Author Kate Messick joins me today to discuss her new release Rolling for Love.
SJJ: What genre(s) does this book fall under?
KM: Urban Fantasy, Romance
SJJ: Is this a genre you normally write in or are you trying something new?
KM: Normal genre.
SJJ: Who is your target audience?
KM: Adults, nerds, and everyone who loves role playing games.
SJJ: When was Rolling for Love released?
KM: April 5, 2020
SJJ: Can you tell us a little about your new book.
KM: Wicked smart and stubborn, Sandy Yuhi lives life in a cloud of fantasy worlds and denial. She struggles to commit to the future and hold a job. Thankfully, her childhood friend, Amorino, always has work waiting for her when she needs it. Unfortunately for her, he is also her ex boyfriend who has a new secret that changes everything.
A stickler for rules and painfully blunt, Sandy’s personality has gotten her in trouble with every Dungeon and Dragons game in the Front Range. Her last chance to participate in the hobby she loves to hate lies in the hands of Joe, the new Dungeon Master in town. However, when Joe’s supernatural setting makes her confront her fears, Sandy’s faith in her real world choices shatters. Can the tentative friendships she finds help her end her destructive cycle with Amorino? Will the party’s Bard, Strider, win her heart? Or will Joe’s commanding presence fill her passions?
Full of action, supernatural creatures, magic, romance, and lust. Sandy’s parallel adventures through the supernatural underground and modern day will make you think, love, and cheer!
SJJ: Where does the story take place?
KM: The story is in two parts. Both are set in Colorado, the real world story pulls most of its setting from Boulder. The parallel supernatural story is in a made-up universe that echoes Estes Park and the general Colorado Front Range area.
SJJ: What inspired you to write this story?
KM: It started as a projected based on the feedback of my beta readers from my first book and it quickly took on a life of its own. I am an emotional writer and many of my characters begin as personalities I find in my own life. They always become their own people as the story goes on, quickly deviating into what I need them to be to fit the plot. The very beginning of this book was a wonderful reminder of my best friend from high school.
SJJ: What kind of research did you have to do?
KM: Fortunately, I was born and raised in Boulder so I didn’t need to do too much location research. Most of my time was spent digging into the rules of Dungeons & Dragons. You can find character sheets for the campaign’s alter egos on my website http://www.JustAPotato.com.
SJJ: Was any part of this book particularly difficult to write?
KM: Sandy, our protagonist, was very hard for me to write. We all write pieces of ourselves into our books and I wanted Sandy to be the opposite of me, at the end of my first draft she was too cold and inconsistent to be a main character. On the same hand, her journey was so meaningful to me that I over wrote. I ended up cutting out 50,000 words of the first draft and reworking her personality so many times I confused my own brain. Thankfully my amazing beta readers helped me pull through!
SJJ: How did you come up with the title? Did you have any other working titles?
KM: The original title was Lust and Fury, but this title was actually very fitting of Sandy’s original personality. With my edits I wanted to soften everything, so it became Rolling for Love.
SJJ: Who designed the cover? Did you have much input in the design?
KM: The cover was designed by the team at Next Chapter and I did have input. I felt bad because I really didn’t like the first draft of the cover. I literally sent them an entire pages of edits!! To which they responded, “we will do our best”. In the end, their best was fab. Almost every edit I requested was included in the final draft!
SJJ: What is one of your favourite lines or quotes from the book?
KM: This is not really a book of one liners, there are lots of fun discussions and quips back and forth. If I had to pick one, this bit sums up a lot of the moral concepts of the book.“When people change, it’s ok to still love the good memories. It’s healthy. But take care of yourself today, for the past, present, and future are three very different things.”
SJJ: Did you enjoy writing any particular scene? Please tell us a little about it if you can.
KM: I really enjoy writing drama, there is a scene where Sandy is at work and she is indirectly confronted about her romantic interactions with the Amorino, our antagonist. The room fills with tension only she can feel as her world falls apart. I love bringing out the details. The mud on her work boots, the quality of her clothing, the sound of another woman’s heals on the unique plastic floor of the construction pod. All these little details lead us down the rabbit hole of her emotions.
SJJ: Does your book have any message or is it purely entertainment?
KM: I would say my book is ninety percent entertainment. However, we do spent a lot of time exploring the nature of what it means to want something. To get over our fears and truly reach for something even if it might hurt us in the end.
SJJ: How long did it take you to write? To edit?
KM: I write very fast. Once I have an idea, I tend get on a roll and bang it out “quickly” for a book. I probably got the initial 170,000 words typed out in three months or so. However, I then sat on it for a year, too unhappy with it to show it to anyone, but loving it too much to change it. After that it spent six months, at least, going through my amazing beta readers, being cut down in length and having characters tweaked to make them more understandable and relatable as details in the story changed.
SJJ: During editing, did you have to delete a scene you liked but because it didn’t move the book forward, it had to be removed? Can you describe that scene?
KM: I have so many deleted scenes it hurts my soul a little. But, they slowed down the book a lot and I needed to get the point. I am releasing my favorite cut chapters on my website http://www.JustAPotato.com, edited to make them short stories.
SJJ: What a great idea!
Who is your favourite character? Your least favourite character?
KM: Joe, Joe Smartin is my favorite. I love Joe. I love Joe so much that he is getting his own book. I hate to say this, but I never truly connected with Sandy. Her story, what she goes through is perfect for her personality, but even though I wrote her…I did accomplish my goal however to get out of my comfort zone and write a protagonist that doesn’t hold the same values I do. Diversity is the spice of life.
SJJ: Just for fun! If this book became a movie, who would you like to see play the main character and if there’s a villain, who would play that role?
KM: I don’t really know my actors very well. Sorry!
SJJ: Is this book a stand alone or part of a series?
KM: This book is a standalone, but a few things are left a little feeling incomplete. I loved Joe so much that he is now getting his own book. Wizards and Wives Tales is going through beta reading as we speak! It’s also intended to be a standalone with just the one character crossover and a few cameo appearances.
SJJ: Where can your new book be purchased when it’s released? Or if already released please provide links to where your new book can be purchased.
KM: My book is available for pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rolling-Love-Urban-Fantasy-Romance-ebook/dp/B084HDTP5R
Kate Messick was born 1985. She is married with three cats, and two degrees in classical music. She enjoys lifting weights, reading, playing music, playing games, and traveling.
From a young age Kate’s dad read all sorts of fantasy books aloud to his daughters. She found her insatiable hunger for dragons and stories only grow with the years. Kate is living an exciting life. Never afraid to reach for the stars, she founded the Symphonic Anime Orchestra and traveled with her music all over the US. She has worked in many fields; teacher, road construction, spinal technician, data miner, security escort, and more. She has published several music arrangements and a book: Woot! Elementary Methods for Clarinet in addition to her fantasy novels.
Kate loves life and the people she meets in it. She finds that all games, board games, and most especially role playing (like Dungeon & Dragons), bring out amazing aspects of people’s personalities that she loves to explore in her writing.
Kate now lives in North Yorkshire, England, where she word engineers, travels, and loves.
The Dungeon Master’s Wife – http://mybook.to/thedmw (my first book)