Friday, June 22, 2012

Interview and contest- Author Kelli Scott

I had the fabulous privilege to interview Kelli Scott, author of Hair of the Dog (one of my favorite shifter romance books.)


Kelli is also offering an ebook copy of Hair of the Dog to one lucky commenter. Leave her a comment and your email address. Monday, June 25th we will pick a winner.
So, Kelli, tell me a little about where your idea for Hair of the Dog came from.

Once upon a time I worked at a fraternal organization. You know—one of those men’s clubs named after a majestic animal. The kind with secret handshakes, rituals and salutations. Sometimes they wear goofy hats or colorful vests adorned with regalia and call each other Brother. 
As a general rule, my mind does not operate paranormally, but I thought what if…what if the members of these benevolent societies were actually shifters of whatever fierce critter was their namesake? Wolves and Cougars and Bears, oh my. That’s a start, right? What’s next? Set the story in a sleepy little mountain town where shifters come to rejuvenate, relax and vacation. Throw in a magical hot spring in danger of drying up and an enchanted fairy prophesized to save the town and you’ve got the beginnings of a story. Sprinkle with romance, drizzle with sex and serve sizzling hot. 

What types of research did you do, or was it all cooked up in your head?

You mean besides the sex? 

Well, I guess along with the sex *snickering*?

I have a research assistant. Guillermo. He’s an unpaid intern with benefits (just dental). He cooks, he cleans and he stands in long lines at the Post Office. He also takes the computer to the repair shop when it gets a sexually transmitted disease from the dodgy websites I visit. That way the repair man thinks Guillermo is the pervert.
I hate the “other” kind of research, involving note taking and studying facts. But I did take an online class on werewolves. And I read a novella about a wolf shifter. Does that count? Okay, yes, it was pretty much cooked up in my head and I relied heavily on my editor to tell me if it was plausible.

Hmmm, sounds like I need a Guillermo! My computer repair dude thinks I'm a pervert. *grinning* Kelli, who is your favorite character in the book, and why?

I want to say Bobby Joe Dumfries because he was so fun to write, but I’m going to go with my hero, Grant.  He’s loyal, smart, funny, brave and a born leader.  He’s a regular civic-minded guy who happens to strip naked, shift into a wolf and run wild through the woods.

What was the funniest line, in your opinion, from the book?

“Sounds like a mob of flea-infested, beer-bottle-busting hooligans with a tendency to howl at the full moon and call their wives and girlfriends bitches.”

What scene was the hardest to write?

I hate for the story I’m writing to end, the reason I have so many unfinished manuscripts on my computer.  I also hate to put my characters in peril, so the scene near the end where they are risking their lives to save the town and fighting the bad guy. Hard to write. Hard to wrap up all the loose ends and say goodbye to the characters.

What is your favorite scene between the hero and heroine?

That’s so hard. They are nearly combustible every time they’re together. I’m going to go with the scene with Ivy and Grant in her office late at night when she finally realizes there’s something “odd” going on in Mystic Springs. Emotions are running high, her panties get decimated and condoms are everywhere.

If you could be any character in the book, who would it be?

I think I’d be my heroine, Ivy Fontainebleau, because she blooms and flourishes in Mystic Springs. She really discovers who she is and becomes comfortable in her own skin, fur, scales, feathers—whatever. And she gets to boink the hero.

Boinking is always a plus! Now, why do you write paranormal?  

I don’t always write paranormal, but it’s fun to bend reality. I think I have a few more paranormal ideas rattling around in my head. It’s the lore involved with some paranormal that kicks my butt. But I’d love to write more shifter stories centered in Mystic Springs.

What is your absolute favorite paranormal book? Why?

I loved The Magic Knot by Helen Scott Taylor. Sort of an edgy modern day fairytale, with actual fairies. 

If you could have any paranormal trait (shifter, vampire, demon, witch, super-human power) what would it be, and why?

I’d want to be a super sexy witch, casting spells and making potions and looking fabulous doing it.

Here is the blurb and excerpts from Hair of the Dog:
When Grant, mayor of Mystic Springs, asks Ivy to run the Mystic Springs resort, she’s so thrilled, she accepts the job without so much as visiting the town first. Then she arrives and meets Grant—and her goals change. She got her dream job, and now she wants Grant…preferably at her mercy in the bedroom.

Grant’s inner animal is desperate to take Ivy. And he’s not joking about the “animal” part— Grant and most of the Mystic Springs residents are shifters. The spring is more than a landmark, it’s the touchstone that grounds their powers and keeps them on the human side of the shifter spectrum. But the spring is running dry…

The townspeople are convinced Ivy is the woman who was prophesied to rejuvenate the spring. Local legend is rife with rumors of sex rites that might help, and Grant’s only too happy to give them a go. He just has to convince Ivy that he’s the man—er, wolf?—for her.

