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Hellion: Hello, Kim, and welcome aboard the Romance Writer’s Revenge. *much shouting and rambunctious cheering from grog-warmed crew and passengers* Now, to give everyone a little background about how we met, Kimberly Killion is a member of MORWA, the Missouri Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She got me my start as a published article writer, beginning with my Captain Jack Sparrow article. During one of our email exchanges, Kim mentioned she had just sold a book, Her One Desire, to Kensington and it would debut in July 2008. At the time…oh, well, she tells this story better than I do. Kim, tell them the story. *perching on a cannon like a wide-eyed child listening to a daring adventure tale*
Kim *realizing now that Hellion couldn’t possibly have had a journalism class. Ever*: Oh, uh, okay…you mean about the…
Hellion: You know…how you got published. The overnight success that took like 10 years. I love this story. She pitched two books, one of a manuscript that was already finished and another….
Kim: Oh, that story. Well, having been imprisoned for months, *chained to my computer* I managed to spin a tale about a Highland laird forced to choose between avenging his father’s death and surrendering to the passion he finds in the arms of his enemy’s daughter. I call this little treasure, Highland Dragon, but ’tis doubtful the title will stick.
While waiting for my ship to sail *plane to fly to Dallas to attend the 2007 RWA National conference*, I started penning another bit of fiction I lovingly titled, The Executioner’s Daughter. This tale is about a Scottish spy escaping certain death in the Tower of London.
Upon reaching port *Dallas* I’d prepared my pitch and sat wide-eyed across from the infamous Hilary Sares. With my heart jumping all out of cadence, I tried to remember what the blokes called me back home. My name finally came to me as did the beginning of my pitch, but my well-thought out words didn’t seem to impress the wench *she is my editor now, so I use that word lightly in the spirit of swashbuckling joviality*. As the story goes, Ms. Sares did finally perk up when I told her the premise behind The Executioner’s Daughter. She asked me to send both manuscripts regardless of their condition.
I, without the slightest hesitation, agreed to her request, stood, and thanked her for her time with all the manners me mum taught me. At which point, I ran to the privy and then to the rathskeller for a much needed quaff of rum. But this is not the end of this mind-boggling tale…Upon returning to a land less inflated with agents and editors, I mailed the completed manuscript, Highland Dragon, and the puny five chapters I had of The Executioner’s Daughter.
Not a fortnight later *ten days* Ms. Sares called me with a two book offer. After I scooped myself off the poop deck, I was met with a slew of emotions that sent this bilge rat spiraling.
But wait…there was a catch. Ms. Sares decided the stronger book lie in the tale about the executioner’s daughter, aka incomplete manuscript. She asked how long it would take me to finish it. My reply, “Six months.”
As sweet as she could be, she counteroffered with three months. I agreed with a nervous laugh. What choice did I have? We blathered a bit more after which I ran for the privy and then the rathskeller for a quaff of rum.
Crewmember (shouting from rigging): “Did ye manage the feat?”
Kim: Aye, I did! Shackled in the hulk *bound to my computer in the basement* I added 80,000 words to finish what is now titled Her One Desire.
Hellion (as crew murmurs in amazement): And that’s not all. You also teach college courses, put together the monthly newsletter (Rumpled Sheets) for MORWA as well as the chapter newsletter for Hearts Through History, are married and have two children—you sound busier than one pirate trying to rob a fleet of ships at different longitudes at the same time! How do you do it all? How did you get 80,000 words done in such a short amount of time?
Kim: Well, I tied the ragamuffins *my children* in their chambers, shortened my hours at work, didn’t cook, didn’t clean, and just wrote. Oh…I also didn’t sleep.
Hellion: Amazing. Yes, it was clear you didn’t believe in sleep as soon as you mentioned having two children. That’s a glutton for punishment right there, though obviously worthwhile—much like getting this book published! What a dream come true! How have you been handling it? How exciting is it that after all these months of knowing it’s going to happen—you’ll be seeing your name in the bookstores next to Sherrilyn Kenyon and Lisa Kleypas?
Kim: Oh, aye, the K’s are right in the middle of the shelf and I couldn’t ask for better company sitting beside me. It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Some days, I think I can’t keep up with all the promo, but it will all be worth it when Lord Broderick Maxwell and Lady Lizbeth Ives are freed into the world.
Hellion: Are you going to RWA this year? Will you be doing a book signing? (Do you think you’ll be signing near them? How cool would it be if Sherrilyn bought a book?)
