Hi, All! I’m so excited to be featuring bestselling romance author Debra Kayn on Roaming through Romance today. I’ve known Deb for a while now and am a huge fan of not only her stories, but also her chicker (chic+biker) boots and gorgeous, enviably long hair! And, because she’s so nice (thanks again, Deb!), she has offered to give one reader a free copy of one of her books! But you’ll have to read through to the end to find out which one… Muahaha! And here we go:
RtR: Your books always feature such alpha heroes. Where do you get inspiration for your guys?
Deb: Real life. Most of the people I’m around are farmers, mechanics, bikers, and real blue-collar guys. They’re more prone to talk tough and hide their emotions than spout pretty words and bring you flowers. But, if you look closer you’ll notice they have a soft spot. It’s the women who can find that spot and break down their shields that find out how special these guys are.
RtR: “Dear Deb, Spice up My Relationship” is a popular feature on your blog in which you dispense relationship advice to readers. Where did the idea come from?
Deb: For some reason, people talk to me. Doesn’t matter if I’m at the store or putting gas in my truck, people will stop and talk to me. Before I know it, I know their life story. I’ve always joked that I should charge for my services, and a couple years ago on my blog, I shared a story about being asked for advice. I admitted to how I would love to write a love advice column for some major newspaper. Well, people found my blog, read the post, and started sending me emails asking for advice.
After months went by, and the occasional emails were still arriving in my inbox, I decided to answer one on the blog. Now I get anywhere from 8-30 emails a week from readers seeking advice from me. I love helping, and I find it’s easier to give suggestions on ways to spice up a relationship than it is to “doctor” the problem.
RtR: Your answers are always so insightful! How do you come up with such spot-on advice?
Deb: Marriage and relationships are hard work. I literally grew up while being married. I had no pre-set idea on how I was supposed to act and ran on pure emotions. When I was happy, I let it show. When I was mad, I also let that show. Looking back, I was very vulnerable and had no idea that as you age, you become protective of that vulnerability. So I worked hard to fix everything. That continues even though I’ve been married forever. I can look at the marriages of my friends, and it seems so simple to “fix” what is bothering them. All they have to do is discuss how they are feeling…but, I understand that letting yourself be vulnerable after you’ve matured and experienced being hurt is probably the hardest thing for a person to do.
RtR: Speaking of relationships, you met your husband when you were only 19 years old, is that correct?
Deb: Yes. Which might explain why when we had our first disagreement and Wheels didn’t let me have my way, I told him I was going to have my older brothers beat him up. Gah…I was so immature. But, being 19 years old and in love was the best feeling in the world, even though I was goofy.
RtR: Hey, if you can’t be goofy around your man, then what’s the point? You’ve also mentioned that he’s older than you. Did you draw inspiration from your personal life when writing the couple in your latest release, Wildly?
Deb: Wheels is 12 years older than me. Okay, it’s really 11 years and some months. I like to round up on the age and give him a bad time about robbing the cradle. ;)
As for drawing inspiration from my life for Wildly… sorta. I grew up playing tennis since I was six years old. I had a few awesome coach/player relationships, but none of them crossed the line the way Shauna and Grayson’s story did, of course. I did add in my love of an older man, and that wonderful excitement of crushing on a man you can’t have.
RtR: You seem like a very disciplined writer, literally writing thousands of words every single day. That’s great for your fans (more books, happy readers!), but when/how do you find time to relax?
Deb: I write full time, so it’s easy to find time to relax. I take the weekends for family time, and during the day, even though I write, I’m mom and wife first. I love schedules and routines though, and have turned writing every day into a habit. I get my daily word count in, and then I can play.
RtR: Speaking of “play”, what do you do on your downtime?
Deb: I love the outdoors. So, I fish, play tennis, putter in the flowerbeds, ride motorcycles, and love spending time down at the creek.
RtR: A woman after my own heart! I know you’re a reader too — What type of books do you like to read? And what was the last book you read?
Deb: I’m a contemporary romance reader. Occasionally, I also enjoy young adult books. To my surprise, I even like New Adult books lately. I was very reluctant to try them, and couldn’t figure out why there needed to be a “bridge” book between YA and Adult books. After reading my first book, I was hooked. The last book I read, Slammed by Coleen Hoover, made me cry… it was so good!
RtR: Wow, really? I’ve heard a lot about the New Adult genre but haven’t read anything from it yet. Guess I’ll have to give it a try!
What’s it like living, well, in the middle of nowhere? What’s your favorite part about living on a farm?
Deb: I love the remoteness of living in Oregon. I hate being stuck having to use dialup internet and having no cell service at home because we live so far out and have too many trees for coverage.
My favorite part of living here is the freedom of going outside and feeling like you’re part of the land. Everywhere I walk or turn, it’s ours, and no one else is driving by, walking through, and invading our lives. It’s like our little slice of privacy in a crowded world.
RtR: As someone who’s lived mostly in apartments, I crave the type of privacy of which you speak… Or at least a place where I can do my exercise DVDs without having to worry about disturbing the neighbors!
Your bio mentions the fact that you’re famous for teaching a 270 lb. hog named Harley (love the name, by the way!) how to jog with you every morning. I’m dying to know how, exactly, you did it. Also, what’s it like to have a hog for a running partner? Do you and Harley still have running dates?
