Joining me today in The Loft is author K.A. Raines. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Kari writes dystopian romance and romantic suspense. Her writing career began with penning Twilight fan fiction. She was also named a finalist in a writing contest sponsored by New York Times bestselling author Cassandra Clare. Ultimately, her love of science fiction, the paranormal, and romance led her to write her first book, "The Infiltrator." When not writing, Kari enjoys reading, red wine, horror movies, and good food. Kari lives in Longview, TX with her children and a cat.
S: Good morning, Kari! Thanks for joining me today.
Why did you become a writer?
K: This question is phrased as if was a choice. The truth is, I've always had the drive to write because I've always made up stories in my head, and writing them out is my chosen outlet. I've always assumed it's the same for most writers, but you know what they say about assumptions.
S: What makes you unique--as a writer and or a person?
K: I have a lot of worldly experience, and while my writing isn’t autobiographical by any means, I’m able to incorporate my experiences into my writing to give it an authentic feel. For instance, I’ve had several jobs in various fields--prison guard, missile technician on a naval destroyer, medical assistant--and I’ve traveled all over the world. These experiences have proven useful as a novelist.
S: Wow, you must have a lot of great information stored away to use in stories.
Complete this sentence: "As a writer, my dream is to..."
K: Eventually write full-time. I'd love to say that I love my day job, but I've wanted to be a full-time author for pretty much as long as I can remember. So that's the end game. I don't even want to make a ton of money. I just want to be able to make my own schedule and pick my daughter up from school.
S: Well, you're off to a great start!
What attracted you to the romance genre?
K: While I enjoy a multitude of genres, particularly horror and science fiction, for me the romantic subplot was always the pulse of the story. Whether a book or film, if the lead protagonists have scorching chemistry and there's an amazing sexual tension build-up, I'm hooked. Give me some heat to go with the plot/action!
S: Do you write in other genres?
K: I've been known to produce the occasional horror story or two, but generally, I like to mesh genres. There's room for romance in every genre.
S: Why did you write "The Infiltrator?" What was your inspiration?
K: I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian storylines, and I wanted to write a romance story in this setting about a gruff, rough-around-the-edges guy who saves a woman from a group of scumbags at the end of the world. The woman would turn out to be the girl he loved as a boy whom he never forgot, but life has hardened them both. Regarding my inspiration, I suppose my book is what "The Walking Dead" would look like if a romance writer got their hands on the scripts.
S: Is there anything about this book that makes it special to you? To readers?
K: Ha, I’m not sure what to say about it without tooting my own horn.
S: (Smiles.) Please toot away! That's what this blog is for!
K: I know I’m proud of it. I feel like the action, plot, romance, and sex scenes are well-balanced, and there’s just the right smattering of humor. Also, I’ve been told that the ending is “epic” and the double-twist “shocking.” Personally, it’s everything I’d want to read in a book, but I wrote it. Of course, I’d think that.
Here's the blurb:
A virus has rendered humanity mostly extinct. Keira Starr is alone, staying alive by staying on the run, sleeping in empty gas stations and the trunks of cars long abandoned on the highway. The world is overrun by “Ghosts,” the mindless, bloodthirsty dead, but they are the least of her problems. She is being hunted by ragtag groups of ruthless men, independent contractors working for a mysterious human trafficking ring. When she is finally captured, she discovers that Derrick Caine, despite his gruff demeanor and appearance, may just have a different agenda altogether.
S: Sounds fascinating. These are the types of stories that keep me up at night!
Where can readers buy your book?
K: It's available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CFRXZCS.
S: Kari, thanks so much for joining me today. If you would like to learn more about K. A. Raines and her books, please visit--