J.K. Coi is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She makes her home in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and son and a feisty black cat who is the uncontested head of the household. While she spends her days immersed in the litigious world of insurance law, she is very happy to spend her nights writing dark and sexy characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.
Q. Hi J.K. Welcome to TwoLips Reviews Interviews. As one of my favorite authors, I've been itching to ask you this. What does J.K. stand for? Is it your real name?
J.K.: Hi, thanks so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here! And yes, J.K. stands for the initials of my name (although reversed, because the J is for my middle name, and the K is for my first name) Confused yet? LOL Sometimes it confuses me!
Q. I'm currently reviewing the re-issues of your Immortals series from Ellora's Cave Publishing. Please tell me you plan to add at least a book 5 to the series. I'm really hoping for a book for the horned demon Karnage from book 3, Dark Immortal. He so stole my heart, and I'd love to see him, not only reunited with his son – perhaps when Michael's grown – but get his own well-deserved happy ending too.
J.K.: I can’t wait to write Karnage’s book!! I definitely want to write books 5 and 6 – and then I think we’ll be done.
Q. With a day job, you write only part-time. Do you have a special time to write? How do you structure your day?
J.K.: My writing day is scheduled by word count. I only have the evenings (and sometimes my lunch hour at work) to get my writing done, so I have a word goal that I reach every day. Sometimes it means I’m finished just after dinner, and other times I’m still writing at midnight to get my words in.
Q. Where do the your ideas come from? Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
J.K.: Ideas come from everywhere! I remember a book I wrote because a friend of mine was going through a divorce and the fear that something like that could happen to my marriage forced me to channel those emotions onto the page. It can be very cathartic!
Q. How long on average does it take you to write a book? Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, how do you handle it?
J.K.: It depends on the book. A novella can take me between 2-3 months, and a full length book will take up to 6 months (depending how strict I am with my schedule)
Q. How do you decide on what qualities to give your hero and heroine?
J.K.: They tend to grow as the story progresses. I don’t like to plot them out too much because I want it to be organic and I want to wait until the situation arises before I find out how they will react. Sometimes that means going back in the story afterwards to fiddle with some things after I learn more about their personalities.
Q. How difficult is it when you have to hurt your characters or make them do something they don’t want to do?
J.K.: You’d think it would be awful, wouldn’t you? I must be a horrible person, because I LOVE making my characters suffer. I just know that the more I push them, the better the payoff will be in the end!
Q. Please tell us about your latest release and what about it makes it special.
J.K.: Forever Immortal is special to me because I loved Gideon’s character right from book 1 and I had his story mapped out from the very beginning of the series, even though I knew he wouldn’t get a book for a while. I also loved how the overreaching arc came together. The book surprised me too because I thought it would be the last in the series, but after finishing it I knew that I had to write 2 more.
Q. What do you have coming out nex? If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about the characters and stories that it will feature?
J.K.: Corporate Holiday is coming soon (although I don’t have a date yet) – and it’s a little different for me. Contemporary Romance! And yes, I hope that it will be the first in a 3 book series because I’ve already started working on book 2.
Q. How successful has your quest for reviews been so far in your career? Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
J.K.: I really don’t want to ask reviewers to read my book because, to me, I’d rather someone picked it up because they found it on their own and thought it would be interesting. That’s seems more organic and natural to me.
Q. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
J.K.: I think all reviews are good. I read what someone might think was a “bad” review this morning, but every one of the things this reviewer didn’t like about that book just made me want to buy it even more! LOL All people are different, and they like different things, so there’s no way for one book to be a hit with everyone.
Q. Has there ever been a particular marketing technique you've used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
J.K.: I’m a really lazy author in the sense that the one and only thing I do consistently is keep writing. I think the best way to improve my sales is to improve my skill and put out the next book. That’s not to say an online advertisement here and there isn’t a good thing, and a great contest can really help visibility, but for the most part I just write the next book.
Q. How do you feel about being interviewed? What one question do you really hate being asked?
J.K.: I love being interviewed. It makes me feel like a celebrity! I always wear my dark glasses when I’m typing my answers, LOL. And I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a question I really hate, although I tend to avoid the ones that delve into my personal/family life a little too deeply because it’s important to me to keep my family protected.
Q. Why do you think that well written books sometimes just don’t sell? Is it a matter of poorly designed covers or a marketing mistake? Or even a lack of marketing that's the culprit?
