Here on Diane Capri Reveals, we’ve featured some of the biggest names in our genre, including my friends and colleagues Lee Child, the father of Rambo, David Morrell, my colleague at the Bar, Steve Berry, the dynamite writing duos Maxine Paetro (and James Patterson), Grant Blackwood (and James Rollins), and more. You can check out those posts by clicking HERE.
Our series on new authors and new voices is winding down. For the past few weeks we’ve been offering Licensed to Thrill readers a glimpse into authors and books you might not know because the marketplace is crowded and finding good reads is more confusing than it needs to be. So check out our entire Diane Capri Reveals series and see whether you’ve missed authors and books you’d like to sample for yourself or gifts for your favorite readers.
It’s no secret that books set in Italy, such The Vendetta by Kecia Adams, easily capture my attention. We’re going to share how Kecia’s life in Rome led her to the writing world. Maybe we can do it, too!
Diane Capri: Living in Rome, writing, sounds like a dream come true to me. Before we get to that, you’ve done quite a bit of other globe trotting, haven’t you?
Kecia Adams: I am a traveler—it’s my favorite thing to do–well, besides reading.
Diane Capri: What set you off on the nomad’s path?
Kecia Adams: The culture shock of spending my childhood in Santa Fe, New Mexico, then moving with my family to the suburbs of Philadelphia hit me hard early on. I translated that experience into a strength (meaning, I didn’t speak in class for an entire year) and redeemed my high school and college years by studying in Europe—Denmark and Paris, respectively. You should see my journals from those days … or, erm, maybe not! *laughs*
Diane Capri: *grins* Hey, I spent my college years in Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten. Now you write romance and I write crime. Might be fun to compare notes, hmm? But you had other adventures, too.
Kecia Adams: After receiving a degree in International Relations from USC, I entered the Navy. Mostly, I learned to write and edit the vast amounts of paperwork required to keep that organization functioning like the well-oiled machine it has been for centuries.
Diane Capri: Even after leaving the service several years ago, you didn’t actually settle down.
Kecia Adams: I meant to. I did leave the Navy to “settle down” with my own personal hero. Instead we’ve traveled the world together, lived in Italy and South Korea, but returned home often enough to know that love really does make the world go ‘round. It was while touring in Italy that I began to write down the stories that had rattled around in my head for years.
Diane Capri: And that first story became The Vendetta. How did that happen?
Kecia Adams: I am married to a military guy (now retired), and in 2004 we were posted to Rome, Italy. I know, fabulous, right? Various issues with the hubster’s commanders made the assignment not necessarily a dream job, but we’d had a goal to live in Europe for a while. And there we were, in Rome! My expectation was that we would have an amazing three years as a family, full of adventure, culture, food, sightseeing, and Italians (!). And we DID have all those things and more. But it was also hard. Even in an appealing, forgiving place like Rome, it is hard to juxtapose cultures and learn new systems of living. So how is that related to my writing? Well, all of my frustration with the expectation of living in Rome versus the reality of the “Eternal City” needed an outlet. So I wrote. And wrote and wrote. Eventually I became fascinated with the characters I saw every day. Once I had characters, then of course I had stories to tell. The Vendetta, my debut novel, has a lot of that writing in it, but it is so much more now too.
Diane Capri: Now it’s Nick and Lisa’s story. What’s the book about?
Kecia Adams: Vengeance intersects the international world of fine art when ski town barista Lisa Schumacher serves up espresso—with a dollop of passion—for Italian businessman Nick Carnavale. Lured to Rome by family ties, Lisa races to find a mysterious missing painting in time to convince Nick that love, and life, is worth more than his revenge.
Diane Capri: It sounds a little breathtaking, doesn’t it? In fact, you enjoy breathtaking activities, right? In fact, didn’t you tell me you’re working on a novel about high stakes sailboat racing?
Kecia Adams: *laughs* Right. Rafaela Benedetto, heiress to Benedetto hotels and Ian’s former fiancée, inherits an America’s Cup sailboat and racing team after her grandfather dies. To save her family’s financially troubled hotel chain from hostile takeover by a ruthless rival, Rafaela hatches a plan to win the America’s Cup–with Ian as captain. There is family precedent for such a challenge: over 100 years ago, Ian’s great-great-grandfather captained the winning boat.
Diane Capri: Are you an adrenaline junkie, then?
Kecia Adams: A little, perhaps. Now, when I’m not spending ridiculous amounts of time at the computer dreaming up hot characters and spicy conflicts for my fiction writing, I love to ride my bike really fast and shop for shoes with my two daughters—heroines (and world travelers) in the making.
Diane Capri: But that’s not all, is it? What about this breathtaking location photo we found?
Kecia Adams: Nah. I was breathing just fine. I hiked there with my family—above Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. They call it the Blue Ridge for a good reason!
Diane Capri: You’ve told me you’re in the middle of the toughest part of writing a new book.
