Dear Readers, for the next few weeks I'm going to introduce you to a bunch of authors writing across a variety of subgenres of romance. Some are my friends, some acquaintances. All of them are fun.
Today, AUTHOR'S CIRCLE interviews Kate McMurray, an award-winning romance author and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America, and RWA’s New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Find out more at Kate McMurray's
1. So Kate, what’s your personal brand of romance?
I say “Smart, savvy, sexy” on my website, which I think about sums it up: I write smart characters, most of whom live in cities and have sexy romances with each other.
2.Where do you get your inspiration from, in stories and in life?
All over. It really varies. I try to always have my eyes and ears open. I’ve drawn inspiration from parts of my own life, from pop culture, from books I’ve read, from music, from New York City. I think inspiration is really everywhere.
3.How do you do your research?
Depends on the book, but I do a lot (A LOT) of research. A lot of it can be found on the Internet, but depending on how in-depth I want to be, I have to do a little more digging. I have a ton of reference books and I read constantly—including a lot of nonfiction—so that’s part of it. For my historical romances, I’ve watched documentaries and gone to museum exhibits and read piles of books, which is actually work I really enjoy. I listened to a lot of baseball podcasts when I was writing books like Out in the Field because I wanted to get the vernacular right. I’ve also tracked down people who work in professions I’m less familiar with and pestered them with questions. I’m a little obsessed with accuracy; I dread people reviewing my books and finding factual errors.
4.Who is your favorite character in your book/books?
Very difficult to choose. It’s kind of a toss up between Drew from Blind Items, who has a lot of me in him, although he is male and faster with a witty comeback; Troy from Across the East River Bridge, because he’s kind of the embodiment of my perfect man—sexy and intellectual, and he wears glasses; and Ty from The Windup because he’s good at making everything seem easy, even when it isn’t.
5. Difference between love and lust?
I think each can exist without the other but they also enhance each other when they are together.
6.What do you think of the Tall, Dark and Handsome trope?How does it work for your heroes, and when does it not?
I don’t really write alphas, and I like to vary the sorts of men who appear in my books—some brainier, some more athletic; some tall, dark, and handsome, some short and ginger—but I also think romance is about the fantasy to a certain degree. So not all of my heroes are going to be everyone’s type, but the two protagonists in a romance novel should be each other’s types. So, if a hero is tall, dark, and handsome, that better be the best thing on the menu to the love interest.
7.Your favorite romance author or a memorable one you read that you must share with our readers.
I have a lot of favorites and books I lend out a lot. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale is my favorite historical of all time. I love Jennifer Crusie’s and Kristan Higgins’s and K.A. Mitchell’s and Heidi Cullinan’s contemporaries. I love Jordan L. Hawke’s Whyborne & Griffin series, which is a paranormal historical gay romance series set 1900-ish. K.J. Charles has become one my autobuys—I love how she incorporates historical detail in her books. Um… that was a lot. I read many things.
8.In what way are your romances different from their mainstream counterparts? Let’s talk diversity.
My books aren’t different, not really. My published books all happen to be romances between two men, and not all of those men are white, but they employ a lot of the same tropes and conventions as mainstream romances. I believe pretty strongly that love is love and romance is romance and it should all be shelved together, regardless of the protagonists’ race or gender.
9.The nicest gift you have received from a loved one!
Well, writing-career-wise, my dad bought me my first computer when I was a freshman in college. It had a 3 GB hard drive and took up most of the desk in my dorm room, but I did a lot of writing on it in between classes.
10.What would you cook up for a romantic dinner?
I like to cook Italian food, so it would probably be some kind of pasta dish. I make a pretty good carbonara.
11.On a date - would it be jeans and a top or a long sexy gown?
I am definitely more on the sexy gown end of the spectrum, although realistically, I’d probably pull a cute dress out of the closet. My wardrobe is kind of a riot of colors and patterns.
12.Your favorite fragrance.
I like clean, subtle scents. I’m allergic to a lot of floral scents and perfume ingredients, but I like things that are light and sweet, mostly.
13. Share a little something about your work that no one knows about yet.
I have a ton of works in progress going all at once, including, but not limited to: a historical set in the Gilded Age in which one of the protagonists is loosely based on one of Mrs. Astor’s social directors; a novel set in the fashion industry; a road trip romance; and a light romantic suspense series that revolves around a law office. I’m also playing around with an idea for a paranormal series, but we’ll see if I can make that work.
And that’s it. Thank you for visiting my blog, Kate, and allowing us a peek into your life.
Do check out all of Kate McMurray's romance novels HERE.
Next author on this blog will be Piper Huguley.