Please welcome Vivian Kohlman to the Clog Blog. Vivian – Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised—by a single mother—in the Washington, DC area, with one older sister. I’m currently married with no kids (intentionally), and still live in the DC area. I love this town so much that even after my sister moved to Los Angeles, I just couldn’t make the switch—though I tried to live there a couple of times.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in English and an MBA in the Management of Global Information Technology (IT). I work as an IT Consultant for federal agencies and private companies, and I love my job…but I love my hobby—writing romance novels—even more! I picked up writing as a hobby only a few years ago and I’m already on my fifth book as part of the Young and Privileged of Washington, DC series. And I’m sure there are many more to come!
Aside from writing, I enjoy travelling and hiking (well, walking around wooded areas—low-impact hiking, you could say). And I love champagne brunches and Friday happy hours, or taking a walk in nice weather.
How did you come up with the idea for your YOUNG AND PRIVILEGED series?
The very first book started with the urge to write about a story of my youth, but making it play out and end much differently than it did in reality. I used the experiences and characters of my friends and me in our teens and twenties (in all of the books). The first book was very personal; the subsequent books flowed from there.
Most people think of Washington, DC as only a political place, full of stuffy congressmen and sleazy lobbyists. But the DC I know is much cooler, and much livelier. My stories focus on the part of society that doesn’t care much for politics—young and privileged adults who are lucky enough to enjoy life and all the nice things this area has to offer.
Why did I focus on this group? Because their life is fundamentally different than the average young adult’s—and it’s exciting. They live like Paris Hilton or a Kardashian—without the fame and notoriety. I think Gossip Girl (the TV show and the books) helped to lead me to this series, but on behalf of DC youth instead of NY.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on book #5 of the series right now, which is a follow-on to book #4 (“Girls Like Me”). Book 5 (still unnamed) continues the story of Ava and her boyfriend; in book 4, they met and got together.
All of the books in the series can be read alone, in any order, but it’s best to follow the series’ books sequentially to best understand the characters and storylines. Since I’m just starting out as a writer, and self-publishing, I’ve begun to try to market the series and have set up my website, Facebook page, etc—these are all in the beginning stages right now, but I plan to work more on them in 2018.
What genre are your books?
Contemporary romance. Although the characters are aged anywhere from late high-school to late twenties, the books are filled with scenarios and language that only mature audiences should read.
What draws you to this genre?
Who doesn’t love a romance? Especially one that is earth shattering and deep…a love that causes emotional elation and is usually followed by destruction. I get lost in contemporary romance stories, and hope my readers get lost in mine!
Writing romances allows me to express stories and characters from a view of what I find romantic—which isn’t always the norm. I don’t write erotica, but some scenes can be steamy. Writing about the ups and downs of falling in love, or out of love, is as much fun to write as reading about it!
How much research do you do?
Because most of what I write is from my own experiences, I don’t need to do too much research. But each story may cause me to research and item or two, and sometimes ask people for their experiences. On top of that, I sometimes choose to try out new locations around the DC area myself.
Most of the locations—bars, restaurants, neighborhoods, etc—I visit myself often, and feature the places I like (or liked, when I was younger) the most.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Nope, I write in spurts. I’ve gone as much as six months without writing anything new; alternately, I’ve written over 3,000 words in a day before. I have a process worked out where I write the basic story very quickly (usually when the story strikes me), then spend the next 6 months or so revising and adding to it. Since this is just a hobby, I want to make sure I continue to enjoy it, so I put no pressure on myself to write.
Which writers inspire you?
Writers? No writer directly inspires me, but I do get inspired by movies, songs, and TV shows. So much so that I plan to stat a blog someday soon that defines all the inspirations for each book. Book 3 was inspired by a dream I had, the nuances of all the books are influenced with whatever music I’m drawn to at the time, and Games of Thrones inspired a main character in Book 4.
Although I can’t say other authors inspire me, I do enjoy reading other peoples’ work. Ironically, I like easy-to-read romance novels that are contemporary or fantasy, such as:
Cecily von Zeigesar
L J Smith
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
All of my books are currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. In the future, I may move to other platforms.
Do you have a sexy teaser you’d like to share with us?
From Girls Like Me, Book 4 of the Young and Privileged of Washington, DC
I walked straight to him, knowing that the right thing to do would be talking to Miko first. But I didn’t care; I could still feel King’s arms around me, and that made me feel fantastic.
“Hey thanks for taking me off the floor,” I said, sitting down next to him on the sofa, but not too close.
“Don’t mention it. I saw the fight brewing from up here, so went down to warn you girls. You were about to be in the middle of it and my yacht’s parked closer than yours…I didn’t want to have to take you back to my place and get blood all over my pristine decks,” he said, not looking at me once, just staring at his phone.
And we’re back to mean King.
I wasn’t sure what to say, but I didn’t move an inch either. I pulled my eyes away from his face and looked down, resting on the amazingly large watch he was wearing—it was a Breitling that had diamonds around the face and it glittered slightly when the club lights hit it. Strong/soft, basic/decadent, nice/mean, hates me/wants me…this guy is an enigma.
Why is he being a dick again? Didn’t he just purposely save me from harm? So why is he acting like he hates me now?
“Uh huh. Well, I can take care of myself, you know,” I said, feeling hurt for some strange reason.
“No, you can’t. You didn’t move. Every other person outside of the fight fled the dance floor—you stood in one place, dumbstruck,” he said.
He still hasn’t looked at me once.
“Have I done something to greatly offend you, King?”
“You seem to be, I don’t know, angry with me,” I said tentatively.
“So, what’s up with the short answers and you not even looking at me?”
He put his phone down and looked me directly in the eyes. Damn his eyes are so beautiful. A heat wave went through my body when our eyes locked.
“I’m pissed as hell for having to touch you. You felt so fucking good,” he said, putting a lot of emphasis on the last part of that statement.