Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Author's Journey to SOLD!

Kris Kennedy, a Golden Heart finalist, writes historical romances and recently signed a two book deal. You can learn more about Kris's writing (and her mostly dyed blonde moments) at her web site.


Name:

LOL, CJ. Right off the bat, my blonde (mostly dyed, anymore) is showing. I don't know if you meant my name, of the book's name, so I'll give you both! :-)

I'm Kris Kennedy, and my book, for now, is titled The Kinds Of Wanting. I thought that was a hot, interesting title, but apparently I'm wrong. LOL And, seeing as I know nothing about the publishing business, I think I'll trust my editor.

And so, I had a title vote at my website and got LOTS of great suggestions. I sent the top rated ones to my editor (and tacked on a few new ones, when he didn't gasp in amazement after first glance), so now we'll wait and see what they do with it.

I'll be posting the new title as soon as I know it, and giving away prizes, so come and visit! I will be updating folks on my publishing journey--what each step along the way is like, so come visit my website often. And sign up for the newsletter!

How long have you been writing?

I guess I've been writing romance in earnest since 2000. Although, I took a MAJOR break for about 2 1/2 years after my son was born. Who knew how much a person needed sleep? How weak and pathetic a brain can become when deprived of just a few . . . sweet hours . . . . of . . . uninterrupted . . . sleep.

So, I went a little psychotic there for about 1 1/2 years, with little sleep, husband overseas travelling for work for most of that 2nd year, and my mother passing away, and I didn't get much writing done.

But I felt like I crawled out of my cave when my little guy turned about 2 1/2, and I started writing and entering contests again at that point.


What made you decide to pursue writing novels?

Ha! What to say to that? Is it really a decision?

I remember this: my step-father & mother gave my husband & I their old computer, maybe back in 1999. I used to write endlessly as a child, w/ pen and paper, so I got excited, thinking, 'Maybe I can do it with the computer.'

I sat there that first night, in front of the glowing screen, and I just started typing.

It was like digging up mud. Slow, pointless, heavy.

In other words, it wasn't flowing.

Until I read my first ROMANCE novel. I took the plunge and checked out one of those 80's romance novels from the library. I'd been eyeing it for a year or more, but was always too embarrassed to check out, b/c of the covers. LOL.

But I'll tell you what--I read that book, and THAT NIGHT I was up until 3 a.m. typing. Fingers flying over keys, creating typos like a mad woman.

The next morning my husband said, "Wow. It's nice to see you really into something." LOL.

He had no idea. I had no idea. It was way past ideas--it just had to be.


What genre do you write and how did you choose it?

I write medievals, mostly, although I do have several half-written contemp. stories & one Georgian, which was the first story I ever wrote, and it will NEVER see the light of day.

The contemps will come, but they have to wait, b/c I really love the sweeping, dangerous feel of the middle ages.


Where do your ideas come from?

The short answer: everywhere!

TV shows, a line in the newspaper, a line in a 11th century monk's chronicle, where some mention is made of "And King Art O'Conchobar laid waste the land between the loch's for want of the woman," or something, and I'm thinking, "Oh, yeah!' LOL The tragedies of other people make great fodder for the storyteller.

For any Lord of the Rings fans (the books) you may remember when Sam & Frodo were far into their quest, dying of thirst and and weary beyond words. Sam, in his simple, philosophical way, reflected how the hard times are not the ones you want to live through, but they make the best stories. I thought that was very wise. :-)


How do you approach writing a novel? (plotter or pantser?)

Aaaa! The heart of my current matter. I have always just winged it (wung it? LOL)

But I got burned on my last ms, one of the Golden Heart finaling ones, the one I just sold.

I wrote this story over such a long time, that it evolved and morphed significantly. I ended up re-writing it so many times. Major, major plot points shifted, characters got more tortured (An aside: I love a tortured hero. If you do too, look for my book in the Spring. But first, check my website for the title, so you know what book to look for! LOL).

Recently, I've been trying to plan (plot) a little more. But I'm scared the Fire might go out (or muse, or enthusiasm, or whatever you want to call it. It feels like a fire in me, so I call it that).

So, I am trying to balance the two different approaches, developing a new, more organized process that still keeps the Fire alive.

