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Meet the local author spicing up our TBRs

Bestselling author Kandi Steiner recently celebrated a major milestone: 10 years as a published author— and she isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

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The Florida native has called our city home for over a year now (and says she loves being a Chattanoogan).

Photo by Jack Hamm

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Picture this: The star quarterback falls for the head coach’s daughter. A kindergarten teacher becomes the nanny for a single dad who happens to be a top goalie on a professional hockey team. An angsty tattoo artist moves in with the standout running back after her apartment floods. Spicy shenanigans ensue.

This is just a glimpse into the many worlds created by author Kandi Steiner.

She recently celebrated a major milestone: 10 years of publishing as an indie romance author. And for the last year, she’s been proud to call Chattanooga home.

Steiner has published 36 novels, including “Hail Mary” — a No. 1 Amazon Bestseller in February 2023 — “Close Quarters” about a scorching affair on a yacht in the Mediterranean, and “The Becker Brothers,” a romantic mystery series about four brothers uncovering family truths (and falling in love) in small-town Tennessee.

a gif featuring images of author Kandi Steiner and her fans

Kandi loves interacting with members of Kandiland (aka her fan club) at signings, events, and festivals.

Photos by Jack Hamm; GIF created by NOOGAtoday

Steiner’s latest book, “Learn Your Lesson,” is the third installment of the “Kings of the Ice” series. Fun fact: She’s also a Swiftie. One might even call Steiner a mastermind, as her latest three books were released on the same days as Taylor Swift’s latest albums.

We caught up with Steiner to learn more about her writing process and sources of inspiration.

Q: How do you want to make readers feel?

A: When a reader picks up one of my books, they can expect an emotional ride. I love to tap into characters and show their flaws — just like we all have as people.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

A: Developing the characters to such an extent that they feel like my best friends. I want my readers to see themselves in my characters, to be able to relate and understand as they also are entertained by a journey they might otherwise never live — like studying abroad in Florence in the summer of 1996.

Q: How do people react to your books?

A: Readers often describe my books as angsty, emotional roller coasters with the ability to make you laugh, swoon, and, yes, sometimes cry.

Q: What projects can readers look forward to?

A: Right now, I am firmly in my “sports romance era.” I have a four-book college football romance series called the Red Zone Rivals, with a fifth book coming on Friday, June 7.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

A: Your story is worth telling — and I promise, someone out there is dying to read it. Tell your family and friends you want to write a book (support is key), make an actionable plan (I love Pacemaker Planner), and get to writing. You can do it.

They can also find more advice for writers here as well as by checking out the classes I’ve done with Writer’s Atelier.

Q: What are you currently reading?

A: I’m reading a fun and spicy small-town sports romance called “The Problem With Players” by Brittainy Cherry, and I’m listening to a small-town romantic suspense called “Fragile Sanctuary” by Catherine Cowles.

Q: With so many books in your catalog, where should new readers start?

A: You can’t go wrong with diving into my sports series — “Fair Catch” if you want college football, “Meet Your Match” if professional hockey is more your jam. “On the Rocks” is also great for lovers of Tennessee, whiskey, and those small-town feels.

Q: Where can people find your work?

A: Readers can purchase my e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers, or audiobooks directly from Amazon. They can also shop local at The Book & Cover, which almost always has several of my titles on their shelves. I even sneak in there to sign them sometimes.

Q: How can local readers get to know more about you and your books?

A: The best way is by following me on your favorite social media site, subscribing to my newsletter, or listening to one of the many podcasts I’ve been on. I talk everything from writing process and advice to detailing the inspiration behind my latest bestsellers. You can find a playlist of all the podcasts I’ve been on here.

Bonus: Free e-book

You don’t have to wait to start reading Steiner’s work — download her free e-book, exclusively available to NOOGAtoday readers.

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