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Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

[ Edited ]

This week's guest is New York Times Best Selling Author KAY HOOPER is a very special treat for me, since I've been a fan of hers for years. I've read almost everything she's written - ALL the Bishop stories, including (lucky me!) an advance copy of her new release: HAVEN, and many of her older books, too.

 

Kay's website is here: http://www.kayhooper.com/index.html

 

 

New York Times Bestselling Author Kay Hooper

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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

[ Edited ]

ABOUT KAY

 


 

Kay Hooper was born in California, in an air force base hospital since her father was stationed there at the time. The family moved back to North Carolina shortly afterward, so she was raised and went to school there.

 

The oldest of three children, Kay has a brother two years younger and a sister seven years younger. Her father (now retired) and brother are builders who own a highly respected construction company, and her mother worked for many years in personnel management before becoming Kay's personal assistant, a position she held until her untimely death in March 2002. Kay's sister Linda works as her Business Manager, Events Coordinator, and Regional Publicist. Kay and Linda also co-own an independent bookstore, Fireside Books and Gifts.

 

Kay graduated from East Rutherford High School and attended Isothermal Community College — where she quickly discovered that business classes did not in any way enthrall her. Switching to more involving courses such as history and literature, she also began to concentrate on writing, which had been a longtime interest. Very quickly hooked, she asked for a Christmas typewriter and began seriously working on her first novel. That book, a Regency romance titled Lady Thief, sold to Dell Publishing in 1980. She has since published more than 60 novels and four novellas

 

Kay is single and lives in a very small town in North Carolina, not far from her father and siblings. Deigning to live with her are a flock of cats with various personalities who all like sleeping on manuscripts and whatever research happens to be spread across Kay's desk.

 

And living amongst the many felines are two cheerfully tolerant dogs, a shelter rescue, Bandit, who looks rather like a small sheepdog, and a Sheltie named Lizzie. Visit Kay's Pets Page for pics!

 

Kay also fosters cats and kittens for the Community Pet Center, a non-profit rescue organization on whose board she also sits.

Community Pet Center
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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Kay's Fun Facts
Did You Know?

 

 

... my first book was a Regency? 

... Hawke's scar in On Wings of Magicwasn't a scar at all? 

... If There Be Dragons, published in 1984, presented my first psychic heroine? 

... the Delaney project began simply because Iris, Fayrene, and I were planning a trip to Arizona and thought we could all "get a book out of it"? 

... I've written for more than half a dozen publishers. My relationship with Bantam continued for more than 26 years. 

... the cliffhanger endings of the first set of Delaney historicals were due to an editorial request? 

... I was 22 when I sold my first book? 

... Bishop and Cassie (from Stealing Shadows) are distant cousins?
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The World of Bishop
The Bishop / SCU Series — The Birth of The Idea

Since the publication of the Shadows trilogy in 2000 (Stealing Shadows, Hiding in the Shadows, Out of the Shadows), I've received lots of questions about the books, from where I got the ideas and what kind of research I had done to whether I'm psychic myself. Well, since so many of you asked, I thought I'd explain just how the trilogy — and ongoing series — came about.

I always did love mysteries and suspense, reading the classics like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers when I was younger and pretty much everything I could get my hands on in the years since. I love them all, from the gentle, virtually bloodless "cozies" to the really dark and edgy suspense dominating today's bestseller lists.

As for the paranormal, I vividly remember rushing home from school in order to watch eerie episodes of the groundbreaking daytime soap Dark Shadows. I remember reading book after book on subjects such as reincarnation, telepathy, psychic healing, telekinesis, and precognition. As with my other reading in those years, I had nothing in mind beyond exploring my varied interests. It never occurred to me then that one day I would actually use the bits and pieces of information, facts and speculation, stored deep in my brain.

But that absorbed knowledge, like so much else of my teenage years, floated to the surface eventually. And found its way into my writing, at first in small characteristics and elements and later in much more important ones. A heroine hiding from the world because of her psychic gift; a "haunted" Southern mansion; a couple whose romance was merely the latest chapter in an eternal love story; an entire wacky family of psychics.

