I truly believe that 2022 is made for Kaye Rockwell, because not only does she already have a YA contemporary romance out right now, she’s got her adult romance debut out right now and so much more on the way! I was lucky to read an ARC of Glad You Exist and absolutely loved the story of Liz and Brad all tied together with loss, trauma and young love.
And now, I’m ready to dive into her adult debut, In Case You Didn’t Know, which ties in romance and suspense as an FBI agent goes on the hunt for his wife.
Join me and let’s get to know Kaye a little better!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I was heavily influenced by my mom. My earliest memories consist of reading but it wasn’t until I lost my mom that I put a pen to paper and wrote my first poem. That was when I discovered my love of writing and realized just how therapeutic it was for me. I always get lost in daydreams and when I got to highschool, there was an English project which was a screenplay. That initial screenplay, almost two decades later became Glad You Exist.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
Life is hard. It’s tough. It’s nice to be able to get lost in a book, in a world where it inevitably ends in a HFN or a HEA. No matter the journey in between, there’s always that guarantee of a good ending.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I didn’t initially set out to do it. I initially wanted to query all my writing but when I sat down and really revisited Glad You Exist, I knew I couldn’t wait. I spoke to other indie authors and did my research, weighing the pros and cons. I think Glad You Exist will always hold a special place in my heart. I needed to do this my way.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
I think the best part is being able to learn and grow because you do everything as an indie author. You write. You design. You edit. You market. Everything becomes a learning experience and you only get better with each new book.
The worst is also that. You’re in charge of everything so the burden of whether you fail or succeed falls heavily on your shoulders. And the expenses—indie publishing is expensive and you don’t always get your ROI (return of investment) because chances are whatever extra you may earn from royalties after deducting publishing costs is already set aside for your next book.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
I try to write full time. I’m also a stay at home mom with a small business. I wish I could write full time, it’s definitely something I hope to be able to pursue.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
Reading? Haha… You know that saying jack of all trades, master of none? I like to dabble in a ton of things but I’m not convinced I’m really good at any of them besides being a mom. I’d like to think I was pretty good at that.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
YA? Or is that also considered romance in some aspects?
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
So many… But I’m such a mood reader so chances are I’ll miss a ton of them but right now I’m really loving the following authors: J.Saman, Chloe Liese, Emma St Clair, Sarah Smith, Ana Huang, Sariah Wilson, Abby Jimenez, Sarah Adams, Catharina Maura, Kristen Callihan, Emily McIntire and so so so many more!
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
1. Be true to your voice.
2. Be kind to yourself. You are your own biggest critic.
3. This is not a contest, don’t compete with other authors. You are in your own lane. We’re all doing what we love.
4. Create a community—no matter how small.
5. Art is subjective. Not everyone is going to love your book AND THAT’S OKAY.
Can you tell me about your debut?
I’ve published a young adult romance called Glad You Exist. I have a contemporary romance called In Case You Didn’t Know out now and book 1 of my Trope Series called Honest With You coming late Summer.
Of the books you’ve written, do you have a favourite character?
LIZ. I wrote her as a teenager and in many ways her character mirrors certain things that have happened in my life. She became my escape when things got tough growing up.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
I have a binder from high school and college that I used to write plot outlines in, I still have it. I have notebooks where I write scenes that become the driving force in the evolution of the story. Most of the time, it comes to me in dreams where I wake up in the middle of the night and go to my desk and just write. Sometimes from songs that inspire me. Lots of times from my own experiences.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
A lot. I put a little bit of my own experiences in every single book I write.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I hope they find an escape in this world I’ve created. I hope they get lost in these pages the same way I got lost when I wrote them. I hope they find peace and learn to have faith in themselves.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
Honest With You is the first book of my trope series coming late Summer 2022. I can tell you that it has at least 5 fan favorite tropes in it and it has a lot of elements that Glad You Exist had, but this time you get to see the characters well into adulthood.
I also have another project that is in the pipeline that I am still working on, I’m hoping to say more about it by Summer!
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
Most is the best friends to lovers, he falls first—I LOVE THIS TROPE (ahem Glad You Exist). Least is the cheating trope.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
Enemies to lovers and fake relationships!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
Definitely more diversity.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
The inevitable HEA and all the tears, sighs and swooning in between.
THIS OR THAT
- Ebooks or audiobooks
- Historical romance or romantic suspense
- Single or Dual POV
- Standalones or series
- Music or silence while writing
- Plotter, pantser or plantser
- Tea or coffee
- Cold or warm weather
- Morning person or night owl
- Illustrated cover or photo cover