Brooke London: Hi Keta, welcome to the blog. According to your website, it seems that you’ve been interested in writing and books from an early age. Can you tell me what kinds of stories you first wrote? What was the first book you really enjoyed and why?
Keta: Hi Brooke, thank you for having me here today. It’s a pleasure. I can remember as a child writing down stories and placing them into notebook form. Then at about ten, a teacher must have noticed my fondness for writing. She introduced me to Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve been hooked every since.
B.L.: You were once a reporter for a newspaper. How did this help you develop your writing style? How would you define your writing style?
Keta: Reporters must listen carefully and be accurate on their details of the story. If nothing else, this helps when it comes to researching a book, particularly historicals. I’m not sure how I would define my writing style. I think it changes a little depending on the genre. When I write fantasy, I’ve been told my writing is more descriptive. Perhaps this is because of the alternate world a writer must create. When I write erotica historical, I lean more toward dialogue than narrative. I try not to break the big rules pounded into our heads, POV, dangling modifier abuse, repetitious words, congruent sentence structure and all that, but heck, sometimes rules have to be broken. And I’m sure on occasion I break them.
B.L.: How are you feeling about the release of your book Land of Falling Stars?
Keta: I’m very happy over the success of Land of Falling Stars. The book has been on the top ten best sellers’ list at Ravenous Romance several times and it’s number five on Fictionwise for Ravenous Romance. I’ve had many wonderful reader reviews/comments on the book, so this really pleases me.
B.L.: What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create the particular characters and story that appear in Land of Falling Stars? Did your interest in genealogy contribute to the book? How so?
Keta: Genealogy always seems to filter in somehow. Actually, I was reading a true story about cousins who fought in the Civil War on opposite sides and how that affected their families. My brain took flight; I started with the “what ifs”. What if two men who loved the same woman fought on opposite sides? What if one shot the other accidentally on a smoke-filled battlefield, and one was left to break the news to the heroine? So you can see where this led me. Sophia, was a pampered, coddled child and promised to Jesse in marriage since they day she was born. But it’s really Gavin, her childhood friend that owns her heart. Now, if she can only admit it. Many have asked where the title came from so I’m about to tell you . . . As children, Sophia, Gavin and Jesse would lay under the star-bangled canopy of heaven and pretend they lived in the Land of Falling Stars.
B.L.: What do you feel is the most important thing that a pre-published author should know?
Keta: The market; what’s selling, what do readers crave, what are publisher’s looking for. And they should learn as much about the craft as they can. So many people say, “Hey, I’m going to write a book.” It’s much harder than it looks, and there are many rules writers should follow in order to be recognized in the publishing arena. That’s not to say you must follow all of them, but know when it’s okay to break one. A pre-published author should know it is very tough competition and you have to be very thick-skinned to survive. There are always those who won’t like one of your books, readers, review sites, etc. You have to take it with a grain of salt and attribute to different tastes in people. Nothing should be taken personally.
B.L.: What goals do you hope to attain in your writing career during the next few years?
Keta: Oh, this is a tough one. I don’t generally set long-term goals but just see where the writing leads me. I’m much further ahead than I was two years ago, and in two more years, I hope to have more books published, more reader interest, etc.
B.L.: Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really exotic and exciting. Authors are real people like everyone else, so tell us what’s the most unexciting, un-exotic thing you’ve done in the past week?
Keta: If they only knew! Most days will find me at the computer, perhaps in jeans and a very unglamorous T-shirt. The cat is perched by my mouse. For some reason, she’s fascinated with it, so we’re always competing. And there is a big old dog curled up by me feet. The nice thing about animals – they don’t care if you forgot your deodorant that morning. They still love you. A writer’s life is lonely, not glamorous. At least mine isn’t. The most unglamorous thing I did this week – three times – empty Emma’s litter box!
B.L.: Land of Falling Stars is on Ravenous Romance. How long have you been with them and why do you like them?
Keta: Ravenous Romance is actually quite new, but they’ve have made tremendous strides in the publishing world since opening. I’m one of their first authors, along with a host of others who joined before they opened. I was thrilled when they accepted Land of Falling Stars and think we’ll hear big things from Ravenous in the future. I’m told there are quite a few New York authors on their roster, so to have Land of Falling Stars make the top ten is a real honor. Soon I’ll be editing an anthology for them on Gods and Goddesses. Again, I was honored to be assigned this project. Watch for it on their web site in the coming month.
