September 7, 2016
I had the pleasure of interviewing talented author Keri Ford. The sweet summer lady is all gracious charm.
Me: Let me begin this interview by letting you know, take your time and thank you for letting me ask my questions. This should be fun! You have quite a few novellas. Is that a format you’ve chosen because it fits your voice or more of a time issue? Tell us your thought process behind going this way.
Keri Ford: More of a random happening. I was frustrated and struggling with my writing before I sold, so I played with THROUGH THE WALL as a creative outlet. It sold! but I like series so I tweaked it a bit and turned that 1 book into a series of 9. I’ve played with longer works, but I found I like a 50-65k word length (your category length books). For the most part that will be the length of all my future works.
Me: I love reading series even though they are my writing kryptonite so 9 books is seriously impressive. Let’s talk heroes. Dependable, steady, hardworking what makes those traits so sexy?
Keri: What about that is NOT sexy? Everything about that says stable, loveable man to me. That describes a guy who’s going to love you through the good and the bad and not let you fall on your face in the process. He’s going to hold you, support you (emotionally, of course!), and when necessary be the boost to your confidence to climb out of your shell.
Me: Strong enough to allow the woman to climb and develop herself, I like that. You write with a steady southern flare by including small town and traditional issues. What about writing outside your comfort zone? Tell us a time you needed to stretch in capturing a character, like a Brooklynite or cop.
Keri: I don’t go outside of my comfort zone by changing locations. My readers know I bring small town southern to the table. Any time I’ve tried writing outside this area, it just doesn’t work. I would have to change everything about how I write, down to the words I use to make sentences to adequately write a character set outside the Southern US. I’m not saying I won’t ever do it, but if I do, it’ll be because I have a writing partner who is familiar with that setting.
I have started writing children which has been something totally new and different. I’m getting feedback that I’m handling them well, so hopefully so! Tequila And Tingles and Exes And Emotions both feature single mothers. Tingles has young children, 5 and 2 while Emotions has a teenager and 12 year old. My next book, Let Down Your Heart has 10 year boy/girl twins. That story is inspired off the original fairy tale, Rapunzel so I’m pulling elements from there for my new Fairy Tales In A Small Town series. And then something that’s not announced yet has a single dad of a five year old. It’s a nanny book and something I’ve wanted to write for a long time. It’s been interesting in that I wrote NO KIDS to all of a sudden every book I’m working on seems to have children in it!
Me: Perhaps a reflection of how your life is changing outside of writing. I know your readers are going to love it. Even with the southern flavor, your books are like your heroes, full of universal appeal. Which authors or story tellers have inspired you?
Keri: Oh, man, I’m almost afraid to answer this. Most of my books are packed and so I can’t look at my keeper shelf for what books shaped me to where I am! Um, Jill Shalvis, Susan Enoch, Johanna Lindsey, Cindy Gerard, Gaelen Foley, Victoria Dahl and I know there are so many others. Anytime I find a keeper author it’s because something about their writing clicked for me and opened up a new idea and direction for me as a writer.
Me: I think those are all really great authors. Typically, I end these interviews asking the author what is next but you already told us about the nanny book. So instead tell us, why didn’t you write it sooner?
Keri: Mostly time. I had to finish a couple of other deadlines first, but also I just got the idea for my Fairy Tales In A Small Town series in the fall. I spent several months figuring out how I wanted to write this series and now I’m in the full swing of doing that.
Me: Keri, thank you for answering my questions, you’ve been a doll.
Keri: No problem! Thanks for including me!!