What is your favorite scene in Black Number Four?
My favorite scene in BN4 is Formal and the cab ride home from Formal. At that point in the book, Kip and Skyler are going through so much shit – but there’s still feelings there. And sometimes, love hurts. It just does. I think this scene perfectly portrays what it’s like to love someone so much it physically pains you, yet there’s more to the situation than just love. Sometimes life gets in the way. And fighting between those two – life and love – well, it’s not an easy battle.
What was the hardest scene to write?
(SPOILER ALERT) When Kip is getting ready for the tournament and his father calls him. Having a family member, let alone a parent, with a terminal illness is something I can’t completely wrap my head around. When I had to do the research for lung cancer, it was absolutely paralyzing. There are some things I’ll never unsee. Writing that scene with the emotions between a father and a son with a not-so-perfect relationship was difficult, to say the least. (End SPOILER ALERT)
What’s been the most surprising thing about being an author?
Realizing that I’m not alone and there are other (more successful) authors out there going through the same stuff as I am. I always kind of felt like I was blindfolded throwing darts at a target and hoping I got lucky. I found out I’m not the only one who feels that way, and that makes it a little less lonely.
I would also add that having my books touch and affect lives was completely mind blowing and something I didn’t expect. Sometimes you write something from your soul, thinking you are the only one who will connect with it, only to find out you have a slew of soul sisters and brothers in this world.
What’s the most recent book you’ve read?
I just finished reading Fallen Crest High by the amazing Tijan. Such a fun/angsty read! I love it. Can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.
What was the first romance book you remember reading? What impression did it leave?
The first romance book I read was The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. Up until that point, I had mostly read YA, Fantasy type stuff (like Harry Potter). I have always been a hopeless romantic and I thrive on romance movies/shows, but The Wedding was the first time I dove into romance books. And to be honest, I think the fact that it was a mature read (about an elderly couple trying to get the love back in their marriage) really helped shape my outlook on love. I was only sixteen when I read it and my values completely reformed themselves.
Are you a write every day, or a lock yourself up for a weekend type writer? Did you know you were a plotter or a pantser? If you didn’t have a sense of your work style right off the bat, how did you discover your best working method?
I’m a hybrid, for sure. My main writing day and the day I get the most work done is “#WritingWednesday” (you can read more about it on my website at www.kandisteiner.com under Rambings). Essentially, that’s the day my husband gets wings and he watches sports while I write all night. I get a minimum of 3k done every Wednesday, but usually more around 5k-9k, depending. I try to write throughout the week, too, but sometimes Wednesday is the only day I write.
I am a pantser with a sprinkle of plotter. I have a general outline, but usually it’s just notes in my phone or in a word doc of big plot points or certain scenes I don’t want to forget. For the most part, I sit down to write and my characters take control.
I didn’t have any idea what my writing style was until I sat down to write Tag Chaser. Sure, I’d studied Creative Writing through college (it was one of my majors) so I had written many times before, but this was the first time I didn’t have a professor telling me what to do or how to write. Surprisingly, the idea that came to me in the shower (yes, in the shower) that made me start writing Tag Chaser changed and molded many times before the final product was done. My characters are fluid, and I love that about them.
What are three marketing ideas that have worked for you and one that didn’t?
LOL well, don’t quote me on this, but here are my general thoughts (marketing is a whirlwind of trial and error for me):
- Facebook ads
- ARCs for releases/tours
- BookBub Ads
One that doesn’t work 99% of the time: giveaways. GASP! I know, right? Don’t worry, I still do them (very often, actually) but mostly just because I truly love to give stuff away to my fans. The truth is, most people who enter the giveaways don’t actually read the stuff they win right away and, sadly, sometimes not even at all. I just went through and got a refund on all the books I gifted that were never claimed on Amazon last year. It was more than $100 I got back. I still enjoy giving things away, and I suppose in SOME ways it’s a good marketing tool, but it’s not my fave.
If you were to write a letter to yourself of five years ago… what would you warn, or encourage yourself about, or tell yourself to do differently?
I would advise my younger self to not compare my successes/failures to that of others. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit looking at how my books/page/rankings stack up against others in the industry. At the end of the day, it’s not about measuring myself against others. I read somewhere that a flower doesn’t compare itself to other flowers in the garden – it just grows. So, that’s what I aim for now – just growing myself and being the best I can be. That’s the advice I would give to my younger self.
What’s your next book about?
I haven’t announced it just yet, but it’s titled Weightless and all I can really say right now is that it’s different from anything I’ve written before and I’m extremely nervous/excited about it.
Sign up for my newsletter at https://www.facebook.com/KandiSteiner/app_100265896690345 to keep updated. That will be the first place I announce it, followed by www.facebook.com/kandisteiner!