Kecia Adams: The hardest part for me is writing the rough draft. I would love to be the writer who is able to plan and plot and know exactly where the story is going when I sit down at the computer, but that doesn’t work for me. I do quite a bit of character work before I start and I have a general idea of what kind of story I want to tell (rags to riches, revenge, etc.) but mostly I just have to sit down and put words on paper. I write about 1000-2000 words a day when I’m working on a draft, which I send in a daily email to my husband for accountability. He knows to ask for them if he hasn’t seen the email that day. He doesn’t even look at what I’ve written usually, he just serves as a check for myself. Once I have a big, messy draft, I love to get in there and start editing. But getting into that first look at the story can be excruciating for me!
Diane Capri: We’ll let you get back to it, then. Thanks for coming in today. Where can readers connect with you?
Kecia Adams: Most days, I’m hanging out at my blog: http://keciaadamsauthor.wordpress.com/ or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KeciaAdamsDilday. Please do stop by!
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How fun! I love to travel as well, Kecia. My husband and I lived in Germany for 2 years before we were married and I’ll never forget that special time. I love your practice of emailing your daily words to your husband for accountability. Wow! What a great idea!
And this name … Rafaela Benedetto … AWESOME!
Great interview ladies.
Thanks so much, Ginger! We really wanted to be stationed in Germany when we were first married. We even took German lessons! But we ended up in Korea…which was good too. 🙂 I have a story about Rafaela that I’ll have to tell on my blog. It’s about ‘seeing’ her in NYC this past weekend (or someone who looked just like I imagined her to be!
Travel is great! Living abroad? I think that would be awesome, too, Ginger. But I’ve never done it. Maybe someday. For now, I’ll just live vicariously through you and Kecia!
Kecia, I admire the way you dealt with the fluctuating frustration-to-joy ratio in Rome: by writing. Great interview, Kecia and Diane! Thank you.
Thanks, Pat, as always. 🙂 I have some questions for you too…about a character that popped in my head during my recent NaNoWriMo extravaganza. I’ll email ya. Aren’t you intrigued now? 🙂
I’d love to have such frustrations, Pat. Wouldn’t you? 😀
Great interview! Oooh, can’t wait to read The Vendetta!
Thanks, Myndi. I started Shrilugh on T-giving and hated to put it down for the feast! 🙂 It’s going to be my reward for finishing NaNoWriMo.
Nothing like a virtual trip when we can’t go in person, right Myndi?!
I was able to go to Italy when I was 19, but it was only for a week. I’ve always wanted to go back for a longer trip. I don’t think my husband and I would ever consider living there. We have too many pets to cross the ocean with 🙂
The Romans sure love their dogs, though. At least that’s what I found when I was there. One of my neighbors had one of those huge mastiffs. She said it was a great apartment dog because he just lied around all day. 🙂
I’ve talked to people who take their pets abroad, Marcy. It sounds like quite a project – quarantines and such. I’ve never done it, either. Thanks for reading!
Oh, how exciting it sounds to have traveled like you have. My mom married an Air Force man, and she hoped for the exotic locations. Where did he get stationed? Puerto Rico. Then Nevada, then New Mexico. Not exactly Germany or Italy!
I always thought it would be awesome live in Europe for awhile, but I bet like you it wouldn’t exactly fit my mental picture of life there. Still, awesome inspiration for stories!
I hope someday to at least take a photo tour over there. Oh, the pictures I could end up with! *drools*
I would love to take that trip with you! I’m actually pretty bad at taking pictures but I love to show people stuff. One of my favorite things was to show our visitors the sights. I had quite a schtick down. Ask me about the Taj Mahal of the Roman Forum sometime. 🙂
You are such an awesome photographer, Melinda! I really hope you do this!!!
What a great story! I’ve always wondered about Kecia and how she got to roam. And The Vendetta sounds like it’s right up my alley. Off to check it out now! Thanks, both of you.
OMG, major funny Freudian slip… how she got to ROME (and roam).
Pun intended! Good one, Debra. I’m fond of The Vendetta. It’s my first book and therefore special to me. I hope you get a chance to enjoy it! Everyone’s so busy this time of year. It’s a good one for a hot bath though…there’s even a bath scene. 😉
Nice job, Debra!
Another excellent Reveal, Diane.
Kecia, what a fascinating life! I’ve hardly traveled, and I think it’s wonderful that you have all your travel adventures and years in the Navy to mine and enrich your stories, which sound fabulous!
Thanks, Lynn. Really appreciate you stopping by!
Hi Lynn! Thanks for reading. The support from WANA is what keeps me going sometimes, especially when the writing gets tough. 🙂
fun interview! I like seeing the other side of authors. And now I want to visit Italy, too. Oh, and go shoe shopping. 🙂
Yes, Emma! Shoe shopping in Italy! What a great idea! 😀
I am SO on board with that. So many shoes, so little closet space. Shoe shopping sounds MUCH better than my current agenda: catching up on laundry and needed vacuuming. Bleh!
I am green with envy and yet I can’t imagine pulling up stakes and moving. it’s too much for my poor brain to consider, but I’m still envious.