Kimberly Lang is here to join in on my Harlequin KISS celebration. I am uber-excited about this new series by Harlequin, and I’m working on inviting all of the launch authors to drop by the virtual offices for a chat. On Friday, I will be giving away one complete set of the KISS launch titles, so make sure to stop back to enter for your chance to win!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Kimberly Lang] Author of sexy contemporary romance, trouble-maker and Southern belle.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What makes Harlequin’s Kiss line unique from their other series romances?
[Kimberly Lang] I think KISS hits that sweet spot – a fairy tale feeling that we want from a romance, but with enough realism to feel like it could happen to you or a friend. The characters and situations are easy to identify with, so readers can just get lost in the story. KISS has a fun, flirty vibe and it definitely sizzles! There’s a variety of voices in KISS (and some of the most talented authors out there!), so there’s something for everyone who loves a good story.
If books were fireworks, KISS would be the sparklers – burning hot and fast with lots of sparks, but close-up and personal, because you hold them in your hand while they burn.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you enjoy best about writing for Harlequin?
[Kimberly Lang] I love the short format. There’s a real challenge to telling a complete story in 50,000 words or less, but I like that challenge. It keeps me focused because I don’t have the word count available to wander off with secondary characters into subplots. The immediacy and pace required means I never get bored by the story or tired of the characters.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Downfall of a Good Girl?
[Kimberly Lang] I had so much fun writing this book. Downfall is set in New Orleans (the site of many a good girl’s downfall!), and pits the saintly Vivi against her childhood nemesis, Connor, during the Saints and Sinners charity fundraiser. I’ve got an alpha hero rock star in a set of five-foot tall angel wings and a former beauty queen determined not to lose this crown. There’s music, good deeds, a parade and a really hot scene with a piano that I’m quite fond of. You can find the official blurb and an excerpt on my website (http://www.booksbykimberly.com/books/the-downfall-of-a-good-girl/)
And speaking of music… all the songs featured in Downfall were written by the beautiful and talented Cristina Lynn, a local singer/songwriter who was kind enough to put her words in Connor’s mouth. Cristina even wrote an original song inspired by Connor and Vivi’s story. Check out my site or hers (www.cristinalynn.com) for a listen!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Kimberly Lang] Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. My mind is a very messy place, so I really don’t know what causes an idea to bubble to the surface. Usually, I’ll have a character or a situation as the seed and I build the book around that. This time, I knew I wanted to set a book in New Orleans, and I knew one of the characters would be in the music industry (because music is such a big part of New Orleans). From there, my creative process gets a little fuzzy… I know I had several false starts and rejected Chapter Ones before everything clicked into place for this story. But where the idea finally came from? No clue. I’m just glad it did.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Vivi?
[Kimberly Lang] Saintly. Competitive. Elegant.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Connor won’t leave the house without.
[Kimberly Lang] A smartphone – he needs to stay connected and have music to listen to. (Hm, I guess I have that in common with him!)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Connor’s pockets?
[Kimberly Lang] Connor would only carry the bare minimum required, so anything other than a phone and a credit card would be superfluous.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Vivi’s greatest regret?
[Kimberly Lang] Slapping Connor at their Coronation Ball ten years ago. (Only in that she wishes she’d have hit him harder and not done it in public.)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Kimberly Lang] I have a couple of English degrees, so I’d like to say something about great literature, but I’m really inspired by pop culture, especially TV shows like Friends and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer that have strong women and really great dialogue.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Kimberly Lang] Diet Coke, hot tea, and cherry jelly beans.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Kimberly Lang] This is a bit of a tease (and slightly self-promo-ish), but… I’m really excited to say that I’m part of the When Honey Got Married … anthology with the very talented Kelly Hunter, Ally Blake, and Anna Cleary that will be released in March. Although we planned the books together, I was totally blown away with how good their stories turned out. I mean, I like my contribution to the anthology, but Kelly, Ally and Anna’s are just amazingly good and I can’t wait for folks to get to read them!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Kimberly Lang] I’ve been an avid reader my entire life – my mom says I started reading when I was four, so I don’t ever remember not loving books and wanting to read. The first romance novel I read, though, was Bertrice Small’s Skye O’Malley, and it led to my obsession with romance novels. I still love a big, fat, sexy historical romance – and those are the books I’m most likely to turn to when I need a break.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Kimberly Lang] I read, watch crime dramas like L&O: SVU and Criminal Minds, hang out with the family and play with the dog. I’m also a fitness instructor – I teach a combination of yoga, pilates and tai chi that helps combat the “writer butt” that develops from too many jelly beans.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can purchase The Downfall of a Good Girl from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below. Be sure to check back at the end of the week for your chance to win a set of the first four KISS titles!
About the book
About the author
Kimberly Lang isn’t one of those people who always knew she wanted to be a writer. She actually wanted to be a ballerina, but puberty failed to deliver the required swan-like elegance. That dream scuttled, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in English – and she has the bartending skills to prove it. At her husband’s insistence, she quit teaching in 2007 to write full-time, and in May 2008, sold her first book to Harlequin’s London office. That book, The Secret Mistress Arrangement, debuted at number nine on the Borders Series Bestseller list and won the 2009 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book.
Since then, Kimberly’s books have appeared on the USA Today, Amazon, Borders, and Bookscan bestseller lists, and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. (And, yes, that’s really cool.)
She’s married to her college sweetheart, whom she affectionately (but appropriately) calls her Darling Geek, and is Mom to the most brilliant and beautiful child on the planet (aptly nicknamed Amazing Child). She started taking yoga-based fitness because she eats way too many jelly beans while writing, and became an instructor once she figured out that spending time with her butt over her head helped spark her creativity. More than one sticky plot point has been solved in the Down Dog position. She has no hobbies because she doesn’t have time, but if she did, they’d include knitting, skiing and ballroom dancing, because they sound like they might be fun.