Friday, 10 October 2014

Q&A with KA Hobbs (plus an exclusive read!)

*WARNING - Contains explicit language (the extra snippet)
**Interview by Susan

The Ladies Living in Bookland are excited to bring you our very first author Q&A! As well as being a very good friend of ours, KA Hobbs is a new indie author and her writing, as well as getting us both a bit hot under the collar (!), really resonates deep within us (innuendo much?). 

What age did you start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing from a very young age. I would write stories and poems, I even had a poem published when I was at school. I love to read and those who love to read usually write to, unable to stop their imagination from running away with them. Before the idea for Doubt came to me, I had been trying to work a story in my head for ages. It wasn’t working. The story wasn’t coming together. Then Sky started showing Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula… And while watching Jessica De Gouw, Doubt was born.

Have you ever experienced writers block?  If so, how did you get back on track?

I have had writers block and it is the most frustrating thing in the world, for a writer anyway. I work through it. I write anyway, even though what I write generally ends up being deleted. There will usually be something I can salvage from it, even if it ends up being just a sentence. People have said step away, that doesn’t work for me. I think you have to do what works for you, and writing through it works for me.

What are your favourite books and who inspires you in the Indie author world?  (Or just general authors!)

The first books that ever effected me profoundly was the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling for me, is one of the most incredible writers. I have lost count of the amount of times I have read the books. And each time it is like I’m reading them for the very first time. Roll forward lots of years, I bought a kindle and I found, like many women, Fifty Shades and since then, my whole reading world was tipped on it’s head. There were so many more books out there for me to read, genres I might not have read before. But now I could. 

My favourite author is Tiffany Reisz. She makes me feel things I have never felt before, she makes me question everything and her stories seep into every aspect of my life. I will drop everything anytime she releases a book. There are some incredible authors out there though, Mia Sheridan, Kristen Proby, Kristy Bromberg to name a few. They are all amazingly talented and inspire me. 

So there is a scene in Doubt involving a strawberry....what other piece of fruit would you have considered if a strawberry was taken and why?! 

If a strawberry was taken? I would have gone for a cherry… stone removed of course. Strawberries are just so very sexy to me, and to a lot of people I think. I can never walk past them in the supermarket without thinking of sex. It can’t be just me, surely? 

What piece of fruit do you liken yourself to and why?! A strawberry by chance?! 

I’m actually going to say a strawberry. It can look innocent, but really, it is always something naughty ;) 

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read, that wasn’t a reread was One Night: Promised by Jodi Ellen Malpas. Miller is incredibly sexy! 

Do you plan to write another series in the future or will there be standalones? 

Right now, I’ve got ideas for two sets of people, I don’t know whether they will be standalones or series’. The thing is, I really don’t know what will happen when I sit down to write. How the The Connected Series is now, wasn’t how I planned it to be. It was going to be three books, all about Doug & Sophie. Things changed when I started to write. Other characters started to talk and other stories took shape. So right now, I don’t know…. Ask me in a few months when I sit down to write them ;) 

Who do you have as muses and why?! 

I have muses for everyone I write about. Not just the characters, but places, clothes, everything.  A character comes to me, and they are who they are, it is my job to work that out. I will have a vision in my head as to what they look like, then I will go searching. My muse for Sophie is Jessica De Gouw and my muse for Doug is the delicious Bernardo Velasco. You’ll meet Harry, Miley and Jonathan in Doubt and Assured and I have muses for them… But maybe I will make you wait to find out who they are ;) 

Do you relate to Sophie as a person?  What are her favourite qualities you like to call your own?

Yes, I absolutely relate to Sophie as a person. One of my best friends told me I put a lot of me into Sophie and looking back now, I realise I did. One of my favourite qualities about Sophie is her ability to love. There is a lot thrown at Sophie in a short space of time, instead of letting what happens to her turn her into a bitter, angry person, she chooses love. She doesn’t always get it right, but who does? I think she is a pretty strong character to overcome what she does, but everyone can have a moment of weakness, it is how you deal with it that makes you the person you are. I think Sophie’s love of heels and getting dressed up is also a quality I love! 

How many hours of writing do you try to get in over a week?

I don’t have a set amount of hours I try to get done over a week. I just have to write something everyday. Or I really do get grouchy. I am not a writer who can switch off from her characters, they are always, and I mean always, talking to me. I might be out shopping and I see something and before I know it, there is a scene in my head that I need to write down. That is when you’ll find me furiously typing on my phone in the middle of the street! I apologise now for holding you up. 

Do you write more than one book at a time or just concentrate on one project?

I write more than one book at a time. I have to or I would lose what is in my head. I have a slightly usual way of writing. My stories usually come to me with the most important scenes first, then pieces come together slowly. Then I have to work out where they all fit within the story and make it flow. I don’t start with chapter one and keep going, I write what I feel and then put it altogether. It is both a hindrance and a help at times. 

What is the hardest thing you've had to write - or read?

