Monday, December 7, 2015

Interview with novelist K.K. Weil

I’m kicking off a new week with an interview with author K.K. Weil. We’re talking about her new adult novel, Shatterproof.

As K.K. does her virtual book tour, she will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky, randomly chose winner. If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Bio:
K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.

Welcome, K.K. Please tell us about your current release.
Thank you so much for having me today! Shatterproof is a New Adult contemporary romance. My hero, Griffin, spent his life witnessing domestic violence in his house. He’s begged his mother to leave time and again, and cannot for the life of him understand why she insists on staying. He flip-flops between loving her and resenting her as he takes care of her after each episode. His worst fear is that he will become his father. He knows how likely it is that he will repeat the cycle, so he focuses on his sculpting to keep him grounded and away from any serious relationship in which he might hurt someone. But then, while volunteering at a nearby women’s shelter, he meets Frankie, who reminds him of how vibrant and spontaneous his mother used to be. He decides she is worth the risk, but is terrified that Frankie’s free-spirited, sassy ways will trigger the part of him that he needs to keep buried.

What inspired you to write this book? Griffin was a character in my first book, At This Stage. I never intended for him to take on the life that he did in that book, but the more I wrote about him, the more I fell in love with him. I decided then that I’d give him his own story and explore what made him tick. There had to be a very good reason that he was as serious and brooding as he was. Something must have happened to someone he loved, not just to him, because he’s the type of guy who’d always put himself second. And who could he possibly love more growing up than his mother? That’s how Shatterproof came alive.

Excerpt from Shatterproof:
“You need to grow up, Griffin,” my father spat at me. “Life isn’t perfect. You need to get over it and move on. Your mother can. She’s happy with me and whatever we have between us is our business, not yours. Grow the hell up, and start acting like a man instead of a petulant child.”

Heat shot through my body at lightning speed. “Act like a man—like you?” I shouted. “What should I do, go pick some amazing woman who’s full of life and beat it out of her until she can’t even recognize herself any more, until she can’t even differentiate between love and pain? Is that what a man does, Dad? Is that what I should do?”

My father broke into a smile. An evil, condescending, terrifying smile. “You think you’re so different from me?” He hovered over me. His tone was sinister, as if he was trying to cut through my skin with nothing but his voice. “Get up.” He yanked my arm and pulled me by the elbow into the bathroom. He grabbed the back of my head and forced me to face the mirror. “Look at yourself, Griffin. And look at me. Everything about you comes from me. You may deny it now. You may put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you’re above being human, but just know that the fire inside you, that’s my fire. That passion, it’s mine. And when you have an uncontrollable desire to love, to hurt, to possess a woman, it’s from me. Nothing is yours alone. Even this face.” He snagged my chin between his strong fingers. I tried to yank it away from his grasp, but he held on too tight. “It’s mine. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try to mask it in this mess of hair and clothes and tattoos you have going on, but know that every time a woman falls in love with that face, every time she says she can’t resist you because of it, every time she can’t walk away from you…it’s because of me. It’s because you are me. We. Are. The. Same.” He released my chin with a shove and left the bathroom.


What exciting story are you working on next?
My current work in progress is about a young woman who owns a small creperie with her grandmother. She has a special interest in helping the homeless and uses her creperie to do so. When a gorgeous, mysterious stranger comes into her store and starts leaving her songs on napkins, she’s not sure what to make of him. Because of certain family issues, she’s reluctant to enter into anything complicated, but she can’t seem to stay away from him. The more time she spends with him, though, the more she fears he’s not what he seems.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve written since I was little, so in some sense I think I’ve always thought of myself as a writer, even if it wasn’t my career. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a notebook filled with scribbles somewhere in my vicinity.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Right now, I am writing full-time. As soon as my kids are off to school, my computer goes on. My coffee sits next to me and if the weather is nice, I either work outside or open all my windows. Fresh air inspires me. Usually, I take care of any “business” first, like social media or communications with other authors - or blog posts ;). After that, I dive into writing. What that means depends on the day. It might be picking up where I left off and spewing out tons of words or maybe I just go over what I did the day before and tweak it. Of course I find the days when I get more pages out to be more productive, but both kinds of days are necessary. I work until the kids come home and again after they go to bed, which often means losing track of time and neglecting everything else that needs to be done. So on any given day, laundry might be piled to the ceiling and my family might be near the brink of starvation. But if I put more words on the page, it’s all worth it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I’m starting a new story, I like to write random scenes, out of order as they pop into my head. I jot them down in notebooks (yep, old school) until I have so many I’m totally confused and have to start at the beginning.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First I wanted to be a teacher, then I wanted to be a lawyer. Eventually, I did become a teacher, and interestingly, I was trained in teaching writing. But regardless of what I thought my career would be, I always wanted to be a writer on the side. I just didn’t know I’d be doing it full-time one day.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My favorite part about writing is creating something out of nothing. But within that, the best is when a scene takes on a life of its own and suddenly something is happening that I didn’t plan or expect. There’s that aha moment when I think, “Wow, where did that come from?” And when it actually works, that’s pretty cool.