It was fun and challenging to use those paranormal elements within the framework of a romance. But, gradually, as my work progressed into single-title, I discovered that the ideas simmering in the back of my mind were taking on a darker, edgier form.

Ever one to follow my nose, I paid attention to those ideas — and Cassie Neill immediately stepped center-stage. A gifted, troubled psychic, bound by her abilities and conscience to help others even at the risk of her own life — and sanity. With Cassie came the title Stealing Shadows, and I knew I had the beginning of something that would require more than one novel.

That was obvious to me because there were other characters also demanding their own stories, some misty and vague because it wasn't quite their time to take center-stage, and others fully-formed and rather arrogantly insistent that they wanted in now. Characters like Noah Bishop, FBI profiler and so much more, whose story I saw and understood almost instantly and with startling clarity. Bishop ended up anchoring my trilogy, appearing in all three novels as a secondary character and taking center stage for his own story only in Book 3.

What I had, I realized, was fodder for quite a few stories. So I decided to begin with three stories, a trilogy that would be connected only by the paranormal elements — and Bishop. Each book could and would stand alone, but the complete trilogy would tell a bigger story and would, I hoped, lay the groundwork for future stories.

So Book 1, Stealing Shadows, tells the story of Cassie Neill, a fragile, wounded psychic whose determination to be alone and at peace is shattered by a killer's bloody rampage. It's also the story of Ben Ryan, a small town lawyer and former judge who does not believe in the paranormal — until a haunted Cassie Neill walks into his office.

Book 2, Hiding in the Shadows, unlike most of my novels, was born, literally, in a single moment of inspiration, with a "what if" idea that gave me the backbone of the entire story. It's more usual for me to have several "moments," several different ideas, in character and plot, which jell eventually into a story. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times in my more than twenty-year career when I saw the central premise of a story in a single blinding moment before I ever wrote a word of it. It's such a rare occurrence, one of the magical "possibilities" that keep me writing because, when it happens, it makes working a pure joy — at least for that wonderful moment.

In Hiding in the Shadows I had that moment, and the idea fit in well with the paranormal themes I wanted to explore. This story is different from Stealing Shadows in several ways: it takes place in the large city of Atlanta rather than a small town; the paranormal elements are less obvious; and the developing relationship between hero and heroine is much more ... conflicted. Bishop, of course, takes part, and during the course of the story we find out a few more things about him, including the fact that he's working to put together a new unit within the FBI, leading a team of agents whose abilities are very, very specialized.

An early review of Hiding in the Shadows made a comment about "smoke and mirrors," and I think that reviewer was right on. Nothing in the story is quite what you think it is — including several of the characters.

Book 3, Out of the Shadows, had more time to "simmer" in the back of my mind before I began writing it. That's invariably true of trilogies, and one reason I love writing them. By the time the actual writing begins, both the characters and plot tend to be almost fully fleshed-out, which makes the work of getting the story down on paper much easier than usual. Of course, "easier" doesn't necessarily mean "easy." One of the joys of being a writer — especially one who flies by the seat of her pants, never using an outline — is that the unexpected always rears its head, not only surprising the author but frequently demanding interesting adjustments in whatever "plan" I had in mind.

I knew the story would be Bishop's story; I knew what had happened in his past, the mistakes and regrets and tragedies; and I knew he would be reunited with the woman he had loved — and badly hurt — years before. I knew he was leading an elite unit within the FBI, a group of men and women with unique abilities, agents he had recruited himself and molded into a highly effective — if unorthodox — team of investigators.

I knew all that. What I didn't know was that the story would be as much Miranda's as Bishop's, as much a story about an exceptionally strong woman as it was about a fascinating and enigmatic man. And though I knew that more than one character possessed paranormal abilities, and that those abilities would figure largely in the plot as it unfolded, I was caught off guard more than once by unexpected developments — and pure surprises.

Sometimes what comes Out of the Shadows is nothing at all like what you imagined. Truths and lies, monsters and angels, deadly danger and incredible joy. Sometimes, what's around the next corner is so unexpected it takes you completely by surprise.

Even if you're the author.

