Kristen Painter's writing resume boasts multiple Golden Heart
nominations and advance praise from a handful of best-selling authors,
including Gena Showalter and Roxanne St. Claire. Here lastest book isLast Blood.
Amazon.com: Did you have a plan
for the House of Comarré books? Did you know how the series was going to turn
Kristen Painter: Truthfully, not that much. The only character I’ve promised not to
kill off is Dominic (for those of you playing along with the home game), so my
hero and heroine had a rather tumultuous ride throughout this series. I knew their
trip was going to be rough, but the exact situations they’d face were largely
unplanned until I was in the depths of the writing. See, I’ve never been one to
write by a strict outline—to me that feels like I’m giving away the most
interesting parts and then I don’t want to write them anymore. Instead I try to
choose the worst possible outcome of a situation, then write my way out of it.
I call this process The Path of Least Saneness.
Amazon.com: Do the characters
ever surprise you?
Kristen Painter: Actually, yes. You’d think voluntarily writing myself
into a corner would end badly, but what usually happens is my characters figure
their own way out. That’s not to say I’m not in control of my characters, but
sometimes when I’m in the writing zone and the words are coming so fast my
brain is lagging behind, one of them will say or do something I didn’t see
coming. And then it turns out to be the exact solution to the current problem.
Many times, I go with it. But sometimes I rein them in because I’m not ready
for the trouble to be over. While writing Last Blood, I constantly reminded myself that this was the end of the series and
further complications weren’t necessary. Stopping my characters from getting in
deeper was an odd feeling.
Amazon.com: Why do you do this to
Kristen Painter: After Out For Blood, the
fourth book in my House of Comarré series, was released I received lots of mail
asking me how I could torture my readers so much. All I really set out to do
was torture my characters, but I appreciate how invested my readers are. See,
readers loved the book, but wanted to throttle me over the massive cliffhanger
ending. Which is pretty much how every other book in the series ended. Hey,
it’s what I do. This reaction wasn’t unexpected because the ending to that book
was a doozy, leaving both the hero and heroine in questionable situations, but
I also knew that the fifth and final book in the series, Last Blood, would resolve all of those issues. Essentially, I was
setting myself up to go out with a bang. I promised when I started writing the
series that the last book would not end with a cliffhanger and it doesn’t. As a
result, Last Blood wraps everything
up in what feels to me like a very satisfying conclusion.
Amazon.com: Will we ever see any
of these characters again?
Kristen Painter: Happily, the next series, Crescent City, will
be set in the same world as the House of Comarré series and will feature a few
cameos by familiar characters. This time, I’m delving into the world of the fae
and the adventures take place in New Orleans. House of the Rising Sun is slated for May 2014 and I can’t wait to
get it into readers’ hands!