Archive | June, 2013

Hanging around the World Wide Web

17 Jun

Today I find myself in three places at once. That’s the beauty of the Internet. It can be done.

Thanks to Roxanne Rustand for hosting me on her fun blog, All Creatures Great and Small where I’m chatting about meeting the famous polar bear cubs at the Buffalo Zoo.

I’m also over at Just Romantic Suspense talking about how different Halloween, the movie, would have been if Jamie Lee Curtis’s character had a cell phone. Yes, the mind of a writer is a quirky thing. 🙂

Lastly, I’m also featured on The Suspense Zone. Thanks to Susan Sleeman for asking me some great questions. I talk about the inspiration for my latest release, Plain Pursuit, as well as give a little advice to new writers.

If you have a minute, stop by any of these sites and say hello.

Cheers,

Alison Stone

 

 

 

 

Guest Author: Kristina Knight

12 Jun

Please welcome Kristina Knight to my blog today. She’s going to tell us about her former career as a journalist and her latest release, What a Texas Girl Dreams.

Welcome, Kristina!

Kristi1Kristina: Hi, Alison! Thank you so much for having me here today!

Alison: Your bio says you live on Lake Erie, yet you wrote a series of books set in Texas. What do you think the allure of the Texas cowboy is?

Kristina: You mean other than the pictures on Pinterest? Those are seriously drool-worthy!! For me, the lure of the cowboy goes way back: I can remember watching old spaghetti westerns with my grandfather (who was a cowboy) as a kid. I loved those guys who stood up for what they believed in, who fought to save the day (or the damsel in distress) and always managed to win against the odds. I love a good underdog story, and a lot of cowboys were underdogs. I think we all like to be able to root for someone, whether in books or movies or TV shows, and someone who is brave, steady and fighting for right is always someone we can root for. And, it can’t be said too much, those pictures on Pinterest don’t hurt, either.

Alison: I suppose I should start following you on Pinterest. 🙂 Now tell me, how has your former career as a journalist helped with your current career as an author?

Kristina: Gosh, in so many ways. As a journalist there is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. We hurry to a courthouse to get the mobster leaving in handcuffs, but then have to wait while the jury deliberates. Publishing is a lot like that: we write our books, polish them until they shine…and then have to wait weeks or months to hear back from editors or agents. Journalism also ingrained in me a need to beat a deadline. The five o’clock news goes on whether our stories are edited and perfect or not. That 11 o’clock print deadline is hard and fast. And so should our deadlines as writers, whether we are published or still waiting for that call.

Alison: Editors must love that you meet deadlines. When you sit down to write, do you plot your stories or do you just write organically and “see what happens?”

Kristina: My process is so weird. Technically, it’s a little of both. I need to know my characters and at least have an inkling of where the story is going. So, as I’m starting a new project I’ll make an outline of events that I think will happen. But that outline is always blown out of the water by the time the story is finished. Events are moved around, some deleted. My final drafts are always different from those early outlines!

Alison: I can relate to final drafts not resembling outlines. In the end, I’m sure it’s a stronger story, right? Now tell me about your perfect day.

Kristina: Oh, the perfect day. I would wake up totally refreshed, probably around 9 am, somewhere tropical. RadioMan, my own personal hero, would be my cabana boy, and he’d be waving a palm frond to keep me cool. There would be no 7 am pounces from bebe with the screaming-greeting of ‘Gooooooooooood morning!’ I would have plenty of time to get everything done – time to write, time to play, time to cook. Nothing would fall by the wayside.

Alison: Ah, waking up somewhere tropical sounds awesome! Your latest release, What A Texas Girl Dreams , revolves around horses. Your heroine’s horse is injured which leads her to the hero, a veterinarian. Did you have to do a lot of research?

Kristina: I did, and it was so much fun! I blame the journalist in me, but I love doing research. I contacted a horse rehab in Texas to get the lay of the land, talked (a LOT) with our vet and an associate of hers who focuses on large animals. And then I fictionalized all of it and (I hope) still got it all right!

Texas GirlBlurb for What a Texas Girl Dreams:
Monica Witte has life the way she likes it. She comes home to be babied every few months and the rest of the time she has no strings holding her back. But after her horse is injured in a rodeo performance, Monica knows it’s time to come home and face her family – warts and all.

Trickett Samuels works best on his own. The large-animal vet likes his quiet life in the Texas countryside. When Monica Witte blows into town, demanding a quick fix to her horse’s big issues, his life is turned upside down. Trickett doesn’t understand Monica’s need to perform before perfect strangers or why she wants to keep the truth of their relationship from her family. And the more he gets to know her, the more he wonders if he can convince this Texas girl that having roots will only help her soar higher.

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
iTunes

Author Bio:

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police—no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and four-year-old daughter. Happily ever after.

Website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com

Thanks for stopping by, Kristina! I’ll have to take a little trip to Texas and check out those cowboys! 🙂

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Happy Birthday

4 Jun

BirthdayToday is my youngest child’s birthday. It’s her last birthday in the single digits. 🙂 It’s also another birthday of sorts. My first Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Plain Pursuit, has an official paperback release of June 4th! It seems fitting somehow. And my beautiful daughter is excited that Harlequin chose her birthday to release my book.

It’s been a long road to publication. When I first decided to write a romance novel, I decided I wanted to have my name on the cover of a Harlequin. This was in the days before eBooks became popular. Yet, even as the popularity of eBooks exploded, I was still determined to sell to Harlequin. I am nothing if not determined.

A good friend of mine who also happened to be a writer sent me a lovely e-mail after yet another rejection from Harlequin. The editor had wonderful things to say, but she still passed on my book. I felt like I had hit a wall. My friend wrote:

If an editor said “I’m eager to get her under contract” I would have swooned. Do people still swoon? You’ve got it, kid. Don’t give up. At the very least, what a model for your kids on what it takes to succeed. Am I blowing smoke up your derriere? Nope. Close only counts when people use it as an excuse to bow out. Look at the many writers who struggled. I’m talking good writers who managed to believe in themselves no matter what. There are too many fools out there who make it because they are blind to their own BS. You just need to find your own unique voice, blend it to the “smooth, clean writing style.”

That e-mail is still in my inbox. It’s dated March 2009.  With my friend’s encouragement, I plowed ahead.

And then finally I had success. In the summer of 2011, I sold two books, Random Acts and Too Close to Home to the fabulous Samhain Publishing. I learned that sometimes dreams can be realized in unexpected ways.

I continued to write and in July 2012, I got “the call” from Harlequin.  My original goal achieved! Today, I can hold my first Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Plain Pursuit,  in my hand. In the dedication I wrote, in part, to my four children:

If you want something badly enough and you’re willing to word hard, dreams can come true. Thanks for helping me make my dream come true.

I hope I have taught my children something about perseverance and hard work.  I hope they have big dreams and are open to new, unexpected opportunities. I hope they never give up when success is almost within reach.

Happy Birthday, little one. May all your dreams come true.

~Alison Stone