By A.C. James
Today, I’m chatting with novelist Kathy Kulig. Kathy is current president of the local RWA chapter—Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers. She’s also a member of Liberty States Fiction Writers and Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. She teaches workshops on various writing related topics at conferences, writers groups and online. If you like what you read, please investigate her books at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
A.C. James: Hi, Kathy and thanks for joining me today. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Kathy Kulig: Hi, A.C., thanks so much for having me as a guest. I’m a geeky scientist by day (I work in a lab) and at night I write erotic romance. I love working out, eating out, mountain biking, the beach and traveling. I’ve been published with Ellora’s Cave since 2007. I live with my husband in eastern Pennsylvania in a 100 year old Victorian house. I started out writing for a local newspaper, and wrote short stories, poetry and articles for small publications. After joining a local writers group and RWA, I got the courage to write and submit full-length novels.
A.C. James: Joining a writers group can teach you so many valuable things. As you know I’m a member of Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group as well. They have monthly workshops that are really helpful and of course their yearly conference is well received. What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
Kathy Kulig: I write paranormal and contemporary erotic romance. Some of my stories have elements of BDSM. I have over ten titles (novels and novellas) published. I think eBooks are great! Ellora’s Cave is a digital first publisher, and I’ve earned a lot more on my eBooks than my print books.
A.C. James: Who doesn’t like handcuffs and riding crops? 😉 At the meeting on Saturday I’m going to have to pick your brain about Ellora’s Cave. I’ve been throwing everything against the wall and hoping eventually something will stick. Have you self-published?
Kathy Kulig: No, I haven’t gone that route yet.
A.C. James: Do you have a favorite of your stories or characters?
Kathy Kulig: That’s a tough one to ask a writer. I can’t say I do. My favorite one is probably the one I just got a contract for, and the least favorite is the one I’m writing. Each character in my stories has a unique struggle to overcome. I like heroes (men and women) to discover strengths they didn’t realize they possessed during a difficult trial.
A.C. James: It makes the character three dimensional and helps readers connect to them if they struggle with an issue that people can relate to. Which authors did you read when you were younger and did they shape you as a writer?
Kathy Kulig: I read a ton of books when I was younger. Sci Fi and paranormal mostly, then romance and thriller. I’d say Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke were big influences.
A.C. James: Me too. I read anything I could get my hands on but I have a special fondness for books with vampires or witches. Do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
Kathy Kulig: Mostly, I write every day. Evenings after work and on weekends. I write a basic plot outline with main turning points, characters sketches (GMC), and a rough synopsis, then jump in and write. Sometimes the story ends up quite different.
A.C. James: I do more character development than plot development too. I know what you mean about a story ending up quite different. Sometimes they seem to take on a life of their own. Do you do a lot of editing or research?
Kathy Kulig: Both. Even for paranormal stories. I’ll research when I travel and research online or by contacting experts when possible. Recently I talked to people who worked in the Pentagon, the Navy, Special Forces, Overseas Missionary, Archeologist, Police trainer, and commercial pilot.
A.C. James: You can definitely meet a lot of interesting people through writing research. What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Kathy Kulig: Third person. I’m not crazy about reading first or second, so I doubt I’d enjoy writing it.
A.C. James: I know what you mean about first person. I struggle because I love urban fantasy but most urban fantasy is written in first person which I’m not crazy about reading. If you don’t absolutely love the character or voice it can be a difficult read. What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? And has anything surprised you?
Kathy Kulig: My favorite aspect: all the wonderful friends I’ve made, authors and readers. Creating stories is hard work but it’s very rewarding. The least favorite is rejection, but it’s part of the business and every writer gets rejected. I would love to have more time to write too. Surprised me? Yes, the mayor in my town objected to my author interview in a local newspaper, because of what I write. That paper ended up getting their funding cut.
A.C. That’s terrible about the newspaper getting their funding cut. I imagine you won’t be voting for the mayor if he decides to run for re-election 😉 Wait, don’t answer that! But there does seem to be a stigma attached to erotic romance and erotica. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Kathy Kulig: I’ve given lectures on-line, at conferences and at conferences on various topics. I’ve also spoken at libraries.
A.C. James: Wow, you are a busy lady! Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Kathy Kulig: I’m on a number of writer’s loops through writing organizations I belong to as well as the Ellora’s Cave sites. It is a great way to network with writers and connect with readers.
A.C. James: Connecting with other writers and readers is key to reaching your audience and growing as a writer. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Kathy Kulig: I have a number of books planned for this year. I’m finishing the edits for the sequel to Spring Break, an erotic contemporary romance for Ellora’s Cave. I’m also planning another erotic contemporary romance for EC and a paranormal erotic romance. I have a few other projects I’m working on too.
A.C. James: Tell us more about Damned and Defiant and why readers are drawn to it.
Kathy Kulig: Damned and Defiant is the third of my Demons in Exile series. Even though all three books are stand-alone, this is Dante’s story and readers wanted to know about Dante from the first book. In Desert of the Damned, Dante was one of the antagonists but he did have a redeeming hero quality. And readers wanted to know if he would find love. I hadn’t planned on that, but saw his potential to become a hero and decided to change the arc of the series. The second book, Damned and Desired was an EPIC award finalist.
A.C. James: I can see how you could fall in love with an antagonist. I have a weakness for well written bad boys myself 🙂 We are giving away two e-book copies this week of Desert of the Damned
as part of our Sizzling, Hot, Memorial Day Giveaway
. Where can we find out about you and your writing?
A.C. James: Thanks again for interviewing today on my Paranormal Passion blog! Good luck with your sequel to Spring Break and we look forward to having you back when it’s released.
Kathy Kulig: My pleasure. Thanks again for having me.