First, a bit of background on our author:
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital “line” series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington books, to be followed by her first full-length print novel, Turn Up the Heat. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, Kimberly!
What would you most like your readers to know about you that they would not read in your official bio?
Family, food and fun are my three favorite things, I love to find stories in the least likely places (I once wrote half a scene on a box of bananas in the middle of Costco!) and my favorite TV show is Monday Night Football.
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about Pushing The Line and what inspired this story?
Pushing The Line is the fourth book in the “line” series, and it’s the story of confident firefighter Aaron Fisher. Aaron made his first appearance in Outside The Lines (he is the hero Blake’s cousin), and in truth, was not supposed to get his own story. But he was such a fan favorite, and an author favorite too, that in the end, I couldn’t say no!
Do you use a pen name/pseudo name? If so, why? If not, why did you decide to write under your own name?
Yes. I prefer to remain as mysterious as humanly possible.
As a writer of contemporary romance, do you feel the story line is as important as the sex scenes?
I write sexy contemporary romance. It’s different than erotica or erotic romance, where the sex is steamier and more central to the plot. I am definitely plot and character driven, with sexy scenes. I believe in intimacy bringing my characters together, but there’s a definite deeper layer to the connection between them. It’s not just between the sheets!
What three ingredients to do you consider an absolute necessity to writing a hot sex scene?
Connection between characters, respect between characters, and intimacy driving the emotion. Also, it’s hard to go wrong with a sexy firefighter hero!
Do you develop a deep backstory for your characters before sitting down to write or do you just have a general idea of who they are?
I’m a total plotter. I almost always know exactly who they are before I even start writing a word.
When brainstorming a story idea do you begin with character or plot?
Characters. Nearly always!
I noticed in your Line Trilogy Stories as well as in your newest release; Pushing The Line, cooking/food is not only a skill all your heroine’s share, but a core piece of their coping skills. Was this deliberate or did the idea just morph as you wrote the novellas?
Food plays a huge part in everything I write, and that’s very much on purpose. I was raised in a big Italian family, I married into a big Italian family, and we all very much believe that food is love. I am fascinated by how intimate and evocative food (cooking and sharing food) is. For me, there is nothing sexier.
What are your strongest influences when it comes to character creation?
Photos. I scour the Internet for pictures of models or actors, then get a composite of how I want my “people” to look/act/think based on my interpretation of a given photo. The entire idea behind Love On The Line (book #1) came from a photo spread in Cosmopolitan magazine!
Do you ever base your character on people you know?
Nope. Always fiction.
What is your process for coming up with character names?
I’m quite particular about this. I frequent baby-name websites, and have a running list on my laptop. My characters’ names have to “fit” just right.
Can we have an excerpt from Pushing The Line?
For a second, Harper stood next to him, her arms knotted over her chest and a truckload of doubt scrawled over her pretty face, and Aaron’s gut rippled. As tough as she seemed, she’d been through a lot, losing her grandmother and having her newly-inherited shop nearly burn to the ground. Any normal woman would be well within reason to cry at first sight of the damage.
But clearly, Harper McGee wasn’t any normal woman.
“You said you’ll be here tomorrow to get started with the cleanup?” She lifted her spine to its full height, setting her chin in a yank completely at-odds with her delicate face, and Aaron took a step back in confusion.
“Well, yeah. The crew doesn’t usually do weekends, but I’m not on-shift again at the fire house until Sunday. I figured I’d get started since you’re in a rush.”
“Good. I’ll meet you here at eight. We have a ton of work to do.”
“Wait.” He shook his head, realization trickling in like a slow leak. “There’s not really a whole lot you can do on-site, especially during this phase.” In fact, there were probably a million different ways an untrained person could get hurt during cleanup and demolition. Aaron had the scars to prove it, and he’d worked with Tully for years.
But Harper wasn’t having it. “I learn fast and work hard. And I’m not going to just sit still when I could be helping.”
“You might get hurt,” he argued.
“I’m sure you’ll find something to keep me busy.” Her glance skimmed over the kitchen one more time, eyes flickering with that same emotion he’d caught when they’d first walked in.
Oh, hell. Harper was already hurt.
“No working without protective gear, no doing anything unless I clear it first, and no arguing. You’re going to need a pair of work boots, and if you value your legs, you’ll cover them up.”
For a long second, she was quiet, until finally she said, “I can do that.”
“Good.” He stepped in to hit her with a challenge-laden smile. “You’re going to get what you want. Just be sure you want what you’re going to get.”
Why the short story venue vs a full-length novel?
I do write both, and love both. For these stories though, the shorter format was a great fit because there are streamlined conflicts and many of the characters already know each other. It’s a tight community.
What are you most proud of about your writing?
That my three daughters see their mom living her biggest dream every day.
Is there any genre you dislike reading?
I’m not huge on horror, mostly because it scares the pants off of me! I’d read Stephen King and not sleep for at least a month.
If you could cast anyone to play the character’s of Harper and Aaron, whom would you pick?
I love this question! I’d pick Marine-turned-underwear model (yes ladies. You read that correctly) Alex Minsky to be Aaron and actress Jessica Alba as Harper.
What is the writing process like for you? If you were to describe our process in one word, what would it be?
In a word, it’s messy. I plot out nearly everything before I draft, and there are lots of Post-Its and scribbled notes and crumpled pages before the final book comes out.
What does your writing space look like?
I work from home, in an office with bright red walls, an antique-looking desk, and the ugliest, most awful fake leather chair ever. It’s SO comfortable. I refuse to get rid of it, much it my husband’s dismay.
What writer has most influenced your own work?
You want me to pick one?! So tough…but I’ll say Barbara O’Neal. She writes these lyrical, gorgeous books that make me just want to be on the page.
What are you currently reading?
I’m catching up on the Sullivan series by Bella Andre. Addicting!
What sound or noise do you love?
My kids laughing.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Whining! I live in a whine-free zone.
Do you have a favorite curse word?
I should probably not admit this in case my mother is reading, but I swear like a sailor. I am so partial to the F-word. It’s not ladylike, but there you have it!
Lace or silk?
Toss up…let’s go with lace.
Boxers, briefs or going commando?
I think this depends on the character! I won’t reveal Mr. K’s secrets, but I think all three of these can be sexy, depending on who’s in them (or, more specifically, out of them!)
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you’ve ever heard?
Best is to honor your process no matter what. Worst is to try and make your process look like someone else’s. There’s no “right” way to write a book. There’s only a right way FOR YOU.
What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?
I’ve got a full print series with Kensington books, starting in March 2014. The first book is titled Turn Up The Heat, and it will be followed by Gimme Some Sugar, Stirring Up Trouble, and Fire Me Up.
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