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I’m not sure when I first stumbled upon Keri Lake but her Halos world intrigued me. It is my great pleasure to have her here today!

Please help me in welcoming Keri Lake…

Welcome Keri.

Let’s start with something fun. If you could have a quiet dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would you choose?

I’d actually like to have dinner with JK Rowling. I don’t know why, but I am so intrigued by her personal story, that I think it would make for very interesting conversation.

Oh, good one. I agree, her personal journey is amazing. Like most writers, I started on this journey as an avid reader. What is your go-to genre to read?

My go-to genre is paranormal romance. Werewolves, shifters, fae, vampires and of course demons and fallen angels. I’m not picky!

With my Scots ancestry, I’m definitely partial to the fae 🙂 So it was a short jump for you to write a paranormal romance. I’m curious about the rules you created for the Halos world. Was it more of a discovery process or did you work out the boundaries before ever writing a word?

Well, a little of both. I had to have some boundaries set for the storyline, to add some tension and contribute to the plot, but a lot of it evolved along with the story.

HALOS: Somnium your debut — What is your writing process? What elements do you tackle first and how long from inspiration to completed work?

Oh man, I wish I could tell you that I had a writing process because that would make me sound very organized. In truth, aside from a few note cards I use to jot some ideas, I pretty much just dive into writing. The moment I sit and outline, I end up spinning my wheels in mud. The story unfolds as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard. And oddly enough, I’ve never hit writer’s block. I have this unfailing faith that the story will just come to me.

What is your best or favorite setting for writing? Music on, yay or nay? Time?

My favorite setting for writing is probably not the best setting. I’d prefer to write on my laptop in bed. But often it’s way too tempting to fall asleep. Between the music, the cozy blankets, warm coffee and the peaceful surroundings, I’d be inclined to drift off. Definitely yay on music. I cannot write without my playlist. In fact, you’ll find some of my favorite songs that I use to write on my website. The best time for me to write is ungodly. I will wake up as early as three in the morning to plot away.

Yeah, I get up for Dark & Early writing too, otherwise the time gets lost in the daily grind. But three am, that is ungodly! Or dedication!

What is your favorite line or moment from Somnium?

Oooh!! Tough one. I love the scene with the motorcycle. But I think my all-time favorite would have to be when Allie wakes to Colton playing guitar. I imagine that to be one of the most serene (and inviting, *cough*) moments in the book.

Oh, yeah. Love that scene 😀

How did you come up with the title and what exactly is somnium?

There are a few Latin themes throughout the story, including the script tattoo on the cover. The title of the book means ‘dream’ in Latin. And the MC, Allie, is plagued by dreams and nightmares that she doesn’t understand.

Yes, that cover is delicious. What went into the cover design?

My brother actually designed the cover for me. I wanted something dark that of course, gave some insight into the story. I was very pleased with the end result. The tattoo was designed by a tattoo artist and I sought out a Latin expert for the script, ‘In Morte Reconciliatio.’

Fans of Karen Maria Moning’s Fever series have gotten tattoos based ones mentioned in the books. It’ll be fun to see if the same happens with yours.

If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each character? I’m especially curious about Colton 😉

Hmmmm. You know, it’s hard to say who would play the characters in my story! I’ve pretty much made them up in my head. I actually have some character pics on my website that have the look I was going for. But I’m not sure who they’d be as actors, quite honestly. I’d be more curious to know who my readers think would play these characters 😉

Good point, and it could open up an interesting debate. Have you read Somnium, dear blog visitors? If so, please share in the comments who YOU think should play each character.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

The most challenging aspect of writing the book was finding the time to write it. Working full-time and ‘being there’ for my family proved to be tricky at times. I became very efficient with the few minutes I could steal here and there. It’s amazing how focused you can become when you’re faced with limitations.

I can completely relate, LOL. For those who haven’t read this yet, your heroine, Allie, is an engineer. Why did you choose this profession and how did you prepare to write about it?

