Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I currently live in the large city of Brisbane, Australia, though I grew up on a five acre property in the country where a love of animals and the Australian bush was fostered in me. I had a lot of pets over the years, including dogs, ducks, cats, a rabbit, parrots, guinea pigs, fish and even hermit crabs. I trained as a veterinary nurse, volunteered at Animal Welfare League, the RSPCA and Riding for the Disabled. I was also a nanny for a year in Europe, during which time I realized that Europe is where my heart is.
My love of stories began at a young age. I was always a reader and when I played, I always invented elaborate stories, with or without my toys. I also loved drawing, but it was when I started putting pen to paper when I was thirteen, that quickly discovered my love for writing stories. At the end of high school, I entered the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer’s Competition (a prestigious, statewide competition for teenage writers) and received a runner’s up encouragement award for the science fiction time travel story I submitted. It wasn’t until the end of 2015 when I began writing original stories again, that I decided I wanted to self-publish my work.
Q. What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I am often reading– I love supporting other authors and I enjoy so many different kinds of stories. Or I’m watching something on Netflix or Stan (Australian streaming service). Some of my favourite shows are Doctor Who, Outlander, Vikings and Mad Dogs (UK). I am also obsessed with music.
Q. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have around 9 or 10 unpublished works, and that number will climb. My plan is to always have unpublished works as a backlog so I am not scrambling to get a book out, because I hate deadlines. I’ve never been someone who can work well under pressure and some of my books take a long time to write and perfect. So, I always want to be ahead of myself.
Q. What does literary success look like to you?
To me, literary success isn’t about rankings and best seller lists. To me, it’s about people connecting with your words, loving your stories and eventually getting to meet them at signings, which I will be starting to attend this year.
Q. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I am a plantser ie. I only plan out key plot points, but mostly write with a free rein. So, I may research a small amount of the topic before going into my book, but for the most part, I research as I go.
Q. What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I have a long term love of Urban fantasy, historical fiction, women’s fiction and science fiction that’s set more in the here and now. Authors who have been a big influence on me are people such as G.J. Walker-Smith, Cassandra Clare, Philippa Gregory and C.J. Duggan. A lot of episodic television writers have also influenced me: Joss Whedon being the main one here, and also Russell T. Davies.
Q. How do you select the names of your characters?
I mainly use baby name websites and sometimes will put up a call out kind of post on Facebook (those posts are so inspirational).
Q. Tell us about your books?
My first book, Unexpected (Marked For Love #1) is a contemporary polyamorous romance between an Aussie woman living in New York, her American best friend and the British man she runs into one morning. It’s the first in a family saga series.
Although my focus at the moment is contemporary romance, I have plans to write Paranormal romance (PNR), light science fiction romance and women’s fiction. I will always be writing some kind of love story, as that’s what I am most drawn to in my writing. Most of the time, my stories will include an Aussie character in some way, shape or form.
Q. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
A mixture of both, depending on the story. My Marked For Love series has a lot of emotions in it that I have experienced in real life, though I have altered the situations a lot.
Q. What’s more important: characters or plot?
One of my favorite things about writing stories is creating the characters. A great plot is one thing you must have, of course, but that’s nothing if you don’t have strong characterizations. A reader has to be able to connect with the characters. For me, in my books, my characters drive my plots. It’s their interactions and their reactions that move the story forward.
Q. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I just published my first book in January and it took me two years to get out. That’s a long time in the indie book world. This book was my big learning curve. I’m still learning, but Unexpected went through so many changes as I learned more about the craft and the industry etc. But it meant that I released a quality product that so far people are enjoying.
Q. If you didn’t write, what would your ideal career be?
I do have a day job in retail, which I have a love/hate relationship with. But my dream job was always that I wanted to be a zoologist or a zookeeper. The only thing that stopped me from doing that was my terrible mathematics.
Q. What is your favorite childhood book?
I loved Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell, Snugglepot & Cuddlepie by May Gibbs. As a teen, I loved Sweet Valley books as well as Buffy, Angel and Charmed novels. Mind you, I still love all of these titles to this day.
Q. Can you tell us about your upcoming book(s)?
I have quite a few coming out this year. In May I have a co-written novel with E. Kay Sims (more on that to be revealed), the next two installments of my Marked For Love series in the second half of the year, and a short Aussie Rural Romance in the anthology called Building Love, benefiting Ronald McDonald House, Westmead. That will be out in December.
Q. What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kiera-
Reader Group: facebook.com/groups/
Q. What project are you working on now?
I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment. I’m finishing up my co-write with E Kay Sims, as well as my first Reverse Harem novel and the first book in a duet called Lost In Brazil.
Buy Links for Unexpected:
Amazon Universal Link: http://mybook.to/
All other platforms Universal link: https://www.books2read.com/u/
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