Indie Support Sunday: Kendra Mase
A while ago, I saw the cover for The Strings That Hold Us Together going around on Instagram and was absolutely in love with it. The colors and the details and how intriguing it was that I needed to find out more about the author. That’s how I stumbled across Kendra Mase as she was doing promotions for Bewitched By You and fell in love with the story and her writing style.
I was also absolutely drawn to Kendra’s Instagram profile, which is a combination of soft colors and posts featuring the gorgeous covers for all of her books. She also had her first book signing earlier this month, which any author can tell you is such an incredible feeling.
Like all of us, reading became a method of escapism for Kendra and as she fell in love with books and the community, writing her debut just made the most sense. And we are all grateful for it. For fans of the Barnett Witches series, Kendra is working on the next book to be released this May!
All of Kendra’s books are available in Kindle Unlimited.
1. BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
When I was young reading was far from an enjoyable pastime. But after I started reading young adult books around middle school, reading became one of my favorite things in the entire world, and still is. I loved the characters and I loved the community of readers I found online just as obsessed with certain series as I was.
Reading was an escapism for me, and writing quickly accompanied that. I wanted to live in stories and in my daydreams, and now I get to.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
As an indie author, you are doing everything yourself. It’s a blessing and a curse. It's so easy to get overwhelmed. And lonely. You are an author, publisher, designer, marketer and so much more all the time. It’s a lot of pressure on yourself, especially when it comes to comparing yourself to other amazing writers who produce so much, so fast and have such wonderful readers cheering them on. Sometimes I wish that I had someone else to do all the work for me and I could just focus on the story, but the indie author and reader community has always been a place I’ve admired for years. I’m happy to be a part of it, even if it’s scary to put myself and my books out there all by myself some days.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I read my first indie paranormal romance book during the rise of indie authors back in 2012, the thought of self-publishing was in the back of my mind. As I got older and learned more about the publishing industry though, at first, I did want to go traditional. I wanted my books in Barnes & Noble. I wanted people who cared about my story as much as I did, and I obsessed over the process enough to major in Publishing and Editing when I went off to college. When it came down to publishing my first novel, however, I queried a bit before ultimately getting my first Kindle Paperwhite—a godsend truly—and I found so many more indie authors I admired from Laura Thalassa to Kandi Steiner. I decided that I wanted to be one of them. I was determined to go after the dream of becoming an author, and I did it by diving into self-publishing.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
I read. A lot. My kindle has taken this to a whole new level. I find inspiration in other authors being amazing at their craft. Authors are very much my celebrities.
2. ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
I’ve always loved to read romance both for the romance and also the characters. When romance and relationships are involved in a plotline I really feel like we get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to see it all and fall in love with a character, and I love to write a messy emotional character still worthy of finding love through it all.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I always say that I would love to write fantasy romance one day. When I first started writing as a teenager, it was fantasy. The stakes! The magic! The darkness and kingdom vibes! I’d love to delve back into that storyline one day.
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
This is a hard one! Favorites: Only one bed, age gap, found family– among so many others! Least favorite: Second chance when so many years have gone by. I get frustrated when we’ve wasted so much time! Especially if the estrangement over something relatively silly.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
Well, I’ve been talking about writing a friends to lovers romance a lot recently (wink wink).
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
Mental health as well as incorporating laughter and strong communication in steamy scenes.
If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?
I write mostly open-door romance because when I first discovered it as a reader, it felt wonderful and eye-opening to read. Not only do we like the sexy bits because they are steamy and sometimes even a little taboo, but in an open-door scene, there’s a vulnerability and confidence that I love to see in characters. It is often the pinnacle of when they embrace how they feel towards their love interest and themselves in a relationship. Self-confidence is something I love to write about and is often a recurring theme in my books. In a sex scene this is brought to the forefront as our characters embrace who they are and their sensuality with their partner.
3. YOUR BOOKS
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
The characters always come first for me. I have a character in my head that talks louder than the rest and is slowly forming into someone I want to talk more about, and usually they end up on the page, even if they don’t often have a clear conflict or point right away. That comes when I delve deeper and ask, what do you want?
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
I write sweet, steamy, and emotional romance novels featuring messy, wonderful characters who when it comes down to it just want to find love even if it isn’t always how they were expecting to.
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I have the second book in the Barnett Witches series coming up in May! It is an interconnected standalone focused on Ana and her misplaced curse on the man who she had a sweeping summer romance with that didn’t end on the best terms. Think second chance, lovers to enemies back to possible lovers.
My current work-in-progress will be hitting shelves Fall 2023. Wintery, small town, childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance. I am so excited about it. This book has been brewing in the back of my mind for over a year and I’m so happy to finally get it out on paper. It may be my very best yet, if I do say so myself (and I have a feeling you will too).
4. AUTHOR’S CHOICE
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones, series or standalones in a series
Open door, ajar door or closed door romances
Music or silence when writing (I used to listen to music and have playlists for all my books. Recently though, silence.)
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?
Cold or warm weather
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated or photo cover?