“Ivy? Ivy Fontainebleau?” he inquired.
She raised her hand. “That’s me. I’m Ivy. All day long.” I’ll be whoever you want me to be. She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. Not so much because they’d slipped. More out of habit.
“I’m Grant Grayson.” He smiled reassuringly, shook her hand and lifted her bags into his idling vehicle before his words registered in her brain as anything more than pleasant noise. Very pleasant noise indeed. “We spoke on the phone.”
“Mr. Grayson.” His name escaped her lips quietly like air leaking from a tire. Yes, she fondly recalled their verbal exchanges. His face exceeded the picture his words painted in her mind and his physique was nothing to complain about either.
“My friends call me Grant. I hope you will too.” He opened the passenger side door for her, his gaze scanning the surrounding area. “Sorry I kept you waiting.” His eyes flashed with awareness. His nostrils flared. “You know how it is.”
As if in a hypnotic trance, Ivy slid into the seat. She decided she’d slide into a flaming chariot from Hell if he opened the door and smiled in her direction, flaring nostrils and all. While he rounded the front of the car, she checked herself in the mirror. Sadly nothing had changed. On a scale of one to ten, he was a ten. She was a five on a good day. Not so much on a day like today after a seven-hour bus ride and an impromptu blackout on a roadside bench while critters closed in around her.
Her eyes had an unfortunate habit of playing off the colors around her. Hazel, some called it. Today they were probably a dull gray like the pavement and the darkening sky and the interior of his car. Why couldn’t he have violet upholstery? The poets would describe her hair in prose as mousy brown, which rhymes with blousy gown and lousy frown. Nothing about her stood out except her mediocrity and her inability to create sensible rhymes.
Grant took a seat behind the wheel and flashed her a slow-motion-instant-replay of his previous smile. His smile melted her insides to a warm, gooey liquid, but couldn’t melt the gold wedding band on his finger. Even without the band, his starched collar, matching socks and pressed button-up shirt gave away his domestic classification. Married. Like a cherished garden, he was well tended.
“Beautiful, beautiful countryside,” Ivy said. “Just breathtaking.”
“I’m glad you’re enjoying it,” he replied, easing his Jeep back onto the country road. “Wait until you see the spring.”
“I can’t wait.” Her entire face ached from smiling. Muscles she hadn’t exercised much in her twenty-nine years of life. Needing to fill the silence, she said, “Funny story—”
“Funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?” He checked his side mirror before his eyes cut to her for the answer.
Ivy tilted her head and crinkled her brow. “A little of both. Anyhow, when I graduated from high school—”
“Franklin High School in Arizona, class of—”
She held up her hand in protest. “Let’s not go there.” She didn’t need to be reminded that her life was not on the fast track to success for a woman her age. “As I was saying, I craved some adventure in my otherwise dull life, so I pinned a map on the wall—”
Glancing over at her, he asked playfully, “Did you throw a dart at a map?”
“Yes! How did you know? Oooh, look at that creek.” Ivy pointed out the passenger side window. “Pretty. So, so pretty. Where was I?”
He threaded the car effortlessly along the ribbon of road and said, “You threw a dart at a map.”
“Oh yes. You’ll never guess where it landed. Guess.” Am I babbling? Yes. Shut up, Ivy. “I’ll give you three guesses and three guesses only.”
“Mystic Springs?” he replied.
She smacked him in the arm, which probably didn’t happen much to him, being the mayor of Mystic Springs and all. “Yes! How did you know?”
He took one hand off the wheel and rubbed his arm. “It’s a better punch line than Paris, France.”
“Which is sort of where I wanted the dart to land,” she admitted with a regrettable laugh that took the unfortunate form of a snort. “No offense.”
“None taken,” he quickly said. “I’d say that sort of thing happens a lot. You know, random darts landing in unfortunate places. Did you give yourself a do-over?”
“Yes I did, but you’ll never believe what happened.” How boring am I? Someone stop me, please. There’s no shame in comfortable silence. “Never in a million years,” she babbled on. “Guess.”
“It landed in the same exact spot,” he guessed.
“Yes! You’re good at this.” Wish I was. I wish I could stop talking.
“I thought about guessing Paris, France,” he said, “but again, Mystic Springs is a much better ending to—”
“An otherwise boring story?” I know it’s rude to interrupt, but he did it to me—twice.
“Not at all.” He smiled. Again. Warm. Brilliant. Kind. “It’s a charming story.”

Thank you SOOO much, Kelli, for hanging out with me and sharing with us.

If you haven't checked out Kelli's books, do so! She can be found: 

Kelli is also offering an ebook copy of Hair of the Dog to one lucky commenter. Leave her a comment and your email address. Monday, June 25th we will pick a winner.


  1. I really enjoyed the interview, blurb and excerpt. I love a good shapeshifter book and this sounds great.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Sherry. Your odds of winning are pretty good.

  3. I love the explanation of the original idea. My husband and some friends of his belonged to one of those groups when we married. I don't know which came first, the chicken or the egg, but as time passed they sure seemed to take on on characteristics of the animal their group was named for. Yep, the females in the families did all the work while the males laid around unless it was time to eat or breed.

    My husband escaped and was successfully retrained to be a more productive member of our family group, but the other guys liked being the king of...

    Please throw my hat in the ring, your book looks great! Can't wait to read it.


  4. Kelli has informed me that Donna is the winner of a copy of Hair of the Dog. She's sending an email to notify her.


  5. Kelli did - I received it - and have already started it. Great story!

    Thanks so much for hosting this author, Lea! She is a new author for me and I can't believe I hadn't found her before this.