Susan: Where do you find your inspiration for your plots and characters? Are any of them based on real life experiences and people?
K.A: Hi. Thanks for having me on your blog. Almost all my stories come from characters. Sometimes I see a picture or a person or hear a song and a character pops into my head and starts telling me about himself and what he wants. Sometimes I have a situation that I want to write about, something I hear about that deserves a happy ending. The idea for Peter and Quinn’s relationship ummm issues came out of a situation–though in that case, the Peter-inspiration said he was straight after twenty years with the same guy. Last I heard, the Quinnspiration was very happy.
I like creating stuff out of my brain’s squishy bits. It’s fun when I’m working without any kind of map, just letting the characters drive.
Susan: You have three series; two based on the states of Ohio and Florida, and one on the city of Baltimore. Did you visit each location for research or are these areas that you have personal knowledge?
K.A.: I have been to every one of those places, and live in person research gives you a feel you can’t get off google maps, even with street view. But I wouldn’t refuse to set a book somewhere I hadn’t been–hello my characters from the nineteenth century, I’ll be back to visit soon! I find it more fun to set a book where I have some knowledge but that isn’t completely familiar. After all, I write to escape, and I don’t want a staycation in my fiction.
Susan: Is the series Bad in Baltimore coming to an end, or are there more books planned?Any plans for updates on the Florida or Ohio series? I must admit that Sean and Aaron are two of my all time favorite characters and I would not mind seeing what my bad boys have been up to.
K.A.: Bad Behavior, which features Gavin’s bridge-jumping friend Beach and a new character, will be in my editor’s hands soon. I do have other interesting characters in Baltimore which I would like to see more of, but I don’t have firm plans for that. In fact, I have never started any of my series intending them to be series. The secondary characters just think they deserve their own stories all the time. Sometimes I set them up with their worst nightmare just to get them to shut up. (Beach, Joey: I’m talking to you.)
Right now, I don’t have a plan to revisit Sean, though I do think he and Kyle might be considering adoption. I do have a plan to take me back to Florida, and it would be something that would definitely affect Joey and Aaron.
Susan: Speaking of bad boys, it is common knowledge that at least one of your guys in most of your books is known to be (how do I say this nicely?)a little difficult. For example: Nate, Aaron, Sean, Jack, Jamie. Is this just your personal style, or is it intentional to create drama and strife in the guys’ lives? I personally love the bad boys, so I say keep them coming!
My character’s are all like “Dude, she just called us assholes.” I’m saying “If the shoe fits…” Except Sean. He’s saying “Check that out. She thinks I’m alpha.” Kyle is rolling his eyes.
Well, in the case of Aaron, Joey was driving me crazy in my head demanding a book of his own. I told him he’d have to have a hero who hated social workers and his whole instant love program. He said he could handle it. I am very fond of seeing how opposites attract. Since I don’t write much external conflict, the guys have to have issues to work on. I try to have people who are both the best and worst for each other match up so they deserve a happy ending. If it’s too easy, there’s no book. And as Kyle and Sean could tell you, sometimes falling in love is the easy part. It’s making it work when bad stuff happens that makes a relationship.
Susan: For a little something different, we would like to ask a couple questions to the guys?
Silver, what first drew you to Zeb? He appears to be very similar in many ways to Quinn, and we all know that you don’t understand what Eli sees in Quinn.
Silver: Finally. I didn’t think K.A. would ever shut up. You know, Eli was just ragging on me about this the other day. and I don’t see it. First, Zeb is not old enough to be my father, thank you very much. Yeah, they are both kind of quiet if you don’t know them, but that’s about it. No way would Zeb ever try any of that telling-me-what-to-do shit.
When I first saw him, I was mostly just thinking please let there be another gay guy around here, but when I saw him smile I started thinking with my dick. Hello. Sixteen. But when he made me laugh, when I saw that this guy was decent for real instead of just pretending in church like my parents, then I started to fall in love. Plus, God, the way he kisses, like he’s dying and you’re the only thing that can save him. Damn.
