Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
My name is T.J. Kline and I write sexy contemporary romances, both small town and thrilling romantic suspense.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I have wanted to be an author since I was a child. I was always making up stories and, when I was too young to write them down, I had my grandmother do it for me. She was the first person to fuel my love for reading with the many Golden books and later for romance, with her closet filled with Harlequins. Even though I wasn’t published until I was married with children, twenty years after writing my first novel, it was a dream that never faded.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
Right now, I am putting the finishing edits on the third book in The Sisterhood series (Dangerous Secrets) and starting the fourth (Dangerous Virtue). It’s about a band of women vigilantes who have taken on a sex trafficking ring. While none of them realize quite how close to home this case will strike, they each find out they might give up everything, including their lives, to succeed. The first two books are available at online retailers and Radish now. The third will be pre-released, exclusively on Radish, before its release date this Fall on retailers.
Who is a person you greatly admire and why?
I think it’s pretty easy to tell that my grandmother was someone I adored, as well as respected greatly. Born in Oklahoma, she (and her family) survived the Dust Bowl. After her parent’s divorce, she went through a tumultuous childhood, leaving home at sixteen. After a whirlwind courtship, she married my grandfather (who was the love of her life!) and they went through his two tours in World War 2 together before she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Because medicine was far less advanced in the 50’s and 60’s, by the time she was thirty, the disease was already debilitating. By forty, she’d already had several surgeries to repair joints and by fifty, several joints were fused because they couldn’t be saved.
It might have slowed her, but the pain never stopped her. I was lucky enough to spend most of my days with her and my grandfather, after school, on weekends. We had shopping trips, played gin rummy, knitted. She taught me that it was only your mind that limited you and encouraged me to achieve anything I wanted. Although she was taken far too early and I miss her daily, I know that she lives on in each of her children, grandchildren and the lessons we have passed on to her great-grandchildren.
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?
This is hard.
I know that’s not a popular idea. And it might make several aspiring authors think twice about pursuing writing. It should. Writing is hard work. Editing is hard work. Getting critiqued is HARD. Each in its own way. And it should be. The best things I’ve ever found in my life were hard to achieve but because of the “hard,” I have appreciated each so much more than I realized I would. Knowing the work I put in, the time spent researching, practicing and perfecting has fulfilled me more than I ever thought possible. The “hard” has given me a feeling of completion, of success, that can’t be taken away. Even when the doubts creep in as they invariably do.
Being a professional author, a writer in this time and place, isn’t just about writing. It’s writing, editing, marketing, selling, branding, and then repeating. It’s being able to watch trends in all of the above areas and navigating those worth pursuing and those that are distracting.
It’s hard…but so worth the hard.
City, suburb, or small-town? Small town…well, outside a small town for me. I grew up in the city until I was fourteen, then moved to live on 5 acres. Give me space, horses, crickets at night and stars I can see.
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? All chocolate! If given a choice, I will take the best quality chocolate available and, all things equal, will probably pick dark chocolate.
Alpha, beta, or both? I love a mix of both. A beta who knows when to be an alpha. I’ve had Alpha’s and, being one myself, it’s not a good combination. But a strong Beta…ah, yes. A match made in heaven.
Wine, whiskey or punch? I never used to be a wine drinker until my thirties. Now, I’m pretty picky about my wine. However, I never turn down a good whisky.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, or tacos? Burgers, bonus points if I get really good garlic fries with it!
Boxers, briefs, or commando? I’m assuming this is for my Beta above? Boxer briefs while out, commando at home ;)
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops? Depends where we are…Beach? Flip-flops for sure (and NOT other sandals!) With our horses? Boots. A night out? A pair of dress shoes.
Leather, lace, or silk? I personally love a combo of leather and lace. Tough but feminine, sassy and sweet.
Cake, cookies, or crumpets? Brownies, always brownies!
Top, bottom, or against the wall? Yes, please…
Biceps, abs, or buns? Can’t I have all three? Add in a nice chest, a little scruff on the jaw and amazing eyes, and this Beta is perfect!
Cats, dogs, or exotics? All of the above. I currently have 3 dogs, 3 cats (not counting the stray who gave birth in my garage and is now moved into my house) as well as 3 horses. But I’ve also had birds, ferrets and turtles. My dream would be to run a rescue.
Any last words before we say goodbye?
Read, write, repeat! It keeps your mind sharp! Oh, and never give up hope, for anything. As long as you have hope, nothing is ever over.