Banks has an impressive back list of epublished works that include her very popular Colters’ Legacy Series, and multiple single title contemporary and paranormal romances with various degrees of heat! She’s also written for the Harlequin Desire line.
Most recently, Banks has been working on her Sweet Series and super suspenseful KGI Series, both from Berkley. The newest KGI book, Hidden Away releases March 1st.
Bookpushers: What was the inspiration behind the KGI Series?
Maya: The KGI series is something that has been living in my head for several years now. Proof that some ideas just won’t die/go away 🙂 When I first started writing with the idea of publication, I was writing historicals, but in 2003 Ethan and Rachel’s story came to me and it literally lived with me to the point that I felt like I had to write it. At the time I thought I would target Silhouette Intimate Moments (back when it was SIM lol) and I started working on the book. But then I got an offer from an agent to represent one of my historical manuscripts and to make a long story short, my career underwent several changes over the next couple of years and Ethan and Rachel’s story got pushed aside. But it never would leave me alone. I just felt like that story was special and it had all the framework to launch a series. I loved the Kelly family and I just couldn’t let go of it like I’ve let go of a LOT of other old ideas and manuscripts *g
So I decided to pull it out and read it again and I fell in love all over again. I sent it to my agent and we sold it to my Berkley editor a couple of weeks later.
Bookpushers: How many KGI books do you have in mind? Can you give us any hints about future books?
Maya: Right now there are six contracted. Of course three have already released so there will be at LEAST three more 😉 The first six will not be about all six of the Kelly brothers consecutively, though. As for how many I have in mind. I have tons of ideas for different characters so really it will be up to readers and my publisher how “many.” I’m happy to write them as long as there is a demand for them!
Bookpushers: What about the Sweet Series, where did that inspiration come from, is there also more to come in this series?
Maya: I call the Sweet Series, my “accidental” series because truly I did not intend to make a series out of the first book, Sweet Surrender. I wrote the book with the idea that it would be a stand alone. The thing is, I love strong secondary characters. And most of my books are never written with the intention of doing sequels or follow ups. That’s just not how I think. I’m too linear and tend to think about one book at a time. It wasn’t until well after I’d written Sweet Surrender and was thinking of what to propose for my next contract that I thought about writing Damon’s story. He intrigued me. I liked him a lot. He was different from the other secondary characters in Sweet Surrender so I thought he’d be a lot of fun to write. And well, it just sort of went from there.
As for how many, there will be one more after Sweet Possession. Cole’s story, Sweet Addiction, will release in April 2012. That’s the last story I plan to do although I’d entertain the idea of a spin off series but it wouldn’t be called “sweet” 🙂
Bookpushers: You have a wide variety of books you write: steamy erotica, suspense filled militant men, paranormal, contemporary. Is there any one genre you prefer over the others? Is any one easier to write than the others?
Maya: There are different things I like about each of the genres. I can’t say I prefer one over another because I have a different “relationship” with each. They’re just…different. I like that I don’t have to write just one thing and can alternate between the genres. It keeps me from becoming bored!
Erotic romance is hard. It just is. It’s probably the hardest of the genres that I write.
Bookpushers: If you could collaborate with any other author, who would you want to work with?
Maya: Gosh, this is hard. I don’t really work well with someone else. I’d drive them insane. I have my own way of doing things. I’m impatient and I’m horribly disorganized! I don’t think I could do an actual collaboration, but I’d love to do an anthology with Christine Feehan or Julie Garwood.
Bookpushers: What is your all time favourite romance and did it have any inspiration for your writing?
Maya: My two all time favorite romances are Saving Grace and Honor’s Splendour by Julie Garwood. Honestly Julie Garwood taught me everything I know about writing characters. For me, at least, in her books, every character no matter how minor a roll, just jumps off the page. They’re vibrant, real and interesting. It’s what I try to do in my own stories. Make every character count.
Bookpushers: What can you tell us about your new historical series?
Maya: I love, love, love Scottish Historicals. And I loved writing about the McCabe brothers. I was really afraid going into these books because I wasn’t sure if I could pull them off like I had it all pictured in my head. But once I started writing, the words just flowed. It was like “coming home” because I hadn’t written historical romance in several years. In some ways, those three books were much easier than anything else I’ve written in a long while.
Writing these books just brought back how much I love historical romance and made me remember how much I adore Julie Garwood and her Scottish historical romances.
I have covers and blurbs posted for each book on my website now. The first releases in September (actually the last Tuesday of August) and then the other two release back to back in October and November.
Bookpushers: Do you have any other books/series percolating which you hope to write about in the near future?
Maya: Right now I’m pretty much scheduled for existing story lines/series. I have the three KGI books upcoming. I’ll be announcing info on the 4th and 5th KGI books right after the release of Hidden Away.
I have the 6th Sweet Story in 2012. I have a new miniseries with Desire that I’m in the middle of writing.
About the only thing “new” will be the next historical romances since I’m done with the McCabe trilogy. I have an idea for a story I’m hoping my editor will love. It’s one I’m super excited to write it because I just adore the heroine and the hero. So we’ll see!
Bookpushers: Who is your ideal hero? They can be from fiction or real life and again for your ideal heroine?
Maya: My ideal heroine is a mixture of strong and vulnerable. I like a realistic heroine. I don’t want her so kickass that she’s the best most awesome most untouchable person ever because really… really? I like a heroine who may not be the strongest person in the beginning of a story but who comes into her own by the end. Someone who grows as the story progresses. That’s life. That’s reality. No one is perfect from the start. We all have to learn as we go. We screw up. We make mistakes. And we get stronger. I get impatient and annoyed with people who want the heroine to be the same on page 1 as she is on page 400 and never have any character growth.
My ideal hero is someone who loves and accepts his heroine and is willing to go the wall for her every single day. He doesn’t always have to be perfect. What man is? But at the end of the day, no matter what else has happened, he loves and accepts his heroine, faults and all.
Bookpushers: The Kelley brothers – are they boxers, briefs or commando kinds of guys?? *please say they ALL go commando. RAWR!*
Maya: Hmm well Garrett would be extremely annoyed by the question. Sam would just be baffled. Ethan shake his head and roll his eyes and mutter something about “women”. Donovan would grin and offer to show you. Privately of course. Joe would give you a faintly puzzled look then hook his thumb into his jeans, pull out and stare down. Then he’d say, it’s just underwear. Nathan would shrug tell you whatever did the job.
Rio would say whatever kept his boys out of the line of fire. Steele would just ignore you. Cole would swear and then ask if P.J. ratted him out about the unfortunate incident with a red shirt and a white pair of underwear in the wash…
Thank you so much Maya for being here today!! Maya is giving away a copy of one of her KGI books to one lucky commenter! Contest will be closed on Friday and a winner announced Saturday. Good luck!
*ETA: Contest is open Worldwide!*