Friday, February 15, 2013

Interview - - Kim Law, Cheryl Bolen and Patrice Wilton!

Three for the price of one!  I'm pleased to welcome Kim Law, Cheryl Bolen and Patrice Wilton to the Romance Dish today. These three authors are part of part of an exciting new phase in publishing:  serial romances!  They are here today to answer my questions - and your's - about Kindle Serials from Amazon and a terrific contest they are sponsoring to kick off their new serial books.  

Welcome to the Romance Dish, ladies!  We’re delighted to have you visit with us today.  Before we talk about your new projects – and those terrific prizes you’re giving away in your contest - would you each please tell us a bit about you and where you are in your writing journey? 

Kim: I would love to! But first, thanks so much for having us here today. We’re all three so excited about this contest, so I’m thrilled to be able to share it with all of you! As for me, I’m a contemporary romance author who does both steamy contemporaries and small town (still with some heat) books. My books are written with a light-hearted, fun tone, but I also tend to do emotional at the same time. I like to make people both laugh and cry. Because yeah… I’m a little evil that way ;) I’ve been writing for several years now, and my first published book released last October (CAUGHT ON CAMERA), my second (SUGAR SPRINGS) in December, and EX ON THE BEACH, my serial that’s releasing now, is my third published book!

Cheryl: Before I sold my first book to Harlequin Historical in 1997, I won a lot of writing contests in romantic suspense, but turned my back on it when publishers began paying me to write sexy historicals set Regency England. I've now got more than 20 books (some of which are sweet, rather than sexy), have been translated into eleven languages, and have been blessed to continue winning writing awards, including Notable New Author and Best Historical in 2005's Holt Medallion and in the 2011 International Digital Awards. I'm especially proud to have been a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier for Best Historical Mystery. Amazon's Montlake is now paying me to write my lighthearted contemporary romantic suspense serial, Falling for Frederick.

Patrice: I live in West Palm Beach, and my hobbies include tennis and golf, as well as writing contemporary romance and women's fiction. I have two grown up children, and I'm a grandmother to three beautiful little girls, and feel extremely blessed. I've been writing for twenty years, and this year Amazon Montlake made my dreams come true by offering me a three book contract. A HERO LIES WITHIN comes out Feb.26th, followed by HANDLE WITH CARE, and the last of the series AT FIRST SIGHT.

You all have romances that are currently, or will soon, be released in Kindle Serial format through Amazon Publishing.  How exactly does this new format work?  What makes it a good option for readers? 

Cheryl: I think with the popularity of TV shows like Downton Abbey or 24, Amazon realized people like having something to look forward to. They've kept these very economical, so readers don't mind taking a chance on them. Readers pay $1.99 for the first episode, which is typically two or three chapters that end in a cliffhanger. Then every two weeks for 4 ½ months, readers get another episode delivered to their Kindle. All of the additional episodes are free. Most of my readers are telling me how anxious they are to "find out who done it." It's remarkable how the reader finds the new episode on her/his Kindle just where he/she left off reading two weeks earlier. In the end, these are equivalent to 300 or 400 page books.

Kim: To follow up on Cheryl’s answer, if a reader buys the book after more than one episode is released, they will get all available episodes immediately. And every two weeks when a new episode releases, they will get an email letting them know a new episode has been delivered. Very easy!
As for what makes it a good option for readers? I think it’s four things:

1)      They’re cheap!
2)      It’s FUN to read something in a new way. And with each episode ending on a cliffhanger, you know the tension will always be ratcheted up.
3)      Readers can chat after each episode with other readers, discussing how they think the next episode will go. (On the Amazon page of each serial, there’s a link to the forums.)
4)      If you don’t have time to get lost in a book for a few hours, getting only one episode at a time will force you to put the book down! They are the perfect lunch-time reads. Or even, read them while you’re cooking dinner! They’re easy to sneak in, and will always leave you wanting more. Fun J

Will your titles be released as a complete book after the last serial episode has been published? 

Patrice: Yes, as soon as the serial has ended, the book will be available in every format: eBooks, print books, or audio.

How does writing a serial episode book differ from writing other types of books? 

Kim: O.M.G. There is a huge difference! We’re still writing the books as they are being released!!! So for authors, we don’t get a second chance to go back in and layer in more details. We have to know where we’re going with the story (at least sort of…I’m kind of lost at the moment ;) ) and we have to have the confidence to trust in ourselves that we’re getting in all the pertinent details. Then we also edit each episode individually, which (for me) means I go back and re-read what’s already done to try to make sure I’m not repeating or putting something in there that was already revealed two episodes before!

Cheryl: For me, it's quite a bit harder because they are releasing episodes while I'm still writing it. I try to be very careful before I release my three-chapter episodes to make sure I've got everything I need because I can't go back and fix anything!

Patrice: The pressure is on the writer to create a new episode every two weeks, and the reader will receive it hot, right off the press.

