Dark Tide Rising is your first novel, how did it feel to find out it would be published?
I was over-the-moon excited! This story is really special to me, not only because it was the first one published, but because it takes place in Humboldt County where I went to college and spent some of the best days of my life. I was touched to find out that something from my heart would finally be “out there” for all to enjoy.
What was your inspiration and how long did it take you to write Dark Tide Rising?
The premise about a young girl seeing death before it happened really gripped me. Don’t know why. I had never tried to write a novel before and didn’t know if I could finish one. I sat down, wrote every night after my kids were asleep, and three months later I had a very rough first draft. I went to RWA National in Washington D.C. and learned from the best in the business about how to make my manuscript shine. I deleted everything. Every last word. Started off with a daunting blank page. Took the premise of a young girl seeing death and applied everything I learned. Dark Tide Rising was born three months after that.
Both your main characters in the story, Mark Thurgood and Emily McAllister, have connections to the sea—and the title references the ocean as well. What influenced this?
Oh, I’ve loved the ocean my whole life. The salty smells. The hush and boom of the waves. I absolutely love that it feels…alive. Some days the ocean is angry and tumultuous. Other days its waves are calm and soothing. I’m mesmerized every time…
Which characters were the hardest/easiest to write and why?
I’d say Mark was the easiest to write. I’m kind of uptight like he is—analyzing everything all the time. I struggled with Emily a bit because I didn’t want her to be weak and timid and scared…but how would you be if you found out a killer was coming after you? Would you know who to trust? Who to love? Villains are always my favorite though. The darker the better!
What was the biggest challenge for you in writing Dark Tide Rising?
I’d say doing the town of Trinidad justice was the hardest part. The world beyond the Redwood Curtain is enchanting to say the least. When I lived there, I loved every single second. I wanted to portray the generous townspeople, the quiet seaside community, the unbelievable views and gloriously gloomy weather. I wanted my love for Humboldt County to come through in my writing. I hope I’ve done that.
If you could tell us one fun fact about any of your characters, who and what would it be?
Emily was going to be my son’s name, had he been born a girl.
Can you tell us about what you’re currently working on? Dark Tide Rising is romantic suspense, but you’re primarily a paranormal romance author. Do you plan on writing any more romantic suspense or is paranormal the only thing in the current future?
Dark Tide Rising is the only romantic suspense novel I’ve written. Since then I’ve written two paranormal romance novels about vampires, shape-shifters and fallen angels. I think paranormal is where I’m going to stay for now. I may come back to romantic suspense at some point—especially if another premise strikes me—but it’s not in my sights yet.
I update my blog regularly, so if you’re interested in what’s happening with my latest works visit www.pararomance.blogspot.com
Without giving too much away, what’s your favorite scene in the novel? How did you feel when you completed that scene?
I think my favorite scene is when Mark and Emily have their first kiss on the beach. It was near midnight. Heavy clouds were rolling in. Rain was misting the sand. Emily had just realized the killer had his sights on her next. Mark was really bad talking about feelings, especially the ones spiraling in his gut. When I finished that scene I knew it was “right”. The words flew from my fingers so fast I hardly had time to think about what was happening. It was like Mark and Emily took control and wrote the scene the way they wanted it to be.
What’s your favorite line from the story?
How about a passage?:
“[Emily] pushed through the door, glad no deafening alarms blared, slammed it shut, then waited for the unsuspecting guy to exit. Her idea was to hit and run, so to speak, and scream for help. But when the door opened she panicked and ran, wailing like a frantic chimpanzee, then chucked the [ketchup] bottle behind her, praying it would hit its target.
“Holy hell!” A man swore and yelped, doubling over, grabbing his nose. “What are you doing, you crazy woman?”
Emily stopped dead in her tracks as she recognized the voice.
“Sergeant Thurgood?” she peeped, grimacing.
“I think you broke my nose! What the hell are you thinking?”
“I thought you were someone else.”
“Who, Colonel Mustard?” he snapped.
She half-laughed, then saw anger swelling in his ketchup-covered face and forced it down.”
If you could go back to when you were first writing this story, what advice would you give yourself?
Hmmm, that’s a good question. I’d say research more. Read more suspense novels. Leave fewer breadcrumbs.
Which authors have most influenced your writing?
Dean Koontz, John Saul, Alllison Brennan, Brenda Novak, J.R. Ward.
If I could spin a tale half as dark and complicated as they do, I’ll be in good form.
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. Hands down. It’s the only book I’ve read more than once…I’ve read it five times. That’s saying something.
I have so many! That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child! How about using the list I gave above?
Top three hottest fictional heroes?
You mean the ones I write don’t count? Darn.
Rhage from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood (He’s Hollywood! He’s alpha. And he’s a vampire with a hot—yet sometimes volatile—split personality.)
Cain from Nora Robert’s Circle Trilogy (He’s a dark and brooding vampire who’s willing to give up eternity for the one he loves. Swoon!)
Erik MacSorley from Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard Series (He’s an unrivaled seafarer who’s alpha all the way! How could I not love him?)
Favorite female heroine?
Oh, this is a good one too…
I’m thinking Moira from Nora Robert’s Circle Trilogy. I like to think of myself as a strong woman, so when I read for pleasure I want to be in the head and heart of someone softer and more demure. Moira was quiet without being weak. Strong without being overbearing. It was the perfect balance for me. Not to mention she was paired with Cain, who was one of my favorite heroes.
Favorite Dark Tide Rising character and why?
Aunt Vivian. She surprised me from the moment I created her. She’s superficial to a degree, but once I started digging deeper into her character I revealed pieces of her that I could sympathize with.
Thanks so much Kristin for stopping by and giving the interview. Tomorrow I'll be posting a review of Dark Tide Rising, so make sure you check back in. You can find Dark Tide Rising in both paperback and ebook formats. It is available on both Amazon and Wild Rose Press' website. Hope you enjoyed the interview! Til tomorrow! ;-)