Monday, September 3, 2018

Interview with romance author Vivian Kohlman

My special guest today is romance author Vivian Kohlman. We’re chatting a little bit about her new novel, Flawed.

During her virtual book tour, Vivian will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. 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!

Vivian Kohlman writes romance novels based on stories of love and loss under the backdrop of Washington, DC. She grew up in Maryland just outside DC, but lived in Los Angeles on and off in her 20's before returning to the Washington, DC area to live out her adult life.

Vivian attended a private university in Washington, DC for undergraduate and graduate school, and lived a very active social life. During her teens and twenties she and her friends lived through a lot of ups and downs—these experiences have fed the stories of this series.

Currently, she loves to travel with her husband and reads or writes romance novels as often as she can. When she’s not writing, she works a fulltime job and enjoys all of the bars, restaurants, and other hot spots of the nation’s capital. Born and raised in the DC metro area, she adores the culture of the city and is passionate about highlighting the city's attributes, lifestyles, and norms—not including politics.

Welcome, Vivian. Please share a little bit about your current release.
I have a series of five books in the Young and Privileged of Washington, DC series. Flawed is the first book in the series, and my favorite. The characters are all based on people from my life, and the stories strongly resemble things I’ve been through…it’s close to my heart.

Flawed is a romance story about Kara and Naheed—two people who have deep passion for each other, but life throws challenges that can’t easily be overcome. At least, they feel things can’t be overcome at the time; eventually, love conquers all…right?

The characters, scenes, and stories are contemporary. The novel is written for a mature audience—curse words, drinking, and nightclubs are normal occurrences in the lives of the Young and Privileged of Washington, DC.

What inspired you to write this book?
My friends and I have experienced a great deal in our lives! The real-life story that inspired Flawed has always stood out as epic to me. They love each other so deeply and Naheed’s focus on Kara is borderline paranormal…he truly thinks they’re meant for each other. One day I just thought I should write it all down, and then changed and added to it.

The draft version of the novel was finished very quickly (about a month), but it took months to refine and finalize it. When the first book was out, I started to complete that story with book two…and the series continued after that. None of the stories in this series are factual—but the characters and experiences that drove these stories are the main inspiration for the books.

Excerpt from Flawed:
A few minutes later, I heard the door open again.
“That was quick,” I said while shuffling cards, not paying attention to Anna’s return. But it wasn’t Anna. It was Naheed…he walked around the corner, and leaned next to me, putting a hand on the back of my chair.
“You forgot your drink,” he said, setting the drink down in front of me while keeping his hand on the back of my chair, essentially enclosing me in his arms.
“Thank you.” I felt the heat emanating from him and I know my face was bright red. I couldn’t breathe. Butterflies were storming around my stomach.
“You’re welcome. Aren’t you going to even say hello? You’re acting like I’m a stranger.”
“Hello,” I said. I haven’t even looked at him yet. I was avoiding that like the plague. I knew our eyes would lock, just like they used to…and I can’t let this get out of hand.
“So, you’re engaged to Dominik. Why him?”
A slight fit of anger made me look up to Naheed; he’s still standing incredibly close to me.
“Why do you care?”
“Because…he’s not the one for you.”
“Ah, how ironic. That’s what my friends said about you.”
“Yeah, I remember.”
“And you still have a girlfriend…so, I guess things ended up the way they were supposed to.”
I got to him; he looked pissed. He was quiet for a minute…then sat in the chair next to me.
“Kara, I’m with her because you walked away. YOU WALKED AWAY from us,” he said loudly.
“What did you expect me to do?”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Girls Like Me, book four in the series, started a new story, and Guys Like You (book five) continued that story. Now, I’m writing a third book to finish the story of the characters introduced in Girls Like Me. So book six in the series is on its way! You don’t have to read books four and five before reading the sixth; all of the books in the series can be read on its own.

But of course, it’s always best to read a story from the start, so here’s the breakdown of the series as of today:
Book 1, Flawed. Part 1 of Kara’s story
Book 2, Found. Part 2 of Kara’s story
Book 3, Let Go. Billi’s story
Book 4, Girls Like Me. Part 1 of Ava’s story
Book 5, Guys Like You. Part 2 of Ava’s story
Book 6 (not yet released). Part 3 of Ava’s story

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m still not there yet!! It’s weird for me—I have five novels out now, and still consider myself a Consultant (what I do fulltime). Writing is a hobby of mine, and I plan to continue to put out novels, but I’ve never been able to call myself a writer, officially.

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?
I’m an Information Technology Consultant fulltime, but always find the time to write once the bug hits me. My commute to/from work includes a twenty-five minute metro ride—you can get a lot of writing and editing done with a commute like that!

Time is never an issue for me; my issue is getting the urge to write. When that urge comes, I put all my free time into it and usually get the basic story down in just a few weeks. It’s impossible for me to force myself to write a story, I quickly realized—I feel like I live with writer’s block most of the time. Every once in a while that block lifts, and the stories pour out of me.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write using whatever tools I have on hand at the moment. Because I write a lot during my commute into work, I will write the books in pieces and combine everything into one master file on my computer at home. I use Pages to jot stories down, and then Kindle to edit chapters as they are finished (you can upload Word files and make edits with highlights and notes). When I get home, I save the Pages pieces into the master file, and use my Kindle edits to make changes in the master copy.

After I’ve written a book completely and edited it end-to-end once—all on a computer—I print the book and take my time reading it. While doing so, I closely edit the book—focusing on the storyline and conversations—using a pencil. Yes, it’s old school…but it’s how I’ve always done things (my undergraduate degree is a BA in Literature, so I’ve done a lot of writing!).

Reading a story on paper is fundamentally different for me than reading it on a screen; I usually change a scene or two after I see the story on paper. As a matter of fact, the last half of Girls Like Me was completely re-written after I read it on paper.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to be a romance novelist…always!! But I never thought writing could pay the bills, so I didn’t try to write a novel until I was already deep into my career as a consultant. Maybe someday—when I fully grow up!—I’ll be a romance novelist!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love the city and suburbs of Washington, DC and all of my stories are based here. No, they don’t include anything about politics—I’ve found that most youths who live here aren’t so absorbed in much more than school and partying.

All of the locations in the stories are real places (schools, restaurants, bars) that I’ve been to myself. Anyone living in the area can also go to most of these places…and yes, some of the real-life stories happened at the real-life places.

Washington, DC is beautiful and diverse with activities that range from hiking to visiting museums to shopping in historic districts and everything in between. My love of the metro area is also an inspiration for the series.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
No…thank YOU for having me!!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivian Kohlman said...

Thank you for promoting Flawed!! I'm excited to connect with your readers. I'll check back often, in case anyone has questions.

James Robert said...

Congrats on the tour and thank you for the opportunity to read about another great book. With so many readers in my family, always great to hear about more choices I think they'd enjoy reading.Having a family who loves to read, I always

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great post!

Sue C. said...

The cover caught my eye and the excerpt hooked me in. This looks like a book I'd like to read. Very interesting interview!

Marisela Zuniga said...

This sounds great, thanks for sharing the interview

starzine said...

Very interesting romance novel, plus the author loves to travel, like I love to travel.