Deb: Ah, Harley. He was probably the laziest pig we’ve owned. He laid down when he ate, and wanted food brought to him. One day, I told him he’d have to catch me if he wanted the food bucket. He walked five feet, fell down, and batted his big ol’ eyes at me. Pure lazy! So, I decided that I was going to teach him to move. I started running along the fence line with him. Five feet, then ten feet, and finally I had him going about thirty feet. He was slow, but he was learning.
Pretty soon, I was jogging outside the fence and he was keeping up. We’d make a few laps, and he’d get his food bucket filled. Then I started letting him out of the fence, and we’d jog a little bit farther. There was a lot of cajoling, and I had to keep food on me so he wouldn’t give up. When he finally reached 270 lbs, and it was time for the butcher, I put it off. I enjoyed Harley and he was a great exercise partner. Then one day, he escaped his fence. I was across the yard and tried to get him to come to me, but he refused. I ended up going and getting the food bucket. That huge hog took off like a bullet. It was like we hadn’t been best friends for months, and he was going 50 mph straight for me. I took off running with him breathing down my back. After we circled the farm, I turned to lead him back to the fence area at a sprint, and Harley passed me running. I was outran by a 270 lb hog!
Around here, we only keep hogs 5-6 months, and then they go in the freezer. I’ll always remember Harley though. Good pig.
RtR: Harley definitely sounds like a one-of-a-kind hog. Way more interesting than Babe ever was!
Between nicknaming your husband “Wheels” and penning a series about a biker gang, am I right in assuming you own a motorcycle? How would you describe the feeling of riding on a motorcycle to someone who’s never been on a bike before?
Deb: We’re a riding family. We all have motorcycles. The feeling of riding is like nothing else. For me, it’s the speed. Of course, everyone experiences being in a car, surrounded by metal, and feeling safe. But, to be on a bike, feeling the wind, the vibrations, the bumps in the road, and knowing you’re controlling the bike…yeah, it’s powerful.
RtR: Powerful is right! I’ve ridden before and while I love the initial adrenaline rush, I’m too much of a worry-wart to really enjoy back-seat motorcycle riding, LOL. Probably because it always feels like you’re going faster than you actually are — 45 mph feels like 90 mph!
What are you currently working on? What can readers expect to see from you this year?
Deb: Edits for Breathing His Air, a full-length biker book that’s darker and more smexy that has been called contemporary crack by editors. It’ll come out in April from Crimson Romance. I’m also working on a secret contracted book deal, and I can’t wait to share the news!
I’ve been busy, and all my books were accepted around the same time, so readers will have lots of new books this year.
This summer, Suite Cowboy will release.
April, I have two books releasing: Breathing His Air and Homemade Hijinks (a novella).
July, Seductively, the second book in the Playing For Hearts series releases.
October, Conveniently, the third book in the Playing For Hearts series releases.
And, there’s that surprise book I’m not allowed to talk about yet, and it’ll release in October. You won’t want to miss it!
RtR: Eep! Surprises make me antsy. Can’t wait to find out what it is!
Which book/series would you suggest for readers who’ve never tried your books before? Why?
Deb: The Chromes and Wheels Gang series if they like their alpha heroes on a motorcycle and full of attitude.
If cowboys get them excited, the Sisters of McDougal Ranch series.
Then if readers like super alphas, they can start with the Playing For Hearts series, because pro athletes have big egos and awesome bodies.
RtR: Mmm, athletes… Yeah they do!
How do you celebrate when a book is released or accepted?
Deb: I knew you’d ask this question! When I receive a contract, Wheels buys me a bottle of Baileys with caramel to celebrate. That’s my favorite drink. When I release a book, that’s my day. I don’t do anything but spend it online with my readers, answer questions, and visit blogs. My readers are the ones who I celebrate with, and they always make it extra special for me.
RtR: Well then, in that case, cheers! *clinks together glass of Baileys* Here’s to many more alpha heroes and the spitfire heroines who love them!
Thanks so much for joining me and letting us roam through your world of romance, Deb.
Deb: Thank you so much for having me here today, Spencer. As always, I love spending time with you, and make sure you give Bailey the pup (love the name!) a kiss from me.
Debra Kayn lives with her family in the beautiful coastal mountains of Oregon on a hobby farm. She enjoys riding motorcycles, gardening, playing tennis, and fishing. A huge animal lover, she always has a dog under her desk when she writes and chickens standing at the front door looking for a treat. She’s famous in her family for teaching a 270 lb. hog named Harley to jog with her every morning.
Her love of family ties and laughter makes her a natural to write heartwarming contemporary stories to the delight of her readers. Oh, let’s cut to the chase. She loves to write about real men and the women who love them.
When Debra was nineteen years old, a man kissed her without introducing himself. When they finally came up for air, the first words out of his mouth were… Will you have my babies? Considering Debra’s weakness for a sexy, badass man who is strong enough to survive her attitude, she said yes. A quick wedding at the House of Amour and four babies later, she’s living her own romance book.
But wait, there’s more! Because Debra is so awesome, she’s offering a digital copy (mobi or epub) of her latest release, Wildly, to one lucky reader! If you’d like to win a copy, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what gives you the biggest adrenaline rush. I’ll choose one lucky winner on Monday, so remember to check back to see if you’ve won!
Congrats, Tammy! You’ve won a copy of Wildly! Please go to my contact page and send me your email address so I can send you your new book!