Kat Turner | Interview
Paranormal romance laced with horror and heart.
Joining us today is Kat Turner, author of the Coven Daughters series. Her second book, Blood Sugar, releases August 24th, 2021. I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this sexy paranormal romance, and wow it’s hot, hot, hot!
Congratulations on your new release and thank you so much for coming to this little chat! Tell us about the book and where you came up with the idea.
Thanks for having me! Blood Sugar is the second book in the Coven Daughters paranormal romance series and features Jonnie, one of Brian’s bandmates who made an initial appearance in Hex, Love, and Rock & Roll, and a mortician named Eve with supernatural powers to bring peace to the troubled souls of the dead. She’s being stalked by a vengeful spirit, and Jonnie’s been battling symptoms of vampirism since taking a so-called miracle youth drug. He hears about her gift through the grapevine and comes crashing into her life, hoping that she holds the cure for what ails him, and they soon discover that a very dark web unites their lives and problems. The simmering, slow burn attraction that forms between them as they struggle to get to the bottom of an insidious paranormal plot might just make everything worse, so they fight it as long as they can.
I felt that I had no choice but to write Jonnie’s story after I finished Hex, Love, and Rock & Roll and couldn’t stop thinking about him and the deep, dark secrets that he kept close to his heart. With Eve, I had the opportunity to write a witch who was a bit more advanced in her powers while exploring the connections that unite the coven daughters’ network in shared purpose and will eventually bring them together later in the series, once their goals align.
I love seeing how authors make connections in their books and the one between these witches is so unique and fresh. When did you start writing? What inspired you?
I started writing fiction nearly six years ago and by complete accident. I’d recently gone through a number of major changes in my life and was keeping a daily morning dream journal as a way of finding some consistency and meaning surrounding everything that was happening. I got the initial ideas for the main characters of Hex, Love, and Rock & Roll via the journal entries and was completely fascinated by the concept of these two fundamentally different yet cosmically connected people. I knew there was a grand story of love and perseverance in there somewhere. Separately, I started doing character sketches and making plot notes for a different creative writing idea, and eventually the two streams merged. Many rewrites and a lot of learning happened, and eventually I found myself writing novels and short stories. My series was born and took its current shape somewhere along the way.
What a cool journey! What challenges did you encounter in writing Blood Sugar?
Being the second book in the first series I’ve ever written was a bit challenging in that writing Blood Sugar was my first foray into keeping plot points and world building details consistent over two books. I was constantly having to go back and check the internal logic to make sure that it lined up cohesively with the world-building in Hex, Love, and Rock & Roll. I had to become a plot hole detective, hunting for and rooting out overarching problems with the magic system and paranormal rules, and there was definitely a learning curve.
Oh, those pesky plot holes. It’s hard not to fall in! Which of your characters do you love to hate? Tell us about them.
Susan, a villain from Blood Sugar, is one of my favorite baddies. I like her because she’s driven by clear motivations and, though obviously misguided in massive, morally inexcusable ways, makes her bad choices for distinct reasons that make sense to her. There’s rationalization and justification, which we are all susceptible to. She’s a case study in human folly and weakness and, though detestable, is somewhat sympathetic or at least begrudgingly relatable in her presentation of flaws. I have this philosophy that every good villain should exemplify the tragedy inherent in a person gone wrong, and I’m proud of how this concept manifested with Susan.
She’s memorable for sure, in a creepy, bone-chilling way. What about the reverse? Which of your characters do you hate to love?
Thom, another one of Brian’s bandmates, is a good candidate for this honor. He originally started out as a kind of foil for Brian, the caricature of the oversexed, partying rocker to offset Brian’s sensitivity and restrained lifestyle. But as the complexities of his personality have started to come out, so has my affection for him. Thom is the guy who rejects love because he’s been badly hurt, keeping relationships superficial and seeking escape from pain in various short-term ways. But he’s a talented musician, loyal, and always speaks his mind, so there are plenty of good qualities there to constitute a complex person. I’m still figuring out how to write his story.
