Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
My name is Margaret Kay. I live in a small suburban town in Northern Illinois, USA. I write Military Romance/Action & Adventure Romance
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I wrote my first book in high school. I wrote six more when my children were small as a hobby – before the internet. Nothing happened with any of those. I went back to college later in life and earned my bachelor’s degree in May 2016. I worked full time and spent thirty hours a week on homework. When I was done with my education, a story had been yelling in my ear to write it and since I had time, I put that extra 30 hours to use writing.
Congratulations on your degree! What a huge accomplishment. What's your degree in?
My degree was in Business Administration. In my day job I work as a Project Manager for the IT Department of a college. I am very close to making enough from my writing to be able to quit it though, and write full time. All 4 of my books in the Shepherd Security Series have hit the top 100 best sellers list on Amazon for Action & Adventure Romance. Book 1 has been on the chart nearly every single day for a year! (Yes, I am so proud!)
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
Yes, Book #4, Operation Fallen Angel, in my Shepherd Security Series will be out August 1st 2019. All 3 of the other books have hit the top 20 on Amazon’s Best Sellers List for Action & Adventure Romance. #3 Operation Dark Angel reached #10 – 2 days after its release. With Book 4 done, I am now writing Book #5, Operation Departed Angel. I have 15 planned in the series and will keep writing them as long as I have readers who enjoy them.
What is the most challenging part of writing romantic suspense?
Keeping the suspense up while writing the romantic parts. My mind gets hung up on keeping the romance realistic and not having too much insta-love. I want to keep the momentum going without shortchanging the romance, which is challenging for me.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
Oh, I research throughout the entire book. I like to introduce new and different military equipment, weapons, and vehicles. Anytime my team is going into a situation by helicopter or plane, I have to know fuel capacity – will the plane make it there without refueling? I had a scene in mind for the book I am about to release, of a metal door and wall peppered with some kind of rounds, but I didn’t want the shots to have been fatal to my main character. I just wanted the him to be injured. I now know everything about birdshot, buckshot and double odd buck and what distance to shoot that birdshot from to get the desired effect. I often wonder if a government agency is watching my browser history. I google some very suspicious stuff!
Can you give us an example?
In one week I Google searched videos for birdshot, buckshot and double odd buck to view spread patterns and hear what it sounds like as it impacts, security at naval weapons depots, assault rifles, the Osprey military aircraft, the particulars of a Prince Albert piercing (there are several types), and the requirements for embalmers and funeral directors.
Do you have any work experience involving the elements of romantic suspense (such as working in law enforcement or in the military)?
In another life, I did work as a Fraud Investigator for a bank that issues Visa and Mastercards. That helped fuel my knowledge and passion for suspense and mystery. My husband was in the US Navy for 8 years. He also is a real gun/military/tactically weaponry junkie and we watch a lot of the shows that instruct, demonstrate, and advertise various weapons. I have more hours logged watching these shows than I think any other wife!
Seriously? What channels are these shows on?
The channels we watch those shows on are: AHC - American Heroes Chanel, the Sportsman channel has a show called handguns and defensive weapons we watch a lot of, plus several others that are good instructional shows.
Please tell us your favorite holiday and why.
My favorite holiday is Easter Sunday. My daughter hosts the holiday with us and with her in-laws side of the family. It’s a huge gathering. My Son-in-Law’s family is amazing and we feel they are family now too. We are very close to his parents and his four siblings. We all go to church and then back to their house for a big brunch. It’s usually warm out and it is the first gathering of Spring, which is my favorite season. Plus, as a Christian the message of Christ rising into heaven is a powerful message of hope. I have faith and Christianity in my books (amongst the violence, adult language, and sexual content). One of my team members is not only a Navy SEAL he is a Reverend and says prayers for the team. He’s performed several weddings in my books and one of my friend’s has said when any of her children get married she wants me to write the vows like my character says them in the books, LOL.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you? Or, what did someone tell you that you’d like to pass on to others?
My biggest piece of advice is to study your craft, your genre, and pay attention to trends. Follow where your story and your characters are leading you. Be true to your voice. And my last piece of advice is write, every day, something. Make it a priority.
Speed round! Say the first thing that comes to mind!
City, suburb, or small-town? Small town
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? Dark chocolate. I add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa to my coffee to get the flavor.
Alpha, beta, or both? Both please
Wine, whiskey or punch? Wine because my best girlfriends enjoy it too and we often have Girlfriend Wine Nights.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, or tacos? Tacos – yum!
Boxers, briefs, or commando? Commando is sexy.
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops? Cowboy boots, love Country Music, but love flip-flops and the beach too!
Leather, lace, or silk? Silk, just love the feel of it.
Cake, cookies, or crumpets? Cookies, preferably chocolate chip, chewy and warm from the oven,
Top, bottom, or against the wall? Can I say all?
Biceps, abs, or buns? Biceps
Cats, dogs, or exotics? Definitely dogs. I make my own healthy dog food for my K-9 babies!
Any last words before we say goodbye?
Writing is usually a solitary sport. Network, find other writers in a writers group or start one in your community if there is not one. I guarantee, others are writing and would love the interaction. If your taking any critique from the group, listen with your heart and try not to react to your ‘baby’ being examined and picked apart. Better to hear it from friends than to read it on Amazon in a review that will be there forever. And the same holds true when offering critique. Be kind. The story you are hearing or reading is someone’s heart and soul poured out. Keep writing and good luck to you!
Operation: Fallen Angel
July 30, 2019
Military Romance ~ Action & Adventure ~ May/December
Shepherd Security Operative, Doc, accepted he was going to die…now, he has to remember how to live.
Shepherd Security has its mental health protocols in place for a reason. PTSD is real. Returning from a mission to Africa that should have ended him, Doc finds out firsthand how real it is. He has a past that only Dr. Lassiter, the team shrink, knows about, a past that they both thought Doc had dealt with. They both thought wrong. The events in Africa trigger dark thoughts and feelings that Doc can’t get past.
Over the years, his team has accused him of being grumpy or worse. He’s a stickler for the rules and frowns upon anyone breaking protocol, something he can’t forgive himself for doing too. He is the oldest of the Operators with the big 4-0 quickly approaching, another issue adding to his internal conflict. Doc knows he is cynical and jaded. And he knows that he is the last person any woman needs in her life.
Elizabeth is a strong willed and stubborn twenty-four-year-old who has faced more adversity than most. The thing is, she doesn’t seem to know it. And Doc knows she is way too young for him. She isn’t the type of woman he’d ever pick for more reasons than just her age, but she needs his help and needs to have faith in someone or something. In her darkest moments, he is there, her hero.
Could she be just what Doc needs to finally be free from the past that has haunted him for over fifteen years?
Warning, this story is realistic, with adult language and content on the way to the HEA. This is book 4 in the Shepherd Security series. Even though the story does continue from book to book, each is a stand-alone story and can be read without reading the prior book(s), but they are best enjoyed in order.
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