Through the Keyhole with Kym Grosso

As I stumble along this path to develop, and hopefully achieve some structure and contentment with writing publicly, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to connect with Kym Grosso through a mutual friend.
BLog_ThroughTheKeyhole-KymGrossoKym is the author of the erotic paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans. The series includes Kade’s Dark Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 1), Luca’s Magic Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 2) and Tristan’s Lyceum Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 3).
In addition to romance, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy. She writes autism articles on Psychology Today and Autism In Real Life. She also is a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.
It was an honored privilege of seeking an insider’s view to writing.
Through the Keyhole: Kym Grosso
411Junkie:  It seems that most authors didn’t know they wanted to be a writer growing up. It’s something they sort of tell into.  Have you always wanted to be an author or is it a profession you sort of fell into?

Kym: I had always wanted to write a book, but I don’t think that is the same thing as considering yourself a writer.  I didn’t consider myself a writer until a few years ago when I started submitting autism articles and was published in a magazine.  Then, I was like, “Hmm…maybe I can write.”  But even then, I was focused on writing non-fiction articles not romance novels.

411Junkie: I’ve always wondered how an author choose the story they want to tell.  What made you decide to write a story and what made you decide to tell the story of the Immortals of New Orleans?

Kym: As far as writing romance, I actually started to write a book about autism, but I seemed to have a block on where to go with it.  I love, love, love reading paranormal romances.  So I just decided one day that I wanted to write a romance instead.  In March 2012, I published Kade’s Dark Embrace, the first book in the Immortals of New Orleans series.

411Junkie: How did you pick this genre? Was it something you always wanted to write about or was it an idea that sort of went in that direction?

Kym: As an author, there is something creatively freeing when you write about vampires, werewolves, witches, etc. In a paranormal romance, characters are open to all kinds of experiences that are only limited by the author’s imagination. They have supernatural gifts and talents, and the rules of game can be anything you want them to be. And of course, there is nothing sexier than a hot alpha male vampire…well, except for, perhaps, a hot alpha male wolf.

411Junkie: And the supernatural. What made you decide to focus on the supernatural?

Kym: I’ve always liked the supernatural genre.  Give me a scary movie or TV show any day of the week.  As far as books, I love reading paranormal romance, contemporary romance, mystery and even a good non-fiction book every now and then.  It is great to sit down and literally escape into another world for a few hours.  I wanted to write something that I would love to read, so I wrote paranormal romance.

411Junkie: I’ve always been fascinated by the supernatural and I love the world you created with this story: where the supernatural lives amongst the “normal.” How did you come to that decision?  I’ve never considered or read a story where the author brings the supernatural to the “normal” plane where there’s a police force type unit for the supernatural. I’ve been trying to think of one and I can’t.

Kym: I think in most paranormal romances there has to be a decision made about whether or not humans know and/or accept the supernatural beings.  That is the fun part about writing, though.  As the author, you get to make up your world as you see it.  My stories focus on romance and action, so I made a decision integrate the two worlds.  But that’s not to say it always works out for the humans or supernaturals.  So far, it has been the evil supernaturals preying on humans and other supes, but there could be a role reversal at some point.

411Junkie: How did you decide on New Orleans as the main back drop?

Kym: I live in Pennsylvania, so my books are sometimes set in the Philadelphia area as well.  For example, Tristan’s book is actually set in Pennsylvania, but he’s from New Orleans.  The Big Easy Orleans is one of my favorite places and makes a great setting for romance novels.  From its beignets to its rich history, we enjoy spending time there.  We’ve done the haunted history/Voodoo tours, eaten lots of Cajun and Creole seafood dishes, drank a hurricane (or two) and walked the French Quarter for hours.  On one of our many visits, we attended a vampire ball on Halloween, and I wore an exquisite party mask.  It was an amazing experience.

411Junkie: What is your favorite supernatural element, monster, or the like and why?

Kym: Up until Luca’s book, I would have said vampires.  So mysterious, dark and sexy.  But after writing Tristan’s book, I simply love wolves.  It’s great to read and write about strong, alpha males who ooze sex appeal, making you want to howl into the night with them.

411Junkie: Do you have any advice to offer aspiring authors/writers?

Kym: I would tell them that if they want to write a book or articles, they need to write, but also publish their stories/blogs/books.  It gets you in the habit of writing, editing, receiving feedback, etc.  The more you write, the more comfortable you are in your own skin, so to speak.  If you are writing non-fiction, like I do with autism, write what you know and write from the heart. There is no doubt that it can be a little scary putting yourself out there.  

