Monday, October 19, 2009

Author Interview ~ J. K. Coi

Today we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing, multi-published auther: J.K. Coi. Welcome to the Menagerie. I hope you have as much fun as we do. Let's get started: Where are you from?

Hi! I’m from Canada—and I say that vaguely because it’s really true. I’m from Canada all over. I’ve lived (sometimes very briefly, like 3 weeks) all across this country. I was born in Alberta though and it’s a place that I love. My heart belongs to the Rockies. The mountains are some of the most beautiful visions this world has to offer and it takes my breath away every time I go back to visit.

Alberta also has some of the coolest names for its cities and towns that you’ll ever find (except maybe for Spread Eagle, Newfoundland and Dorking, Ontario). Of course, there’s “Vulcan” which I’ve only been to, but I lived in Chicoutimi, Red Deer and Medicine Hat, Alberta—all beautiful places by the way.

So what was the question? Where am I from? Well, I’ve lived in British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and now I live in Ontario (pretty close to Dorking, actually). But I’m from Alberta first and foremost.

LOL, at least you figured out where you live! :-D Tell us your latest news?

Well, my son just learned to ride his two-wheel bike (my heart thanks him for saving me the agony of having to watch him fall off the thing), and we spent our vacation channeling drowned rats as we froze our butts off in the rain while camping this summer.

But in other news, I’ll just released a book that came out in September! It’s a re-release of my novella, The Trouble With Destiny, and it’s coming out from Samhain Publishing so keep your eyes open for it. This book was loads of fun to write. It’s a sexy and funny urban fantasy romance—Sarah is the biggest smartass you’ll ever meet, and Dorian is coolness extraordinaire all wrapped up in a hot hot package.

I also just finished a new book. A short story, actually, but the characters are so deep and real, and it’s packed full of so much emotion (and yes, hot sex) that I’m surprised it doesn’t explode off the pages—about a couple on the verge of divorce who are trying to figure out if their marriage can be saved. (And there’s not a demon or a vampire to be found—the sky must be falling because I’ve written something that isn’t paranormal J )

Awesome, gotta love it when your submissions are moving right along. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Writing The Trouble With Destiny was definitely a learning experience. For one thing, it was a departure from my series, The Immortals. Still a paranormal world, but with a completely different set of mystical rules. It was also a little bit lighter and a lot snarkier (sure it’s a word). I also wrote it in the first person, something I’d never tried before. It took a while to figure out how that was going to work, but I love the results.

LOL, snark is good. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

LOL, this is a trick question, right?

I do love all of my books. I have a special attachment to My Immortal, for obvious reasons—it was my first book. And I love Immortal Kiss because I completely fell for Baron’s high energy, boyish charm. Alric from Dark Immortal is my tortured soul, and his and Diana’s story touched me very deeply. While Gideon and Lyssa from Forever Immortal are so vibrant and feisty, the two of them burn up the pages. Then of course, there’s The Trouble With Destiny—my foray into writing in first person. Sarah’s sense of humour is warped, to say the least, but I loved writing her.

So, um, what was the question again? A favourite?

I really think you need to read them all.

LOL, yeah yeah, not a fair question to ask, but we couldn't resist. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I think that everybody needs different things to improve their skills, but some of the best advice I’ve ever heard that I think applies to all of us, is to find a group of like-minded individuals and glom onto them. For me, it’s my RWA Chapter group. When I first started going to meetings, I felt completely outclassed and intimidated. But writers (and if I may say, especially romance writers) are an amazing species: generous, supportive, and kind. I learned so much in my first year of membership that the only way I can ever repay those wonderful women is to share my own experiences and knowledge with the newer members coming into the group. There’s nothing in the world like having a support system of people who know exactly what you’re going through, who understand why you’re so excited to reach 30,000 words and who will always be able to make you feel good about getting another rejection letter.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I have fabulous readers that I absolutely love! I couldn’t ask for a better response to my books. It makes me cry just thinking of how lucky I am.

And because you asked, I’ll share a few of the comments that I’ve gotten from some of the readers who have gotten in touch with me by email:

“I have just finished "Dark Immortal," the first work of yours that I have read. I was bowled over by the strength and depth of the characters and the wonderfully sexy romance.”—Heather

“How do you do it? You just keep getting better and better! The whole time I was reading, I was just glued to the pages!”—Angela

“I started reading your book really quickly at work today... bad idea, because you've got me hooked. And I've only read the first chapter!”—Melanie

What wonderful notes! What do you think makes a good story?

I believe that good stories are all about the characters. Characters are what bring out emotion in a reader. They’re what we remember from the books that we love. A well-drawn scene, or a brilliant mystery –while also essential—aren’t the heart of a book and will always be the window dressing that helps to distinguish the whole.

Absolutely! As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

When I was little, I wanted to be a dancer. I wanted that life so bad my math teacher sent me to the office for doing pliĆ©s in front of the class while he was trying to teach us algebra. I wanted the tutu and the slippers and the red roses thrown at my feet. I wanted the lights and the music and the crowds cheering my name… Trouble is, I’m about as coordinated as a buffalo.

So there you go. Dreams dashed all over the place.