Funnily enough (is that a word?), much of that Fire comes from discipline. Self-discipline. Disciplining myself to sit and write every day.

Writing begets writing. The more I write, the more I CAN write, the more I WANT TO write, the more IDEAS I have for writing, the more EXCITED I get about it.

I think that's true for everything. The more we do of anything, the more energy we get for that thing, if it's a our passion.


Are you working with an agent?

Yes, I have an agent. Barbara Poelle, at the Irene Goodman Agency.


How did you choose the right one?

She had some good editorial feedback for me, and that is something feel I need at this point. When I'm flowing, I can do 10-15 different things with a scene, w/ a story. I can amp this up, tone that down, add this in, cut that out, etc etc, and still feel I'm being true to the story.

What I need is some direction. It's great to have an industry professional to give me feedback.


Tell us the story of hearing that you'd "sold"!

Some people may have heard this already (up to 550 times, perhaps) so please, pass on by if so! :-)

I was tending my 3 y.o. son, who had just developed pink eye. It was a tough morning for me, b/c, due to the pink eye, he couldn't go to school, so, whoosh, there went my precious 2 1/2 hrs of writing time that day.

(Sure, I can and do write at night, after he's in bed, but, oh boy, am I not at my romance-writing best at 8 pm after a day w/ a non-stop 3 y.o.)

Anyhow, I was forcibly--I mean, lovingly--holding a warm compress to his eye when my agent called w/ the news.

Sorta changed my outlook on what kind of day it was going to be. :-)


Were contests an important part of your publishing journey?

I think they have been, for so many reasons!

Above all, even if you think you've gained noting from a contest but scores all over the map and another $25 down the tube, you have at least been reminded of how SUBJECTIVE this business is. And that is super important to remember. No one is required to love our stories, no matter how hard we've labored on them.

Contests serve many purposes (I always want to say 'purpii" instead of 'purposes') depending on where we are in the journey of getting pubbed.

Early on, all I wanted was feedback. I don't think I even realized that there WERE editors as judges in those first few I entered. I was just overwhelmed with the idea that, for only $25, I could get three other people to look at my story and give me feedback.

(And there's a new, tangential realization: inflation has not affected the contest realm, has it? It was $25 when I first started entering back in, oh, 2001, and it's $25 today, Nice!)

I do recall with fondness my first contest. Or rather, the results from it. One judge very gently pointed out that I may want to consider the concept of 'Point Of View' for my characters and my scenes.

I was electrified. What's that?, I thought. I re-read her explanation. POV? Cool!

I remember my thank-you letter (I must still have it somewhere, on that parent-donated computer, probably). I said something about thank-you for suggesting this "concept called 'Point Of View.' I think it will be very helpful."

LOL LOL LOL.

Yes, Kris. Sort-of.

What advice can you give aspiring authors?

I think I still AM an aspiring author! But here's what I believe, to the core of my being, after almost 20 years as a psychotherapist: persistence can overcome all.

Keep Showing Up.

Mentally, emotionally. Be There. Because when the Opportunity walks by, you need to be there, too.

People sometimes look at others and think, "Well, sure, if I had the [FILL IN THE BLANK: time/ money/success/judge/editor/the XYZ] she had . . . ."

But chances are, that person has worked her b*tt off to get where she is, whether you witnessed all those efforts or not.

"Must be nice..." kinda thinking kills energy and enthusiasm faster than . . . a sleepless 3 y.o. LOL.

I know this, because I've been known to engage in that kind of thinking myself sometimes, when I'm feeling low. And I know how it makes me feel. Lower yet. Awful.

And it isn't valid thinking anyhow. I mean, if we must destroy our enthusiasm, let's do it with something that makes SENSE!

Because persistence tied to even a modicum of talent, wins. Every time.

Now, I have questions for all of you!

~ What do you think of romance covers? Do you like them hot? Do you think they affect how the romance genre is viewed by others?

~ How do you stay motivated? I'm not just talking to writers, here, either! I want to know from everyone, what keeps you going?

Thanks for listening to all my blather! Now I can't wait to read your comments and listen to all yours. LOL
Kris

33 comments:

  1. Kris,

    I enjoyed reading your post.

