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Monday, June 2, 2014

#Interview with Kristine Mason @KristineMason7

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.


What is your story's heat level? How do you approach the sex scenes?
Ultimate Kill is a romantic suspense that definitely has a couple of sexy moments. Naomi and Jake had once been engaged and had also—at one time—lived together. After being separated for over five years, when they came together, I wanted to make sure that I not only created a sexy scene, but an emotional one. Every scene I write has to have purpose—same goes for a love scene. So, when I approach a love scene I make sure there’s a reason my couple is having some fun lol. Did they just have an emotional discussion? Are they making up after a nasty argument? Or, maybe I simply want to show the hero and heroine’s playful side. Since I write darker suspense, I do like to show the couple engaging with each other outside of whatever murder and mayhem I’ve forced on them.

How do you maintain activity as a writer when sitting at a desk all day?
I have four kids, so I really have no choice but to be active. I’m constantly chauffeuring kids, cleaning, cooking and doing the laundry. In the summer, I love gardening and putting my youngest in the stroller and going for long walks. Those walks are a great time for me to brainstorm with myself and work through a particular scene. I also exercise six days a week. I have a spinning bike in my basement and a bunch of work out DVDs I’m addicted to. Exercise, for me, is a great way to relieve the stress. It also helps that my work day is broken up quite a bit. I work in the morning a couple of days a week when my daughter is at my neighbor’s, and then every afternoon while she naps. Working in two to three hour blocks is good for me. I tend to become a little antsy if I sit for too long.

What is it that you loved about the main characters in your story?
Starting with the hero…Jake is a little rough around the edges and is a no BS kind of guy. What I love about him is that he doesn’t apologize for who he is, and doesn’t care what others think about him. My heroine, Naomi—I really put her through hell. It’s funny, I make up these characters and their story, but sometimes I feel bad for what I do to them. But, Naomi is resilient. She’s also very altruistic and would do anything to save lives. And my bad guy is taking a lot of lives. Shifting to the villain, with the exception of the bad guy from my second suspense, Shadow of Perception, Ultimate Kill’s villain is one of my favorites. I thought I’d have a hard time writing him and going deep into his head. After all, I’m not narcissistic. But, boy, did I have a good time being bad and pretending.      

What do you feel is your strongest type of writing? Humor? Angst? Confrontation scenes? Action? Sex? Sensuality? Sweet Romance? And why?
It’s so hard for me to judge my own writing. I think I do my best when I’m writing twisted characters, as well as confrontation scenes. I love dialogue and a good argument, and if the hero and heroine are having serious issues, I think that shows on the pages. I’m not sure why I love writing my villains so much. Maybe it’s because I can relate to the hero and heroines, and they’re normal. My bad guys? There’s nothing normal about any of them, and I love the challenge of creating believable villains.

Are you social media savvy? If so what do you suggest for others? If not, why not?
No, but I’m trying!

If you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to visit for story-related research?
I think I could most certainly center a story in Tahiti, and would have no problem having to go there for a month or so to research—without kids! lol

Any fun facts about the research for your book?
I have quite a few, but I don’t want spoil certain parts of the book. One thing that I will share—my heroine lives in the town of Woodbine, Georgia. When I write about smaller towns, I usually make them up simply because I feel bad about having killers running around their communities. In this case, I chose to write about the real place. I happened to find a website where someone photographed their trip from Florida to Woodbine, which was awesome because that’s the route my hero takes at the beginning of the book. I ended up with a real feel for the area and made sure I included the iconic, and now abandoned, Georgia Girl Drive-In. Oh, and I learned how to find out if an electric fence is either on or off. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use that information, but you never know!

Finally, tell us a little about your newest release!
Ultimate Kill is a fast-paced romantic suspense involving my private criminal investigation agency, CORE (Criminal Observance Resolution Evidence). Jake is the newest member of the CORE team, and after finishing up an assignment in Florida, he decides to stop off in Georgia and pay his former fiancé, Naomi, a visit. He hasn’t seen or spoken to her in over five years, but with the way she’d left him, he’s had a hard time letting go of the past. Using CORE’s technology, he not only finds out where Naomi has been living, he discovers that she hadn’t existed until eight years ago. Now he wants answers. Meanwhile, Naomi has been running and hiding from a ruthless, narcissistic billionaire who will go to any length to own her. He’s murdered her family, and if she hadn’t left Jake, he would have killed him, too. Determined to flush her from hiding, and not caring who he hurts, the villain comes up with a plan that will force her to finally face him. 

I loved writing Ultimate Kill. I originally introduced Jake in the third book of my CORE series, Shadow of Vengeance, and was excited about giving him his own story. He deserved a happy ending and a woman like Naomi. Too bad I had to put them both through hell before they found their happiness.

About the Book
When the past collides with the present, the only way to ensure the future lies in the ultimate kill…
Naomi McCall is a woman of many secrets. Her family has been murdered and she’s been forced into hiding. No one knows her past or her real name, not even the man she loves.
Jake Tyler, former Marine and the newest recruit to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, has been in love with a woman who never existed. When he learns about the lies Naomi has weaved, he’s ready to leave her—until an obsessed madman begins sending her explosive messages every hour on the hour.

Innocent people are dying. With their deaths, Naomi’s secrets are revealed and the truth is thrust into the open. All but one. Naomi’s not sure if Jake can handle a truth that will change their lives. But she is certain of one thing—the only way to stop the killer before he takes more lives is to make herself his next victim.


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