Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Welcome Avon and Harlequin Author Kay Thomas!

Yes, another ONE of THOSE ladies!  An Avon lady who loves to party like I do.  See. I have evidence. That’s Kay at the top right and going clockwise, me, Lizbeth Selvig, and Lena Diaz. We had so much fun!

Anyway, I wanted to share and let you meet her too. She writes romantic suspense for Avon and Harlequin, and such a sweetheart.

Thanks so much for having me, Carla!

Who are your top five authors to read?
This list changes a lot. I tend to go on “binges” and read a lot of the same author one book after the other, much more than I used to thanks to my ereader. Lately, these are the authors I’ve been reading: Veronica Roth, Alexandra Sokoloff, Anne Lowell, Lorraine Heath and Julia Quinn

What is your go-to book to read over and over again?
I can only pick one? That’s hard. If I think about how many times I’ve read each of them over and over again, it’s a toss up between BLACK ICE by Anne Stuart and OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon.

[OMG!  Love BLACK ICE.  Of course, everyone certainly knows I believe Anne's awesome.]

Who influenced your writing the most? Why?
A teacher I had in college, Dr Joe Stockwell, was the biggest influence on my writing. He required one-page only papers in his assignments. You could write all over the page, even in the margins, but it could only be on one side of one page.

You had to understand your topic and thesis completely to do that. (There’s no bluffing your way to a conclusion in a one-page paper on Conrad’s HEART OF DARKNESS.) I learned to “write tight” in Joe’s class and fell in love with that kind of writing. We’ve kept in touch with since graduation. (28 years ago)

When I finished my first manuscript, Joe read my work and helped me with editing and revisions before I submitted to agents and editors. He helped with my second manuscript, too. He turned 88 this year and I dedicated HARD TARGET (the first installment in the Elite Ops series) to him.

Describe where you are the most productive when you write.
I’m most productive at my office desk at home with Pandora playing, instrumental only, to cover up the noise from lawnmowers outside and my family inside. My husband works from home, too, and his office shares an air vent with mine. I can hear every word he says on the speakerphone unless I crank up the music. The upside is that several of the men he works with have incredibly awesome voices, like radio announcers. So listening is not such a bad thing, even when they’re talking about technical telecom stuff, I don’t understand.

Tells us a little about your current book?
Can I share the back cover copy for PERSONAL TARGET? [Of course! Please!] My editor and I just nailed it down a week ago.

AEGIS – an elite team of ex-military men working under the radar of most governments. They get the job done when no one else can.

A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him, or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend…a woman from Nick’s past.

One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she is abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now as they race for their lives, passion reignites as old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

Show us your one favorite scene of dialogue from that book.
~~Jennifer and Nick are “discussing” her travel plans for a paleontology dig in Niger. In this scene, they discover a bigger issue than either of them suspected.~~

     “Why in the world would they care about me?” Jennifer walked away from him, climbing the porch steps and moving to open the front door to her house. “I’m not anyone important.”
     Nick sighed. “A person’s supposed influence whether great or small doesn’t matter. You’re an American. That makes you newsworthy and a target for a robbery, a kidnapping, publicity for their ‘cause’, or for human trafficking.”
     She crossed her arms and stood at the front door, glaring at him. She couldn’t back down, not now, even if everything he’d said was true. She’d just be extremely careful. Paleo-Niger and the Foundation had excellent safety protocols in place. She’d be fine.
     “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I just want to get inside my house and get into my own clothes. I appreciate your flying me out of Mexico, really, I do. But your work is done now. Go spend the holiday with your family. I don’t want you in my life.” That last seemed harsh. And yes, it was a bald-faced lie, but she was going with it.
     “I’m back, I’m home. I’m safe. I’m fine. And I’m leaving, so I won’t be any more trouble to you. I’m starting a new life, just like you did when you joined the Navy. Can’t you let me go?” She hadn’t meant to say that. Hadn’t meant to reveal quite so much.
     “No, I can’t. I never wanted-“ He stopped talking abruptly, as if to keep himself from saying more.
     “I still think you’re just trying to scare me,” she muttered under her breath, deliberately misunderstanding him.
     She was not having this conversation. She couldn’t. Not now when she was so close to a clean getaway. Talking about this would lead to her telling him everything, when she was moments from never having to tell him anything.
     She put her key in the lock, determined to go inside and shut the door behind her. But a key wasn’t necessary. The door swung open of its own accord.
     Had the landlord left her door unlocked as they repaired the water heater? Dammit, she’d fuss. She could have been robbed blind.
     Still clutching her keys, she stepped inside and froze. The house was trashed. Granted she’d left it messy when the hot water heater had leaked. Her living room and bedroom had been so thoroughly flooded, she’d had to move stuff around—stacking things on the sofa and almost every other flat surface. But this was different. She moved past the sofa to her bedroom.
     Someone had been here besides the plumber and her landlord. They’d dumped every drawer onto the floor and stripped her bed, gouging holes in the mattress. She rushed through the rooms, even as Nick shouted at her to stop.
     Her walk-in closet had been ransacked—clothing was strewn about and torn, cut with scissors or a knife—she wasn’t sure which. Why would someone do that?
     Her fury began to override the shock. This was too damn much. After all that had happened to her in the past three days, why would someone systematically destroy everything she owned?

