Monday, October 20, 2008

INTERVIEW: Author Kayla Perrin

I’m very excited to have another guest visit the blog for your enjoyment, and you’ll all be even MORE excited when I tell you that it’s the awesome Kayla Perrin who has agreed to be interrogated today!

Since 1998, Kayla has had over 32 original releases hit the shelves and has written for a variety of publishers. Her recent releases are with St. Martin's Press, Harlequin, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, but she's also had releases with Kensington Books, BET, Ballantine, and Genesis Press. She writes mainstream fiction, romance, romantic suspense, suspense, chick lit, erotica, and children's fiction.

Whew. I’ve got to stop and take a breath.

Okay, to continue...

In January 2003, Kayla's novel, Say You Need Me, was voted one of The Romance Writers of America's Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year. In 2002, Kayla hit the Essence Bestseller List with her first mainstream novel, The Sisters of THETA PHI KAPPA. In October 2002, she won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times Magazine for multicultural romance. Also in October 2002, she won a Golden Leaf Award for her novel, In An Instant from the New Jersey Romance Writers chapter of The Romance Writers of America.

And you know what, I’m sure there’s tons more, but I haven’t got the space to list all the amazing achievements of this fabulous writer—although I will add that she’s a member of the Toronto Romance Writers and I’m glad of it because it means that I get to pick her brain whenever I want to...or at least when she isn’t in Miami, England, Italy, New York, or the Bahamas, ‘cause the girl sure does get around.

So Kayla, after all that, is there anything else we could possibly digest about you? Maybe you could tell us a little bit about how you got started in this business and what you think was the turning point to get you where you are today?

Hi, JK,
Thanks for having me today! I got started in the business officially in 1996. That’s when I made it my New Year’s resolution to get a publishing contract. I’d gone to teacher’s college and couldn’t get a job, as teachers all over the place were getting laid off. I had always been writing—since I could hold a pencil—so I thought to myself, why not go for your dream since your education isn’t landing you the job you want? I’d been writing for years, and started writing romances in my late teens. I researched the market when I decided that I would get published, and discovered that the romance genre was huge. I joined RWA, went to my first national conference, and took all the pitching opportunities available to me. That’s how I met an editor from Genesis Press, a small publisher eager for new authors. They asked me to submit as soon as possible, and I could possibly have a book out by the following spring. I hemmed and hawed for a couple of weeks, but my mother encouraged me to submit to them, so I did (in September) and in December, I got THE CALL with the offer of a 2-book contract!

Your latest erotic thriller, Obsession, about a woman who finds out that her husband has cheated on her and decides to exact a little revenge, takes a dangerous twist when her new lover gets a little too...obsessive. Obsession seems to have everything—betrayal, sex, danger, sex (I said that already didn’t I?) Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Oh, boy! A loaded question, ha ha. Is it based on personal experience . . . well, I’ll never tell. First and foremost, I wanted to explore the idea of infidelity in a marriage that doesn’t necessarily end the marriage. And of course, my heroine ends up in a situation where what she thinks she wants puts her in peril. I love to dose many of my novels with suspense elements, so it was only natural that when I thought of the danger element here, an obsessive lover easily came to mind. It is easy for some people to confuse sex with love, and if the sex is out of this world fantastic, a person might not want to let that go. That’s the case with Sophie’s lover. She’s looking for a fling, ends up experiencing sexual heights she never thought possible, but in the process, she starts to lose herself. In the end, her affair may cost her her life.

What’s next for you? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Next up is the sequel to SINGLE MAMA DRAMA, which goes on sale in late December. The sequel is aptly named, SINGLE MAMA’S GOT MORE DRAMA. I left off the first book with a cliff-hanger—the first time I’d ever done that!—and believe me, I heard from tons of readers. I wish the wait hadn’t been so long for the sequel, but that was out of my control.

And this month, my very first novel was re-released by Genesis Press in a mass-market format. When I do booksignings, people often ask me where my first book is. Now, those who haven’t purchased it but want to can. Next year, I’ll have another intense erotic thriller out with Spice, and there are a couple of other books in the works.

Now for the most important questions:

1. What’s your sign, and do you think the traditional traits of that sign fit you? If so, in what way?

I’m a Gemini, and ABSOLUTELY the traditional traits of that sign fit me. I’m a big communicator. I’m full of ideas, and career-wise, could have gone in many directions (I went to teacher’s college, was accepted into law school, and I’ve worked as an actress and assistant film editor). Because I’m full of ideas and find it hard to stick to just one thing, I also write in various genres—this keeps my muse stimulated, fresh, and satisfied. Geminis are extremely creative, and I have been that my entire life. I didn’t just write, I used to paint/sketch, sew, sing (once upon a time) and act. My two greatest loves of all my creative endeavours were writing and acting.

2. Would you still be a writer if you won the lottery tonight and could do anything you wanted to do? Even if you still wanted to write, what other career do you think you might have been good at?

