Kait Nolan: Wolf Writer, Wolf Kisser

To cap off our Labor of Love Day festivities, Holmes and I are pleased to have a chat with romance writer extraordinaire, Kait Nolan*. Kait just released her new book, Red, which is a YA twist on the Red Riding Hood tale, because, after all, every fairy tale has a dark side.

I downloaded Red to my nook as soon as it came out, and it disappeared just as quickly. No, nothing is wrong with my nook. My 13-yr-old daughter took off with it. She started reading and didn’t stop until she was finished. Except for once, that is, when the tension had her so caught up she had to run into my office and bemoan Sawyer’s dire situation. This is what my very discriminating daughter had to say about Kait Nolan’s newest novel. . . .

Red is a thrilling adventure with surprises around every corner. A wonderful mix of romance, violence, and supernatural transformations. An absolutely intoxicating read!”

Kait Nolan. She even looks like a romance writer, doesn’t she? Her answers are the ones in bold.

So Kait, we’re delighted for the chance to get to know you better.

We’d like to start out by asking, what was your inspiration for Red? What tipped the scales for you from passing idea to active endeavor?

The voices.  They wouldn’t hush.  Elodie literally woke me up at night telling me her story.  Which did not put me in particularly good humor with her, as I value my sleep.  But the only solution was to tell her tale.

Sounds like a strong young lady.

Piper’s daughter was so excited about your writing after reading Red that she downloaded the rest of your books. We realize it’s a bit late to ask this, but are all of your books YA?

Actually no, this is my first YA (published anyway—I’ve got a lot of YA manuscripts collecting dust in the manuscript graveyard).  But it won’t be my last.  It’s SO MUCH FUN writing YA. 

BTW, you might want to warn her about one, um, ahem…steamy scene in Forsaken By Shadow.  It’s not too graphic on a romance novel scale, but just sayin’…

Thank you. I’ll be sure to mention that to her. What other books have you written, and what genres are they?

Everything else I have out is a sort of paranormal romance/urban fantasy hybrid (I tend to have too much romance for strictly urban fantasy, but way more action than the typical romance).  There are currently two novellas in the Mirus series (Forsaken By Shadow, Devil’s Eye) and a freebie short story (Blindsight) in the same world.   I’ll be putting out an omnibus of all three (Genesis) in e and print within the next month or so.  Then moving on to full length novels in that series.

Sounds like plenty to keep you busy. Having read your blog and tweeted with you for several months, we have the impression that you are one of the most dedicated writers we’ve ever met. How many hats do you wear, exactly?

Researcher (full-time), college instructor in psychology (part-time), writer (in-between-time), domestic engineer (other-in-between-time), food blogger, and general goddess-in-training

That’s a lot of hats. So are you telling us you are really a cyborg, and you never have to sleep?

Sleep?  What is this sleep thing of which you speak?  I am proudly sleep-deprived since I graduated college in 2002.  :D  Seriously, though, it is a major challenge.  You know that whole “people need an average of 8 hours a night?”  Well I’m at the upper end of that average.  My body wants 10 HOURS.  I usually get about 7.  I am firmly convinced that instituting world-wide daily nap time for grown-ups would be a major step in achieving world peace.

Hear, hear! Now, you clearly must love writing to be so dedicated. What did you love most about writing Red?

I loved stepping out of my Mirus world (which I love) and playing in a new one.  It’s always a joy to me to explore new worlds and new characters, and in this case it was particularly fun to be…not an adult for a while. 

What’s your favorite thing about Elodie Rose, the leading lady of Red?

Elodie kicks butt.  She’s strong, independent, and capable and doesn’t wait around expecting somebody else to come save her or fix her problems for her.

What’s your favorite thing about Sawyer, the young man/wolf?

His bu…I mean, his absolute dedication to Elodie.  He totally respects her strength and doesn’t feel threatened by it.

Sounds like a good man. Especially if he has a nice “bu….” (Holmes insists I note that last sentence was a Piper comment, and not a Holmes comment.) When you finished Red, did you dive right into a new project?

Oh I tried.  It didn’t go well. My brain, it esploded. 

Lol. Can you give us any hints about the topic of your next book?

Well, I can’t say with 100% conviction, but I’m probably going back to my Mirus world to play around with that other favorite wolf-shifter featured in Devil’s Eye.

While reading your blog, Piper discovered a page with great gluten free recipes. Since more and more people are realizing they are sensitive to gluten, have you ever considered writing a cookbook?

Not so much, no.  I enjoy food blogging and sharing recipes for food I enjoy.  But I’m not sure I’d have enough totally original recipes for a formal cookbook.   Now a fiction series that includes recipes…THAT I’d like to do.

Piper’s dog, Daisy, was very excited to know we’d be speaking with you here today. She has a few questions for you, too, if you don’t mind.

Daisy

Hi Kait. *wags tail* I’m so happy to meet an author who gets it. . . . Oh, sorry about that fur on your dress. . . . Stephanie Meyer got it. She wrote those books about that sexy Jacob and some other characters that cluttered up the rest of the pages. Dog readership is a driving force in today’s book market, you know. Jacob was my main alpha, but now you’ve given me another sexy wolf to love in Sawyer. *rrrowww, wag, wag*

Who wants a tummy rub?  *scratch scratch scratch rub*  Who’s a good girl?  Have a meatball.

