Kinley, thank you for being here today. I just love the name of this series, Shadowed Love. Ruined takes on a whole new meaning following that.
The cover of RUINED is beautiful. Let’s give the designer some props.
Patricia Schmitt designed my cover and I’m thankful she captured the Realm of Shadows so perfectly. The cover defines the setting: a stormy, steamy world ruled by shadows.
Readers always want to know what’s lurking in the shadows! When it comes to genre, how do you categorize your books?
I write fantasy romance. I think the genre found me by accident, but it’s a good fit. I write happy endings set in alternate realms with magical elements. I’ve been told my novel has elements of suspense. It’s been called a romantic paranormal suspense. While that was never my primary goal while writing, I always try to keep up the tension, so I can see how it came out that way. And if readers say it, I won’t argue.
What’s your paranormal element of choice?
I love all paranormal abilities! In my Shadowed Love Series I chose Shadow Shifters. They use the shadows to shift at high speeds. I have a soft spot for them. But I’m a huge fan of any magic. Mainly because I don’t have any superpowers and I’m a little bitter about it.
Many people feel the PNR genre is on the way out. Do you agree?
I’m hoping fantasy romance will trend. Since I write it, I’m completely biased.
I hope romance novels never go out of style! I love the subgenres of romance, and I read them all. I count on those happily-ever-afters when I’m feeling down, so I will do everything in my power to keep writing them. And I’ll encourage anyone who wants to write happy endings to keep publishing!
There’s something so satisfying about a HEA ending. Is that what made you decide to focus on romance?
I don’t think it was a choice. I’m a romantic at heart with a fascination focused on people and the dynamics of relationships. Plus, I tried to be a matchmaker in real life, and it didn’t turn out well. I’ve invested all my matchmaking inclinations into fiction, so I can honestly say that no real people were hurt in the making of my romances
You can’t have romance without a little heat. How would you describe the heat level of your books on chilli pepper scale?
Readers have called RUINED “steamy”. While I’m not exactly sure what that means, I do know that sometimes what I write makes me blush. I try to write a lot of sexual tension into my books, beyond the intimate scenes, mainly because that’s what I love to read the most. I’d put myself between a 3 and a 4. But if you read it and have a different opinion, please feel to let me know. I think everyone’s scale is a little different.
Absolutely. Fortunately, there’s a reader for every one of them. Is there any area or element of this genre you read but will never write about?
I love reading about vampires, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to write them. I tried to write a vampire for my first book and then I realized I forgot to mention the whole blood part of the equation. Like… my vampire didn’t drink any. So I can’t see myself going there again, although several of my favorite series are about vampires. Have to love them.
Sometimes it’s a love/hate relationship. Have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits?
Yes, but I never win these battles. *sigh* My characters always win.
Writer’s hate to admit it, but there’s usually one character they become attached to, at least more than the others. Who is it for you in RUINED?
My favorite character in this story is probably the heroine, Jessa. Readers have really responded to her strength. She’s not kick-ass in the traditional sense, but she’s strong in her own way. It makes me a little giddy that people have commented on it in a positive light. I wasn’t trying to make her a certain way. I just felt like she was kind of a bright light that other characters tried to dim. I think I managed to leave her true heart on the page. She’s a great match for the hero, Vale.
What was your inspiration behind the creation of RUINED?
I love the paranormal genre, but I wanted to write something a little different than I was reading. I’m obsessed with happy endings though, so while I went with a little higher fantasy, I still knew the story would be a romance first.
I think you’ve definitely achieved that. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope readers will walk away with something from my novel. A dreamy sigh, a new perspective, or a character that sticks with them. I’m not picky. They can even intensely dislike the story. I’m still thankful they gave my writing a chance.
Now that your first novel is published, do you feel any anxiety? Perhaps the fear that you won’t be able to duplicate the success or meet a deadline, or even that the ideas will just dry up?
Yes… How did you know all my greatest fears? Lol. I’m not innately confident, so sometimes it can be a real struggle to keep going in the midst of an industry so full of uncertainty. But at the same time, it’s helping me grow as a person and embrace the self-confidence I’ve always struggled with since those awkward teenage years.
What can readers expect from you next?
There are three books scheduled in the Shadowed Love Series right now. RUINED is Book One. The second book will be releasing in 2012 and stars Caleb, who readers meet in the first book. I really love his story and his heroine. The working title is DENIED, and the tension between Caleb and his heroine is sparking off the pages during edits. When the characters aren’t completely exasperating me, I feel pretty positive about the state of the story.
Thank you for allowing me to visit today! I really enjoyed answering the questions, and I’m more than happy to answer more questions in the comments.
It was a pleasure having you here, Kinley. Thank you!
Book blurb for RUINED:
Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court’s Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient’s.
Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he’s given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family’s hold on the land–and his deceiving advisors aren’t afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.
But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.
Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.
Kinley Baker is the author of the fantasy romance novel, Ruined. She read her first romance at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy.