Blog Tour: Interview with Kimberly Dean, author of 'Courting Danger'

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica.  She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day. 

Her latest book is the contemporary erotic romance, Courting Danger.

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Can you tell us what your book is about?  

My Courting series is about the women and men who work at Luxxor Limited, a high-end escort service.  Courting Danger is the story of Rielle, Luxxor’s office manager, who decides to step out one night as an escort with a mysterious man.

Darien Scott isn’t what he appears to be. Beneath the sexy smile and wicked charm, he’s hiding secrets. Yet the sizzling chemistry between him and Rielle is real. He tries to stay away, but his
attraction to her keeps pulling him back. When he discovers that he’s not the only one haunted by danger, he changes tactics. To protect Rielle, he may need to stay close. Super close. Exclusive Luxxor contract close.  The reward is more than worth the risk.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?   

I’m a plotter.  If I tried to discover the story as I wrote, I’d stare for a long time at a blank screen.  I start plotting at a high level to make sure I know all the major points of the story.  I often use flash cards for this.  Then I break it down, chapter by chapter, so I know where I’m going and why.  The better I’ve plotted, the faster the actual writing goes.

Your book is set in Washington DC.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?  

 I needed a big city where an escort service might be based.  The capital was the first place that came to mind.  Ha!  Actually, it offered a lot of intriguing storyline possibilities, and there are so many settings within the city that I could use.  It’s worked out very well.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?   

DC plays a huge part in Courting Danger.  The White House, cherry blossoms, and the Kennedy Center all show up.  The locations are integral to the plot.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?   

Wow!  You are good.  It’s actually the start of a love scene.  It’s also my favorite scene in the book.  The hero is still a vague, shadowy figure.  Everyone is telling Rielle that he’s bad news and to stay away from him.  She’s angry with him, but when he appears, they have a quiet, intimate moment.  It’s the quietness that appealed to me.  By all rights, there could have been a big, dramatic moment with anger and yelling.  Instead, there was a quietness that solidified to me that these two characters belonged together.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?   

Yes.  As I mentioned before, if I don’t know the story, I can’t sit down at a keyboard and hammer it out.  Instead, I do anything but write. Seriously. Others say you need to put your butt in the chair and fight through it. That doesn't work for me. I get more frustrated, and the block gets bigger. Instead, I'll let my subconscious mind work on it. I'll do dishes, watch a movie, or listen to music. Another trick is thinking about the scene from another character's point of view. When the answer comes, it's just like the proverbial light bulb popping on over my head. I get all excited, the energy returns, and I'll write like crazy.  Getting to that point, though, can be excruciating.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?   

With Halloween right around the corner, I’d carve pumpkins!  I’m desperately wanting to do this right now, but I can’t find the time. I love seeing jack-o’-lanterns with their flickering faces.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?   

I love Halloween.  There are no presents to worry about, no stress, and no awkward gatherings.  It’s all about fun and imagination.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?   

I think the most pivotal point is when things go wrong.  A book might not sell well.  An editor might have a different vision for a story than you.  Bad reviews might come in.  It’s all about how you respond to adversity.  Does it make you stronger?  Can you filter out the important feedback?  Or do you crawl into a ball and hide under the covers?  The next step you take is the most important.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?  

Learn your craft and do your homework. Do everything you can to become the best writer you can possibly be, but listen to your gut. People in this industry love to throw out advice. Some of it is great, but a lot of it is pure hooey. Just because a big-time author tells you to do something or an agent demands you make changes doesn't mean they're right. This can be one of the hardest things to learn. Don't be inflexible or a smarty pants, but develop a backbone. This is your story, your business, and your dream. Trust in yourself to make things happen.