Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Author Interview: Trinity Knight & Jim Richards

1. What are your favorite traits in a lead male character?

TK: Strength. Be it strength of body, mind or beliefs. I love a man who is honest enough with himself enough to know his limitations and is confident enough to know that asking for help is not a weakness.

JR: I guess, for myself, I like seeing a sense of honor in one form or another. And not necessarily always good. I do want to believe though if the lead male says he’s going to do something, well he does it. He follows through on his word, no matter what it might mean. (And Trinity stole my first answer! LOL)

2. What inspires your female character to do what she does – and that attracts the male?

TK: In Whirlwind, Tempest is a bit naive and that is probably what attracts Dellor the most. She is sunshine and light and believes there is something of value in everyone. She has this tremendous capacity to forgive and her approach to teaching Dellor the value of true love, is aggressively gentle. She is a challenge. He has never met anyone like her, which is probably a good thing for him. In Huntress, Kiera is strong enough to handle a man like Amris and stands up to him when she thinks he’s wrong.

JR: In Whirlwind, Tempest’s motives lie solely in keeping the people of the hamlet she lives in safe and healthy. She acts as a midwife, and as a healer, and that compassion and devotion are the triggers that draw her male suitor to her so rapidly. Dellor has always believed that compassion is a weakness, yet he could not conceive of Tempest without it, and it changes his own view of her and her place in his heart. In ‘Huntress’, our current project, Kiera’s determination to succeed, against the odds arrayed against her, make her a strong character. It’s that determination and courage that attracts Amris.

3. What or who inspired you to start writing?

TK: My family. One of my aunts, saw a potential in me and encouraged me to develop it. She was also a writer, though she never finished anything to submit for publication. She recently passed away and now will never have the opportunity. I did not want to be someone, that at my funeral, people said “She should have...”

JR: You know, oddly enough, I don’t really have any individual that inspired me. I have been reading from such a young age, I’ve had the opportunity to read all manner of books and stories. I guess if anything, my inspiration comes from knowing (hoping?) that one day my own stories and tales will touch someone the way I was touched in the past.

4. Do you base your lead characters on people that inspire you?

TK: No. While each one has traits I admire, I have not based any one character on any one person. They are all a mix of the people I know and their personalities are uniquely individual to the character.

JR: No, not really. I try to base my characters on emotions or personalities that inspire or intrigue me. I really find I focus more on the “why” that a character behaves a certain way, than trying to fit a character into how some real-life person may have reacted to those same circumstances. I guess that’s what helps keep my characters so unique. They really are “their own person”!

5. What are your writing habits? Do you write daily?

TK: I do now. Since meeting Jim, I have to write something every day, whether on one of our joint works or on a solo project. It keeps me awake at night if I have not spent some part of my day, writing.

JR: I try to write something every day. There was a time when I went through an extensive drought, and I struggled to put any kind of story together. But I was lucky in the last year to meet some wonderful writers on-line that snapped me out of it. Now Trinity and I are like…writing fiends! (LOL)

6. If you’ve ever been struck by writer’s block, how did you get around it?

TK: Absolutely. There are times I just look at the screen and watch the cursor blink. For me, it helps to talk it out. Usually if I can talk to someone about what is bothering me, either about a scene or just life in general, I can get past the block.

JR: Lately, I’ve found the best way around writer’s block is variety. I’m currently writing about eight different stories and threads, and in each of them the lead male is different from all the others. The settings are all different. Some are fantasy; some historical; some science fiction. And this tends to mean, by extension, that the plots are all different. If I get stuck on one, then normally working on the others gives me the inspiration I need. I also have to admit that like every writer, sometimes talking over where I am in a story, or what I think should develop next in a broad sense with a friend or fellow writer, goes a HUGE way towards breaking the block. I used to write so much stuff on my own, without wanting to share it, and I believe that’s what induces more blocks than not. By sharing ideas, and prompting new trains of thought about your story, that’s how you forge ahead.

