As the punk-goth manager of Las Vegas’s premiere adult toy store, Kai Tyler changes her hair color, nail color, and eye color the way some people change socks. In fact, she’s even changed her name. She owes no one, depends on no one, and stopped believing in happily ever after before she reached the age of ten. All she really wants out of life is a few good gadgets and the occasional day of pampering once in a while.
Luke Clarke loves his family, but he has no desire to fulfill his parents’ dream by getting married and going into politics. So when he’s invited to his sister’s week-long wedding gala, he asks Kai along as a decoy. Having a date will squelch his mother’s matchmaking attempts and Kai’s outrageous appearance might—just might—convince his family once and for all that he’ll never have a career in politics.
But as stress, desire, and close quarters eat away at the masks both Luke and Kai wear, their easy arrangement begins to transform into something neither expected. Will they cling to the stable roles of the past, or bet on an uncertain future together?
Please tell us about your novel. Gaming the System is the second Goody’s Goodies novel. It’s about a punk-goth sex toy saleswoman who agrees to a week-long vacation with a straight-laced guy who needs an out-of-the-box date for his sister’s wedding.
How did you research your novel, if applicable? Well, when I started writing the Goody’s books, I didn’t know anything about the sex toy business. So I had a home party and all my friends and I asked the poor hostess about a million questions. I also have a friend who’s sister worked in a sex toy shop for a while, so I got some great stories from her.
Where can readers find you online? Everywhere! OK, not everywhere—I don’t understand Tumblr. But I am on Twitter (@laurakcurtis), FB (LauraKCurtisauthor), Pinterest (laurakcurtis) and even GoodReads and LibraryThing, though I don’t go there much.
When you are stuck on something, what is your go to cure? I usually have a bunch of stories going at once, so if I am stuck on one, I switch to another for a while.
Do you have a real life hero? If so, can you tell us who and why? I have a lot of real life heroes. I think my biggest hero at the moment is my 13-year-old niece. She is always striking out for social justice, defending those who cannot defend themselves, and working to make the world a better place. In short, she’s awesome.
Who is your favorite literary hero and heroine? Oh, that’s so tough. It would change depending on what day you asked me. I am hugely enamored of Del in the Tiger and Del books by Jennifer Roberson. They are fantasy and so wonderful. Favorite literary hero would probably be Charlie Parker in the novels of John Connolly.
Are you character or plot driven? Why? Character, absolutely. If I don’t care about the characters, nothing in the plot will keep me interested.
How do you feel about social media? Is it a help or hindrance to you? It’s both. It’s a hindrance because it’s too easy to waste time. But it’s a help because you can get support there and you can find folks who will answer questions like…well…for this book I had to crowdsource the most common (since my copyeditor said either was correct) spelling for “tight-whities.”
What are the first five titles on your kindle?
Incriminating Evidence by Rachel Grant
Cold Light of Day by Toni Anderson
Still the One by Jill Shalvis
Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand
Everything’s Coming up Rosie by Kasie Michaels
Where do you see yourself and your writing in the next five years? You’re so funny! Five years? I have no idea! But I love the genres I am writing in—romantic suspense and contemporary romance—and I plan to write a contemporary Gothic probably next year.
How many books do you own and what does your bookshelf look like? OMG. No way could I count. But I went digital years ago and I stopped keeping anything that wasn’t a signed hardcover (except for my Mary Stewarts…those aren’t available digitally) so I don’t have all THAT many books on my shelves.
If you are published traditionally and independently, which do you prefer and why? I am published both ways and I like and dislike them both. I love the control you have in self-pub, but I also hate the control you have…you have to do everything yourself! Part of me loves turning over my manuscript to my editor, getting it back, knowing that I don’t have to concern myself with uploads or anything. Whatever happens after I do the edits and approve the final copy is out of my hands. But part of me resents the fact that when I want to do something to promote the title, I can’t.
What advice do you have for people that are trying indie publishing right out of the gate? Edit, edit, edit. Get a content/developmental editor (they aren’t cheap), a copy editor, and a proof reader. Then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
What do you find inspiring? People who overcome struggles every day.
Do you have a favorite charity? Donors Choose. I give to them every year and fairly regularly give away gift certificates on my blog so that other people can give away my money. The way it works is that teachers put up projects that they need funding and donors “choose” which projects they want to help fund. If you don’t a substantial amount to a project, the kids will write you thank you letters. It’s very cool.
Your family is safe and sound. You have 24 hours to live and have been given the ability to do anything in the world, what do you do? Roll around in a pen full of puppies for all the love in the world.
Laura K. Curtis
Laura K. Curtis does everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty.
Laura has taught middle school social studies, high school literature, and college-level rhetoric, all with relative success. She’s also a full-on Mac geek who spent years as a consultant and running an academic computing lab. The only thing she completely failed at in the field of education was attempting to teach obedience to her pack of Irish Terriers. Currently, she lives in Westchester, NY, with her husband and two insane Irish Terriers who have taught her how easily love can coincide with the desire to kill.