SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH VIRGINIA KANTRA
In this month's featured interview we have the pleasure of inviting Virginia Kantra to our site! She is the well regarded New York Times bestselling author of numerous romances. Her heart felt characters set in realistic home town romances tug at the heart string and celebrate the meaning of family.
In addition, the author also writes compelling and imaginative paranormal romances which sweep readers away into a supernatural race that is both magical and romantic.
How does she do it all?!
1) I have to say the best sections of your stories are certainly the romance but right after I enjoy reading the deep connection to family. How important is it to make your books realistic and portray family?
Virginia Kantra: I’ve loved family stories since I read Little Women. I’m married to the same guy since college, and the Fletcher siblings’ motto, “Back to back to back,” is actually taken from our three children. So family is my go-to place, both emotionally and in my writing.
I think it’s hard for love to exist in a vacuum. Who you choose to spend the rest of your life with is deeply influenced by where you come from...and sometimes by what you’re running away from. The families in my stories aren’t perfect, but their love is really strong. And, yeah, I love writing family dynamics – particularly between the guys.
2) I notice that you have two contemporary series. The Fletchers of Dare Island based in a small fishing community and your latest ebook series Sweet Home, Carolina. What inspired you to write each of these series and the beautiful area of the Carolinas?
Virginia Kantra: Once again, family was definitely a factor. My husband’s dad was stationed at Camp Lejeune. North Carolina was our vacation destination and many years ago became our home. I’m not from NC, in the sense that I wasn’t born here, but it is my “happy place.”
Those trips to the beach? Research. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)
3) Will the Sweet Home, Carolina series ever but published or set into an anthology? How many books do you have planned?
Virginia Kantra: Absolutely. In particular, I want to make the MacNeills available as a set. But these are self published titles. I have to fit the production around my writing, and I’m under deadline at the moment, so it won’t happen until later this year.
I’ve always wanted to write Jack MacNeill’s story (the little burn survivor from The Passion of Patrick MacNeill). So that’s coming eventually.
4) Going back to your Fletchers of Dare Island series. Your latest book Carolina Girl will be Meg’s story. Can you tell us what is special about this book?
Virginia Kantra: Well, Sam. I’d marry my hero Sam in a heartbeat.
Meg comes home in Carolina Girl. It’s a reunion story, about first times – first crush, first sex, first big, big mistake – and second chances.
It’s also about our fears about turning into our mothers – or not – and discovering that maybe your mother isn’t exactly the person you thought she was.
5) After Meg, the only family member left in the Fletcher family will be their brother Luke. Will that be coming out next year? Will it be the last book in the series or do you think you might do a spin-off?!
Virginia Kantra: Yes! Luke’s story, Carolina Man, will be out in March 2014. I’m in the middle of writing it now, and I adore it (I can say that, right?). Carolina Man wraps up the three-book arc about Taylor, Luke’s ten-year-old daughter. But it also introduces the police department “family” and the sexy new police chief who will anchor the next set of Dare Island novels.
6) I have to admit, what got me hooked on your books are your totally cool paranormal romances! Will you return to them? If so, when?!
Virginia Kantra: If I wrote faster, I would totally do both kinds of books at the same time. I love the fairy tale aspects of those stories – the magic and wonder and even the very dark places. But in some ways they are not typical paranormals, even though they’re marketed that way, and I think that made it hard for their natural readership to find them.
One day, I will write the corn maiden’s story (from Sea Lord). Probably as a novella. I’ve already got the first line.
7) I really want to know about the Children of the Air. Will this be a new series? Do you have ideas about a series called Children of the Earth, too?!
Virginia Kantra: I’d love to develop Amherst’s angels from my novella in Tied with a Bow. That whole “Scarlet Pimpernel with angels” concept is still very appealing to me. So we’ll see.
And my first story for Berkley was actually a Children of Earth tale. “Midsummer Night’s Magic,” which was nominated for a Romance Writers of America RITA Award, has been re-released by Penguin as a separate e-book
It’s a modern retelling of the old Tamlane fairy tale.
8) After checking out your website, I realized the first book I read from you was the sizzling suspense, Close-Up. You have written in many genres. Do you find that is it more challenging or is fun to switch things up? How do you feel your writing style changed?
Virginia Kantra: For me, it’s always about the love story, the romance. Everything else is just a way to get the characters where they need to go to earn their happily-ever-after. The basic stuff I have to say about the strength of family, the importance of relationships, the power of love, that stuff doesn’t change.
But in tough times, I’m like most people. I want to go to my comfort place. Contemporary romance is my comfort place. It’s also a way for me to focus on the emotional conflict that’s at the heart of every story.
9) In addition to being an author I also noticed you have workshops on writing listed on your website. I read the two links on ‘guy speak’ and have to admit I found it very entertaining and realistic. Can you tell me how these workshops got started?
Virginia Kantra: Writing can be a very solitary profession. So I love to talk to other writers and readers groups. In fact, in May, I’ll be doing a day-long workshop for the Washington Romance Writers
and in October I’ll be speaking at the New Jersey Romance Writers conference (they have a great book signing for readers, too, that’s open to the public).
I seem to talk a lot about gender in romance. I think this is because critics have argued that the romance genre portrays men not as they are but as women wish they would be. When it comes to physical hotness, this is often true. But I love real men. Guys. Of course, I’ve lived with my husband and two sons for a long time. And I think understanding how real men and women communicate is really important to romance...in real life and in fiction!
