Hi Kathy! It's great to have you here and to be a part of your ongoing tour for THE PLAYER NEXT DOOR - I wish you all the best with success and sales! Let's kick off with my questions...
1.) What is your favourite thing about yourself?
That’s a loaded question! If I talk about any of my fine qualities, I feel like I’m arrogant or bragging. But false modesty never works either. So I guess I’ll just have to go with this: I love easily and well. Doesn’t matter who or what a person is, a situation, even an inanimate object—I can find a way to love it and often do. That dust bunny under the bed? It’s adorable! See how it’s all dusty? That’s awesome! That jerk in traffic? Oh geez, he’s probably having an awful day. I hope it gets better for him. That woman named Jade Lee who is eating a cheesecake because of an awful review? It’s okay honey. I bet that reviewer is covered in sores and just acting out. It has nothing to do with you.
Don’t get me wrong. I get angry and jealous too. I curse the dust bunny, think bad thoughts at the jerk, and wish all sorts of terrible things on the reviewer. I’m not a saint. But in the midst of all that vicious thinking, I have tender, warmer thoughts too. It’s a strange dichotomy inside me. What can I say? I’m bizarre, but I love that about myself too!
2.) What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?
That the very most important thing to work on was keeping the joy in the storytelling. I’ve used my writing to exorcise some personal demons. I’ve written trying to capture a market trend. I’ve even written stories specifically to stretch my skill. But it was the joy in the story that was most important, and I kept forgetting that. All those other things (except chasing the market) were important, but it’s the joy of storytelling that is the most vital.
3.) Share a romantic moment in your life.
You’re going to laugh because it’s so silly. My husband is anal about the tire pressure in my car. Also the oil, the maintenance, the gas, and the dinks on the door. Don’t get me wrong. I always appreciate it. It’s not like I want to remember that stuff, but I always thought it was a little silly. Then one day I realized he wasn’t doing this because he loves cars, he was checking these things because he loves me. It shouldn’t have been such a shock, but heck, I was young—barely into my 20s. Anyway, I remember looking at him squatting in the dirt beside my car just to check the tire pressure and feeling overwhelmed with love. He was there doing something I’d never do because he loved me. He wanted my car to run well and for me to be safe. It wasn’t a stupid guy thing, it was one of the ways he showed his love. My heart swelled and…well, it was just really, really romantic.
4.) Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?
Oooh, a trick question. The minute I say I’d never write about cockroaches in love, my imagination takes that as a challenge. They could be dancing together, entwining antennae! And think of all the glorious babies they could have! Then there are the standard answers: rape, murder, suicide, etc – but they’re all the stuff of drama. And every man, woman, or child has the capacity for great evil as well as great good. So is there anything I’d never write about? Can’t think of a thing. It’s all up for grabs!
5.) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I talked about keeping the joy of storytelling in question 2. Also remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Do a little bit every day and plan for a long career, not a one book wonder. And finally, keep stretching. The more you learn, the better you’ll be. Practice, exploration, even self development (especially self development) makes what and how you write all the more exciting.
6.) If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?
I wish I was Joss Whedon. Comic books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers. I know, I know, you asked about a book, but Joss looms large as a master storyteller beyond other masters. What he does amazes me, and I can’t stop watching everything he does. I want his skill with dialogue, his flair with characters, his ability with structure, and the sheer organizational capacity to manage all the different things he does.
7.) What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Lies. Okay, so I called them stories, but I had a “flexible” understanding of reality. Mostly to get myself out of trouble, but also to just make something more dramatic.
8.) If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?
We’d go out to dinner because I can’t cook. Well, I can, but I hate it. It takes too much time and often tastes disappointing. And if you wanted to stay in, I’d order in. Whatever you want. I’m flexible. I’m just a lousy cook.
Book Title: The Player Next Door
Author: Kathy Lyons
Release Date: 7/21/15
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the Book: NBA star Mike Giamaria doesn’t mix basketball with love. Ever. Then Mike meets Tori Williams, his cute, quirky new neighbor who seems hell bent on refurbishing her death trap of a house on her own. When she falls from her roof and into his arms, Mike knows he’s just caught a whole heap of trouble.
