Author's Spotlight Week with K.K. Allen | Day 2 | Interview

2021. január 12., kedd

Hey Lovelies!

This is the second day of "Author Spotlight Week" with K.K. Allen. If you want to know more about K.K. Allen you have to read this interview! I bet you will enjoy it ;)


Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first fiction novel at the age of twelve thanks to my undying love for reading. All it took was for me to run out of books to read one day and to feel inspired from a dream I’d had the night before, and I just started writing. In a way, yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I dared to dream I could do it professionally. Even then, I would write novels, but I didn’t publish my first one until six years after I’d written it.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Oh gosh, Charlotte’s Web probably, lol. But I remember reading my first Nicholas Sparks book, A Walk to Remember, when I was seventeen or eighteen, and how it moved me so much. I cried while reading that book a lot and became obsessed with his stories. I’ll never forget the day I got to meet him in real life. I was in my second year of college and loved hearing him tell his story of how he became a writer, it inspired me to begin taking my writing seriously.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I love this question! To me, great writing is the combination of elements: character development, world building, creating that emotional pull that makes me ache for certain characters and couples, and execution. It’s not just about writing great words or writing panty-melting scenes, or having a great plot. It’s about writing in a way that makes readers feel like they’re part of a story they never want to leave it.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Angst. All the angst. Also, second chance romance. I love second chance angsty romance because it’s always emotional. There is always a deep emotional connection between h and H that I get to unpack in my stories. There’s a sense of forbidden, he/she hurt me once and I can’t let it happen again, that gets me every single time. The angst involved in the conflict surrounding the characters is usually the best in these stories. Up in the Treehouse, Waterfall Effect, and A Bridge Between Us are three second chance, angsty stories of mine that will give you these exact vibes.

How do you do research for your books?

I approach every story differently! Usually my initial ideas come from something I’ve experienced myself, and then I build on it from there. A lot of times I’ve been to, or go visit, the location of where I’m setting my novels. My books are usually very emotional, and I love for my readers to feel as if they are standing right there with my characters, so settings are extremely important to me. Most of my books are centered around careers in art (like music, writing, painting, singing, dancing, etc.), nature, and sports, and I want my readers to experience those stories seamlessly without having to question the facts. I love the research phase so much.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I think nowadays anyone can be a writer if they want to be. There are readers who don’t want to feel those intense emotions, but that’s not me, haha. If a story isn’t yanking on my heartstrings, even in romcom, then it won’t be for me. I can usually tell if I’m going to love a book by the first chapter.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Luckily, I have a lot of amazing author friends in this romance world, and we all turn to each other for different things. I have sprinting groups, emotional support groups, and marketing advice groups that help me through the promotional side of things. But I miss traveling to book signings so that we can all see each other face-to-face. Most of the time I am staying offline, so my closest author friends and I give each other motivational “ass slaps” via text message. Harloe Rae and I check in with each other often and it’s the best.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

Ooooh, good question! These are the scenes that demand all my attention/focus. Everything has to be perfect. I need everything to be quiet around me except for the ambient music I’ll play, and I need to know my characters very well by this point. And then I just write. I don’t question my words too much, I just let it all out knowing I can go back and fix things later.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Oh gosh, I live my life believing we shouldn’t regret anything, but I do wish I knew about self-publishing before I did. Knowing that avenue was out there, and that I didn’t have to face all that rejection I was sure I would get, it gave me the push I needed to get started. My first blog post was an “I’m writing a book” announcement post that went on my website, and the quote I added says it perfectly. “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears.” That’s what I would tell my younger self.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My process today is completely different from when I started, and I am always making tweaks. The most important thing I learned, and I learned it quickly (lol), is the importance of hiring a great editor. Not only did hiring someone to read my words make my books better, but it continues to strengthen my writing craft. Now, I have alpha readers, beta readers, a line editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader. There are authors who don’t feel like they need all of this, and that’s totally fine, but I know my writing is better for it.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

The only unpublished books I have are ones I wrote when I was in grade school. If I were to ever go back to those stories, I would rewrite them completely.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

One of the critiques I used to get from my editors was that my males usually sounded like the female, haha. Their feedback made sense, so I’ve worked on that a lot over the past two years. I haven’t gotten that same feedback in a while, thank goodness.  

How do you select the names of your characters?

My character’s names always have meaning behind them. I think names are such a big piece of who we are since so much thought is put behind them. I love making this part of my story, so I’m always looking up the meanings of names and their origins.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I am probably one of the few authors that loves to read my reviews on all platforms. I love knowing how readers feel as they’re reading and when they finish one of my books. There’s no bigger high than when a reader just “gets it” the way I intended for them to. I especially love when readers take their reviews even farther and add photos, quotes, and deep dive a little into why they loved the characters or story so much. Bad reviews don’t really bother me anymore. Sure, some may sting a little, but that’s just part of putting myself out there, I guess. Other than that, if a review just sounds mean spirited, I chalk it up to someone who maybe isn’t feeling like their best self. Happy people don’t tear others down and unfortunately there are platforms out there that allow for this toxicity. Luckily, I’m able to move on from it quickly.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Starting a book. It’s both the most exciting and hardest aspect of my process. While I love researching and plotting and outlining (to an extent), I do not like writing those first words or even few chapters. I never quite know my characters until I’m about a month in, so I usually go back and rewrite or layer things in.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

I’ve published thirteen novels since June 2014, three of those books are unpublished fantasy books that will be rewritten and published sometime soon. I’m super excited about that. As far as a favorite book, that is so hard to answer. Up in the Treehouse was a book that surprised me in the best of ways. I didn’t know I was capable of writing a story like that, and it went on to do amazing things. As far as my favorite character, I would have to say Lex Quinn from Center of Gravity. Her love for dance echoes my own, and I just love all that she overcomes to get her HEA.

Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?

My first published book is Summer Solstice Enchanted, and it was the first of a young adult, Greek mythology, fantasy trilogy. The story still haunts me and I cannot wait to get the reimagined story back out there. I first wrote the book in 2008 when I was between jobs, but I didn’t know what to do with it or if it was any good. In 2014 a friend of mine, T.R., told me about KDP and self-publishing, so I started to research it. My mom was my first reader and proofreader at the time. Publishing that story gave me the courage to write and publish another, and then another. By the third book, I got smart and hired an editor. Finally!

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

I am! I’m working on a standalone new adult romance with the biggest asshole H I’ve ever written. LOL. All I’ve shared so far is this…OTM…the initials of my novel. More will be revealed soon. Join my newsletter to be the first to learn the title:

Do you have any new series planned?

I do have a new series planned, and information will be released this summer. 

Do you have a message for your readers?

I love you! Thank you for reading. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most in this world. And if you’re not already in my reader group, Forever Young, come join us and have fun with like-minded romance lovers on the daily:

K.K. Allen on Social Media

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