Hello readers. I'm excited to host my very first male author on my blog. Keith Thomas Walker writes romance as well as urban fiction and it's my pleasure to have him as a guest. We've been chatting about writing and his latest book, The Realest Ever.
Check it out and join the conversation. Leave a comment for your chance to win an eBook copy of either The Realest Ever or Dripping Chocolate. I'll pick a winner on Friday.
Q1) Can you tell us a little about yourself
Sure. I’m Keith Thomas Walker, author of eleven novels. Poetry is my first love, and I still write and perform spoken word poems. I love food and music. I spend most of my time on romance novels, but I also write suspense and urban fiction books. I don’t write street lit, but I’ve been told some of my urban fiction “is what street lit would be like if street lit had a conscious.” I think that’s a compliment. Lol.
Q2) Have you always wanted to be an author?
I have wanted to be an author since the fifth grade. That’s when my English teacher saw something in my poems and encouraged me to really pursue writing. I also started reading “grown-up” books around that time. I longed for the day when I could make people feel a myriad of emotions from things I wrote. I’m still awed each time I achieve that goal.
Q3) Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
I really like Walter Dean Myers, Walter Mosley and Beverly Jenkins. But I think Stephen King influenced me the most. He was the first author that blew my mind. I learned a lot of the tools I use to build suspense from Mr. King. Regardless of the genre, suspense is what keeps people turning pages.
Q4) Can you tell us what a typical writing day for you is like.
I work the night shift at a hospital, and I do a lot of my writing at work, when things get slow. I’ll eat a light snack when I get to the office, while I’m taking care of my real job responsibilities. Around midnight I’ll drink my first cup of coffee and pull up the book I’m working on. Obviously writing at work is not an ideal situation. I constantly have to stop to do my real job, but somehow I make it work. Take tonight, for instance. I’ve already had to stop working on these interview questions more than a dozen times – and I’m only on the fourth one! But I remember exactly where my thoughts were when I return. When I get home, I edit what I wrote at work. Sometimes I switch those up, but I typically write more at work. Thankfully my manager’s cool with it, as long as I don’t neglect my real work.
Q5) Let’s talk about your new book. Can you tell us a little about it?
The Realest Ever is the story of Donovan and Kyra, two best friends from elementary school who are separated when they reach high school. Kyra returns to Texas fifteen years later, and she’s eager to reconnect with her best bud. Their friendship is what makes their relationship so special. Donovan has always cared for Kyra. Even as a child, he tried to protect Kyra from her awful home environment. When Kyra returns as an adult, her life is still in turmoil. Donovan is eager to resume his role as her hero, so to speak. But should the best friends get romantically involved? They did kiss once, a long time ago…
Q6) How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I’m not sure where the idea developed, but I’ve always wanted to write about best friends who were male and female. I went a little deeper with that theme because Kyra had serious problems at home when she was a child. Donovan was her only source of hope and love – which was a huge burden considering he was only in the fourth grade when they met.
Q7) What is up next for you?
My next book is Jackson Memorial. It’s about a terribly scandalous hospital, and it’s NOT about the hospital where I currently work. I actually have to stress that because the natural conclusion would be, “All that stuff must happen at his job.” Lol. Of course a lot of the stuff in this book happens at hospitals all around the country, and I don’t want to give any particular hospital a black eye. Jackson Memorial is a great place to work and it’s a terrible place to work, at the same time.
Q8) What is the best piece of advice you would give to a budding writer?
You have to be true to yourself. I love writing romance and I love writing urban fiction as well. Sometimes I combine the two, and sometimes I just write one or the other. My publisher tried for years to make me stick with romance, but if I’m not writing what I want, it would take forever to push out 85,000 words. And whatever I produce won’t have my heart in it, so what’s the point?
Q9) What is the next book on your To Read Pile that you are dying to jump into?
I really want to read The Pendleton Rule by Iris Boling and Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins.
Q10) Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would love for your readers to check out the excerpts on my website. I always post two chapters from my three most recent novels. If you’ve never read any of my books, it won’t hurt to read a free excerpt. Hopefully you’ll find something you like.
Lipton’s green tea
Favorite place you’d like to visit:
Favorite place to write:
Shooting and collecting guns (responsibly)
Wow. Only one? Ummm… The Color Purple
Romeo and Juliet