I have been waiting to post this interview since I met this author. Kara Leigh Miller reached out to me from the blog for a review. I was super busy at the time and told her I couldn’t give her a time period of when I’d be able to reach it but if she was still interested to let me know. She was and a couple months later I was able to sit down and start book 1 of her The Cursed Series. I was blown away and within the next two days devoured her whole backlist. So needless to say I was hooked. I even offered up my first born to get an ARC of the last book (at that time) in the series. That is how my love for Kara Leigh Miller began. Who knew that in a couple months I would become her PA and be working closely with her. I hope you enjoy diving into Kara’s mind as much as I did.
One of the things I loved most about Twilight was the simplicity of the whole thing. It’s a human girl falling in love with a vampire and learning to navigate the dangerous paranormal world while also dealing with normal human things, like high school and friendships and family issues. I craved more books like this, but I was having a really hard time finding any that had the same overall tone and feel and pacing. While I found some amazing books to read, they were packed full of exciting plots with less focus on the characters and their relationships, which was what I ultimately wanted. So, I decided to just write my own! Lol.
My schedule is pretty consistent each day, mostly because I try to write each and every day. If I don’t, I get cranky, and I end up losing my momentum, so I devote each morning to writing—it’s the very first thing I do before even checking my email or social media. I load up my playlist and write for an hour or two. Then I take a short break, transition into administrative and marketing stuff, followed by “day job” work – I’m the Editorial Director for a small, independent publisher. I usually try to end my workday with another writing session, though that doesn’t always work out as I would like. But when I’m really immersed in a new story or series, I’m constantly thinking about it and the characters, so while I might not have my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard, my brain never really shuts off.
The Cursed Series was heavily influenced by both Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, so I spent quite a bit of time re-watching and re-reading both series in an effort to ensure I didn’t “copy” or too closely follow what these two series did. I wanted fans of both those franchises to enjoy my series but still be surprised and left feeling like they hadn’t just “read more of the same.” So, I didn’t plot at all for this series; I let the characters lead the way, and I followed. They surprised me more times than I can count. Ha! I also shared early drafts with some trusted author friends who were great about pointing out areas that were toeing the line in terms of being too similar to Twilight and Vampire Diaries. In those sections, I brainstormed ways to set my book apart, and based on the current reviews, I think I did a pretty good job 😉
A cat. I’m a huge cat lover—I have 7 of them. Yes, I said 7. No, that’s not a typo. LOL. I’d have more if I knew my husband wouldn’t try to kick me out of the house. Cats are very independent and indifferent, which is so much like me, and they nap all. The. Time. Which is something I wish I could do, too!
Maybe? If I did, it certainly wasn’t intentional. Of course, there are a few chapter titles that are nods to some favorite TV shows, songs, and phrases. People who are also fans or know me super well will pick up on them. Oh! There’s a last name I used that’s a nod to something personal. So far, only one person has mentioned to me that they “got it.”
Hmm… I’m not sure. The monthly expense for my amazing PA is certainly within my top 3. Another is the money I’d spent years ago to attend the Romantic Times Booklovers Con in NOLA. I learned a ton, but even better than that was the friendships I’d made. I got to meet a lot of internet friends in person, which was amazing! And visiting NOLA had always been on my bucket list, so I got to cross that off, and that trip served as “research” and inspiration for Everlasting Hope.
Indie. Hands down. Throughout my 10+ years in this business, I’ve learned that I’m just not well-suited for traditional publishing. I like to break the rules, and that doesn’t suit trad, which is fine. Being Indie gives me ultimate freedom to write what I want, how I want. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of that, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back.
All of it! LOL. But if you want a more specific answer, my favorite book in this series to write was Eternal Bond. Exploring the blossoming relationship between Jax and Chloe was tons of fun, and I’m always a sucker for a good love triangle. I’m also a huge Jax gal, so writing him is incredibly easy. I also really loved writing Eternal Life, because that’s when everything finally comes to a head, and writing that final battle was intense and exciting.
I have a lot of characters in this series, all of whom have equal billing in my mind and heart. My heroine, Chloe Madison, is a human girl trying to work through the grief and guilt over losing her mom. Trent and Jax Halstead are vampire brothers, both of whom end up loving Chloe. They’re also cursed, which makes falling in love a little difficult. Then there’s Isach Zoya, a witch, who can’t decide if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. Jax’s sense of humor is based loosely on my husband’s sense of humor, but that’s really the only real-life inspiration I used.
I’m halfway finished with book 2 in the Wars of Heart Series, which is Jax’s story. It’s a planned trilogy. I’m also co-writing a new sci-fi romance series with Rosie Somers that we’re calling the EON Saga. Right now, it’s a planned 4-book series, but that could change.
Kara Leigh Miller is a multi-genre published author and an avid reader with eclectic tastes that range from the tame to the taboo. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, four (of five) kids, four pit bulls, and seven cats. When she’s not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she’s spending time with her family, working out, or binge watching Netflix. And sometimes, she’ll even play golf with her husband, even though she totally sucks at it.
To learn more about Kara or to find links to her other published
works, please visit her website: http://www.karaleighmillerauthor.com.