7. What stories or novels are on your shelf at home? Or on your hard drive?

TK: I have everything Christine Feehan and Dean Koontz ever wrote. I love Iris Johansen, James Patterson and Nora Roberts. I love mysteries and have an extensive collection of books on forensics but those books with that little extra… something hold a place in my heart. Be it psychics, witches, vampires, werewolves, whatever, those that have that extra bit of fantasy are by far my favorites.

JR: I have an eclectic mix. Everything from military history, to Harlen Coben and Robert B. Parker, to Science Fiction anthologies. (LOL) There was even a period in my reading phases that I was heavily into Louis L’Amour westerns. I guess that’s all to say, if it looks interesting, I’ll probably give it a go. On my hard drive I have a collection of Lora Leigh books I got from a friend.

8. What’s the first book you can remember reading that inspired you to write what you do?

TK: Like many other authors, I don’t remember a time when I did not carry around a pencil and notebook for those odd ideas that come at the strangest times. I did not get really involved or interested in paranormal romance or fantasy romance, until I bought my first Christine Feehan book while I was pregnant with my second child.

JR: You know, I’ve been writing in one form or another since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I guess I’ve always wanted to write, no matter what I was reading. James Clavell’s “Shogun” would be the closest fit here to inspiration. Heaven knows I had to get a second copy because my first copy fell apart from so many re-readings!

9. What is your favorite word? Why? (It’s ok, you don’t have to know why.)

TK: Motivation. That is the key to everything as far as I’m concerned. Why this character did this or that character said that. The motivation behind each action and word is what makes a story good.

JR: This is a tough question…I’m going to have to say…wow, tough question. Trinity, do I even *have* a favorite word?

TK: Jim, your favorite word is “and”, though I have to admit I’m getting a little worried about this space bar fetish you have developed.

JR: This is pretty funny. I was going to say ‘and’ earlier, but it would have called for a huge explanation…AND we don’t really have the time.

10. When is your next release?

TK: Our next joint work to be released will be the first of a four part series. Hunters of the Pack Book 1: Huntress will be available through Mystic Moon Press in May. Jim has some solo projects that will be available before then but he’s been more industrious than I have so I don’t have anything ready for release on a solo front.

JR: Maybe more industrious on the writing front, but Trinity has been an amazing gift on the promo side of our project. I’m releasing two erotica shorts through Mystic Moon Press (shameless publishers’ plug!) in April and May of this year that I’ve done as solo pieces. Trinity and I are releasing the first book of a quartet some time around mid-May through MMP as well. It’s a bit of a unique take on the modern werewolf story. And yes, it will have plenty of hot, steamy sex, and plenty of action of the non-romantic kind. I am really pleased with it!

11. Are you currently working on any special projects you’d like to share?

TK: The Hunters of the Pack series has been a huge undertaking. Each book picks up within five minutes of the previous one finishing. The story itself is so massive it will take all four books to tell it all. However, the main focus of each book is a little different as we introduce a different set of main characters in each book; however characters met in the previous books are included as well.

JR: Well, with the first book of the series due out in less than three months, we’ve been hard at work cleaning up the second and third books of the series, while outlining the conclusion. It takes a lot of time from other projects, but I still think the end result; an entertaining, exciting story that is just fun to read, is worth it!

12. Whirlwind is your first book, and you can read an excerpt on your myspace page – - how does it feel? Anything you’d like to share with aspiring authors?

JR: It feels incredible. But even more incredible is reading high praise from a reviewer, or a stranger who was pleased enough with our book to share their feelings with us. As far as advice to give? Keep writing. Keep thinking of stories to tell, that you will enjoy telling. And read. Read. Read.

TK: It’s amazing to look at it sometimes and go “Wow, I did that.” I have to agree with Jim on this. Read. Take your favorite books from your favorite authors and read them all over again. Figure out what makes it a good story or makes a particular scene work in your mind. Look at it from a technical viewpoint, then try to incorporate some of those techniques into your own writing. No matter how good you may think you are, there is always room to grow.

Check out Trinity's MySpace Page for more information!