I am super excited today to present my Oklahoma RWA sister, and fellow author of the Scrimshaw Doll series books, Anna Kittrell. Her debut book, Skinbound released from The Wild Rose Press on October 17th.
Anna Kittrell has written stories for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftovers she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.
Growing up in small town Oklahoma, Anna spent many a summer day on the lakeshores she often writes about. Today, she works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim, and their two practically grown children, Evan and Brandilyn. She still loves visiting those muddy red lakeshores of her childhood, when she’s not too busy writing about them instead.
Now I’m going to turn it over to Anna, and let her tell us about herself by answering a few trick questions.
Do you prefer redeemable villains, or like them nasty through and through?
Normally, my villains don’t have many redeemable qualities. But I do believe redeemable villains are much more threatening. Volatile, fly-off-the-handle people—sometimes nice, sometimes not—terrify me. You never know what you are going to get. Plus, when they decide to be nice, it’s hard to conk them over the head or kill them off, if need be.
And we do want to be able to rough up our villains, lol. What faults do you prefer your heroes to have?
I like my hero to have a fierce, unspoken belief in happily ever after that makes him vulnerable and causes him to risk all. Some men might view this as a fault.
Maybe so, but how many men read romance?? So we can write our heroes that way. How do you pick the names of your characters?
My ears are always open for new names. Sometimes I hear one, it lodges in my heart, and I know right away it will become the name of my next heroine or hero. A couple of weeks ago, in Wal-Mart, I overheard a woman speaking of her newborn grandbaby. As I listened, I was thinking, I am sooo going to snatch that baby’s name…
In Skinbound, my hero’s name is Cabin Creighton. One day my friend was talking about a boy she knew named ‘Cabin,’ and I fell in love with it, only to find out later the boy’s name was really Kavan—not Cabin. I’d misheard her. LOL. I like the uniqueness of the name Cabin; it is a strong name. I like it even more now that I know I made it up! As for the twins, Darcy and Scarlett, I chose names similar in alliteration, but different in mood. To me, the name Darcy says, smart and pretty. The name Scarlett says, dangerous and beautiful.
Names can be tricky, but is finding the right title easy or hard?
I love making up titles as much as I love choosing character names. The title, Skinbound, has a double meaning. It describes Darcy and Scarlett, forever bound by identical features, but also defines an important plot point in the story. In order to understand the full meaning behind the title, the book must be read—if I told you, I’d spoil the ending. J
We don’t want any spoilers. Who would you like to see cast as the hero and heroine in a movie made about your latest release?
Hmmm…I can see Ryan Gosling as thoughtful, tormented Dr. Cabin Creighton. Reese Witherspoon can easily slip into the dual role of kindhearted schoolteacher, Darcy Vaughan, and her shrewd, evil twin, Scarlett.
Now for some fun stuff. Mountain home or beach house?
Mountain home. My husband has family in Montana, the scenery takes my breath away. Creating stories while surrounded by beauty of that magnitude sounds heavenly. Then again, I’m not particularly fond of cold weather…good thing my husband is in the climate control business.
Gloomy day or sunshine to get your muse going?
Gloomy. The house feels quieter, not as many people come knocking. Also, when it’s raining I don’t worry that I should be mowing the lawn or mopping the floors, instead of clacking away on the keyboard.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. With creamer. Sometimes I shake in a little cinnamon-sugar to remind me of my great-grandma.
Cat or dog?
Small dog. A twelve year-old Chihuahua/Pomeranian/Rat Terrier mix named Bruce. Happy to be anywhere I’m at…even under my desk on the cold wood floor. He’s curled up beside me on the sofa now. Later he’ll bring me his ball and fetch until he drops, exhausted.
Beach vacation or sightseeing?
Beach vacation. Sightseeing seems like work.
Jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers, or pencil skirt, silk blouse, and killer heels?
I’m a dress up girl: styled hair, lipstick and eyelashes. I wear fitted skirts and high-heels to work each day and to church on Sundays. What might surprise you is where I get my extensive wardrobe. Thrift stores and resale shops. I am such a fan! People say I should keep it secret, but I’m proud of my bargains, and can’t keep them to myself. If someone compliments my top, I’ll eagerly answer, “Thanks! I paid a dollar for it at Goodwill.”
Carrie Underwood or Lady Gaga?
Neither! I’m an eighties rocker, through and through. I love the music of John Mellencamp, Night Ranger, 38 Special, Loverboy, Eddie Money and Cinderella, to name a few, and have seen them all in concert.
I’m a thrift store addict myself. Love the bargains. Now let’s hear a little bit about Anna’s book.
An ancient scrimshaw doll—does its gypsy magic protect or destroy?
As a child, Darcy Vaughan cowered beneath the malice of her twin sister, Scarlett. Now, Scarlett is back and Darcy hopes to establish the sisterly bond she’s always longed for. Instead, Scarlett tries to destroy Darcy’s life—and her new relationship with the town doctor.
Dr. Cabin Creighton returned to his hometown near Lake Chickasha, Oklahoma to take over his father’s practice. One look at Darcy, and Cabin wants nothing more than to love her forever. But a guilty heart and memories of his deceased wife are holding him back.
When someone from Scarlett’s past reappears, bad things start to happen. Darcy and Cabin struggle to keep their love alive, but as danger draws closer, Darcy finds herself once more at her sister’s mercy, with nothing but the yellowed bones of an ancient doll to protect her.
“Really? This is how you treat your sister? Your twin?” Scarlett pushed past Darcy, into the living room.
“You promised to check on me. I had a coughing spasm and very well could have died in that house all by myself.” She shook a cigarette from her pack, looked around the room, then slid it back in.
“May I intervene?” Cabin asked, his piercing gaze aimed at Scarlett. “You’re perfectly fine. I would have sent you to the hospital if I’d thought otherwise. As for the coughing spasm…you can blame those cigarettes for that.”
“Thank you, Dr. Drew. I’ll check into Celebrity Rehab right away.” She cackled, her breath reeking of alcohol. She turned to Darcy, snatching the doll from her hand. “Where did you get this?” she demanded. “How many crap-filled dumpsters did you have to dive into before you found the ridiculous thing? They should’ve buried these dried up bones right along with that crotchety old bat’s.” She pumped the doll’s legs in a suggestive motion and laughed, holding it from reach as Darcy grabbed for it.
Cabin circled Scarlett’s wrists with one hand, twisting the doll free with the other, and handed it to Darcy.
“My, you are a strong one.” Scarlett batted her lashes over bloodshot eyes. “I can certainly see why my sister…my twin sister…has such a bad case of Cabin fever.” She turned on her stilettoed heel and staggered through the doorway, onto the porch. “I hope you can remedy that, doctor.” She laughed as Cabin shut the door.
Here is the buy link:
Where you can find Anna:
Twitter user name: @KittrellAnna
Facebook author page:
Anna is so excited about her release that she’s giving away a free pdf download of Skinbound to one lucky commenter. So comment away, and get your hands on a copy of this wonderful book.