I’m looking forward to that! If you can, pick a favorite character from one of your books and tell me why they’re your favorite.
I love Helen from Hex, Love, and Rock & Roll. She’s really flawed at first: impulsive, moody, terrible with finances, and messy in more ways than one. She faces perpetual struggles to get her life together that are often of her own making. But she has a good heart, and once she finds her purpose and halts the self-sabotage, she really grows into herself and remains undeterred in her noble goal. My affection stems from her ability to change for the better, finding herself and her meaning as she learns to let go of the past and that which no longer serves her highest self.
Where does Blood Sugar take place? Why did you choose this particular setting?
The first third or so of Blood Sugar takes place in Louisville, KY, where I live. I loved having the opportunity to bring out the unique character of one of the city’s historic neighborhoods, the river, and the bustling downtown at night. These elements fit the energy of the story quite well. Later sections of the book are set in New Orleans and the Peruvian jungle, both locales I have visited that lend their particular magic to the plot. I’m a huge setting nerd who is always striving to bring out the characteristics of a places in ways that entwine with plot and character so seamlessly that the reader can’t imagine the book being set anywhere else. I love when a setting comes to life so strongly that it pops off the page with a life energy of its own, like a distinct character.
Oh, yes! I love that too. Why did you decide to set Blood Sugar in the modern day?
One reason that I love to write paranormal romance in contemporary settings is that I’m fascinated by our ever-evolving landscape of increasingly sophisticated technologies. Social media, computing, smart phones, and other innovations have the potential to solve big problems and make life more convenient, but there are dark sides as well. I’m a big fan of the show Black Mirror, which has inspired my writing in various ways. The “what if” factor when thinking about tech developments has opened so many doors to my world building.
That’s such a compelling way to look at it. And what drew you to writing paranormal romance in the first place?
I’ve long been fascinated by all things supernatural and paranormal. Those mysterious metaphysical questions and “what ifs” that swirl through the world we live in are fascinating to me. I’ve found such juicy creativity in wedding the landscape of the unknown with romance and exploring the potential there.
I have to agree with you! So are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have pre-writing routine or do you just go with the flow?
Pants forever! I always try to have two uninterrupted hours to work. For some reason, two is the magic number. I review what I wrote during the last session to get in the zone, then crank out as many new words as I need to feel done for the day.
Okay, here’s a question out of left field: if your latest release was a food truck, what would it be called and what kind of food would it serve?
Since Blood Sugar is a vampire story, we’ll call the truck Love Bites. Red wine and other appropriately tinted liquid will be served, along with cute cupcakes and other sweets. How fun would this be around Halloween? 😀
So fun! Now I want this food truck to exist. Can’t go wrong with sweets and wine!
Here’s another fun question: what’s the number one item on your bucket list?
Visit the Sistine Chapel.
Love it! I’ve never been to Italy, so that would be amazing. And wrapping up with this little Q&A, are there any words of wisdom you want to share with new writers?
If you find that you’re stuck in a rut, find a way to move forward so that you’re always learning, growing, and exploring. As with any creative pursuit, an infusion of fresh energy and new perspective can work wonders.
Excellent advice! Can you share a little about what you’re working on right now? Does it connect to your new release?
I’m getting close to wrapping up a short story, and once that’s done, I’m going to return to drafting Book 4 of the Coven Daughters series, which I’m halfway through.
Book four? Awesome! Looking forward to getting my hands on the next two Coven Daughters books. Where can readers interact with you or find out more?
Thank you for chatting with me today! Let’s leave some links here so readers can find your newest release and give them a taste of what to expect.
From Blood Sugar releasing August 24th, 2021:
Mr. Mystery looked Eve in the eye. Maybe what interested her most about this man was how large he loomed despite his nameless, anonymous status. Like some old-world deity walking amongst mere mortals.