I’m writing a book. Can you
look at it or tell me how to get it published?
Answer: I’m sorry, but for legal reasons, I am NOT allowed to look at any book ideas or manuscript pages. I can give you advice, though.
First-- Study the craft of writing and practice a lot. You may not get your first book published. You may not get your tenth book published. But you will improve over time. Try to discover you own unique voice. Here are some books I found very useful:
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon
Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham
How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II by James N. Frey
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
Secondly-- Read a lot. Read great books from all genres. Soak it in so you can acquire good instincts for things like pacing.
Thirdly-- Study the business of writing. Learn about publishers and agents. Learn how to format your manuscript correctly. Learn how to write a dynamite query letter. And make sure you can finish the book!
Fourthly-- Join a writers’ group like Romance Writers of America. You can find them online at http://www.rwanational.org/. They have local chapters and online chapters. They hold workshops and classes, both physical and online, where you can learn everything from the craft of writing to the business of getting and staying published. They hold conferences where you can meet editors and agents. They run contests where the final entries are seen by editors and agents. (That is how I acquired my first sale). If you don’t write romance, find another writers’ group. They are out there, and they are the best way for you to educate yourself about craft and the industry.
And finally-- Never give up!
Where do your ideas come from?
Answer: Anywhere and everywhere. I love
to people watch. I like to look at ordinary
things and play What if?
Which comes first—the characters
or the plot?
Answer: Each author will be different, but
for me, the characters come first and they run the
Can you give me a blurb or quote for my next book?
Answer: Due to time constraints, I can only consider requests that come from my agent or editor.
How can I get Love at Stake bookplates, bookmarks, or postcards?
Answer: Mail me a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope), and I will send you whatever bookmarks and postcards I currently have available. Make sure the envelope you send is big enough for postcards that are 4”x6” and bookmarks that are 7” long. A regular size business envelope (9.5” x 4”) is big enough. If you want bookplates, let me know the name you want them made out to. My address is P.O Box 5512, Katy, TX 77491-5512.
How long will the Love at Stake series go on?
Answer: I just signed a contract for four more books! That makes it possible for the series to go up to book 16.
Will you ever write another historical?
Answer: I don’t really know. My first historical was For Love or Country, published in 2002. I was delighted when Avon reissued it in 2012 as The Forbidden Lady. I was able to revise The Forbidden Lady to make it sexier. The sequel, Less than a Gentleman, released in 2013. At this time, I’m not working another historical romance, but that could always change.
Why did you make Phineas McKinney a former drug dealer?
Answer: Phineas is one of my favorite characters because he is a hero-in-the-making. We get to watch him become a hero! Whereas the older Vamps have personalities that have been set for hundreds of years, Phineas is young and changing, and that makes him exciting. Many of the Vamps have less-than-stellar backgrounds (look at Connor, for example), but they overcame their past troubles and worked hard to become heroes. Phineas is the same way, except his less-than-stellar past is much more recent. Why do I give the heroes rough backgrounds? Because I write stories, and if I start off with a perfectly wonderful character, then I have nowhere to go with him. From a writer’s point of view, perfect people make for boring stories. Flawed people are much more interesting. Example: the Adam Sandler movies. His character usually starts off in a bad way, but in the course of the movie, he becomes a hero. It’s the metamorphosis that makes a story. And it’s the ability to overcome past troubles and current conflicts and emerge victorious that gives each hero the ability to inspire hope and encouragement in his readers. I think you will be very pleased by how heroic Phineas becomes! His book releases in the Spring of 2012.
How can I ask you other questions?
Answer: If you wish to chat with Kerrelyn and other readers, please join the chat group by sending an email to KerrelynSparksChatfirstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to receive news and updates, please subscribe to Kerrelyn’s newsletter at KerrelynSparksNewsemail@example.com. You can also find Kerrelyn on Facebook or Goodreads or on Twitter where she is @KerrelynSparks.
How can I get my book signed?
Answer: You can mail your book to me, enclosing a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) that’s big enough for me to mail the book back to you. Or you can mail me a smaller SASE, and I will send you a signed bookplate plus some bookmarks. My address is P.O Box 5512, Katy, TX 77491-5512. Please use real stamps on the SASE, since metered mail comes with an expiration date. You can also order my books through Katy Budget Books, and I will drop by the store and sign them to you before the fabulous folks at KBB mail it to you. You can find them at http://katybooks.com/.