J.K.: It can be all of those things, but mostly I think it’s about visibility. There are a TON of great books out there, but how do you know which ones are great when they’re hidden among the millions of other books? And are you willing to give it a chance when you could spend your hard-earned money on something you think is a “sure thing” instead? I love trying out new authors to find those great books, but if it’s a choice between buying a book from an author I’ve read before and trust, or trying out the new author, that’s a tough choice because money is tight, you know?
Q. What, in your mind, makes a book good?
J.K.: I think a good book is about compelling characters who make you feel emotion. I don’t care what the plot is about as long as I can believe in what the characters are going through.
Q. What do you consider the biggest failure of your writing career? And if you don't have one, why not?
J.K.: Wow, these are tough questions! I love it! I’m not sure I feel like anything I’ve done has been a failure, but there are definitely tough choices and opportunities to learn and move on to a better place. When I got my first publishing contact, it was with a tiny epub company that sold out a year or so later and kind of left me in the lurch. I don’t regret signing those contracts because the editor I worked with there was great and she taught me a lot, and I also don’t think I could have foreseen what would happen – but it’s made me change the way I look at each contract offer I've gotten since then.
Q. Where do you see your career going in the next 5 years? Where do you see publishing going?
J.K.: I have a plan – and I don’t really share it with others because career goals can be very personal. But I do know what I want to achieve, and I’m on track, so yay! The thing I always try to keep in mind when making career goals for the future though is to stay flexible. Publishing changes so much, and so quickly, I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t at least look at all the options and make room for alternate paths to success.
Q. Do you read much. and if so, who are your top 3 favourite authors and why?
J.K.: I read like a fiend. I’ve been a huge Steven King fan since I was a kid and I’ll still read pretty much anything he puts out. In the romance world, I also love Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, Karen Marie Moning, Patricia Briggs, and lately I’ve been reading lots of YA likeMaggie Stiefvater and John Green.
Q. Where can your readers connect with you?
Q. And now, before we indulge in a little pillow talk, how about a short snippet fromForever Immortal that's meant to intrigue and tantalize?
An Excerpt From: FOREVER IMMORTAL
Copyright © J.K. COI, 2013
Letting out a soft sigh, Lyssa lifted her head.
There he was. Leaning against a doorframe at the other end of the crowded room. She pursed her lips and swallowed hard, crossing her legs as heat immediately bloomed between her thighs.
She ogled him shamelessly but thankfully he didn’t notice. , but he didn’t notice, Lyssa didn’t think she could lower her gaze even if he did. The man was too prime. No… primal . In his stillness, he reminded her of a sleek, fierce cat just before it pounced on unsuspecting prey.
The easy style of his dark hair accentuated the angular lines of his face and showed off his odd, glittering crystal eyes—a strange light color that was distinctive even from across the room. Must be a trick of the overhead lights. He had one shoulder propped against the doorframe. Casual but as though he expected to have to leave at a moment’s notice.
Suddenly he turned, his gaze unerringly finding hers across the crowded bar as if he’d known all along that she was watching him. Lyssa felt a telling warmth spread a cross her cheeks.
Surprised by her own daring, she continued to look instead of turning guiltily back to her empty glass. He nodded, a very slight inclination of his head but enough that she knew without a doubt he had definitely noticed her noticing him. She experienced just what it was like to be on the receiving end as he boldly returned the same appraising perusal she had given him. A slow, sexy tug at the corner of his mouth acknowledged that he returned her admiration. His eyes glinted like liquid silver. The way they moved over her made Lyssa feel naked and hot.
Her pulse galloped. She wondered if her evening was going to end as badly as it had started after all.
Sending him a small smile, she did a half-swivel on her barstool. “Ben, get me another drink. I think I’m going to stay a little while longer.”
The bartender chuckled and glanced over at her stranger. “I figured as much. Do you want some water? You might need it with the way the two of you are setting the room on fire.”
“It is suddenly hot in here, isn’t it?” She grinned and turned back around. Would he approach her? After the day she’d had, did she even want him to?
He hesitated for a moment, looking away from her and back out into the crowd, searching for someone? Damn. Damn. Damn. Oh well, it had been a nice thought—very nice—but now reality intruded. The last thing Lyssa wanted was to encourage a flirtation with a guy whose girlfriend was due to descend at any moment, no matter how hot he looked or how hot he made her feel.
