Hello this is Lainey here for Coffee Time Romance & More and I have an exciting author with me tonight, Koko Brown with her latest book CHARMED for us to talk about. Hi Koko, how are you doing tonight?
I'm sort of jet lagged. I just got home about two hours ago from Washington, DC. I went up for all the festivities. But I'm happy to be here.
Oh that must have been exciting did you get to see the inauguration and President Obama? That must have been thrilling and exhausting at the same time but I am glad you could take the time for this interview with me.
Unfortunately, I didn't see him, just on the Jumbo Tron. I did see Samuel Jackson and my favorite lineup of newscasters from MSNBC- Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Keith Oberman. No problem, I love Coffee Time Romance.
Well, let me get into your book CHARMED and how you came about with our hero and heroine? Did you get inspired by someone or something or how did this story come about with Chloe and Tristan because we start them off in quite a scene *grins*
Ha! I came up with the inspiration of the hero, heroine, and practically the concept of the whole book while lying in bed one day. Chloe is all me. She speaks her mind and she doesn't beat around the bush. I have a thing for British men, so that's where Tristan's character started, then he simply developed into the prototype of the man of my dreams. And telling from my reader's comments. theirs as well. And honestly I don't know where the story came from. I wrote it in two weeks flat and it just seemed to come from somewhere deep inside of me. I didn't use a synopsis or an outline.
That is fantastic Koko but I should mention to our readers that the opening scene is in a hotel room in Las Vegas. So is what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas very apropos for Chloe and Tristan?
Of course! Who wouldn't want to leave a husband behind who thinks he's a vampire.
That was the next question I was going to bring up so our readers know this is about vampires so please explain a bit about Tristan and his Coven if you will?
So many times you hear of jaded vampires with no feelings. But Tristan and many of the vampires you meet from his coven are quite passionate and very vocal about their feelings whether it be anger, jealousy or even love.
Now I do not want to give the whole story away but what would you like your readers to know specifically about CHARMED and Tristan and Chloe and the ways of the vampires in it?
Hmmm great question. I think the most important thing would be Chloe's and Tristan's development. Chloe's a full-figured beautiful heroine who even though she has great self-esteem, there is a tiny part of her that still can't get over being a wallflower because she was the chubby girl with the pretty face. And because of this she gives the hero grief through much of the book because she thinks he's too good looking for her. And Tristan learns that he just can't use his good looks to win over a woman's heart.
Now I wanted to touch on that this is also Interracial for our readers yet I found it was a minor thing as you just put it her figure was more her concern than her heritage or the tone of her skin.
I didn't want the story to read like the traditional interracial where the white hero has to convince the black heroine to be with him. In my book, that is just so 1989. In Charmed it just so happened that they were of different backgrounds.
You wanted to announce something special coming up for the holiday next month.
I have a book coming out which I co-authored with Taige Crenshaw (www.taigecrenshaw.com) on February 10th. The book is entitled Forever, I Do and its being released through Loose-Id. Forever, I Do is a special release for Loose-Id's Marriage For All campaign.
This story is an interracial as well, but the conflict like in Charmed doesn't come from them being of different backgrounds, but from the heroine fighting her attraction for the hero who has mistakenly taken a love spell.
That is fantastic and do you have anything else going on with conventions, chats, signings, blogs or anything else you might want your readers to be aware of?
I have a chat coming up with Sistah Friends Book club on February 9 at 9pm EST and Romance Junkies on February 8 @ 9pm. We also have a special launch party the week of the release which will take place on our yahoo group firstname.lastname@example.org
Koko, can you tell us how you got started writing and how long it has taken you to get as far as you have and is there anything you still want to accomplish?
I started writing while I was working as a high school English teacher. Of course, you can imagine the amount of literature one reads while teaching over the years, so one day back in 2004, while covering the Harlem Renaissance a story came to me. I went out and bought myself a laptop and wrote my first manuscript. I spent about a year shopping it and received a few requests, which is surprising in itself because as anyone knows your first manuscript is usually garbage. After the first year of rejections, life imposed itself so I didn't attempt anything else until 2006 and that was Charmed. As far as something I would like to accomplish... Hmm... I would like to write a great screenplay one day and see it on the screen or become a soap opera writer for a year. *grins*
That is a very different career from what you are doing now but sounds exciting. Can you tell us who you draw inspiration from or admire and are there any authors you particularly love?
I draw my inspiration from places I've visited and simple daydreams. I was always the kid who stared out the window while in class and dreamed up fantastical adventures to entertain myself. The writers I admire the most are those that have written the great American classics such as Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, and J.D. Salinger. But I will admit I am also a huge fan of Johanna Lindsey as well. I have all of her books dating back to 1979.
That is quite different going back to the classics. And speaking of different before we close I wanted to ask about your other book that is out, a time travel from what I hear. Also is there anything else I have not mentioned or touched upon you would like our readers to know about you or something coming up for you?
Yes, I love the classics. In fact, there is a scene in Charmed which was inspired by Arthur Miller's The Crucible. The book is called Frozen In Time. It's a time travel adventure that takes the heroine (Reese) back to 976 A.D. Norway where she meets a Viking with major baggage. To make matters worse she's sent back in time to steal a necklace for the god Loki as a means of revenge. I guess I could mention I have an historical coming out through Red Sage in April entitled The Merry Widow. It's an older woman/younger man romance.
I want to conclude our session tonight and thank you so much Koko for talking to me when you just got back from that fantastic trip to DC. I had a lot of fun and I hope our readers got to know and appreciate you and your work even more now.
Thanks Lainey! I had a great time as well!
You take care and get some sleep now and thanks again for being so generous with your time.
Okay I will! Good night!
This is Lainey signing off with a big good night to you!