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September 29, 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kerri Nelson and Courting Demons

 Hi, Kerri and welcome to Plotting Princesses! Let's learn about you and your new book, Courting Demons (btw, cool title!)

How long have you been writing? How did you get from a legal career to writing romance? I’ve been writing since about the second grade.  That was when I discovered my love of poetry, anyway.  But I wrote my first full novel as a senior in high school.  It has only been read by one other person besides me and she’s been sworn with a blood oath of absolute secrecy. 

But, seriously, I began navigating the road to publication about a decade ago.  Started taking classes, then joined RWA and various chapters, then attended conferences and finally caught my break in 2009 and now my main goal is to stay published with new material every year.

My college degree is in Criminal Justice and so most of my books have some sort of legal or law enforcement theme to them.  I, originally, wanted to be the female version of a John Grisham-type-legal-thriller-author.  But then discovered that I could write the same romance I loved as a reader AND add some legal suspense to it, too.  I found the best of both worlds, really.

Who is your favorite author(s) and why?  I know everyone says this…but I have so many faves!  I’ll just name off a few that I’ve read recently and are fresh on my mind.  Here we go:

Lisa Gardner—just read “Love You More” by her and was swept away by this story.  I cried and any words on a page that can make me cry are pure gold.

Tess Gerritsen—just read “Ice Cold” and since I live in the hot, sultry south where our version of winter weather is to get below 50 degrees outside.  This book’s portrayal of being lost in the frigid cold and then trapped there terrified the icicles out of me.

Allison Brennan—just read “Speak No Evil” and I’m now nearly panic stricken about how easy it is for creeps to target young girls (or anyone) on the Internet.  Yikes!  She writes wicked, evil so well.

Tell us about your new book.  Paisley Barton was already having a bad day before she turned her husband into a rat.
First, she was fired by her boss and then came home to find hubby in the shower with a naked blonde chick. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but this break-up may just unleash hell on Earth when Paisley casts a spell of vengeance against her philandering husband.
After her spell casting inadvertently opens a portal between dimensions, Paisley finds her family home transformed into a nightly courtroom for settling disputes between demons of the underworld and she’s the judge! If that’s not enough, she’s got to deal with a charming, ancient demon named Camden who wants to be her personal bodyguard while trying to explain her husband’s sudden, mysterious disappearance to sexy police Detective Dalton Briggs.
But Paisley will show them all that an everyday working mom is better equipped than most to deal with the mystical mayhem…and with a tempting demon hottie and a flirtatious young detective vying for her affection, she soon learns that being single again isn’t so bad after all.

What is the appeal of writing urban fantasy or paranormal? The obvious appeal is in being able to create your own world where you have total free reign to establish rules without being “called out” on it.  Because, I’ve been wanting to complete this huge Victorian era romance for some time now and I’m really worried about getting the historical details correct.  It really plagues me and hinders my creativeness while struggling to get it done.

But with an Urban Fantasy or paranormal story, it is your world where your creatures roam the pages free to do whatever they like.  Then you can break rules, kill people off, bring them back to life, and cause all sorts of chaos at the click of a keyboard.  The more creative, the better…and it is just so much fun to have that freedom as an author.

What kind of writing turns you off? What stops you from writing?  As a reader, when a particular scene gets too in depth and descriptive of every item on a table or every item in a cabinet or every crack in the sidewalk, I get bored.  I like the action to move a little faster.  Then again, when there is too much dialogue or the dialogue seems forced or unreal, the author can force me out of the mood to read as well.

As a writer, what stops me from writing is the occasional “self defeatist” moment.  Even with the most positive attitude in the world, everyone has a moment when they stop and fret over whether or not the words they are typing are pure drivel or not. 

How have you shocked your readers? Well, in this book, I think there are at least 3 really pivotal shocking turns to the story that they won’t see coming.  But I can’t really reveal any details about those here.  Hmmm…

I think the other way I shock readers is when I tell them that I write everything from young adult inspirational to paranormal erotica.  I get a lot of puzzled faces at that revelation.  Of course, I write my “good girl” stuff under another pen name.  But what I tell them is that it is not about what type of writer I am as but about what story is currently begging to be told by the current crop of ideas in the brain garden of my mind.

How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like? My ideas come from every single thing around me.  From people-watching at the grocery story, to billboards on the roadside, to funny things my children say every day.  My ideas are countless and bountiful—if only I had that many hours in a day to actually get them down on paper.

My writing day varies because of the menagerie of young children I have vying for my attention.  Two of my children are under the age of 3 and they require quite a bit of Mommy time.  Plus, I also teach classes and do a lot of volunteer work, oh and run an author promotions company, too.  But I absolutely make time (most every day) to write. 