    I stay motivated by remembering that embarking on the path to publication requires taking a journey, complete with hills and valleys. And when I do falter in the valleys, I have a tremendously supportive husband and a girlfriend who won't let me wallow in self-doubt.

    Who are the most enthusiastic members of your personal fan club?

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  2. Hi Keli!
    You are SO right about remembering that whatever goal we have, it is a 'journey,' not a static state of being. You don't ever just 'get there,' and bam, you're DONE, sit down on the couch and start flicking channels.

    (Metaphorically, of course. B/C I have to say, I do that in *actuality* at night. Many nights. LOL)

    I like that metaphor, though, ,because it reminds us there are times the going will be tougher, like climbing a mountain.

    So, if it feel tougher during those times, well, it is! But that doesn't mean we're not moving forward.

    Personal fan club . . . ? Hmm...

    A very good friend who has always believed in me.

    My grandfather. He passed away, but even 14 years later, I can still see him smiling at me. So, that's a little golden glow whenever I remember. Thanks for reminding me. :-)

    And hubby of course, although he's not a big cheerleader-type. He just supports every single thing I've ever wanted to do 100%.
    :-)
    Kris
    (who is posting anonymously b/c I cannot remember my log-in name and password EVER! My goal: by day's end, I'll be posting as myself.)

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  3. Great post Kris!!! This pink-eye story was better than the first one I heard :) lol

    I love romance covers. I like them to be somewhat hot but to also tell a story. Sometimes when I'm reading I will turn to look at the cover, to "see" the characters, in a situation.

    Now with that said...having a 7 year old daughter who has recently started asking me WHY they are kissing, or half naked...somewhat skews my POV of the cover! Most of my books are facing backwards on the book shelf, pages out instead of the spine!

    I do think it affects how it is viewed by others, either they think, WoW that's hot, I need to start reading it, or their prudes already and will have something nasty to say no matter what.

    How do I stay motivated? I guess its just having the dream, and having all these stories in my mind that I want to get out. I'm invovled in A LOT, which also keeps me motivated, and chatting with my writing friends always keeps me on track. Also having recently felt the "We want to offer you a contract..." rush is plenty to keep me going for now!

    But for the few years I wrote before that moment, I reminded myself that I was writing because I loved to write, and being published would just be an added bonus.

    Thanks for sharing your story!!! Can't wait to read your book, I love tortured heros!

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  4. Hi Kris,

    I want to congratulate you once again on your sale. I love a good medieval story.

    I'm not sure how I stay motivated. I think I find people who write blogs, just like this one that keep me inspired.

    Also, is the fact that I'd absolutely disappear from the face of this earth if I didn't write. Besides being a wife and mother, I was meant to write. It's my calling and I know that.

    Book covers...some make me blush, even after four kids. lol Some they just draw you into them and say pick me up, read my blurb.

    Again congrats and here's to many more sales under your pen.

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  5. Hey Kris! Great blog and very inspiring.

    I admire all you've accomplished and wish you great success!

    I stay motivated by talking to my writing friends, listening to their stories, brainstorming together and keeping in mind its the journey that counts not the destination.

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  6. mayberry tuesdayMay 14, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Great post! Congrats on the sale.

    I stay motivated by reading blogs like C.J.'s and by meeting with other writers every now and then to "talk shop".

    I actually think the "hotter" Romance covers might be holding our genre back because it's harder for the general public to take a book seriously that has nudity on the cover. I think it pigeon-holes the book as somehow "less", regardless of the quality of writing. I like covers that give a hint but less is definitely more.

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  7. Hi Kris -

    Just wanted to say congratulations on the sale.

    Loved the quote from LOTR. I'll have to remember that.

    I'll be watching for your medieval. Even if the title changes (and they often do), the author's name should be the same, right?

    FWIW - I had two different editors tell me my title had to go, and for months I promoted the book as "currently named The Education of Mrs. Brimley soon to change." However, when the Marketing Dept. heard the title - they loved it. So I got to keep it *g*. You just never know...

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  8. Hi Kris and C.J.,
    I enjoyed your post, Kris and you know I am so happy and excited for you!