This trilogy did indeed lay the groundwork for future stories. And all that information I stored in my brain years ago, facts and speculations about the paranormal, is combining itself beautifully with my love of mystery and suspense — and the always fascinating dynamics of the relationships between men and women. I never knew, watching Dark Shadows as an enthralled kid, that one day I'd create my own "mythology," my own world of the paranormal. And I never would have guessed how much fun I'd have doing it.

So ... have you ever wondered what it would be like to read someone else's unspoken thoughts? To see the future before it happens? To move objects with your mind, or heal with a touch? What if you could feel other people's emotions? What if you could talk to the dead?

Part of the sheer joy of being a writer is the ability to create a world in which the paranormal — is normal. Where the unusual abilities of men and women only make them more human.

I like this world. I hope you do too.

Oh — and that question you had about whether I'm psychic myself?

I knew you were going to ask that.

 

Happy Reading!

Kay

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FAQs - For Readers

Questions from readers ...

I often receive questions from readers, and after a time a pattern emerges, giving me a fairly good idea what sort of questions most of you have. So I hope you find this area interesting and informative. And if I don't answer your question here, be sure to write and tell me what you'd like to know so that I may include the information here in future updates.

Will there be a third Thief book?
Yes — though I can't give you a firm publication date as yet. Despite my best efforts, I just had too much on my plate these last couple of years (career stuff, family stuff, building my dream house) to give Quinn the attention I feel he deserves. However, there WILL be a third Thief book, and quite likely more, since he appears to have much to say and many adventures ahead of him and Morgan. Please do keep an eye on the website, and as soon as I have firm publication dates, cover art and cover copy, the info will be posted.

Will the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series continue?
Yes, absolutely. I'll continue to publish the series in trilogies, each set with a keyword in the title and the covers, hopefully, linked together with some visual element such as the spiderweb in the Fear trilogy, and the black-gloved hand in the Evil trilogy.

Are you going to reissue more of your old (classic!) romances?
Yes. That's also being worked-out as I write this (the author seldom has complete control of such things, though I'm trying!), so please do keep an eye on the site for updates.

Will you write the sequel to Summer of the Unicorn?
If I had to say one way or the other right now, I'd have to say no — simply because it isn't in the plans at present. However, I get many requests for other fantasy/romance novels such as Unicorn and The Wizard of Seattle, and I would like to write more along those lines someday. So you never know. Again, please do check back, and I'll update the website as I have new information to offer.

How about the Lane Montana mysteries?
Same there. I have no plans at present to continue that series, but I would like to revisit Lane at some point. Never say never.

Will you ever include a bulletin board or blog on your site?
Not likely. I know many authors happily blog or set up a board where their readers can post comments, but the truth is that I feel my writing time is better spent writing my books. I'll always do my best to be responsive to readers, but I've never been inclined to write in a journal even just for myself, and see no reason to turn to public journaling (blogging) now. As for a board on the site, that also can cause more problems than provide benefits, for you and for me. So I think we'll keep the site as-is for now.

Though suggestions are always welcome!

Where do you get your ideas?
The number one most-asked question. And the most difficult to answer, because of the nature of what writers do. We use our imaginations literally every waking moment; I see or hear something, and my plot-trained conscious mind begins to spin a possible story. So the short answer is that I get my ideas everywhere — but mostly from inside my head. I read a great deal, I watch TV and movies, I talk to people. And out of that wealth of information come my ideas.

What's your work routine?
I don't really have one. When and how long I work is dependent on where I am in a book or project. Early on, I may spend a great deal of time thinking and musing about an idea without turning on the computer once. Writing down bits and pieces of ideas, snatches of dialogue, character descriptions. When I have begun the actual physical work of writing, the early chapters tend to go slowly as I feel my way through the story "seeding" plot and character points that will develop along the way. Once I've reached the halfway point in a story, the plot is firmly set, the characters "alive" in the sense that I now know them very well and understand why they do the things they do. The remainder of the book tends to be written much faster, and I work longer hours. It isn't uncommon in the final chapters of a book for me to work ten or twelve hour stretches for several days at a time.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies. In the old days of series romance, it wasn't unusual for me to complete a book in three or four weeks. These days, writing longer and much more complicated thrillers, it tends to take several months between the beginning of a book and its completion.

