The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors to respond to ten questions about their latest book. The author tags the person who first tagged them, plus a few other authors who will post on their blogs the following Wednesday.First, I’d like to thank author, Elke Feuer, for tagging me. Click the links below to find out more about Elke and her debut novel, For the Love of Jazz, a contemporary romance with a ghostly twist.

Website: http://elkefeuer.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Elke-Feuer/185367964831994

Twitter: @ElkeFeuer

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6550227.Elke_Feuer

Here is my Next Big Thing! Please feel free to comment and ask questions.

1: What is the title of your book? Hot Off the Press

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I studied journalism and worked at the Kingston Whig-Standard which was owned, at one time, by renowned author (novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor) Robertson Davies.  I always thought the small town newspaper would make a great setting for a romance novel.  And when Robertson Davies died in 1995, it got me thinking about what it might be like to inherit a newspaper from your much beloved, celebrated father and how difficult it would be to live up to such a legacy.

3: What genre does your book come under? Contemporary romance

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I originally patterned my heroine after a young Geena Davis, but if I were casting a movie today I would probably want Lauren Ambrose as Leigh Cameron and Adam Beech as David Stone.

Adam Beech

Adam Beech

Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Following the death of her father, Leigh returns to the sleepy seaside town of her youth, where, she’s shocked and surprised to learn she’s inherited the family paper.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? My book is published by Crimson Romance.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I spent about two years writing the first draft of Hot Off the Press during evenings and weekends.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? One reviewer said of Hot Off the Press, “Readers who love Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Jill Shalvis will not want to miss this book.” And another added, “A true tapestry of characters, story, and a richly detailed setting reminiscent of early Nora Roberts.”

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? I wrote the book after moving to Toronto for a job as a television reporter.  This story was, in many ways, love letter to print journalism and to the friends I left behind.  That said, despite sharing some physical attributes with some of my dearest friends, Leigh, Geoffrey, David, Andrea and Bruce are all fictional characters.

The Watford Sun, the small independent paper where my story is based, was inspired by a Canadian daily newspaper called the Kingston Whig Standard that was privately owned until very recently.  I interned there as an Arts and Entertainment reporter some years back and I found the small town and its charming old buildings very romantic.  The fictitious town of Watford, MA, where the story is based bears some similarities with the town of Kingston, Ontario where this paper is located.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s a beautiful, sensual read with a fire escape sex scene my critique group still raves about some six years after I first read it to them.

Below are the links to the next chain of authors who will be posting next Wednesday.

Please show them some love by bookmarking their sites and adding their new releases to your calendars. Happy Writing and Reading!

  1. Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. Find out more at kayedacus.com.  Find her on Twitter @KayeDacus
  2. Heidi Ruby Miller uses research for her thrillers as an excuse to roam the globe.  Find out more at heidirubymiller.blogspot.ca.  Find her on Twitter @HeidiRubyMiller

Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?

Image

A colleague recently remarked that she was relieved that our publisher, Crimson Romance, does not use “classic” romance covers for its cover art.  You know the kind I mean – the ones featuring a woman with long flowing hair in the throws of passion with a gorgeous, shirtless Adonis.  Well, I have a confession to make.  I love those “classic” covers.  I mean, come on.  Who among us hasn’t wished for long, beautiful hair or fantasized about being in the arms of a dark, muscular, larger than life, hunk of a man?

Cover

Hot Off the Press Actual Cover

So I was a little disappointed when I saw that the cover of my debut novel, Hot Off the Press, was definitely more modern than classically hot.  No bodice ripping here. No, sirree, Bob. Now granted, my novel does deal with serious issues like discrimination in our prison system but it also contains a beautiful romance and really great and hot sex.

Alternate Cover

Hot Off the Press Author’s “Classic” Cover

My research on the impact of a book cover revealed that in fact, your book cover may very well be the single biggest piece of marketing that book will receive.  For first time authors and writers that have not yet built up a big following, the cover may be the only thing that gets a reader or reviewer to physically pick the book up.  Talk about pressure.