    As far as romance covers go, I do think they can hinder book sales. It doesn't bother me now, but there was a time when I didn't buy a book because I knew I would be too embarassed by the cover. I didn't feel like I could read it on the ferry during my commute. Now I wouldn't let that stop me, because I'm proud of what I write and *I* know the romance genre is full of wonderfully talented and hard working writers, and would defend it to anyone who dared scoff (and we all know they do). But I know I wasn't alone in letting covers stop me from buying books.

    Rachel

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  9. Hi Kris, congrats again on your sales and your GH final! Setting goals can keep me motivated. I love making lists and checking things off! My husband motivates me, other writers, and the RWA National Conf always motivates me. I love hot Romance covers - bring on the bare-naked chested men! LOL Of course, that's more for erotic romance, and I'm too old to care what anyone else thinks!

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  10. Kris here......

    Hi all!
    Sorry it took me son long to get back to y'all--I had to work. Hmmph.

    Eliza~
    ~ I'm glad I was able to change the pink eye story up a little, by giving different details. :-) Makes it a *little* more interesting.

    ~ Re: covers & kids:
    I know what you mean! My 3 y.o. son saw a cartoon-like pix on a contemp. I was reading (Sleeping w/ Ward Cleaver, by Jenny Gardiner--very bright, pink colors, Bewitched look to the pix) and even at 3 y.o., his little eye was drawn to it. He stood by it, then touched it with his finger, then said 'I like that lady on the cover.' LOL

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  11. Hi C.J. and Kris!

    Kris, it's so interesting that you're a psychotherapist. I've always thought that a psychology/psychiatry degree would be very helpful for writing romance. All those behavioral nuances that make characters seem so real, all the thought processes behind a persons' actions -- you must have tons of knowledge to draw on!

    I agree with what Rachel and some others have said about covers. They used to make me cringe. Now I don't care what people think. (By the way, my aunt claims that this is a major symptom of getting old.) Do you know yet how much input you'll have on your cover? I like the ones that hint at the historical period through the clothes or a carriage, etc., but don't show the character's faces. It irritates me a little if there's a discrepancy between the author's physical descriptions and the cover models' looks.

    I stay motivated by focusing on the positive things and celebrating the small successes. Just the fact that I have time to write makes me a lucky person!

    Anne

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  12. Hi Renee
    ~Thanks for your congrats!!

    ~ It's funy, isn't, how you can just *feel* when it's right? Like Joseph Campell's notion of 'follow your bliss.'

    You know in your gutthat you have to write.

    And often you *feel* that knowing, on a physical, kinesthetic level.

    For me, I feel it in 3 places:
    My hands & arms. I feel them wanting to stretch out to the keyboard

    My belly, which gets excited about an idea, or the need to revise a scene, or add in a greta line

    Somewhere inside my head, where I actually *feel* the ideas moving.


    Where/how does it show up for you all?

    Thanks again for the congrats, Renee, and chatting!
    Kris

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  13. Kathy,
    Hi you! So glad you stopped by!
    You're so right-staying connected to other writers is a great way to stay motivated. Sometimes they pick you up when you're down, sometimes you get ideas for stories, & definitely craft development.

    And there's that idea again, the realization that it's s journey, not some perfect end point. Very valuable.

    Kris

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  14. Hi Mayberry!

    ~ You're like Kathy, then--those connections you make with others really keep you going.

    I agree about 'talking shop." It's so inspiring and invigorating, isn't it?

    I'm wondering--do you have people nearby to 'talk shop' with, or are most of your connections online?

    And I tend to agree about the covers holding the genre back sometimes, solely in terms of 'outsiders' opinions of them/the genre.

    Too, I KNOW I have missed out on some great books b/c I just couldn't walk up to the check-out line with a certain cover.

    I'm working on getting over it--like Rachel says she has. Way to go Rachel! Can you teach a workshop on that? LOL

    I had a hard enough time telling some of my friends what I write. I definitely got some of those stiff-smiling, "Ohh. Really. Wow. Hmmm," responses.

    From friends!

    Kris

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  15. Hi Donna!

    Super glad you stopped by to say hi!

    Thanks again for the congrats on my sale.

    And you inspire me! Hearing that, in the end, you DIDN'T have to change your title. There may be hope . . . . :-)

    See. . . connecting with other writers helps inspire and motivate.

