Interview with Kali Willows

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in suburban Toronto, Ontario. I feel it influenced my writing, from growing up in a remarkable community with multiplicity of blended cultures. I had the good fortune of growing up with friends from all walks of life, which gave me a little taste of each culture, their family life, cuisine, interpersonal relationships and entertainment.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My current work in process is book four in my Double Dragon's Blood series with the ever popular 1 Night Stand series with Decadent Publishing.

In the first three:
Double Dragon Seduction
Dragon Temptation
and my next release in October: Dragon's Breath,

The fourth story is a prequel to the ancient affliction my dragon twins Tatsu and Yong Li, along with their cousin Kaida Lee endure.

This series is based on a unique mythology about Asian dragons. It's sensual, hot and oh so loaded with more of the cultural phenomenon of my dragons.

The goal with these stories, is to have them published together in a print edition for Double Dragon's Blood for all dragon lovers to enjoy.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me....it's difficult to narrow down. The end result of a story that comes together so beautifully is highly rewarding, but more so, the feedback from readers about their likes, and even dislikes of my stories. They are, after all, for my readers to enjoy.

When I am able to achieve my goal of weaving emotional, compelling worlds, plots and characters you can't help but love, hate and cheer for, stories that resonate with people and leave them wanting more of the characters that are essentially a part of me; that is when I reach bliss. My characters and stories are so life like to me, duplicating that in a book, is such an incredible experience.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. It's amazing how a simple request for an autograph, (or authorgraph), or a review lights up my entire day. Their responses left on blog posts, when they share how excited they are, looking forward to reading my stories, and the comments when they did read and want more. When a story and characters move them, provoke their thoughts and emotions, it lifts me up, my fans inspire me.

Without them, I would have no one to motivate me to keep writing, my stories are meant to be shared. My fans give me purpose in my writing. Without them, my books would be obsolete.
What are you working on next?
I have so many books on the back burner, it's difficult to say what will get finished first. As I mentioned earlier, I'm completing the fourth, and likely the final dragon story in my 1NS Decadent series.

Others on hold are stories of redemption, Utopia, Druid Gods and Goddesses, magic, psychic abilities and more. Some stories are completed, but need revamping, others, half way through, I like when my readers tell me what stories they want next :-)
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
First and foremost, my husband and children. I have been blessed with such an incredible family, I can't wait to spend every moment I can with them. There are also the stories lingering in my head that need to be told, they motivate me to get down to my laptop and get to it.

I live in a rural area with an incredible country home, inspirational views and sounds of nature. And of course, that much anticipated first cup of tea in the morning helps when late night writing lag takes its toll ;-)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Cuddles, kisses and laughter, and taking care of my children. We love entertaining family and friends, so this brings out the inspired baker and cook in me.

No one comes into my home without getting showered with greetings, welcoming baked goodies and a cup of tea, or whatever Tassimo they fancy most. Playing guitar, listening to music and martial arts. I am also, a big movie fan. I also love to dabble at times, with photoshop, making graphics and whatnot.
What is your writing process?
My writing process varies from day to day. When the inspiration is flowing, I sit and type away, purging everything my brain is scrambled with. It's honestly like a moving picture show in my head at times. Self editing comes much later, when the important portions are completed. There is always time to polish, but if I don't write when inspired, I can lose those precious pieces very quickly.

For those less productive times that I have to work harder at, I re-read my WIP, and look for loops or holes in the plot, and other ways to build my characters and scenery.

Chocolate and tea are a must when writing! Sitting by the fire with my laptop never hurts either.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Believe it or not, which one exactly came first is a little blurred, it's been a long while,

The very first book that stuck with me, and completely immersed me was "Sooner Or Later"
by Carole Hart, Bruce Hart. Thirteen-year-old Jessie is in love with Michael, a 17-year-old guitar instructor and aspiring musician. When she finally captures his interest, she lies and tells him she's 16.

When I had found this book, I was drawn in because I was already playing guitar and of course, in my preteens and had developed crushes. The fact that it was based on the motion picture and Rex Smith was the love interest, didn't hurt either :-)

Through school curriculum, I read the traditional ones like Tom Sawyer, Of Mice and Men, Twelve Angry Jurors, To Kill A Mockingbird, but these stories for me, were a dry first start for a young reader. They didn't have the pizzazz I needed to hold my attention in my younger years.

Then, I found the school library and the world of reading opened my eyes in a way I had never thought possible! I was introduced to the wave of amazing authors in young adult fiction.

Judy Bloom, inspired me with "Are You There God? It's Me, Margret. I couldn't get enough of S.E. Hinton with the Outsiders, That Was Then and This is Now, and Rumblefish.

V.C. Andrews, I absolutely loved The Dollanganger Series - Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and the Garden of Shadows. Her series haunted me in a way no other had before, with the tragedy and love, the progression of characters through the series and the tribulations they had to overcome.
How do you approach cover design?
For me, because I am not a professional graphic artist, I envision my characters and the scenery, then I Google search for royalty free photos that match my vision. Some stories, I'm not sure what I want, and specify more of the feeling I want to portray for the story. There are some stories, where a particular symbol is crucial and needs to be the focal point of the cover. For most of my books, I have a fairly clear idea of how I want it to look, and will often draft up a mock to demonstrate my wishlist :-)
Published 2013-08-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.