The hardest thing I have ever had to write is book three in The Connected series. It was a very personal experience for me, it dragged up a lot of demons and made me cry more than I’ve ever cried before when writing. It is also the story I am most proud of. It is very different to the other stories in the series but very important. A little secret? You’ll find out what book three is at the end of Assured. 

I know you love your music so pick three of your favourite tracks to listen to when your writing your favourite Scenes and post your links to your collections in Spotify.

All my characters have their own taste in music, so depending who I am writing will depend on what I’m listening to. But there are a few songs or artists I find I have on repeat a lot when I write regardless of who I am writing. They put me in a place or a mood and the writing just flows. 

Beethoven - The Moonlight Sonata. 
The Civil Wars 
Sam Smith

The playlist for Doubt:

So we know your gorgeous book covers are purple...is that your favourite colour?

Yes. Along with black, even though everyone will tell me it’s not a colour. Purple can be so many shades, dark or light. I like that. 

How do you relax after a hard writing session?!  Eat, enjoy telly, sleep?

I read. Usually anyway. Lately I’ve been watching Game of Thrones - why has it taken me so long!? 

So going back to your younger years (pahaha we are the same age!) what subjects did you like at school and did you excel at English given your now author status?

I loved history at school. Anything to do with the Tudors was a particular favourite as I love that period in history. I can remember going to Hampton Court Palace and everyone moaning saying how boring it was, I loved it! I could get lost there all day. 

I don’t think I excelled in anything at school really. English at school wasn’t enough writing stories for my liking. But it wasn’t bad, better than maths anyway ;)  


So we know book 2 In The Connected Series - Assured - is due for release on 3rd November. Can you tell our Ladies Living in Booklamd more about what to expect from the series? 

What can you expect from the series? Well, you can expect a lot more laughing, a lot more love and probably a lot more tears. After Assured, we leave Doug and Sophie and let the other characters take the lead. You’ll still see them though, don’t worry. You’ve got three more books to look forward to and they will have your favourite characters in. You’ll want to see where they take you, they even surprised me!

What will Assured include?!  More Doug?!  If so I'm a happy lady living in Bookland :) 

Yes. Lots more Doug. Lots of moments that will tug on your heartstrings, some that might make shed a tear or two, but definitely more Doug ;) 

Thank you lovely Ladies Living in Bookland, fabulous questions! Your continued support means the world to me. Doug sends his love AND strawberries to you both *mwah* 

You can find the review for Doubt - book one of The Connected Series - here.

------------------------------

I was asked by Ladies Living in Bookland to write an exclusive extra for them to share on their blog as part of the interview I gave them. It was really difficult to decide on an extra that didn't give away spoilers, but I did it!

Below you can read about Doug at Coopers. It takes place during the time Doug and Sophie aren't together. You'll see what is going through Doug's head and how very much he wants to win Sophie back!
I hope you enjoy it.
KA


Doug at Coopers 







Third night in a row. Same place. Different people. Actually, I think some of these sad fucks were
here last night too. Am I part of the sad fucks club now? God I was an idiot. A sad, lonely idiot. I
look over to the barman, Ethan? I think his name was Ethan, it didn’t matter what his name was, all
that mattered was that he refilled my glass. 

“Another?” a voice that wasn’t Ethan’s comes from over my shoulder.

“Yes. Another. Do you have a problem with me spending money in your establishment?” I growl at
Jonny. 

“Not at all. But you’ve been here for the last three nights. Alone. Where is Sophie?” he sits down
next to me and halts the progress of my drink.


“Ignore him. I’m paying good money for that drink. Pass it over.” 


Ethan raises his eyebrows at Jonathan, who nods and passes the drink to me. I bring the glass to
my lips and down a mouthful. The alcohol hitting the back of my throat, the familiar burn back
again. I welcome it. 

“Well?” Jonathan asks, turning on the stool to look at me. 

“Sophie is…. wherever Sophie is.” I raise my hand and wave it around in our general direction. 

“Why isn’t she with you? What have you done?” 

“Charming. As my best friend, you’re supposed to be concerned for my wellbeing.” I take another
mouthful of my drink and shake my head. 

“What is with this fucking music, Jonny?” 

“The evening is early yet, it will pick up soon. So, Sophie?” 

“Sophie,” I close my eyes, picturing her so clearly, “Sophie is at home I guess.” 

“And why are you not at home with her?” 

“Because I fucked up, Jonny. Like big time.” 

“What did you do?” he leans on the counter and asks for a water. 

“I can’t tell you just yet, okay?” I look over at my best friend and feel ever more of a fucker than I
already felt. I was now keeping things from two people in the world I should always be honest with. 

“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me, D.” he tells me, concern in his voice. 

“You can’t help me. Even if I tell you.” I knock back the last of my drink and order another. 

“Slow it down, Doug. I don’t want to have to kick you out.” he was in manager mode now, not
friend mode. As much as I respected it, it pissed me off too. 