If the day is fairly uneventful with distractions, I’ll write anywhere from 1000 words to 4000 words on average.  I’m a big fan of multi-tasking so I’ll write small increments in between other chores and duties throughout the day.  I can’t be picky about my atmosphere if I want to get anything done around here.

Can you share three writing tips? 1.  Always treat your writing as a career and not just a hobby, if you intend to reach your publishing goals. 2.  Don’t forget to make time for you and your writing during your day.  Mom’s often put their wishes last on the list.  Don’t let this be true of your writing. 3.  Never let a rejection make you doubt yourself.  They will come and you might cry but they will pass and you’ll get by.  Forget them and write on!

Fill in this blank: Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if I forgot to change into my outdoor shoes and accidentally wore my leopard print slippers to drop off my daughter at school.

How much do you love cake? You have no idea.  I bake cakes for a hobby.  Seriously, I decorate them for fun.  I recently made a “vampire bunny” cake because it struck me as a cool idea.  LOL. And every time I’ve had a baby, I’ve gone on a “no dessert” diet for a full year after giving birth.  To help me cut the baby weight back down.  That is torture, my friends.  Pure torture at its most basic level.  Sigh.
Thanks for hosting today, Vicki and the Plotting Princesses!  Can’t wait to hear what you all think of the book.

Giveaway for the day:  Leave a question or comment to be entered to win today’s prize: An autographed, print copy of Courting Demons!
Then, enter to win my book tour Grand Prize Kindle by following me on tour and e-mailing me the answers to each question of the day at the end of tour.  The more questions you answer, the more entries you gain. Question of the Day:  Who taught Paisley all about magic in high school?
Details on how to enter to win the GRAND PRIZE Kindle at the end of my “Dark Days of Demons Tour” located here:
Book Title:  Courting Demons
Buy Links (print and e-book versions available 9/15 wherever books are sold but here’s the publisher link—free gift available with purchase of print copy—while supplies last):


kerribookwriter said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Vicki & the other Princesses!

Great to be here.


PamnTX said...

Kerri, you just took away everyone's excuses for not writing! Two children under the age of 3?

Your book sounds thrilling. I love the cover and the catchy title. Thank you for the great post.

kerribookwriter said...

@PamnTX~Awe, thanks for saying that. The title was the first thing that came to me, actually.

Yep, 2 kids under 3 and did I mention the other 2 kids? One 10 year old and one 20 year old? Hubby and I have them ranging from 20 months to 20 years! How's that? LOL

Thanks for the lovely comment.


Plotting Princesses said...

Hi, Kerri! Love your little photo by your postings btw. And congratulations on your book, Courting Demons.

Are you having fun yet?


kerribookwriter said...

@Vicki~Totally having fun and I'm just about to go shout out about my appearance today on Twitter. We'll see if we can round up the usual suspects. :-)

Thanks again for hosting me and for getting that book cover squared away.

Oh, the little photo by my postings is from my wedding actually.


Kathy Ivan said...


Welcome to Plotting Princesses, we're so happy to have you here today.

Turning her cheating husband into a rat--sounds like something a lot of wives wish they were capable of at times!

The book sounds terrific, and I wish you much success in your writing career. Being able to write around 2 children under the age of 3--that takes a lot of dedictation and focus. I just wish I had that ability to multitask. When I sit down to write, I want no distractions, no interruptions, just leave me along to get the words on the page. LOL

derekd said...

Fun interview ladies. Kerri I am amazed that you can multitask like that and still write 1k - 4k per day. Your book sounds like a hoot. Good luck with it.

Rebecca said...

Hi Kerri! Great post! I'm still trying to follow your writing tips.
Great advice!

ROTFL about your answer "...accidentally wore my leopard print slippers..." Been there too! I wear fuzzy slippers at home during the winter and I accidently wore them to work one day (thought my shoes were in the car!). So I had to walk into work wearing a beautiful teal suit and mid-calf, neon pink, fuzzy slippers. (I borrowed a friend's shoes to purchase some!) Thanks for reminding me of that! LOL!

Thanks again for such a great tour!

kerribookwriter said...

@Kathy~I literally wouldn't know what to do with myself if I ever had a moment of quiet time! I have to write to music from Disney channel shows playing in the background. How sexy is that? LOL

Thanks for the awesome comment. So appreciative for the opportunity to be here.

kerribookwriter said...

@derek~Thank you so much. I got a few kicks out of writing it and only hope readers enjoy it. I needed something fun and different and this was my escape! Really nice of you to stop by today. :-)

kerribookwriter said...

