I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time
Please welcome K. K. Weil author of Shatterproof.
K.K. Weil will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
by K.K. Weil
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
What or who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Even when I was young, I always had a notebook and pen around somewhere. I’m not sure what made me start, but I do have one distinct memory of a friend who inspired me. I guess I had to be in junior high school (aka middle school to most people outside of the 5 NYC boroughs). I was making my first attempt at a full length “book”. I remember the actual book I was writing in so clearly. It was a black and white composition notebook with doodles all over the cover. The writing inside was bubbly tween-girl handwriting, nothing like the chicken scratch, script-print combo I have now.
The story was about twin sisters – one good, one bad, of course. I can’t say I remember any details about what I’m sure was a very deep plot ;). Except for the fact that, since they were twins, there was naturally some kind of swapping-places thing going on. But what I do remember is this. At first I didn’t show it to anyone, because I was too nervous. But my best friend at the time knew what I was doing and asked to see it. Since she was my best friend, and what 12 year old girl can refuse her best friend, I reluctantly let her look at what I’d written so far.
She devoured it. Not only that, she told me she couldn’t wait for the next chapter, and asked if I would sit down and write it at that moment, instead of continuing the game we were playing. This went on for weeks that summer. I’d write a few pages, she would read them as soon as the words were on the page and enthusiastically ask for more.
To this day, I have no idea if she really enjoyed what I’d written as much as she said she did, or if it was terrible and she was just being a great, supportive friend. Either way, I can still remember how much she inspired me. I started writing because I loved it, but I kept writing because of her.
How did you come up with ideas for your books?
A lot of the time, conversations I have with people spark my ideas. For my first book, At This Stage, my husband and I were sitting around discussing scenarios in which relationships might be considered impossible. Long after the conversation was over, I was wondering if there was some kind of relationship that might start out as truly inappropriate for whatever reason, but change over time. At This Stage was born.
While I was writing that book, I fell in love with one of my secondary characters, Griffin. Originally, I didn’t even intend for him to be in the book, but he started to take on a life of his own. I wondered about his back story and why he would be the way he was. I knew he had to have his own book, and that he’d be my next project. Shatterproof was developed entirely around him.
What expertise did you bring to your writing?
For each of my books, it was important to get certain sensitive issues right. In Shatterproof, Griffin grew up witnessing domestic violence. The book deals with the effects it has on him as an adult, in his own relationships, how he views each of his parents, and the world in general. I did a lot of research on the long-term effects, because it was imperative to me that I represented him accurately. I also spent a lot of time learning about safe houses for abused women, like Holly’s House, where Griffin volunteers.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I think I’m the most like Griffin. Our lives are in no way similar, but I am serious like him. If I could, I’d take a little bit of personality from Shatterproof’s heroine, Frankie. She’s got a positive outlook on life and isn’t afraid to go wherever the wind blows. She also looks at the world through a colorful lens that most people don’t. I could use a little of that.
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?
I’d love to see either Liam Hemsworth or Charlie Hunnam play Griffin. For Frankie, I picture someone who can be wide eyed, yet strong at the same time, like Emma Stone. Griffin’s mother would be elegant and beautiful, along the lines of an older Cate Blanchett. And I think Rob Lowe would be perfect for Griffin’s father.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
When I get an idea for a book, I usually start writing down (in a notebook, old school) random scenes as they come into my head. Once I have enough of those compiled and I have an overall idea about what I want to happen, I move to the computer and start at the beginning. At this point, the book takes on a life of its own as I connect characters and start filling in scenes. I’ve never been good at writing outlines, even when I had to do it for research projects in school. But I do keep chicken-scratch notes about where I want stories to go, and I did do a character sketch for each of the characters in my work-in-progress. It helped me to know them better.
Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you’ve gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
I love to travel. In At This Stage, Jackson and Kaitlyn take a trip to Paris and my husband and I actually did some of the things I mention in that chapter. Also, I’m a big foodie. I love everything from street meat to delicacies. So food tends to make its way into my writing. And there are little things, too. For example, in Shatterproof, Griffin listens to the Blues, which is one of my favorite genres of music, while he works.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
I love so many books that even making a list of my top ten would be hard. But one of my all-time favorites is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
Right now, I’m working on a book about a young woman who owns a small crepe shop with her grandmother on the NJ shore. She uses her shop to help the homeless, and has a special interest in doing charitable work for them. When a gorgeous, mysterious guy comes into her shop and starts leaving her songs on napkins, she’s not sure what to make of him. Family issues cause her to be cautious in relationships, but she’s different with this guy. The more she learns about him, though, the more she realizes she knows nothing about who he really might be.
As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I want to keep improving my craft and looking for ideas for new, unique projects. I enjoy writing all different things, from short stories to full length novels. I’m very lucky to have an excellent editor who has taught me so much already. I hope to keep learning and growing with every book.
Who is your favorite actor and actress?
No real overall favorites, but I can name a few I really like. I’ll see anything with Meryl Streep or Jennifer Lawrence. I’m a big Kate Winslet fan, too. As far as actors, I think Johnny Depp is incredible. Leonardo DiCaprio is always a draw for me. And then there’s always George Clooney.
Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
One of my favorite scenes in Shatterproof happens late in the book. I don’t want to give too much away, but Griffin has a long-overdue discussion with his mother. It’s during this scene that we really get a look at how conflicted he is about her, how deeply he loves her but how it also kills him to watch her be hurt the way she is. Throughout the book, we understand that their relationship is complicated, but it really comes to a head at this point and he has to make a decision about what he is going to do about his role in his mother’s life.
Is there anything else you wanted to share?
Just to thank you so much f
Griffin Stone knows the stats. Sons of abusers become abusers. This is his single fear.
After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?
Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.
Until he meets Frankie Moore.
Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.
Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.
“You need to grow up, Griffin,” my father spat at me. “Life isn’t perfect. You need to get over it and move on. Your mother can. She’s happy with me and whatever we have between us is our business, not yours. Grow the hell up, and start acting like a man instead of a petulant child.”
Heat shot through my body at lightning speed. “Act like a man—like you?” I shouted. “What should I do, go pick some amazing woman who’s full of life and beat it out of her until she can’t even recognize herself any more, until she can’t even differentiate between love and pain? Is that what a man does, Dad? Is that what I should do?”
My father broke into a smile. An evil, condescending, terrifying smile. “You think you’re so different from me?” He hovered over me. His tone was sinister, as if he was trying to cut through my skin with nothing but his voice. “Get up.” He yanked my arm and pulled me by the elbow into the bathroom. He grabbed the back of my head and forced me to face the mirror. “Look at yourself, Griffin. And look at me. Everything about you comes from me. You may deny it now. You may put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you’re above being human, but just know that the fire inside you, that’s my fire. That passion, it’s mine. And when you have an uncontrollable desire to love, to hurt, to possess a woman, it’s from me. Nothing is yours alone. Even this face.” He snagged my chin between his strong fingers. I tried to yank it away from his grasp, but he held on too tight. “It’s mine. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try to mask it in this mess of hair and clothes and tattoos you have going on, but know that every time a woman falls in love with that face, every time she says she can’t resist you because of it, every time she can’t walk away from you…it’s because of me. It’s because you are me. We. Are. The. Same.” He released my chin with a shove and left the bathroom.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
K.K. Weil will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.