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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today's Special -- Kellie Kamryn



I had the pleasure of meeting contemporary author Kellie Kamryn at the 2011 Moonlight & Magnolias conference in Atlanta. She immediately struck me as a sweet and fun gal and I enjoyed the time that we all spent together and hope we can repeat it soon! Kellie's newest contemporary romance, Rebound (which released January 16), contains two things she loves--gymnastics and writing. Please help me welcome Kellie to the Romance Dish!

~Andrea




One Small Decision

People always ask authors how they got started. I think anything always starts with one small decision. First, I decided that if I was ever going to write a book, it should be now. I mean, the days go by, the intention is there, but it takes guts to put it into action and follow through. I’d never had the confidence growing up to do it even though I’d always loved writing. I figured I should at least give it a shot because I’m one of those people who would hate to get to a point in their lives where it’s too late and have regrets about not doing something. So, I wrote a couple of bad novels, hired an editor to teach me some stuff, and then thought I was ready to go.

Turns out – not so much. I had no contacts, I didn’t know how to write a query, was very bad at synopsis writing, and figured that an agent or editor would just take one look at my story, see the potential and that would be it. (Insert raucous laughter here. *g*) So, I had the confidence to write a story, but not the confidence or know-how to sell it. So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do next?

I joined the Writer’s Guild where I lived but it didn’t seem to be the place for me. (Too much turmoil and no one else wrote romance.) Disheartened, I took my kids to the library (what better place to be than surrounded by books) where I happened to pick up a book penned by the uber-talented Eloisa James. The book? An Affair at Christmas. Never forget.

After reading it, I ended up buying all of the books in her Desperate Duchess series. But still, my own work sat on my computer, and after a few more rejections, I was at nearly at the point of giving up. A conversation with my sister sparked a new idea. We thought - what if I emailed a few of my favourite authors and asked for some advice? I didn’t want them to read my work, I just wanted to know how they got started. I figured I had nothing to lose. Either they’d answer or they wouldn’t. Eloisa was one of the author’s I emailed. I remember nervously composing that email to make sure I sounded respectful, and re-reading it a zillion times because I wanted to give the right impression. To my delight and surprise, she emailed back, thanking me for reading her books as well as pointing me in the direction of the Romance Writers of America, their contests, and their conferences.

And that led to other small decisions; like joining Eloisa’s Bulletin Board she used to share with Julia Quinn, where I met on-line the ladies of The Romance Dish and other women who have now become my very dear friends. I also became a member of the Romance Writers of America and soaked up the information they had to offer. I attended that year’s National Conference in Orlando, Florida, where I roomed with a friend I’d met on-line through the BB. I met Gannon and PJ, I took classes on pitching, synopsis writing, and attended publisher/agent forums. I learned a lot, after which I went home and put it all into action.

Since then, I’ve written three erotic shorts that were published last fall, in addition to Rebound, Book 1 in the Love and Balance series which I’ll tell you about in a moment. As a side note, I never thought I’d write erotica, even though my books are always heavy on the romance if you know what I mean. *wink* Through more networking, I met other authors and read their work which blurred the line between contemporary and erotic romance. I developed my own style and write the stories of my heart, letting the characters take me where they will. And here I am today – published author with the intention to write more and publish more. So, I hope you see how one small decision can lead you down an amazing path!

My current novel combines two of my passions: gymnastics and writing. As a former elite gymnast and coach, this story came to me and begged to be told. It’s been through a couple of re-writes before I finally submitted it, but I never gave up on it. Secret Cravings Publishing took a chance on it, and I’m very pleased they will be publishing Book 2, The Perfect Score soon as well.

Time to tell you a little about it...

REBOUND
An award-winning choreographer must face the only man she's ever loved then lost when they are teamed up to work together at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.

Claire LeMay is at the top of her game - she's head of a prominent gymnastics facility with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she's avoided for three years after he demanded she live in his shadow instead of forging her own path.

After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. Oblivious as to why Claire walked out on him three years ago, he attempts to call a truce. As their old passion tumbles out faster than a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway, they realize they are in the same impossible position as they were three years ago. Are they destined to repeat the same old routine or will they be able to choreograph a new one?


Excerpt:

“You want the truth?”

Exasperated, he said, “Yes!”

“Fine.” She pinned him with a determined look. “You demanded I move here and work for you, assuming I’d jump at the chance. You never considered I had a life outside of you, or that there were things I might want to do with my career apart from yours. That’s what happened, Justin.”

He scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. “I never said that.”

“Yes you did!”

“When?”

Her eyes bugged out at him. “You don’t remember the argument?”

“I remember you leaving.”

“Unbelievable,” she muttered.

He held his hands palms up. “So, why didn’t you ever tell me?”

Her shoulders sagged. “I—I was angry at the time. Why didn’t you ever ask?”

He blinked at her. “Touché.”

“Well, I wanted to establish myself as a coach before I moved here to be with you. I wanted to do it on my terms, not because you told me to. I thought we had our whole lives.” Her voice trailed away, and she looked down into her lap.

Hope blossomed in his chest. “So, you did want to come here?”

She returned her gaze to his face, reaching over and brushing her fingertips down his cheek.

“Of course I did. But not at your command.” She withdrew her hand and fiddled with the zipper on her coat.

He stilled her fingers by covering them with his own. “I never meant to make demands of you. I was just caught up in everything going on. My dream was coming true, and I wanted you to be a part of it.”

She gave him a rueful smile. “I was always a part of it. You just didn’t see it that way.”

He cupped her face in his hands. “I’m sorry,” he said, drawing her closer to him. “I never meant to hurt you.”

Tears filled her eyes, and she licked her lips. He wanted to kiss away all her hurts. Oh, how he wanted to feel her luscious lips against his. Just one taste wouldn’t hurt, would it?

He leaned toward her, but just when his lips were an inch from hers, she jerked her face out of his hands, folding her arms over her chest. She looked a lot like a pissed-off woman, and he eyed her warily.

“Not so fast. Why didn’t you ever call?” she demanded. “You let me walk out of your life without a word of protest.”

He blew a breath upward. “Takes two to tango, honey. You know how to use a phone.” She wasn’t going to make this all his fault.

“So, I was supposed to come crawling back to you?”

Her tone of voice told him the safest answer was none at all. However, she didn’t like that any better.

“Well, that would’ve been a cold day in h—”

“—hell,” he finished for her. “And that’s what the last three years have been.”



Buy Link: Secret Cravings Store


Hope that little excerpt intrigues you enough to check it out!


Thank you to PJ, Gannon, Buffie and Andrea for having me here today. It’s so exciting to be celebrating on The Romance Dish! As a thank you for checking out my post today, I’m giving away a copy of a book from my backlist, and a signed copy of Eloisa James’ A KISS AT MIDNIGHT to one commenter. As an added bonus, when Eloisa found out I was giving away a copy of her book, she was sweet to offer a signed copy of WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST to another commenter. So, there will be two winners! What an exciting day! Thanks to everyone who stopped by :) And if you want to ask me anything, please do and I’ll be checking in throughout the day to answer.
Xo Kellie



Readers can find me at: www.kelliekamryn.com, http://www.kelliekamryn.blogspot.com/ , www.facebook.com/KellieKamryn, and on twitter @KellieKamryn

49 comments:

  1. Hi Kellie! First of all, congratulations on becoming a published author! It takes courage and determination to follow a dream but that makes the realization of said dream all the sweeter. Good for you on not giving up!

    I'm a big fan of gymnastics and with the 2012 Olympics just around the corner, it seems to be a perfect time to publish a romance set in that arena. Will the second book in the series (btw, love the "Love and Balance" series title!) THE PERFECT SCORE be set in the world of gymnastics as well? When is that book scheduled to be released?

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  2. Kellie, YOu have succeeded at what I always said I would do become an author!! Congrats!! Your book sounds great and good luck to you hope you sell millions of copies!!!

    Donna

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  3. Hello, Kellie!! I'm so glad you're here today and huge congrats on reaching your dream of being published! You are a wonderful example of reaching your dream by not giving up. :-)

    I love the excerpt, too. I can just picture the whole scene in my head.

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  4. Hi Kellie,

    You are a new author for me and book sounds great and i love seeing the cover book ;)

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  5. PJ - Thank you so much! As a former gymnast, I know how important it is not to give up even when you feel like it. The Perfect Score will also be set in the world of gymnastics. In that book, a gymnastics coach falls for the father of one of her gymnasts. Lots of angst, and issues involved with that!
    Thanks for having me here today :)

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  6. Donna - I hope you haven't given up! If you want to do it you should. Thanks for stopping by the Dish :)

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  7. Gannon - thank you so much! As a writer, I always hope that what I see in my head will be translated onto paper so readers can picture it too. When I first met you and PJ, my journey had just begun! I'm so glad to be here to celebrate with you special ladies.

