Please welcome Author Cooper McKenzie!
1. Have you always had a passion for writing?
Yes, it started the first time I picked up a Dr. Seuss book and wanted to make books for a living.
2. Does what you read influence what you write and what are some of your favourite authors/books?
I try not to let it, but of course beautiful writing and great storytelling will always influence the reader. Some of my favorite authors are Tymber Dalton, Clair de Lune, Sarah Addison Allen,
3. What are your biggest inspirations?
Life, random thoughts, overhearing other people’s conversations, a wild thought that turns into a “what if?” moment.
4. Do you have a technique in how you choose characters and/or locational settings?
I don’t choose the characters, they choose me. They talk to me, nag me, get quite demanding until I finally give in and write their stories. Most of my books take place in eastern North Carolina just because I have lived here for 30 years.
5. Do you listen to music while you are creating your masterpieces?
I usually listen to music only when I’m having trouble leaving the “real world” behind and entering the world of my creativity. Then I pull out my old Ipod and listen to a Tim Janus CD that a friend gave me years ago.
6. What do you do to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block?
Writing from the gut, sometimes I can’t get motivated. Those are the days I put it down and go do something else, clean house, make baby hats, go down to the river and remind myself that writing cannot be forced.
A writer’s block means that somewhere in the last scene I have taken a wrong turn and I have to go back a page or two or five and fix whatever the problem is before I can move forward.
7. How has becoming a published author (independent or traditional) changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be? (If you are not published yet – what changes do you foresee?)
Becoming a published author was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Being able to quit my day job and build a career as a wordsmith is harder than I expected, but fills my soul with peace. It also keeps me from going crazy.
8. What are your biggest challenges as an author?
This past year the biggest challenge was to keep my muse working. My father died in May 2012 and I was knocked sideways and it took a year for me to find my footing again.
After writing 60 erotic romance novels, my challenge is to keep things fresh. I refuse to be like some authors and write cookie-cutter books, changing names and clothing just to keep my name out in the public. My brain won’t let me do that and I think that would be boring as hell.
9. Do you have any pets?
Yes, my constant companion is Honey, my 10-month-old, 55 lb., all-American mutt who protects me from all critters, from caterpillars to cars. She chose me at the local animal shelter last November.
10. What hobbies do you have outside of reading and writing?
I knit and crochet hats of all sizes from newborn to adult and donate them to various charitable organizations. I also am the American Legion liason to a local baseball team and will be working in their concession stand this summer.
11. Where is the most exciting/memorable place you have been in the world?
Ocracoke, North Carolina. It will live in my memory forever as a place of peace and inspiration. There is something about riding the ferry to get to this island and then be totally surrounded by water that fired up my creativity.
12. Tell us about your latest work in progress or most recent published work…
Stacy Covey needs a hero. When her car is vandalized, she calls the police and her life changes forever. Sergeant KJ Katz, a cougar shifter, answer her call and realizes she is the mate he has been searching for. Will Stacy let KJ into her future? Can he be her hero? Will he be just what the Cougar Needs?
Cougar Wants (www.bookstrand.com/cougar-wants) is the first of the series
After a weekend with her friends, Kimber Jordan decides she wants to become a cougar. When financial difficulties arise, she rents a room to Tate Pierce, not realizing she is his mate and he is a cougar shape shifter. Will this cub be able to tame his Cougar?
I am currently working on the twelfth Club Esoteria book entitled Juggling Masters, a return visit to Dane, Merlin and Sloan to see how they are dealing with their BDSM Master/switch/slave polyamorous lifestyle with 20-month-old twins underfoot.
If anyone wants to learn more about me and see the complete list of my books and series with blurbs and links to buy pages, they can check out my website at www.coopermckenzie.webs.com
Thank you for joining us today! Cooper is giving away a bag of swag! All you have to do is leave your name and email address! Contest ends Midnight Jun 12th Pacific Time!