Zeb, we know that religion is a very important part of your life. Have you been able to reconcile your past, your beliefs, and your guilt?
Zeb: God is about love and forgiveness. I believe He forgives me, and Jor–Silver did. I’m working on forgiving myself. It’s a work in progress, but that is key to my beliefs too. That you should work for things, not expect them. God has a plan and a path for you, but it’s up to you to stay on it, even when it’s hard work. I don’t believe God would have made me gay just to make me be alone. He wants us to love each other and treat each other well.
Quinn, you’ve led a relatively quiet life until you met, fell in love with, and forged a life with Eli? How do you handle all the energy and snark that comes with that little firecracker? Do you ever wish he would calm down?
Quinn: Hell no. That’s the worst thing I could imagine. I have to have it all. The whole crazy package from shaggy bangs to painted toenails. And every bit of my tough-vulnerable boy in between. I never want to go back to the half-life I was living before I met him. I’m glad to be out of that monochromatic world. I can handle him coloring outside the lines. I love being his anchor.
Silver, for someone so young, who has the traveled a very difficult road with very little support, did you ever expect to have so many friends stand up for you when you needed them most? What role did that play in deciding to help homeless youths?
Silver: I still don’t get Gavin. I mean, it’s great and I guess if you got money, you get to do what you want with it. But no, I never expected anyone, not even Eli, to put this much effort into helping my ass stay out of jail. I mean, I knew Eli was solid, like I could trust him with stuff, but for him to pull a fairy godmother out of his ass like that? Never saw that coming. I guess maybe helping out is just something I think I’d be good at. I get where they’re coming from, you know? And hell, Gavin actually listens to my ideas which is more than I can say for any other kind of work out there.
Hey, bloggergirls, this is Aaron Chase. I heard you guys asking K.A. about coming back to mess with shit in Jacksonville, and I want you to know, I got a full plate. Things are just settling down and I don’t need her throwing a monkey wrench in my life. If she thinks I’m raising another kid or taking in rent boys like those idiots up in Baltimore she’s nuts. Don’t let her near me. The only plans I want to hear about from her involve my dick up Joey’s ass, got it?
About K.A. Mitchell
K.A. Mitchell discovered the magic of writing at an early age when she learned that a carefully crayoned note of apology sent to the kitchen in a toy truck would earn her a reprieve from banishment to her room. Her career as a spin-control artist was cut short when her family moved to a two-story house, and her trucks would not roll safely down the stairs. Around the same time, she decided that Chip and Ken made a much cuter couple than Ken and Barbie and was perplexed when invitations to play Barbie dropped off. She never stopped making stuff up, though, and was surprised to find out that people would pay her to do it. Although the men in her stories usually carry more emotional baggage than even LAX can lose in a year, she guarantees they always find their sexy way to a happy ending.
About Bad Influence
The young man the world knew as Jordan Barnett is dead, killed as much by the rejection of his first love at his moment of greatest need, as by his ultra-conservative parents’ effort to deprogram the gay away.
In his place is Silver, a streetwise survivor who’s spent the last three years learning to become untouchable…unless you’re willing to pay for the privilege. He shies away from anything that might hold him down long enough for betrayal to find him again.
Zebediah Harris spent time overseas, trying to outrun the guilt of turning his back on the young man he loved. Now, almost the moment he sets foot back in Baltimore, he discovers Silver on a street corner in a bad part of town. His effort to make amends lands them both in jail.
Trapped together in a cell, Silver sits on his mountain of secrets and plans a seductive form of revenge, but finds that using a heart as a stepping stone is no way to move past the one man he can’t forgive, let alone forget.
To spice up this Q&A, K.A. has kindly offered to give away an eBook copy of Bad Influence to one winner!
The giveaway starts now and will end next Saturday, April 19th, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST. After which the lucky winner will be randomly picked.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your email address and you’re in!
Make sure to follow the blog for the winners’ announcement post or check back next Sunday, April 20th, 2014, to see if you’ve won.