@Rebecca~My hubby makes fun of my leopard print shoes but I know he secretly digs them. ;-) I once wore different color shoes to work one day and went out and bought a whole new pair at lunch. It was a good excuse to shoe shop anyway! Thanks for the shout out.

C. Fowkes said...

I really enjoyed your writing tips. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kerri.

Thanks for the post! It is great to hear about other writers successfully juggling busy lives.

How long has the Big Victorian been in progress? Do you find it hard to stay in one story while working on others? I've found that research I've done for a book--and which I'm absolutely SURE I will never forget--slips out of my mind as I work on other stories. Sometimes when I return to an earlier novel I realize I no longer remember which "facts" I researched and which I invented.


JeanMP said...

Totally agree with the other poster, cool cover on your book!
Laughed when I read about the slipper incident, I did the two different shoes one day for work, after that always made sure the shoes were set out the night before.
Your kids must be thrilled with some of the cake creations you come up....a Vampire Bunny, how cool is that!

skpetal at hotmail dot com

kerribookwriter said...

@cfowkes~You are welcome and thank YOU for stopping by to chat.

@greta~The Victorian has been in progress for about 4 months now and I hit a little wall with it about a month ago--took a break but I'm heading back in soon. I don't really find it difficult to work on multiple projects if they are all flowing smoothly but this historical is important to me--I really want to get it right.

Yeah, the research can both slow your productivity and weigh down your book. I hope to find the perfect mix of "historically correct" but yet inventively unique. Wish me luck!

Thanks for the questions and comment!

kerribookwriter said...

@Jean~The kids love the cakes. I've also done a gator cake, an electrical circuit board cake (for engineering step son), a butterfly, and too many more to name. The kids love them. My 3 year old didn't want to eat her ballerina cake. She cried when we cut it. LOL

Good to see you again. --K.

Phyllis said...


Cool cover and interesting story concept. I hope you do very well with the book.

Sounds like your busy lifestyle would put me to bed in an exhaustive state by 8PM!

Glad you could join us at


Julie Robinson said...

Hi Kerri!
I was just thrilled for you when I got my Pink Petal newsletter and saw your book was the featured book today and the other day. Congratulations on Courting Demons' release. I'm glad to see it finally out! Seems like it's been forever since I first read it from the contest.

Julie Robinson said...

Oh, btw, I enjoyed reading your interview. :-)

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

How fun to learn new things about you, Kerri. You certainly do have a busy schedule. I used to bake and decorate cakes, too. I have about 30 different pans that I used to make for my girls as they grew up.

OH, BTW - I love your heroine's name, but I do believe I've mentioned that before. Always the best of wishes for lots more success.

Pamela Stone said...

Wow, turning a cheating husband into a rat even puts my red-headed temper to shame. Great post.

kerribookwriter said...

@Phyllis~Thanks for the cover love and I appreciate your comments. Trust me, I love my bed and often gaze at it longingly come about sunset! :-) Thanks for hosting me on this incredible blog.

kerribookwriter said...

@Julie~Oh how I've missed you, my friend. My life has been almost as crazy as Paisley's life in this book--though I'm happy to report the absence of rats! :-) So glad to see you and I know you've been with me on this long journey to publication on this book.

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support. Miss you! Miss you!


kerribookwriter said...

@Paisley~It is just such a lovely name, isn't it? xoxo Love baking those cakes if only my body could consume as many as I bake--then we'd be in business. Alas, I have to stay lean and healthy to chase after all these youngins.

Glad to see you here at the Princesses!


kerribookwriter said...

@Pamela~I love a feisty red head! Glad to see you here and thanks for the comment. Beware of the rats out there. Hugs, K.

kerribookwriter said...

Will be back on Monday to post the winner of today's prize...Stay Tuned...

Thanks again to the lovely Plotting Royalty!


Julie Robinson said...

Kerri, I've really missed being around and 'seeing' you too. Life! It just gets in the way of what we really want to do sometimes, huh?! LOL

Missed you you bunches and hope your crazy is a good crazy. Glad to know, though, that there are no rats in your family.

Keep it up! You have amazing versatility and endurance in all you do.

kerribookwriter said...

@Julie~Awe, thanks! I can always count on you. xoxo

kerribookwriter said...


My trusty toddler assistant drew the winner today via "old fashioned" slips of paper in a hat...

and the Winner of an autographed print copy of Courting Demons is...


Woots! Congrats!

Please contact me via my website as you used an Anonymous log on to leave a comment and I don't know how to find you.

Thanks again to the lovely, wonderful hosts at Plotting Princesses.

Take care & happy writing,

kerribookwriter said...

**Prize Winner Snafu**

I don't know how to find Greta who won my prize here. Does anyone know her?