K.L Hall’s novel, A Ruthless Love is merely a portion of the captivating work written by the author. She provides the reader with a glimpse into Loyalty and Lourde’s unusual love story. Illustrating an astonishing story that takes many unusual turns sure to leave the reader on edge. Know for her enticing urban fiction stories like In the Arms of a Savage, Hall knows how to draw in the reader with her gratifying storytelling.
I recently sat down with the best selling author to discuss her book release for the second part of A Ruthless Love Story. Hall gave a glimpse into her life as a writer, her inspiration, and how she comes up with her novels.
Q: So what does K.L. stand for?
A: So, what’s funny about that is the L or the Hall don’t stand for anything. My name is Kimberly, that’s where the K comes from. When I first started writing books five years ago, I was working at an elementary school and I did not want my real name tied to what I like to write. I was reading examples of J.K. Rowling. At first, nobody knew if she was male or female and I was thinking, this is the way I should go. I just thought of what sounds good together and that’s how K.L. Hall came about.
Q: What inspired you to start writing?
A: I’ve been writing forever. If you ask my mom she’ll say that I picked up a pen when I was 18 months old. I definitely started writing back when there was fan fiction for Lil Bow Wow, B2K, and all of those people, but when I got to college I didn’t have time for that. Then the summer after I graduated college I got bored working at a school where I had the summers off. So, I spent summer 2013 writing a short story, putting together a cover, and putting it out on Amazon.
Q: When you write your stories, how do you find the inspiration and come up with the characters?
A: It’s really funny that you bring that up because yesterday was my five year anniversary for my first book that I have ever published. I started out when I started writing adult stories. Working in an elementary school I wanted to keep everything totally separate from my personal and work life. I was writing African American erotica which then transitioned to Urban fiction. It was just was one of those random kinds of ideas that just hits you in the middle of the night, and you’re like, let me sit up and write this down. I think I published one in July and then one in August, it was kind of the same thing. That random in the middle of the night idea and it just kind of came to life. Once you start writing it down you start thinking, this could happen.
Q: Do you pull your characters from people in your real life or do they come to you naturally?
A: I would say it comes to me naturally, in stuff like my Urban fiction especially with the dialogue. It might go off of things that I would say. Or if I know that my character is rough around the edges then I know that he’s not going to say anything soft. If I know enough about my character and I have him or her already developed in my mind, then I can take that and figure out how they would respond in a conversation.
Q: How are your stories developed? Do you began to write the ending of the story first?
A: I knock it out, that’s just how I work. I know a lot of people who would write their synopsis at the end of the book. I write mine in the beginning so that I know what I want to say, how I’m going to say it, and what’s going to happen. I map it out so that I know what would happen in each chapter. Once I have the skeleton done and I’m going in and filling in the dialogue, scenery and all those things. If I don’t like something or I need to ad lib then I’ll definitely go off script. What if your character say’s something you didn’t expect and now the book kinda takes a different turn, that alway’s happens.
Q: What was it like when you wrote the book?
A: I started working on this book in December of 2017. It was an idea I had, still in the premises of the good girl meets bad guy type of thing, but totally different and I really liked it for that. I was very excited that people were receptive to it. I started it in December of 2017, put it off to the side because I had another best selling series that I wrapped up in December. People were like, “I want more!”. So, I paused that book and went to write a stand-alone, as a spin-off for the other series. I threw all of my time into that and when I was done, I was like “ok, so now I’m going back to it” and I finished it in May. It came out at the end of May, part 2 actually comes out on the 25th and I’m super excited about it. I think that it got more buzz.
Q: About how long does it take you to put together the stories?
A: So, I think it depends. If I have an idea, I’m like “oh yeah that might be a good idea for a book” but it might not be all the way flushed out to a full story yet. If it’s not all the way flushed out to where it’s something full, then it might take me a little longer to put some pieces together and figure out names, what’s going to happen, the drama and all of that.
With, A Ruthless Love Story, I pretty much knew what I wanted to happen in the first book. I knew how I wanted it to end. I love writing cliffhangers! Usually, with my books, it’s the typical cliffhanger like somebody gets shot, or somebody blacks out, something traumatic happens. This one was a cliffhanger but it was a different one because you really didn’t see that coming. People were like, “WHAT!” I was super excited about that, the recognition, and the excitement. People really liked the book.
Q: I know you said that you work with children. How do you manage your writing and work life?
A: I do not work with children anymore I work with adults now and I work full time. It is totally different, still a Monday through Friday job, so it’s really just all about time management. I’ve tried setting those alarms like, “write 1,000 words today” blocking off an hour. If I had a long day it’s probably not going to happen. But with that being said, I do try because I do know that when you put out a good story, people are going to want the follow up a.s.a.p., I try to keep that in mind.
Yes, life does get in the way sometimes but I’m a firm believer of, “if it doesn’t fit don’t force it”. If I’m just trying to write it because I know I have to get words on the paper I’m probably gonna get more frustrated. So I’ll step back from it, I might take a couple of days off or something, try to regroup. Also what I do is whatever I already have written out, I’ll go back and reread it from the beginning to get back into the flow of it and then I’ll keep going.
Q: Speaking of that, what do you do to get over writer’s block?
Writing this Part 2. This is probably the slowest I have ever written a book. Ever! I just wanna say life. I had a birthday. I went on vacation. I was thinking I could write on vacation. No. It’s really just about discipline, taking a step back, and writing something else. Whether it is a short story with different characters or reading a different book. Something to just take me out of it so that I’m not thinking about it. Me getting over my writer’s block is getting inspired, because if I have the blockage then that means that I’m not inspired to write about the story anymore. Once I can get to a point that I’m inspired than the writer’s block would go away.
Q: Have you written any other genres besides fiction and adult erotica?
A: At the end of June, I just finished publishing my first children’s book. I’ve been super excited about that. I was on the road in Atlanta last week and I had two back to back book signings. That book flew off the charts. People were so in love with it. It’s a book for little black girls.
Q: What’s the name of the book?
A: It’s called Princess For Hire. It’s about a little black girl. Of course, you know everybody wants to be a little princess. She’s an orphan and she’s at the market one day and she see’s a sign that says the king and queen are about to retire and they’re trying to hire a new princess. She goes and she stands in this long line of all these little girls wanting to be the princess and they end up choosing her and she gets adopted.
I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback from parents and little girls. People have been sending me videos and pictures of their daughters opening their stuff and reading the books. It just makes me so excited.
Q: What advice can you give other writers that are inspired to write books?
A: I would say that if it’s really something that you feel like you want to do, then just do it. Just figure out how much time you have to dedicate to it. Whether it’s each weekend, at night, or in the mornings. Whenever you have free time, even if you’re not sitting at a laptop, you can be writing in the notes section on your cell phone. The more you write the better you get.
I’m also a really firm believer in books. There are so many books out there that actually help you with your craft. Every time I turn around I’m ordering a new book on Amazon. Also, setting goals and trying to stay focused. Again, I’m not perfect, I know that it’s really hard. People look at me and go “oh, how do you write this many books in this amount of time?”. I’m like there are so many who write way faster than me and have more books than me. So, it really is just about falling in love with it over and over again. Definitely not doing it for the wrong reasons. Don’t do it for the fame. Don’t do it for the money because you’ll never get where you wanna be if you’re thinking about the wrong things.