for CHILD OF MINE, a nostalgic romantic comedy So many wildly varied events and people and pets from my life found their way into Child of Mine that I couldn’t fit them all into the Acknowledgements page! First off, I have to credit one of my dearest friends from grad school. She played a villain on a soap that may have a similar name to the one in which Bella appeared but I won’t say more to protect her privacy. I heard lots of stories back when she when she was working on the show but she also patiently answered my endless questions when I was researching this book. As for Bella’s struggle with addiction while working as a professional actor at a very young age, a soap actor on my friend’s show did end up going to rehab, but unlike Bella, his character did too. Articles and books written by and about Amber Tamblyn, Drew Barrymore, Melanie Griffith and others also informed Bella’s journey. Moving on to the TV show I made up for the book: was anyone a fan of Zoom as a kid? I loved the show back when I was a kid! While I took many details from the original as well as the 90’s reboot, I also borrowed from a program from the 00’s that my kids loved: Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. However, as producer James points out (he’s based on the lovely James “Don’t call me Jim” Fields, a complete stranger who generously shared his experiences working on Zoom, as well as his early career in Raleigh), animation technology in 1989 wasn’t fast or cheap enough to do a create like Ruff, so I came up with the computer B.E.T.T.E. as a substitute for Ruff. First Story Books isn’t based on a real shop in Boston; sadly, when I lived in Boston in the late 80’s and early 90’s, indie bookstores were already few and far between. These days we credit Amazon for the loss of local shops of all kinds, but in the late 20th century large chain bookstores were responsible for wiping out so many smaller bookstores. Ironically, Amazon was initially welcomed by publishers as a counterbalance to the power that giants like Waldenbooks, Crown Books, B. Dalton, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million (the latter two the only ones surviving today) held. Doris’s shop would’ve been one of the last holdouts of that era. I’m happy to say that we’ve seen a resurgence in such shops more recently, and I hope that trend continues. As for the books that Lilah shares with Henry in the bookstore, all of the new releases really did come out in 1989: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, . . .
Child of Mine I *finally* turned in a draft of book 4 in the Boston Classics series to my editor last night, so I celebrated this morning by organizing my character inspiration images on Pinterest. If you’ve been following the series, you might already have an image for Bella in your head, but this is the one that I’ve been working with. Her love interest, Henry Smith (yes, I know, boring name but there’s a reason why) was all new to me, so I went back to this photo again and again. I just LOVED this guys hair and eye color, his hair and beard but most off all his super intense gaze. Which I sometimes got lost in. Bella’s daughter, Delilah, or Lilah as she likes to be called (all the MC’s in this book have multiple nicknames…) is featured heavily in this (psst. Secret Baby trope) book, and of course there are multiple pets as well! As a side note, if you’d like to name this bookstore cat (and get credit for it in the Acknowledgements) I’ve donated that honor to the fundraiser Romancelandia for Lousiana, where all proceeds go directly to organizations providing Hurricane Ida relief. Check it out here: https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/88400/auctions/109722/auction_items/3168582 You can also bid on an audiobook-themed tee shirt I designed here: https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/88400/auctions/109722/auction_items/3168580 Stay tuned for more on this book, including the release date & cover reveal!
Honestly, I don’t remember why or when I decided that Ben Porter needed to be an underwear model a la Marky Mark in the 80’s Calvin Klein ads. Maybe it was just so I could do the research. Very arduous research, as you can imagine. But, to the cover. This time around I knew my genre–Romantic Comedy– and I didn’t have to find a designer because Lana at Bookcoverology did such an amazing job with the cover for WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. And I had a slightly better idea of how the process should go. For instance, I now know how useful a Pinterest board can be. For book one, I emailed her folders of images. This time I could just collect them on boards. (I know people have been doing this for years but I’m not a particularly visual person so I never got the Pinterest thing. Now, I get it.) In addition to the actor/model Ben Porter, FORGET ABOUT ME is about Lucy Minola: an Italian-American vet tech with a gorgeous full figure. She wears scrubs at work, of course but her curves come out of hiding when a co-worker helps her find a vintage red dress to wear to an opening night party. Then there’s the dog that brings them together. If you’re not an animal person, you’ll probably hate this book. Between the dog training and the veterinary hospital scenes, animals are all over it. Puck–the stray that shows up on page one–is especially important, so of course he needed his own board. Benji from the movies series of the characters’ childhoods was an inspiration, then I just went nuts pinning expressive terrier mix faces. Another important element is the mixtape. When Lucy was a carefree teen, she was obsessed with mixtapes and making them for Ben was a key feature in her seduction of him back when he was just her big brother’s best friend. (You can get that story in the FREE ebook SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED by subscribing to my news or joining my FB group Wicked Smaht Retro Romcom Readers). Finally, for some reason the image of the Coppertone ad where a dog is pulling on a girl’s bathing suit would not leave my mind, so that went in an inspiration board, too. Then I sent that all to Lana and came up with this first sketch. I loved a lot about this. Probably top of the list was how Lana incorporated the Coppertone image idea by having Puck tug on Lucy’s sexy dress. There were a few small adjustments like making Lucy’s hair curly and switching locations of the tag line and sub-title. My PR advisor suggested a more intense yellow . . .
