Interview with Debut Author: Kienna Riley
Kienna Riley is a small town girl with big dreams. She lives with her husband, son, and little dog Kimmy. She enjoys exercise (as if), planning family vacations, dreaming up places to go with her husband, reading, tinkering with computer software, and watching her son grow. Her debut novel UP ON A ROOFTOP will be released December 23rd from Cobblestone Press.
For those of you who don't know, Kienna Riley is my face-to-face critique partner and fellow RWA member. I was one of the first people to read UP ON A ROOF TOP (my first time reading erotic) and I fell in love with her style. I knew this lady could write and was so excited when she told me that she was going to be published with not one but TWO novels in 2011!
Magan: Can you tell us about your upcoming Novella UP ON A ROOFTOP and your full-length novel THE PRINCE AND THE CORNER BAKERY?
Kienna: Of course, thanks so much for asking. In my upcoming novella, Up On the Rooftop, high school sweethearts Caleb and Sailor get their lives altered forever when Sailor's father dies in military combat. Sailor is spunky, sweet and a go get em' kind of girl who always has her guard up. When Caleb steps off of the naval ship and back into her life, the wall she's built around her heart begins to crumble.
I would LOVE to tell you about The Prince at the Corner Bakery, unfortunately, I can't share the information just yet. Let's talk in mid-January if you'll have me back ;)
Magan: You've gone from one genre (Erotica) to another (Women's fiction). How did you accomplish that and did you take any aspects of one genre to the other?
Kienna: Great question. Actually, in my mind it's not about which genre I'm writing for. It's more about the characters and where they are in life. The characters come to me, through everyday life, driving down the road, taking my son to football practice, etc. And then I start to explore them, who they are, what they like, what their ages are, their goals in life, etc. When I finally get to know them, I write their story. Actually, I'm a pantser, so I discover alot about my characters while writing about them.
I love to write about women, their friendships and male/female relationships. There's always a story, a plot, and yes, of course, some heat in the bedroom. Whether I write with the doors open or closed is really up to them. The erotica genre calls for doors wide-open, the sizzle between Sailor and Caleb fits nicely into that genre.
While there is some heat in The Prince At the Corner Bakery, the story fits better into the women's fiction genre.
So, to answer your question, I write what my characters tell me to ;) (You can tell why we're critique partners...we both just listen to our characters)
Magan: How did you decide to write something that was Erotic in nature? Will you continue writing in this genre?
Kienna: As mentioned above, I let the characters do the talking. And, when the story came to me about a woman who grew up in a military family and lost her father while he was serving the United States, and I realized Caleb Gannon was her hero, I knew her story fit well within the genre.
Magan: Do you have anything that you're working on now? If so what genre is it or what genre do you plan on writing in next?
I have three WIPs, but the one I'm focusing on most is 52 Ways to Flirt. You will meet the heroine of 52 Ways to Flirt in The Prince at the Corner Bakery (she's the best friend of the heroine). It will either be Women's Fiction or Romance, I'm leaning toward romance.
Magan: As my critique partner (and a great one), what is your advice to others in a critique partner relationship?
Kienna: I've had critique partner's that I've met through loops, as well as local partners, you of course, being one of them. I've found value in both having a partner I don't "know", and ones that I do. I prefer being able to sit down, eat a great meal, sip a beverage and talk about our stories with a local partner. I'm a people gal, and I love to sit across the table from someone when I'm talking...so, my advice is find a local partner who is a great match for you (like us!) but also keep in mind that sending to a partner via a loop may also work depending on what you are looking for.
Magan: How do you deal with bad critiques or rejections? Do you have any advice on how to handle those?
Kienna: My advice is to consider the rejections and critiques, but always, always, ALWAYS be true to yourself as a writer and write what feels right for you.
Magan: Did you have a playlist for your writing? What did that include?
Kienna: I listen to music during just about everything I do in life (driving, showering, washing dishes), except writing. I need solitude and my little puppy sitting on my lap when I write.
Magan: If either of your upcoming books were made into a movie, who would you like to play in the lead roles?
Kienna: Wow! What a question. How about Sandra Bullock, Drew Barrymore or Rene Russo for the heroine...Nicolas Cage would be a great hero!
Magan: Favorite book, movie, food?
Kienna: There are so many talented authors about there it's so hard to choose! But,here are some of my favorites. In the romance genre, Susan Mallory is my all-time fav! I enjoy J.K. Rowling, of course as well as local authors I know (Laurie Larsen, Jade Lee, Olivia Starke).
The Princess Bride, Urban Cowboy, and Dumb and Dumber are three of my top all-time favorite movies.
I'm a carb-lover. So, bring on the bread!
Magan: Words to live by?
Kienna: Write what feels right and good to you. Make friends with your critique partners and immerse yourself in your writing community, wherever that may be.
Bonus! I'm giving away a free copy of Up On the Rooftop. Stop by my website at http://www.kiennariley.com/ for the details. Sailor's story begins with a letter to Santa, I would like to read yours. A winner will be selected at random to receive a free copy. This is erotic romance, so participants must be 18 years old or older to enter.
Thanks for the interview.