ROTFL, well, that's okay, you can't all be dances. Besides, it's not as easy as it looks... aches, pains, rehearsals...blech. And now for the "Absolutely-Nothing-To-Do-With-Writing Questions": What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

*sigh* I want a puppy.

Hubby won’t let me.

My son and I are still wearing him down, but I think we’re making progress. We have pictures of puppies plastered all over the house, and he has to take them off of his computer screen every time he wants to use it.

LOL, you'll get that puppy sooner or later. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Unless you’re Jennifer Aniston, I think everyone hates how they look in pictures. If it’s not a big tuft of hair sticking straight off of my head, or red eyes, or my big chubby cheeks that make me look about 12 years old... nevermind. I think I’ll skip this question.

LOL, so true. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Yep. Still here.

What were you doing at midnight last night?

I was working. I’m always working. My six year old son already knows the term “workaholic” and it makes me sad. Since I have a day job, I write at night—although I usually try to wait until after kiddo goes to bed so that I don’t have to pay for his therapist’s bills when he gets older and says his mommy never played with him.

What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?

“You're lookin' to spit Chiclets, Dude.” Canadians love hockey, never doubt it. So I’ve visited my fair share of hockey arenas in my day and witnessed enough ice-fights. The term is a popular one, and when you consider that Chiclets are pieces of white chewing gum that look a little like teeth if you squint really hard, it translates loosely to mean: “Keep it up and I’m going to knock your teeth out.”

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

More sleep.

Wow, these questions were pretty cool and I want to say thank you so much for letting me chat your ear (screen?) off today!

Let me leave you with a question now: If you were a superhero, what would be your awesome power? How would you use it to get Hugh Jackman in the sack? (okay, kidding on that one)


J.K. Coi writes dark and edgy paranormal romance, where love is all consuming, the stakes are always high, and the immortals are to die for…

Trouble With Destiny by J.K. Coi

There’s got to be more to life than studying…

The starving student routine is starting to wear a little thin for Sarah McInnes. If only she could be left alone long enough, she could finish grad school, get a normal nine-to-five and finally afford to move out of her one-room apartment. Maybe even afford a decent wardrobe.

Destiny has other ideas. Not the least of which is the mysterious, overbearing, insufferable Dorian…who also happens to be the hottest thing this side of hell. Three months ago he saved her from certain dismemberment at the hands of a daemon. He also discovered she possesses the ability to send these beasts back to hell where they belong.

Now he not only won’t leave her alone, he’s forcing her to face certain facts: Her social life isn’t going to improve anytime soon. And she may never make it to calculus on time again.

It’s enough to piss a girl off.

Warning: This title contains a beautiful, capable college student whose mystical tats have gotten her in almost as much trouble as her smart ass mouth. It also includes a devastatingly hot, mysterious warrior whose sense of humor is as non-existent as his humanity.


RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great interview with J.K. today. I loved learning more about her.
Thanks again,
PS - J.K. Coi is on Twitter! She is @jkcoi

Helen Hardt said...

Hi J.K., I'm a huge fan of your work ;).


J.K. Coi said...

Hi RKC, thanks for dropping by!

Helen, nice to see you here! Thanks for the compliment, it means so much!

Leah Braemel said...

Hey, JK, you forgot that wonderfully named town of Dildo, Newfoundland :D Srsly!

(I'm now looking for my spare pack of chiclets.)

J.K. Coi said...

Dildo, Newfoundland--I hadn't heard that one before :)

Speaking of some strange place names though, Canadians aren't the only ones... I've heard of Buttzville, Pennsylvania and Twatt, Scotland too :)

Cari Quinn said...

Hi JK! I found myself nodding at so many of your answers. Sleep is what I crave most too, and when I was little, my dream was to be a singer. Alas, it's a good thing we both had lots of dreams. ;)

Fun interview!

J.K. Coi said...

Thanks Cari! Sleep is something none of us get enough of, I think :)

I'm starting to wonder why no one wants to answer my superhero question. Should I have used Gerard Butler as an example?

Cari Quinn said...

Whoops! I came back because I remembered I hadn't answered your question, LOL

My superhero power would be a cloak of invisibility. I'm a nosy thing and that would just be awesome. For a backup power...flying would be cool. ;)

Kealie Shay said...

Okay, so I did the interview, posted it and never answered your question. Sorry... let's see... I think... x-ray vision. Do you really need to ask why? But that one might backfire... cuz there are some people out there I REALLY wouldn't want to see under their clothing. Hmm... how about... super charisma... major sex appeal, then I could just wink at him and he'd follow me to bed. :-D

Patsy said...

Just wanted to stop in to say hello. I'm a fan of yours.
Patsy H.

J.K. Coi said...

Oooh, Cari. I'd love to be invisible. I can just imagine the juicy gossip I'd get to hear--and let's pretend it wouldn't be about me :)

Kealie, x-ray vision? Could you turn it on and off at will. That would probably work out much better.

Patsy, thanks so much! I'm really glad to hear from you. Take care!

Lynne Roberts said...

Hi JK,

Wow, great interview!

Your books sound awesome. I think you have a new fan. : )

J.K. Coi said...

Thanks so much, Lynne!