Night Undone is my latest release. It’s the second book in the Agent Night Cover Me Series and the sequel to The Kiss of Night which came out last year. Night Undone tells the story of former Special Agent Kathrin Night who is forced into early retirement by an injury in the line of duty. It was inspired by my trip to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, where the main characters go to thwart terrorists plotting to disrupt the Games.
Tell us something about yourself.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. My first real cognizant recollection is from 3rd grade, penning strange stories about islands of talking animals. I think that was probably due to my mother reading me a lot of Rudyard Kipling when I was very young.
What inspired you to write this book?
A loose brick in a walkway at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Strange? Not to my brain: I felt that brick shift under my foot on my way into the stadium and thought “Hmmm, could someone fit an improvised explosive device under that?” That idea stewed. I’d gone to the Olympics to watch a hockey game. I never dreamed that the spirit of the event would suck me in, sweep me off my feet and blow my mind. When I returned home, the effects of it came with me, and within a couple of weeks I decided it was an experience I wanted to share with the world. Of course, being a spy novelist, I had to get my brick in there somewhere.
How did you choose the title?
I went through about 4 different titles before I came to Night Undone. All the books in my Cover Me Series have the word “Night” in them, since that is my agent’s last name. And I wanted something to represent how “civilian life” was causing her to come undone…
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
My publisher, Write Words, Inc., has first right of refusal on all my series books. The hardest part for me is waiting for editors and artists to get their input and work back to me. It took me about two months to write this book (because I’m a lunatic who does NOTHING else while I’m writing), so I quietly sit and wait, although with a nervous tick, when it takes other people longer do to their part than it took me to write it.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Writing is in my blood. My father was a writer. I think the exposure I got to books when I was a child might have had a lot to do with it. Being chronically ill during grade school gave my imagination the opportunity to run wild with all sorts of ideas. I think I was just destined to do it.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I’ve actually been thinking about the irony of this a lot lately. “Good” characters – their names are usually made up from two different people who are nice to me. Like in Night Undone, Buddy Kim’s name is derived from Kim Krull and Buddy Birch, two people who have been really great influences in my life. “Bad” characters – usually – are named by taking someone who is not very nice and switching their first and last names around. In Lust for Danger, Russ Mitchell’s name actually came from someone I once knew named Mitch Russo. So lately I’ve been wondering, wouldn’t it be better to use the nice person’s name in its entirety instead of the bad person? I guess when I first started this formula in 1986, I thought it was more important that the bad person KNEW who they were. That was payback, in a sense. Nowadays, I’m thinking I’m grown up enough that I don’t really need to do that anymore.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m always working on at least 4 books at a time. Luckily, I’m ADHD. I’m working on the sequel to Lust for Danger, which I hope to have completed (on my end) this year. It’s another action-packed thriller, featuring Special Agent Night in her prime. I’m also percolating the plot of the sequel to Night Undone, and the next book in the Cover Me Series after that. And, I’m nearing completion of my next children’s book, Postcards from Mr. Pish: A Cross-Country Journal Volume 2.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Keep writing, and don’t write for money. Write because you love to write and you have a story to tell. Don’t edit yourself while you’re writing. Get your thoughts down on paper. There’s always time later to go back to slice and dice.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
http://www.ksbrooks.com has links to all my books as well as biography information, photo galleries and whimsical scribblings. Agent Night has her own website at http://www.agentnight.com. I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KSBrooksAuthor