Kim: Seriously, you need to switch to decaf.
Hellion: Oh, look, an undead monkey. *shoots it, monkey screams; Kim blinks but proceeds on*
Kim: I have my voucher to set sail for San Francisco in July and hope to have a quill all sharpened to sign Her One Desire as she hits the shelves in July. And if Sherrilyn Kenyon or Lisa Kleypas happen to ‘look’ my way, I’m certain to swoon.
Hellion: Lord, so would I. Okay, now…tell us about Her One Desire. What’s it about? Why are we going to fall in love with this book as much as you obviously have?
Kim: I love the hero in this book. Lord Broderick Maxwell, is gentle and honorable to a flaw, of course, he is arrogant which is forgivable given his appearance. Black hair, light blue eyes and a set of abs a tavern wench would flip her skirts for. Oh, and my Broc is funny, he makes me laugh just as he does Lizzy.
The crew might like to hear a quote by Patricia Rice, a New York Times Bestselling Author: “A sensual and spirited romance by a masterful new writer.”
Then, of course, there is the back cover blurb:
FOR HIS LOVE
Astride a stolen horse, encircled by the shackled arms of Broderick Maxwell, a Scottish spy escaping certain death in the Tower of London, Lizbeth Ives rides to the north, hidden by the merciful darkness. By stealth and by cunning, the daughter of the Lord High Executioner has undone her father’s cruel work, compelled to save the innocent man with her. There is no turning back—they are bound as one in his iron chains. Consumed by mortal fear, driven by passion, they disappear into the night…
A single raven follows them. Is it an omen? Or only the first of those who would capture them? They must ride on. If captured, they will face death together. But if they reach Scotland, he will claim her for his own…forever.
Hellion: *looking faintly dazed, has to shake herself to sense as she realizes Kim has finished* Oh, my! A Scottish hero…a tortured heroine who just wants to save her father…and action-packed adventure. And hot, hot sex scenes. *more cheering from the crew* Now, you said you sold two books to Kensington and they wanted this one first. What is your other book about? And when will we get to have our hot little hands all over it?
Kim: The second book is titled Highland Dragon and will grace the bookshelves in October 2009. I’m proud to say this book placed first in seven RWA sponsored contests including the Molly and Reveal Your Inner Vixen. Highland Dragon takes place in the Scottish Highlands around the turn of the 15th century.
In a struggle between love and revenge, only one can emerge victorious. Eighteen years after hiding the secret of his betrothed’s lineage, Laird Calin MacLeod is forced to choose between avenging his father’s death and surrendering to the passion he finds in the arms of his enemy’s daughter.
Intelligent and feisty, Akira Neish has been called many things…even a witch, but never has she been called “beautiful” by a man. Unable to deny Calin’s seductions, Akira opens her heart to him, only to discover their marriage is part of his calculated plan to initiate a war with her biological father.
Hellion: Did you hear that crew? All those contest wins! I bet you knew you were close when you started finaling and winning all over the place! (And I have to say this: McLeod of the clan McLeod…okay, I’ll stop before the There can be only one.) *last said with dramatic flair, crew stares at her strangely, Hellion clears throat and proceeds in James Lipton manner* What’s the single most important thing you think new writers should keep in mind when they’re trying to push through and finish their books? (I.e. what have you found that’s worked for you?)
Kim: Rum! Lots of bloody rum! *Crew raises their mugs in agreement*. Seriously, it takes dedication and perseverance and lots of support from family, friends, and other writers. I wouldn’t have sold without the support of my local chapter and critique groups. Also, when writing, I have learned that you MUST move forward. Regardless how bad the scene is, you can always cut, but you can’t edit a blank screen.
Hellion: *looks at crew* See, I told you. They don’t listen to me. It’s what I get for being such a pushover. It’s my fault. I should give out more floggings and less rum. In any case, Kim, I think you’ve been an excellent interrogatee, um, guest pirate—and I suppose I should give my crew an opportunity to ask you some questions.
Kim: Ho, mate! Before you set the crew to waggin' their tongues, I'd like to let everyone know I'll be giving away an autographed copy of Her One Desire away to three of you bilgemates for making me feel welcome aboard the Romance Writer's Revenge. Cheers!
Hellion: Three copies? Did you hear that, crew? What would you like to ask the fair and fierce Kimberly? And for goodness sakes, pass her the rum!
(And if you can't get enough Kimberly interviews, she is also interviewing with the Romance Vagabonds! Say hello to her over there as well!)