10) In all your books I am always impressed by your storytelling -the warmth between your characters and the real love and emotion between family. Thank you so much for this opportunity to interview you! :)
Virginia Kantra: Steph, that is the loveliest compliment you could pay me! Thank you so much for having me at Bookaholics!
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
For Additional Information about Virginia Kantra check her out at:
At her website at:
And check out her special workshops, too!
Recent and Upcoming Romances by Virginia Kantra
Carolina Girl (A Dare Island Novel) Jun 4, 2013
Meet the Fletchers of Dare Island
Ambitious Meg, the daughter who never looked back
Steady Matt, the son who stayed
And rebel Luke, the Marine who thought he’d never return
Meg Fletcher spent her childhood dreaming of escaping Dare Island—her family’s home for generations. So after she landed a high-powered job in New York City, she left and never looked back. But when she loses both her job and the support of her long-term, live-in boyfriend, she returns home to lick her wounds and reevaluate her life.
Helping out her parents at the family inn, she can’t avoid the reminders of the past she’d rather forget—especially charming and successful Sam Grady, her brother's best friend. Their one disastrous night of teenage passion should have forever killed their childhood attraction, but Sam seems determined to reignite those long-buried embers. As Meg discovers the man he’s become, she’s tempted to open her vulnerable heart to him. But she has no intention of staying on Dare Island—no matter how seductive Sam’s embrace might be…
Mad Dog and Annie (Sweet Home Carolina 5) -Oct. 28th, 2012
Bad boy Maddox “Mad Dog” Palmer has loved Annie Barclay since they were kids. But when she married his high school teammate, golden boy Rob Cross, Maddox backed off and moved away. Now he’s back, and Ann is in trouble, threatened by both her abusive ex-husband and the law.
Tender-hearted Ann is fighting for a new life and custody of her son. She has enough on her plate without a burned out, big city cop reigniting an old flame or reminding her of the girl she used to be. Maddox tempts her beyond her safe boundaries. But can the first man who made Ann feel desire teach her to love again?
The Temptation of Sean MacNeill (Sweet Home Carolina 4) Aug 28, 2012
Easygoing, easy-loving Sean MacNeill travels light. The last thing he’s looking for is a widow with baggage, no matter how appealing.
Responsible Rachel is fleeing the aftermath of her husband’s suicide...and the men he owed money to. The last thing she wants complicating her new life is a sexy carpenter, no matter how tempting.
But sometimes the last person you want is the one person you need...
Carolina Home (A Dare Island Novel) -Jul 3, 2012
Home to the Fletcher family for generations, Dare Island is a fishing village rocked by changing times--its traditions slipping away like sands of the North Carolina coast. Single dad and fishing boat captain Matt Fletcher deferred his own dreams to support his innkeeper parents and build a future for his sixteen-year-old son. Matt has learned to weather life's storms by steering a steady emotional course...and keeping a commitment-free approach to love.
Newcomer Allison Carter came to Dare Island to escape the emotional demands of her wealthy family. The young teacher aims to build a life here, to make a lasting place for herself. She doesn't want to be another Woman Who Once Dated Matt Fletcher. It's both tempting and dangerous to believe she can be something more.
Then Matt's brother Luke makes a sudden return home, with a child of his own--and a request that will change all their lives. With a child's welfare at stake, Matt must turn to Allison to teach him to let go of the past, open his eyes...and follow his heart.
The Comeback of Conn MacNeill (Sweet Home Carolina 3) May 23, 2012
Val Cutler’s restaurant, Wild Thymes, is in trouble. As a condition of her father’s loan, she is forced to accept the advice of Yankee business consultant Conn MacNeill...but she doesn’t have to like it.
Conn is determined to prove himself after his recent firing from a high-stakes, high-profile venture capital company. Wild Thymes is small potatoes. But the recommendation of Val’s father could be just what Conn needs to get started on the comeback trail.
Neither Val or Conn is prepared for the attraction that flares between them, quick and fierce as a kitchen fire. But things get even hotter when they begin to uncover the secrets behind the restaurant’s troubles. Secrets that someone would kill to keep...
The Passion of Patrick MacNeill (Sweet Home, Carolina 2) -April 29, 2012
Dedicated burn surgeon Kate Sinclair shields her tender heart behind a white coat and a coolly professional manner. But something about the little patient the nurses dub “Iron Man” and his vital flyboy father challenges her as a doctor and a woman.
Since the car crash that killed his wife and almost took his son, pilot Patrick MacNeill’s life has revolved around his little boy. No one—no woman and certainly no interfering doctor—can intrude on their bond, forged in love and pain.
When little Jack’s care brings these two together, it ignites a passion they can’t ignore. But their growing involvement threatens Patrick’s emotional barriers and Kate’s professional future. With so much at stake, will she trust her judgment...or her heart?
The Reforming of Matthew Dunn (Sweet Home Carolina 1) April 5th, 2012
Clare Harmon believes in second chances for the kids and ex-cons she employs through her neighborhood garden project. But she won't risk her heart and future on any man again, especially one who gets shot at for a living.
Tough cop Matt Dunn doesn't want a dewy-eyed do-gooder like Clare complicating his recent assignment to the new community policing assignment. But when danger forces them together, these two wounded souls just may take a second chance...on love.