    And that does it: We have A Theme. :-)


    (An aside--Have you girls checked out Donna's website? I cannot wait to read The Trouble With Moonlight. Seriously. That's not a sales pitch. Pause. Okay, well, it is, but I don't mean it that way. LOL)


    And yes, the name on the book will be mine, Kris Kennedy. I toyed with a pseudonym, but in the end, decided to stay with KK.

    :-)
    Kris

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  16. Carol!

    So super glad you stopped by!

    Re: writing lists... They've done studies that show we actually release endorphins when we cross something off a list.

    The dedicated list-ies among us more so, but it's supposed to be a pretty satisfying experience all-around.

    Confession--Sometimes, I write something on my list that I've already done. Then I cross it off.

    LOL Can't get enough of those endorphins . . ..
    :-)

    Another confession--I actually forget at the moment if it's endorphins or some other feel-good hormone, but hey, it's free, so make a list today!

    :-)

    Thanks for coming over, Carol!
    Kris

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  17. Nice interview, Kris. Hubby and I are about to adopt a baby boy, so I was reading carefully about how you didn't get any writing done for the first two years after your son was born. LOL.

    Thanks for the inspiring story of your journey :)

    Renee
    www.reneeknowles.com

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  18. Great interview, Kris! I enjoyed getting to know you even better and LOVED that last line about persistence. That's so going on my quote board :)

    As far as covers go, I've heard so many negative comments about the stereotypical romance cover...you know the ones--passionate, flesh-baring. I never minded them but I'm glad that the image of romance novels has evolved. While a hot cover can be beautiful, I love nothing more than a simple, tender one like...hm...James Patterson's Sundays at Tiffany's. I will admit, though, that covers like Rita Thedford's Hot Night at the Blue Bug Saloon are good for "inspiration", LOL!!!

    A good motivation for me is the need to share my stories. I want nothing more than to share the stories and characters bouncing around my head. The challenge is to tell their tale as best as I can to give them the platform they deserve to be published, read, shared and hopefully loved, appreciated and respected.

    Congrats on all your success, Kris! You deserve it, honey!

    Amber

    Amber Leigh Williams
    www.amberleighwilliams.com
    Steamy Romantic Adventure & Suspense
    FOX & HOUND, SR Reviews "Outstanding Read"

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  19. Hey Amber!

    So glad you stopped by!

    I wish I didn't care about covers, esp. after the comments here. But it's still just hard for me. Even if . . . inspirational, as you say. :-)

    I like that your motivation to write stories is to . . . TELL stories. To tell the stories bouncing around in your head. That's a very cool notion.

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Amber! Right back at you with the you've-come-a-long-way-and-deserve-
    it well-wishes.
    :-)

    Kris

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  20. Renee K,
    OK, this will be the THIRD time I've tried to reply to your comment, but they keep not showing up.

    (Watch, I'll send this, then the other 2 will pop up.)

    Super congratulations on the upcoming adoption!! You must be so excited.

    The lack of sleep just pounded me. Part of it was that I was nursing. My little guy was sleeping through the night after 18 mos, but wow, does it take its toll!

    If I had it to do over, I'd have my hubby & I take turns doing the night feedings, so I could get a good night's sleep a few times/wk.

    Make sure you and your hubby take turns--or do *whatever* it is you need to get enough sleep. Or at least, a minimum threshold level of sleep. LOL. That way, you can keep writing your sexy stories!

    :-)
    Kris

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  21. Purpii--I love that. :)

    What a great blog!

    Actually, I like covers that have antique oil paintings on them. I've never been attracted to covers with the naked guys on them, or naked couples. It's too blatant. I want to be seduced, not propositioned.

    Hey, wouldn't "I want to be seduced" be a great title for a song? Just kidding.

    Hmm, and how to stay motivated? I wonder every day how it is I stay motivated. I'm just stubborn, I guess.

    Wow, you've done great to be able to write with a little one in the house! I so totally sympathize with that, and with the frustration of watching those precious hours of writing time evaporate into nothing.

    Ah, well, who needs sleep?

    Saralee

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  22. Saralee,

    Interesting idea, the 'seduced' cover vs.'propositioned' cover.

    We should host a grudge match. :-)

    I *love* that your motivation may simply be stubbornness. It's possible you may be one of my heroines. Do you feel like a heroine? I'm just sayin' . . . .

    :-)

    You're so right. Sleep is overrated.

