And now that I've had my fan girl moment, here's Kelly ....
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1. Where were you in your writing career 5 years ago?Unpublished and unsure which line to target. Harlequin Temptations had just left the building – much to my dismay – and there was rumour of a fun, flirty and sexy editorial stream somewhere on the horizon. When the guidelines appeared for a HMB London edited line (then) called Nu Temptation, I snail mailed off a partial. A week and a half later HMB London asked to see the rest, at which point I had to fess up that the rest didn’t exist. Yet. I still remember Ed’s long suffering email sigh and her very patient, ‘just send it when it’s done’. That story became Wife For A Week, and Ed bought it, and it helped launch a new editorial stream (Modern Extra which later became Modern Heat). It also gave me quite a few more Bennett Family stories to write.
2. Where did you get the idea from for With This Fling?It all started with wanting to write a back-from-the-dead hero. But a back-from-the dead hero was unlikely to work tonewise for Riva. I needed fun. Flirty. Not a hero who’d had amnesia or who’d walked away from the heroine in order to protect her, and I certainly didn’t want him to have been held prisoner somewhere nasty. Nope, I wanted a daisy fresh back-from-the-dead hero, and he couldn’t be a vampire either. I headed for the gin. I decided my heroine would invent a fictional hero for some terribly convincing reason and then kill him off when she no longer needed him. And then he would reappear, so to speak. In the flesh. Daisy fresh. And twice as sexy. More gin ensued. Of course I could make this premise work…
3. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?Still writing. Still selling.
4. Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?Barbara Samuel’s No Place Like Home (and pretty much every Barbara Samuel/O Neal book since then).
5. Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?It was a cumulative effort that began with Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree and gained momentum with every story that ever swept me away.
6. What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?That you need to work even harder once you’re published to stay published and captivate new readers.
7. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?Every word counts.
8. What does the new Riva imprint mean for you.It means I get to help launch another new line. Woohoo! That was the mememe answer. In a general sense, a bold new line means there’s room for authors to boldly go where no author has gone before. I love that kind of freedom. It’s not for the faint of heart though, because – count on it – somewhere along the way you’re going to go where no one wants you to go.
9. Tell us about your Riva launch release.
I really enjoyed stacking my poor, imperfect, in-the-flesh hero up against the fantasy of the perfect man. That my poor, imperfect, in-the-flesh hero was a category romance hero and not real(istic) either amused me no end. Small things amu-- ah, never mind.
10. What’s next for you?An April RIVA release called Man She Loves To Hate.
You know those historicals that start with the heroine disguised as a stable hand or cabin boy and the hero thinks he’s losing his marbles along with his lust for women? I love those stories (possibly the small minds thing again). I love the deception and adore the reveal.
I decided to open a contemporary story in similar fashion, and try and make it believable, and flirty, and fun, and it’d help if I had some handy dandy reason as to why the hero and heroine wouldn’t declare undying devotion the moment the ruse was up. What If ensued and the Man She Loves To Hate was born.
This segues into a question for the Minxes. Anyone have a favourite story opening, premise, or scene that you’ve never forgotten, even though it’s been years since you read the book? What made it so memorable? Try breaking it down. Which bits of the premise or scene intrigued you the most? Then, for the writers here, have a quiet think about the kind of story you might be able to wrap around that lovely old favourite story bit.
I hope you enjoy reading the new Riva stories and thank you so much for the invitation to come and talk stories and play with the Minxes.
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Mills & Boon and Amazon, a February release in Australia and a June release in North America.
Red Hot Renegade is available through Mills & Boon and will be released in North America in March as a Presents Extra, under the title Her Singapore Fling.
To find out more about Kelly, you can visit her website here.
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Congratulations to Desere Steenberg, winner of last week's Kimberly Lang contest.