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Saturday, January 8, 2011
Author Interview: Kat Holmes
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Kat Holmes, whose latest book The Lighthouse has just been released by Muse It Hot Publishing. I asked her to tell us a little bit about it.
When Rachel Westmont inherits a lighthouse from an aunt she didn’t even know she had, she’s overjoyed. The news couldn’t have come at a better time. Newly divorced from a self-serving doctor, the change of scenery is just what she needs. So she packs up and leaves California for a little island off the coast of Maine.
Rachel falls in love with both Star Island and the beautiful lighthouse and cottage she’s inherited. But, odd things begin to happen right from the first day. Cold chills permeate the cottage and books fly off the shelves. And someone seems to be playing pranks on her.
But when the ante gets upped and someone tries to kill her, Rachel must turn to hunky local sheriff Craig Lewis for protection. Now bodies are turning up, people are getting hurt, and Rachel is starting to suspect her aunt didn’t die a natural death. Can Craig stop a killer from claiming Rachel as their next victim? A little help from a ghost may be in order.
Kat told me that even though The Lighthouse is a work of fiction, she wanted to incorporate as much fact as she could into the actual building, so her research for the book consisted of getting several books from the library on lighthouses in America and their history.
For another upcoming book, Frozen, she had to do some zoological research.
"The story is a fantasy novel that mostly takes place in a world I created, but it begins here in our own world," she explained. "My hero in the story is in Antarctica researching penguins so I had to find out about penguins. I made sure that I was very accurate about the kinds of penguins he was researching. I so far have enjoyed all my research. It hasn’t been work to me, just a lot of fun."
Her other series, Gods at Work, hasn't required any research at all, since it's based on the Greek myths and, being a self-described "Greek mythology nut," she knows them all by heart.
"How do you personally distinguish between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography?" I wondered.
"I really like this question. Most people who think of erotica think porn and that is so not the case. To me erotica alone is just touching and teasing with no actual intercourse. Think of it like this. Remember back when you were a teen and you necked with your boyfriend or girlfriend on the porch but you didn’t do more than kiss and touch because your parents were home and would catch you. That’s erotica to me.
"Erotic romance includes the full act of sex. But that’s not all there is. The sex plays a part in the story, but it’s not what makes up the story. The story is built heavily on character development, the building of the relationship between the protagonists, and the conflict present. It’s story driven but with some sex in there as well.
"Porn is just straight sex. For example guy shows up at woman’s house to clean pool, guy starts work in his skivvies, woman strips and jumps his bones. That’s all there is just a quick meet and greet and then non-stop sex action. That’s what porn is."
Her list of writers who write excellent erotic fiction would be, as she said, "a mile long." A few she really enjoys are: N.J. Walters, Lea Schizas, Kresley Cole, Christine Feehan, Lynsay Sands, Jeaniene Frost, Yasmine Galenorn, Alyssa Day, Sarah Masters, Anny Cook, Regina Carlysle, and Laurann Dohner.
"There are many more but as I said this list could go on till the end of time," she added, with a smile.
Her favorite of them all, however, is N.J. Walters and one of her favorite erotic books is Woven Dreams, by Walters.
"She's my writing hero," Kat said, "and writes this really great Tapestry series that is awesome. It was what first made me fall in love with her writing."
Another favorite is Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole.
"I love her Immortals after Dark series and that one is my favorite," Kat told me. "Nothing sexier in my opinion than a tormented vampire driven to madness and a hot burlesque ghost."
When it comes to her own writing, she knows the story part is good because her mother (author L.J. Holmes) edits Kat's work as she goes along, and if the story is good, her mom starts pestering her for the next part of the story.
"The erotic part I know is good if I actually get aroused myself as I am writing it," she shared. "Embarrassing to admit but true nonetheless."
Although Kat loves erotic romance, she doesn't write or read BDSM.
"Some of my stories incorporate light bondage but that’s as far as it goes. Beyond that, never. I just can’t write it. I have reasons for that but I won’t discuss them so please don’t ask."
Kat's always written, but she never wrote with the intention of getting published.
"When I started reading adult level romances in my early teens that’s what I wrote. I’m a romantic at heart I guess and I just feel a story needs romance. And I’m sorry, a part of romance is sex," she said. "I feel a story is lacking without it. Sex is a basic human need and if the person you fall in love with can’t fulfill that human need then you have a recipe for adultery later on. So I like to ensure my characters have good healthy sex lives. I think romance needs it."
However, Kat was very firm in her advice to authors who want to write erotica to not write it if sex makes a person uncomfortable.
"That will come through in your writing and no matter what, people will be able to tell it that the sex scenes look contrived," she explained. "And two, erotic romance isn’t just about the sex. Make sure you develop a good and strong story. If you aren’t sure your story is strong, have someone else look at what you’ve written and give you feedback. Don’t take what they say as criticism but as a way to improve your story."
And for new writers, she said, "Believe in yourself. You will get rejections even after you’ve been published. That’s just the way it is. But no matter what, never give up. Keep trying and keep evolving in your writing. It will happen. I’m living proof of that."
You can keep up with Kat on her blog, http://katluvr130.blogspot.com