B.L.: What books have you bought but haven’t read yet?
Keta: I received a gift certificate for Barnes and Noble for Christmas and just completed some shopping online. Here’s what I purchased, Red Fire by Deidre Knight, The Lady Flees Her Lord, Michele Young, Forbidden, Helen Kirkman and about six others. My TBR pile is enormous and my time so precious, but I’ll get to all of them before spring. Promise.
B.L.: How many books are currently in your library and who is your all-time favorite author? Why is she/he your favorite author?
Keta: Hundreds of books make up my library. I recently had to add a new shelf to the wall to hold thirty more. My all-time favorite author is a husband and wife team that wrote in the 1980’s under the pen name Laura London. Their book Windflower is my all time favorite of any book I’ve ever read. For some reason that book resonated with me. I’ve read it so many times the pages are worn and tattered. Hmmm, I’ll have to get a new copy. I related to the characters, Merry, Devon and Cat. So many times reading it in bed at night I’d laugh out loud. I received some strange looks from my Sheltie, but that didn’t stop me. I was so drawn in by their descriptive writing and felt as if I was right there, scooping sea water out of a sinking skiff with a moccasin. Kudos to them, and how I wish they were still writing.
B.L.: If you could live in any time period, what period would that be and who would you like to be?
Keta: I think in old time Scotland or Ireland where the men who ruled were larger than life, heart-stopping gorgeous and sexy beyond words. I know the living conditions at the time were very crude but I think the Highland warrior would compensate for that.
B.L.: You’re the heroine of your book, why do you fall in love with the hero?
Keta: Because he can stare death in the face and laugh, can slay the most vicious of enemies and yet be loving and caring to his woman. He would have to be funny and have the ability to laugh at himself. And I don’t want him to be perfect, mind-blowing handsome, yes, but he has to have some flaws, cuz Lord knows, I do.
B.L.: Keta, thank you so much for being here, and before we sign off, could you let us know what’s next for you?
Thank you for having me, Brooke, and thank you for asking about my upcoming releases. My first Male/Male novellas and shorts are being released soon. Look for Valentine’s Vindication at Noble Romance on the 14th of February, and Crossroads and Crossroads Revisited coming from Phaze in March and May. And I just signed a new contract with The Dark Roast Press for Carnal Cravings. There is a huge demand for GLBT and Male/Male romance. If it’s not your cup of tea, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll still be writing more erotica historicals for Ravenous, Noble and Siren Publishing in the future.
Short Author Bio: Keta lives in the Midwest portion of the US and in her spare time (spare time?) loves to read and garden. She writes for five publishers under Keta Diablo and for two publishers under a pen name. She loves to hear from readers, so please find here on the internet: http://www.ketadiablo.com and here at Keta’s Keep, her author blog: http://www.ketaskeep.blogspot.com.
About Land of Falling Stars:
Better men than Gavin had been knocked low by Sophia’s beauty. Hell, every man who looked at her left a piece of his soul behind. Beyond her loveliness resided an indomitable spirit, but Sophia had always been a bundle of contradictions—fire and ice, a scorching temptress one minute, an icy bitch the next. And everything about her drew him like a hapless fly on the fringe of a giant spider web.
Years and distance, not even the war had cooled his infuriating desire for her. The woman slithered around him like a sleek, dark cat, her young, supple body sheathing him in a fiery web of unleashed passion. Oh yes, deep passion smoldered in the woman, an untapped reserve of simmering lust. Jesse, with his staunch moral upbringing and dandified ways had never dared compromise precious Sophia. Jesse had never tossed her in the hay or ravished her in the tall swamp grass of the Mill Pond to sate his hunger. Jesse had his chance, and all those years Gavin stood idly by and watched from the sidelines. He wanted her and now she wanted him. He felt it with every beat of his tormented heart.
She stood in front of him with a checkered napkin in her small hands. He fought an elemental need to crush her against him, devour her mouth, if only to prove the paltry tingling she’d felt when Jesse kissed her paled next to how she would feel when he had finished with her.