According to a BookSmugglers.com survey, covers play a decisive role in 21% readers’ decision to purchase a book. Moreover, 60% of readers say a cover has been the sole driving factor in their decision to purchase a book.

So although we’re all taught never to judge a book by its cover, many of us still do.

What about you? Do you judge a book by its cover? Let me know, leave your email address and enter to win a $100 or $50 Amazon gift card!

Here’s how it works:

To celebrate romance and the classic covers I love, I’ve joined the Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop. I invite you to visit the other fabulous Crimson Romance authors and also enter to win on their site. The more you visit, the better your chances of winning a prize! And, the more authors, sexy covers and amazing stories you’ll find to entice you.

Find the entire list of participants to the blog hop here:

http://crimsonromanceauthors.com/crimson-wonderland-blog-hop/

Good luck!

5 Questions with Author Kristina Knight

A week after my baby girl was born, I found out my debut novel would be published by Crimson Romance, a division of Adam’s Media.  In a few short weeks, two of my lifelong dreams had finally come true!

Twenty-five authors participated in the launch of the new romance imprint, and for many, June 4th, 2011 marked the beginning of a new, long-awaited chapter in their writing careers.  Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to author Kristina Knight.  Her book What a Texas Girl Wants is a perfect blend of witty family drama and steamy romance – and left this girl wanting more!

Here are her answers to my top five burning questions:

Méline:  Writers are often told, “Write what you know.” How much of what you write stems from your experience?

Kristina:  Great question. I think a lot of what I write stems from my experiences – not necessarily my work experiences, but I draw on events from my life. My mom tells me I’m like an actress because when I’m writing an emotional scene I totally go into my own history to get into a similar emotional place. That doesn’t mean I use those personal experiences, though, in the writing just my own emotional reaction. Music also helps me get into that emotional place, sometimes, so music plays a big part in my process.

Méline: Once you have your premise, what’s your process?  Are you a plotter or a “pantser” going with your instincts as you write?

Kristina: I’m a hybrid – I call myself a pant-lotter. I was a total pantster when I started out writing, but after writing myself into too many corners to count, I adjusted a little. Now, I write an outline of where I *think* the book will go and start writing. Very rarely do my outlines match up with the final book, events change and sometimes even the sequence gets messed up a bit, but it does help me get an idea of where I want to go and what I want to explore in each book.

Méline: What or who inspires you to write romance?

Kristina:  My love for the genre. I’m a sap, according to my husband. I cry during music videos, movies, commercials. I should seriously buy stock in Kimberly Clark because I’m certain my use of Kleenex totally keeps them in the black. I love reading about two people falling in love, coming to terms with their wants and needs and becoming ‘whole’. Writing them is the same – I get to experience that falling-in-love feeling from my own love story again, I’m reminded how lucky I am and I always learn something through the process about myself.

Méline:  What is it about cowboys that makes your heart melt?

Kristina:  What doesn’t? The cowboys I’ve met – and there have been many, I’m a transplanted country girl! – are heroic, funny, sexy, silly, loyal and perfectionists. They know what they want and they go after it, even when someone tells them no. What’s not to love about that? Plus, they really know how to fill out a pair of blue jeans.

Méline:  George Clooney or Brad Pitt.  Why?

Kristina:  George from any of the Ocean’s movies. I just love a smart guy. And the way he looks in a tux doesn’t hurt, either.

ImageAbout What a Texas Girl Wants:

Kathleen Witte is a down-to-earth girl. She has to be, with the family ranch on the verge of success. After seven months of keeping it all together by swearing off men, however, Kathleen needs a bit of fun in the sun. Waking up with a husband she can’t remember isn’t how she planned to blow off steam.

The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl. He has four weeks of freedom in which to find his birth mother. He’s done well avoiding commitment until now, so when he wakes up on a Mexican beach with Kathleen his first reaction is curiosity. When he spies the matching wedding rings on their left hands curiosity turns to concern.

Neither Jackson nor Kathleen want to stay married, but when her family shows up, they have no choice. Once back in Texas, however, can they keep this all-business marriage from turning into an all-consuming love?