Allie is actually based on my sister, who is an engineer. So preparing to write her character was simply a matter of sitting down with my sister to discuss her job; easier said than done, considering she moved out of state. But I wrangled some of her time and Allie’s character came to life.

You’ve mentioned on your site that you’re at work on the next story in the HALOS world. Can you share a little of it with us?

Requiem will pick up where Somnium left off. Readers were faced with a number of mysteries yet unrevealed by the end of Somnium. Book two will begin to unravel some of those mysteries. It continues with Allie as the MC. But I’ll be introducing new characters into the mix.

What was the most surprising thing you learned during Somnium?

The most surprising thing I learned was that my pacing was really off. In fact, I had to rewrite the first chapter a couple of times to get it right. I’ve been told that I have a poetic style, very descriptive. This is nice in poetry, but in a full-length novel, it can affect the pace of the story and be a bit…boring. So to practice brevity, I took writing breaks and wrote some flash. This helped tremendously and when I returned to Chapter 1, I felt that the pace was greatly improved.

I’ve never been much of a flash fiction writer so it is interesting that it helped with pacing, I’ll file that away for future reference. What writing advice are you glad you followed or ignored?

The writing advice I’m glad that I followed is learning to take criticism for my work. Develop tough skin. Everything comes down to people’s preferences. What might not be interesting to one person could be intriguing to someone else. As writers, I think we become very attached to our work and often, defensive as if someone just called our child ugly. We have to be open to the idea that there are going to be many people in the world who just aren’t into our story, and some people who absolutely love it. The trick is to write for yourself and what you love.

Great advice!

Since we’re all readers at heart let’s wrap up with a couple more reading questions. What was your favorite childhood, I’m thinking middle school or younger, book?

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

Love Silverstein. Still read his books to the wee beasties. Because my reading list isn’t long enough *snort* what are you currently reading?

I’m just finishing up Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione and have begun reading Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward.

Oh, Larissa Ione is one of my go-to authors! Haven’t started Ward’s series yet but it’s on the ol’ list, LOL. And for fun, what do you think readers would be shocked to discover about you?

I think readers would be shocked to know that I am obsessed with sharks. I’ve always loved them. Seriously, Shark Week is like a holiday for me – I look forward to it every year!

Wrap-Up Quickies:

Dog or cat lover? Dog lover
Tea or Coffee? Coffee, but I am addicted to Peppermint Mochas.
Quiet or music when you read? When I read, I definitely need quiet.
E-books or paper? Much as I love my Kindle, cracking a new spine is the best.
Where can readers find you?

Thanks again, Keri, for being here today!

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Bio: Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. She writes fiction in the genres of paranormal romance, urban fantasy and recently finished book 1 of a paranormal YA series. A graduate of Michigan State University (go green!), Keri holds 2 degrees in science but would gladly trade them both to pursue her true passion for writing. Though novels tend to be her focus, she has also written countless short stories and flash fiction whenever the distraction arises. She completed her very first novel in 2008 and has written two more since then with a few in the works.

When she isn’t toiling away on plots and protagonists, she enjoys reading, music and travel. If she could create mystical powers for herself, she’d have the ability to flash to anywhere in the world. And if she could flash to anywhere in the world at this very moment, she’d be staring at the ocean from her Adirondack chair on the shores of North Carolina.

A work assignment in Kittery, Maine should be routine for Allie Lynch; nothing more than to prove herself as a brilliant engineer. Instead she finds herself torn between two men: a gorgeous military guard, Colton Briggs, and her devilishly handsome colleague, Drew Costa. To resist temptation, Allie does the only thing she can: she throws herself into her work.

But fate has other plans for Allie. Women are going missing all around her, Allie is struck with a series of life-threatening mishaps, and she becomes the obsession of a local deranged psychopath.

Thrust into a dark world that she can hardly fathom, Allie must fight for her very survival, open her mind to new realities – and open her heart to the possibility of love. Because both of these men are trouble – but one is a greater danger than she could ever imagine…