Author Interview: Ophelia Kee

About the author:
I grew up in Tennessee. I lived the last fifteen years in El Paso Texas before relocating recently to Longview. I started writing a few years ago, but it took awhile to learn how to publish and the marketing still messes with my mind. But that seemed easier than trying to figure out how to pitch the series to big publishers when I still don't understand half of the jargon that they use. I started writing just to entertain my friends who became my beta readers. It would be nice after all the work to see the books become successful, but I'm happy telling the story and entertaining my friends. Someone suggested that I make an audio book or some kind of recording. I dunno. I will look into it. But for now, ebook and print on demand.

What inspires you to write romantic fiction?
The story. The drama. The adventure. The characters all have a story that needs to be told. I like the titillating sex scenes as much as anyone, but there has to be a story that a reader can buy into as well. We all want the happily ever after, and paranormal or fantasy romance allows the reader to explore the what if along the way. I like the darker aspects and the unspoken parts of a relationship to be revealed too. I hate cheating so you will likely never find it in my characters even though some of them explore some of the more forbidden aspects of sexuality.

Tell us about how you write.
The thing that has been hard was writing good sex scenes that were not just rinse and repeat. Each character needs to have a believable background to make it all work. Character description and research into the characters is what sells the story. Also making my friends happy with a manuscript without causing my google docs to break down and shut off. There is a word limit to that program, I swear it. Following an outline or plot arc seems to be impossible and meeting word requirements does not work for me. I have to just write out the story the way the characters tell it in my mind in scenes. I tend to write by the seat of my pants, and I often have no idea where a book is going until I write it. But believe it or not, I do know how this series ends.

Do you listen to or talk to to your characters?
I listen to my characters. I also talk about them as if they were real people. They have a fictional life of their own. It is akin in some ways to talking to the dog. Animal gestures and sounds are important when writing about shifters. I see the scenes in my mind as if the book were a movie, and then I write them out as I see them. Then I go back later and read the scene in order to add in whatever is necessary to make me see it in my mind again as it was when I first saw it. I do a lot of rewrite and arguing with my characters when the scene is difficult.

What advice would you give other romance writers?
Write. Write no matter what. My first book was nowhere near good enough to publish. But it was part of the journey. My seventh book was so good, I hated my first book even though it was good after it got completely rewritten. I got better at writing because I wrote. Don't quit or give up. Just don't get frustrated with the journey. I may never make money off of my books, but I have entertained a few minds.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to fully self publish as a completely Independent author. I have no extra money. My friends are my unpaid beta readers and proofreaders. None of us understood half of the stuff big publishers wanted, and how can I pay someone one else for publishing services if my book is not making money? The learning curve has been steep. Two years in and sometimes I earn gas money, but I can't say it has not been fun. To anyone who has supported Draoithe and bought or read an Ophelia Kee book, Thank you. Please keep reading. Leave a review or two. I still self publish and create all of my own art, covers, music, and stories. At this point, I don't know if I would even try to figure out how to traditionally publish. I have already spent years learning self publishing. I think I would rather write a good romance anyway.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I hope that Indie Authors continue to grow as a valid part of the industry. I also have begun looking into audio books. That seems to be a serious thing that readers want. I would like to see hard bound print on demand offered by Kindle. There really is nothing like the feel of an actual book.

Which romance sub-genere(s) fit your stories best?
paranormal or fantasy

My books are available in the following formats:
eBook, Print

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