I'm very excited to introduced this week's Featured Author, KATHRYN CASKIE!!
If Regency era romance is your cup of tea, my lady or gent, then Kathryn has sure-to-please back list full of sparkling tales of danger, passion, intrigue, and true love. Her soon to be released novel, THE DUKE'S NIGHT OF SIN, is the third book in The Seven Deadly Sins Series, which includes The Most Wicked of Sins and To Sin With A Stranger.
I hope you brought a snackie-snack to get your thinker tinking, because Kathryn is dishing up some awesome advice you sure don't want to miss! What's more, if you deposit your fun or serious 3 to 4 line "High Concept Teaser" in the comments section, you're in the running for a signed copy of the first two books in The Seven Deadly Sins Series AND a critique of the first 10 pages of your WIP by none other than Kathryn herself!! Way cool!!
Pip, pip, cheerio, and away we go . . .
1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
I am terrible at this. How about A 40-year-old romance author gets a second chance at love when she weds a kilted hero in a haunted Scottish castle.
2)Using three words, describe your voice.
This is a hard question, but my voice has been described a witty, clever and chick litty. Interesting, when I write historical, eh? I have also been told that my more modern voice makes my more historicals more accessible to contemporary readers. So, that's a good thing!
3)What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in your writing?
Making the time to sit down every day and write. It isn't so difficult when the kids are in school, but no with summer upon us--and a husband who works from home as well-- carving out my time is sometimes tough.
4)If you had to start all over again, what would be the one tidbit of 'know-how' you'd want to take with you?
Start with a high concept idea. I learned this during my years of marketing and advertising.
So, just what is ‘high concept?
For me, high concept means that:
1)the story premise can be pitched in a couple of sentences–and will elicit an emotional reaction (a sigh, a giggle, a gasp.)
2)the story premise is fresh, unique, original–even if its a twist on the expected or tried and true premise.
3)the story premise has wide reader appeal. In other words, it’s marketable. How will you know if your premise is a gem in your own mind, or if it will appeal to a wide audience? Test your logline on a few people (not just your mother or spouse). Are most intrigued? Or are you getting a blank stare and a polite ‘Oh, uh-huh’? It’s important to be honest with yourself about your story’s appeal and the reason you are writing in the first place. Are you writing to sell, or for yourself?
My first verbal pitch (note: written loglines can pack in some more information and punch) for my debut novel,Rules of Engagement, was something like this:
Two elderly women mistake a military strategy text, Rules of Engagement, for a how-to manual for getting engaged–and use its tactics to snare husbands for their nieces.
My verbal pitch almost always earned a little chuckle. The potential for humor was clear. The premise, which was just a little twist on the expected, had wide appeal. It was marketable. In the end, several editors were interested in buying the book. Warner Books, did.
Why? Because the high concept premise was easily communicated from the editor to Marketing, to the sales force, to the wholesalers, to the booksellers–to the readers.
It was easy to sell.
5)Novice writer to multi-published, award-winning author: What would you consider to be the best writing/career advice you've ever received?
The best writing advice I ever received was Jennifer Enderlin as she was rejecting my first book. She told me that I had promised a romantic comedy and delivered a mystery. What happened? Well, I had listened to all of my friends, even NYT bestselling authors and incorporated their great advice. And it was great advice, for their book. Not mine. Jennifer told me to trust my gut. When I did, as scary as that was, the book sold in an auction situation almost immediately.
6)Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for all the aspiring authors out there?
Just the three that guide me everyday 1)Trust your gut (thanks Jennifer Enderlin), 2)Write everyday, even its only couple of sentences--you have to create a positive writing habit (Susan Mallory) and 3) You can't fix an empty page (Nora Roberts).
7)Give all us a tasty teaser of what's coming up next for you!
Next up for me is book three in my Seven Deadly Sins series is The Duke's Night of Sin. It the story of Lady Siusan Sinclair whose one night sin with passionate duke pits her against the one man with the power to ruin her ...or claim her heart forever.
Excerpt from Chapter One The Duke's Night of Sin
Just then, she heard the door open. Her breath seized in her lungs.
Moonlight just barely touched the angular face of a large man. He was hardly two strides away.
Her heart pounded. How respectable would it appear for her to be found in a room meant for family, not guests? Thankfully, the library was cloaked in night. If she didn’t move...barely breathed the man mightn’t even know she was in the library with him.