Keep writing.  Have faith.  I’m a newbie, but I know this much, writing books is a journey not a lap around the track.   So as Dory from Finding Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kym lives with her husband, two children, dog, cat and guinea pig. Her hobbies include autism advocacy, reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with her husband and children. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit. Also, she loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains. On any given night, when not writing her own books, Kym can be found reading her Kindle, which is filled with hundreds of romances.

Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)
·    Website: www.KymGrosso.com
·    Email: Kym.Grosso@AutismInRealLife.com
·    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KymGrossoBooks
·    Twitter: @KymGrosso
·    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5785692.Kym_Grosso

11 Signs You’re Meant To Be A Writer

Found this excellent blog post on Catherine, Caffinated and just had to reblog it. I sheepishly admit that all eleven apply to me, but I love a good game of Monopoly.

11 Signs You’re Meant To Be A Writer.

via 11 Signs You’re Meant To Be A Writer.

Blogging Confusion

Again I find myself wide awake, past midnight, deciding I should blog my general thoughts. Again, I find myself thinking about my blog.

I seriously thought I had gained a footing in this blogging business, but I’m back on finding my niche. Perhaps if I keep blogging, regardless of subject, I’ll notice a pattern and can start honing it. Everyone says to blog a niche. A really great blog I found, Write With Warnimont, also suggests finding a niche. In fact, it’s a really great blog entry with some really great advice. But what’s my niche? What can I consider myself an expert in?

I’ve established that I love writing. I’ve established that I’d love to give whatever I can to the film and entertainment industry. I’ve established that I love learning and information. But how do you take all that and combine it into a workable platform? Especially a platform that hones in on a particular subject? This is a tough one. I think, too, that I’ve read that you should just blog about anything and everything from just as much people as those who say “find a niche.”

Isn’t funny? But what does that mean to me and how can apply that?

I guess this is just something I’ll need to figure out on my own. And actually, as I mentioned before, I’m kind of excited to see what blogging pattern I develop. So far it seems that I’m blogging about blogging! Of course not exclusively, since I’ve managed to come up with a couple of book reviews. I know I’ll zero in on something, hopefully soon, but only time will tell . . . and blogging of course.

Random 411: The Art of Writing

‎2/‎28/‎2013 – I’ve decided to give my mind a chance to speak. *sighs* Yes, yes. I’ve been hiding out from my mind. My inner most thoughts have caused my conscience mind to distract itself by diving into books and watching movies or my beloved TV shows. What is my conscience afraid of? It’s rare an occasion that I distract myself from writing. Journaling has always played a significant role in my life. I’ve been journaling my life story, regularly, since I was in the 6th grade. Yes, I pride myself on that because I find it rather impressive that my eleven year old self thought it was important to keep a journal. Admittedly, there was a time when I thought it not important to keep a journal and forgoed the practice for about a year or two. I’m kicking myself for it today because I think those were some important years and important events happened during that course of my timeline that I wished I recorded.

Writing in general has been a constant practice for me. In addition to journaling, I’ve written letters to everyone who wished to humor me from the moment I learned how to write a letter. I believe I seven years old when I learned to write a letter and my first, most faithful correspondent was my grandmother. I’d exchange with her drawings I did in class, updates of how my day in school went, tattle-taled on my brothers (and sometimes my parents), and just about anything that piqued the interest of a seven year old. *laughs* I think I wrote so much letters to my grandmother that my mom would throw some away when I wasn’t looking. I know it may not be true, but I really did write about everything. I know my parents humored me on most of my letters, but it would not surprise me in the least if my mom confirmed this suspicion.

I was so excited when one of my elementary classes, I can’t remember if it was in the third or fourth grade, when they introduced “The Pen Pal.” I believe at the younger ages, back in my day (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have “back in my day” stories!), they would do class exchanges. I think it wasn’t until the fifth grade where you could exchange individually, as a class, with students from another school. (Did I make any sense right there? I’m trying to think of a way to word it differently, but  . . . I got nothing. In my defense, it is 11:55 p.m.) I was so excited to write to someone other than family.

I can think of only positive experiences with pen-paling  . . . no wait, that’s a lie. I remember one experience where I felt really bad because I had no idea what I had said to offend the student, but he didn’t want to be my pen pal any more–at least, that what my teacher told me. I was in the sixth grade. My teacher didn’t want me to write an apology. He said that I shouldn’t feel too badly, that sometimes people just take things the wrong way and he was certain it was a simple misunderstanding. *shrugs*. I still feel really bad until this day, even though I can’t remember the boy’s name or even what school we were exchanging letters with.  And letter-writing is what helped me keep in touch with my grade school friends when I moved to a different island. I exchanged letters with my best friends until high school, a good three or four years before life got the better of us, and even some of my other classmates.