The Kindle Serial books being released by each of you are:  EX ON THE BEACH (Kim), A HERO LIES WITHIN (Patrice) and FALLING FOR FREDERICK (Cheryl).   Please share with our readers what they can expect from each of your books.

Kim: Oh, great question! For me, with Ex on the Beach, you’ll get a fun, sexy read with a cast of characters you can fall in love with!

Cheryl: Falling for Frederick can be described by "Aided by lord of the manor, lovely doctoral student archivist seeks priceless medieval artifact, just ahead of those who've already killed to get it." It's a lighthearted romance with a mystery that, hopefully, has a lot of suspects.

Patrice: My book, A HERO LIES WITHIN, is a contemporary romance - the first in a three book series about returning war heroes wounded in body and spirit and the women who love them. The readers can expect an emotional journey and a powerful love story as our wounded warriors come home to heal.

The three of you kicked off a contest yesterday.  Please tell our readers about the great prizes and where they can enter.   

Kim: Great, thanks! Yes, we kicked off a contest in which we have one major goal. Get people to try serials! They really are fun to read, and like we pointed out earlier, they’re cheap and can be read in short periods of time. So we want to get people to try them!! (Because we want to write more!)

To encourage this, we’re running a six-week long contest where we’re giving away three $20 Amazon cards along the way, and at the end we’ll award a 7” Kindle Fire HD to one lucky entrant!! Readers can enter at all of our contest pages (for up to three entries in the contest.) All they need to do is answer a simple question about each of our serials on our contest pages. Enter once, twice or three times, depending on how many serials you want to check out!

Kim's contest page:
Cheryl's contest page:
Patrice's contest page:

What’s next for each of you?

Kim: Well, for me, I’m working on a new serial idea, because I really am having a great time with this. Not sure if I can sell it yet, but fingers crossed that I do. And then I’ll have the second book in my SUGAR SPRINGS series coming out later this fall.

Cheryl: I'm not sure. I keep having readers request that I write another of my historical Regency Mysteries. Depending on how well my serial does, though, Amazon's Montlake may be interested in another "Stately Home Murder." I have a lot of options.

Patrice: Creating a wonderful new series for my readers to fall in love with. I have one in the works.

Thank you, Kim, Patrice and Cheryl!  We appreciate you joining us today and wish you all the best with your new serial writing ventures.  Is there anything you would like to ask our readers today? 

Kim: Thank you so much for having us! And yes, I would love to ask your readers a question. I’d like to know what their favorite TV show is that leaves them hanging each week. And if they’d like to share, what is it about the show that they love so much?

Cheryl: I'd just like to remind readers they don't have to own a Kindle to read a Kindle Serial. They can download to computers or to smart phones with free apps.

Patrice: Is this a format that would interest you? Please give it a try!

And one more thing…if readers would like to get notification of great new Montlake releases every month, they can subscribe to the Montlake Delivers newsletter! Thanks again for having us, PJ!!!

Here’s the link for the newsletter mentioned directly above:

Contact Info….



  1. Good Morning, ladies! Thanks so much for visiting with us today!

  2. Hi, PJ! Thanks for having us! Looking forward to hanging out with you today :D

  3. Thank you for inviting us. We are delighted to answer any questions, so bring them on!

  4. Greetings, all! I just signed up for the newsletter, but I confess that I've been leery of trying serials since I am very much about instant gratification when it comes to my reading. I usually avoid reading excerpts of books I'm eagerly awaiting, and I grow impatient just waiting for the next book in a series. I rarely watch TV either. My Downton Abbey viewing has been limited to marathon sessions of the first two seasons on DVD.

    I do find the new popularity of serials fascinating from the perspective of the history of our genre. It links back to the golden age of women's magazines when every issue carried an installment of a romance novel.

    1. I confess that I've been leery of trying serials since I am very much about instant gratification when it comes to my reading.

      I'm much the same, Janga. On the other hand, I've been thinking about this a lot since finishing the Q&A with Kim, Patrice and Cheryl and I've realized that there are many times when I only have a few minutes to "catch up" with a story. Also, I'm willing to wait for episodes of my favorite TV shows. Why not the stories that I read too? It would be like a special surprise every couple weeks that arrives between the other books I'm reading.

    2. Exactly PJ! A special surprise. Someone on the Amazon discussion board said it was like getting little Christmas presents every two weeks. I certainly wouldn't want to read every book this way, because I love reading them straight through too, but I do find it fun to try different things, so that's what we're hoping other people will discover, as well.

      I hope you'll both decide to give them a try! And if it works out you really don't like reading them this way, then you've still gotten the book for cheaper than it'll be when it's fully released, and you can just wait and read the remainder of the books at that point. But I do hope you find it to be fun! :D

  5. Janga, that's so true. We are the "now" generation and used to having everything at a click of our fingers, and this new serial idea may intrigue some and frustrate others. It's perfect for that twenty minutes here and there, where you don't have time to dive into an entire book but want to read something quick and fun while you wait to pick up your kids, during your lunch-hour break, doctor visits, or that half hour before you go to bed. I hope you give one a try. Let the anticipation build...