What do you believe makes a man sexy?
The number one thing that makes a man sexy to me is a sense of humor. My husband has kept me laughing for 26 years. I believe the ability to laugh together has been one of the most important ingredients in our marriage.

Kay will be giving away a copy of HARD TARGET to one lucky commenter.  Be sure to come by and tell us what is your favorite romantic suspense ever!  And yes, romantic suspense can be a historical romance.

Be sure to visit Kay at the following places.
Twitter: @kaythomaswrites

Interview by
Carla Swafford
The Circle Trilogy
Look for me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Google+
Time Magazine, ". . . involves deadly assassins, drug lords and doing it."


Paula said...

Welcome, Kay! So happy to see an Intrigue pal here!

Your new books for Avon sound amazing! Dying for some down time from my own writing to catch up with yours!

bn100 said...

Don't have a fav

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Kay Thomas said...

Hey Paula! Great to see you here! Thanks for stopping by to say hello and for your kind words. You have some awesome books out right now yourself! (Love that Bitterwood P.D. series)

Ali Hubbard said...

Thank you, Kay, for the interview! Outlander is one of my go-to books too. Your book sounds so good. So glad you shared :-)
p.s. when I grow up I want to have fun like Carla!!

Carla Swafford said...

Ali --- LOL!

Di said...

So many ... Catherine Coulter's FBI series with Sherlock & Savitch, Elizabeth Lowell's stories, Nora Roberts has a lot of wonderful romantic suspense.

robertsonreads said...

Hi Kay,
When I saw your name, I immediately thought of my high school English teacher who is a well known author herself. That would be Gayle Wilson but in hs she went by Kay Thomas, threw me for a loop.

Thank you for the excerpt of Jennifer and Nick's story. I adore reading as it's my escape from daily life. I greatly enjoy romantic suspense as one of the genres that I read. Wow, alpha hero...swoons. I will definitely plan to check out your books further as you are a new to me author.

I appreciate your sharing of yourself, your books and life.

Ginger Robertson aka robertsonreads

Mary Preston said...

I could not possibly name a favorite. So many to love. I'd be afraid of missing someone out.


Kay Thomas said...

Hi Ali Hubbard,
I cannot wait for the Outlander series this summer. So excited to see how they've put it all together. And yes, isn't Carla, fun?! She's proof that Southern girls can find a party anywhere. : )

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Ginger Robertson! Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt from Jennifer and Nick's story. I'm finishing PERSONAL TARGET this week and turning it in to my editor next Tuesday. It'll be released in July. That's interesting about your teacher....I actually used to teach high school English, but Thomas wasn't my last name then. : )

Kay Thomas said...

Hello Di- Yes, you are naming some of the truly great romantic suspense authors! Thanks for stopping by today!

Louisa Cornell said...

Loved the excerpt, Kay. And how cool about your English teacher.

Anne Stuart's Black Ice is one of my favorite books.

I love the C.S. Harris series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr. It takes place in nineteenth century England and is brilliant.

Anything by Paula Graves is a must read for me. As I write Regency I read other genres as special treats and Paula's books never fail to deliver.

Ooh! And Carla's Circle series are great Saturday night reads. I think Circle of Desire is probably my favorite.

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Louisa! Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the excerpt. I have a C.S. Harris in my TBR pile, and you've convinced me I must put it on top of the stack. I've never read the Sebastian St Cyr series.

Chris Bailey said...

Your back cover copy is super! And I agree with you--a sense of humor.

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Chris! Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the back copy for Personal Target. Yes, a sense of humor is incredibly attractive, isn't it? What I would tell my 17-year-old self if I could go back in time: "Don't waste time or effort on a man who doesn't make you laugh. Life is entirely too short for that." : )

Kay Thomas said...

Congratulations Ginger Robertson! You're the winner of the ebook of HARD TARGET. Please contact me via the blogger link, or reply back here with your email address and I will send the download. Happy Reading!