Links:


Thank you, K.K. Happy writing!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

39 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Becky Richardson said...

Really enjoyed the interview.

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I'm very excited to be here!

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks very much, Becky! I'm glad you liked it. :)

K.K. Weil said...

I'd love to hear anyone else's interesting quirks, writing or otherwise, too!

Mai T. said...

How would you spend a billion dollars?

K.K. Weil said...

Oooh, Mai, I'd love to think of all the ways! After sharing with those closest to me, I think a lot of it would go towards traveling all around the world. I'm not that big on "stuff", but visiting places I've never seen, and trying the local foods, are great passions of mine. Of course, I'm not saying I wouldn't also buy a beautiful boat to guide me on my travels ;) How about you?

Ashantay said...

I enjoyed your interview - congrats on your book release!

K.K. Weil said...

Thank you so much, Ashantay! Happy you enjoyed it :)

Peggy Jaeger said...

Hi K.K. I'm a New york gal myself. Born and bred in Brooklyn then moved to Staten island. I love that you write about real issues - domestic abuse, etc. It's important. Good luck with sales and keep writing!

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks very much, Peggy! I especially love NY at this time of year, with all the beautiful holiday decorations!

Wild N Mild $$$ said...

Griffin sounds like an interesting character. Look forward to reading more of him.
Jennifer Rote

Lisa Brown said...

thanks for the chance to win :)

Ilona Fridl said...

Wonderful interview! The story sounds like one everyone should read.

tiago rosado said...

Enjoyed the interview and excerpt, sounds like a very intriguing book, thanks for sharing and good luck with the book!

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks, Jennifer! He's become very close to my heart. :)

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks, Lisa. Good luck!

K.K. Weil said...

Thank you so much, Ilona! I'd love that. ;)

K.K. Weil said...

Thank you, Tiago! So glad you liked it!

MomJane said...

That is a sad excerpt in a way. I loved the interview.

Rita said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

Eva Millien said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and the interview, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing and Good Luck with the tour!

K.K. Weil said...

I agree, MomJane. Thank you!

K.K. Weil said...

Thank you, Rita! I'm glad!

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks so much, Eva! So happy you liked them!

Hebby Roman said...

Hi, K.K., you're new to me at TWRP. Really glad I dropped by and loved your excerpt!

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks so much, Hebby! Always a pleasure to meet a fellow Rose!

Barbara Bettis said...

Don't you love the way secondary characters take on lives of their own so that you really can't let them go after a story is over? I enjoy books based on people from other books--it's like revisiting old friends. Best of luck with the release.

Cali Willette said...

Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. What inspires you to write? ;)

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks so much, Barbara. I agree...you get so attached to them, there's just got to be more!

K.K. Weil said...

Thank you, Cali! I get my inspiration all over the place, but I'd have to say interesting, thought-provoking conversations with friends and family seem to really get my ideas flowing.

Mary Morgan said...

Wonderful interview, K.K.! I've been a writer since I was very little, too. Yet, I would daydream and write inside my head. I did keep diaries as a teenager and would write poems about life, my cats, or my current boyfriend. Now as a writer, I keep a leather journal for each of my stories. There's something about having a pen in my hand and the feel of paper that inspires my writing. I can't do outlines on the computer. It's all in my journals. Additionally, I stuff them with pictures, Gaelic translations, etc. They're my "work" bible. Wishing you all the best with your new book. :)

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks so much, Mary. I agree, nothing replaces the feel of a pen and paper. I'll always love my notebooks. Still have every one!

Vonnie said...

Now THAT is a great excerpt. Why? It predetermines the course the protagonist will take in his life. Many novels mention men that 'don't what to be violent like their fathers' but your excerpt explains clearly how this can happen, why it happens. All kudos to you for firming up the backstory to such an extent that it is not glossed over, not facile.

K.K. Weil said...

Vonnie, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I'm touched that you connected with my excerpt. It was important to me that I showed Griffin's history in a meaningful way.

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great post, I enjoyed reading the excerpt! Thanks for sharing :)

K.K. Weil said...

Thanks, Victoria! I'm so glad you liked them. :)

Ree Dee said...

I enjoyed the interview. Thank you.

K.K. Weil said...

Happy to hear it, Ree Dee. Thanks :)