But then, his eyes shifted to her and she saw a smile roll across his lips. She followed his gaze and saw that the lone shaft of moonlight was draped across her bare thigh.
“There you are. I couldn’t recall if you said the ante-parlor or the library,” he whispered, striding fast toward her. “Suppose I guessed right, eh?”
Siusan sat stunned, her mind all a jumble about what to do.
“I apologize for leaving you to wait. Went out for a long ride. Had to. I cannot endure the crowds and all of this meaningless fuss.” He came and stood before her, his feet firmly positioned either side of hers. His hand shot out and one finger slid alongside her jaw, easing her head back against the sofa cushion.
Siusan’s heart thudded in her chest. Panicked, she opened her mouth to tell him that she was not who he thought her to be, when suddenly his lips were moving over hers. She shivered as she felt his tongue ease into her mouth and began stroking the insides of her cheeks, twirling around her tongue. The peaty notes of brandy lingered on her tongue, and as she focused on the taste of his mouth, she didn’t at first feel his other hand move between her legs and begin to caress her thigh.
When she did, Siusan clamped her legs together. He lifted his mouth a scant breath from hers and exhaled a short laugh. “Come now, it is not as if it is the first time.” He nudged her knees open just a bit, then touched her bare thigh again, softly moving his fingers higher between her legs. Touching her just there. “And I know you like this quite a lot.”
God, she did. A low moan slipped from her lips. But how—Siusan’s eyes went wide—how, pray, could he possibly know this? Her mind spun like a leaf caught in a whirlwind. No one else knew. Except Simon, of course—but he’s—.
Suddenly he was lifting her, and then her back brushed the seat of the long sofa. He stood beside her as he unbuttoned his waistcoat, dropping it to the floor. Within an instant, he’d unwound his neckcloth and pulled his lawn shirt over his head.
She peered up at him. His face was obscured by darkness but the shaft of moonlight cut across his muscled chest, scored his abdomen and defined the hardness beneath his breeches.
Lord above. He was so very, very male. To her own embarrassment, moist heat began to collect between her thighs.
What was she doing? Aye, she was no longer a maid, but no one knew this. And it had only been Simon, her betrothed, the man she would have married.
Until Waterloo left him torn in shreds.
He hadn’t been expected to survive the night, let alone his transport home. But somehow he did, if only to writhe in agony for weeks at her side, muttering the most hurtful things, untruths she knew he said to drive her from his side. To spare her from seeing him finally succumb. One year ago...tonight.
He moved from the light, and she felt him part her knees. The cushion beneath her gave and she felt him move between her legs.
She couldn’t see him now, and she knew he couldn’t see her face as he leaned over her and began kissing her again. She closed her eyes and remembered Simon. How she missed him. How she missed the feel of him. Tears welled in her eyes. She felt part of herself die alongside him that night, one year ago.
But in this man’s arms something miraculous was happening. She could scarce believe it, but there was no denying...she was beginning to feel again. As if...as if his tenderness, his kisses pressing down on her lips, her neck...my God, it was as though he was raising her from the dead.
And she did not want him to stop.
Aye, it was wicked, but her body and her mind needed this confirmation of life.
Her eyes snapped open. She could let herself have this. Reclaim her life.
Just one night.
No one would know. Even he thought her to be someone else.
Just one night of sin. That was all.
Is it hot in here or is it just me?! Talk about a tasty teaser! I'm definitely geared up to grab a copy of THE DUKE'S NIGHT OF SIN when it hits the shelves, that's for sure. With a sneak peek as tempting as that who wouldn't be! :)
I'd like to thank Kathryn for her time and generosity! It ain't every day a person gets a giveaway prize and a 10 page critique from a USA Today Best Selling Author! Wowza! Don't forget to enter your 3 to 4 line High Concept Teaser in the comment section! Good luck!
If you'd like to learn more about the super sweet Kathryn Caskie, please scope her website: http://www.kathryncaskie.com/She's got some fantastic features on her site, so get prepared to be dazzled! (My fav is her Novel Boot Camp.)
THANK YOU, TLN'ers!! Let me get your heels hoppin' with some CARLENE CARTER and EVERY LITTLE THING!! Stay cool and have some fun this weekend, ya'll!! Catch ya back Monday for another Novice To Watch who is also a Golden Heart Finalist!!