Interview with Laura Kaye, Author of North of Need and Giveaway!

Laura Kaye is the author of the recently released North of Need, the first book in her Hearts of Anemoi series.  Laura dropped by to discuss her new series and to share some of her writing influences.  After the interview, she has a giveaway, too!  You can win romance trading cards or maybe even an Amazon gift card!  Read on for all the details!

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, North of Need?

[Laura Kaye] I would love to, and thanks for hosting me here at Manga Maniac Café! North of Need is a contemporary fantasy romance and the first in a four-book series featuring characters from the world of the Anemoi—directional wind gods the Greeks associated in their mythology with the seasons. This first book in the series tells the story of Owen [Eoghan] Winters, a long, self-exiled snow god and the adopted son and destined successor to the Supreme God of the North Wind, and Megan Snow, a grieving widow spending Christmas alone in the cabin she only ever shared with her deceased husband.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Laura Kaye] I deal with grief and loss in a lot of my books, which stems from experiencing quite a bit of it myself within the past five or so years. Megan’s plight came to me immediately and I identified with it on a visceral level. Owen came to me more slowly, and once I knew he was a snow god, I launched into several hours worth of research into different cultures’ views on winter deities—and quite a few have mythologies or legends involving gods as responsible for weather and seasons. When I found the Greek mythology of the Anemoi, I knew I not only had Owen’s story, but a basis for a broader series. Plus there are incredible stories within the mythology of fraternal conflict, bitter betrayals and lost loves that will drive the story arc of the series, as well as individual books.

[Manga Maniac Café] Why do you think books with paranormal elements are so popular with readers?  Why do you enjoy writing them?

[Laura Kaye] Paranormal fiction has always been my first love as a reader and a writer. All reading can provide escape, but I think paranormal fiction does it especially well because these stories operate within magical, fantastical boundaries outside the way the world as we know it works. The rules can be bent, things that could never happen do, all of which makes paranormal the ultimate escape! Plus the creatures are just damn sexy!

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Laura Kaye] Walking the line between making Megan’s grief over her husband and hesitation over Owen understandable and sympathetic versus frustrating for the reader.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your biggest creative influences?

[Laura Kaye] In my day job, I’m an historian, so I am very influenced by the storytelling of the past and imagining the separate world that is the past. It’s a skill set I find completely relevant to writing fiction. I grew up reading Stephen King and Anne Rice, and without question they satisfied and expanded my interest in all these weird, creepy, spooky and supernatural. I also grew up within a family that completely embraced the presence of paranormal phenomenon in the real world, so I have to include that as a creative influence, too. Finally, I’d say music—really key to helping me get the feel for scenes as I’m writing.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Laura Kaye] My laptop, time, enough energy to be coherent. LOL Seriously, I have very little in the way of writing rituals, etc.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Laura Kaye] The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I didn’t actually know what “fan fiction” was until a few years ago, but when I was a kid I essentially wrote a fan fiction of this book, except it was paranormal (a ghost story).

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Laura Kaye] I have a full-time job as a college professor, two young girls (ages 5 and 7), a husband, a house, etc., and those take up most of my non-writing time! But I love to read, watch movies, hang out with my best friend (also a writer), and garden when the weather’s nice.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!!

[Laura Kaye] Thanks for reading! And happy holidays!

You can learn more about Laura by visiting the links below:

Buy Laura’s Books

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

You can order North of Need, which is available in print and digital formats by clicking the widgets below

About North of Need:

Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves…
Desperate to escape agonizing memories of Christmas past, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband, realizing too late that she’s recreated the very thing she’ll never have.
Called to life by Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.
Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things. But this Christmas miracle comes with an expiration–before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.

About Laura Kaye:

A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated HEARTS IN DARKNESS and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), as well as an erotic romance novella, JUST GOTTA SAY. Her fourth book, contemporary fantasy romance NORTH OF NEED, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Now for the giveaway!

Laura is offering two ways to win on her Kiss and Tell Tour Posts, 11/28 – 12/6.

1) One commenter who leaves their email address on this post will win a full signed set of Laura’s romance trading cards for all four of her books.

2) A tour-wide prize will also be chosen on Friday, December 9: Laura will draw three commenters from across all Kiss and Tell Tour Posts to win one of THREE $5 Amazon gift cards. The more Tour Posts you visit and comment on, the more you’ll be entered to win! Commenters must leave email address. Both are open to international! Good luck!

{Edited to add contest and tour banner.}

Book Lover’s Holiday Giveaway Hop Dec 2–6 Win Crossed by Ally Condie

Here’s another chance to win a free book!  With the holidays right around the corner, I will be hosting several giveaways in December, so be sure to check back for other chances to win free books!

I am a Reader, Not a Writer & Kid Lit Frenzy are hosting the Book Lover’s Holiday Giveaway Hop from December 2 – December 6.   There will be a ton of chances for you to win some new reading material for when you are sitting in front of a roaring fireplace.  Just hop on over to I am a Reader, Not a Writer to see the other giveaways!  Click here to see the list of participating blogs.

I am giving away a copy of Crossed by Ally Condie, the sequel to Matched!  To enter, fill out the form below.  Since Google is making life difficult for blogs not hosted on Blogger, and they will soon be discontinuing Google Friend Connect, I am changing things up a bit.  The only requirement for entering is to subscribe to my newsletter.  Feedburner will deliver an email with blog updates right to your email box! 

Enter your email address:

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This is an easy contest to enter! Just subscribe to the newsletter and fill in the form for your chance to win! Open Internationally!

Contest Rules –

You must be 13 or older to enter.

I am not responsible for lost or damaged shipments.

One entry per person.

You must be a follower to enter.

Contest ends December 6th