Having decided that he wasn’t going to come over, she gave a little sigh of relief…until his gaze turned to her once more and he pushed off from his place against the wall.
As the stranger advanced, those long legs ate up the space between them as if the room were completely empty. His every movement was smoothly controlled and deliberate. Although the bar was packed with people, he didn’t have to weave his way around the clusters and cliques loitering on the floor or push anyone aside to get by. Incredibly, a path appeared before him, the throng of bodies parting as if compelled by the strength of his will.
Having been so entranced by her stranger, Lyssa jumped guiltily in her seat when a smooth, masculine voice beside her said, “Hello there, sweetness.”
No! Lyssa rolled her eyes and had to stop herself from uttering the swear words that came to her lips. Great, just what I need. She turned, forcing her attention to the man who had sidled up to her left shoulder.
He leaned in too close, ostensibly to make himself heard over the loud music. Lyssa was treated to a generous whiff of stale cigarette smoke combined with the whiskey that sat heavily on his breath. “The name’s Dan. Why don’t I get that drink for you?” He treated her to an appraising look that dipped into the V of her dress.
Taking in the slicked-back hair and the metallic shimmer of his open-throated, disco-reject club shirt, Lyssa tried not to let her shudder of horror show on her face. This was exactly the type of guy she expected to find in a place like this—the kind who was still trying to make it to the big leagues and thought hanging out in trendy bars was the way to get there. A player in full trolling mode.
“I’m waiting for someone,” she answered shortly, then felt ashamed of her curt response. “Look, I’m sorry, but I’m just waiting for my friend. I’m not looking for any extracurricular entertainment tonight.”
Her words seemed to act as a challenge and his smile widened. “Baby, don’t be so hasty.” His voice was slippery and suggestive. Lyssa gritted her teeth together to keep from reverting back to her earlier rudeness.
“I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you are,” he continued. “You have great bone structure and a killer figure. I just thought that if you were looking to get into the business, I could help you out with that. I have some important connections, and maybe we could, you know…do each other a few favors.”
Had he really just suggested what she thought he had? Lyssa stared at him, open-mouthed with shock. Tried desperately to keep a tight rein on her temper. It wouldn’t help her night if she caused a scene, although wiping that disgusting leer off Danny-boy’s face with a loud slap would probably make her feel much better overall.
“Listen, don’t do me any favors.” Her voice had reverted back to sharp and rude, but she didn’t care anymore.
“No, really.” Dan seemed undaunted by Lyssa’s lack of interest. “I watched you for a while. You’ve been sitting here all alone for at least an hour. Whoever you’re waiting for isn’t worth it. You’d better believe I would never have left a hot piece like you alone for five minutes in a joint like this.”
Geez, didn’t she attract the charmers? Lyssa groaned inwardly, her patience reaching the snapping point.
Urgh. She just could not catch a break today. This slime-ball was going to continue to play dense and pretend she wasn’t ten seconds away from clocking him. Meanwhile, her stranger would get scared off, thinking she was with this guy.
“Really, I’m not—”
“What’s your name, by the way? I was thinking we could get out of here and—”
“Hi, sweetheart.” Gideon smiled as the redhead started in surprise and swung to face him with wide, stunning green eyes. A sharp buzz of electricity ran between them, entrancing him. Even while he’d made his way across the crowded room, he had been telling himself not to get involved. He was there to do a job, not pick up women. It hadn’t worked. There was something about her that drew him and he didn’t want to ignore it. Not tonight.
Q. What famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
J.K.: I want to meet the Rock. Just so I can feel up his abs. *shiver* :D
Q. Of anything that has occurred in your life, what one choice would you do differently if you could?
J.K.: Nothing. I’m a big proponent of always looking forward. You have to accept your past and use the knowledge you’ve learned to make new decisions, but there’s no point thinking like that because you can’t change it.
Q. Have you ever found your one true love, the kind we all like reading about?
J.K.: Yep. I’m a very very lucky woman!
Q. What are your two top pet peeves in your life?
J.K.: Traffic and telemarketrs.
Q. If you only had 20 minutes left to live, how would you like to spend it?
J.K.: I would want to be at the lake with my husband and son on a beautiful summer day, and watch them splashing and playing in the water. Then I’d hug everyone tight until the