    1. Patrice, I anticipate that this will be very popular among those who read on their iPhones and iPads. I frequently see people reading on their phones while standing in lines at stores. A quick "bite" here, a quick "bite" there...

    2. That's where I read the serials I've gotten. On my phone! Read one yesterday in the waiting room of my doctor's office. Some people worry that they will have to reread what's already there first, but I find that I can scan over the last two pages before the new episode, and my mind immediately puts me right back in the story!

  6. Just wanted to stop by and say good morning. Thanks for the great books.

    1. Good morning, regencygirl! Have you tried the Kindle Serials? What do you think of the concept?

    2. Hi regencygirl. Thanks for checking out our interview! Hope you'll consider giving the serials a try. And enter the contest!!! We love giving stuff away.

  7. These really are fun to read. I've started Cheryl's and have the others waiting on my Kindle. It's nice to get that email every couple weeks to say another episode is available.

    I've broken the TV habit to make more writing time, but cannot resist Downton Abbey. Such drama! I don't always like where they take the story, but somehow I cannot look away either.

    Are the three of you plotters or pantsers and which do you think works better for writing sereals? Did you have these story ideas before the serial option came your way?

    1. I'm a total plotter, Terri. Which I think helps with serials A LOT. I can not imagine writing one without having some idea where it's going...but then, I can't imagine writing any book that way :) I had the idea for this story before the serial came my way, but it was a one paragraph idea only. Thanks for the great questions, Terri! :)

    2. And I meant to say that I really need to get into Downton Abbey. I'm pretty much the only one not watching that show, right? ;)

    3. Hi, Terri. I'm a bit plotter and bit pantster. I'll start with plot points that only take up about a page. They get fleshed out when I write. And I add more suspects as I go. Thanks for getting Frederick. I hope you like it.

  8. Well, PJ, you have done it yet again. Just downloaded because I actually love serials...I agree, it is like getting presents more than once a year...and frankly, we all can use the fun of the anticipation of what is coming next....

    I am going to see how I do with my downloads ....

    Thanks once again for the heads up!


    1. Thanks Hope! And I love your outlook..."we all can use the fun of the anticipation of what is coming next"...That's just lovely!

      I hope you enjoy ours!

  9. Hope - pleased to hear that you're going to give it a try! Who doesn't like a nice surprise every couple of weeks? The serials are selling quite well, so it seems as if a lot of people are buying them for their phones, or whatever suits their fancy. I have also bought Kim's and Cheryl's, and they hooked me right away. Mine will be available on the 26th, so already you have to wait!! lol.

  10. Hello and welcome, Kim, Cheryl, and Patrice! We are thrilled to have you dishing with us today!

    I have to say that I think this is a brilliant idea! Like Janga, I enjoy instant gratification when I read my romance, but would definitely try a serial as long as there is a promised "happily ever after". I wish you three much success with this endeavor! :)

    1. Oh, they're still romances, Andrea. Totally a happily ever after! And thanks for the welcome. I'm thrilled to be here!

      If you give them a try...I hope you find the format fun, and the books wonderful ;)

    2. They really are fun. Whenever Amazon notifies me of a new installment of another author's serial, I get all excited, just like I do when I know I'll get the see Downton Abbey that night. And plese, Downtown Abbey virgins, start with Season 1. It's THE best TV show ever. Season 2 (8 episodes) is my favorite, but I love them all. My husband likes Season 1 (only 3 episodes) best. He said Season 2 was too soap opera-ish for him. (More angst and longing, and the stuff we romance readers like)

  11. I'm convinced. I'm off to check out the serials. :)

    I meant to say earlier that I read and really enjoyed Kim's Sugar Springs.

    1. Oh, thank you Janga!!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

      And yay to convincing you to try the serials! Don't forget that you can enter the contest up to three times. Once for each book! I hope you enjoy them!

  12. Thank you, Andrea. I promise you that we have "happily ever afters" and exciting plots. Hope you give us a try --

    And Janga - so glad we convinced you to give it a go!

  13. Patrice, why don't you remind people when yours starts? Of course, they can preorder now.

  14. Huge thanks to PJ and Andrea for having us on the Dish. You girls rock.

  15. Finally home from work! Thanks so much for being here, ladies. Best wishes for all of your serials. I'm looking forward to reading them!

  16. Thank you, PJ and Andrea for hosting us. It's been a pleasure. And if you like them, please spread the word!!

  17. ELOISA JAMES had trouble logging in but asked me to post this comment:

    This is such a great idea -- and the stories sound so fun!

  18. Thanks for having us, PJ, and helping us spread the word!! And thanks for the post from Eloisa James! I had a blast hanging out here yesterday!