    The problem is, people get attached to it, and the next thing you know, they're doing it EVERY NIGHT.

    It's like an addiction or something. Shocking.

    It needs a name. "Amorous Sleep Disorder, Simple Type."

    ;-)

    So glad you commented!
    Kris

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  23. Hey Kris! Thanks for the great post and congrats on your sale. :D

    I love hot romance covers, but I like the more subtle ones too.

    I stay motivated when CJ yells at me to write more. (kidding! *grins*)

    Mostly it's the characters who motivate me, they want the story told so it keeps me going. Additionally it is having great CPs like CJ and my hubby who's always so encouraging.

    Katy

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  24. Dear Katy,
    'Wanderer in Gray' feels very Tolkien. Are you a fan? I read it once a year, for the past . . . ahem . . 30 yrs. :-)

    Aren't cp's the VERY best? Good critique partners are our best allies, our relentless cheerleaders, & our most brutal mirrors. What would be do without them?

    So, your hubby is a cp? How cool! Do you write romance? Does he read it? (or, does he read whatever genre it is in which you write?)

    It sounds like you feel a lot like Amber re: motivation-- it's the stories of the *characters* that keep you coming back to the keyboard. I think that's very cool.
    :-)

    Thanks for sharing & chatting!
    Kris

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  25. Hi Kris and CJ,

    Great post. Very inspiring. I totally agree that the more one writes the more the ideas flow and enthusiasm builds. If I have a break from writing I then suffer doubts I can write again, although I want to.

    I'm not sure how I stay motivated and perseve. It's just something inside me that keeps nipping at my heels and won't let me stop.

    On the issue of romance covers, I like some and not others. I love my new cover from Dorchester (take a peek on my website at www.helenscotttaylor.com). I'm not a fan of too much naked flesh on covers because it can be embarassing to read the book in public. I usually love the historical romance covers. When I'm flicking through Romantic Times it's always the historical romances that catch my eye.

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  26. A day late and a dollar short, Ladies. Sorry. Great blog, CJ. Kris, I'm so excited for you. There are several authors I love who are at Kensington so I can't wait to read your books. And covers? I think it depends on the genre. I love Cathy Maxwell's covers for her regencies. They are very sensual. Also, I kind of like bodies without a face covers because I like to picture the hero/heroine without any help :-) Motivation...stories like yours keep me going and my very supportive hubby and family. And something about the escape of writing helps me get through the day with the 3 and 5 yr old so that is motivation in itself. So looking forward to Nationals and meeting everyone!!!

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  27. Kris -

    Nice response! In answer to your questions, I prefer more subtle covers or ones that hint at intrigue, but that may be due to my preference for romantic suspense and paranormal thrillers.

    I usually love historical covers, though. I think in any genre, the cover strongly affects the sales. I was just browsing B&N on Tuesday, a gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and was determined to check out new authors from YA and Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. Several covers drew me (the less is more type) and several were so off-putting to me personally that I never even picked up the book to read the back.

    So, as a reader, I have to say covers make an impact.

    What keeps me motivated: Characters and story lines crowd my head and I need to tell them so I can see them on the page (and so I can have a little quiet...). Plus, I'm a writer. Period. I can't imagine not writing.

    And every so often Katy kicks me in the butt or encourages me and gets me going again.

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  28. Kris-
    'Wanderer in Gray' feels very Tolkien. Are you a fan? I read it once a year, for the past . . . ahem . . 30 yrs. :-)

    I am a Tolkien fan. *laughs* Though the moniker was chosen for a different reason. Thankfully I've had it for a while online even before the movies (and by extension the books)were such a hit.

    Aren't cp's the VERY best? Good critique partners are our best allies, our relentless cheerleaders, & our most brutal mirrors. What would be do without them?

    Not finish my books or make them even close to being decent. :D They are a blessing.

    So, your hubby is a cp? How cool! Do you write romance? Does he read it? (or, does he read whatever genre it is in which you write?)

    He does on occasion. He works in PA and does a lot of editing. :D I write (get ready) erotica, fantasy, science fiction, and urban fantasy. He'll read pretty much all of it. But my two dedicated CPs (of which CJ is one!) are the ones who really provide the most feedback and help.