Other moments soon replaced that bad experience though. I’ve had the wonderful pleasures of exchanging letters with friends I made at Kamehameha School’s Computer Camp (June/July 1996)and Kulia I Ka Pono Programs (July 1997, two week program). Some of these friendships extended all the way until graduation, before email was commonplace; before MySpace or Facebook.

I kept those letters for a long time–all of it, the letters from my grade school best friends and classmates, letters from my Computer Camp friends, letters from my Kulia friends. And I’d re-read them. *sighs*, and then the Dark Ages. *laughs* That is what I call the time when I thought journaling wasn’t important. I went through a dark spell and I believe it was during those years I decided to get rid of all the letters of my pen pals. I’m still cringing over that. It brings me near tears every time I think of if. Would you believe I went desperately searching for those letters? Well, I did about six months ago. I went hunting for them in storage, desperately hoping that my “Jimney Cricket” talked me out of it at the time and I really stashed them somewhere. No such luck. They must be lost. At least I had the sense to keep my journals. Believe it or not, I do have all my journals, at least I think I do. I know I have most of my journals. I read them every now and then and it’s sometimes is more entertaining than those books, movies, and/or TV shows I watch! Of course there are some most embarrassing moments that I hope my older, future self will learn to laugh at instead of cringing (which my present self does every. time.), but we won’t get into that. =)

Reflecting back on the past–what is it, twelve years? sheesh I feel old–that I’ve been writing, I’ve realized it’s more than me just recording life events. I realized writing helps me clear my thoughts. It helps me to have a conversation with myself. It helps me to discern what’s bugging me and what’s not. I’ve written about hopes, dreams, life, death. I’ve predicted my future, reflected upon my past, and relived my present. I’ve discovered my strengths and my weaknesses, recorded my success and my failures. I am proud of the writer in me. It’s helped me take snapshots of my life and preserve them for me to ponder and reflect, and most importantly, to learn and to grow.

Honestly, I have no idea if I’ve come to a point with this soon-to-be-blog entry, but since I’ve allowed myself to write, I can’t believe I actually wrote. You see the power writing has? Words. Feelings. Thoughts. Ideas. They all come into play. I’m truly glad I just let myself write whatever came to my head. We’ll see what doors writing this entry have unlocked this time. Until next time . . .

Mental Gridlock

Gosh! It’s been too long since I’ve posted a blog entry and while I can make all the excuses in the world I will settle upon the excuse of life, simple as that. Aside from securing a new job and in the home stretch for the first half of the semester, nothing more can be provided to explain the length of time between blog entries.

Oh, there is a the fact that my mind has been in a gridlock since … let me think; November? … November.

Both on a conscious and sub-conscious level it’s as if my mind disappears for a spell or two, actively thinking of things but cannot secure a single thought. I believe it’s mainly due to several things experienced one after another.

The first in these series of events was The Hunger Games. I finally got around to reading the series during the week of Halloween and I have to say, no other series gripped my mind so forcefully as did this story. Well, nothing since The Harry Potter series. I ended up reading the whole story, in its entirety, a total of three times before forcing myself to focus on something else.

I believe the reason for this is the story itself. The philosophical questions it purposefully make you ask just … gripped me. I couldn’t help relate to Katniss and her cause. I couldn’t help thinking “What would I do if I lived in that type of era?” I couldn’t stop thinking of what my role would be in a community such as District 12 and in a society like Panem.

The next event would be the passing of my grandfather. I miss him dearly and think of him often. I had the honor, though I admit I was very nervous, of giving his eulogy. That was another feat! I’ve only known this wonderful man 28 years of his entire life. 🙂 I did enjoy talking with my grandmother about him–just remembering him, and all of my other relatives for that matter.

The next was ‘Wicked.’ Yes, Wicked. I had the wonderful opportunity to watch the broadway hit ‘Wicked’ this past winter and the experience tops the charts of “Jei-Nhy’s Greatest Life Moments.” Well, ok, maybe 2nd only to my wedding day, but it’s definitely in the Top 5.

“Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?” <– Tagline from the production, in case you're wondering. And what a question! From the Panem I experienced with the Hunger Games to the untold story of the witches of Oz, can you blame my mental gridlock? What a question! (Yes, I'm saying it twice)

Then the new year, the new semester, the new job–my mind hasn't had the chance to shuffle through all these thoughts. *sighs*

I am hoping to start posting some of entires on these big occasions shortly, once I am able to make heads or tails of it all and actually organize them into coherent thoughts 🙂 .

I appreciate you bearing with the dry spells. I'll have to head back to the writer's gym. Until next time …