This week I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know USA Today Best Selling Author, Lux Karpov-Kinrade. She told me about her process, her journey as an author, advice for writers, and all about her brand new book The Lottery.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always known, I think. I’ve been writing since I was a child. I even had a side business when I was… 10? Selling short stories to my grandparent’s neighbors. Writing has always been my calling.
What was your first experience writing your first book?
Almost every published author I know has a first book they either never finished or will insist is burned with their body when they die because they don’t want anyone to ever read it. So my first book was never finished. And it just kept getting longer and longer and longer. Lol! But the second book I wrote I did finish, and it was published by a small press. It was called Forbidden Mind and was inspired by a dream I had about a girl named Sam who could read minds and was raised in a secret school for gifted children. She and her friends were rented out as spies to the rich and powerful with the promise of freedom when they graduate. But that promise was a lie… DUHDUHDUH. That book became an award-winning trilogy and I’ve gone on to write over 50 titles since then.
You are a USA Today Best Selling Author of a great number of books! Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
I get this question a lot and it’s one of the hardest to answer, because ideas are kind of everywhere for me. dreams, articles I read, feelings or thoughts or scenes that come to me, a character that inspires me, people watching… Honestly, my ‘daydreaming’ that my teachers used to complain about is probably my biggest asset as an author. I think a lot about a lot of things and ideas start to piece themselves together. My daydreaming has made me pretty successful, so take that elementary school teachers! Lol But I think the easiest way I come up with ideas is to ask the question “What if…” and fill in the blank with something interesting. What if a woman down on her luck gets a job at a law firm that only works at night… then finds out her new bosses are really vampires? (I Am the Wild) What if a college student dies her first week of school and is reincarnated as a Greek god with a kingdom over the dangerous dungeons? (Dungeon Queen) Etc.
What would you say is your most interesting or unique writing quirk? Is there something you do that helps with the process?
I have two go-tos that help me get books done. One is writing in sprints. I write in 20-60 minute sprints, and it always improves my writing speed. It gets me out of editor mind and into creator mode. And second, as far as idea generating goes, Dmytry (my husband and co-author) and I will pick two to three genres and make a list of ideas within those genres, then mash up the ideas with each other. An example: A young woman with a troubled past gets a job cleaning house for the mysterious new rich man… only she has an ulterior motive and he’s not the easy target she thinks. (Wanted) This book was a blend of boss/work romance, paranormal romance and gothic with a side of mystery and horror. Using this technique often helps us get out of any idea ruts.
Your husband is your writing partner! What is your favorite thing about working together?
Yes he is! We’ve written over 50 books together, made music, screenplays and even a movie, plus raised three kids and seven cats. My favorite thing about working with Dmytry is how in synch we are. Our kids joke that we share a brain, and they’re not wrong. We will literally write the exact same scene (using almost identical language) without the other realizing it or coordinating it. I love that we make each other better writers, and we get to share the most meaningful parts of our lives together. He’s my best friend and the most talented person I know. He’s truly my happy place, and that makes everything we do so much more fun.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you've been given about writing?
Write stories that heal you and those stories will also help heal the world.
You have a great online relationship with your readers! What is your favorite part about staying connected with your fans?
We have some fans that have known us, our family and our work for over 10 years. It’s wild. I love hearing their stories and seeing the friendships our readers develop with each other. And honestly, when the weight of the world becomes a bit too heavy, going into my reader group is a welcome respite. There’s so much love from our fans… and I can feel that. And when they share with me how our books have changed their lives, it keeps me going on the harder days.
Do you have advice for new and emerging writers?
Finish something. Anything. A short story, a novella, a novel. Just finish a few stories before worrying about anything else. Once you’ve learned what that feels like (finishing is its own hurdle!)… then start thinking about what you want to write and how you want to write. Study your craft (read books, study bestsellers), study your genre, study other genres. And finally, once you have a handle on that part, study the market. Figure out what genre/audience you are writing for. And figure out what your goal is. Do you want to be fulltime? What kind of income would that require? Are you planning on publishing indie or trad? If you don’t know the difference, do some research. Depending on your genre, personality and expectations, one might be a better fit than the other. But above all, have fun and don’t give up. Overnight success is a myth, and usually takes years to accomplish. You might be closer than you think.
Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books?
There are so many. Early influences for me include The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (CS Lewis), Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Shakespeare (I remember in high school when my parents bought me a hardback Complete Works. LOVED it.) More recently, Madeline Miller has become an absolute favorite with Circe and Song of Achilles. Mark Lawrence (Red Sister) and Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind) are a few fantasy favorites. I love Gillian Flynn for psychological suspense. (one of my favorite genres to read). There are a bunch more… but too many to name.
You just released a new book! Tell us all about it!
I came up with the idea for The Lottery, a near future billionaire romance, last summer when a certain billionaire went to space. It got me thinking. Then researching. And I realized something shocking. We are closer than you can possibly imagine to colonizing space. Particularly Mars. It's actually a very livable planet, once you jumpstart its core and give it some breathable oxygen. Easy peasy! (the science really does exist for this... )
So this gave me the idea of a billionaire romance in space. Using mostly real tech and science, with a slightly accelerated time frame, our billionaires terraformed Mars and built a spaceship to take a handful of the rich and the smart to colonize the red planet and escape a dying Earth. If you can’t afford the billionaire price tag, you can either get on the ship as crew, or as Lottery winners… paired off by an algorithm with a compatible billionaire mate. We essentially took a very probable near future and made it sexy, and gave it hope. Hope for love. Hope for humanity. Hope for our ability to change, to grow, to learn. To hopefully not destroy the next planet we take over.
There’s also enemies to lovers, arranged marriage, forbidden love, and some obscenely expensive Billionaire Vodka (this is a real thing.)
The Lottery is available now on Amazon digitally and in paperback!
Thank you so much to Lux for being our first author interview! You can find her and her husband Dmytry on Facebook, Instagram @luxkarpov, and TikTok @karpovkinrade