Author Spotlight


Earlier this month, I was given a chance to chat with a very talented author who took time out of her schedule to chat with me.  So, without further delay letís hear from

Kally Jo Surbeck

Morning, Gracie, and thanks for having me over to JR for this interview.

I read you did not always want to be a writer. Did you follow through on those Fortune 500 dreams?
You read true, that is what I wanted to do with myself, but life rearranged me a bit.  I had followed through to the extent of working sometimes 80 hour work weeks, getting my degrees, networking, and pulling through.  I was lucky enough through the years to meet several interesting people and work in a variety of fields.

When did you seriously begin pursuing your writing and can you imagine yourself doing anything different now? 
After my auto accidents.  I was left in a situation where I am honestly not the person I used to be.  My brain has been, to a degree, rewired.  I have my affects of the car wrecks to deal with but I wanted to still be doing something.  Books, romance novels in particular, had been a profound solace.  I chose to be a contributor to that industry of hope.

How do your stories come to you, slowly or all at once? 
The concepts are flashes really.  That is why I have taken to always having my phone or a notepad handy where I can write a line of dialogue or a scene that comes to me.  It may or may not pan out in the end, but I am compiling a lot of ideas I think would make great reading.  Certain characters speak to me more clearly.  Perhaps, they touch me, to a certain degree.  What I write is not about me, but there is a lot of me in my books.  If that makes sense.

What is your perfect writing environment? Do you need quiet or can you write anywhere? 
The dark.  I donít know if I have always felt this way, but since my migraines, the dark is my friend.  My office is vampire friendly, we say. I love having music on in the background.  I make little sound tracks for each book and listen to that while I type.  The night is usually the best for me.  During the day, it seems there is always something or someone needing attention.  At night I can focus a bit better.  I wish I could sit and work for longer periods of time, but due to the neck and back injuries I sustained from the wrecks, I have to take frequent breaks.  My office is crazy cluttered but I am working on that.  I have bookcases upstairs and downstairs, but the ones in my office are research, TBR, and Keepers that I reread.  The other Keepers and rarely used resources go downstairs.

Do you have a writing schedule that you follow? 
Iím working on one, but not really.  I write when I can.

What does your family think of your writing? Are they your biggest fans and do they read your work? 
Biggest fans?  Hmmm.  I have been incredibly blessed in this area, for the most part.  My mother and father (God rest his soul) read everything I wrote.  The only time I considered a pseudonym was when I was first starting out.  I asked my dad to read my work and then tell me if he wanted me to write under another name.  He said, ďWhy would you do that?  This is good.  Be proud.Ē  My sisters and mom still buy my work.  My sister Twyla gives me fun critiques on them, so thatís good.  Iíd like to think I have other fans, but, yeah, my family is pretty good.  There are certain family members that think I write smut.  That always cracks me up, you all reading the interview probably laughed too.  Iíve got a couple steamy scenes, Iím even known for some sexual tension, butÖ  Yeah, so when they pop off about it, I simply ask if they have read my work.  They say no.  I tell them not to talk about that which they have no clue.  And we go on.  There will always be people who donít like and support, but thank goodness my immediate family does.

Writing romance, do you believe in true love and have your found yours?
I do believe in true love.

I probably tend to believe a bit off from traditional, but not far.  I think there are opportunities for love, but like a jigsaw puzzle, sometimes all the pieces arenít right, or the timing is off.  Sometimes, you get it just right.  Sometimes itís perfect but things, things beyond your control, happen.  A perfect example is how different I am after the accidents.  Had I been married before to my love Ė he could now not be my love because I am no longer me. Oh dear, it sounds like a bad physics or psychology class, eh?  Long and short.  I do believe.  No.  I have not found mine.  If you know anyone who would like to apply, I happily screen.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you? 
I love hearing from my readers.  My reader yahoogroup, has become like a part of my extended family.  The men and women there are awesome.  Readers can write me at, visit my website come see me at myspace Ė and/or join my chatter group (and when I say chatter, I mean it.  We have jokes and news and tidbits of information, words of the day, horoscopes, excerpt days.  We support each other.  Oh, of course!  There are contests!)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Never give up.  The market is always changing.  Donít get downhearted just because youíve had a rejection or two or thatís itís not what they are looking for right now.  The time when it will be what they are looking for is coming around, so you just hang tight, keep writing, and keep an ear to the floor for your opening.