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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

See Kay's book tour schedule here: Tuesday, August 7th

 

B&N guidelines keep me from listing the whole schedule here, but make a note of this one!


Book Signing
Barnes & Noble 
760 SE Maynard, Cary NC 27511
7 pm 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Haven (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Series #13)  

 

Haven (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Series #13)

 

Overview

 

New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper returns with a breathtaking new thriller of a young woman’s homecoming—to a town of menacing whispers, bad dreams, and dangerous secrets…

Another nightmare, in the woods this time. Different: She was running. Trying to escape.
But the same ending. Always the same ending. Another dead girl…

 

Emma Rayburn was born and raised in Baron Hollow, North Carolina, and it was a quiet life.

Then came the accident…and the nightmares—each filled with unshakable visions of darkness, blind panic, and desperate women chased toward inevitable death. With no reports of local women missing or found dead, Emma has written it off to troubled imaginings—night after dreaded night. Until her sister arrives.

 

Jessie Rayburn, psychic investigator for a firm called Haven, has been estranged from Emma for years. Unresolved issues from Jessie’s past have not only kept them apart but have been clouding Jessie’s unique abilities. A return to her hometown to face a dark and violent incident from years gone by is her chance to regain them. But reconciliation with the past comes with a price. Few people in Baron Hollow are welcoming Jessie back. No one dares to breathe a word. And in this conspiracy of silence, Emma’s nightmares are becoming more vivid than ever.

 

Even with the help of Noah Bishop, head of the FBI Special Crimes Unit and co-founder of Haven, Jessie and Emma soon find themselves outnumbered by the secrets buried in Baron Hollow—and outrunning an evil that has been festering for years, one that’s targeting Jessie and Emma one last time.

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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Please give KAY HOOPER a big B&N welcome!

 

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ReadingPatti
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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Hi, Kay, I love your books. I have read quite a few. I love the Bishop series. I am going to read more of your books.

 

I was wondering how you came up with Bishop. I like this series a lot. Love the way the male and female characters in these books get together.

 

I will be reading more.

 

So have a great visit and enjoy your time here.

 

ReadingPatti

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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Patti - I love the Bishop series, but I also love Kay's older books like AMANDA, FINDING LAURA, HAUNTING RACHEL and - an old favorite of mine (I have my original copy plus a reissued version),IF THERE BE DRAGONS. Sooo good! 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

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maxcat
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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Hi, Kay, I haven't read your books but they will certainly end up in my TBR pile. Thanks for being on the forum this week.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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dhaupt
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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Kay, Hi (waving) I absolutely LOVE the Bishop series and drool when I learn one is coming out. Thanks for sharing your invaluable time with us.
And I personally loved how you let us all meet and love him before you really told us his story. I remember wondering about the stripe in his hair and why he always seemed so alone.
Thank you for being here!!!
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dhaupt wrote:
Kay, Hi (waving) I absolutely LOVE the Bishop series and drool when I learn one is coming out. Thanks for sharing your invaluable time with us.
And I personally loved how you let us all meet and love him before you really told us his story. I remember wondering about the stripe in his hair and why he always seemed so alone.
Thank you for being here!!!

Debbie - I've always loved mysteries with a psychic aspect. I'm open to the possibilities even though I've never experienced any psychic phenomena myself.

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Kay_HooperNC
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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

Patti, thanks for letting me know you're enjoying my work; always music to an author's ears!

 

As for how I "came up" with Bishop, he appeared as all my characters do; he simply walked into a scene, and I've enjoyed getting to know him just as you readers have.

 

That's the fun of writing for me, watching the characters and stories unfold as I work.  :smileylol:


Learn more about Blood Sins.

Discover all Kay Hooper titles.
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Kay_HooperNC
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Re: Please Welcome Author KAY HOOPER!

I hope you enjoy the books! And I love your avatar, being a cat person myself.


Learn more about Blood Sins.

Discover all Kay Hooper titles.