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Guest blogger: Kallie Lane

20 January 2013

Kallie LaneThanks so much for inviting me to chat today! I’m thrilled to be here with everyone, especially as I’m a member of ARRA myself.

People sometimes ask me why I write romance, particularly romantic suspense, when the genre doesn’t seem to be as popular at the moment. The reason is simple. It’s my passion. For me, it’s about doing what I love.

Writing novels has become a bit of a balancing act in recent years. I find myself back in school … scrambling to learn social media and promotion skills in order to reach my reading audience. This is an uphill battle for me, but writing romantic suspense makes the rest worthwhile.

My Shadow Soldiers and Black Force Renegades are my heroes. I have the honour to know real men and women like these; my brother recently retired from the military, and my niece still serves. Over the years, I’ve made military friends in Europe and the US as well. These men and women share the commitment to make the world a better, safer place for all of us, and have the courage and guts to defend what they believe in, above all else.

My heroines are hand-picked to balance out my heroes. They must have internal strength to overcome the conflicts of romancing alpha males, and understand when ‘I can do it myself’ doesn’t apply. They must teach their man the difference between sex and love, when he doesn’t always realise they deserve so much more. Coming off the battlefield and integrating back into normal, everyday life isn’t easy, especially when normal for them means high-octane jobs on the police force, search and rescue, and other thrill-seeking professions. Some of them remain tied to the military in reserve units, are still bounced from one hotbed of horror to the next, in between dealing with psychopaths and sociopaths in their day jobs.

My heroines and heroes are only as strong as their evil counterparts—the villains of my novels. It’s very important to me that fleshed-out villains have some redeeming, human qualities. They must be likeable and fit right in with the rest of us. They must also have goals, horrific goals, and believe their objectives are the highest and most important. The stronger my villains become—the stronger my heroines and heroes. And, yes, my villains often bring me down. It’s downright scary to be inside the head of a monster. But, I think it’s worthwhile, even if it does make for a few sleepless nights.

Defining the seeds—the core goals of my stories—is vital. My novels are character driven, and goals and motivations largely come from them. But, my protagonists don’t always lead me in the right direction, and although I have an overall plan in mind, I sometimes find myself lost and off-course. This is when other writers come into play. Authors are very generous for the most part. We often get together and toss around plot points and strategies for each other’s manuscripts. It’s amazing what discussions over great food and a bottle of wine can do. My support network is both in Montreal and Ottawa. Whenever the call for help goes out, we show up for each other and have a riotous time. Writing is largely a solitary profession, so we welcome the opportunity to see each other, kick back, and dig deep. Before we know it, we’re all heading back to our keyboards with clearer story solutions tucked under our belts. I’d be lost without the camaraderie of these sessions; this group of gals is my writing barometer.

My beta reader also plays a huge role in furthering my novels. She’s absolutely brilliant, a scientist by profession, and a great friend. She often spots areas in my books where I haven’t explained well enough. I have thoughts that I think I’ve transferred to paper, but, in fact, they’re still running around in my head. My readers wouldn’t have a clue if they didn’t have all the info.

All is to say … writing is real life for me. It has its ups and downs, but overall, it’s a dynamite ride. The launch pad for my novels is courage, and the end result is always love between the heroine and hero. We all need happy endings, don’t we? I have the privilege and honour to make my dreams come true. And, I thank God for readers like you, who grant me that opportunity and share in my dreams.

For more information about my books, please visit me at http://www.kallielane.com. I look forward to hearing from you. And please leave a comment on this blog if you’d like a chance to win a digital copy of Deadly Abandon!

Happy reading everyone!

Kallie

Deadly AbandonDark Abandon – A Shadow Soldier Novel #1 – available now
Deadly Abandon – A Shadow Soldier Novel #2- available now
Reckless Abandon – A Shadow Soldier Novel #3 – coming in 2013
Silent Deceit – A Black Force Renegades novella – coming soon

Your can find Kallie at:

Website
Twitter
Facebook

19 Comments
  1. aimskye permalink
    6 February 2013 11:01 am

    Hi Kallie!

    Thanks for blogging.

    Aimee

  2. Deb Klanfar permalink
    22 January 2013 12:55 pm

    Hi Kallie
    I like your description of the importance of the villain, as well as the hero & heroine. Sounds like great stuff.
    Deb Klanfar

    • 23 January 2013 8:35 am

      Hi Deb! Thanks for your comment. I guess every writer has their own way of doing things, but since my books are character driven, I tend to focus quite a bit on the interactions and intent of these people. When they’re on the home stretch heading for the inevitable black moment and then the HEA for the heroine and hero, it’s gotta make sense.

  3. Mary Preston permalink
    21 January 2013 8:10 pm

    A dark & twisted villain can be the making of the story and of the hero & heroine. They must rise to the challenge.

    Great to meet you here today.

  4. lyn permalink
    21 January 2013 9:20 am

    nothing like romance mixed up with suspence –good luck with your book—-lyn

  5. 21 January 2013 2:53 am

    Hi Kallie, Great post. I always love reading about how authors make decisions about characters and plots. Best of luck with your series (which is great, by the way).

    • 21 January 2013 5:51 am

      Hey Brenda! And thanks for stopping by! Brenda is one of those cool authors I was telling you about in this blog; the ones who are always ready to support each other. She’s writing a great series too. Pop by brendagayle.com if you have a minute.

  6. 20 January 2013 6:24 pm

    How delicate a balance it must be to get the right mix of hero and villain and I enjoyed your explanation of your process. You must have some nightmares getting into the minds of some of your villains! Thanks for sharing.

    • 21 January 2013 5:44 am

      Hello Susanne! You’re absolutely right, villains are not nice people, and they don’t think like the rest of us. Which makes it depressing to hang out with them for too long. My characters often live inside my head while I’m “getting to know them” and developing their personalities. I try to do it in short segments while the lights are on !

  7. helensibbritt permalink
    20 January 2013 5:03 pm

    Hi Kallie

    I loved both Deadly Abandon and Dark Abandon such great stories I am looking forward to the release of the next ones. The Heroes and Heroines are so strong and determined and their adventures to their HEA are filled with excitement.

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • 21 January 2013 5:34 am

      Hi Helen, and thanks for your wonderful comments! The next book in the series, Reckless Abandon, will be released by the end of May. It takes place in ranch country and at a rodeo. I loved writing this one, because I got to stay at a ranch with friends and attend a couple of rodeos while doing research. WO|W, I hated to go home afterward!

      • 22 January 2013 7:20 am

        We loved having you and cannot wait for Reckless Abandon. Great Cover Girl🙂 See you soon. Rocketgirl

      • 22 January 2013 12:12 pm

        Hi Laurie! I can’t wait…Laurie’s referring to an upcoming book signing in July at the rodeo in Holstein, Ontario where I did the research for this book. See you there!

  8. 20 January 2013 11:57 am

    No I’m not anonymous🙂 It flew off without me.
    Hi Kallie, you’ve written quite a mix of great genres. Best of luck with your Abandon series🙂

    • 21 January 2013 5:26 am

      Hi Louise! It’s so much better to put a face to a name! And basically, my books to-date are all romantic suspense, not to say I wouldn’t try something else in future. You never know!

  9. Anonymous permalink
    20 January 2013 11:55 am

    Hi Kallie, you’ve written quite a mix of great genres. Best of luck with your Abandon series🙂

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