Author Spotlight: V.K. Black
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I was always good at story writing a long, long time ago at school. In recent times, on the basis that I could write well-constructed emails, I thought I’d “give writing romances a go”. (!) Many well-deserved rejections followed, till I started reading craft books and doing on-line courses.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
About five years ago
Tell us a little more about Unexpected Places:
This book was so much fun to write. Inspired by two of my favourite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Six Days and Seven Nights, I set out to write a book I’d love to read. Thus, it has a gorgeous but very angry bad boy hero battling a sweet but very feisty heroine to find lost treasure.
The blurb for Unexpected Places reads in part: When sweet, pretty Ariana Noonan knocks out treasure hunter Luke Donahue with a champagne bottle and steals his treasure map, he vows to get his map back, find the missing priceless emeralds…and exact a fitting revenge. Now, I have to ask, what inspired this story?!
I can actually answer this one! Usually I have no idea where my stories come from. Unexpected Places started its life as a writing exercise with my writers’ group, Sultry Scribes. Closing my eyes, I drew from separate piles of pictures and newspaper cuttings: a handsome man in bush gear, a lovely young woman in a clinging black cocktail dress, a job ad for an accountant, and a pair of emerald earrings. The story was suddenly right there. Not the characters of course. I had to get to know them. And the finer details of the story were a little tricky. Poor Luke and Ariana were stuck on their boat for ages till I worked out what to do with them.
The course of love never runs smoothly, and of course Ariana and Luke’s romance is no different. What were the key challenges in writing their romance?
Luke had every right to be a tad cross with Ariana, considering what she did to him. My challenge was to make sure readers knew he was a nice guy at heart and would never hurt Ariana. It’s also important to develop the romance so that the characters do get on well at times, but not too well or the story is boring. And if they fight all the time, the story is tedious and the subsequent romance is unbelievable.
What one character trait will most endear both Ariana and Luke to your readers?
Despite her hot temper and her tendency to do things like kick Luke when he is being mean to her, Ariana is a very sweet girl. And, no matter how angry Luke gets with Ariana, he is always gentle.
What do you want readers to know about the romance genre?
There’s romance everywhere. Following the romance of an attractive man and woman is common to so many movies and t.v. shows, ones that aren’t labelled as “Romance”. There are romance novels for all tastes. My favourites are the ones where the romance develops, ebbs and flows, while the rest of the plot is unfolding.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Thinking of other excuses not to do housework.
What’s next for you?
I’d like to look into writing and publishing short stories.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
I have an e-reader, but currently I’m reading and loving Angela Verdenius’ Fall for You.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Everyone your age, even the ones who seem to know exactly what they’re doing, is unsure of themselves. This will pass. And enjoy your thinness. This too will pass.
It’s almost Christmas (yes, already!), tell us: what are you hoping to find under the tree this year?
Hmmm, what I’d like to find is a Kobo voucher so I can buy heaps of e-books. But vouchers seem to be frowned on.
Favourite Christmas recipe?
Australia’s version of a Christmas feast, a cold seafood platter with heaps of yummy salads.
Favourite Christmas tradition?
The whole family getting together. We all actually get along well, but don’t see nearly enough of each other.
Share with us your biggest New Years Resolution for 2015:
I AM GOING ON A DIET.
Favourite travel experience?
Eating and drinking my way around the U.K.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Cruise around the world.
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Dark
Red, white, bubbly? Bubbly
About the Author:
V.K. Black is from Queensland, Australia. She loves tropical islands, snorkelling on the Barrier Reef, good wine and hot spicy food. Amazingly, all of these appear in Unexpected Places (published by Escape Publishing). Sadly, treasure maps and priceless emeralds have been in short supply in her real life, so she has written a story about them. As well as her action/adventure contemporary, Unexpected Places, V.K. Black has written an erotic fantasy/sci fi called Heavenly Revenge (published by Secret Cravings) and a World War Two historical called Lies and Seduction (published by Cobblestone Press.) There is a unifying theme. They are all fun sexy romances, with a handsome hero and a lovely heroine.
One treasure map; a pair of priceless emeralds; two very keen hunters — only one can win, but who says that competition can’t be a little fun?
When sweet, pretty Ariana Noonan knocks out treasure hunter Luke Donahue with a champagne bottle and steals his treasure map, he vows to get his map back, find the missing priceless emeralds…and exact a fitting revenge.
When Luke finally discovers Ariana in a dingy hotel on a remote tropical island, she’s in desperate straits and he finally gains the upper hand. Of course he will rescue her. His price? They act on the attraction that’s been simmering between them from the very beginning.
But all is not as it seems, and Luke’s sexy bargain turns up not only an unbelievable secret, but Ariana’s reasons for wanting the emerald. Suddenly, nothing is clear-cut anymore, and map or no map, Luke and Ariana are sailing into uncharted territory.