We're so thrilled to have the multi-talented Kellie Kamryn with us here today. So, without further ado...
Tell us about yourself.
Where do I even begin? I was a gymnastics instructor for 25 years, but have always written for myself. I self-published a collection of poetry a few years ago, and decided to tackle my dream of writing a romance novel. I did, but it sucked! Thankfully, I’ve gotten better since then as evidenced by my 3 releases this past fall.
Tell us about Pleasure Island.
Pleasure Island was the first new piece I wrote after I separated from my husband. It’s about a woman finding herself again after divorce. She goes on vacation and ends up not where she thought she’d be! However, she ends up finding so much more and it’s my wish for those who have lost love to have faith that they will find it again.
What got you interested in writing?
I’ve always kept journals as a kid with short stories, poetry and life observations. My mom always read to us as kids so books have always been a big part of my life. They still are! My kids have hundreds of books, we love visiting the book store and library, and of course I have my own private collection – book shelf and on my ereader!
How long have you been writing?
To be published, I’d say the last five years or so I’ve taken it very seriously. I figured it’s now or never! I don’t want to have any regrets that I didn’t try. So far, so good!
What inspired you to write your first book?
A “what if” idea. That’s where all my stories come from – just this question what if this happened and there was this person… and a story just kind of blossoms from there.
What comes first, plot or characters?
HA! I am definitely not a plotter! I’ve tried that but it frustrated me to no end because as I wrote the story, I never stuck to it. My characters would come alive and give me something totally different and usually better than what I originally came up with. I tend to develop characters and dialogue between them. I love human interaction, so that’s kind of where my stories start and then I create the scenario around that.
How do you come up with the titles for your books?
My titles on the first try are always lame! LOL But I’m kind of weird that I can’t not have a title when I start. At some point before I write “The End” something about the story makes me say, “Yeah – that’s it!” So far none of my publishers have changed any of my titles. One of my erotic pieces (a comedy actually) Monkeys, Sex and Other Birthday Surprises had a lame title. I changed it to that one, and at first the publisher suggested we change it because it was kind of long and the whole monkey thing might make people think sex with animals, LOL. I would have changed it, but a few other people thought the title was different and catchy, and that it made them laugh. That’s what I wanted. So far, readers have said that the title made them curious enough to buy it. Even better are the rave reviews I’m getting on that quirky piece.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Not really the writing itself, but find the TIME to write. I’m a busy mom to 4 kids and the promotion for books (plus having 3 released within a month) is more than I thought it would be. I have so many stories that want to come out, but finding time to write them all, plus edit, etc. is a struggle. I just try to take a breather and remember there is more to my life. When I’m meant to tell another story, I will. (Doesn’t mean I don’t have notebooks full of notes on stories I want to write!)
Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
Probably that I have to have a title to begin a story. I hate seeing “Document” at the top of my screen. Even if it’s lame, I feel like I’ve got the beginning of something. I know – I’m weird…
What have you learned from being a published author that you wish you knew before you were published?
How much you have to promote your own work! I’m not complaining, because I have the opportunity to live my dream and I’m loving that people are buying my books. But it was a bit of a shock to realize how much time it could take up. It’s a good thing I love talking to people! (As you can see from some of my long-winded answers, I never shut up, LOL)
What’s the best writing advice you ever received/read?
A few years ago, and I tell this story all the time, I picked up one of Eloisa James’ books at the library. Absolutely loved it. It was at a time when I’d written my 1st book but wasn’t getting anywhere in the industry because I didn’t know much about it. I emailed her, gushed about her books and then dared to ask her if she had any advice for newbie writers. She wrote back and told me about Romance Writers of America, how I shouldn’t give up because romance is the biggest selling genre in the world, etc. I was in awe that she’d take the time to give me that small piece of advice and encouragement. Recently, I met her again and had the opportunity to tell her this story and how much it’s helped me. Well, voila – 3 books out so far and more in the future!
Any advice for new writers?
I say this all the time – DON’T GIVE UP. KEEP LEARNING. If you want to do this bad enough, find a way.
Coming early next year are the first books in your “Love and Balance” series. I love the concept of involving gymnastics (a big part of your life) into the stories. Can you tell us a little about that?
I haven’t read any gymnastics romances and I wanted to tap into something that would be different, so I created a series around the sport I’ve been involved in for most of my life. Tom Welling of Smallville fame, came to me in a dream and whispered the story idea to me. Jensen Ackles also visited while I slept and whispered another idea to me. They both sort of star in books 1 & 3, LOL Book 2’s hero was inspired by someone I saw at a school assembly and I went, “Who is that?” And then his character was born, albeit with a different personality and profession.
Book 1 – Rebound – An award-winning choreographer must face the only man she’s ever loved then lost when they are teamed up to work together at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.
Book 2 – The Perfect Score - The new head coach has barely gotten her beams in alignment when she’s threatened with a lawsuit by a father for refusing to train his brat of a daughter.
These books are different than my erotic novellas. I mean, there is “gymnast sex”, so if you want to know if gymnasts make better lovers, you’ll have to read them to find out! But I’d label them more contemporary romance, rather than erotic. Who knows? My editor might want me to change that!
What made you decide to write a series?
I wrote all 3 books within about six months. As I wrote the first one, the idea came to me for the second, and when I wrote the second, the idea came for the third. I have plans for a fourth, but that’ll be a while. All books are stand alone, but I took a character from the previous one and created their own unique story based on issues that could come up in a gymnastics setting.
What is one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
I don’t know! How tall are you? LOL People hear my voice and think I’m so much taller than I am, but I’m quite tiny. I’m small but tough!
Where can we find you and your books?
www.kelliekamryn.com for latest releases and buy links. On the site are links for Twitter and Facebook!
www.romancedivine.com for GOING FOR GOLD – erotic novella involving a cheerleader coach and a gymnastics coach after a staff Christmas party.
www.secretcravingspublishing.com for MONKEYS, SEX AND OTHER BIRTHDAY SURPRISES - an erotic comedy
PLEASURE ISLAND http://www.wilderroses.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=848
Kellie, it's been so great having you here today! Thanks for answering all of our questions so we could get to know you a little bit better! (And can I say I love the title: "Monkeys, Sex and Other Birthday Surprises"? I'm so glad that one was a keeper!)