I’m glad you asked this question. I would absolutely still be a writer if I won the lottery tonight (and hopefully you’re sending luck my way!). I would be a writer if I wasn’t getting paid to do it. But if I won the lottery, I would definitely invest in my other passion—my desire to make a feature film. It’s been a dream of mine for years. I even just told my family over turkey dinner that if I won a huge amount in the lottery, I would be funding my own feature film. I wouldn’t have to star in it, but I would direct it, and maybe have a small role in the project.

3. What are your favourite movies and books? (you can’t say your own books...but you can say mine) Why?

Favourite books and movies...well, that’s another loaded question! As for books, I read voraciously in many genres. The book I pick up depends on my mood. I love suspense. Mary Higgins Clark is one of my favourite authors. I also love romantic suspense, romance, some paranormal, chick lit, mainstream fiction . . . and of course, your books! As for movies, The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all-time favourite movies, as is Thelma & Louise, and How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. There are soooooo many others. You should see my book and DVD collection.

4. What has been your favourite place to visit? Did you write about it?

Do I have to pick just one?? (See, this is my Gemini inability to choose one thing out of so many options). If I have to pick one—well, heck, it’ll be two—I’ll say Paris, France. I absolutely LOVED Paris last year, and I’m working on a Spice Brief set in Paris. I can’t wait to go back there with the clothes on my back and an empty suitcase. It’s an incredibly beautiful place. Second place I’ll say—Miami. I don’t know why, but I have this affinity with South Florida. It’s like having the best of the modern world in a tropical setting, and I love the tropics (like Aruba, Mexico, Jamaica...see, I’m getting in more favourite places!).

5. Do you have any hobbies, things you do to relax?

Ha ha ha ha ha! Okay, is that a trick question? Any free time I get, I’m reading or watching one of the hundreds of DVDs I have at home that I have yet to watch. But, okay, to be fair, one thing I love to do is travel. Again, as a Gemini, I love to explore and learn new things. I want to see all of the world—over and over again. I’m thankful that my job allows me to travel a lot. Someone once asked me if I don’t miss being at home, and I rolled my eyes and said, “As if!” For me, getting to go away is excitement. This year, I went to Mexico, Jamaica, San Francisco, Virginia, a couple other places, and I’m already thinking of going away before the end of the year. Geminis are always on the move, which makes it hard for me to always get time to read or indulge in a movie. Which is why I now devour audio books. You won’t find me listening to music in my car (unless a friend is along for the ride). I have to catch up on my TBR pile. Other than that, I like to get together with friends, which I’ve done a lot more recently, and that’s really nice. I am a great dancer, and used to go to clubs a lot...but I certainly don’t have the time these days. My biggest responsibility is being a single mother, so after that and my career, everything else is on the backburner. Luckily for me, I thrive in chaos, so an unplanned schedule works very well for me.

Kayla, thanks so much for being a guest today. This is your chance to say anything else you wanted to my readers—whether it’s about upcoming books, events, or whatever turns your crank.

Thanks for having me, JK. You know that OBSESSION is out from Spice, AGAIN, MY LOVE is out from Genesis Press, SINGLE MAMA’S GOT MORE DRAMA is coming in a couple months. You can find more information about me and all of my releases on my website, Oh—one thing I forgot to say is that my new passion (hobby) is making home-made DVD movies for friends and family—my daughter’s birthday parties, family gatherings, outings, etc. And I’m really good! Even when I procrastinate, I find a way to do it creatively. I’ve even made a couple of my own book trailers for SINGLE MAMA DRAMA and OBSESSION, which you’ll find on

And that’s all! Thanks again for giving me this opportunity, J.K. It’s been great!

Everyone leave questions for Kayla, she'll be stopping by throughout the day! J.K. Coi

Book Trailer: Obsession (Spice, September 2008)


Shelley Munro said...

Great interview, Kayla and JK. Kayla, I've been meaning to pick up one of your Spice titles for ages. They're not that easy to find down here in NZ, but I'm off to order one. :-)

Joanna D'Angelo said...

Hey JK and Kayla! Great Q and A! Kayla - you know I love your work! One thing that I think is so important in a good romance novel is dialogue. When there's too much interior stuff and not enough dialogue it loses that sense of "aliveness". I guess for me being from a film/TV background dialogue is important and Kayla does great dialogue! Hmm maybe it has to do with your own film background? ;)

J.K. Coi said...

Shelley, I just finished reading Obsession and it was great!

J.K. Coi said...

Hi Joanna, thanks for stopping by! I know exactly what you mean about dialogue being so important, and I've learned that a lot of the authors I know that do dialogue especially well all have an acting or other film background.

Kayla Perrin said...

Hey, Joanna,
Great to see your comments! I do think that my experience as an actress helps with my dialogue...I'm able to "improvise" well between my characters, something I loved to do as an actor.

And Shelley, I hope you enjoy whichever of my Spice titles you pick up!