Ten Things about Kevin Klehr - An Author Interview

The Twitterverse is a marvelous place to meet authors and I was able to connect with Kevin Klehr and we got chatting as I'm wont to do... so let's see what Kevin had to say in our interview...

Plot or Pants?  Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things?  How do you keep track of characters in a series?  Do you keep a journal of your characters’ statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.
I’ve become a plotter/panster.

I begin by plotting each chapter including time of day, conflict within the scene and cliff-hanger.
I always know my ending. This is important so I can steer the reader away from working it out.

In my writer’s journal I paste images of the characters I find by Googling. 
I give each a catch phrase (that isn’t necessarily used in the novel).
I give each the headings of HEAD, HEART and BELOW. Under HEAD I add their beliefs and their level of education. Under HEART I add their love life history and who their perfect match is. Under BELOW I write their desires and sexual history. Again, these facts may not make it in the novel.
As I write, little facts are then added to their character profile, so I don’t forget.

When I write I may stray off course if I find a better plot twist, or if a particular character’s journey is more important to the reader at that stage of the story.

Tell us about your first… published M/M fiction/romance 
My first MM Romance was Nate and the New Yorker. I wanted to explore grief. In the novella, Nathan isn’t ready for a relationship as he still isn’t over his ex, but he finds himself in a storybook style romance.

Nathan is Australian. Cameron is American. The novella and its sequel, Nate’s Last Tango, are also a celebration of the world cities me and my now husband have enjoyed visiting.

 …and then your most recent one.

My most recent novel is The Midnight Man, a story of a middle-aged man finding himself through a younger guy who only appears in his dreams. It’s not Romance. It’s an Urban Fantasy about self-discovery.

Which character still pops into your mind to visit from time to time?
An insecure gay angel named Guy often pops into my mind. He is my readers’ favourite character from my first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes.

Before the book was released, I was working on the sequel and didn’t include him. When the reviews came out, each critic loved Guy more than the main characters. Some hefty rewrites were made to the sequel.

Where do you write?  Do you have a routine?
I visit the library to write. I used to write at home, but I can’t have distractions and my husband is retired now. So, I enjoy the peace and quiet of the library.

My routine in the past was to work on a new draft of a book, which would be one of three current works in progress in Huey, my trusty laptop. Once a new draft of a particular book was complete, I’d leave it alone for three months and go back to another.

So, at any one time, one novel would be nearly ready to submit, another was midway developed, and another would be at first or second draft stage. I’d often come up with new plot twists, or clever lines, or a character trait to include in a story that was resting while I was busy reworking another.

So, when one particular novel was in downtime, it was still being thought about. And often the best ideas come for a project when you’re not working on it.

This method would give me a new novel to submit every year, which had taken several years to write.

I’m cutting back on my writing now as I have ten books in print, another scheduled for this year, and my first audio book release soon. 

Where do you find inspiration?
I think every author starts with that ‘what if?’ moment before they begin. For example, The Midnight Man was born after listening to Kate Bush’s song ‘Man With The Child In His Eyes’.  So, what if a potential lover only appeared when you went to bed?

The Actors and Angels series is loosely based on my husband and I, as well as my theatre studies. So, what if we weren’t in love yet and we found ourselves in the theatre district of the Afterlife?

Also, when someone says a memorable line, or a funny one, I record it in my phone to use later. Or I’ll watch something and realise the way they presented the story might work for a book I’m working on, and I’ll record that information too.

What do your friends and family think of what you write; do they know?
My sister-in-law, Mary, my husband, Warren, and my close friend, Clinton, read everything of mine. These three are my biggest cheerleaders.

My mum read my first two novels, but her eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be.

What do you do if you hit a wall while writing? How do you combat writer’s block?
My first editor gave me a method which was used by one of the writers on the original Star Trek television series. 

You sit back and imagine a chair, a projector, and a screen in a room. You enter. The film playing is the scene you’re trying to write. Just sit and watch. Don’t think. Just sit and watch.

Trust me. It works!

What is the funniest scene you’ve written?
One I often read for comic value at author appearances is from Nate and the New Yorker.

Nathan and Cameron have split. Cam is at home in New York while Nate is back home in Sydney. But Cameron’s cross-dressing butler, Roger/Rowena, and his lesbian Aunt Beverley, are determined to fix Nate and Cam’s relationship.

So, they meet Nathan in a bar, fresh off the plane. They are drunk, jetlagged, and in costume as they boarded their flight straight from a charity fundraiser for Autistic for Elvis. Rowena is in a bridal dress pretending to be Priscilla Presley, and Beverley is in a white jumpsuit and blue suede shoes. 

Aunt Beverley rolls her eyes at Rowena’s attempts to flirt with men in the pub, while Nathan just deals with it.

How can we connect with you?
Visit me at kevinklehr.com
Come and say on Twitter - @kevinklehr
Or pop over to Insta - @klehrkevin