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