Trouble sums up Tori's life. Despite her academic success, no one believes she can take care of herself—not her family, not her ex-boyfriend. She's determined to live her life on her own terms, and if that includes a hot summer fling with the super-sexy athlete next door, so much the better.
But when Tori’s around, Mike can’t keep his mind on basketball. He wants…more. And to his horror, not just more time on the court. When training starts, it’s game over—it has to be—unless Tori can convince Mike that love doesn't belong on the sidelines.
About the Author: Kathy Lyons is the fun, contemporary side of USA Today Bestselling author Jade Lee. She loves sassy romance with lots of laughter and sex. Spice is the variety of life, right? Okay, so maybe two kids, two cats, two pennames, and writing over 40 books has messed with her mind, but she still keeps having fun. Check her out at www.KathyLyons.com Or hang out with her sexy historical half, Jade Lee. Titled heroes with dark secrets are Jade’s passion. Especially when they fall for women who add more than just spice to their lives. Find her at www.JadeLeeAuthor.com. Facebook: JadeLeeBooks Twitter: JadeLeeAuthor
Giveaway Info: Kathy is giving away this shirt in whatever team/size the winner prefers plus a copy of the Kathy Lyons Entangled book of their choice
International okay: $50 gift certificate to nba.com will be substituted for international winner.
Excerpt 2: (pre-sex) He leaned forward, kissing her lightly. She expected to be slammed onto the bed, but he just licked her lips, nipped at the edges, and then eventually sealed her mouth with his.
In short, he was a slow lover, and she was terrified that she'd insult him when her mind wandered elsewhere. So she broke away and stripped off her tee. She would have taken everything off if her legs hadn't been entwined with his. "You don't have to go slow, Mike. It's okay."
He chuckled. "I've never heard a woman say that before." Then he sobered. "I'm a big guy, Tori. I want to make sure you're fully involved before we do this."
She winced, realizing what he meant: the slow build to a great climax. Except she just wasn't built that way. "Um, I never get fully involved in anything. At least not for long."
He smiled. "That sounds like a challenge."
Oh shit. Not what she meant. He was a competitor and if she put up a goal, he would go through hell and high water to meet it. But he couldn't with her, and he was too perceptive for her to fake it effectively.
"I'm just not wired for slow," she said. "I distract too easily."
He smiled and let his hands trail down her sides making her shiver. "Good information there. I'll need to work for your attention." He grinned, his white teeth showing brilliantly against his caramel skin. "Good thing I'm used to electrifying millions of people."
"That's in basketball—oh... That's...nice." He was tracing one finger around her nipple. It was even through her bra, but she felt it like a lightning bolt through her belly. But then he kept doing it, adding in a pinch occasionally to the circling motion. Over and over until her sight fuzzed out and she began thinking about what he'd said.
Just exactly how large was he? She tried to think back to her other lovers. She didn't remember any of them as particularly big, so did that mean...
He touched her chin and she blinked, focusing back on him. Oh shit. She'd just dazed out on him.
He touched her lips with his thumb, pressing them closed. "That was just a baseline, Tori. I wanted to see what you did when you got bored."
"I wasn't bored," she lied.
He chuckled. "Yes, you were. I only have one rule: don't lie to me."
She swallowed. It wasn't like she lied as a general rule, but guys’ egos were fragile. Especially in the lovemaking department. "I—"
"You're going to have to learn to trust me on this. My ego can handle it."
She didn't believe him. She wanted to, but honestly, he was a superstar athlete. He was used to being the best at everything, especially anything physical. And he'd probably had women telling him he was the greatest lover ever since high school. No way was he going to like it—
"So what's going on in that head of yours?"
She blinked. Damn it, she'd just spaced out on him again. Normally she could focus better.
"Let me guess," he said with a smile. "You're used to lying to your lovers. Telling them they've rocked your world when actually you were off thinking about Hindu gods or something."
Damn. He was smarter than she'd ever guessed. And she just wasn't up to faking it with him. "Maybe this isn't a good idea."
He leaned forward, nuzzling along her neck, his words a low rumble against her skin. "Maybe you need to let me try."