Romance Fans! For a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card in addition to ten signed paperback plus assorted author swag, all you have to do is fill out the form in this link, which will sign you up for the participating authors’ newsletters. (You can unsubscribe at any time, of course.) Entries close September 23rd and the winner will be announced September 25th, so enter now! Just click this link to enter: http://bit.ly/LENB082020
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR by Karen Grey What reviewers are saying: “This is my first book by Karen Grey and I’m hooked.” —Rellim Reads “This story was bodacious! Totally Tubular!” —Live, Laugh, Love and Books “I felt like I was in a time warp and I loved it.” —Betty Loves Love “Ah, the 80’s…pagers, answering machines and waiting days for a call, oh my!” —Kathryn, Goodreads “Will and Kate are a wonderful pair. Ms. Grey shares allows both their fears and affection to shine across the pages, giving What I’m Looking For a strong story and satisfying conclusion.” —Jen, That’s What I’m Talking About “Set in the 1980s, this funny yet warmhearted character-driven tale checks all the boxes for classy contemporary romance while providing the longed-for “something different” readers seek out. It’s smart. It’s sexy. It’s sophisticated romance at its best.” —Lea Hensley, Audiogals WHERE TO FIND IT AUDIO Libro.fm (use the code KARENWHITE for a 3 for 1 book deal), Downpour or Audible PRINT The Ripped Bodice (click below) or any indie bookstore via Indiebound or Bookshop.org (or just ask your local bookstore to order it) and Amazon. EBOOK Kobo, Apple, , Barnes & Noble, Google RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED, BUT STAY TUNED AND/OR FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO HEAR ABOUT OTHER GIVEAWAYS OR OTHER NEWS! Cathy, Karen and Bloom are the winners and I’ve contacted them via email.
I tried to get this to work yesterday but it was a failure. So trying again today. Here we go: So, I have a confession to make. I thought that all my new blog posts were being automatically emailed to subscribers, but for some reason that has not been happening for awhile. It’s taken me some time and (for me) a whole load of mental gymnastics to navigate the maze of RSS feeds and other gobbledygook to figure all this out, so forgive me if you received an email yesterday with no content. And please have mercy on me for blundering through all this in the midst of multiple national crises. This will probably end up in your spam folder. But if it doesn’t, if you’re still with me, before you actively unsubscribe, I do have some big news. My first novel releases June 23. You can find it in this nifty list of new releases linked here (and I appreciating you clicking through as that gives me credit on this promotion): https://books.bookfunnel.com/junenewreleases/qq10knllle Also, I’ll be reading from my book at the virtual event NOIR AT THE BAR on Thursday, June 11 at 7pm EST. (My book is not a mystery but the organizer, Edwin Hill is an author I record for who has kindly invited me to read anyway. I’ll also be reading a bit from one of his Hester Thursby books. It’s free and doesn’t require an app but you do need to sign up to attend here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/virtual-noir-at-the-bar-4 Plus, Please save the date for another virtual event coming Thursday, June 25 at 8pm EST. More on that coming soon…but, (hint, hint) it includes EIGHT audiobooks narrators! Finally, Between now and June 23, if you want to help me get word out on my novel, I have a whole “secret” page set up where you can find links to follow me on my new author social media sites, download images and copy and paste posts. ANY help from this page is very much appreciated. Thanks for your support and feel free to unsubscribe if you no longer want to receive emails about Karen White audiobooks, Karen Grey books, articles on Creativity, recipes and/or cute pet photos. Actually the latter are mostly on Instagram and Pinterest. Like this one:
Today, I’m happy to hear from writer Sharon Sala about her creative process. Sharon has authored 100+ books in multiple genres, winning all kinds of awards, including the RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. I’ve just recorded her book, A Field of Poppies and have two copies to give away from Tantor Audio. But first, let’s hear from Sharon about her process and creative life. KW: Do you have any habits that support your creative work? SS: I have a habit of doing the crossword puzzle in my daily paper every morning before I settle down to work. It gets me in a good frame of mind for words in general. KW: You’ve written so many books! How do you fill your well? SS: There are several things I do, each depending on whether my need is emotional or physical. I get massages at least twice a month, sometimes more, because of the stress and strain of spending so many hours at a keyboard. Sitting down to work pain-free is conducive to a productive day. Emotionally, writing IS what fills me…what takes me away from the ills of the world in which we live, and which distracts me from things that are beyond my control. I also do daily affirmations that remind me of what’s most important in life. KW: What contributes to flow in your work? SS: Silence is important to me. And being happy. Being settled emotionally. The biggest distraction for me is having members of my family in some kind of crisis, or illness. When all is not right in my world, it’s hard for me to write. KW: Is the space in which you work important to you? SS: Yes. I like to write with my feet up, so I sit in a recliner with my laptop and work. I also have a PC, but I make sure to keep copies of my WIP on both systems, as well as on a Flash Drive. No lost work for me. Learned that the hard way. KW: Writing is solitary work. How do you counter that? SS: I am, by nature, a quiet person. I like solitude, and I write without music, or television, or any other distractions, because as I am writing, I am also “seeing” the story visually on the screen. I don’t concentrate on the words I’m typing. They just come when I put my fingers on the keys, but in the silence, I see and hear the story as I type. KW: Which is evident in your evocative and emotional writing! “Two families. One secret. Separated by a river and twenty years of lies.” THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Gloria and Karen . . .
Author Interview and Giveaway Books 1 & 2 of the Just Everyday Heroes, Day Shift series by Erin Nicholas from Tantor Audio ON CREATIVITY with Erin Nicholas A big thank you to Erin for her willingness to kick off my new series on the creative process. As someone who spends a great deal of time living in imaginary worlds (of my own and others’), I’m intensely curious about how creative minds behave, evolve and thrive. For these interviews, the victim, er, subject, had a long list of thirty questions to choose from regarding his or her process. I hope you find the answers as inspiring as I do. Me: What drives you to tell stories? Erin: I’ve been a story teller as long as I can remember. My parents tell stories of me making up elaborate pretend games for my friends and sister and I was writing stories long hand in notebooks from the time I could write. My dad tells about me being on family vacation road trips and missing all of the scenery because my head was bent over a notebook. I can’t imagine not telling stories. It’s a part of who I am and when I feel the most me. Me: What’s the part of your process that you savor? Erin: I love when I find myself thinking about my characters and their story as if they are real and I’m waiting to hear the latest from their love story. Many of my heroines end up feeling like “friends” that I want to call and ask “How’s it going with that guy?” 🙂 That’s when I know I’m on the right track with the story! Me: What’s your favorite way to consume stories? (books – audio or print? podcasts? movies? TV?) Is that different from how you end up consuming most of the time? Erin: All of the above! 🙂 I read a lot and love audiobooks. I’m also a TV and movie junkie. I use podcasts mostly for “real life”… business and news…but I tell people that I love to hear/ read other people’s stories after spending my days telling my own. Me: Do you read books in the genre in which you write? if so, is there a part of your process when you avoid doing so? Erin: I absolutely do! And I never have to avoid it. I’m very good at switching between being a writer and a reader. I read to be entertained and have no trouble not over-thinking or analyzing or editing! 🙂 Me: What’s your earliest or favorite reading memory? Was it someone reading to you or you reading by yourself? Erin: My dad reading to me. Every night we read a chapter . . .