Friday’s Featured Author is PM Kavanaugh
I’m so happy to have PM Kavanaugh on the blog today. Before we get to the interview and the details about her brand, new release Ready or Die let’s take a peek at her bio.
A writer of thrillers spiked with romance, PM Kavanaugh has always loved a potent mix of intrigue, danger, and adventure. She shares her home, dreams and some of her plotting dilemmas with her clever-enough-to-be-a-spy husband and her feline office mates, Finn and Dash.
Tell us about your latest release?
Ready or Dead tells the story of my heroine, Anika Washington, as a new recruit in the global black ops counterterrorist agency featured in my debut novel, Die Run Hide. It’s the prequel to that novel. Perhaps more importantly to romance readers, this novella shows how Anika and Gianni, the hero and her superior at the agency, fall in love!
Are you a plotter or pantser?
I consider myself a pantser with plotter aspirations! So far, with the two books I’ve written, I’ve known how each story begins and ends. But getting from those two scenes is definitely a pantser activity.
What was the most difficult part of the publishing process for you?
Waiting! It’s so hard to be patient and steady between sending out submissions and waiting for responses from agents and publishers, especially that long-hoped-for “yes.” Fortunately, for this book, my editor at Crimson Romance was very quick to reply. I heard from her within HOURS of my query and within TWO WEEKS (not including her vacation time) with an offer to publish.
How about the most fun?
You mean, besides the “yes”??? With Ready or Dead, I loved the copy line editing phase where I got suggestions for how and where to correct some pesky grammar and punctuation snafus and a few “blips” in plot. This time, I learned that, per the Chicago Manual of Style, titles of politicians, like the president of the United States and the secretary of state, are not capitalized because they refer to the generic positions and not to individual people. I LOVE learning those kinds of grammar-nerd rules.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed up mini-vignettes based on favorite TV shows and characters. No surprise that my first book, Die Run Hide, is loosely based on the TV show, La Femme Nikita, particularly a promised episode that never ran and whose title inspired the basic storyline of my book about a female agent on the run from the agency that is trying to either retrieve or kill her.
Do you have any writing rituals? (Time of day to write, must have beverages? Etc?)
My first book, Die Run Hide, was written in the mornings at a lot of different Starbucks after I had consumed my go-to beverage–a venti-sized, decaf, non-fat, no-whip mocha. Yum! For Ready or Dead, I relocated to my upstairs living room with a wide-open view of my city, San Francisco. The timing was mid-morning, after my daily run to Starbucks and that mocha.
Who is your go-to author, the one you know you can always count on to deliver a great story?
I love, love, love JD Robb and her Eve Dallas books. Their near-future setting inspired the same for both of my books.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to have a lot of different activities going on in my life. As a Gemini, I need to bounce between rational-left-brain things and creative-right-brain things. Besides handling all the finances in our household, I freelance as a marketing consultant; am a volunteer with the local SPCA as a cat socializer (yes, that’s the official job position—isn’t it great?); study and play guitar. Most recently, my husband and I started volunteering in Ethiopia at two schools. We teach English to the kids and computer skills to the teachers. Like writing a book, the effort is challenging and exhilarating.
What do you think makes a good story?
The mix of action-adventure AND romance. That’s all I need.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Hmmm. I didn’t have a clear picture. I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse, a teacher, a soldier, a nun—any position in uniform. Maybe because I went to Catholic school and grew up wearing a uniform? I always envisioned myself in an office or business setting. Some type of executive. That’s probably why I pursued a degree in business even though the classes I enjoyed the most were in liberal arts.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Promoting my book, Ready or Dead! Other than that, my husband and I are so wrapped up in preparing for our return trip to Ethiopia, I don’t have time for much else.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I started the sequel to Die Run Hide right after its debut a few years ago, but couldn’t get any traction with the story. Newly inspired by having successfully completed the prequel, Ready or Dead, I might just re-open that file and see if the story speaks to me now.
This or That
- Breakfast or no breakfast? Breakfast which always includes a venti-sized-decaf-non-fat-no-whip mocha from Starbucks!
- Eggs or pancakes? Eggs.
- Pork Bacon or Turkey Bacon? Turkey Bacon
- Scrambled or Over Easy Eggs? Scrambled.
- White or Wheat Bread? Wheat bread.
- Macaroni Salad or Potato Salad? Potato Salad.
- Mashed Potatoes or Baked Potatoes? Baked Potatoes. What happened to French Fries?
- Hot Dogs or Hamburgers? Hamburgers (with the French Fries from above)
- Cookie Dough or Cookies from Scratch? Cookies from scratch. Chocolate chip, please!
- Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie? My Mom’s favorite dessert is apple pie so I’ll go with that. But I prefer chocolate cake.
- Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt? Ice cream, with chocolate cake OR brownies. Yum!
- Taco Bell or McDonalds? McDonalds. I live in San Francisco. There’s no excuse for going to Taco Bell when you can buy great-tasting taqueria food on the cheap all around San Francisco.
- Carrabba’s or Olive Garden? Olive Garden. But again, living in San Francisco, great Italian non-chain food is all around me!
- Sweet or Sour? Sweet.
- Sushi or Smoked Fish? Sushi.
- Chicken Nuggets or Chicken Fingers? Having tried neither, I’ll go with Chicken Nuggets.
- French Fries or Salad? Okay, here’s the French Fries question! Fries. Definitely.
- Pringles or Lays? Lays.
- Salt and Vinegar or Sour Cream and Onion? BBQ!
- Coke or Pepsi? Coke.
- Surge Soda or Mellow Yellow? Having tried neither, which one goes better with Chicken Nuggets?
- Black Coffee or Cream and Sugar? Coffee with Cream. Hold the sugar.
- Gatorade or Powerade? Powerade.
Ready or Die
Recruited into a global counterterrorism agency from a network of federally-run orphanages, Anika Washington is training hard for promotion to field agent status, which requires the successful completion of her first mission. The prospect of failure and being forced to leave the agency haunts the trainee. She can’t bear the thought of enduring yet another rejection, a painful reminder of her institutional past.
When a fellow recruit makes a rookie mistake and is killed at the start of her own first mission, Anika is ordered to step in. Now, she must prove to her superiors—including Gianni Brambillo, the enigmatic male operative who takes a special interest in her—that she is mission-ready. Or die trying.
Have you entered to win a copy of Ready or Die? Please check out the post from earlier this week for information!