    It sounds like you feel a lot like Amber re: motivation-- it's the stories of the *characters* that keep you coming back to the keyboard. I think that's very cool.

    Yup. *grins* Sometimes it's a pain - like when they tag you at 2am to write something. But overall I love telling stories and I'm lucky enough to have these voices in my ear to help me along.

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  29. Hi Helen!
    Sorry I'm so late responding~~pre-school Olympics today, then lunch out to celebrate, then beach w/ a friend . . . then Chutes and Ladders . . . then throwing the dog sticks . . . then the shortest nap in the world (for me! Seamus played on the ground next to me LOL) and onto soccer practice. Eeek.

    Anywho . . .

    It's so important, isn't it, Helen, to just sit and write? I can't tell you how much that's one of the most important things I'd pass on to new writers, if I could. WRITE.

    Not b/c you can't sell a blank page.

    Not b/c you need to be disciplined.

    Not b/c "You said you were a writer, so now, write!"

    Not for any reason but that, if you write, why, then, you will WRITE.

    It's contagious.
    :-)

    I'm off to check out your cover while my 3 y.o. is running up and down a soccer field, pretending aliens are chasing him (but everyone else is pretending the same thing, so I guess it's okay. :-)

    Thanks for stopping in, Helen!
    Kris

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  30. Hi Kit!
    I can't tell if I hit the wrong key (successively!) and sent this message already, amusingly filled with thousands of typos's I hadn't yet corrected. Hope not.


    So...anyhow . . .

    You have a 3 AND a 5 y.o., and you write? I am impressed. Maybe that's why I write medievals ... instinctively, I know I would NEED a village to help me raise more than one. Some local girl to watch my little ones while I hauled water from the well or something. Anything for a break. :-)

    And you know, you're right. Looking forward to writing IS a motivation, in & of itself.

    It's a break, and the fact that you can't have it every moment makes it more precious, more valuable. Makes me more motivated to get the time to do it, and to use the time when I DO have it. I hadn't thought of that.

    Thanks for the new idea and for stopping by!
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
  31. CJ,
    I totally understand how your use of your gift card purchases was affected by the covers! You were determined to choose form a specific genre, and even so, some covers just turned you--an already 'sold' audience--off.

    Almost every book I've ever picked up at a bookstore has been b/c of the cover. (And vice-versa) Unless it was a known, must-buy sorta author. Otherwise, it's been the cover.

    Often, I don't even get close enough or stay long enough to see if the title is of interest, if the cover isn't.

    Now, that being said . . . online shopping is different, isn't it? I buy things online that I may not at a store.

    Interesting . . . .

    CJ, thanks for the opportunity to blog w/ you! I can't tell you how much fun I've had, chatting w/ everyone! Thanks so much!!

    And BIG thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. It was a blast!

    Kris
    www.kriskennedy.net

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hey, kris! Sorry to be so late! The DDJ has been a real pain this week! Loved your post! I too started writing at nine and I too have a couple of books that will NEVER come out from under the bed!

    I think you said a mouthful when you said "Keep showing up." It is not easy to work a full-time job, take care of a bunch of rescued dogs and then put my butt in the chair to write, but I have to keep reminding myself that this is the way to get the life I want. Nothing fancy. Not millions. Just enough to live in the simple style to which I am accustomed and NOT have to change out of my pjs to go to work. When it is going well I can sit and write for hours and I have so many stories to tell. But with dealing with the real world it is often hard to show up in every way.

    A cover will get me to pick the book up, but you'd better have a great blurb on the back if you want me to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Louisa,
    It's NOT easy, is it? And therein lies its value.

    If we want to think we're terrific, then we need to ACT terrific, don't we? LOL

    It's not really all that terrific to take the trash out. But to write a book . . . to keep writing books . . . to get better at writing books . . . to get mentors and take their feedback . . . to keep 'playing' the game . . .

    THAT'S terrific.

    And doglady, thanks for taking care of the dogs. I mean it.

    I can do the human hearts, year after year. Cut yourself, burn yourself, try to kill yourself. OK. Drive everyone who's ever encountered you nuts. Fine. I can do it.

    Hurt an animal, I see red. I cannot handle it. I couldn't do what you do.

    So, truly, thanks.
    Kris

    ReplyDelete

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