You write in several genres, do you have a favorite genre and why? Is there one you would like to try? 
I have been very blessed to be allowed to write in various genres.  I think I would have to say thriller and action are my favorite to write.  If I could try something Ė it would have to be paranormal.  I suppose I cross into that quite a bit with my action/fantasy.  But I have a couple darker stories that may, someday, see the light.

Tell us some of your favorites: foods, books, authors, movies, music, seasons, and any others? 
Foods Ė I love cheese pizza.  If I must have toppings, pineapple and black olives.  But truly I prefer cheese.  Mexican Food is fantastic.  Italian can hit the spot.  I love Granny Smith Apples.  I still eat Popsicles and Top Ramen.  I am trying to learn to be a better cook.  My sisters both enjoy food in a different way than I do, but I am trying to learn that appreciation.

Books Ė I will read just about anything once.  I love to read.  I am one of those people who reads and rereads their cereal box if there isnít something else in front of me to read.

Authors Ė I know I will miss some, so I will list what is on the keeper bookcase to my left:  Christopher Golden, Jeff Strand, Amanda Quick, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kinley MacGregor, Karen Marie Moning, Melissa Schroeder, Melissa Mayhue, Shelly Laurenston, Jeffery Deaver, Patrica Cornwell, Glenna McReynolds, Michele Chambers, Christine Feehan, Julie Garwood, Jennie Cruise, Rachel Gibson, Michael Crichton, Christina Dodd, James Patterson, Kat Martin, Jenna Black, Liz Maverick, Dean Koontz, Lori Handeland, George RR Martin, Tolkien, Dickens, Carol Berg, Robin Owens, Janet Evanovich, Susan Squires, Shana Abe.  And those are just the ones I can easily see, but there are more Ė so much more.

Movies Ė  I enjoy movies. I cannot pick a favorite movie.  Thatís like asking a favorite author or molecule of air.

Music Ė Iím so enthralled with music.  I have a huge collection as well.  But I have been listening to a lot of older stuff recently.

Seasons Ė I am a cooler season gal.  I like Spring and Fall.  Itís dark, overcast, chance for rain.  AHHHHHHHHH.  Perfection.

What would a perfect day for you involve? 
The perfect day?  For me it would be waking up to a full bank account and knowing all my bills had been paidÖoff.  Then be able to head to the spa, where someone could do something about my CP.  Maybe an amusement park or just flying off to Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand?  Sleeping all day?  That might not be bad.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 
Iím really excited about a couple of projects that are releasing soon.  Sudden Fall Book I Yadderwal Balance print is up for pre-order now at Amazonóship date November 27, 2007.  This has been extensively rewritten and extended for Samhain Publishing.  Book II Whispered Promise which has also been extensively rewritten and extended is slated for November 13, 2007 e-release.  This is a series I love and hopefully you will too.  Melissa Schroeder and I have been having a ball putting together our Purgatory Agency series. Between Heaven and Hell they may be your only salvation.  What fun.  My book is Angelís Fall, hers is Devilís Rise.  They will release in e-separately, then be combined into one book to hit the shelves.  Over at a project of love came to fruition last month Ė Phaze In Verse is a collection of poetry from a very talented bunch of authors at Phaze.  Iím very proud of this work. Poetry has been overlooked in the past decade and thanks to Mundania and Phaze, we were allowed the freedom to create Phaze In Verse.  Iím also pleased to announce my work Paths Chosen was picked to be part of the December Heatsheets.  Great read.  Small cost.



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