Jen: Today we welcome Anna Kyle to Romancing the Book. Anna, will you share a short bio with us?
Anna: Anna Kyle spent her youth reading about and dreaming of horses and scheming (unsuccessfully) how to convince her parents to get her one. That led to writing her first story about a girl and her horse which in turn led to a lifetime love of writing. As an adult she reads everything from histories to mysteries but romances are definitely her favorite. These days she writes the paranormal romance series, the Wolf King, at World Weaver Press. Skye Falling was published last summer and was an ARe bestseller and the origin novel, Omega Rising, just came out this month.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Anna: Omega Rising kicks off the Wolf King series and is set at a horse farm/stable. The stable owner, Cass Nolan, has been forced to avoid the burn of human touch for her whole life, drawing comfort instead from her dreams of a silver wolf—her protector, her friend. When her stalking nightmares return, she knows she should run but the sinfully hot stranger she just hired to work on her ranch has her mind buzzing with possibilities. Not only does her skin accept Nathan’s touch, it demands it. Cass must make a decision – run again and hope to pull the darkness with her to save the people who have become her family or stand and fight. But she doesn’t know if it be with Nathan or against him.
Nathan Rivers’ life is consumed by his quest to find the Omega responsible for killing his brother but when the trail leads him to Cass and her merry band of shapeshifters his wolf wants only to claim her for himself. When evidence begins piling up that Cass is the Omega he’s been seeking things become complicated–especially since someone else wants her dead, too. It doesn’t help that Cass constantly thwarts his efforts to keep her safe from him. Saving her life might mean sacrificing his own but it’s worth it to save the woman he can’t stop touching.
When I sat down to write a book, I knew I needed a setting where many different types of people would gather and that would also be unfamiliar and strange to the shapeshifters. So I drew on my years working at a busy stable. A barn is filled with drama and tension and laughter and tears which was a perfect fit. Cass’s horse is even based on a mare I’ve had for close to ten years.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Anna: My brother is a talented singer/songwriter. He’s the only family member who read the entire Omega Rising manuscript because I knew he’d be honest but gentle in his critique. As a writer himself he knows how terrifying and difficult it is to share your work before it’s ready.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Anna: I’d describe my style as a plotter with occasional pantsing tendencies. Part of the joy in writing is finding a path you didn’t expect and part of the agony is cutting a great scene because you cannot find a way to fit it in the book.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Anna: Since I chose a setting I was very familiar with (a stable), my research this time wasn’t too extensive. Let’s see, I researched flash bangs; what they look like, how they work. Guns and holsters. Plants in bloom in April. I got sucked into a research vortex about the wandering cougar shot and killed by Chicago police a number of years back, reading witness accounts, but that part of the story didn’t make it into the manuscript. Maybe it’ll be in the next one.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Anna: Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Robin Hobb, Christina Dodd, Laura Kaye. The next three books up on my TBR pile is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, The Liar by Nora Roberts, and Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep. I can’t wait to dig in!
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Anna: Funny that you ask, I always start with names that I think are going to be keepers but they are changed about midway through writing. The find/replace function on my computer gets a workout in every manuscript. As the personalities become more recognizable, the names need to suit the character. I think only Cass stuck from the first word I wrote to publication.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Anna: My short story Coming Up Roses comes out today in Rough Edges, a cowboy anthology. I’m also working on two projects currently. One is Book Three of the Wolf King series. The other is a magical romance trilogy of novellas. I’m very lucky!