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  8. Eli - I'm glad you love the cover. The one I just received for Book 2 is amazing as well. My daughter saw it and said, "I love it. That guy is hot!" LOL
    Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit with me :)

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  9. Congratulations. Your book sounds compelling and special. best wishes and much success.

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  10. Hi Kellie!!

    I can't wait to get my signed copy!! Your book sounds fabulous and I loved your blog...very inspirational!! I wish you tons of success with all your writing adventures...HUGS!!!

    Daisy Dunn

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  11. Traveler, thank you so much. I hope the whole gymnastics coaching theme is different and will make readers want to check it out.

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  12. Thanks Daisy! I wish you all the success in the world, too :) HUGS

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  13. Hi Kellie: What a great way to start the new year with a new author. Gymnastics is a great sport to watch especially when it's time for the Olympics. I don't think that I've ever read a book where that is the backdrop for a romance. Thank you for a chance to win.

    Hope 2012 is good for you.
    lareynolds0316@gmail.com

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  14. Romance Reader Enthusiast - I was hoping it would be different than other romances out there! There are so many great contemporary's it's difficult to find that something special. Hope I've hit it! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  15. HI thank for t he info on the book and hope you av e many more this year and the cover is great and t hen i hope you are able t get around with t he weather but have great year and thanks a gain

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  16. Kellie! I am excited for all the success you have had in the past year! I am so glad t have meet you at the 2010 RWA!

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  17. Congrats!!! Thanks so much for sharing! Your book sounds wonderful! Added to my wishlist! :)
    -Amber
    goodblinknpark@yahoo.com

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  18. Desi - Thank you so much! We have had very cold weather here lately, so going outside wasn't much fun :( Glad you could stop by!

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  19. Kasey - my 2010 RWA roommate I met through the BB and now fellow blogger! Just goes to show how you can meet the most wonderful people on-line! thanks so much :)

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  20. Thanks for stopping by Amber! I hope you get to read it some day :) Cheers!

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  21. Kellie, so glad you stuck with it! Sounds like you are a talented writer and your except is great!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

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  22. Hi Kellie! Congratulations on your release! I'm so happy to hear your story of perseverance. Your book sounds divine, and the cover is gorgeous!
    I've heard many wonderful things about Eloisa, and the few of her books I've read were so good!
    Thank you so much for the giveaway chance, and I hope that 2012 brings you many more golden opportunities!

    Gena Robertson
    robertsongena@hotmail.com

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  23. Books4me - thank you!

    Gena - You never know what you can accomplish if you don't try! I love the cover too, teehee... I mean, Jimmy Thomas is on there! But you'll have to see the cover I just got for The Perfect Score! It's hot!

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  24. Hi, Kellie! Congratulations on your publication! The gymnastics background to your series sounds out of the ordinary and very interesting.

    I taught several gymnasts and was always impressed with their focus and discipline that carried over to other areas. I look forward to reading your books.

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  25. Hi, Kellie!! Sorry I'm late to the party. I have had one CRAZY day at work!

    First, congrats on getting published! I'm so, so happy for you. Second, I absolutely love this blog. It is so inspiring and I'm glad you were able to realize your dream!

    Like some of the others, I enjoy watching gymnastics. I sometimes wished I could do what they do, but am afraid I'm too tall. LOL I will sure have to get your book!!

    And now I must pick up my son, so I'll be back later!

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  26. Thank you Janga! I taught gymnastics for 25 years or so. Yeah, I'm old enough, even though I don't feel like it! LOL

    Andrea - no problem! My days are often like that with my own kiddos :) Glad you stopped by and thanks!

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  27. Kellie, You taught 25 years? Really? I thought you were 25. :)

    I should have nade clear that I taught the gymnasts I mentioned composition or Great Books, but the habits they acquired as gymnasts made them good English students too.

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  28. I adore second chance stories espeically those where some time has passed, at least a year. I like the element of gymnastics in your story which is new to me. Congrats on getting published! Wishing you all the best :)

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  29. The cover is HOT for The Perfect Score. I saw you attended Moonlight and Magnolias in Atlanta. I would like to meet the authors who attend, but didn't know if they had anything readers could attend.

