I get to be the first author interviewed! (Get some caffeine.)
Q: How did you make your first sale?
A: I sent a partial (3 chapters and a synopsis of the rest of the book) to the Senior Editor, Kathleen Scheibling, in response to a "call for new Harlequin American authors" piece in Romantic Times magazine. She requested the complete, then bought it! I got lucky with the timing. The line had been "revamped" and finally my voice fit.
Q: If you had to pick one word to describe your writing, what would it be?
A: I'm a writer--I can't possibly pick ONE word! LOL I have many words for the writing process, depending on how it's going, :) but I'd hope the end result is "heart-warming." If I could have another word, I'd add "fun" because families and life are both.
Q: Tell us a little about your family and where you're from.
A: I have a wonderfully supportive husband and two great kids. We live near St. Louis, MO, and love to travel. Growing up the youngest of five children gave me lots of inspiration for escapism! :) My brother gave me his GI Joe action figure when he grew out of playing with it. Joe promptly starred in all my play stories with Barbie. When I first saw Ken, I thought, "No way." That Barbie knew a good provider for her little girls when she saw him!
Q: Tell us about your book.
A: I'm really lucky to have had two books out this year. The Fake Fiancee comes out tomorrow. :) I'm thrilled to have this book accepted for publication because the mom in the story gives her all for her kids. It's nice every once in a while to remember the sacrifices moms make, which we sometimes don't even know about. Of course, the heroine's sacrifice leads her to the man she'll come to love, but even moms deserve a treat! Joe Riley needs to tread carefully with his matchmaking mom until he's reassured of her recovery from a heart attack. Caterer Lisa Meyer agrees to pretend to be his fiancée in order to earn money for a special program for her son. Joe discovers parenting is nothing like heading up a company. It's way more work! So it'll stay strictly business for Joe and Lisa--unless love can find a way.
Marrying the Boss came out last April, but it's still available online. Mark Collins is driven to prove his worth to the powerful Chicago family that adopted him so long ago. But in order to earn his place, he has to win control of the family company in a contest with his late grandfather’s illegitimate daughter. Leanne Fairbanks, a savvy competitor with her own axe to grind, yearns to show the family what they missed by ignoring her all her life. This Apprentice-like showdown is soon overshadowed by the competitors’ interest in another prize—each other.
Q: What is your writing routine?
A: Ouch. I was hoping to skip this question. ;) I'm a deadline junkie (aka a procrastinator) so I barricade myself in my office when my deadline nears. I'd like to plot; it would make my life easier. But I've tried, and I get bored with a story if I know what happens, then I don't finish it. I start with a character or an incident, then plunge blindly ahead until I type THE END. Sometimes I have a vague idea or two for scenes, and I use them as guideposts. A couple of times, I've had the last line of the book figured out, which is very exciting. In Marrying the Boss, I typed that line, but the story didn't feel complete and wound up with an epilogue, which was more satisfying an ending. Here's the last line I've envisioned for my current work: "He grinned." I hope I'm not giving too much away. ;)
Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A: Finishing Marrying the Boss was a whirlwind! Kathleen had requested the complete, and I just felt this was my last chance. Great motivation. But I started The Fake Fiancee sometime in the last century :0 and even though I only had three chapters to finish, I had a hard time getting to THE END. While stalled on this ms, I hit a "block" where I couldn't complete anything else. The "people" in my head left. One day about six years into this period, they just "came back." Marrying the Boss was the first ms I'd finished in years! So when it came time to propose a second one, I sent The Fake Fiancee, thinking if my editor bought it, I'd have to finish it. And I did.
Q: How long have you been writing? and What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: At seventeen, I knew I wanted to write category romance, but it wasn't until after the birth of my second child that I made the time. My first contest/conference/editor pitch/rejection was 14 years ago. That was the year I found our local RWA chapter.
Q: What got you interested in writing?
A: Reading books that didn't satisfy me. Long, long ago, when I was a young girl, the heroes were all alpha jerks. Honestly. A "hero" would treat the heroine like a doormat then declare his love at the end, as though she should have known all along. I got so frustrated, those books hit the wall. I thought, "I can write a better story." And while I can't claim mine are better, the endings are much more satisfying.
Q: Why did you target the American Romance Line?
A: My stories involve families and normal, everyday people. Marrying the Boss is the only story I've written without kids in it--and the mothers took over the scenes instead. American is the line that most closely fits my voice--heart, home, and family. I love to read them, and now I'm having a wonderful time writing them.
Thanks for interviewing me. I hope it wasn't too boring. I'll be doing some booksigning this month; please check out my website for the list. megankellybooks.com