Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I have many interests, which can tend at times to overwhelm me with all I wish to do. First off, I am married to a very talented singer/songwriter who teaches high school English by day. I have two boys who keep me very busy. They are both creative individuals, as well as sports fanatics. After two high-risk pregnancies, I have been left with a few medical issues. Therefore, I am always trying to learn all I can about healthy eating, even though I constantly struggle with cravings for pizza and chocolate cake! For exercise, I like to dance or do yoga/pilates. I love to knit long sweater jackets, which is also my favorite thing to wear. Along with that, I am obsessed with all things winter. I also draw as a hobby when the mood strikes me. Yet, after my family, reading and writing get most of my time. My shopping excursions usually end up an afternoon at Borders!
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
I am not sure I could narrow it down, because they all have something that I wish for more of. Most of all, having always had a vivid imagination, ever since I first watched "Bewitched," I have wished I could wiggle my nose and conjurer up what I want. Right now, I would give anything to be able to wiggle my nose and have a clean house.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
After getting my sons off to school, I sit down in my snowman room. Yes, I said snowmen! As I said before, I am obsessed with all things winter. I just love the snow, and don't get nearly enough here in Ohio for my taste. Anyway, I write basically until they return home. Then, I switch gears to mom again. At night, we all like to gather in the living room even if we are all doing something different. So, I have taken to bringing in my laptop, and doing the promotional stuff most nights with The N or video games in the background. Most nights after the boys go to sleep, if I can keep my eyes open, I read in bed until I fall asleep. I truly believe that constant reading is an absolute necessity for a writer.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
When I first started writing, I would surf the web by googling words associated with what I was writing about until something would jar my creativity. In doing that I came across an unusual method of using tarot cards to spark creativity. I am planning soon to write up that process on my blog, as I have altered it to suit my writing style.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
In January 2009, Mystic Stones is releasing with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. It is an anthology of four stories.
Throughout history, many have believed in the magical powers and healing properties of gemstones, and in Mystic Stone, the skeptical are forced into believing by their own needs and desires. Because of the gemstones they possess. in Aquamarine Love, Nadia's desperation could lead her to her destiny; in The Stone Hex, an old witch's curse could ignite the first sparks of attraction between Rachael and Gabe; in A Witch's Protection, attraction could save Emaline from torture at the hands of the witch-finders; and in Sexual Healing, love may save David and Catherine from themselves. In these stories of sex and redemption, witches and ghosts - the characters will tug at your heart and arouse your passions. Become enchanted with the mystical powers of the gemstones while being swept away by the romances of those in their mists.
Also, in April 2009, The Witch's Beast is releasing. It is one of Whiskey Creek's Torrid Twisted Tales. A witch rejected. a few spells for revenge. an arrogant Prince turned into a Beast. a beautiful woman taken captive . and, that is just the beginning of this tale of a Beauty and a Beast told by the Witch who cast the spell that began it all. A dismal castle, possessed candles, and a little mangy fur will be the least of the Beast's troubles as the Witch goes into a jealous rage over the Beauty he now holds captive.
A magic mirror. desperate sex spells. magical seductive dreams. orgasmic punishments in a dungeon. This time, the Beast will be caught between a Beauty who has caught his eye but rejects his proposal of marriage and the Witch who allows him moments in his human form to fulfill his every sexual desire. For whom will there be a happily ever after?
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
Since I write magical romances, I read a lot of books on Wicca. Even though what I read for research is non-fiction, it guides me into my fantasy worlds. I love the research as much as I do the writing sometimes, and I have been known to linger in it too long. I love to learn! With my trilogy, while fictional, I want to stick to true Wicca without the added fantasy.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I had wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I was always writing something. Yet, I took the long road to get there. I graduated from college with an English degree in Secondary Education. I taught for a very short time before I ended up on bed rest for six of the eight months I carried my first child. I became a stay-at-home mom. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be at home with them. On my tenth wedding anniversary, my husband and I were reminiscing, and he said I needed to start writing again. He bought me a laptop, and I basically avoided it for a couple of years. Then last summer, I couldn't sleep when my husband went on a trip to Israel, it was then that I wrote two stories for the Celtic Love Knots line at Whiskey Creek Press. My husband arrived home safely, and after reading encouraged me to send them in. Once I received my first contract, he told me to make writing my full time job. He continues daily to encourage me and help me out in any way that he can.
What would you like to tell your readers?
The word fails to express my sentiments, but thank you! The emails and MySpace requests I receive from you keep a constant smile on my face. When I get overwhelmed or creatively frustrated, you remind me that I can do it. Basically, you allow me the amazing privilege of playing with words and calling it a job!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I actually do both. Sometimes I want to write about a particular subject. In that case, I will brainstorm around it until I have a storyline done. Other times, I just have a character in my mind. In that case sometimes, I will just start writing a day in the life of that character and see where it takes me. You just never know as you develop them what they are going to get into. The later is the more challenging, because I have been know to write myself into a situation where I have trouble getting the character to the resolution I had hoped for them.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I have a website, http://kikihowell.author.googlepages.com. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am on MySpace, http://www.myspace.com/kikihowell. I also blog at http://kikihowell.blogspot.com.
Thank you for this opportunity Kiki. It was nice gettint to know you.
Interviewed by Tammie King