“I’ll have another.” I glare at him. 

Over the years, I had pushed Jonny many times. When we were growing up, when my parents
died. He was always the person who was there. Always the one I went to. Why wasn’t I going to
him now then? I couldn’t. I was disappointed with how I was dealing with the whole situation. I was
ashamed of myself and I didn’t want him to be too.

“Take it easy, okay? Whatever you’ve done, it can be fixed. You and Sophie are for keeps. Come
and talk to me before you leave,” he finishes his drink then stands to leave, “And don’t make me
come back down here and remove you, Doug.” 

I don’t reply. There is nothing to say. 

As the night wares on, I drink more. And the more I drink the more desperately lonely I become.
I’m in a packed club yet I’ve never felt more lonely. There is an ache in my chest that has been
there ever since Sophie walked away. An ache I don’t think will ever go away unless she comes
back. 

“I’ll have another.” I think I slur at Ethan. 

“I can’t serve you anymore, man.” he says apologetically. 

“Why the fuck not?” I growl, rubbing my hand over my face. 

“Because Jonny has asked him not to.” 

Jonas. 





“Well I want another.” I growl at Jonas, getting to my feet unsteadily. 



“Well, you’re not getting one. The only thing you’re getting is in Jonny’s car. Come on.” 

Jonas tries to steer me to the exit, but I root my feet to the floor and push him away. I knew I was
pushing my luck, I knew Jonas was a gentle giant, but he was still a giant. 

“Doug. You know I’ll remove you if you don’t move your arse. You’re wasted and you’re
embarrassing yourself. Go home.” he tells me, looking me in the eyes. 

I see pity. I see concern. I fucking hate it. 

I bring my hand up, trying to make contact with his jaw, but in my intoxicated state he easily moves
out of the way and pushes me towards to the front door where Jonny is standing, a look of
annoyance on his face. I go with him, I don’t put up a fight. 

When I slip inside Jonny’s car, I rest my head back and close my eyes. This wasn’t me. What was
I doing? Jonny talks to Jonas before coming round the car and slipping in to the drivers seat. 

“Whatever the fuck is going on with you, don’t bring it here, Doug, understand?” 

“I know. I shouldn’t have come here tonight. I’m sorry.” 

“I asked you what was wrong. Why won’t you talk to me about it?” he starts the car, the engine
growling. 

“I just can’t right now. I can’t have anyone else disappointed with me.” I whisper the last few
words. 

“Doug, I’m a lot of things with you right now, but disappointed isn’t one of them. I hate seeing you
like this, you haven’t been like this since…” his voice trails off. He doesn’t need to finish the
sentence. 

“I know.” 

“Something changed with you when you met Sophie. You stopped dicking around. You grew up.
You changed. Don’t go back to being that person Doug, you’ll lose more than Sophie, I’m telling
you.”

“I know that. But I don’t think I can get her back, Jonny. I don’t think I can.” tears fill my eyes and
the ache in my chest gets so strong I flinch. 

“You have to fight for her. You have to be the man you’ve become, not the man you were. The
man I know you are. You don’t give up on what you want, you never have.” 

“How can you be so sure of what I am, Jonny? What if you’re wrong?” 

“I know you. And for fucks sake, I love you. You’re like a brother to me. So that is why I know you
can sort this out. But you need to stop this shit. You need to pull it together and give Sophie a
reason to come back.” 

I don’t say anything. Jonny’s words hit me harder than any punch. He was right, I had to stop this,
I had to give Sophie as reason to want to come back. I had to get my girl back. 

“Thank you.” I whisper, not looking at him. 

“Brothers don’t pick and chose when to support each other, Doug. It’s always. I’m here and I’ll help
you. You know that.” 

“I do.” 

“Good. Now sober up, get into bed and tomorrow when you’ve showered and had some coffee
we’ll talk again, okay?” he tells me as we pull up outside my flat. 

“Okay.” I nod. 

“Because I know you want a future with Sophie. I know you want a home. A family, A life.” 

“I do.” 

“Tomorrow, we’ll work out how you can have it. And we’ll ask Miley, because she is Sophie’s best
friend and she is so much better at this than me.” he grins. 

“Got it. Thanks, Jonny. I owe you.” I open the car door and into the cold night. 

“Doug?” I lean down and look into the car. 

“Yeah?” 

“It will be okay, you know?” 

“I hope so. Night J.” 

“Night D.” 

And as I walk into my flat two minutes later and look out over London lit up before me, I’m flooded
with memories of Sophie and I. I climb the stairs and head into our bedroom, stripping off my
clothes and leaving them on the floor. I slip under the covers and reach under the pillow, pulling out
the purple chemise Sophie wore to bed that last night she stayed here. I inhale it. It still had her
scent all over it. Closing my eyes, I keep the silky fabric in my hand, resting over my heart.

I was determined to make this right. It was just going to take time. But that was okay. I had all the
time in the world to win back my girl. 

And I would. 

I had to. 

She was my heart.

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