Thank you. *lick, lick* Those were some great kisses in the book. You know. The ones where the token girl gets to kiss the brave, sexy wolf. It was clear you wrote that from first hand experience. Did you get to kiss lots of wolves for that material, or do you have a main wolf?

I do have a main wolf.  We’ve been happily mated for just over twelve years now.

Did it taste like meatloaf? I love meatloaf. I always imagined kissing a wolf would taste like meatloaf.

That would depend entirely on what I made for dinner …

So I remember seeing some stuff about Arnold Schwarzenegger in the news recently, and I was wondering if that super-wolf, Sawyer, and that token girl who follows him around need a maid?

Now, Daisy . . . That’s not appropriate. Sorry about that, Kait. I’m still working with her.

I’d love to know what else you would like to tell us about Red?

I suppose that it is a stand-alone.  I keep getting asked if there will be a sequel.  It wasn’t written with a sequel in mind, and at present I don’t see much room for one, but I’ve learned never to say never with my characters.

Is there a question you wish we had asked you today?

Can’t think of a thing.

Since we are The Romance Doctors, and you’re a romance writer, do you have any questions for us?

Not at the moment, but give me time to get into the next WIP.  I’m sure something will present itself!

Thank you so much for stopping by our blog and giving us a chance to learn more about you and Red. Sorry about that dog slobber. A touch of Dawn liquid should get that right out . . .  Daisy, get out of Kait’s car . . .

Red, which is highly recommended by both Piper and the most discriminating YA reader you’ll ever find, her daughter, is available at Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore, and All Romance EBooks. It’s been an honor to speak with you today, Kait. Thank you for stopping by.

Do you folks have any questions for Kait?

Piper Bayard—The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Holmes—Student of Sex, C4, and Hollow Points

*Kait Nolan is stuck in an office all day, sometimes juggling all three of her jobs at once with the skill of a trained bear—sometimes with a similar temperament. After hours, she uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. The work of this Mississippi native is packed with action, romance, and the kinds of imaginative paranormal creatures you’d want to sweep you off your feet…or eat your boss.  When she’s not working or writing, she’s in her kitchen, heading up a revolution to Retake Homemade from her cooking blog, Pots and Plots.

You can catch up with her at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Bayard, Holmes, Movie, No Popcorn: RED

Per a request from our reader, Ellie Ann Soderstrom, Holmes and I sat down together a while back to review the movie, RED. RED is a movie about a retired black-ops CIA agent who puts his old team back together when someone tries to assassinate him. Both Holmes and I found this film delightful, and we weren’t even drinking guinda that evening. . . .

RED Movie Poster

Bayard

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s what I think of as a “Nolan Ryan film.” For those of you who are not adherents of the faith of Baseball, as I am, Nolan Ryan pitched a perfect game in 1991 at the age of forty-four. In other words, he was an old dude showing the puppies how it’s done. Likewise, RED is a tribute to the timeless adage that age and treachery will win over youth and skill every time. I don’t know about you, but I like that theme more and more with every passing year.

As an author, one character I particularly appreciated was Frank, played by Bruce Willis. Frank is a kick-ass former government agent who reads romance novels and is sweet on Sarah (Mary Louise Parker), a customer service representative he’s only ever talked to on the phone. This caught my heart right away because there’s really something to that notion of the sensitive tough guy.

Over the years, I’ve known a variety of individuals who could reasonably be classified as, “bad-ass dudes.” Each and every one of them had a soft spot. . . . Some well-developed aspect of gentleness. . . . From a Hell’s Angel who photographed flowers to a Delta Force original who taught aikido to the softest, greenest civilians Continuing Education could send him. So the fact that Frank in the movie was a retired spook who read romance novels made him real and well-rounded to me right from the start.

As a belly dancer and a woman, I loved Helen Mirren’s evening dress with combat boots. As Mama always said, “Shoes and handbag make the outfit.” Mirren was brilliant in the role of Victoria, the high-class cross between Florence Nightingale and Attila the Hun that Frank used to work with.

I think this movie would be great fun for anyone who enjoys colorful, well-developed characters in extremely unrealistic situations.

Holmes:

If you’re looking for a serious spy story sort of movie, this wouldn’t be it, but if you want a laugh, this is a good movie for you. I don’t want to criticize the what-ifs because they weren’t trying to be serious. Even “old hands” from the Reagan Era can enjoy this movie. Just relax and don’t take it seriously.

Regarding the trick of putting bullets in a skillet and heating them up to make them fire. . . . Bullets only sound like they have been fired from a weapon if they are fired in a weapons chamber or test chamber. Bullets heated in a skillet would sound like the cheapest grade of half wet firecrackers. Also, pan frying bullets won’t fire the bullet, but shell casing fragments could fly fast enough to hurt your eye. Do not try this at home.

Joe, Marvin and Frank questioning a prisoner

As far as the Retired Extremely Dangerous designation is concerned, there is no big file of REDs. The two basic categories of retired CIA agents are “Retired and Willing to Work for Free” and “Retired and Not Willing to Work for Free.”

We rate this movie a .357, which means we wouldn’t resent paying prime time prices if we were willing to tolerate the prime time crowds, which we’re not. (Click here for rating system.) It was a creative, entertaining movie, and we can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to enjoy it. It’s not deeply meaningful or life-changing, but it’s good, light fun. The script was well-written, the actors did their jobs well, and the production was high quality. We recommend this movie as an amusing way to spend a couple of hours of your life.