I’m happy to present my interview with Kaitlin Maitland. The third book in her Phoenix Trilogy has recently released! Phoenix Flying is a very hot contemporary erotic romance.
(blurb and excerpt below)
* * *
Hi, Kaitlin. Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let’s jump right in. Tell me a little about the characters and the conflict in Phoenix Flying.
Phoenix Flying is the third book in the Phoenix Trilogy so readers actually meet the two main characters—Gabriel & Anne—in the previous two books. I think I chose to give Anne her own book because she just seemed like she deserved a happy ending. I had a soft spot for her from the beginning because she’s not a svelte heroine that can fit into a pair of size 2 jeans. She’s a big woman who suffered through a horrible marriage, which I kind of touched upon in the Trilogy’s first book. Her husband was the worst kind of cheater. He left her confidence in shreds and she’s been trying SO hard ever since to find herself and where she belongs.
I adore Anne as a character because she wants so badly for everyone to think well of her. She’s a complete romantic. She paints in watercolors and desperately wants to be part of the vibrant life she watches from her patio. Yet she’s got a pretty classic case of I’m-not-good-enough-for-love going on too. She wants Prince Charming, but she’s bought into the idea that a girl like her doesn’t deserve the HEA.
Which is why I gave her Gabriel Hawkins on a platter. The guy is every girl’s fairytale romance fantasy come to life. Not only is he actually British, he’s ex-military, very fit, built like an old-fashioned warrior, and he loves a woman with curves. He’s also packing around a good chunk of emotional baggage, but when I spun this story together I started realizing that Anne and Gabriel have the sort of baggage that just sort of fits together. They’re stronger together.
I think that’s what readers will really be able to identify with. These are people with trust issues, self-image problems, and a very real desire to protect themselves even when they want so desperately to reach out and connect with a partner. In the end, isn’t that what we all want?
Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
This story, like the rest of the Trilogy, is set in a bar called the Phoenix Rising. If you’ve never been to my bar, you really need to take a trip. The Phoenix is the sort of place where anything goes. The setting has a huge impact on the story because the characters are gritty and real just like the bar. If patrons at the Phoenix want a side of down and dirty sex in a dark corner with their beer, they can have it. The only rule is that it has to be consensual, and you’d better leave your inhibitions at home.
When I created the Phoenix, I was looking for the type of place that encourages people to check their repression at the door. There are so many things about sex that we giggle and whisper about, but we never give ourselves the chance to explore and ask questions. Let’s just say that I’ve been asked more than once if this place is real because readers are dying to visit.
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from Kaitlin Maitland?
I have several other contemporary romance series available. I’ve just finished up the last book in my Clan McKinloch series, and book 7 of my Boston Avant-Garde series is releasing this spring. But what I’m really excited about is a new paranormal series, Elemental Witchcraft. I laughingly refer to this as my triple threat series because not only am I working with ménage pairings, I’m incorporating shifters, and witches into the storylines.
I’m headed back to the Northeast for this one, specifically a tiny New England town named Haven, Massachusetts. Let’s just say that in 1692 when the witch Hysteria took place in Salem Town and Salem Village, there was a very powerful, very old coven in Haven that split right down the middle. Now after centuries of struggle, change is coming.
The first book is tentatively titled Water From Stone and I’m really excited to be working on it. I’m totally focused on this project for now and I think readers will enjoy the results. At least I HOPE they will!
Do you listen to music when you write? Does music ever influence your writing?
Um, YES! Every last one of my books has a specific playlist. I use iTunes, although I don’t suppose that really matters other than it means I can access that playlist wherever I’m writing, home, office, hotel, anywhere. Music is vital to my creative process and I think I’d go nuts without it. My playlists set the mood. I compile them pretty carefully. Sometimes when I drive and listen to the radio I’ll hear something that sparks an idea. So THAT song will most definitely wind up on the list. Others are picked either because the lyrics seem like something that would resonate with one of the characters, or because the mood just suits.
The best thing about unique playlists happens during the editing process. Writing for me is a little bit like being immersed in another world. Once I’m done with a book I move on to the next project. So when my editor ships me a bunch of edits for a book I may have finished months ago, it’s pretty hard to recapture whatever mood I was in way back then in order to preserve the original idea of the book or the mood of the characters. Being able to go back and pick up a playlist and immerse myself in that for awhile allows me to remember what I meant when I first wrote the story. Hans Christian Anderson once said that when words fail – music speaks. SO true!
Thanks again for stopping by, Kaitlin! Readers can discover more about Kaitlin Maitland here:
Only when we shed our inhibitions do we truly fly.
Gabriel knows there are perks to being a bouncer at the wildest bar in town. The Phoenix Rising is known for being the place to go for a beer and a side of down-and-dirty sex, and Gabriel has seen his share of the action. Anything goes as long as both parties are willing, and when Anne walks in smelling like repressed passion, Gabriel is intrigued.
Anne is tired of being a perpetual wallflower. After divorcing the cheating ex, she heads to the one place in town guaranteed to help her find a good time—The Phoenix Rising. She can’t believe the gorgeous bouncer is attracted to her in spite of her plus-sized body. Being with him is like nothing she’s used to, and he makes her feel like so much more than just a dress size. But Gabriel has secrets. The former British Marine won’t talk about why he’s working as a bouncer in an American bar. Worse, he’s perfectly happy to tell her he doesn’t do long-term commitments. But now that Gabriel has taught Anne what it feels like to fly, how will she ever be able to walk away?
Contains BBW, ménage, voyeurism, and exhibitionism elements
An Excerpt from Phoenix Flying
Anne’s stomach did a little flip-flop. His name was Gabriel. The more fanciful portion of her imagination quickly painted him into an avenging angel with long, curling black hair and stars dancing in his cobalt eyes. She was certain it was a notion he wouldn’t appreciate. He looked far too masculine to allow himself to be stuffed into a girlish fantasy like hers.
Hearing about the “other women” who threw themselves at Gabriel was like a bucket of cold water thrown in her face. Anne didn’t want to hang around and chat anymore. “I can see you’re busy, Jessa. Why don’t I come back another time? Or, we could meet for lunch?”
Anne would have forgotten Jessa altogether had her friend not spoken. Through the haze of lust clouding her mind, Anne slowly absorbed this new information.