Hello Romance Enthusiasts!
Today, I am honored to be interviewing a dear friend of mine who is an example of an independent Clean Romance Writer.
I was first introduced to her by a novel that she offered for free called A Fine Mess. The story was different and full of humor and led me to believe that the writer had to be an exceptional human being all on her own.
After that first book I looked her up to see if she had any other books on Amazon and quickly downloaded two more novels. One of which was the first book in a series called The Coach’s Boys.
On Thursday, February 14th (Valentine’s Day! How romantic!) Kristy will be releasing her third book in the series called A Harry Situation.
Welcome to the Blog Ms. Kristy K. James!
Hi Kristy! So for those readers who are unfamiliar with you and your work how would you describe your writing?
Hi, Shineka! Aww…thanks so much for the kind words. And thank you for having me today.
How would I describe my writing? First I would have to say that if my books were movies, they could all be rated G, or PG-13. I’ve always written my stories so I’d never, ever be embarrassed if my dad picked one up and started reading it. And while he died almost ten years ago, I still think of him, and I still write ‘clean.’ The only other way I’d describe it is that I’m all over the board with it. I don’t read just one genre, and I don’t like writing rules that say I have to write just one. So I have historical romance, historical fiction, a Christian romance, and just your basic, regular romance. I will also be branching out into Young Adult fantasy later this year.
Would you say that being a writer is something you’ve always wanted to do?
It has been, yes. I remember writing plays for my cousins and I to perform for our aunts and uncles when I was maybe in second or third grade. They were pretty goofy, but even then, I liked to write. But after a ninth grade creative writing class…I never wanted to do anything else (as far as a career goes).
Who would you say is your biggest influence in your writing?
As far as encouraging me, it would be the student teacher in the writing class. If she had laughed at my efforts, I likely would have given up then, but she didn’t. As for other authors…I can’t narrow it down to just one. Some have been favorites through the years, some I wound up not liking as much as I thought I did, and then there are the new ones.
If I had to choose one though, I guess it would be Debbie Macomber. Someone gave me a bunch of books maybe eight years ago, and her series, Midnight Sons, was in it. I’ve worn them out, and need to buy new copies, but it showed me, beyond a shadow, of a doubt that books could be G-rated, and be good. It also made me realize that The Daddy Pact, and A Hero For Holly, could be made into a series. Yes, they were originally standalone books.
So let’s move to the reason why you are being interviewed today. You are releasing the third book to your Coach’s Boys Series. What inspired this series?
Well, as I mentioned above, I realized after reading Debbie Macomber’s books, that I’d really like to write my own series. And since I loved Dan and Jess, and Sam and Holly, I didn’t want to say goodbye. So I did some thinking, and started asking the ‘what if’ questions, and Jon, Cal and Chris came to life.
One of the things I like about this series is that the stories follow a close-knit group of guys. What made you want to write from the male perspective instead of the much easier female perspective?
Truthfully, I’ve always wondered about that myself. I did the same thing in Enza…and wondered about that, too. As silly as it sounds, I think it’s because the stories kind of dictate how they want to be written, If I’ve put the necessary time into the outline and character development, it’s almost like I’m just there to take the dictation.
In case there is someone who hasn’t read any of the series, can you give a short synopsis of the first three books of the series?
I can try. I’m just going to steal the short descriptions I used on one website for the first two. And then we’ll hope for the best on the third. I haven’t given that one a whole lot of thought yet.
The Daddy Pact: Jess Bentley’s husband is murdered the night they return from their honeymoon. Soon she discovers that she’s pregnant – and married to the murderer’s brother – so they can protect the baby from her vengeful father-in-law.
A Hero For Holly: Five years ago, Holly’s husband left her pregnant, with a four-year old son-and a restaurant on the verge of bankruptcy. Now her boys are happy, and the business is flourishing, but she has no personal life. The highlight of her week is seeing sexy scout leader, Sam Jensen. But he couldn’t possibly be interested a single, workaholic mom. Could he?
A Harry Situation: When Harry Saunders, the new employee for C & J Construction, turned out to be a woman, the only thing Chris Parker wanted was to fire her. In his opinion, there is no place for females in this business. But labor laws meant she stayed, making him nothing but miserable. Until he discovers a secret she’s been keeping from everyone. A secret that brings out every protective instinct he possesses. (Sorry, this is my first try)
What makes this book standout from the rest of the series?
Other than the fact that Chris’s name has five letters, and all the other guys names have three? This one deals with cancer, Leukemia, to be specific. And it affects a toddler. Even though I dealt with a murder in The Daddy Pact, blackmail in A Hero For Holly, and Ed Winslow’s stalker in the mystery that runs throughout the series, this one has been harder to write than the others. In fact, the publication has been delayed almost two months because of it. Why? Because I don’t like writing about cancer, but when it affects a child…it’s just hard.
Out of this cast of characters who would you say is your favorite?
That’s easy. Dan Mulholland. You might have noticed that other than Ed, he’s the only character we hear from in the books. There was just something about him, right from the beginning that I liked. And that hasn’t changed. He’s kind of a big brother, gotta-take-care-of-everyone guy.
Now for my personality question of the day: What’s your favorite period in history and why?
Until a few years ago, I always said I was born a hundred years too late. And then I realized that I’m such a comfort-loving sissy, that I was born at exactly the right time. So, unimaginative as it sounds, this is my favorite period in history. I mean we’ve got cars, planes (yuck!), washers and dryers, indoor toilets that flush, toilet paper (as opposed to leaves or catalog pages), air conditioning, treadmills, computers, cell phones, and Kindles.
Sure there are a lot of problems, violence, selfishness, inflation, wars… That list could go on and on. But we also have freedom (at least in the United States). We can go where we want, when we want…and usually we’re safe when we do it. We also have access to doctors, hospitals and medicines. So to my way of thinking, this is a great time in history.
Kristy, it’s been amazing talking with you today. Before you go, Is there any advice you want to leave for any aspiring writers out there?
Thanks for having me, Shineka. It’s been a lot of fun. What advice do I have for other writers? Write. Write. Then write some more (practice makes perfect, after all). Read books on the craft. Learn how to plot, how to create ‘real’ characters, and above all, how to edit. And don’t forget to read. Read lots of books, both good and bad. As some experts in the field tell us, we can sometimes learn more from a poorly written book than we can from one that’s good.
And then once you have a story ready, consider indie publishing. While it’s still possible to find an agent and traditional publisher, it can take years. If you’re lucky. Sure there are exceptions, but the way the industry is going, they’re few and far between. So be brave, and step out on your own. Learn all you can about marketing, and building a platform…and share your work with the world.
To celebrate the release of her new book, Ms. Kristy is giving away 10 digital copies of her first book in the series:
To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling us what inspires you. The winners will be randomly selected next Wednesday, February 20th!
Make sure to follow Kristy’s Blog and sign up for her newsletter to receive a free copy of her short story Someday…Maybe