    Andrea I
    ainfinger@comcast.net

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  30. Janga - many of the "skills", like determination and perseverance, a gymnast acquires spill over into other areas of their life. An elite gymnast has to be very disciplined in all areas to be able to do what she does and do it well!
    And thanks for the compliment - I have good genes! LOL, my dad doesn't look his age either. He always says he can't believe he has a daughter my age!

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  31. Thank you Na! I appreciate you stopping by :) All the best to you too!

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  32. Thank you Na! I appreciate you stopping by :) All the best to you too!

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  33. Andrea I - At Moonlight and Magnolias conference there is an author signing where the public can go and purchase books and meet the authors. I'm hoping to attend again this year, so I hope you'll stop by! I'd like to have a spot at the author signing :)

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  34. Congratulations Kellie on pursuing your dream and having it come true.
    Your story sounds great.

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  35. YAY, Kellie's here!!!! It is so great to have you with us today. Congrats to achieving your goal of becoming a published author. It is always comforting to know people who go after a dream and actually catch it.

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  36. Kellie said: I taught gymnastics for 25 years or so.

    Wait...25 years??? Wow. You just totally threw me for a loop. You look so young, Kellie! Keep it up, girl. ;-)

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  37. Ooooh, Kellie!! I hope you'll attend M&M this year, too!!

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  38. Andrea l, keep an eye on the Georgia Romance Writers website for information on this years Moonlight & Magnolias author signing. The conference will be October 5-7 at the Atlanta Hilton Northeast in Norcross. Julia Quinn is this year's keynote speaker!

    www.georgiaromancewriters.org

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  39. Kellie, I hope you'll be able to attend M&M again!

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  40. haha! I like to keep people guessing about my age. I started teaching gymnastics when I was still competing, but I will say I'm WELL into my 30's!

    Andrea & PJ - I'm hoping to attend M&M again. This time I'm thinking of a little vacay and bringing my kiddos!

    Buffie - going after a dream is difficult some times. When there are setbacks, you wonder if it's worth it. Then you achieve something and you wonder how far you can go. I intend to figure out just how far I can take this thing!

    Maureen - thank you for stopping by to check out my interview and book. So appreciated!

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  41. Before I say goodnight, I'd like to thank PJ, Gannon, Buffie and Andrea for having me here today! This was another dream come true :)

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  42. What a wonderful blog, Kellie. Yours is a truly inspiring story of making your dreams come true with a can do attitude and hard work. Congratulations!

    I am not a writer, but a dedicated reader and I love to meet authors because to me their writing is an art form that I admire vastly. Your choice of Eloisa James as a mentor was inspired. I have met her twice and emailed her too many times to count. I have never found her to be anything but understanding, approachable and gracious. Best of luck!

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  43. Congratulations!! REBOUND looks amazing & I Loved the excerpt thank you.

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  44. Thanks for a great day, Kellie! Best of luck with your new series and other writing ventures. Come see us again!

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  45. I'm a day late, but congrats, Kellie! Determination is key, and you've got lots and lots of that. Way to go! You're an inspiration. I'm going to stop now, before I turn into a Successories billboard. Muah!

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  46. Hi, Kellie. I'm so happy that you chose to contact Eloisa James and onward from there. I have found that authors are sweet people who really care about their work and are also so willing to guide and mentor other budding authors. While other "sales arenas" can be very cut-throat, writers are just special people who do not stoop to that kind of stuff. I have made some very good friends with some authors and feel so privileged to call each of them a friend. I am just a reader, not a writer, but my heart is with books of all kinds. Congratulations on your hard work to get where you are today. I truly look forward to reading your books. Best Wishes.

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  47. PJ - once again, thanks for having me here :)

    Marybelle - I'm glad you liked the excerpt! Thanks for stopping by.

    FSBuchler - When I picked up my 1st Eloisa James book, I turned to the bio. My thought was, "She seems like a nice person." And I've met her a couple of times and she is very sweet and down to earth! Thank you for stopping the blog today to check out my book and post.

    LOL, Noelle - thanks! Love ya bunches :)

    Connie - Thank you so much for stopping by to hear my story and to learn about my book. Very much appreciated!

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  48. That's certainly a lesson in desire & perseverance - also that you won't get anywhere if you don't take a step. Good for you (and your readers) that you made the excellent connections.

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