Congratulations on publishing Next of Kin. So, what is it about?
The book is about Aiden Carlisle, a sex crimes detective in Portland, Oregon. She’s in a committed relationship with Dawn Kinsley, a former victim in one of her cases. As you can imagine, both bring a lot of baggage to the relationship.
The other main character is Kade Matheson, the deputy district attorney who works with Aiden’s unit. For the last few years, Kade has taken case files and law books, not lovers, to bed, ignoring her attraction toward women. But that changes when she meets Del, a Latina lieutenant with the Portland Police Bureau. Del isn’t Kade’s only admirer, though, because someone is sending her flowers. Things escalate until Kade is no longer sure which is more dangerous: the threat to her life or to her heart?
Next of Kin is the second book in the Portland Police Bureau series. Can readers still read the book if they haven’t read the first novel, Conflict of Interest?
Absolutely! The book focuses on Kade, the deputy district attorney who was a minor character in Conflict of Interest, so that part of the book can stand alone. But since the book also reveals how things are going between Aiden and Dawn, the protagonists of book 1, I think readers will enjoy Next of Kin more if they have previously read Conflict of Interest.
Dawn, one of your main characters, is a psychologist—and so are you. Did you base Dawn on yourself?
No, not at all. Dawn is very much her own person. We have a few things in common, though. For example, we both have a nephew named Tim.
What was your favorite thing about writing Next of Kin?
The dialogue in any of the scenes between Del and Kade. Their witty back-and-forth was just fun to write.
What was the hardest thing about writing Next of Kin?
Balancing all the subplots and giving each the attention it deserves. The novel has a new romance, an established couple, family conflicts, and a mystery subplot, so there’s plenty going on. My beta readers assure me that everything is woven together in an entertaining way, though.
How did you come up with the title, Next of Kin?
It seemed like the logical choice because the book is about family—both by blood and by choice—and those closest to us.
Next of Kin has been previously published by L-Book. How does this second edition differ from the first one?
For one thing, I updated the book a bit since a lot has changed since I first wrote Next of Kin in 2006. Same-sex marriage has become legal in Oregon since then, so some of the references in the story were no longer true.
The biggest change was probably a rewrite of the ending. I felt that after all that Aiden and Dawn have been through in two books, they deserved to have more of a commitment in the end. I also added a new scene between Aiden and an important minor character toward the end, giving that subplot more of a resolution.
Other than that, I did a lot of line editing, so the book should read much more smoothly now than the first edition.
Are you working on a new novel? What can your readers expect next from you?
My next publication will be “Change of Pace,” a short story that goes with Next of Kin. It’s scheduled for publication in early September.
Right now, I’m working on Just Physical, the third book in my Hollywood series. The main character, Jill, has been introduced as a minor character in Damage Control. Jill is an actress who has MS and has decided to take herself off the romantic market. But when she meets stunt woman Crash, she starts wishing things were different.
How can your readers stay in touch with you?
Thanks Jae for answering our questions.