in my teenage years I wrote a lot of poetry. Funnily, I always had the itch to write fiction, but when I tried sitting down to just write a short story or something, I could never keep my own interest—not until I tried my hand at romance. Then, for me, it was like reading a romance as I wrote it. I loved it, loved the process, and still do.
4. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Absolutely! Although I expect and want an honest review.
5. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I found the photo at iStock Photos about a year ago when I was browsing for fairy pictures and fell in love with it. I thought it evoked the exact feel of my fun and steamy contemporary romance romp. However, I wanted to somehow include the diamonds and toads in the photo as well, and that was beyond me. I found Dara England’s name and reference through an online forum I’m a member of and quickly commissioned her services once I’d decided to self-publish the story.
6. How did you come up with the title for your book?
It’s actually the same title as the original fairy tale written by Charles Perrault in the 17th century, except I did add the subtitle, A MODERN FAIRY TALE.
7. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer the first three, with really no order of preference. However, audiobooks are just not for me. I think they’re a great thing to have on a long road trip, though!
8. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes, and so happy I went that direction!
9. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Absolutely (see above re: The Bride). In fact, almost every room in my house has book shelves filled with books with even more books on the floor. I’ll read a good romance book multiple, multiple times. I own, and re-read, the entire collections of Susan E. Phillips, Linda Lael Miller (her 80s-90s books), and Julie Garwood all the time. The aforementioned authors are only the tip of the iceberg, though! I watch chick-flick romance movies over and over again, too.
10. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m actually reading two! Both are by fellow indie-writer friends: A TOUCH OF ICE, by Lj Charles (romantic suspense with a bit of the paranormal), and ENTANGLEMENTS (Multiverse), by P.R. Mason (YA sci-fi urban fantasy). Both of these books are e-books, which I’m reading on my Kindle. I highly recommend both books, by the way!
11. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Take online classes at Writers U and other such sites to learn character motivation techniques (the thing that most editors/agents say is the weakest link in most of the submissions they receive). I recommend classes given by Laurie Schnebly, Sherry Lewis, and Margie Lawson. Also, try your best to find a critique partner and then listen to them. And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? You can have a character do whatever you want him to do or behave in any manner you choose, as long as you set it up properly (the power of 3: Show two times, but preferably three that this character would react or do a certain thing in a similar situation).
12. Where can your readers follow you?
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/kesaxonauthorpage
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/kesaxon
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/rDgMWi
Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!